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Title: Personal Sketches of His Own Times, Vol. 2 (of 3)
Author: Barrington, Jonah
Language: English
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              Personal Sketches of His Own Times, Vol. II.


                           PERSONAL SKETCHES


                             HIS OWN TIMES,


                         SIR JONAH BARRINGTON,

                              &c. &c. &c.

                           IN THREE VOLUMES.

                                VOL. II.

                            SECOND EDITION,
                         REVISED AND IMPROVED.

                         NEW BURLINGTON STREET.






                          THE RIGHT HONOURABLE

                             LORD STOWELL.


The general approbation of a literary work must be highly gratifying to
any Author. But the cordial approval of an eminent individual, whose
grave, sound judgment, and profound erudition, give authenticity to his
opinions, affords a gratification of an higher order.

Such was my feeling on your Lordship’s suggestion to me of a _third_
volume of those Sketches, “composed of _similar materials_.” To have
amused you gives me pleasure—to have informed you excites my vanity. My
gratitude for your kindness (when in office) has met no alloy by
retirement from a station where your repute will find no rivals. Your
_suggestion_ is in progress.

Time and declining health impair the vigour of men’s intellect,—in that
point I must bow to Providence. But such as my coming volume may be, if
it does not arrive at my own wishes, I hope it will not stop very short
of your Lordship’s expectation.

                               I am, my Dear Lord,
                               With true regard and respect,
                               Your Lordship’s sincere Servant, &c.
                               JONAH BARRINGTON.

  10th July, 1828.




                           THE SECOND VOLUME.

                            THE FIRE-EATERS.

 Passion for duelling in Ireland—Ancient duel before the judges
 and law authorities, &c. &c. at the Castle of Dublin—List of
 official and judicial duellists in author’s time—Family weapons
 described—The Fire-eaters’ Society—Their chiefs—Elegant
 institution of the Knights of Tara—Description of them—Their
 exhibitions and meetings—The rules of duelling and points of
 honour established by the fire-eaters, called the Thirty-six
 Commandments—Singular duel between the author and Mr. Richard
 Daley, a remarkable duellist and fop—Daley hit—Author’s second
 the celebrated Balloon Crosby—His singular appearance and
 character                                                          p. 1

                        DUELLING EXTRAORDINARY.

 Frequency of election duels—Ludicrous affair between Frank
 Skelton and an exciseman—Frank shoots the exciseman and runs
 away—His curious reasons—Sir J. Rourke’s quadrille duel, with
 five hits—Mr. H. D. G * * * y’s remarkable meeting with
 Counsellor O’Maher—O’Maher hit—Civil proposition of G * * * y’s
 second—G * * * y’s gallant letter to the author on his election
 for Maryborough—Honourable Barry Yelverton challenged by nine
 officers at once—His elucidation of the Fire-eaters’
 Resolutions—Lord Kilkenny’s memorable duels and law-suits—His
 lordship is shot by Mr. Ball, an attorney—The heir to his title
 (the Hon. Somerset Butler) challenges Counsellor Burrowes—The
 latter hit, but his life saved by some gingerbread nuts—Lord
 Kilkenny’s duel with Counsellor Byrne—The counsellor
 wounded—Counsellor Guinness escapes a rencontre—Sketch of
 Counsellor M‘Nally—His duel with the author—His three friends:
 all afterward hanged—M‘Nally wounded—Bon-mot of Mr. Harding—The
 affair highly beneficial to M‘Nally—His character, marriage, and
 death—Ancient mode of fighting duels—The lists described—Duel of
 Colonel Barrington with Squire Gilbert on horseback—Both
 wounded—Gilbert’s horse killed—Chivalrous conclusion                 30

                            GEORGE HARTPOLE.

 Curious fatality in the Hartpole family—Characteristic sketch of
 the last of the name—Description of Shrewl Castle—The chapel and
 cemetery—Strictures on Epitaph writing—Eccentricities of the Earl
 of Aldborough—His lordship proposes his sister, Lady Hannah
 Stratford, as _returning officer_ for the borough of
 Baltinglass—Consequent disturbances—The North-Briton put on his
 mettle, but out-manœuvred—“Lending to _the Lord_”—Successful
 conspiracy to marry Hartpole to the daughter of a village
 inn-keeper—He is stabbed by his wife, and deserts her in
 consequence—He forms an attachment to Miss Maria Otway, whom he
 marries, under the plea of his previous connexion being
 illegal—Unfortunate nature of this union—Separation of the
 parties—Hartpole’s voyage to Portugal, his return and
 death—Sundry other anecdotes of the Stratford family                 59

                      HAMILTON ROWAN AND THE BAR.

 Sketch of the character of Mr. Hamilton Rowan—His Quixotic spirit
 of philanthropy—Case of Mary Neil, taken up by Mr.
 Rowan—Dinner-club among the briefless barristers of
 Dublin—Apparition of Mr. Hamilton Rowan and his dog—More
 frightened than hurt—An unanswerable query—Mr. Rowan’s subsequent
 adventures—The Rev. Mr. Jackson—He is brought up to receive
 sentence for high treason, and expires in court                     110


 An Irish peasant cutting his own head off _by mistake_—His
 reputed ghost—Humours of an Irish _wake_—_Natural_ deaths of the
 Irish peasantry—Reflections on the excise laws                      121

                            FATHER O’LEARY.

 Humorous story of Father O’Leary and a bear—Mistaken notions
 respecting Ireland on the Continent—Lord Ventry and his tenant:
 an anecdote characteristic of the Irish peasant                     131

                        DEATH OF LORD ROSSMORE.

 Strictures on Dr. Johnson—His biographer, Boswell—False
 definitions and erroneous ethics—Superstition—Supernatural
 appearances—Theological argument of the author in favour of his
 peculiar faith—Original poetry by Miss T * * *—The author
 purchases Lady Mayo’s demesne, County Wicklow—Terrific and
 cultivated scenery contrasted—Description of the Golden Belt of
 Ireland and the beauties of the above-mentioned county—Lord
 Rossmore—His character—Supernatural incident of a most
 extraordinary nature, vouched by living witnesses, and attendant
 on the sudden death of his lordship                                 138

                           MEMORANDA CRITICA.

 Remarks on Lady Morgan’s novel of “The Wild Irish Girl,”
 &c.—Prince O’Sullivan at Killarney—Miss Edgeworth’s “Castle
 Rackrent”—Memoir of Jonathan Clerk—“Florence Macarthy”—Comparison
 between Lady Morgan and Thomas Moore as writers—The author’s
 knowledge of both—“Captain Rock” condemned—The “Irish Melodies”
 by Moore—The harmonising of them by Sir John Stevenson injurious
 to the national music—Anecdote of Mr. Thomas Moore and Mrs.
 K * * * y                                                           156

                           MEMORANDA POETICA.

 Poets and poetasters—Major Roche’s extraordinary poem on the
 battle of Waterloo—“Tears of the British Muse”—French climax of
 love—A man’s age discovered by his poetry—Evils of a
 motto—Amorous feelings of youth—Love verses of a boy; of a young
 man—“Loves of the Angels”—Dinner verses of an Oxonian—“The
 Highlander,” a poem—Extracts from the poetical manuscripts of
 Miss Tylden, &c.                                                    168

                       THEATRICAL RECOLLECTIONS.

 The author’s early visits to Crow-street Theatre—Interruptions of
 the University _men_—College pranks—Old Mr. Sheridan in “Cato”
 and in “Alexander the Great”—Curious _scene_ introduced, by
 mistake, in the latter tragedy—Mr. Digges in the Ghost of
 Hamlet’s father—Chorus of cocks—The author’s preference of comedy
 to tragedy—Remarks on Mr. Kean and the London moralists—Liston in
 “Paul Pry”—Old Sparkes—The Spanish _débutante_—Irish
 Johnstone—Modern comedy—The French stage                            195

                              MRS. JORDAN.

 Public mis-statements respecting that lady—The author’s long
 acquaintance with her—_Début_ of Mrs. Jordan, at the Dublin
 Theatre, as Miss Francis—Her incipient talents at that
 period—Favourite actresses then in possession of the
 stage—Theatrical jealousy—Mrs. Daly (formerly Miss
 Barsanti)—Curious inversion of characters in the opera of “The
 Governess,” resorted to by the manager to _raise the wind_—Lieut.
 Doyne proposes for Miss Francis—His suit rejected from prudential
 considerations—Miss Francis departs for England—Mr. Owenson, Lady
 Morgan’s father—Comparison between that performer and Mr. John
 (commonly called _Irish_) Johnstone—Introduction of the author to
 his Royal Highness the Duke of Clarence—Reflections on the
 scurrilous personalities of the English press—Mrs. Jordan in the
 green-room, and on the stage—Her remarks on the theatrical art,
 and on her own style of acting—Her last visit to Dublin, and
 curious circumstances connected therewith—Mr. Dwyer the actor and
 Mr. Sergeant Gold—Mrs. Jordan in private society—Extracts from
 her letters—Her retirement from Bushy and subsequent embarkation
 for France                                                          211

                         MRS. JORDAN IN FRANCE.

 Decline of Mrs. Jordan’s health—Description of her cottage and
 grounds at Boulogne-sur-Mer—Madame Ducamp and her servant
 Agnes—Their account of Mrs. Jordan’s habits and manners—Removal
 of that lady to Versailles and subsequently to St. Cloud—Account
 of her illness and last moments                                     238


 Diversity of the author’s pursuits—Superficial acquirements
 contrasted with solid—Variety and change of study conducive to
 health—Breeding ideas—How to avoid _ennui_—The principles of
 memory and fear—The author’s theory respecting the former, and
 his motive for its introduction                                     250


 Letter from the author to Mr. Burne, relating to the political
 conduct of the former at the period of the Union—Extracts from
 letters written to the author by Lord Westmoreland—General
 reflections on the political condition of Ireland at the present
 time—Hint toward the revival of a curious old statute—Clerical
 justices—The king in Ireland—The Corporation of Dublin—The
 “Glorious Memory”—Catholics and Protestants—Mischievous virulence
 of party feeling                                                    258

                       SCENES AT HAVRE DE GRACE.

 Peace of 1814—The Bourbons and _émigrés_ generally—Motives of the
 author in visiting the continent—His departure from England with
 his family—Arrival at Havre de Grace—The _Côteau
 d’Ingouville_—Doctor Sorerie and his _graduated scale_—The
 Pavillon Poulet—Price of commodities at Havre—Rate of
 exchange—English assumption abroad—The author’s rural retirement
 disturbed by Napoleon’s return from Elba—Circumstances attending
 the announcement of this fact at Havre—Previous demonstrations of
 the inhabitants of the town, and more particularly of the
 military quartered there—Uniform of the old guard—Two Russians
 mutilated by the mob—Retirement of Louis _le Désiré_ from
 Paris—Curious variety of feeling manifested among the people at
 Havre—Policy of the priests—Good humour of all parties—Recruiting
 for the _Emperor_ and the _King_—Consternation of the English at
 Havre—Meeting at the house of the consul, Mr. Stuart—A vinous
 harangue—Prompt embarkation of the British—Accommodations of a
 storehouse—The huissiers and the spring showers—_Signs_ of the
 times                                                               273


 A family council—Journey from Havre to Paris—Attention of the
 French officers to the author and his party—Peaceable condition
 of the intervening country—Thoughts on revolutions in
 general—Ireland in 1798—Arrival in the French capital—Admirable
 state of the police—Henry Thevenot—Misgivings of the author—His
 interview with Count Bertrand—Polite conduct of the Count—The
 Emperor’s chapel—Napoleon at mass—His deportment—Treasonable
 garments—Col. Gowen—Military inspection after mass—Alteration in
 the manner of the Emperor—Enthusiasm of the soldiers                295

                         THE ENGLISH IN PARIS.

 Doctor and Mrs. Marshall—Col. Macirone, aide-de-camp to Joachim
 Murat, while king of Naples—General Arthur O’Connor—Lord and Lady
 Kinnaird—His lordship under the _surveillance_ of the
 police—Suspected of _espionage_, and arrested, but set at liberty
 immediately after—Messrs. Hobhouse and Bruce—Dr. Marshall’s
 correct information as to passing events—Real character of the
 _coterie_ at his house—_Madame la parente du ministre
 Fouché_—Misconception of the minister’s Swiss porter—Henry
 Thevenot                                                            310

                      INAUGURATION OF THE EMPEROR.

 The peers and deputies summoned for the 8th of June—Abduction of
 the regalia by the royalists—Author obtains a ticket of admission
 to the gallery of the Chamber of Deputies, to witness the
 ceremony—Grenadiers of the old guard—Enthusiasm of the military,
 and comparative quiescence of the other ranks—Entrance of
 Napoleon into the Chamber—Sketch of his appearance and that of
 _Madame Mère_—Administration of the oath of allegiance—The Duke
 of Otranto and Count Thibaudeau—The imperial speech and its
 ineffective delivery                                                322


 Apathy of the people—Temporary building in front of the _Ecole
 Militaire_—Pont de Jena—Policy of Napoleon regarding
 Fouché—Procession to the Champ de Mars—Peculiar accoutrements of
 a regiment of cavalry—Reflections on some points in the history
 of Napoleon—His mistake in changing the republican into a
 monarchical government—Coaches of ceremony of the French noblesse
 and officers of state—The Emperor’s liberality to various members
 of his court—His personal dejection on this day—Rejoicings
 succeeding the promulgation—Superiority of the French in matters
 of _embellishment_—Gratuitous distribution of provisions and
 wine—Politeness of the lower orders of French—Display of
 fireworks—Mr. Hobhouse’s “Second Reign of Napoleon”                 345


 Rejoicings on Napoleon’s victory over Blucher and surprise of
 Lord Wellington—Bulletin issued at St. Cloud—Budget of news
 communicated by a French cockney—Author’s alarm on account of his
 family—Proposes quitting Paris—Information of Henry Thevenot:
 confirmed at Lafitte’s—Napoleon’s return from Waterloo—The
 author’s sources of intelligence—His visits to the Chamber of
 Deputies—Garat, minister of justice at the period of Louis’s
 decapitation—The _Rousseau Mss._ and their peculiar utility to
 the author—Fouché’s treachery—Vacillating plan to inform Napoleon
 thereof, through Count Thibaudeau—Observations on the
 vicissitudes and political extinction of Bonaparte                  360

                         DETENTION AT VILETTE.

 Negotiation between the provisional government of Paris and the
 allies—Col. Macirone’s mission—The author crosses the barrier of
 the French army, misses the colonel, and is detained on
 suspicion—Led before Marshal Davoust, Prince d’Eckmuhl and
 commander-in-chief of the forces at Vilette—The marshal’s haughty
 demeanour, and the imprecations of the soldiery—A friend in need;
 or, one good turn deserves another—Remarks of a French officer on
 the battle of Waterloo—Account of the physical and moral strength
 and disposition of the army at Vilette—Return of the
 _parlementaires_—Awkward mistake of one of the
 sentries—Liberation of the author—Marshal Davoust’s expressions
 to the negotiators                                                  376

                     PROJECTED ESCAPE OF NAPOLEON.

 Attack on the bridge of Charenton by the Russians—Fouché’s
 arrangements for the _defence_ of Paris—Bonaparte’s retirement to
 Malmaison—His want of moral courage—Comparison between Napoleon
 and Frederick the Great—Extraordinary resolution of the
 Ex-Emperor to repair to London—Preparations for his undertaking
 the journey as secretary to Dr. Marshall—The scheme abandoned
 from dread of treachery on the road to the coast—Termination of
 the author’s intercourse with Dr. Marshall, and the cause
 thereof—Remuneration of Col. Macirone by the arch-traitor Fouché    387

                       BATTLE OF SEVRES AND ISSY.

 Afternoon ramble on the Boulevard Italien—Interrupted by the
 report of artillery—_Sang froid_ of the fair sex—Female
 soldiers—The author repairs to a point commanding the field of
 battle—Site of the projected palace of the King of Rome—Rapidity
 of the movements of the French as contrasted with those of the
 Prussians—Blowing up of the bridge of St. Cloud—Visit of the
 author to the encampment in the Champ de Mars—The wounded soldier   398

                         CAPITULATION OF PARIS.

 Retirement of the army of Vilette behind the Loire—Occupation of
 the French capital by the allies—Thoughts on the disposition of
 the Bourbon government towards Great Britain—Conduct of the
 allies after their possession of Paris—Infringements of the
 treaty—Removal of the works of art from the Louvre—Reflections on
 the injurious result of that measure to the British
 student—_Liberal_ motive operating on the English administration
 of that period—Little interludes got up between the French King
 and the allies—Louis the Eighteenth’s magnanimous
 letters—Threatened destruction of the _Pont de Jena_ by Marshal
 Blucher—Heroic resolution of His Most Christian Majesty to perish
 in the explosion                                                    413


 The Catacombs of Paris—Ineffective nature of the written
 description of these as compared with the reality—Author’s
 descent into them—His speedy return—Contrast presented by the
 cemetery of Père la Chaise—Tomb of Abelard and Heloise—An English
 capitalist’s notions of sentiment                                   423


 The author’s efforts to discover the source of his name and
 family—The Irish herald-at-arms—Reference made by him to the
 English professor—Heraldic speculation—Ascent of the author’s
 pedigree to the reign of William the Conqueror—Consultation with
 the Norman herald suggested—Author’s visit to Rouen—Anecdotes of
 French convents—Madame Cousin and her _system_—Traits of
 toleration—M. Helliot, the celebrated _ancien avocat_ of
 Rouen—Practice of _legal bigamy_ in Normandy—A breakfast
 party—Death of M. Helliot—Interview with an old herald, formerly
 of the noblesse—His person and costume described—Discovery of the
 town and castle of _Barentin_—Occurrences there—The old
 beggar-man—Visit to Jersey, where Drogo de Barentin was killed in
 defending the castle of Mont Orgueil—Return to Barentin, and
 singular incident at Ivetot—Conclusion                              429


                           PERSONAL SKETCHES.

                            THE FIRE-EATERS.

Passion for duelling in Ireland—Ancient duel before the judges and law
  authorities, &c. &c. at the Castle of Dublin—List of official and
  judicial duellists in author’s time—Family weapons described—The
  Fire-eaters’ Society—Their chiefs—Elegant institution of the Knights
  of Tara—Description of them—Their exhibitions and meetings—The rules
  of duelling and points of honour established by the fire-eaters,
  called the Thirty-six Commandments—Singular duel between the author
  and Mr. Richard Daley, a remarkable duellist and fop—Daley
  hit—Author’s second the celebrated Balloon Crosby—His singular
  appearance and character.

It may be objected that anecdotes of duelling have more than their due
proportion of space in these sketches, and that no writer should publish
feats of that nature (if feats they can be called), especially when
performed by persons holding grave offices, or by public functionaries.
These are very plausible, rational observations, and are now anticipated
for the purpose of being answered.

It might be considered a sufficient excuse, that these anecdotes refer
to events long past; that they are amusing, and the more so as being
matters of _fact_, (neither romance nor exaggeration,) and so various
that no two of them are at all similar. But a better reason can be
given;—namely, that there is no other species of detail or anecdote
which so clearly illustrates the character, genius, and manners of a
country, as that which exemplifies the distinguishing propensities of
its population for successive ages. Much knowledge of a people will
necessarily be gained by possessing such a series of anecdotes, and by
then going on to trace the decline of such propensities to the progress
of civilization in that class of society where they had been prevalent.

As to the objection founded on the rank or profession of the parties
concerned, it is only necessary to subjoin the following _short_
abstract from a long list of official duellists who have figured away in
my time, and some of them before my eyes.—The number of grave personages
who appear to have adopted the national taste, (though in most instances
it was undoubtedly before their elevation to the bench that they
signalised themselves in single combat,) removes from me all imputation
of pitching upon and exposing an unusual frailty; and I think I may
challenge any country in Europe to show such an assemblage of gallant
_judicial_ and _official_ antagonists at fire and sword as is exhibited
even in the following list.[1]


Footnote 1:

  Single combat was formerly a very prevalent and favourite mode of
  _administering justice_ in Ireland; the _letter_ of that law existed
  in England; and, not being considered so brutal as bullfights, or
  other beastly amusements of that nature, it was legally authorised,
  and frequently performed before the high authorities and their ladies,
  in the castle-yard of Dublin;—_bishops_, _judges_, and other persons
  of high office, generally honouring the spectacle with their presence.

  The last exhibition of that nature I have read of was between two
  Irish gentlemen, Connor Mac Cormac O’Connor, and Teige Mac Kilpatrick
  O’Connor. They fought with broadswords and skeens (large knives), in
  the castle of Dublin, in the presence of the archbishop and all the
  chief authorities and ladies of rank. They had hewed each other for a
  full hour, when Mr. Mac Kilpatrick O’Connor happening to miss his
  footing, Mr. Mac Cormac O’Connor began to cut his head off very
  expertly with his knife; which, after a good deal of cutting,
  struggling, and hacking, he was at length so fortunate as to effect;
  and, having got the head clear off the shoulders, he handed it to the
  lords justices (who were present), and by whom the head and neck was
  most graciously received.


    Earl Clare, Lord Chancellor of Ireland, fought the Master of the
    Rolls, the Right Honourable John Philpot Curran, with
    twelve-inch pistols.

    The Earl of Clonmell, Chief Justice of the King’s Bench, fought
    Lord Tyrawly, about his wife, and the Earl Landaff, about his
    sister; and others, with sword or pistol, on miscellaneous

    The Judge of the County of Dublin, Egan, fought the Master of
    the Rolls, Roger Barrett,[2] and _three_ others; one with


Footnote 2:

      On the duel between Judge Egan and Counsellor Roger Barret a
      curious incident occurred, of hackneyed celebrity, but very
      illustrative of that volatile eccentricity with which the
      gravest events were frequently accompanied in that country.

      On the combatants taking their ground (secundum
      consuetudinem), Roger (who was the _challenger_) immediately
      fired without much aim, and missing his antagonist, coolly
      said, “Egan, now my honour is satisfied,” and began to walk
      away with great stateliness and composure.

      The judge, however, (who had not fired,) cried aloud, “Hulloa,
      Roger—hulloa!—stop—stop, Roger; come back here; stay till I
      take a _shot_ at your _honour_!”

      Roger obeyed; and with the same composure cried out, “Very
      well, fire away, Jack.”

      Egan presented, and seemed by his motions determined to finish
      Roger:—at length he cried out, “Pho! pho! I won’t humour you,
      by G—d! I wouldn’t be _bothered_ shooting you, Roger!—so now
      you may go to the devil your own road; or _shake hands_,
      whichever you like best.”

      The finale may be anticipated. This circumstance is truly
      Irish; it took place on the site of Donnybrook fair, and some
      hundreds of _amateurs_ were present.


    The Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Right Honourable Isaac
    Corry, fought the Right Honourable Henry Grattan, a privy
    counsellor, and the chancellor was hit. He also exchanged shots
    or thrusts with _two_ other gentlemen.

    A baron of the exchequer, Baron Medge, fought his brother-in-law
    and _two_ others—a hit.

    The Chief Justice, C. P., Lord Norbury, fought Fire-eater
    Fitzgerald, and _two_ other gentlemen, muzzle to muzzle, and
    frightened Napper Tandy and several besides: one hit
    only.—Napper was near being hanged for _running away_!

    The Judge of the Prerogative Court, Doctor Duigenan, fought
    _one_ barrister and frightened _another_ on the ground.—The
    latter case a very curious one.

    The First Counsel to the Revenue, Henry Deane Grady, Esq., K.
    C., fought Counsellor O’Maher, Counsellor Campbell, and
    others:—very stout work.

    The Right Honourable the Master of the Rolls fought Lord
    Buckinghamshire, (Chief Secretary, &c.) because he would not
    dismiss an official person.

    The Provost of the University of Dublin, the Right Honourable
    Hely Hutchinson, fought Mr. Doyle, master in Chancery: they went
    to the plains of Minden to fight!

    N.B. The spirit of the Hutchinson family was proverbial, and
    their good nature was no less so.

    The Chief Justice C. P. Patterson fought _three_ country
    gentlemen, one of them with swords, another with guns, and
    wounded _all_ of them.

    The Right Honourable George Ogle, the Orange chieftain, a privy
    counsellor, fought Barny Coyle, a whiskey distiller, because he
    was a _papist_.—They fired eight shots without stop or stay, and
    no hit occurred: but Mr. Ogle’s second broke his own arm by
    tumbling into a potatoe-trench.

    Sir Harding Gifford, late Chief Justice of Ceylon, fought the
    rebel General Bagenal Harvey at a place called the Scalp, near
    Dublin. The Chief Justice received a severe, but very _odd_
    wound.—He eventually, however, suffered no important injury.

    Counsellor Dan O’Connell fought the Orange chieftain, who had
    been _halloo’d_ at him by the corporation. The champion of
    Protestant ascendancy never rose to fight again.

    The Collector of the Customs of Dublin, the Honourable Francis
    Hutchinson, fought the Right Honourable Lord Mountnorris:—a hit.
    _Cum multis aliis quæ nunc enumerare longum est._

The reader of this dignified list (which, as I have said, is only a
_very_ short abridgment[3]) will surely see no great indecorum in an
Admiralty Judge having now and then, when required so to do, exchanged
_broadsides_, more especially as they did not militate against the law
of nations, and no _ghost_ was the consequence.


Footnote 3:

  Two hundred and twenty-seven memorable duels have actually been fought
  during my grand climacteric.


However, it must be owned that there were occasionally _peaceable_ and
_forgiving_ instances among the barristers.—A brave, thrice-proven, but
certainly capricious individual, Mr. Curran, was whipped by a very
_savage_ nobleman, Lord Clanmorris; and another eminent barrister was
_said_ to have had his eye saluted by a messenger from a gentleman’s
lips in the body of the House of Commons.—Yet both those little
_incivilities_ were arranged very amicably, and without the aid of any
deadly weapon whatsoever, I suppose for _variety’s_ sake. But the people
of Dublin used to observe, that a _judgment_ came upon Counsellor
O’Callaghan, for having kept his friend, Mr. Curran, _quiet_ in the
horse-whipping affair, inasmuch as his own brains were literally
scattered about the ground by a Galway attorney very soon after he had
turned pacificator.

To speak after the manner of a _Bulletin_:—“In my time, the number of
killed and wounded among the bar was very considerable.—The other
learned professions suffered much less.”

It is nearly incredible what a singular passion the Irish gentlemen
(though in general excellent-tempered fellows) formerly had for fighting
each other and immediately becoming friends again. A duel was indeed
considered a necessary piece of a young man’s _education_, but by no
means a ground for any future animosity with his opponent:—on the
contrary, proving the bravery of both, it only cemented their

One of the most humane men existing, an intimate friend of mine, and a
prominent and benevolent public character, but who (as the expression
then was) had frequently played both “hilt to hilt” and “muzzle to
muzzle,” in desperate rencontres, was heard endeavouring to keep a
little son of his quiet who was crying for something:—“Come, now, do be
a good boy! Come, now,” said my friend, “don’t cry, and I’ll give you a
case of nice little _pistols_ to-morrow. Come, now, don’t cry, and we’ll
shoot them all in the morning.”—“Oh, yes! yes! papa! we’ll _shoot them
all_ in the morning!” responded the child, drying his little eyes and
delighted at the notion.

I have heard Sir Charles Ormsby, who affected to be a wit, though at
best but a humourist and _gourmand_, liken the story of my friend and
his son to a butcher at Nenagh, who in a similar manner wanted to keep
_his_ son from crying, and effectually stopped his tears by
saying,—“Come, now, be a good boy! don’t cry, and you shall _kill a
lamb_ to-morrow! now, won’t you be good?”—“Oh yes, yes,” said the child,
sobbing; “Father, is the _lamb ready_?”

Within my recollection, this national relish for fighting was nearly
universal,—originating (I think) in the spirit and habits of former
times. When men had a glowing ambition to excel in all manner of feats
and exercises, as their forefathers had done, they naturally conceived
that single combat in an _honest_ way (that is, not knowing _which_
would be perforated) was the most chivalrous and gentlemanly of all
possible accomplishments; and this idea gave rise to an assiduous
cultivation of personal tactics, and dictated _laws_ for carrying them
into execution with regularity, honour, and dispatch, among the nobility
and gentry of that punctilious nation.

About the year 1777, _Fire-eating_ was in great repute in Ireland. No
young fellow could _finish his education_ till he had exchanged shots
with some of his friends or acquaintances. The first questions asked as
to a young man’s respectability and qualifications (particularly when he
proposed for a lady-wife) were, “What family is he of?”—“Did he ever
_blaze_?”—His _fortune_ was then the last inquiry; because the reply was
seldom satisfactory.

Tipperary and Galway were the ablest schools of the duelling science.
Galway was most scientific at the sword: Tipperary most practical and
prized at the pistol: Mayo not amiss at either: Roscommon and Sligo had
many professors and a high reputation in the leaden branch of the

When I was at the university, Jemmy Keogh, _Buck English_,[4] Cosey
Harrison, Crowe Ryan, Reddy Long, Amby Bodkin, Squire Fulton, Squire
Blake, Amby Fitzgerald, Terry Magrath, and some others, were supposed to
understand the _points of honour_ better than any men in Ireland, and
were constantly referred to.—Terry Magrath especially was counted a very
good opinion.


Footnote 4:

  The celebrated Buck English was expelled for killing by foul play, and
  had like to be hanged. The “Fire-eaters” _outlawed_ him.—Foul play was
  never known to occur in that society—save in this instance. English
  was saved, on his trial, by _one_ juror holding out against his
  _eleven_ brethren:—however, as they could not agree, Baron Hamilton
  ordered them all to be packed in turf kishes, conveyed on cars to the
  boundary of the county, twenty-seven miles off, and there discharged
  on foot. At the ensuing assizes all the witnesses against English were
  duly disposed of—none appeared—and he was acquitted of course.


In the North, the Fallons and the Fentons were the first hands at it;
and most counties could then boast their regular _point-of-honour_ men.
The late chief justice of the common pleas was supposed to understand
_the thing_ as well as any gentleman in Ireland, and was frequently
referred to by the high circles.

In truth, these oracles were in general gentlemen of good connexions[5]
and most respectable families, otherwise nobody would either fight or
consult them.


Footnote 5:

  There was an association in the year 1782, (a volunteer corps) which
  was called the “Independent Light Horse.” They were not confined to
  one district, and none could be admitted but the younger brothers of
  the most respectable families. They were all both “hilt and muzzle
  adepts;”—and, that no member might set himself up as greater than
  another, every individual of the corps was obliged, on entering, to
  give his honour “that he could cover his fortune with the crown of his
  hat, and had exchanged a shot or thrust before he was ballotted for.”

  Roscommon and Sligo then furnished some of the finest young fellows
  (fire-eaters) I ever saw: their spirit and decorum were equally
  admirable, and their honour and liberality conspicuous on all


Every family had then a case of hereditary pistols, which descended as
an heir-loom, together with a long silver-hilted sword, for the use of
their posterity. Our family pistols, denominated _pelters_, were brass
(I believe my second brother has them still): the barrels were very long
and _point-blankers_. They were included in the armoury of our ancient
castle of Ballynakill in the reign of Elizabeth, (the stocks, locks, and
hair-triggers were, however, modern,) and had descended from father to
son from that period: one of them was named “_sweet lips_,” the other
“_the darling_.” The family rapier was called “_skiver the pullet_” by
my grand-uncle, Captain Wheeler Barrington, who had fought with it
repeatedly and run through different parts of their persons several
Scots officers, who had challenged him all at once for some national
reflection. It was a very long, narrow-bladed, straight cut-and-thrust,
as sharp as a razor, with a silver hilt, and a guard of buff leather
inside it. I kept this rapier as a curiosity for some time; but it was
stolen during my absence at Temple.

I knew Jemmy Keogh extremely well, when he was pretty old. He was
considered in the main a _peace-maker_, for he did not like any body to
fight but himself; and it was universally admitted that he never killed
any man who did not well deserve it. He was a plausible, although
black-looking fellow, with remarkably thick, long, curled eyebrows
closing with a tuft over his nose. He spoke deliberately, reasoned well,
and never showed passion. When determined to fight, his brows knit, his
eyes fixed, and (as an antagonist) he cut a very unprepossessing figure.
I never heard that he was wounded. When he tried to _restrain_ his
anger, he set his teeth, kept his tongue a close prisoner, and appeared
like one with a locked jaw. No man was more universally known in
Ireland. He unfortunately shot a _cripple_ in the Phœnix Park, which,
though fair enough, did him great mischief. He was land-agent to Bourke
of Glinsk, to whom he always officiated as second.

At length, so many quarrels arose without sufficiently _dignified_
provocation, and so many things were considered as quarrels _of course_,
which were not quarrels at all,—that the principal fire-eaters of the
South clearly saw disrepute was likely to be thrown both on the science
and its professors, and thought it full time to interfere and arrange
matters upon a proper, steady, rational, and moderate footing; and to
regulate the time, place, and other circumstances of duelling, so as to
govern all Ireland on one principle—thus establishing a uniform,
national code of the _lex pugnandi_; proving, as Hugo Grotius did, that
it was for the benefit of all belligerents to adopt the same

In furtherance of this object, a _branch society_ had been formed in
Dublin termed the “Knights of Tara,” which met once a month at the
theatre, Capel-street, gave premiums for fencing, and proceeded in the
most laudably systematic manner. The amount of admission-money was laid
out on silver cups, and given to the best fencers, as prizes, at
quarterly exhibitions of pupils and amateurs.

Fencing with the small-sword is certainly a most beautiful and noble
exercise: its practice confers a fine, bold, manly carriage, a dignified
mien, a firm step, and graceful motion. But, alas! its professors are
now supplanted by contemptible groups of smirking quadrillers with
unweaponed belts, stuffed breasts, and strangled loins!—a set of
squeaking dandies, whose sex may be readily mistaken, or, I should
rather say, is of _no_ consequence.

The theatre of the Knights of Tara, on these occasions, was always
overflowing:—the combatants were dressed in close cambric jackets,
garnished with ribbons, each wearing the favourite colour of his fair
one: bunches of ribbons also dangled at their knees, and roses adorned
their morocco slippers, which had buff soles, to prevent noise in their
lunges. No masks or visors were used as in these more timorous times; on
the contrary, every feature was uncovered, and its inflections all
visible. The ladies appeared in full morning dresses, each handing his
foil to her champion for the day, and their presence animating the
singular exhibition. The prizes were handed to the conquerors by the
fair ones from the stage-boxes, accompanied each with a wreath of
laurel, and a smile then more valued than a hundred victories! The tips
of the foils were blackened, and therefore instantly betrayed the hits
on the cambric jacket, and proclaimed without doubt the successful
combatant. All was decorum, gallantry, spirit, and good temper.

The Knights of Tara also had a select committee to decide on all actual
questions of honour referred to them:—to reconcile differences, if
possible; if not, to adjust the terms and continuance of single combat.
Doubtful points were solved generally on the peaceable side, provided
women were not insulted or defamed; but when that was the case, the
knights were obdurate, and blood must be seen. They were constituted by
ballot, something in the manner of the Jockey Club; but without the
possibility of being dishonourable, or the opportunity of cheating each

This most agreeable and useful association did not last above two or
three years. I cannot tell why it broke up: I rather think, however, the
original fire-eaters thought it frivolous, or did not like their own
ascendancy to be rivalled. It was said that they threatened direct
hostilities against the knights; and I am the more disposed to believe
this, because, soon after, a comprehensive code of the laws and points
of honour was issued from the Southern fire-eaters, with directions that
it should be strictly observed by all gentlemen throughout the kingdom,
and kept in their pistol-cases, that ignorance might never be pleaded.
This code was not circulated in print, but very numerous written copies
were sent to the different county clubs, &c. My father got one for his
sons; and I transcribed most of it on some blank leaves. These rules
brought the whole business of duelling into a focus, and have been much
acted upon down to the present day. They called them in Galway “the
_thirty-six_ commandments.”

As far as my copy went, they appear to have run as follows:—

  The practice of duelling and points of honour settled at Clonmell
  summer assizes, 1775, by the gentlemen delegates of Tipperary,
  Galway, Mayo, Sligo, and Roscommon, and prescribed for general
  adoption throughout Ireland.

                                RULE 1.

  The first offence requires the first apology, though the retort may
  have been more offensive than the insult: example;—A tells B he is
  impertinent, &c. B retorts, that he lies: yet A must make the first
  apology, because he gave the first offence, and then (after one
  fire) B may explain away the retort by subsequent apology.

                                RULE 2.

  But if the parties would rather fight on, then, after two shots
  each, (but in no case before,) B may explain first, and A apologise

  N.B. The above rules apply to all cases of offences in retort not of
  a stronger class than the example.

                                RULE 3.

  If a doubt exist who gave the first offence, the decision rests with
  the seconds: if they _won’t_ decide or _can’t_ agree, the matter
  must proceed to two shots, or to a hit, if the challenger require

                                RULE 4.

  When the _lie direct_ is the _first_ offence, the aggressor must
  either beg pardon in express terms; exchange two shots previous to
  apology; or three shots followed up by explanation; or fire on till
  a severe hit be received by one party or the other.

                                RULE 5.

  As a blow is strictly prohibited under any circumstances amongst
  gentlemen, no verbal apology can be received for such an insult: the
  alternatives therefore are—first, the offender handing a cane to the
  injured party, to be used on his own person, at the same time
  begging pardon;—second, firing on until one or both are disabled; or
  thirdly, exchanging three shots, and then asking pardon, _without_
  the proffer of the _cane_.

  If swords are used, the parties engage till one is well blooded,
  disabled, or disarmed; or until, after receiving a wound, and blood
  being drawn, the aggressor begs pardon.

  N.B. A _disarm_ is considered the same as a _disable_: the disarmer
  may (strictly) break his adversary’s sword; but if it be the
  challenger who is disarmed, it is considered as ungenerous to do so.

  In case the challenged be disarmed, and refuses to ask pardon or
  atone, he must not be _killed_, as formerly; but the challenger may
  lay his own sword on the aggressor’s shoulder, then break the
  aggressor’s sword, and say, “I spare your life!” The challenged can
  never revive that quarrel—the challenger may.

                                RULE 6.

  If A gives B the lie, and B retorts by a blow (being the two
  greatest offences), no reconciliation _can_ take place till after
  two discharges each, or a severe hit;—_after_ which, B may beg A’s
  pardon humbly for the blow, and then A may explain simply for the
  lie;—because a blow is _never_ allowable, and the offence of the lie
  therefore merges in it. (See preceding rule.)

  N.B. Challenges for undivulged causes may be reconciled on the
  ground, after one shot. An explanation or the slightest hit should
  be sufficient in such cases, because no personal offence transpired.

                                RULE 7.

  But no apology can be received, in any case, after the parties have
  actually taken their ground, without exchange of fires.

                                RULE 8.

  In the above case, no challenger is obliged to divulge his cause of
  challenge (if private), unless required by the challenged so to do
  _before_ their meeting.

                                RULE 9.

  All imputations of cheating at play, races, &c. to be considered
  equivalent to a blow; but may be reconciled after one shot, on
  admitting their falsehood, and begging pardon publicly.

                                RULE 10.

  Any insult to a lady under a gentleman’s care or protection, to be
  considered as, by one degree, a greater offence than if given to the
  gentleman personally, and to be regulated accordingly.

                                RULE 11.

  Offences originating or accruing from the support of ladies’
  reputation, to be considered as less unjustifiable than any others
  of the same class, and as admitting of slighter apologies by the
  aggressor:—this to be determined by the circumstances of the case,
  but _always_ favourably to the lady.

                                RULE 12.

  In simple unpremeditated _rencontres_ with the small sword, or
  _couteau-de-chasse_ the rule is—first draw, first sheath; unless
  blood be drawn: then both sheath, and proceed to investigation.

                                RULE 13.

  No dumb-shooting or firing in the air admissible _in any case_. The
  challenger ought not to have challenged without receiving offence;
  and the challenged ought, if he gave offence, to have made an
  apology before he came on the ground: therefore, _children’s play_
  must be dishonourable on one side or the other, and is accordingly

                                RULE 14.

  Seconds to be of equal rank in society with the principals they
  attend, inasmuch as a second may either choose or chance to become a
  principal, and equality is indispensable.

                                RULE 15.

  Challenges are never to be delivered at night, unless the party to
  be challenged intend leaving the place of offence before morning;
  for it is desirable to avoid all hot-headed proceedings.

                                RULE 16.

  The challenged has the right to choose his own weapon, unless the
  challenger gives his honour he is no swordsman; after which,
  however, he cannot decline any _second_ species of weapon proposed
  by the challenged.

                                RULE 17.

  The challenged chooses his ground: the challenger chooses his
  distance: the seconds fix the time and terms of firing.

                                RULE 18.

  The seconds load in presence of each other, unless they give their
  mutual honours they have charged smooth and single, which should be
  held sufficient.

                                RULE 19.

  Firing may be regulated—first, by signal; secondly, by word of
  command; or, thirdly, at pleasure—as may be agreeable to the
  parties. In the latter case, the parties may fire at their
  reasonable leisure, but _second presents_ and _rests_ are strictly

                                RULE 20.

  In all cases, a miss-fire is equivalent to a shot, and a _snap_ or a
  _non-cock_ is to be considered as a miss-fire.

                                RULE 21.

  Seconds are bound to attempt a reconciliation _before_ the meeting
  takes place, or _after_ sufficient firing or hits, as specified.

                                RULE 22.

  Any wound sufficient to agitate the nerves and necessarily make the
  hand shake, must end the business for _that day_.

                                RULE 23.

  If the cause of meeting be of such a nature that no apology or
  explanation can or will be received, the challenged takes his
  ground, and calls on the challenger to proceed as he chooses: in
  such cases, firing at pleasure is the usual practice, but may be
  varied by agreement.

                                RULE 24.

  In slight cases, the second hands his principal but one pistol; but,
  in gross cases, two, holding another case ready-charged in reserve.

                                RULE 25.

  Where seconds disagree, and resolve to exchange shots themselves, it
  must be at the same time and at right angles with their principals,


  If with swords, side by side, with five paces interval.

  N.B. All matters and doubts not herein mentioned will be explained
  and cleared up by application to the committee, who meet alternately
  at Clonmell and Galway, at the quarter-sessions, for that

                       Crow Ryan, President,
                       James Keogh,}
                       Amby Bodkin,} Secretaries.


Footnote 6:

    The residue of the rules I have found among other papers since the
    first edition of this book was printed—but they are much defaced.
    There were eleven or twelve of them only, on _points of honour_.
    The rules of combat are all given; and they are full of a
    pugnacious _sophistry_, which would scarcely entertain the reader.


                      Additional Galway Articles.

                                RULE 1.

  No party can be allowed to bend his knee, or cover his side with his
  left hand; but may present at any level from the foot to the eye.

                                RULE 2.

  None can either advance or retreat, if the ground be measured. If no
  ground be measured, either party may advance at his pleasure, even
  to touch muzzle; but neither can advance on his adversary after the
  fire, unless the adversary step forward on him.

  N.B. The seconds on both sides stand responsible for this last rule
  being _strictly_ observed, bad cases having accrued from neglect of

These rules and resolutions of the “Fire-eaters” and “Knights of Tara”
were the more deeply impressed on my mind, from my having run a great
chance of losing my life, when a member of the university, in
consequence of the strict observance of one of them. A young gentleman
of Galway, Mr. Richard Daly, then a Templar, had the greatest
predilection for single combat of any person (not a society fire-eater)
I ever recollect: he had fought sixteen duels in the space of two years;
three with swords and thirteen with pistols;—yet, with so little skill
or so much good fortune, that not a wound worth mentioning occurred in
the course of the whole. This gentleman was called to the Bar; figured
afterwards for many years as patentee of the Theatre Royal, Dublin; and
had the credit of first introducing that superior woman and actress,
Mrs. Jordan, when Miss Francis, on the Dublin boards.

I was surprised one winter’s evening by receiving a written challenge,
in the nature of an _invitation_, from Mr. Daly, to fight him early the
ensuing morning. I never had spoken a word to him in my life, and
scarcely _of_ him, and no possible cause of quarrel that I could guess
existed between us: however, it being then a decided opinion that a
first overture of that nature could _never_ be declined, I accepted the
_invitation_ without any inquiry; writing, in reply, that as to place, I
chose the field of Donnybrook fair as the fittest spot for _all_ sorts
of _encounters_. I had then to look out for a second, and resorted to a
person with whom I was very intimate, and who, as he was a curious
character, may be worth noticing. He was brother to the unfortunate Sir
Edward Crosby, Bart., who was murdered by a court-martial at Carlow,
May, 1798. My friend was afterward called “_Balloon_ Crosby,” being the
first aeronaut who constructed an Hibernian balloon, and ventured to
take a journey into the sky from Ireland (from Ranelagh Gardens).[7]


Footnote 7:

  His second ascent was a most unfortunate one for the _spectators_. It
  took place from the Duke of Leinster’s lawn, Merrion-square: the
  crowds outside were immense, and so many squeezed together and leaned
  against a thick parapet wall fronting the street, that it yielded to
  the weight and pressure, and the spectators and parapet wall came
  tumbling down together a great depth. Several were killed and many
  disabled; while Crosby sailed quietly over their heads, in all human
  probability, to be drowned before an hour had expired.


Crosby was of immense stature, being near six feet three inches high: he
had a comely-looking, fat, ruddy face, and was, beyond comparison, the
most ingenious mechanic I ever knew. He had a smattering of all
sciences, and there was scarcely an art or trade of which he had not
some practical knowledge. His chambers at college were like a general
workshop for all kinds of artisans: he was very good tempered,
exceedingly strong, and as brave as a lion—but as dogged as a mule:
nothing could change a resolution of his when once made; and nothing
could check or resist his perseverance to carry it into execution. He
highly approved of my promptness in accepting Daly’s invitation; but I
told him that I unluckily had no pistols, and did not know where to
procure any against the next morning. This puzzled him: but on
recollection, he said he had no complete pistols neither; but he had
some _old locks_, _barrels_, _and stocks_, which, as they did not
originally belong to each other, he should find it very difficult to
make any thing of: nevertheless, he would fall to work directly. He kept
me up till late at night in his chambers to help him in filing the old
locks and barrels, and endeavouring to patch up two or three of them so
as to go off and answer that individual job. Various trials were made:
much filing, drilling, and scouring were necessary. However, by two
o’clock in the morning we had completed three entire pistols, which,
though certainly of various lengths and of the most ludicrous
workmanship, struck their fire _right well_, and that was all we wanted
of them,—_symmetry_ (as he remarked) being of no great value upon
_these_ occasions.

It was before seven o’clock on the 20th of March, with a cold wind and a
sleety atmosphere, that we set out on foot for the field of Donnybrook
fair, after having taken some good chocolate and a plentiful draught of
cherry-brandy, to keep the cold wind out. On arriving, we saw my
antagonist and his friend (Jack Patterson, nephew to the chief justice)
already on the ground. I shall never forget Daly’s figure. He was a very
fine-looking young fellow, but with such a squint that it was totally
impossible to say what he looked at, except his nose, of which he never
lost sight. His dress (they had come in a coach) made me ashamed of my
own: he wore a pea-green coat; a large tucker with a diamond brooch
stuck in it; a three-cocked hat with a gold button-loop and tassels, and
silk stockings; and a _couteau-de-chasse_ hung gracefully dangling from
his thigh. In fact, he looked as if already standing in a state of
triumph, after having vanquished and trampled on his antagonist. I did
not half like his steady position, showy surface, and mysterious squint;
and I certainly would rather have exchanged _two_ shots with his
slovenly friend, Jack Patterson, than _one_ with so magnificent and
overbearing an adversary.

My friend Crosby, without any sort of salutation or prologue,
immediately cried out “_Ground_, gentlemen! _ground—ground!_ come, d—n
measurement, to work!” and placing me on his selected spot, whispered
into my ear “_Medio tutissimus ibis_: never look at the _head_ or the
_heels_: _hip_ the maccaroni! the hip for ever, my boy! hip,
hip!”—when my antagonist’s second, advancing and accosting mine, said,
Mr. Daly could not think of going any further with the business; that
he found it was totally a mistake on his part, originating through
misrepresentation, and that he begged to say he was extremely sorry
for having given Mr. Barrington and his friend the trouble of coming
out, hoping they would excuse it and shake hands with him. To this
arrangement I certainly had no sort of objection; but Crosby, without
hesitation, said, “We cannot do that _yet_ sir: I’ll _show_ you we
_can’t_: (taking a little manuscript book out of his breeches pocket,)
there’s the _rules_!—look at that, sir,” continued he, “see No.
7.:—‘No apology can be received _after_ the parties meet, _without a
fire_.’ You see, there’s the rule,” pursued Crosby, with infinite
self-satisfaction; “and a young man on his _first blood_ cannot break
rule, particularly with a gentleman so used to the sport as Mr. Daly.
Come, gentlemen, proceed! proceed!”

Daly appeared much displeased, but took his ground, without speaking a
word, about nine paces from me. He presented his pistol instantly, but
gave me most gallantly a full front.

It being, as Crosby said, my first blood, I lost no time, but let fly
without a single _second_ of delay, and without taking aim: Daly
staggered back two or three steps; put his hand to his breast; cried,
“I’m hit, sir!” and did not fire. Crosby gave me a slap on the back
which staggered me, and a squeeze of the hand which nearly crushed my
fingers. We got round him: his waistcoat was opened, and a black spot,
about the size of a crown-piece, with a little blood, appeared directly
on his breast-bone. I was greatly shocked: fortunately, however, the
ball had not penetrated; but his brooch had been broken, and a piece of
the setting was sticking fast in the bone. Crosby stamped, cursed the
damp powder or under-loading, and calmly pulled out the brooch: Daly
said not a word; put his cambric handkerchief doubled to his breast, and
bowed. I returned the salute, extremely glad to get out of the scrape,
and so we parted without conversation or ceremony; save that when I
expressed my wish to know the _cause_ of his challenging me, Daly
replied that he would _now_ give no such explanation, and _his_ friend
then produced his book of rules, quoting No. 8.:—“If a party challenged
accept the challenge without asking the reason of it, the challenger is
never bound to divulge it afterward.”

My friend Crosby, as I have mentioned, subsequently attempted to go off
from Dublin to England in a balloon of his own making, and dropped
between Dublin and Holyhead into the sea, but was saved. The poor fellow
some time after went abroad, and was supposed to have died far too early
for friendship,—which he was eminently capable of exciting. I never saw
two persons in face and figure more alike than Crosby and my friend
Daniel O’Connell: but Crosby was the taller by two inches, and it was
not _so_ easy to discover that he was an Irishman.[8]


Footnote 8:

  It has since been discovered that death did not master him for many
  years after this report. His history is not a common one. I have
  lately received a considerable quantity of documents and Mss.
  collected or written during the period he was supposed to be dead, and
  at many different places, till a late day. Most of them are to me
  utterly unintelligible; but there is sufficient to furnish matter for
  one of the most _curious memoirs_ that can be conceived, and
  altogether novel. So multifarious, however, are the materials, that I
  fear their due arrangement would be quite beyond my powers.


                        DUELLING EXTRAORDINARY.

Frequency of election-duels—Ludicrous affair between Frank Skelton and
  an exciseman—Frank shoots the exciseman and runs away—His curious
  reasons—Sir J. Bourke’s quadrille duel, with five hits—Mr. H. D.
  G * * * y’s remarkable meeting with Counsellor O’Maher—O’Maher
  hit—Civil proposition of G * * *’s second—G * * *’s gallant letter to
  the author on his election for Maryborough—Honourable Barry Yelverton
  challenged by nine officers at once—His elucidation of the
  Fire-eaters’ Resolutions—Lord Kilkenny’s memorable duels and
  law-suits—His Lordship is shot by Mr. Ball, an attorney—The heir to
  his title (the Hon. Somerset Butler) challenges Counsellor
  Burrowes—The latter hit, but his life saved by some gingerbread
  nuts—Lord Kilkenny’s duel with Counsellor Byrne—The counsellor
  wounded—Counsellor Guinness escapes a rencontre—Sketch of Counsellor
  M‘Nally—His duel with the author—His three friends: all afterward
  hanged—M‘Nally wounded—Bon-mot of Mr. Harding—The affair highly
  beneficial to M‘Nally—His character, marriage, and death—Ancient mode
  of fighting duels—The lists described—Duel of Colonel Barrington with
  Squire Gilbert on horseback—Both wounded—Gilbert’s horse
  killed—Chivalrous conclusion.

Our elections were more prolific in duels than any other public
meetings: they very seldom originated at a horse-race, cock-fight, hunt,
or at any place of amusement: folks then had pleasure in view, and
“something else to do” than to quarrel: but at all elections, or at
assizes, or, in fact, at any place of business, almost every man,
without any very particular or assignable reason, immediately became a
violent partisan, and frequently a furious enemy to somebody else; and
gentlemen often got themselves shot before they could tell what they
were fighting about.

At an election for Queen’s County, between General Walsh and Mr.
Warburton, of Garryhinch, about the year 1783, took place the most
curious duel of any which occurred within my recollection. A Mr. Frank
Skelton, one of the half-mounted gentlemen described in the early part
of the first volume,—a boisterous, joking, fat young fellow, called a
harmless blackguard,—was prevailed on, much against his grain, to
challenge Roberts, the exciseman of the town, for running the butt-end
of a horse-whip down his throat the night before, while he sat drunk and
sleeping with his mouth open. The exciseman insisted that snoring at a
dinner-table was a personal offence to every gentleman in company, and
would therefore make no apology.

Frank, though he had been nearly choked, was very reluctant to fight; he
said “he was sure to die if he did, as the exciseman could snuff a
candle with his pistol-ball; and as he himself was as big as a hundred
dozen of candles, what chance could he have?” We told him jocosely to
give the exciseman no time to take aim at him, by which means he might
perhaps hit his adversary first, and thus survive the contest. He seemed
somewhat encouraged and consoled by the hint, and most strictly did he
adhere to it.

Hundreds of the towns-people went to see the fight on the green of
Maryborough. The ground was regularly measured; and the friends of each
party pitched a ragged tent on the green, where whiskey and salt beef
were consumed in abundance. Skelton having taken his ground, and at the
same time two heavy drams from a bottle his foster-brother had brought,
appeared quite stout till he saw the balls entering the mouths of the
exciseman’s pistols, which shone as bright as silver, and were nearly as
long as fusils. This vision made a palpable alteration in Skelton’s
sentiments: he changed colour, and looked about him as if he wanted some
assistance. However, their seconds, who were of the same rank and
description, handed to each party his case of pistols, and half-bellowed
to them—“blaze away, boys!”

Skelton now recollected his instructions, and _lost no time_: he cocked
_both_ his pistols at once; and as the exciseman was deliberately and
most scientifically coming to his “dead level,” as he called it, Skelton
let fly.

“Holloa!” said the exciseman, dropping his level, “I’m _battered_, by

“Oh! the devil’s cure to you!” said Skelton, instantly firing his second

One of the exciseman’s legs then gave way, and down he came on his knee,
exclaiming, “Holloa! holloa! you blood-thirsty villain! do you want to
take my life?”

“Why, to be sure I do!” said Skelton. “Ha! ha! have I _stiffened_ you,
my lad?” Wisely judging, however, that if he staid till the exciseman
recovered his legs, he might have a couple of shots to stand, he wheeled
about, took to his heels, and got away as fast as possible. The crowd
shouted; but Skelton, like a hare when started, ran the faster for the

Jemmy Moffit, his own second, followed, overtook, tripped up his heels,
and cursing him for a disgraceful rascal, asked “why he ran away from
the exciseman?”

“Ough thunther!” said Skelton, “how many holes did the villain want to
have _drilled_ into his carcase? Would you have me stop to make a
_riddle_ of him, Jemmy?”

The second insisted that Skelton should return to the field, to be _shot
at_. He resisted, affirming that he had done _all_ that _honour_
required. The second called him “_a coward_!”

“By my sowl,” returned he, “my dear Jemmy Moffit, may be so! you may
call me a coward, if you please; but I did it all for _the best_.”

“The _best_? you blackguard!”

“Yes,” said Frank: “sure it’s _better_ to be a _coward_ than a _corpse_!
and I must have been either _one_ or _t’other_ of them.”

However, he was dragged up to the ground by his second, after agreeing
to fight again, if he had another pistol given him. But, luckily for
Frank, the last bullet had stuck so fast between the bones of the
exciseman’s leg that he could not stand. The friends of the latter then
proposed to strap him to a tree, that he might be able to shoot Skelton;
but this being positively objected to by Frank, the exciseman was
carried home: his first wound was on the side of his thigh, and the
second in his right leg; but neither proved at all dangerous.

The exciseman, determined on _gauging_ Frank, as he called it, on his
recovery challenged Skelton in his turn. Skelton accepted the challenge,
but said he was _tould_ he had a right to choose his own weapons. The
exciseman, knowing that such was the law, and that Skelton was no
swordsman, and not anticipating any new invention, acquiesced. “Then,”
said Skelton, “for my weapons, I choose my _fists_: and, by the powers,
you diabolical exciseman, I’ll give you such a _basting_ that your
nearest relations shan’t know you.” Skelton insisted on his right, and
the other not approving of this species of combat, got nothing by his
challenge; the affair dropped, and Skelton triumphed.

The only modern instance I recollect to have heard of as applicable to
No. 25., (refer to the regulations detailed in last sketch,) was that of
old John Bourke, of Glinsk, and Mr. Amby Bodkin. They fought near
Glinsk, and the old family steward and other servants brought out the
present Sir John, then a child, and held him upon a man’s shoulder, to
see papa fight. On that occasion, both principals and seconds engaged:
they stood at right angles, ten paces distant, and all began firing
together on the signal of a pistol discharged by an umpire. At the first
volley, the two principals were touched, though very slightly. The
second volley told better;—both the seconds, and Amby Bodkin, Esq.
staggered out of their place: they were well hit, but no lives lost. It
was, according to custom, an election squabble.

The Galway rule, No. 2., was well exemplified in a duel between an old
and very particular friend of mine and a Counsellor O’Maher, who had
given offence, yet I believe was the challenger: no ground was measured;
they fired _ad libitum_. G., never at a loss upon such occasions, took
his ground at once, and kept it steadily. O’Maher began his career at a
hundred paces distance, advancing obliquely, and gradually contracting
his circle round his opponent, who continued changing his front by
corresponding movements; both parties now and then aiming, as feints,
then taking down their pistols. This _pas de deux_ lasted more than half
an hour, as I have been informed:—at length, when the assailant had
contracted his circle to firing distance, G. cried out, suddenly and
loudly: O’Maher obeyed the signal, and instantly fired: G. returned the
shot, and the challenger reeled back _hors de combat_.

On the same occasion, Mr. O’Maher’s second said to G.’s, (the famous
Counsellor Ned Lysight,) “Mr. Lysight, take care:—your pistol is
cocked!”—“Well, then,” said Lysight, “cock yours, and let me take a slap
at you, as we are idle!” However, this proposition was not acceded to.

There could not be a greater _game-cock_ (the Irish expression for a man
of determined courage) than my friend G—. That he was not only spirited
himself, but the cause of infusing spirit into others, will appear from
the following humorous letter which I received from him during my
contested election for Maryborough. That election gave rise to many
characteristic Irish adventures, for which this volume does not afford
compass. Lord Castlecoote, the returning officer, (himself also a joint
_proprietor_,) evinced an excessive horror of becoming acquainted with
the _reporters_. Some person having jocularly told him of my friend’s
letter, it became a subject of great amusement, and afforded a variety
of anecdotes for the Honourable Robert Moore, who supported me on that
election against his brother, the Marquis of Drogheda.

                                           “Dublin, Jan. 29th, 1800.

    “My dear Jonah,

            “I have this moment sent to the mail coach-office two
    bullet-moulds, not being certain which of them belongs to the
    _reporters_: suspecting, however, that you may not have time to
    _melt_ the _lead_, I also send half-a-dozen bullets, merely to
    keep _you going_ while others are preparing.

    “I lament much that my situation and political feeling prevent
    me from seeing you _exhibit_ at Maryborough.

    “Be _bold, wicked, steady_, and _fear nought_!

                                       “Give a line to yours, truly,
                                       “H. D. G.

    “Jonah Barrington, Esq.”

I took his advice:—our friendship was long and close; and we never (that
I am aware of) had any cause for coolness.

There could not be a better elucidation of Rule No. 5. of the code of
honour, than an anecdote of Barry Yelverton, second son of Lord
Avonmore, baron of the exchequer.—Barry was rather too odd a fellow to
have been accounted at all times perfectly _compos mentis_. He was a
barrister. In a ball-room on circuit, where the officers of a newly
arrived regiment had come to amuse themselves and set the Munster lasses
agog, Barry, having drunk too many bumpers, let out his natural dislike
to the military, and most grossly insulted several of the officers;
abusing one, treading on the toes of another, jostling a third, and so
forth, till he had got through the whole regiment. Respect for the
women, and the not choosing to commit themselves with the black gowns on
the first day of their arrival, induced the insulted parties to content
themselves with only requiring Barry’s address, and his hour of being
seen the next morning. Barry, with great satisfaction, gave each of them
his card, but informed them that sending to him was unnecessary;—that he
was _his own second_, and would meet every man of them at eight o’clock
next morning, in the ball-room; concluding by desiring them to bring
their swords, as that was always his weapon. Though this was rather a
curious rendezvous, yet, the challenged having the right to choose his
weapon, and the place being _à propos_, the officers all attended next
day punctually, with the surgeon of the regiment and a due proportion of
small-swords, fully expecting that some of his brother gownsmen would
join in the rencontre. On their arrival, Barry requested to know how
many gentlemen had done him the honour of giving him the invitation, and
was told their names, amounting to nine. “Very well, gentlemen,” said
Yelverton, “I am well aware I abused some of you, and gave others an
offence equivalent to a blow,—which latter being the greatest insult,
we’ll dispose of those cases first, and I shall return in a few minutes
fully prepared.”

They conceived he had gone for his sword, and friends. But Barry soon
after returned alone, and resumed thus:—“Now, gentlemen, those to each
of whom I gave an equivalent to a blow will please step forward.” Four
of them accordingly did so, when Barry took from under his coat a bundle
of switches, and addressed them as follows:—“Gentlemen, permit me to
have the honour of handing each of you a switch, (according to the rule
No. 5. of the Tipperary Resolutions,) wherewith to return the blow, if
you feel any particular desire to put that extremity into practice. I
fancy, gentlemen, that settles _four_ of you; and as to the rest, here,
(handing one of his cards to each, with _I beg your pardon_ written
above his name) that’s agreeable to No. 1. (reading the Rule). Now I
fancy _all_ your cases are disposed of; and having done my duty
according to the Tipperary Resolutions, which I will never swerve
from,—if, gentlemen, you are not satisfied, I shall be on the bridge
to-morrow morning, with a case of _barking-irons_.” The officers stared,
first at him, then at each other: the honest, jolly countenance and
drollery of Barry were quite irresistible; first a smile of surprise,
and then a general laugh, took place, and the catastrophe was their
asking Barry to dine with them at the mess, where his eccentricity and
good humour delighted the whole regiment. The poor fellow grew quite
deranged at last, and died, I believe, in rather unpleasant

The late Lord Mount Garret (afterward Earl of Kilkenny) had for several
years a great number of law-suits on his hands at once, particularly
with some insolvent tenants, whose causes had been gratuitously taken up
by Mr. Ball, an attorney;—Mr. William Johnson and several other
gentlemen of the circuit took their briefs. His Lordship was dreadfully
tormented. He was naturally a very clever man, and devised a new mode of
carrying on his law-suits, not being able, as he said, to trust his
attorney out of his sight.

He engaged a clientless attorney, named Egan, as his working solicitor,
at a very liberal yearly stipend, upon the express terms of his
undertaking _no other business whatsoever_, and holding his office
solely in his Lordship’s own house and under his own eye and direction.
His Lordship applied to Mr. Fletcher (afterward judge) and to myself,
requesting an interview; whereupon, he informed us of his situation:
that there were generally eight or ten counsel pitted against him; but
that he would have much more reliance on the advice and _punctual_
attendance of _two_ certain, than of _ten_ straggling gentlemen; and
that, under the full conviction that one of us at least would always
attend the court when his causes were on, and not leave him in the lurch
as he had been left, he had directed his attorney to mark on our two
briefs _ten times_ the amount of what the fees should be on the other
side: “Because,” said his Lordship, “if you don’t attend, to a certainty
I must engage _ten_ counsel, as well as my opponents.” The singularity
of the proposal set us laughing, in which his Lordship joined.

Fletcher and I accepted the offer: we did punctually and zealously
attend these numerous trials, and were most liberally feed; but most
unsuccessful in our efforts; for we never were able to gain a single
cause, verdict, or motion, for our client.

The principle of strict justice certainly was with his Lordship; but
certain formalities of the law were decidedly against him: he had, in
fact, adopted an _obsolete_ mode of proceeding as a short cut: thus,
perceiving himself likely to be foiled, he determined to take another
course, quite out of _our_ line, and a course whereby no suit is decided
in modern days—namely _fight it out_, “muzzle to muzzle,” with the
attorney and _all_ the counsel on the other side.

The first procedure on this determination was a direct challenge from
his Lordship to the attorney, Mr. Ball: it was accepted, and a duel
immediately followed, in which his Lordship got the worst of it. He was
wounded by the attorney at each shot, the first taking place in his
Lordship’s right arm, which probably saved the solicitor, as his
Lordship was a most accurate marksman. The noble challenger received the
second bullet in his side, but the wound was not dangerous. The
attorney’s skin remained quite whole.

My Lord and the attorney having been thus disposed of for the time
being, the Honourable Somerset Butler (his Lordship’s son) now took the
field, and proceeded, according to due form, by a challenge to Mr. Peter
Burrowes, &c., the senior of the adversaries’ counsel (now judge
commissioner of insolvents). The invitation not being refused, the
combat took place, one chilly morning, near Kilkenny. Somerset knew his
business well; but Peter had had no practice whatever in _that line_ of
_litigation_—being good tempered and peaceable.

Few persons feel too _warm_ on such occasions, of a _cold_ morning, and
Peter formed no exception to the general rule. An old woman who sold
spiced gingerbread nuts in the street they passed through accosted the
party, extolling her nuts to the very skies, as being well spiced, and
fit to expel the wind, and to warm any gentleman’s stomach and bowels as
well as a dram. Peter bought a pennyworth on the advice of his second,
Dick Waddy, an eminent attorney, and duly receiving the change of a
sixpenny-piece, marched off to the scene of action munging his

Preliminaries being soon arranged—the pistols given—ten steps
measured—the flints hammered—and the feather-springs set—Somerset, a
fine dashing young fellow, full of spirit, activity, and animation,
after making a few graceful attitudes, and slapping his arms together as
hackney-coachmen do in frosty weather, to make their fingers supple—gave
elderly Peter (who was no posture-master) but little time to take his
fighting position:—in fact, he had scarcely raised his pistol to a
wabbling level, before Somerset’s ball came _crack-dash_ against Peter’s
body! The halfpence rattled in his pocket: Peter dropped; Somerset fled;
Dick Waddy roared “murder,” and called out to Surgeon Pack. Peter’s
clothes were ripped up; and Pack, _secundum artem_, examined the
wound:—something like a black hole designated the spot where the lead
had penetrated the abdomen. The doctor shook his head, and pronounced
but one short word—“_mortal!_”—it was, however, more expressive than a
long speech. Peter groaned; his friend Waddy began to think about the
coroner; his brother barristers sighed heavily, and Peter was supposed
to be departing this world (but, as they all _endeavoured_ to persuade
him, _for a better_);—when Surgeon Pack, after another _fatal_, taking
leave of Peter, and leaning his hand on the grass to assist him in
rising, felt something hard, took it up, and looked at it curiously: the
spectators closed in the circle, to see Peter die; the patient turned
his expiring eyes toward Surgeon Pack, as much as to say—“Good bye to
you all, lads!”—when lo! the doctor held up to the astonished assembly
the _identical bullet_, which, having rattled among the heads and harps,
and gingerbread nuts, in Peter’s waistcoat-pocket, had flattened its own
body on the surface of a copper, and left His Majesty’s bust distinctly
imprinted and accurately designated, in black and blue shading, on his
subject’s carcase! Peter’s heart beat high; and finding that his
Gracious Sovereign, and the gingerbread, had saved his life, lost as
little time as possible in rising from the sod: a bandage was applied
round his body, and in a short time he was _able_ (though of course he
had no reason to be over-_willing_) to begin another combat.[9]

His Lordship having now, on his part, recovered from the attorney’s
wounds, considered it high time to recommence hostilities according to
his original plan of the campaign; and the engagement immediately
succeeding was between him and the late Counsellor John Byrne, king’s
counsel, and next in rotation of his learned adversaries.

His Lordship was much pleased with the spot upon which his son had
chosen to hit Counsellor Peter, and resolved to select the same for a
hit on Counsellor John. The decision appeared to be judicious; and, as
if the pistol itself could not be ignorant of its destination, and had
been gratified at its own previous accuracy and success, (for it was the
same,) it sent a bullet in the identical level, and Counsellor Byrne’s
carcase received a precisely similar compliment with Counsellor
Burrowes’s:—with this difference; that as the former had no gingerbread
nuts, the matter appeared more serious. I asked him during his illness
how he felt when he received the _crack_? he answered, just as if he had
been punched by the mainmast of a man of war!—certainly a grand simile;
but how far my friend Byrne was enabled to form the comparison he never
divulged to me.


Footnote 9:

  Mr. Peter Burrowes, K. C., was my old friend and schoolfellow. He was
  one of those persons whom every body likes:—there never was a better
  hearted man! We were at Temple together.


My Lord having got through two counsellors, and his son a third, it
became the duty of Captain Pierce Butler (brother to Somerset) to take
_his_ turn in the lists. The barristers now began not much to relish
this species of _argument_; and a gentleman who followed next but one on
the list owned fairly to me, that he would rather be on _our_ side of
the question: but it was determined by our noble client, so soon as the
first series of combats should be finished, to begin a new one, till he
and _the lads_ had tried the mettle or “touched the inside” of all the
remaining barristers. Mr. Dick Guinness, a very good-humoured, popular,
_lisping_,[10] dapper little pleader, was next on the list; and the
Honourable Pierce Butler, his intended slaughterer, was advised, for
_variety’s sake_, to put what is called the _onus_ on that gentleman,
and thereby force _him_ to become the challenger,—which he was told by a
young parson would considerably _diminish_ the crime of _killing_ him.


Footnote 10:

  Lord Clare (when attorney-general) coming out of the Exchequer, which
  was much crowded, was asked who was _speaking_. “Speaking!” said
  Fitzgibbon; “nobody—Dick Guinness is _whistling_ a demurrer.”


Dick’s friends _kindly_ and candidly informed him that he could have but
little chance—the Honourable Pierce being one of the most resolute of a
courageous family, and quite an undeviating marksman: that he had,
besides, a hot, persevering, thirsty spirit, which a _little_ fighting
would never quench: and as Dick was secretly informed that he would to a
certainty be forced to battle (it being his _turn_), and his speedy
dissolution being nearly as certain, he was recommended to settle all
his worldly concerns without delay.

But it was to be otherwise.—Providence took Dick’s part, and decided
that there should be no coroner’s inquest held on his body. The
Honourable Pierce injudiciously put his _onus_ (and rather a _wicked_
one) on Dick in _open court_ before the _judge_; an uproar ensued, and
the Honourable Pierce hid himself under the table: however, the sheriff
lugged him out, and prevented that encounter effectually; Pierce with
_great_ difficulty escaping immediate incarceration on giving his
_honour never_ to meddle with Dick, his members, or appurtenances, for
three years, commencing from the day of his _onus_. This was an
interruption which the Kilkenny family could not have foreseen; and at
length his Lordship, finding that neither the laws of the land, nor
those of battle, were likely to adjust affairs to his satisfaction,
suffered them to be terminated by the three duels already narrated.

Counsellor Leonard M‘Nally, well known both at the English and Irish
bars, and in the dramatic circles as author of that popular little piece
“Robin Hood,” &c., was one of the strangest fellows in the world. His
figure was ludicrous: he was very short, and nearly as broad as long:
his legs were of unequal length, and he had a face which no washing
could clean: he wanted one thumb, the absence of which gave rise to
numerous expedients on his part; and he took great care to have no
nails, as he regularly eat every morning the growth of the preceding
day: he never wore a glove, lest he should appear to be guilty of
_duplicity_ in concealing the want of thumb. When in a hurry, he
generally took two thumping steps with the short leg, to bring up the
space made by the long one;—and the bar, who never missed a favourable
opportunity of naming people, called him “one _pound_ two.” As being a
_poet_, the bar wags termed him “_Olympus_.” He possessed, however, a
fine eye, and by no means an ugly countenance; a great deal of middling
intellect; a shrill, full, good forensic voice; great quickness at cross
examination, with sufficient adroitness at defence; and in Ireland he
was both the staff and standing-dish of the criminal jurisdictions: in a
word, M‘Nally was a good-natured, hospitable, talented, dirty fellow,
and had, by the latter qualification, so disgusted the circuit bar, that
they refused to receive him at their mess—a cruelty I set my face
against, and every summer circuit endeavoured to vote him into the mess,
but always ineffectually; his neglect of his person, the shrillness of
his voice, and his low solicitor company, being assigned as reasons
which never could be got over.

M‘Nally had done something in the great cause of Napper and Dutton,
which brought him into still further disrepute with the bar. Anxious to
regain his station by some act equalising him with his brethren, he
determined to offend or challenge some of the most respectable members
of the profession, who, however, showed no inclination to oblige him in
that way. He first tried his hand with Counsellor * * *, a veteran of
the bar, but who, upon this occasion, according to the decision of his
fellows, refused the combat. M‘Nally, who was as intrepid as possible,
by no means despaired, and was so obliging as to honour me with the next
chance; in furtherance thereof, on very little provocation, to my
surprise, and by no means to my satisfaction, gave me the retort _not_
courteous in the Court of King’s Bench.

I was well aware of his object; and, not feeling comfortable under this
public insult, told him (taking out my watch), “M‘Nally, you shall meet
me in the Park in an hour.”

The little fellow’s eyes sparkled with pleasure at the invitation:
never, perhaps, was any person so rejoiced at a good chance of going out
of the world before dinner time. He instantly replied, “In _half an
hour_, if you please,” comparing, at the same moment, his watch with
mine:—“I hope you won’t _disappoint_ me,” continued he.

“Never fear, Mac,” answered I, “there’s not a gentleman at the bar will
be ashamed to fight you _to-morrow_, provided you live so long, which I
can’t promise;—though I confess I wish you had selected some other of
your friends for so very disagreeable an operation.”

We had no time to spare, so parted, to get ready. The first man I met
was Mr. Henry Harding, a huge, wicked, fighting King’s County
attorney.—I asked him to come out with me: to him it was “fine sport.” I
also summoned Rice Gibbon, a surgeon, who being the most ostentatious
fellow imaginable, brought an immense bag of surgical instruments, &c.
from Mercers Hospital. In forty-five minutes we were regularly posted in
the middle of the review-ground in the Phœnix-park, and the whole scene,
to any person not so seriously implicated, must have been irresistibly
ludicrous. The sun shone brightly; and Surgeon Gibbon, to lose no time
in case of a hit, spread out all his polished instruments,
dissecting-knives, forceps, scalpels, saws, tourniquets, probes of all
lengths, &c., on the _grass_, glittering in the light on one side of me.
I am sure it looked more like a _regimental_ preparation before a
battle, than for an individual encounter:—every thing was ranged in
surgical order, ready for the most desperate operations; while a couple
of young pupils from Mercers Hospital unfurled their three-tailed
bandages like so many streamers. My second having stepped nine paces,
then stood at the other side, handed me a case of pistols, and desired
me to “_work_ away by J——s.”—M‘Nally stood before me, very like a
beer-barrel on its stilling, and by his side were ranged three
unfortunate barristers, who were all soon afterward hanged and beheaded
for high-treason;—namely, John Sheers, (who was his second, and had
given him his _point-blanks_,) with Henry Sheers and Bagenal Harvey, who
came as _amateurs_. Both of the latter, I believe, were amicably
disposed, but a negociation would not be admitted by M‘Nally, (to whom
it was of great consequence to fight a _King’s Counsel_,) and to it we
went. M‘Nally presented so coolly, that I could plainly see I had but
little chance of being missed, so I thought it best to lose no time on
my part. The poor fellow staggered, and cried out, “I am hit!” and I
felt some little twitch myself, which I could not at the moment account
for. Never did I experience so miserable a feeling. He had received my
ball directly in the centre of his ribs. My doctor rushed at him with
the zeal and activity of a dissecting surgeon, and in one moment, with a
long knife, which he thrust eagerly into his waistband, ripped up his
clothes to the skin, and exposed his naked carcase to the bright sun.

The ball appeared to have hit the buckle of his suspenders
(_vulgariter_, gallows), by which it had been partially impeded, and had
turned round, instead of entering his paunch. While I was still in dread
as to the result, my second, after seeing that he had been so protected
by the suspenders, inhumanly exclaimed, “By J—, Mac, you are the only
_rogue_ I ever knew that was _saved_ by the _gallows_!”—I felt quite
happy that he was not dangerously hurt.

On returning home, I found I had not got off quite so well as I thought;
the skirt of my coat was perforated on both sides, and a scratch just
enough to break the skin had taken place on both my thighs. I did not
know this while on the ground, but it accounts for the _twitch_ I spoke

My opponent soon recovered, and after the _precedent_ of being wounded
by a King’s Counsel, no barrister could afterward decently refuse to
give him satisfaction. He was, therefore, no longer insulted, and the
poor fellow has often told me since that my shot was his salvation. He
subsequently got Curran to bring us together at his house, and a more
zealous partisan I never had than M‘Nally proved himself, on my contest
for the city of Dublin, during which he did me good service.

Leonard was a great poetaster; and having fallen in love with a Miss
Ianson, daughter to a very rich attorney, of Bedford-row, London, he
wrote on her the celebrated song of “The Lass of Richmond Hill” (her
father had a lodge there). She could not withstand this, and returned
his flame. This young lady was absolutely beautiful, but quite a
slattern in her person. She likewise had a turn for versification, and
was therefore altogether well adapted to her lame lover, particularly as
she never could spare time from her poetry to _wash her hands_; a
circumstance in which M‘Nally was _sympathetic_. The father, however,
notwithstanding all this, refused his consent; and consequently, M‘Nally
took advantage of his _dramatic_ knowledge, by adopting the precedent of
Barnaby Brittle, and bribed a barber to lather old Ianson’s _eyes_ as
well as his _chin_, and with something rather sharper too than Windsor
soap. Slipping out of the room, while her father was getting rid of the
lather and the smart, this Sappho, with her limping Phaon, escaped, and
were united in the holy bands of matrimony the same evening; and she
continued making, and M‘Nally correcting, verses, till it pleased God to
call his angel away. This curious couple conducted themselves, both
generally and toward each other, extremely well, after their union. Old
Ianson partly forgave them, and made some settlement upon their

The _ancient_ mode of duelling in Ireland was generally on _horseback_.
The combatants gallopped past each other, at a distance marked out by
posts which prevented a nearer approach: they were at liberty to fire at
any time from the commencement to the end of their course; but it must
be at a hand-gallop: their pistols were charged alike with a _certain_
number of bullets, slugs, or whatever was most convenient, as agreed.

There had been, from time immemorial, a spot marked out on level ground
near the Doone of Clapook, Queen’s County, on the estate of my
grand-uncle, Sir John Byrne, which I have often visited as _classic
ground_. It was beautifully situated, near Stradbally; and here,
according to tradition and legendary tales, the old captains and
chieftains used to meet and decide their differences. Often did I walk
it over, measuring its dimensions step by step. The bounds of it are
still palpable, above sixty or seventy steps long, and about forty wide:
large stones remain on the spot where, I suppose, the posts originally
stood to divide the combatants, which were about eight or nine yards
asunder—being the nearest point from which they were to fire. The time
of firing was voluntary, so as it occurred during their course, and, as
before stated, in a hand-gallop. If the quarrel was not terminated in
one course, the combatants proceeded to a second; and if it was decided
to go on after their pistols had been discharged, they then either
finished with short broad-swords on horseback, or with small-swords on
foot; but the tradition ran, that when they fought with small-swords,
they always adjourned to the rock of Donamese, the ancient fortress of
the O’Moors and the Princes of Offely. This is the most beautiful inland
ruin I have seen in Ireland. There, in the centre of the old fort, on a
flat green sod, are still visible the deep indentures of the feet both
of principals, who have fought with small rapiers, and their seconds:
every modern visitor naturally stepping into the same marks, the
indentures are consequently kept up; and it is probable that they will
be deeper a hundred years hence than they were a twelvemonth ago.

My grandfather, Colonel Jonah Barrington, of Cullenaghmore, had a great
passion for hearing and telling stories of old events, particularly
respecting duels and battles fought in his own neighbourhood, or by his
relatives: and as these were just adapted to make impression on a very
young curious mind, like mine, at the moment nearly a _carte blanche_,
(the Arabian Nights, for instance, read by a child, are never forgotten
by him,) I remember, as if they were told yesterday, many of his
recitals and traditionary tales, especially those he could himself
attest; and his face bore, to the day of his death, ample proof that he
had not been idle among the combatants of his own era. The battle I
remember best, because I heard it oftenest and through a variety of
channels, was one of my grandfather’s, about the year 1759. He and a Mr.
Gilbert had an irreconcilable grudge. (I forget the cause, but I believe
it was a very silly one.) It increased every day, and the relatives of
both parties found it must inevitably end in a combat, which, were it
postponed till the sons of each grew up, might be enlarged perhaps from
an individual into a regular _family_ engagement. It was therefore
thought better that the business should be ended at once; and it was
decided that they should fight on horseback on the green of Maryborough;
that the ground should be one hundred yards of race, and eight of
distance; the weapons of each, two holster pistols, a broad-bladed but
not very long sword (I have often seen my grandfather’s,) with basket
handle, and a skeen, or long broad-bladed dagger: the pistols to be
charged with one ball and swan-drops.

The entire country, for miles round, attended to see the combat, which
had been six months settled and publicly announced, and the
county-trumpeter, who attended the judges at the assizes, was on the
ground. My grandfather’s second was a Mr. Lewis Moore, of Cremorgan,
whom I well recollect to have seen—he long survived my grandfather:
Gilbert’s was one of his own name and family—a captain of cavalry.

All due preliminaries being arranged, the country collected and placed
as at a horse-race, and the ground kept free by the gamekeepers and
huntsmen mounted, the combatants started, and gallopped toward each
other. Both fired before they reached the nearest spot, and missed. The
second course was _more fortunate_. My grandfather received many of
Gilbert’s shot full in his face: the swan-drops penetrated no deeper
than his temple and cheek-bones; the large bullet luckily passed him.
The wounds, not being dangerous, only enraged old Jonah Barrington; and
the other being equally willing to continue the conflict, a fierce
battle, hand to hand, ensued: but I should think they did not close
totally, or they could not have escaped with life.

My grandfather got three cuts, which he used to exhibit with great glee;
one on the thick of the right arm, a second on his bridle-arm, and the
third on the outside of the left hand. His hat, which he kept to the day
of his death, was also sliced in several places; but both had iron
skull-caps under their hats, which probably saved their brains from
remaining upon the green of Maryborough.

Gilbert had received two pokes from my grandfather on his thigh and his
side, but neither disabling. I fancy he had the best of the battle,
being as strong as, and less irritable than, my grandfather, who, I
suspect, grew, toward the last, a little ticklish on the subject; for he
rushed headlong at Gilbert, closed, and instead of striking at his
person, thrust his broad-sword into the horse’s body as often as he
could, until the beast dropped with his rider underneath him: my
grandfather then leaped off his horse, threw away his sword, and putting
his skeen, or broad dagger, to the throat of Gilbert, told him to ask
his life or die, as he must do either one or the other in half a minute.
Gilbert said he would ask his life only upon the terms that, without
apology or conversation, they should shake hands heartily and be future
friends and companions, and not leave the youths of two old families to
revenge their quarrel by carving each other. These terms being quite
agreeable to my grandfather, as they breathed good sense, intrepidity,
and good heart, he acquiesced; and from that time they were the most
intimately attached and joyous friends and companions of the county
wherein they resided.

My grandfather afterward fought at Clapook Squire Neddy Fitzgerald, who
was badly shot. On this occasion, old Gilbert was my grandfather’s
second:—I remember well seeing him; as I do also, about the same time,
the late Chief Justice (then _Serjeant_) Pattison, who had come down to
Cullenaghmore to visit my grandfather, and, as I afterward discovered,
to cheat him of a borough and two seats in parliament, which he
effected. Gilbert brought me a great many sweet things; and I heard that
evening so many stories of fights at Clapook, and on the ridge of
Maryborough, that I never forgot them; and it is curious enough that I
have all my life taken the greatest delight in hearing of, or reading
about, ancient battles and chivalrous adventures. Nothing amuses me more
to this day; and hence perhaps it is, that I recollect those tales and
traditions at the present moment with perfect distinctness and accuracy:
my memory seldom fails me in any thing, and least of all in recitals
such as the foregoing.[11]


Footnote 11:

  I have found many notes respecting such-like matters, in old Ms.
  books, &c. &c.; particularly two or three at the end of an old Cookery
  book, in Ms., by my great-grandmother Lady Byrne, of Timogue, in her
  own hand-writing, in 1729, with several receipts purporting to be by
  Lady Rory O’Neil, of Smithfield, Dublin, who died in 1741, at a great
  age. I shall revive this subject in another volume, which I


                            GEORGE HARTPOLE.

Curious fatality in the Hartpole family—Characteristic sketch of the
  last of the name—Description of Shrewl Castle—The chapel and
  cemetery—Strictures on epitaph-writing—Eccentricities of the
  Earl of Aldborough—His Lordship proposes his sister, Lady
  Hannah Stratford, as _returning-officer_ for the borough of
  Baltinglass—Consequent disturbances—The North-Briton put on his
  mettle, but out-manœuvred—“Lending to _the Lord_”—Successful
  conspiracy to marry Hartpole to the daughter of a village
  inn-keeper—He is stabbed by his wife, and deserts her in
  consequence—He forms an attachment to Miss Maria Otway, whom he
  marries, under the plea of his previous connexion being
  illegal—Unfortunate nature of this union—Separation of the
  parties—Hartpole’s voyage to Portugal, his return, and death—Sundry
  other anecdotes of the Stratford family.

In the year 1791, George Hartpole, of Shrewl Castle, Queen’s County,
Ireland, had just come of age. He was the last surviving male of that
name, which belonged to a popular family, highly respectable, and long
established in the county. Few private gentlemen commenced life with
better promise, and none better merited esteem and happiness. He was my
relative by blood; and though considerably younger, the most intimate
and dearest friend I had.

His father, Robert, had married a sister of the late and present Earls
of Aldborough. She was the mother of George; and through this connexion
originated my intercourse with that eccentric nobleman and his family.

A singular fatality had attended the Hartpole family from time
immemorial. The fathers seldom survived the attainment of the age of 23
years by their elder sons, which circumstance gave rise to numerous
traditionary tales of sprites and warnings.[12]


Footnote 12:

  The country authorities were very wise, very grave, and very grim on
  this subject; but, after all, I suspect the most natural way of
  accounting for the fatality alluded to is, that the old gentlemen were
  commonly among the _hardest livers_ in the country, and consequently,
  the gout was certain to be their companion, and generally their

  If wood be kept _alternately_ in and out of moisture, it rots soon:—if
  it is _always_ in water, it never decays. A man’s constitution and
  rum-punch may to a degree resemble wood and water in this respect. The
  hardest _incessant_ drinkers I ever recollect lived to a great age,
  were generally healthy, and usually made their exit, at last, by
  apoplexy, without troubling either doctor, parson, or apothecary:
  while, on the contrary, most of those who were only _intermitting_
  boozers, died much earlier; their _finisher_ being, nine times out of
  ten, gout in the head or stomach: a cause, however, occasionally
  varied by a broken neck by a fall from a horse, when riding home from
  a housewarming, or drowning in a ditch, whilst watering their horses
  after the _dogh à dourish_. A few were smothered in shaking bogs,
  whilst attending the turf-cutters, &c. &c.

  It required at least three days and nights incessant _hard going_ to
  kill a drinker of the first class. It cost Squire Luke Flood of
  Roundwood, a place situated in Queen’s County, _five_ days and nights
  hard working at port before he could _finish_ either himself or the
  piper. Old Squire Lewis Moor of Cremorgan died, by way of _variety_,
  at seventy-six, of a violent _passion_, because his wife became
  jealous of his proceedings with the kitchen-maid. A few died of
  Drogheda usquebaugh, and several of _sore ancles_. I recollect, in
  fact, many of the most curious deaths and burials in Ireland that ever
  took place in any country under heaven. None of them were considered
  as being _melancholy events_, since every _hard going_ squire then
  generally took his full turn in this world, and died by some _coup de
  grace_, as stated: however, he was commonly regretted by all his
  acquaintance and family, except his _eldest son_.


Robert, as usual with the gentlemen of his day, was the dupe of agents,
and the victim of indolence and hospitality. He had deposited his
consort in the tomb of her fathers, and had continued merrily enjoying
the convivialities of the world (principally in the night-time) till his
son George had passed his 22nd year, and then punctually made way for
_the succession_, leaving George inheritor of a large territory, a
moderate income, a tattered mansion, an embarrassed rent-roll, and a
profound ignorance (without the consciousness of it) of business in all

George, though not at all handsome, had completely the mien and manners
of a gentleman. His features accorded well with his address, bespeaking
the cordiality of a friend and the ardour of an Irishman. His
disposition was mild—his nature brave, generous, and sincere: on some
occasions he was obstinate and peevish; on others, somewhat sullen and
suspicious; but in his friendships, George Hartpole was immutable.

His stature was of the middle height, and his figure exhibited no
appearance either of personal strength or constitutional vigour: his
slender form and the languid fire of his eye indicated excitation
without energy; yet his spirits were moderately good, and the most
careless observer might feel convinced that he had sprung from no
ordinary parentage—a circumstance which then had due influence in
Ireland, where agents, artisans, and attorneys had not as yet supplanted
the ancient nobility and gentry of the country.

Shrewl Castle, the hereditary residence of the Hartpoles, was in no way
distinguishable from the numerous other castellated edifices now in a
state of dilapidation throughout the whole island—ruins which invariably
excite a retrospect of happier times, when the resident landlord,
reverenced and beloved, and the cheerful tenant, fostered and protected,
felt the natural advantages of their reciprocal attachment; a reflection
which leads us to a sad comparison with modern usages, when the absent
lord and the mercenary agent have no consideration but the rents, no
solicitude but for their collection; when the deserted tenantry keep
pace in decline with the deserted mansion; when the ragged cottager has
no master to employ, no guardian to protect him!—pining, and sunk in the
lowest state of want and wretchedness,—_sans_ work, _sans_ food, _sans_
covering, _sans_ every thing,—he rushes forlorn and desperate into the
arms of destruction, which in all its various shapes stands ready to
receive him. The reflection is miserable, but true:—such is Ireland
since the year 1800.

Hartpole’s family residence, picturesquely seated on a verdant bank of
the smooth and beautiful Barrow, had, during the revolutions of time,
entirely lost the character of a fortress: patched and pieced after all
the numberless orders of village architecture, it had long resigned the
dignity of a castle without acquiring the comforts of a mansion: yet its
gradual descent, from the stronghold of powerful chieftains to the rude
dwelling of an embarrassed gentleman, could be traced even by a
superficial observer. Its half-levelled battlements, its solitary and
decrepit tower, and its rough, dingy walls, (giving it the appearance of
a sort of habitable _buttress_,) combined to portray the downfall of an
ancient family.

Close bounding the site of this ambiguous heritage was situate the
ancient burial-place of the Hartpole family and its followers for ages.
Scattered graves, some green—some russet—denoted the recentness or
remoteness of the different interments; and a few broad flag-stones
indented with defaced or illegible inscriptions, and covering the
remains of the early masters of the domain, just uplifted their
mouldering sides from among weeds and briars, and half disclosed the
only objects which could render that cemetery interesting.

One melancholy yew-tree, spreading wide its straggling branches over the
tombs of its former lords and the nave of an ancient chapel, (its own
hollow trunk proclaiming that it could not long survive,) seemed to
await, in awful augury, the honour of expiring with the last scion of
its hereditary chieftains.

To me the view of this melancholy tree always communicated a low
feverish sensation, which I could not well account for. It is true, I
ever disliked to contemplate the residence of the dead:[13] but that of
the Hartpole race, bounding their hall of revelry, seemed to me a check
upon all hilarity; and I never could raise my spirits in any room, or
sleep soundly in any chamber, which overlooked that sanctuary.


Footnote 13:

  I never could get over certain disagreeable sensations and awe at the
  interment of _any_ person. So strongly, indeed, have I been impressed
  in this way, that I formed a resolution, which (with one exception) I
  have strictly adhered to these forty years,—namely, never to attend
  the funeral even of a relative. I have now and then indulged a whim of
  strolling over a country church-yard, occasionally to kill time when
  travelling, in other instances for statistical purposes: but, in
  general, the intelligible and serious inscriptions on the tomb-stones
  are so mingled and mixed with others too ridiculous even for the brain
  of a stone-cutter to have devised, that the rational and preposterous,
  alternately counteracting each other, made a sort of equipoise; and I
  generally left an ordinary church-yard pretty much in the same mood in
  which I entered it.


The incidents which marked the life of the last owner of Shrewl Castle
were singular and affecting, and on many points may tend to exhibit an
instructive example. Nothing, in fact, is better calculated to influence
the conduct of society, than the biography of those whose career has
been conspicuously marked either by eminent virtues or peculiar events.
The instance of George Hartpole may serve to prove, were proof wanting,
that matrimony, as it is the most irrevocable, so is it the most
precarious step in the life of mortals; and that sensations of
presentiment and foreboding (as I have already more than once
maintained) are not always visionary.

I was the most valued friend of this ill-fated young man. To me his
whole heart was laid open;—nor was there one important circumstance of
his life, one feeling of his mind, concealed from me. It is now many
years since he paid his debt to nature; and, by her course, I shall not
much longer tarry to regret his departure; but, whilst my pilgrimage
continues, that regret cannot be extinguished.

George had received but a moderate education, far inadequate to his rank
and expectations; and the country life of his careless father had
afforded him too few conveniences for cultivating his capacity. His near
alliance, however, and intercourse with the Aldborough family, gave him
considerable opportunities to counteract, in a better class of society,
that tendency to rustic dissipation to which his situation had exposed
him, and which, at first seductive, soon becomes habitual, and ruinous
in every way to youthful morals.

Whatever were the other eccentricities or failings of Robert, Earl of
Aldborough (the uncle of Hartpole), the hyperbolical ideas of importance
and dignity which he had imbibed, though in many practical instances
they rendered him ridiculous, still furnished him with a certain address
and air of fashion which put rustic vulgarity out of his society, and,
combined with a portion of classic learning and modern belles-lettres,
never failed to give him an entire ascendancy over his ruder neighbours.
This curious character exhibited a pretty equal proportion of
ostentation and meanness.[14]


Footnote 14:

  Hartpole, though he despised the empty arrogance of his uncle, yet saw
  that his Lordship knew the world well and profited by that
  knowledge:—he therefore occasionally paid much attention to some of my
  Lord’s _worldly_ lectures; and had he observed the _best_ of them,
  though he might possibly have appeared less amiable, he would
  doubtless have been far more fortunate. But Hartpole could not draw
  the due distinction between the folly of his uncle’s ostentation and
  the utility of his address; disgusted with the one, he did not
  sufficiently practise the other; and despised the idea of acting as if
  he knew the world, lest he should be considered as affecting to know
  too much of it.


The most remarkable act of his Lordship’s life was an experiment
regarding his sister, Lady Hannah Stratford. The borough of Baltinglass
was in the patronage of the Stratford family; and on that subject, his
brothers, John and Benjamin, never gave him a peaceable moment: they
always opposed him, and generally succeeded. He was determined, however,
to make a new kind of burgomaster or returning-officer, whose adherence
he might religiously depend on. He therefore took his _sister_, Lady
Hannah, down to the corporation, and recommended _her_ as a fit and
proper returning-officer for the borough of Baltinglass! Many highly
approved of her Ladyship, by way of a _change_, and a double return
ensued—a man acting for the brothers, and the lady for the nobleman.
This created a great battle. The honourable ladies of the family all got
into the thick of it: some of them were well trounced—others gave as
good as they received: the affair made a great uproar in Dublin, and
informations were moved for and granted against some of the ladies.
However, the brothers, as was just, kept the borough, and his Lordship
never could make any farther hand of it.

The _high_-ways of Lord Aldborough, and the _by_-ways with which he
intersected them, are well exhibited by an incident that occurred to him
when the country was rather disturbed in 1797. He proceeded in great
state, with his carriage, outriders, &c. to visit the commanding officer
of a regiment of cavalry which had just arrived in that part of the
country. On entering the room, he immediately began by informing the
officer “that he was the Earl of Aldborough, of Belan Castle; that he
had the finest mansion, demesne, park and fish-ponds in that county, and
frequently did the military gentlemen the _honour_ of inviting them to
his dinners;”—adding, with what he thought a dignified politeness, “I
have come from my castle of Belan, where I have all the conveniences and
luxuries of life, for the especial purpose of saying, Major, I am glad
to see the military in my county, and have made up my mind to give
_you_, Major, my countenance and protection.” The Major, who happened to
be rather a rough soldier and of a country not famed for the softness of
its manners, could scarcely repress his indignation at his Lordship’s
arrogant politeness: but when the last sentence was pronounced, he could
restrain himself no longer:—“Coontenance and proteection!” repeated he
contemptuously, two or three times: “as for your _proteection_, Mister
my Lord, Major M‘Pherson is always able to proteect himsel; and as for
your _coontenance_, by heeven I would not tak it for your eerldom!”

His Lordship withdrew, and the Major related the incident as a singular
piece of assurance. My Lord, however, knew the world too well to let the
soldier’s answer stick against himself:—next day he invited _every_
officer of the regiment to dinner, and so civilly, that the Major lost
all credit with his brother officers for his surly reply to so
hospitable a nobleman! Nay, it was even whispered among them at mess,
that the Major had actually _invented_ the story, to show off his own
wit and independence;—and thus Lord Aldborough obtained complete

On another occasion, his Lordship got off better still:—being
churchwarden of Baltinglass parish, he did not please the rector, Bob
Carter, as to his mode of accounting for the money in the poor-boxes.
The peer treated Bob (who was as hard-going, good-hearted,
devil-may-care a parson as any in Ireland) with the greatest contempt.
The parson, who felt no sort of personal respect for my Lord, renewed
his insinuations of his Lordship’s _false arithmetic_, until the latter,
highly indignant, grew wroth, and would give Bob no further satisfaction
on the matter: upon which, the rector took the only revenge then in his
power, by giving out a _second_ charity sermon, inasmuch as the proceeds
of the first had not been productive. The hint went abroad, the church
was crowded, and to the infinite amusement of the congregation, Bob put
forth as his text—“Whosoever _giveth_ to the _poor, lendeth_ to the
_Lord_.” The application was so clear, that the laugh was irresistible.
Bob followed up his blow all through the sermon, and “the Lord” was
considered to be completely blown; but skilfully enough, he contrived to
give the matter a turn that disconcerted even the Rev. Bob himself.
After the sermon was concluded, his Lordship stood up, publicly thanked
Bob for his most _excellent text_ and charity sermon, and declared that
he had no doubt the Lord Lieutenant or the bishop would very soon
promote him, according to his extraordinary merits, which he was ready
to vouch, in common with the rest of the parishioners; finally begging
of him to have the sermon _printed_!

Hartpole’s fortune on the death of his father was not large; but its
increase would be great and _certain_, and this rendered his adoption of
any money-making profession or employment unnecessary. He accordingly
purchased a commission in the army, and commenced his _entré_ into a
military life and general society with all the advantages of birth,
property, manners, and character.

A cursory observation of the world must convince us of one painful and
inexplicable truth;—that there are some men (and frequently the best)
who, even from their earliest youth, appear born to be the victims of
undeviating misfortune; whom Providence seems to have gifted with
free-agency only to lead them to unhappiness and ruin. Ever disappointed
in his most ardent hopes—frustrated in his dearest objects—his best
intentions overthrown—his purest motives calumniated and abused,—no rank
or station suffices to shelter such an unfortunate:—_ennui_ creeps upon
his hopeless mind, communicates a listless languor to a sinking
constitution, and at length he almost joyfully surrenders an existence
which he finds too burdensome to be supported.[15]


Footnote 15:

  I cannot better illustrate the state of a person so chased by misery,
  than by quoting a few unpublished lines, the composition of a very
  young lady, Miss M. T., with whom, and with whose amiable family, I
  have the pleasure of being intimate.

  I am aware that I do her great injustice by quoting these particular
  verses—some of the most _inferior_ of her writings; but they seem so
  much to the point, that I venture to risk her displeasure. She is not,
  indeed, irritable; and I promise to atone for my error by a few
  further quotations from her superior compositions.


                I never sought a day’s repose
                  But some sharp thorn pierced my breast;
                I never watch’d the evening’s close,
                  And hoped a heaven of rest;
                But soon a darkling cloud would come
                  Athwart the prospect bright,
                And, pale as twilight on a tomb,
                  My hopes grew dim in night.


                Oft have I mark’d the heav’nly moon
                  Wandering her pathless way
                Along the midnight’s purple noon,
                  More fair—more loved than day:
                But soon she flung her shadowy wreath
                  O’er dark eternity,
                As a faint smile on the cheek of death
                  ’Twixt hope and agony.


                Oft on the rainbow’s bloom I’ve gazed,
                  Arch’d as a gate of heaven,
                Till gushing showers its portals razed,
                  And bathed the brow of even.
                ’Tis thus young hopes illume the sky
                  Of Life’s dark atmosphere,
                Yet, like the rainbow’s splendid dye,
                  They meet and disappear.


                Ev’n so, the mirth of man is madness;—
                  His joy as a sepulchral light,
                Which shows his solitude and sadness,
                  But chaseth not the night.


Such nearly was the lot of the last of the Hartpoles. He had scarcely
commenced a flattering entrance into public life, when one false and
fatal step, to which he was led first by a dreadful accident, and
subsequently by his own benevolent disposition, worked on by the
chicanery of others, laid the foundation of all his future miseries.

While quartered with his regiment at Galway, in Ireland, his gun, on a
shooting party, burst in his hand, which was so shattered, that it was
long before his surgeon could decide that amputation might be dispensed

During the protracted period of his indisposition he was confined to his
chamber at a small inn, such as Ireland then exhibited in provincial
towns. The host, whose name was Sleven, had two daughters, both of whom
assisted in the business. The elder, Honor, had long been celebrated as
a vulgar wit and humourist, the cleverest of all her female
contemporaries; and the bar, on circuits, frequented her father’s house
purposely to be amused by her repartees. Her coarse person was well
calculated to protect her moral conduct; and she jested and took her
glass with reasonable _moderation_. Besides entertaining the bar, she
occasionally amused the judges also; and Lord Yelverton, the chief
baron, (who admired wit in _any body_,) was Honor’s greatest partisan.

Such females ever appeared to me unnatural and disgusting. A _humorous_
and vulgar Amazon, who forgets her own sex, can scarcely expect that
ours will recollect it.

Mary, the younger sister, was of a different appearance and character.
She was as mild and unassuming as, from her low occupation and habits of
life, could be expected: though destitute of any kind of talent, she yet
appeared as if somewhat better born than Honor, and her attention to her
guests was at the same time assiduous but properly reserved; which
conduct, contrasted with the masculine effrontery of the other, gave
her, in my mind, a great superiority.

It must have been remarked by every person who has observed the habits
and manners of provincial towns, that the distinctions of society are
frequently suspended by the necessary familiarities of a contracted
circle, and that inferior females frequently excite (especially among
youthful military) sensations of tenderness which in a metropolis would
never have been thought of—at least in the same point of view. And here
the evil genius of Hartpole first commenced her incantations for his

Throughout George’s painful and harassing confinement, the more than
assiduous care of Mary Sleven could not escape the observation of the
too sensitive convalescent. Hartpole has often described to me the rise
and progress of the giddy, romantic feeling which then seized upon him;
how he used to catch her moistened eye watching his interrupted
slumbers, or the progress of his recovery; and when she was conscious of
being perceived, how the mantling blush would betray a degree of
interest far beyond that of an ordinary attendant.

Mary was _rather_ well-looking; though there was little to captivate,
there was nothing about her to excite his distaste: he was not permitted
to have society; and thus, being left nearly alone with this young
female during many weeks of pain and solitude, and accustomed to the
solicitude of a woman, (so exquisite to a man in every state of
suffering,) Hartpole discovered in the sequel, that a feeling of
_gratitude_ of the highest order had sunk deeper than he wished within
his bosom.

He could not but perceive, indeed, that the girl actually _loved_ him,
and his vanity of course was alive to the disclosure; but his honourable
principles prevented him from taking any advantage of that weakness,
which she could not conceal, and whereto he could not be blind. It was
in truth a dangerous situation for both. There were, as I have said, no
external objects to divert George’s mind from this novel sensation;
there was no one to point out its folly or interrupt its progress. Her
partiality flattered him in his seclusion, and led his thoughts
gradually and imperceptibly into a channel inconsistent with the welfare
of himself, the honour of his family, and the becoming pride of a
gentleman. It certainly was, after all, a sort of non-descript passion:
it was not actually _love_.

Meanwhile the keen masculine understanding of Honor soon perceived the
game which it would be wise in her to play, and conceived a project
whereby to wind up Hartpole’s feeling to the pitch she wanted, and
insensibly to lead his gratitude to love, and his love to _matrimony_.
This was Honor’s aim; but she overrated her own penetration, and
deceived herself as to Hartpole’s character: she _overacted_ her part,
and consequently diminished its effect.

At length, awakened from his vision of romantic gratitude, and beginning
to open his eyes to the views of the two women, my friend felt ashamed
of his facility, and mustered up sufficient resolution to rescue himself
from the toils they were spreading for his capture. He had never made
_any species_ of _proposal_ to Mary, and she could not, with just or
honest hope, look to marriage with a person so greatly her superior. On
his perfect recovery, he determined, by going over to England, to avoid
all their machinations; and he also determined that his departure should
be abrupt.

The keen and rapid eye of the designing Honor, however, soon discovered
the secret of his thoughts; and guessing the extent of his resolution,
she artfully impressed upon him (under the affectation of concealing it)
the _entire_ attachment of her pining sister; but at the same time
communicated Mary’s resolution to be seen by him no more—“since it would
be useless further to distract her devoted heart by cultivating society
from which she must so soon be separated for ever.”

Here Honor was again mistaken:—no melting looks, no softening
blandishments, now intervened to oppose George’s pride or stagger his
resolution. He had only to struggle with _himself_; and after a day and
night of calm reflection, he fully conquered the dangers of his
high-flown _gratitude_, and departed at day-break from the inn without
even desiring to see the love-lorn and secluded Mary.

The sisters were thus totally disappointed. He had paid munificently for
the trouble he had given them, written a letter of grateful thanks to
Mary, left her a considerable present, and set off to Dublin to take
immediate shipping for England.

Hartpole now congratulated himself on his escape from the sarcasms of
the world, the scorn of his family, and his own self-condemnation. He
had acted with honour; he had done nothing wrong; and he had once more
secured that rank in society which he had been in danger of
relinquishing. In Dublin he stopped at the Marine Hotel, whence the
packet was to sail at midnight, and considered himself as on the road to
Stratford-place, London, which his uncle, Lord Aldborough, had built,
and where his Lordship then resided.

The time of embarkation had nearly arrived when a loud shriek issued
from an adjoining chamber to his, at the hotel. Ever alive to any
adventure, Hartpole rushed into the room, and beheld—Mary Sleven! She
was, or affected to be, fainting, and was supported by the artful Honor,
who hung over her, apparently regardless of all other objects, and
bemoaning, in low accents, the miserable fate of her only sister.

Bewildered both by the nature and suddenness of this rencontre, Hartpole
told me that for a moment he nearly lost his sight—nay, almost his
reason; but he soon saw through the scheme, and mustered up sufficient
courage to withdraw without explanation. He had, in fact, advanced to
the door, and was on the outside step, the boat being ready to receive
him, when a second and more violent shriek was heard from the room he
had just quitted, accompanied by exclamations of “She’s gone! she’s
gone!” Hartpole’s presence of mind entirely forsook him; he retraced his
steps, and found Mary lying, as it should seem, quite senseless, in the
arms of Honor: his heart relented; his evil genius profited by the
advantage; and he assisted to restore her. Gradually Mary’s eyes opened;
she regarded George wildly but intently, and having caught his eye,
closed hers again—a languid, and, as it were, an involuntary pressure of
his hand, conveying to him her sensations. He spoke kindly to her: she
started at the sound, and _renewed the pressure_ with _increased_ force.
As she slowly and gradually revived, the scene became more
_interesting_. A medical man being (by preconcert) at hand, he ordered
her restorative cordials. Madeira only could at the moment be procured.
She put the glass to her mouth, sipped, looked tenderly at Hartpole, and
offered it him; her lips had touched it; he sipped also; the patient
smiled; the doctor took a glass; Hartpole pledged him; glass followed
glass, until George was bewildered! The artful Honor soon substituted
another bottle: it was Hartpole’s first wine after his accident, and
quickly mounted to his brain.

Thus did an hour flit away, and, meanwhile, the packet had sailed.
Another person affected also to have lost his passage while occupied
about the patient, and this turned out to be a _Catholic priest_.
Refreshments were ordered: the doctor and the priest were pressed to
partake of the fare: the Madeira was replenished: the moments fled! The
young man’s brain was inflamed; and it is only necessary to add, that
the morning’s sun arose, not on the happy George, but on the happy
_Mary_, the wedded wife of Hartpole.

I will not attempt to describe the husband’s feelings when morning
brought reflection. Every passion met its foe within his bosom: every
resolve was overwhelmed by an adverse one: his sensitive mind became the
field of contest for tumultuous emotions; until, worn out by its own
conflicts, it sank into languor and dejection. He had lost himself! he
therefore yielded to his fate, abandoned all idea of further resistance,
and was led back in chains by the triumphant sisters.

None of his family or connexions would ever receive her; and George for
awhile, sunk and disgraced, without losing all his attachment for the
girl, had lost all his tranquillity. After two years’ struggle, however,
between his feelings for her and his aspirations after a more honourable
station in society, the conspiracy which had effected his ruin, being by
chance discovered, arose before his eye like a spectre, and, as if
through a prism, the deception appeared in the clearest colours.

A revulsion followed, and the conflict became still more keen within his
breast: but, at length, his pride and resolution prevailed over his
sensibility, and he determined (after providing amply for her) to take
advantage of that statute which declares null and void all marriages
between a Catholic and a Protestant solemnised by a popish priest. He
made this determination; it was just; but, unfortunately, he lingered as
to its _execution_. Her influence was not extinguished; and she
succeeded in inducing him to procrastinate from time to time the fatal
resolve. She could not, it is true, deny that he had been inveigled, and
had made up her own mind, should he stand firm, to accept a liberal
provision, and submit to a legal sentence, which indeed could not be

As the propriety of Mary’s moral conduct had never been called in
question, she might, after all, be able to obtain a match more adapted
to her station and to every thing except her ambition: but the coarse
and vulgar Honor miscalculated all. She irritated and wound up Mary
almost to madness; and in this state, her characteristic mildness
forsook her; she became jealous of all other women, and hesitated not
daily to lavish abuse on the passive and wretched Hartpole.

One morning, in Dublin, where they were residing, he came to my house in
a state of trembling perturbation. He showed me a wound on his hand, and
another slight one from a knife’s point indented on his breast-bone.
Mary, he said, had, in a paroxysm of rage, attempted to stab him whilst
sitting at breakfast: he had, with difficulty, wrested the knife from
her grasp, and left the house never to return to it. He could in fact no
longer feel _safe_ in her society; and therefore, arranging all his
necessary concerns, he repaired to Edinburgh, where his regiment was

The suit for a decree of nullity was immediately commenced, but no
effective proceedings were ever taken, nor any sentence in the cause
pronounced, owing to events still more unfortunate to poor Hartpole.

Prior to this fatal act of George’s, I had never observed an attachment
on his part toward any female, save a very temporary one to a young lady
in his neighbourhood, whom few men could see without strong feelings of
admiration;—the second daughter of Mr. Yates, of Moon, a gentleman of
the old school, almost antediluvian in his appearance, and of good
fortune in County Kildare.

The beauty of Myrtle Yates arose nearly to perfection. It was of that
brilliance with which poets and romance writers endeavour to adorn the
most favoured of their heroines. Had she lived of yore, the Grecian
sculptor or Roman artist might have profited by charms which they could
never _fancy_:—she might have been the model for a Venus, or, at a later
era, sat for a Madonna. Nature, indeed, seemed to have created her
solely for the blandishments of affection; and her whole form appeared
susceptible of being dissolved in love.

In a word, at twenty, Myrtle Yates was wholly irresistible; not a youth
of her country, who had a heart, could boast of its insensibility; and
perhaps she owed to the bewildering number of those admirers the good
fortune of not devoting herself to any of them.

Yet Hartpole’s attachment to Myrtle Yates was neither deep nor lasting.
He considered her _too_ attractive—perhaps too _yielding_; and had he
always adhered to the same principle of judgment, it is possible he
might have yet existed.

On his return from Scotland he immediately repaired to Clifton, to drink
the waters for a severe cold which could no longer be neglected, and
required medical advice and a balmy atmosphere. Here fate threw in the
way of this ill-fated youth another lure for his destruction, but such a
one as might have entrapped even the most cautious and prudent. Love, in
its genuine and rational shape, now assailed the breast of the
ever-sensitive Hartpole; and an attachment sprang up fatal to his
happiness, and eventually to his existence.

At Clifton, my friend made the acquaintance of a lady and gentleman, in
whose only daughter were combined all the attractive qualities of youth,
loveliness, and amiability. Their possessor moved in a sphere calculated
to gratify his pride; and those who saw and knew the object of George’s
new attachment could feel no surprise at the vehemence of his passion.

The unfortunate young man, however, sorely felt that his situation under
these circumstances was even more dreadful than in the former connexion.
Loving one woman to adoration, and as yet the acknowledged husband of
another, it is not easy to conceive any state more distracting to a man
of honour. His agitated mind had now no suspension of its misery, save
when lulled into a temporary trance by the very lassitude induced by its
own unhappiness.

He wrote to me, expressing the full extent of his sensations—that is, as
fully as pen could convey them. But imperfect indeed must be all
expression which attempts to describe intensity of feeling. It was from
blots and scratches, and here and there the dried-up stain of an
hieroglyphic tear, rather than from words, that I gathered the excess of
his mental agony. He required of my friendship to _advise_ him—a task,
to the execution of which I was utterly incompetent. All I could
properly advise him to, was what I knew he would not comply with;
namely, to come over to Ireland, and endeavour to conquer the influence
of his passion, or at least to take no decisive step in divulging it
till the law had pronounced its sentence on his existing connexion.

Hartpole had strong feelings of honour as to this latter. For a length
of time he could scarcely reconcile himself to the idea of publicly
annulling what he had publicly avowed; and it was only by urging on his
consideration the fact, that the ceremony by a popish priest in no such
case legally constituted a marriage, that he was prevailed on to seek
for a decree of _nullity_. Such decree was not indeed absolutely
_necessary_; but to have it upon record was judged advisable. Though the
incipient proceedings had been taken by his proctor, they were not
completed, and Mary Sleven’s marriage _never_ was formally declared a
nullity by the sentence of the Ecclesiastical Court, nor was she ever
judicially separated from the deluded Hartpole.

Under all these circumstances, I was totally bewildered as to what ought
to be my friend’s future conduct, when I was one morning greatly
surprised by the sudden appearance of Hartpole at my breakfast-table,
obviously in better health:—he looked very superior to what I had
expected; his eye sparkled, and there was an air of satisfaction
diffused both over his features and address which convinced me that some
decisive step had been taken by him. He lost no time in telling me that
he had actually proposed for Miss Otway to her father and mother; that
she herself had consented; that Mr. and Mrs. Otway had come over to have
his fortune investigated, and wished to see me with as little delay as
convenient; and concluded by saying, that he was most anxious to
introduce me to the source of all his terrestrial happiness.

I could not but start on hearing all this, and declined entering at all
into the business with Mr. Otway till George had given me a written
license to communicate with him as I pleased. He acceded to all I
desired, and the next morning I waited on that gentleman—(Mr. Cooke
Otway, of Castle Otway).

I never felt more embarrassed in my life than at this interview. I had
in the interim made myself master of Mr. Otway’s character, and the
knowledge by no means contributed to ease my scruples or diminish my
embarrassment. However, to my surprise, a very short time disposed of
both, and in a way which I had heretofore conceived quite impossible.

I found Colonel Cooke Otway a strong-minded, decided, gentlemanly man,
obviously with more head than heart,—sensible, and practically
good-natured;—in short, one of those well-trained persons who appear to
be quite off-handed, yet, on closer remark, are obviously _in

He introduced me to Mrs. Otway, whose character required no research. It
was ordinary, but amiable: she had evidently great kindness of heart,
and her conduct was uniformly reported to be such as left nothing to
amend either as wife or mother: she appeared to be in declining health,
whilst her daughter, in the full bloom of youth and first blush of
ripening beauty, presented a striking contrast.

I also read, as far as its hitherto slight development would admit, the
character of Maria Otway. I could perceive neither the languor of love
nor the restlessness of suspense at all predominant in her feelings.
Perfect ease and entire resignation appeared to sit most cheerfully on
her brow: she seemed voluntarily to consider the wish of her parents as
the rule of her destiny; and it was perceptible that Hartpole had the
_love_ entirely at his own disposal.

Maria united in her appearance, her manners, and her obvious
disposition, most of those amiable and engaging traits which the age of
eighteen can develope in a female.—Her figure, in height rather below
the middle stature, had arrived at that proportionate fulness which
forms the just medium between the round and slender, and without the
defects of either gives the advantages of both. Her limbs, cast in the
mould of perfect symmetry, moved with that ease and moderate activity
which constitute the natural grace of female action. Her features small,
and not justifying the epithet of “beautiful,” yet formed in their
assemblage a blooming and expressive index of the young heart that ruled
them: the imperfections of the profile were lost in the brilliant
delicacy of the complexion which embellished it. Her blue eyes were
untutored; but her smile was intoxicating; and my friend was bound and
fettered in the trammels of female witchery.

In my own judgment, Maria Otway was certainly at that time a most
interesting young female: still her beauty, obviously aided by youth,
health, and thoughtless happiness, was not of that animated and vigorous
cast on which we so often see neither time, care, nor age make quick
impression: it was, on the other hand, that soft and delicate loveliness
to which years and family are such inveterate and sometimes rapid

Over such a person as Hartpole, the victory of Miss Otway’s beauty was
complete; and the result of that unfortunate passion convinces me that a
man (unless his judgment be superior to his sensibility) cannot commit
an act of greater folly than to encourage an attachment to any woman
whom he thinks every body else must admire as well as himself. George at
first was inclined to resist his passion, but he did not _fly from the
cause of it_, and he therefore fell a victim to romantic love as he had
before done to romantic gratitude.

Mr. Otway at once opened the business, and told me Hartpole had referred
him to me for a statement of his estates and financial situation. On
this point I had come fully prepared. Hartpole’s circumstances exceeded
rather than fell below Mr. Otway’s expectation.

“I am quite satisfied, my dear sir,” said he to me, with a significant
nod; “you know that in Ireland we always make some allowances for the
Stratford consanguinity.”

I now found my embarrassment recommence, but determined, at every risk,
to free myself from all future responsibility or reproach: I therefore
informed Col. Otway explicitly of Hartpole’s marriage, and that no
sentence had as yet been pronounced to declare that marriage a nullity,
though in point of law it was so.

Having heard me throughout with the greatest complacency, he took me by
the hand:—“My dear sir,” said he with a smile which at first surprised
me, “I am happy to tell you that I was fully apprised, before I came to
Ireland, of every circumstance you have related to me as to that woman,
and had taken the opinions of several eminent practitioners on the
point, each of whom gave without any hesitation exactly the same opinion
you have done: my mind was therefore easy and made up on that subject
before I left England, and I do not consider the circumstance any
impediment to the present negotiation.”

It is not easy to describe the relief thus afforded me; though, at the
same time, I must own I was somewhat astonished at this seeming
_nonchalance_. We parted in excellent humour with each other, and I
believe he was my friend to the day of his death.

The negotiation went on: _Miss Sleven_ was no more regarded; and after a
deal of discussion, but no difference of opinion, the terms were agreed
on, and settlements prepared, for a marriage, in all its results as
unfortunate for the young people, and _as culpable in the old_, as any
that ever came within my recollection.

A circumstance of singular and not very auspicious nature occurred on
the first step toward the completion of that ill-starred alliance. It
was necessary to procure a license from the Prerogative Court for the
solemnization of the marriage in the city of Dublin, and Hartpole’s
uncle, the Honourable Benjamin O’Neil Stratford (now Earl of
Aldborough), attended with George upon Doctor Duigenan, then judge of
the prerogative, for that purpose.

The doctor (who when irritated was the most outrageous judge that ever
presided in a court of justice) was on the bench officiating upon their
arrival. Benjamin conceived that his rank and intimacy with the doctor
would have procured him at least common civility; but in this he was
egregiously mistaken.

Benjamin O’Neil Stratford, who attended his nephew on that dangerous
expedition, was endowed with several good-natured qualities, but, as
folks said, rather inclined to the pleasures of _litigation_. In every
family which is not very popular, there is always one, of whom people in
general say, “Oh! he is _the best of them_:” and this was Benjamin’s
reputation as to the Stratford family.[16]


Footnote 16:

  The noble Earl had then also the appellation of “Blind Ben,” which had
  been conferred on him by the agreeable and witty Lady Aldborough, and
  which ought not to have been by any means considered derogatory,
  inasmuch as his name is certainly _Benjamin_, and one of his eyes is
  actually “_not at home_;” and as the abrupt mode of its quitting his
  Lordship’s service was rather humorous, it may be amusing to mention

  He had once (as he thought) the honour of killing a crane. Benjamin’s
  evil genius, however, maliciously scattered the shot, and the crane
  had only been what they call in Ireland _kilt_; but feeling pretty
  sure that her death was determined on, she resolved to die heroically,
  and not unrevenged. She fell, and lying motionless, seduced her
  assassin to come and wring her head off, according to the usual rules
  and practice of humanity by fowlers. The honourable sportsman
  approached triumphantly, and stooping to seize the _spolia opima_,
  Madam Crane, (having as good eyes of her own as the one that took aim
  at her,) in return for his compliment, darted her long bill plump into
  the head of the Honourable Benjamin O’Neil Stratford, entering through
  the very same casement which he had closed the shutters of to take
  _his aim_. In fact, she turned the honourable gentleman’s eye clean
  out of its natural residence; and being thus fully gratified by
  extinguishing the light in one of her enemy’s lanterns, she resigned
  her body to be plucked, stuffed, and roasted, in the usual manner, as
  was performed accordingly. Thus, though her slayer was writhing in
  agony, his _family_ was fully revenged by _feasting_ on his
  _tormentor_. Daily consultations were held to ascertain whether her
  long rapier had not actually penetrated the _brain_ of the Honourable
  Benjamin. One of the tenants being heard to say, in a most
  untenant-like manner, that it might in such case be _all for the
  best_, was asked his reason for so undutiful an expression; and
  replied, that if she had just pricked his honour’s brain, maybe it
  might have let out the _humours_, which would have done no harm either
  to his honour or to Baltinglass.


On their arrival in the presence of the doctor, who pretended never to
know any body in Court, he asked, “Who _those people_ were?” and on
being informed, proceeded to inquire what business brought them there.

The Honourable Benjamin answered, “that he wanted a marriage-license for
his nephew, George Hartpole, of Shrewl Castle, Esq., and Miss Maria
Otway, of Castle Otway, County Tipperary.”

He had scarcely pronounced the words when the doctor, rising, with the
utmost vehemence roared out, “George Hartpole! George Hartpole! is that
the rascal who has _another wife_ living?”

George, struck motionless, shrank within himself; but Benjamin, not
being so easily frightened, said something equally warm, whereupon the
doctor, without further ceremony, rushed at him, seized him by the
collar, and cried, “Do you want me to countenance bigamy, you villains?”
at the same time roaring to his crier and servants to “turn the fellows
out!” which order, if not literally, was virtually performed, and the
petitioners for a license congratulated themselves upon their
providential escape from so outrageous a judge of prerogative.

The fact was, a suit of nullity had been actually _commenced_ in the
Court, but its merits never having been stated, the judge only knew
Hartpole as a married man _de facto_, and it certainly could not appear
very correct of the Honourable Benjamin to apply to the _same_ judge who
was to try the validity of the _first_ marriage, to grant his license
for the solemnization of a _second_ while the first remained undecided.
On Hartpole’s mind the circumstance made an indelible impression, and he
never afterward took any further proceedings in the cause then

Hartpole returned to me and recounted the adventure, affecting to treat
it as a jest against his uncle. But it was a vain disguise; although, by
struggling sharply with his feelings, he in some degree overcame them.

But what was now to be done, since no license could be obtained in
Dublin? A general consultation was held; Mr. Otway (still singularly to
me) appeared to regard the circumstance as a mere _bagatelle_. I thought
_far otherwise_; and it was so deeply engraven on Hartpole’s mind, that
he mentioned it to me not three days previous to his dissolution, as
having foreboded all his subsequent misfortunes.

It was at length agreed on that he should be married in the diocese of
Kildare, by a license from the bishop’s surrogate there. This was in
effect accomplished. I did not attend at the ceremony; after which, the
parties pursued their journey to Castle Otway, where, in the midst of
every thing that was desirable on earth, Hartpole commenced the trial of
his new connexion.

In spite of these apparent advantages, however, my friend soon began
either to find or conjure up new and dangerous sources of uneasiness. He
continued some months at Castle Otway, listless and devoured by
_ennui_—pining for a change of scene, and longing to return to his
hereditary domain. His health gradually, although slowly, declined; yet
he took no medical advice: remote symptoms of consumption began to
exhibit themselves, and the effects of care upon a constitution
naturally irritable favoured their development. But, amidst all this, he
fancied for awhile that he possessed every thing he could wish for;—his
wife daily improved in her person, her manners were delightful, her
conduct unexceptionable.

Maria was adored by her parents, but adored to a degree that tended
eventually to create her misery: the thought of separating from them was
to her almost unbearable; she durst scarcely look at such an event with
firmness. Her reluctance could not be concealed from the sharp eye of
her uneasy husband. Every mark of affection lavished by her on her
parents he considered as if filched from him. He thought her heart
should have no room for _any_ attachments but to himself, whereas it had
been wholly preoccupied by filial tenderness, that true passion of
nature. In a word, she had never _loved_ Hartpole, for whom she felt no
other than a neutral species of attachment. Neither her mind nor her
person had arrived at their full maturity, when she was called upon to
love; and under such circumstances, she really evinced more affection
for her husband than I supposed she would do, but far less than he

At length it was agreed that they should come, on a visit, to my house
in Dublin for some time, and that her mother should afterwards stay with
her at Shrewl Castle till Maria was gradually reconciled to the dreaded
change, and to final residence with a man whom I believe she early
discovered was not exactly calculated to make her happy. The story of
Mary Sleven, I believe, she had not heard; if she had, I am pretty sure
she never would have left the protection of her father.

When Hartpole arrived at my house, I soon perceived that my gloomy
auguries had been too well grounded. I found his mind bewildered; he
received no enjoyment from reading; his health did not permit strong
exercise; he took no pleasure in new and strange society; but, on the
contrary, pined for his own home, his free associates, his steward, his
tenants, his colliers, and above all, for a passive, fond companion who
should have no wish but her husband’s.

Now, none of these things were to Maria’s taste, and she yielded to the
inroads of discontent, as I think, unreasonably: still, this feeling
never showed itself with offensive prominence. She gave way to every
desire expressed by her husband, but her acquiescence seemed to me like
that of a _victim_. I have often noticed that, even whilst she intimated
her obedience, her averted eye betrayed a rebel tear, and she only
awaited the moment when it might gush out with safety, and relieve her.

I perceived that, unless some step was taken to occupy George’s mind, a
residence at Shrewl Castle would surely proclaim to the world both his
folly and his ruin. I therefore applied to Mr. Pelham, then secretary in
Ireland, to appoint Hartpole to the office of high sheriff for Queen’s
County for the ensuing year, 1794. My application was immediately
conceded. I also took out for him a commission of the peace. Meanwhile
his old castle was in part newly furnished, and I was happy to see that
he felt a sort of gratification in the appointment of sheriff; and
though in a state of health badly calculated to execute the duties of
such an office, the occupation of his mind would, I hoped, make ample
amends for his necessary personal exertions. If that year had passed
favourably, it was my intention to have recommended a tour to some
foreign country, where change of climate and of scene might tend to
restore my friend’s health, to amuse his mind, and perhaps to make a
desirable alteration in the feelings both of himself and his wife:—but
Heaven decreed otherwise.

While on their visit at my house, I perceived, in Hartpole’s
disposition, among other traits which so close a communion could
scarcely fail to develope, one which I had never before suspected in
him, and calculated to prove the certain and permanent source of
unhappiness. Jealousy is of all others the most terrible of human
passions. When once it fixes its roots in a hasty, sanguine nature, it
becomes master of every action and every word; and reason, justice, and
humanity, all fly before it! When it pervades a less ardent spirit,
impetuosity is bridled; but the desire of revenge is no less powerful,
and too often seeks gratification in the exercise of cold treachery or
petty annoyance: in either case, the eye magnifies every object which
can at all feed the greediness of suspicion. When this passion has any
fair cause, it may be justifiable, and a crisis generally ends it; but
when no cause exists, save in the distempered fancy of a sinking
constitution, it is permanent and invincible.

Such was the case with my friend: his jealousy had no fixed object on
which to fasten itself, but wandered from person to person. Indeed, it
could have no resting-place; for, in this point of view, Maria was
blameless. But in the eye of my friend she had guilt—the guilt of being
attractive. He conceived that every body must love her as he did
himself, and fancied that a female universally admired could not be
universally _ungrateful_.

This melancholy and morbid state of mind appeared to me likely to
increase from residence in a metropolis, and I hastened his departure
for Shrewl Castle, to take upon himself the office of high sheriff. I
did not go with them, for my mind misgave me: her mother met them there,
and innocently completed the ruin of her children by a step the
consequences whereof should ever be a warning to wives, to parents, and
to husbands!

At Shrewl, Mrs. Otway perceived George’s ideal malady: she was a silly
woman, who fancied she was wise, and thought she never could do wrong
because she always intended to do right. She proposed to Maria a most
desperate remedy to cure her husband of his jealousy, though she did not
reflect that it might probably be at the expense of his existence, and
certainly of her daughter’s duty. They conspired together, and wrote two
or three letters directed to Mrs. Hartpole, without signature, but
professing love and designating meetings. These they took measures to
drop so as Hartpole might accidentally find some of them, and thus they
thought in the end to convince him of his folly, and _laugh_ him out of
his suspicions.

The result may be easily anticipated by those who have read with
attention the character of the husband. He became outrageous; the
developement did not pacify him; and his paroxysm was nearly fatal.
Maria was in consequence but little better, and the unexpected result of
her own injudicious conduct nearly distracted the unhappy mother. But it
was too late to retrieve their error: the die was thrown. Hartpole was
inflexible; and the first I heard of it was Maria’s departure to her
father’s, and a final separation:—and thus, after a marriage of a few
months, that ill-starred young man, completely the sport of fortune,
became once more solitary! Labouring under the false idea that he could
soon conquer his attachment, he made Maria an ample separate
maintenance, and determined to go to Lisbon, where he thought a change
of scene might, perhaps, restore his peace, and the climate his
shattered constitution.

Before he sailed, I endeavoured in vain to reconcile them. She did not
love him well enough to risk a further residence at Shrewl, in the
absence of her connexions; and his mind was case-hardened against the
whole family from which she sprang. His reasons to me for parting from
her finally were at least plausible.

“I acquit her at once,” said he, “of ever having shown a symptom of
impropriety, nay, even of giddiness: there I was wrong, and I own it:
but she has proved herself perfectly capable of, and expert at,
_deception_; and the woman that has practised deception for _my_ sake
would be equally capable of practising it for _her own_. So far from
_curing my error_, she has confirmed me in it; and when confidence
ceases separation ought to ensue.”

Hartpole shortly after embarked for Portugal, and only returned to
terminate his short career by a lingering and painful death.

On his arrival at Lisbon without any amendment either in mind or body, I
felt, and I am sure he did himself, that the world was fast receding
from him. The rough manners of one Lieutenant Waters, the person whom he
had chosen as a _led captain_, were little congenial to his own
characteristic mildness. He had, however, Simon, a most faithful Scotch
valet; and after a few posts, I conceived, from his letters, that his
spirits had very much improved, when a circumstance occurred which, had
he been in health, would have been merely ludicrous; but which the
shattered state of his nerves rendered him almost incapable of bearing
up against.

On his marriage he had given the commission in the army which he then
held to Mr. Otway, his brother-in-law (I believe, now, General Otway);
on his separation, however, he determined to resume the profession, and
accordingly purchased a commission in a regiment of the line then
raising by his uncle the late Lord Aldborough; and he had been gazetted
previously to his departure.

After he had been a short time at Lisbon, some mischievous person, for
some mischievous object, informed his uncle that he had been dead a
fortnight! and, without further inquiry, that nobleman resold George’s
commission, and an announcement appeared in the newspapers, that
Hartpole had fallen a victim at Lisbon, to consumption, the rapid
progress of which had rendered his case hopeless even before he quitted
Ireland,—adding the name of the party who had succeeded him in his

Now the fact was, that the climate of Lisbon had been of great service
to his health; and he was quickly recovering strength and spirits when,
taking up, one day, an English paper, he read the above-mentioned

His valet described to me coarsely the instantaneous effect of this
circumstance on his master’s mind. It seemed to proclaim his fate by
anticipation:—his commission was disposed of, under the idea that he was
actually dead; every melancholy reflection crowded upon him; he totally
relapsed; and I firmly believe that paragraph was his death-blow. After
lingering several months longer, he returned to England, and I received
a letter requesting me to meet him without delay at Bristol, and stating
that he had made his will. I immediately undertook the journey, and took
him over a horse which I conceived adapted to him at that time. His
sister (the present Mrs. Bowen, of Rutland-square) was with him. His
figure was emaciated to the last degree, and he was sinking rapidly into
the grave. He was attended by a very clever young physician of that
place, a Doctor Barrow, and I soon perceived that the doctor had fallen
a victim to the charms of Miss Hartpole.

The patient had, however, declined but little in appetite, when the
disorder fixed itself in his throat, and he ceased to have the power of
eating: he now entirely gave himself up as a person who must die of
hunger. This melancholy scene almost distracted me. The doctor gave us
little consolation; and Hartpole himself, though reduced to such a
state, was really the most cheerful of the party, evincing a degree of
resignation at once heroic and touching. His will had been prepared by
Mr. Lemans of Bristol, (to me a perfect stranger,) and executed whilst I
was in Ireland: he informed us all that I was joint executor with two of
his uncles.

On the morning of Hartpole’s death he sent for me to rise and come to
him. I found him in an _agony of hunger_—perspiration in large drops
rolling down his face. He said neither food nor liquid could descend
into his stomach; that his ribs had contracted inward, as if
convulsively drawn together; and that he was in great pain. I cannot
describe my emotion! He walked about his room and spoke to me earnestly
on many subjects, on some of which I have been, and ever shall be,
totally silent. At length he called me to the window:—“Barrington,” said
he, “you see at a distance a very green field?” “Yes,” I replied.
“Well,” continued George, “it is my dying request that I may be buried
there _to-morrow evening_.”

He spoke so calmly and strongly, that I felt much surprised. He observed
this, and said, “It is true: _I am in the agonies of death_.” I now
called in the doctor and Hartpole’s servant: the invalid sat down upon
the bed; and when he took me by the hand, I shuddered, for it was
burning hot, whilst every nerve and sinew seemed to be in spasmodic
action, then iced and clammy. I never had been in collision with a dying
person before: he pressed my hand with great fervour, and murmured, “My
friend!”—these were the last words I heard him utter. I looked in his
face: his eyes were glazed—his lips quivered—he laid his head on the
pillow, and expired.

This awful scene, to me so perfectly new, overpowered me, and for a few
minutes I was myself totally insensible.

I disobeyed Hartpole’s injunctions respecting his funeral; for I had his
body enclosed in a leaden coffin and sent to be interred at Shrewl
Castle, in the cemetery of his ancestors, wherein his remains were not
admitted without much reluctance by his ungrateful sister and her
husband, who resided there in his absence.

On the reading of the will, his first bequest appeared to be to “his
friend Barrington, six thousand pounds,” together with the reversion of
his landed estates and collieries, by moieties, on the death of each of
his sisters without children: one had been some years married and had
none; the other was unmarried, but soon after made a match with a
respectable gentleman of very considerable property, but whom I should
think few young ladies of fortune would have fancied.

The uncles would not act as executors; considered me as an interloper;
and commenced a suit to annul the will, as prepared under undue
influence. Fortunately for my reputation, I had never known or even seen
the persons who prepared it. I was in another kingdom at the time, and
had not seen Hartpole for many months before its execution: _his sister_
was with him; not I.—I was utterly unacquainted with his will or its

I got a decree without delay. The family of Stratford, who preferred
_law_ to all other species of _pastime_, appealed. My decree was
confirmed, and they were burdened with the whole costs; and in effect
paid me six thousand pounds, on an amicable arrangement. My reversion
yielded me nothing; for I fancy the sisters have since had nearly twenty
children between them to inherit it.

Thus ended Hartpole’s life, and thus did a family become extinct, of the
most respectable description. I neither looked to nor expected any
legacy from my friend, beyond a mourning-ring. He left numerous other
bequests, including a considerable one to Mary Sleven, whose fate I
never heard.

The sequel of Maria Otway’s history was not much less melancholy than
that of her unhappy partner, as she died prematurely, by the most
affecting of all deaths, some time after—childbirth. I saw her after the
separation, but never after George’s decease. As I predicted, her style
of beauty was not calculated to _wear well_; and even before she was out
of her teens, Maria Otway _had been_ much handsomer. Her manner became
more studied—of course, less graceful: and that _naïveté_, which had
rendered her so engaging to my friend, was somewhat superseded by the
affectation of fashionable manners.

Maria, I think, _never_ had been attached to Hartpole; and within two
years after his decease, she made another and a most unexceptionable
match—namely, with Mr. Prittie, the present member for Tipperary: but
Providence seemed to pursue fatally even the relict of my friend; and,
at the age of twenty-three, death cut off the survivor of that union
which an unconcerned spectator would have deemed so auspicious. It was
said and believed, (but I do not wish to be understood as vouching the
report,) that after Mrs. Prittie’s death a prediction of that event was
found written by herself six months before it occurred, designating the
precise time of her departure.

I have been diffuse on the memoirs of Hartpole, because I felt myself
interested in almost every material event of his career. To overlook our
friendship, indeed, and his liberality, would have been ungrateful, in
any memoir of myself.[17]

Before I quit these “records,” and the associations which they excite, I
am tempted once more to revert to the peculiarities of the Stratford
family, which indeed present an ample field for anecdote. More curious
or dissimilar characters never, surely, bore the same name.

Earl Robert, one of those who declared war against me on Hartpole’s
death, was surnamed “The Peer of a Hundred Wills;” and it is matter of
fact, that, upon a trial at law in County Wicklow, since his Lordship’s
death, fifty-one different wills were produced, together with a great
number of affidavits, &c., also signed by the Earl. Several of these
documents are of the most singular description, highly illustrative of
the Earl’s character, and I should think among the most extraordinary
papers existing.


Footnote 17:

  George Hartpole was sponsor to my only son.


It was a general rule with this peer to make a will or codicil in favour
of any person with whom he was desirous of carrying a point,—taking
especial care that the party should be made acquainted with his
proceeding: no sooner, however, was his end accomplished, and other game
started, than a fresh instrument annulled all the provisions of the
preceding one! Thus, if desirous of obtaining a lady’s regards, _he made
a will in her favour_, and let her find it _by accident_. He at length
got 50,000_l._ with a grand-daughter of the Duke of Chandos, and brought
her over to Belan.

In the cause before mentioned I was specially retained by the late Earl
John, to argue that his brother was _mad_, and Mr. Plunkett was retained
specially as my opponent, to argue that he was _sane_. In support of
_our_ positions it was that the fifty wills were produced; and I
hesitate not to say, that _either_ of them, had it emanated from any
other individual than his Lordship, would have been deemed conclusive of
insanity. But the jury had known the party whose vagaries they were
summoned to decide upon; and therefore found, as usual, in favour of his
Lordship’s _last_ will. I subsequently asked one of those gentlemen the
grounds of their verdict; and his answer was—“We all knew well that the
testator was more * * * * * than fool: did you ever hear of any body
_taking him in_?”—and, the truth is, the jury were right; for I never
met with a man who had more worldly tact than Robert, Earl of
Aldborough, and, owing to my close connexion with his nephew, Hartpole,
I had abundant opportunities of judging, as well as by his extraordinary
correspondence and transactions with myself.

The present Countess Dowager of Aldborough was in the habit of uttering
_jeux d’esprit_ with more spirit and grace than any woman in the world:
she often cut deeply; but so keen and polished was the edge of her wit,
that the patient was never mangled; or if he was, nobody consoled him in
his tortures.

The cause of her naming the Honourable and Reverend Paul Stratford, her
brother-in-law, “Holy Paul,” was droll enough. Mount Neil, a remarkably
fine old country-house, furnished in the ancient style, was that
ecclesiastic’s family mansion, wherein he resided many years, but of
which it was thought he at last grew tired. One stormy night, this house
(some time after it had been insured to a large amount) most perversely
and miraculously took fire: (the common people still say, and verily
believe, it was _of its own accord_:) no water was to be had; of course
the flames raged _ad libitum_: the tenants bustled, jostled, and tumbled
over each other, in a general uproar and zeal to save his Reverence’s
“great house:” his Reverence alone, meek and resigned, beheld the
voracious element devour his hereditary property—piously and audibly
attributing the evil solely to the just will of Providence as a
punishment for his having vexed his mother some years before, when she
was troubled with a dropsy. Under this impression, the Honourable and
Reverend Paul adopted the only rational and pious means of extinguishing
the conflagration: he fell on his bare knees in front of the blazing
pile, and, with clasped and uplifted hands, and in the tone of a saint
during his martyrdom, besought the Lord to show him mercy, and
extinguish a flame which was setting all human aid at defiance! The
people around, however, did not place equal reliance on the
interposition of Providence,—which, as a country fellow very judiciously
observed, “might be employed somewhere else at the time, and unable to
look to his Reverence’s _consarns_:” so they continued, while
practicable, to bring out the furniture piecemeal, and range it on the
grass-plat. Paul no sooner perceived the result of their exertions than,
still on his knees, he cried out—“Stop! stop! throw all my valuable
goods and chattels back into the flames! never fly, my friends, in the
_face_ of Heaven! When the Almighty resolved to burn my house, he most
certainly intended to burn the furniture. I feel resigned. The Lord’s
will be done! Throw it _all_ back again!”

The tenants reluctantly obeyed his orders; but, unfortunately for “Holy
Paul,” the Insurance Company, when applied to for payment of his losses,
differed altogether from his Reverence as to the agency of Providence,
and absolutely refused to pay any part of the damage incurred. Paul
declared it would be a crime in him to _insist_ by a _law-suit_ upon
payment; and that he’d rather lose all his insurance than bring any act
of Providence into the Court of Exchequer, which never was renowned for
any great skill in ecclesiastical polity. In tithe cases, they showed no
sort of _partiality_ to the clergy; and never would pay the least
attention in any instance to assertions from the board of first-fruits
without putting the clergy to the _trouble_ of producing their

The Honourable and Rev. Paul, however, got into disrepute by this
occurrence, and his nephew declined being married by him. In fact, the
fault of Holy Paul was, love of money: he had very good property, but
was totally averse to paying away any thing. He was put into prison by
his niece’s husband, where he long remained rather than render an
account; and when at length he settled the _whole_ demand, refused to
pay a few pounds fees, and continued voluntarily in confinement until
his death. Notwithstanding, greatly to his credit, he bestowed large
sums in charity.

                      HAMILTON ROWAN AND THE BAR.

Sketch of the character of Mr. Hamilton Rowan—His Quixotic spirit of
  philanthropy—Case of Mary Neil taken up by Mr. Rowan—Dinner-club among
  the briefless barristers of Dublin—Apparition of Mr. Hamilton Rowan
  and his dog—More frightened than hurt—An unanswerable query—Mr.
  Rowan’s subsequent adventures—The Rev. Mr. Jackson—He is brought up to
  receive sentence for high-treason, and expires in Court.

There were few persons whose history was connected with that of Ireland
during my time, who excited my interest in a greater degree than Mr.
Hamilton Rowan. Points of this gentleman’s character have been
unfavourably represented by persons who knew little or nothing of his
life, and that too, long after he had ceased to be a politician. I may
claim perfect disinterestedness when I state that I never had the least
social intercourse with Mr. Rowan, whose line of politics was decidedly
opposed to my own.

Archibald Hamilton Rowan (I believe he still lives) is a gentleman of
most respectable family and of ample fortune: considered merely as a
private character, I fancy there are few who will not give him full
credit for every quality which does honour to his station in society. As
a philanthropist, he certainly carried his ideas even beyond reason, and
to a degree of excess which I really think laid in his mind the
foundation of all his enthusiastic proceedings, both in common life and
in politics.

The first interview I had with this gentleman did not occupy more than a
few minutes; but it was of a most impressive nature, and though now
nearly forty years back, appears as fresh to my eye as if it took place
yesterday: in truth, I believe it must be equally present to every
individual of the company who survives, and is not too old to remember
any thing.

There is generally in every metropolis some temporary incident which
serves as a common subject of conversation; something which _nominally_
excites interest, but which in fact nobody cares a _sous_ about, though
for the day it sells all the newspapers, and gives employment to every
tongue, till some new occurrence happens to work up curiosity and change
the topic.

In 1788, a very young girl, of the name of Mary Neil, had been
ill-treated by a person unknown, aided by a woman. The late Lord
Carhampton was reported to be the transgressor, but without any proof
whatsoever of his Lordship’s culpability. The humour of Hamilton Rowan,
which had a sort of Quixotic tendency to resist all oppression and to
redress every species of wrong, led him to take up the cause of Mary
Neil with a zeal and enthusiastic perseverance which nobody but the
knight of La Mancha could have exceeded. Day and night the ill-treatment
of this girl was the subject of his thoughts, his actions, his dreams:
he even went about preaching a kind of crusade in her favour, and
succeeded in gaining a great many partisans among the citizens; and, in
short, he eventually obtained a legal _conviction_ of the woman as
accessory to a crime, the _perpetrator_ whereof remained undiscovered,
and she accordingly received, and most justly, sentence of death. Still
Mary Neil was not bettered by this conviction: she was utterly
unprovided for, had suffered much, and was quite wretched. Yet there
were not wanting persons who doubted her truth, decried her former
character, and represented her story as that of an impostor: this,
though not credited, not only hurt the feelings and philanthropy, but
the pride of Hamilton Rowan; and he vowed personal vengeance against all
her calumniators, high and low.

At this time about twenty young barristers, including myself, had formed
a dinner-club in Dublin: we had taken large apartments for the purpose;
and, as we were not yet troubled with _too much_ business, were in the
habit of faring luxuriously every day, and taking a bottle of the best
claret which could be obtained.[18]


Footnote 18:

  One of us, Counsellor Townley Fitgate, (afterwards chairman of Wicklow
  County,) having a pleasure-cutter of his own in the harbour of Dublin,
  used to send her to smuggle claret for us from the Isle of Man: he
  made a friend of one of the tide-waiters, and we consequently had the
  very best wines on the cheapest possible terms.


There never existed a more cheerful, witty, nor half so cheap a
dinner-club. One day, whilst dining with our usual hilarity, the servant
informed us that a gentleman below stairs desired to be admitted _for a
moment_. We considered it to be some brother-barrister who requested
permission to join our party, and desired him to be shown up. What was
our surprise, however, on perceiving the figure that presented itself!—a
man, who might have served as a model for a Hercules, his gigantic limbs
conveying the idea of almost supernatural strength: his shoulders, arms,
and broad chest, were the very emblems of muscular energy; and his flat,
rough countenance, overshadowed by enormous dark eyebrows, and deeply
furrowed by strong lines of vigour and fortitude, completed one of the
finest, yet most formidable figures I had ever beheld. He was very well
dressed: close by his side stalked in a baggy Newfoundland dog of
corresponding magnitude, with hair a foot long, and who, if he should be
voraciously inclined, seemed well able to devour a barrister or two
without overcharging his stomach:—as he entered, indeed, he alternately
looked at us and then up at his master, as if only awaiting the orders
of the latter to commence the “onslaught.” His master held in his hand a
large, yellow, knotted club, slung by a leathern thong round his great
wrist: he had also a long small-sword by his side, adorned by a purple

This apparition walked deliberately up to the table; and having made his
obeisance with seeming courtesy, a short pause ensued, during which he
looked round on all the company with an aspect, if not stern, yet
ill-calculated to set our minds at ease either as to _his_ or _his
dog’s_ ulterior intentions.

“Gentlemen!” at length he said, in a tone and with an air at once so
mild and courteous, nay, so polished, as fairly to give the lie, as it
were, to his gigantic and threatening figure: “Gentlemen! I have heard
with very great regret that some members of this club have been so
indiscreet as to calumniate the character of Mary Neil, which, from the
part I have taken, I feel identified with my own: if any gentleman
present hath done so, I doubt not he will now have the candour and
courage to avow it.—_Who_ avows it?” The dog looked up at him again: he
returned the glance; but contented himself, for the present, with
patting the animal’s head, and was silent: so were we. He repeated,
“_Who_ avows it?”

The extreme surprise indeed with which our party was seized, bordering
almost on consternation, rendered all _consultation_ as to a reply out
of the question; and never did I see the old axiom, that “what is every
body’s business is nobody’s business,” more thoroughly exemplified. A
few of the company whispered each his neighbour, and I perceived one or
two steal a fruit-knife under the table-cloth, in case of extremities;
but no one made any reply. We were eighteen in number; and as neither
would or could answer for the others, it would require eighteen replies
to satisfy the giant’s single query; and I fancy some of us _could not_
have replied to his satisfaction, and stuck to the truth into the

He repeated his demand (elevating his tone each time) thrice: “Does any
gentleman avow it?” A faint buzz now circulated round the room, but
there was no _answer_ whatsoever. Communication was cut off, and there
was a dead silence: at length our visitor said, with a loud voice, that
he must suppose, _if_ any _gentleman_ had made observations or
assertions against Mary Neil’s character, he would have had the
_courage_ and spirit to avow it: “therefore,” continued he, “I shall
take it for granted that my information was erroneous; and, in that
point of view, I regret having _alarmed_ your society.” And, without
another word, he bowed three times very low, and retired backward toward
the door, (his dog also backing out with equal politeness,) where, with
a parting salute doubly ceremonious, Mr. Rowan ended this extraordinary
interview. On the first of his departing bows, by a simultaneous
impulse, we all rose and returned his compliments, almost touching the
table with our noses, but still in profound silence; which bowing on
both sides was repeated, as I have said, till he was fairly out of the
room. Three or four of the company then ran hastily to the window to be
_sure_ that he and the dog were clear off into the street; and no sooner
had this satisfactory _dénouement_ been ascertained, than a general roar
of laughter ensued, and we talked it over in a hundred different ways:
the whole of our arguments, however, turned upon the question “which had
behaved the _politest_ upon the occasion?” but not one word was uttered
as to which had behaved the _stoutest_.

This spirit of false chivalry, which took such entire possession of
Hamilton Rowan’s understanding, was soon diverted into the channels of
political theory; and from the discussion of general politics, he
advanced blindly, but I really believe with the best intentions, to the
contemplation of sedition. His career in this respect was short:—he was
tried and convicted of circulating a factious paper, and sentenced to a
heavy fine and a long imprisonment, during which, political charges of a
much more serious nature were arrayed against him. He fortunately
escaped from prison to the house of Mr. Evans, of Portranne, near
Dublin, and got off in a fishing-boat to France, where, after numerous
dangers, he at length arrived safely.—Mr. Rowan subsequently resided
some years in America, in which country he had leisure for reflection,
and saw plainly the folly and mischief of his former conduct. The
government found that his contrition was sincere: he eventually received
his Majesty’s free pardon; and I have since seen him and his family at
the Castle drawing-rooms in dresses singularly splendid, where they were
well received by the Viceroy and by many of the nobility and gentry: and
people should consider that his Majesty’s free pardon for political
offences is always meant to _wipe away_ every injurious feeling from his
subjects’ recollection:—where the error was unaccompanied by any moral
crime, it left _no_ stigma whatever on private character.

The mention of Mr. Rowan reminds me of an anecdote of a singular nature,
extremely affecting, and which at the time was the subject of much
conversation: and as a connexion was alleged to exist between him and
the unfortunate gentleman to whom it relates, (which connexion had
nearly proved fatal to Mr. Rowan,) I consider this not an inappropriate
place to allude to the circumstance.

Mr. Jackson, an English clergyman, who had come over to assist in
organising a revolution in Ireland, had been arrested in that country,
tried, and found guilty of high treason in corresponding with the enemy
in France. I was in court when Mr. Jackson was brought up to receive
sentence of death; and I believe whoever was present must recollect it
as one of the most touching and uncommon scenes which appeared during
that eventful period.

He was conducted into the usual place where prisoners stand to receive
sentence. He was obviously much affected as he entered; his limbs seemed
to totter, and large drops of perspiration rolled down his face. He was
supposed to _fear death_, and to be in great terror. The judge began the
usual admonition before he pronounced sentence: the prisoner seemed to
regard it but little, appearing abstracted by internal agony. This was
still attributed to apprehension: he covered his face, and seemed
sinking: the judge paused—the crowd evinced surprise—and the sheriff, on
examination, declared the prisoner was _too ill_ to _hear_ his sentence.
Meanwhile, the wretched culprit continued to droop: and at length, his
limbs giving way, he fell! A visitation so unexampled created a great
sensation in the court: a physician was immediately summoned, but too
late; Jackson had eluded his sentence, and was no more.

It was discovered that, previous to his coming into Court, he had taken
a large quantity of arsenic and aqua-fortis mixed in tea. No judgment of
course was pronounced against him. He had a splendid funeral: and, to
the astonishment of Dublin, it was thoughtlessly attended by some
members of parliament and barristers!

It is a singular but a true observation, that I was always on friendly,
nay intimate, terms with many leading persons of the two most hostile
and intolerant political bodies that could possibly exist together in
one country; and in the midst of the most tumultuous and bloody scenes,
I did not find that I had an enemy. It is nearly unaccountable, that my
attachment to the government, and my activity in support of it, yet
placed me in no danger from its inveterate enemies:—and in several
instances I was sought as mediator between the rebels and Lord Kilwarden
(then attorney-general).[19] Now he is no more, it is but justice to
say, that of all the law officers and official servants of the Crown I
ever had communication with, the most kind-hearted, clement, and
honourable, was he whose manners and whose name conveyed a different
impression. I know that he had been solicited to take some harsh
measures as to the barristers who attended Jackson’s funeral; and though
he might have been colourably justified in doing so, he said “that both
the honour of his profession and the feelings of his own mind prevented
him from giving publicity to, or stamping as a crime, what he was sure
in its nature could only be inadvertency.”


Footnote 19:

  He was at that time Mr. Wolfe. An information _ex officio_ had been
  filed against a printer in Cork for a seditious newspaper: it turned
  out that the two Counsellors Sheers were the real editors. They begged
  of me to mediate with the attorney-general. He had always a strong
  feeling for the honour and character of his profession, and forgave
  all parties, on conditions which I all but _vouched for_, but to which
  they certainly did not adhere.



An Irish peasant cutting his own head off _by mistake_—His reputed
  ghost—Humours of an Irish _Wake_—_Natural_ deaths of the Irish
  peasantry—Reflections on the Excise laws.

Among my memorandums of singular incidents, I find one which even now
affords me as much amusement as such a circumstance can possibly admit
of: and as it is, at the same time, highly characteristic of the people
among whom it occurred, in that view I relate it. A man _decapitating
himself by mistake_ is indeed a _blunder_ of true Hibernian


Footnote 20:

  This anecdote has been termed “_fabulous_” by some of the sapient
  periodical critics, and a “_bounce_” by others. “’Tis quite
  impossible,” say the scribblers, “for any man to cut _his own_ head
  off.” This no doubt singular decapitation, however, happens to be a
  well known and comparatively recent _fact_; and if either of the
  aforesaid sceptics will be so obliging as to try the same species of
  guillotine that Ned did at the Barrow water, he may, with the greatest
  facility, get rid of, probably, the _thickest_ and _heaviest_ article
  belonging to him.

  The Emperor of Morocco, it is said, to convince his subjects what an
  easy matter decapitation was, and what an uncertain tenure a head has
  in his dominions, used to cut off the head of a jack-ass every morning
  with one back stroke of his sabre. Should his copper-coloured Majesty
  honour England with his august presence, to be feasted, fire-worked,
  and subsidised like Don Miguel the First, what noble practice at
  decapitation, in the absence of his _jack-asses_, he might have in
  London among the periodical _scribblers_—without doing much injury to
  the _animals_ themselves, and none at all either to the “Société des
  lettres,” or what is called in England the “discerning public.”


I think it was in or about the year 1796, a labourer dwelling near the
town of Athy, County Kildare (where my mother then resided), was walking
with his comrade up the banks of the Barrow to the farm of a Mr.
Richardson, on whose meadows they were employed to mow; each, in the
usual Irish way, having his scythe loosely wagging over his shoulder.
Lazily lounging close to the bank of the river, they espied a salmon
partly hid under the bank. It is the nature of this fish that, when his
_head_ is concealed, he fancies no one can see his _tail_ (there are
many wise-acres in the world, besides the salmon, of the same way of
thinking). On the present occasion the body of the fish was visible.

“Oh! Ned—Ned, dear!” said one of the mowers, “look at that big fellow
there: it is a pity we ha’nt no _spear_, now, isn’t it?”

“Maybe,” said Ned, “we could be after piking the _lad_ with the

“True for you!” said Dennis: “the spike of yeer handle is longer nor
mine; give the fellow a _dig_ with it at any rate.”

“Ay, will I,” returned the other: “I’ll give the lad a _prod_ he’ll
never forget any how.”

The spike and their sport was all they thought of: but the _blade_ of
the scythe, which hung over Ned’s shoulders, never came into the
contemplation of either of them. Ned cautiously looked over the bank;
the unconscious salmon lay snug, little imagining the conspiracy that
had been formed against his tail.

“Now hit the lad smart!” said Dennis: “there, now—there! rise your fist:
now you have the boy! now, Ned—success!—success!”

Ned struck at the salmon with all his might and main, and that was not
trifling. But whether “the boy” was piked or not never appeared; for
poor Ned, bending his neck as he struck at the salmon, placed the
vertebræ in the most convenient position for unfurnishing his shoulders;
and his head came tumbling splash into the Barrow, to the utter
astonishment of his comrade, who could not conceive _how_ it could _drop
off_ so suddenly. But the next minute he had the consolation of seeing
the head attended by _one of his own ears_, which had been most
dexterously sliced off by the same blow which beheaded his comrade.

The head and ear rolled down the river in company, and were picked up
with extreme horror at a mill-dam, near Mr. Richardson’s, by one of the
miller’s men.

“Who the devil does this head belong to?” exclaimed the miller.—“Oh

“Whoever _owned_ it,” said the man, “had _three_ ears, at any rate,
though they don’t _match_.”

A search being now made, Ned’s headless body was discovered lying half
over the bank, and Dennis in a swoon, through fright and loss of blood,
was found recumbent by its side. The latter, when brought to himself,
(which process was effected by whisky,) recited the whole adventure. The
body was attended to the grave by a numerous assemblage of Ned’s
countrymen; and the custom of carrying scythes carelessly very much
declined. Many accidents had happened before from that cause, and the
priest very judiciously told his flock, after the _de profundis_, that
Ned’s _misfortune_ was a “devil’s judgment” for his negligence, whereby
he had hurt a child a day or two before.

From that time none of the country-people would on any occasion go after
dark to the spot where the catastrophe happened, as they say the doctor
stole the head to _natomise_ it; which fact was _confirmed_ by a man
without any head being frequently seen by the _women and children_ who
were occasionally led to pass the moat of Ascole, not three miles from
Athy, in the night-time; and they really believed the apparition to be
no other than the ghost of poor Ned Maher looking every where for his
head that the doctor had made away with.[21]


Footnote 21:

  This is only mentioned as indicative of the singular flow of ideas of
  the Irish peasantry. The most serious and solemn events are frequently
  converted by them into sources of humour and of comic expression that
  altogether banish any thing under the head of gravity.

  The lower orders are never half so happy as at a _wake_—when they can
  procure candles, punch, a piper, and tobacco, to enable them to sit
  and smoke round a human corpse! No matter what death it _suffered_, or
  disorder it died of (except indeed the _bite of a mad dog_). Their
  hilarity knows no limits; their humorous phrases and remarks flow in a
  constant stream of quaint wit and pointed repartee, but not in the
  style or tone of any other people existing. The _wake_ is also their
  usual place of _match-making_; and the _marriages_ or _misfortunes_ of
  the ladies are generally decided on “_going home from the wake_.”

  The _cheerfulness_ of _the wake_, however, is intermitting:—every hour
  or two the most melancholy _howling_ that human voices could raise is
  set up by the _keeners_, and continued long enough to give the
  recurrence to mirth and fun increased excitement. These _keeners_, or
  mourners, are a set of old women, who practise for general use the
  most lachrymose notes, high and low, it is possible to conceive—which
  they turn into a sort of song (without words), at one time sinking
  into the deepest and most plaintive strains, then, on a sudden, raised
  into a howl, loud, frightful, and continued nearly to a shriek; and
  then in long notes descending in a tone of almost supernatural

  They say that this is mimicking _wicked_ souls “undergoing their
  punishment in _purgatory_,” and is used as a _defiance_ to the
  _devil_, and to show him that the _corpse they_ are _waking_ does not
  care a “mass for him.” But then, they never trust the corpse to be
  left _alone_, because _it_ could make no resistance to Belzebub if he
  came for it; and a priest always remains in the room to guard the
  body, if the _keeners_ should happen to go away.

  If you ask a country fellow how he can be so _merry_ over a “_dead

  “Ough! plase your honour,” he will probably reply, “why shouldn’t we
  be merry when there’s a _good corpse_ to _the fore_?”

  “What do you mean?”

  “_Mane_ is it?—fy, sure enough, your honour, Father Corcoran says (and
  the devil so good a _guess_ in the town-land) that after the month’s
  _mind_ is over, Tom Dempsey, the _corpse_, will be happier nor any of
  us.—Ough! your honour! hell to the rap of tythe-cess or hearth-money,
  he’ll have to pay proctor nor parson!—There’s many a _boy_ in the
  parish, plase your honour, would not object to be Tom Dempsey, the
  corpse, fresh and fasting, this blessed morning!”

  If you begin to reason with him, he will perhaps say—“Why, plase your
  honour, sure it’s only his _corpse_ that’s _corpsed_;—after the
  _masses_ he’ll be out of pain, and better off nor any gentleman in
  this same county, except our own _landlord_, God bless him _up_ or

  If you seem to think the defunct’s _family_ will be unhappy in
  consequence of his death—

  “Oh, plase your honour! Tom was a good frind, sure enough, and whilst
  there’s a shovel and sack in the neighbourhood his family won’t be let
  to want nothing any how.”

  “But his poor wife?”

  “Ough! then it’s she that’s sorry for poor Tom, your honour! Whilst
  the _keeners_ were washing and stretching the corpse, and she crying
  her eyes out of her head—oh, the cratur!—Father Corcoran whispered all
  as one as a mass, and plenty of comfort into Mrs. Dempsey’s own ear,
  cheek by jowl, and by my sowl the devil a drop of a tear came out of
  her afterward, plase your honour!”

  What is termed the _Irish cry_, is _keening_ on an _extensive scale_,
  and is perhaps the most terrific _yell_ ever yet practised in any

  It is used in processions on the roads, as the people are carrying a
  dead body to its place of interment—and occasionally, on any great
  misfortune where the lamentation should be general.

  If there are twenty thousand persons in a procession, they all set up
  the same cry as the _keeners_, but a hundred times more horrid and
  appalling. It may be heard many miles from the spot.

  One mode formerly of _raising the people_ in the least possible time,
  was the carrying a coffin under pretence of a burial. The procession,
  which sets out probably with only a dozen persons, amounts in the
  course of an hour to some twenty thousand. When once the yell is set
  up, every person within hearing is expected immediately to join the
  corpse by the shortest road—scampering across fields, ditches, &c.; so
  that, as the numbers increase, the roar becomes more tremendous, and
  answers better than a hundred bells in bringing a population together.

  It is usual for every man, woman, and child to pick up a stone or two,
  as they go along, and throw them into a heap, which tradition
  sometimes marks out as the site of some remarkable battle, murder, &c.

  The above plan was occasionally resorted to by the insurgents in the
  year 1798; and there can be no doubt, if they all set out with
  processions at one hour of any given day, that it would be a
  tremendous species of muster for such a people as the Irish, who are
  as little known or understood by the generality of the _English_, as
  the Cossacks.

  This cry certainly is not calculated to excite so great a _variety_ of
  passions as Mr. Dryden attributes to the music at Alexander’s Feast.
  But I will venture to assert, that if his Macedonian Majesty had been
  ever so tipsy, and thoroughly bent upon ever so much mischief, one
  sudden, _thundering_ burst of the Irish cry in his banqueting-room
  would have quickly brought Alexander and all his revellers to their
  senses—rendered their heels as light as their heads—and _Miss Thais_
  would have been left by her lover to the protection of _Captain Rock_
  and his _merry men_.

  I believe the very best of our composers would find it rather
  difficult to set the Irish cry to _music_—though by the _new light_,
  every noise whatsoever must be a _note_ or _half a note_; and it is
  reported that Mr. Moore and Sir John Stephenson used their joint and
  several efforts to turn this national cry into _melody_, but without
  success. I cannot see why such able persons should fail on so
  interesting a composition. There are plenty of notes in it whole and
  half, sharp, flat, and natural;—sufficient to compose any piece of
  music. It is only therefore to select the best among them
  scientifically; put an “andante affettuoso” in front; then send it to
  a barrel organ-builder;—and no doubt it would grind out to the entire
  satisfaction of the whole Irish population.


This leads me to a digression more important. The superstition of the
lower orders of Irish, when death occurs in any peculiar manner, is
superlative. In truth, the only three kinds of death they consider as
_natural_ are, dying quietly in their own cabins;—being hanged, about
the assize-time;—or starving when the potato crop is deficient. All
these they regard as matters of course; but any other species of
dissolution is contemplated with much horror; though, to be sure, they
make no very strong objection to being shot at by a regular army. They
say their “fathers and forefathers before them were always _used_ to
_that same_;” and all they expect in such case is, that there should be
some sort of reason for it, which they themselves frequently furnish.
But those manslaughters which occur through the activity of the
revenue-officers in prevention of distillation, they never can reconcile
themselves to, and never forgive. They cannot understand the _reason_
for this at all, and treasure up a spirit of savage revenge to the last
day of their lives against excisemen.[22]

An ignorant poor cottager says to his landlord, naturally enough, “Ough!
then isn’t it mighty odd, plase your honour, that we are not hindered
from _eating_ oats, whenever we can _get any_? but if we attempt to
_drink_ them, by J——s, we are kilt and battered and shot and burned out
like a parcel of dogs by the _excisemen_, that’s twice greater rogues
nor we are, plase your honour.”

In truth it is to be lamented that this distinction between solids and
fluids should not be better reconciled to the common sense of the
peasantry, or be somehow regulated so as to prevent perpetual resort to
that erroneous system of mountain warfare and revenue bloodshed, which
ever has kept, and ever will keep, whole districts of Ireland in a state
of excitement and distraction. I know that I speak the sentiments of
some of his Majesty’s enlightened Ministers on this subject.


Footnote 22:

  To the imperfection of the excise laws, and the totally erroneous
  system of licensing public houses, (as to numbers, qualifications, and
  police regulations respecting them,) is greatly to be attributed the
  increase of crime of late years.

  An unconnected and independent board, for the exclusive purpose of
  granting licenses and registering complaints; convenient and
  responsible country branches, and monthly reports, would tend much to
  produce sobriety, and check those drunken conspiracies, the common
  sources of robbery and murder. _Punishment_ rather than _prevention_
  is the greatest error a police can fall into.


                            FATHER O’LEARY.

Humorous story of Father O’Leary and a bear—Mistaken notions respecting
  Ireland on the Continent—Lord Ventry and his tenant: an anecdote
  characteristic of the Irish peasant.

I frequently had an opportunity of meeting at my father-in-law’s, Mr.
Grogan’s, where he often dined, a worthy and celebrated priest, Father
O’Leary;—and have listened with great zest to anecdotes which he used to
tell with a quaint yet spirited humour quite unique. His manner, his
air, his countenance, all bespoke wit, talent, and a good heart. I liked
his company excessively, and have often regretted I did not cultivate
his acquaintance more, or recollect his witticisms better: but I was
then young, not a public person, and somewhat out of his line in
society. It was singular, but it was fact, that even before Father
O’Leary opened his lips, a stranger would say, “That is an _Irishman_,”
and at the same time guess him to be a priest.

One anecdote, in particular, I remember his relating with singular
animation. Coming from St. Omer, he told us, he stopped a few days to
visit a brother priest in the town of Boulogne sur Mer (who lives there
still). Here he heard of a great curiosity which all the people were
running to see,—a curious _bear_ that some fishermen had taken at sea
out of a wreck; it had sense, and attempted to utter a sort of lingo
which they called _patois marine_, but which nobody understood.

O’Leary gave his six sous to see the wonder, which was shown at the port
by candle-light, and was a very odd kind of animal, no doubt. The bear
had been taught a hundred tricks, all to be performed at the keeper’s
word of command. It was late in the evening when O’Leary saw him, and
the bear seemed sulky: the keeper, however, with a short spike at the
end of a pole, made him move about briskly. He marked on sand what
o’clock it was with his paw, and distinguished the men and women in a
very comical way; in fact, our priest was quite diverted. The beast at
length grew tired; the keeper hit him with the pole; he stirred a
little, but continued quite sullen: his master coaxed him—no! he would
not work! At length, the brute of a keeper gave him two or three sharp
pricks with the goad, when he roared out most tremendously, and rising
on his hind legs, cursed his tormentor in very good Irish. O’Leary went
immediately to the mayor, whom he informed that the blackguards of
fishermen had sewed up a poor Irishman in a bear-skin, and were showing
him for six sous! This civic dignitary, who had himself seen the bear,
would not believe it: at last O’Leary prevailed on him to accompany him
to the room. On their arrival the bear was still upon duty; and O’Leary,
stepping up to him, says, “_Gand e tha hawn, Pat?_” (How do you do,
Pat?)—“_Slonger a mahugouthe_,” (Pretty well, thank’ee,) says the bear.
The people were surprised to hear how plainly he spoke: but the mayor
directly ordered him to be ripped up; and after some opposition and a
good deal of difficulty, Pat stepped forth (stark naked) out of the
bear-skin wherein he had been fourteen or fifteen days most cleverly
stitched. The women made off; the men stood astonished; and the mayor
ordered the keepers to be put in gaol unless they _satisfied_ the bear
and the authorities, which was presently done. The bear afterward told
O’Leary that he was very well fed, and did not care much about the
clothing, only they worked him too hard. The fishermen had found him at
sea on a hen-coop, which had saved him from going to the bottom with a
ship wherein he had a little venture of dried cod from Dungarvon, and
which was bound from Waterford to Bilboa. He could not speak a word of
any language but Irish, and had never been at sea before. The fishermen
had brought him in, fed him well, and endeavoured to repay themselves by
showing him as a curiosity.

O’Leary’s mode of telling this story was quite admirable. I never heard
any anecdote (and I believe this one to have been true) related with so
much genuine drollery, which was enhanced by his not changing a muscle
himself, while every one of his hearers was in a paroxysm of laughter.

Another anecdote he used to give, though dry enough in itself, with
incomparable dramatic humour. By-the-bye, all his stories were in some
way _national_; and this affords me occasion to remark, that I think
Ireland is at this moment nearly as little known on many parts of the
continent as it seems to have been then. I have myself heard it more
than once spoken of in Brittany as an _English town_.

At Nancy, where Father O’Leary, as he told us, was travelling, his
native country happened to be mentioned; when one of the _société_, a
quiet French farmer of Burgundy, asked in an unassuming tone, “If
Ireland stood _encore_?”—“_Encore!_” said an astonished John Bull, a
courier coming from Germany, “_encore!_ to be sure she does: _we have_
her yet, I assure you, Monsieur.”—“Though neither very safe nor very
sound,” interposed an officer of the Irish brigade, who happened to be
present, looking over significantly at O’Leary, and not very
complacently at the courier.—“And pray, Monsieur,” rejoined the John
Bull to the Frenchman, “why _encore_?”—“Pardon, Monsieur,” replied the
Frenchman, “I heard it had been worn out, (_fatigué_) long ago by the
great number of people that were living in it!”

The fact was (I believe it not at all exaggerated), the Frenchman had
been told, and really understood, that Ireland was a large _house_ where
the English were wont to send their idle vagabonds, and from whence they
were drawn out again as they were wanted to fill the ships and army:—and
(I speak this from my own personal knowledge,) in some interior parts of
the continent the existence of Ireland, _as a kingdom_, is totally
unknown; it is at best considered as about a match for Jersey, or some
other little island. On the sea-coasts they are better informed. This
need not surprise us, when we have heard of a native of St. Helena
formerly, (who never had been out of the island,) who seriously asked an
English officer “If there were many _landing-places_ in _England_?” This
may be a _standing jest_, but it is highly _illustrative_.

Some ideas of the common Irish are so strange, and uttered so
unconsciously, that in the mouths of any other people they might be
justly considered profane. In those of my countrymen, however, such
expressions are _idiomatic_, and certainly spoken without the least idea
of _profanity_.

The last Lord Ventry was considered, before his father’s death, the
oldest heir-apparent in the Irish Peerage, to which his father
(originally low enough) had been raised in 1800, in consequence of an
arrangement made with Lord Castlereagh at the time of the Union. He had
for many years been bed-ridden, and had advanced to a _very_ great age
latterly without any corresponding utility: yet little apprehensions
were entertained of his speedy dissolution, and the family were in

A tenant on the estate, the stability of whose lease depended entirely
on the son surviving the father, and who was beginning to doubt which of
them might die of _old age_ first, said seriously to the heir-apparent,
but without the slightest idea of any sort of impropriety either as
respected God or man—

“Ah, then, Master Squire Mullins, isn’t it mighty strange that my poor
ould landlord (Heaven preserve his noble Lordship!) shou’d lie covered
up in the bed all this time past?—I think, plase your honour, that it
would be well done to take his Lordship (Lord bless his honour!) up to
Crow-Patrick, and hold him up there as high as could be—just to _show_
his Lordship a bit to the _Virgin_. For I’m sure and sartin, plase your
honour, if God Almighty hadn’t quite _forgot_ his Lordship, he would
have taken him home to _himself_ long and many a day ago.”

The relation of this anecdote appears to have been ominous, as my Lord
the son was also carried off to his forefathers (if he could _find_
them) a few months after the first edition of this work was published.

The eccentric traits of the genuine Irish character are certainly
wearing fast away; and if some _contemporary_ of by-gone persons and
customs did not take the trouble of recording those traits, they would
be considered (if related in future times) as ridiculous fabrications.

                        DEATH OF LORD ROSSMORE.

Strictures on Dr. Johnson—His biographer, Boswell—False definitions and
  erroneous ethics—Superstition—Supernatural appearances—Theological
  argument of the author in favour of his peculiar faith—Original poetry
  by Miss T * * *—The author purchases Lady Mayo’s demesne, County
  Wicklow—Terrific and cultivated scenery contrasted—Description of the
  Golden Belt of Ireland and the beauties of the above-mentioned
  county—Lord Rossmore—His character—Supernatural incident of a most
  extraordinary nature, vouched by living witnesses, and attendant on
  the sudden death of his Lordship.

It is not pleasant to differ essentially from the general opinions of
the world, and nothing but a firm belief that we are right can bear us
up in so doing. I feel my own fallibility poignantly, when I venture to
remark upon the celebrated personage yclept “the great moralist of

To criticise the labours of that giant of literature I am unequal: to
detract from his ethics is not my object. But it surely savours not of
treason to avow that parts of his Lexicon I condemn, and much of his
philosophy I dissent from.

It is fortunate for the sake of truth that Boswell became Johnson’s
biographer; for, as the idolaters of China devoutly attach a full
proportion of bad qualities to the object of their adoration, so in like
manner has “Bozzy” shown no want of candour as to the Doctor’s failings;
and if he had reflected on the unkind constructions of this wicked
world, his eulogiums would probably have been rendered less fulsome, and
his biography yet more correct.—It could not be more entertaining.

The English language had been advancing gradually in its own jog-trot
way from the days of Bayley to those of Johnson: it travelled over a
plain smooth surface and on a gentle ascent. Every body formerly
appeared to understand each other tolerably well: words were then very
intelligible, and women, in general, found no difficulty in pronouncing
them. But the great lexicographer soon convinced the British people (the
Irish are out of the question) that they had been reading, writing, and
spouting in a starved, contracted tongue, and that the magnificent
_dapimibominus’s_ of the Grecian language were ready in polysyllables to
relieve that wretched poverty under which ours had so long languished.

This noble revolution in letters has made a progress so rapid, that I
found in one essay of a Magazine, a few months ago, no fewer than twenty
words which required me to make as many references to our great Lexicon.

Nobody can deny the miraculous labour which that work must have
required: yet now, when enthusiasm has somewhat abated, and no danger
exists of being clapper-clawed by the Doctor himself, some ungrateful
English grammarians have presumed to assert that, under the gaberdine of
so great an authority, any body is lawfully entitled to coin any
_English_ word he chooses out of any foreign language he thinks proper;
and that we may thus tune up our vocabulary to the key of a _lingua
franca_, an assemblage of all tongues, sounds, and idioms, dead or
living. It has also been asserted, since his decease, that the Doctor’s
logic is frequently false both in premises and conclusion, his ethics
erroneous, his philosophy often unintelligible, and his diction
generally bombastic. However, there are so many able and idle gentlemen
of law, physic, and divinity, amply educated, with pens stuck behind
their ears ready for action, who are much better skilled in the art and
practice of criticism than I am, that I shall content myself with
commenting on one solitary word out of forty thousand, which word not
only bears strongly on my own tenets and faith, but also affects one of
the most extraordinary occurrences of my life.

This comprehensive and important word, (which has upon occasion
puzzled me more than any other in the English language,) is
“_superstition_:”—whereof one of the definitions given by the Doctor,
in his Lexicon, appears to be rather inconsiderate, namely,—“religion
without morality.”—Now, I freely and fully admit that I am
_superstitious_, yet I think it is rather severe and somewhat singular
in the Doctor to admit my religion and extinguish my morality, which I
always considered as marching hand in hand—or, in truth, I thought the
latter should go foremost.

When Dr. Johnson began to learn his own ideas of morality does not
appear (certainly not from his friend Savage):—I suppose not until he
got an honorary degree from the pedants of Oxford. Collegiate degrees in
general, however, work no great reformation, I am inclined to believe,
in morality; at least I am certain that when I became a Doctor of Laws I
did not feel my morals in the least improved by my diploma. I wish the
candid Boswell had mentioned the precise epocha of the Doctor’s
reformation (for he admits him to have been a _little_ wild in his
youth); and then we might have judged under what state of mind he gave
the strange definition of “_religion_ without _morality_.”

For myself, I consider _faith_, grounded on the phenomena of _Nature_,
not the faith of sectarianism or fanaticism, as the true source and
foundation of morality;—and morality as the true source and foundation
of religion.

No human demonstration can cope with that presented by the face of
Nature. What proof so infallible as that the sun produces light and heat
and vegetation?[23]—that the tides ebb and flow—that the thunder
rolls—that the lightning flashes—that the planets shine?[24] Who can
gaze on the vast orb of day without feeling that it is the visible
demonstration of a superior Being, convincing our reason and our senses,
and even the scanty reason of illiterate savages?


Footnote 23:

  The following lines are by Miss M. Tylden, the young poetess whom I
  have before mentioned, and shall again allude to more fully. In my
  humble opinion, there are not fourteen consecutive lines in the
  English language superior in true sublimity both of thought and

              The sun is in the empire of his light,
              Throned in the mighty solitude of heaven:
              He seems the visible Omnipotent
              Dwelling in glory:—his high sanctuary
              Do the eyes worship, and, thereon as if
              Impiety to gaze, the senses reel,
              Drunk with the spirit of his deep refulgence.
              Circle of glory!—Diadem of heaven!
              Cast in the mould of bright eternity,
              And bodying forth the attributes of Him
              Who made thee of this visible world supreme;
              And thou becamest a wonder and a praise,—
              A worship—yea, a _pure idolatry_!
              The image of the glories of our God.

  I look upon the _personification_ of _God_ to be the excess of

Footnote 24:

  The reader may deem it curious to compare the two following
  stanzas—the first graced with the great name of Mr. Addison; the
  second the performance of my accomplished young friend, and extracted
  from her common-place book, without any opportunity given for
  revision.—She is ignorant that I have published a line of hers.

                             ON THE PLANETS.

                  The spacious firmament on high,
                  With all the blue ethereal sky,
                  And spangled heavens—a shining frame!
                  Their great Original proclaim.
                  In Reason’s ear they all rejoice,
                  And utter forth a glorious voice;
                  For ever singing, as they shine,
                  “The hand that made us is divine!”


                             ON THE PLANETS.

           Ye living fires in yon eternal dome,—
           Ye lamps, whose light is immortality,—
           Hung forth in mercy from our Father’s house,
           As beacon-lights to guide us to our God!
           Ye are ordain’d man’s faithful monitors,
           Gazing like heavenly eyes upon our deeds,
           Till guilt is awed, and shrinks beneath your glance.
           Ye bright and visible rewards! held forth
           From God’s high sanctuary, to work in us
           A pure ambition for eternal things,
           And glories which our spirit heaves to grasp!

                                                              M. TYLDEN.


It is foreign from the intention of this work to dilate on theoretical
subjects of any kind: suffice it to say, that the following are simply
my own sentiments, which I must be permitted to retain, and which indeed
nothing on this side the grave can shake.

The omnipotence of the Deity in our creation and destruction—in the
union and separation of our bodies and souls—and in rendering the latter
responsible for the acts of the former,—no Christian denies: and if the
Deity be thus omnipotent in forming, destroying, uniting, separating,
and judging, he must be equally omnipotent in _reproducing_ that spirit
and that form which he originally created, and which remain subject to
his will, and always in his power.

It follows, therefore, that the Omnipotent Creator may at will reproduce
that spirit which he reserves for future judgment, or the semblance of
that body which he created, and which once contained the undecaying
soul. The smallest atom which floats in the sunbeam cannot (as every
body knows), from the nature of matter, be actually _annihilated_: death
consequently only decomposes the materials whereof our bodies are
formed, and the indestructible atoms remain susceptible of
recombination. The Christian tenets maintain that the soul and body must
appear _for_ judgment, and why not _before_ judgment,—if so willed by
the Almighty? The main argument which I have heard against such
appearances tends nearly as much to mislead, as a general disbelief or
denial of Omnipotence—namely, that though this power _may_ exist in the
Deity, he never _would permit_ such spectacles on the earth, to terrify
the timorous, and give occasion to paltering with the credulity of his

It is truly surprising how rational and pious men can resort to the
reasoning of infidels. When we admit the Omnipotence, we are bound
likewise to admit the Omniscience of the Deity; and presumptuous indeed
must that man be who overlooks the contractedness of his own
intellectual vision, or asserts that, because he cannot see a reason for
a supernatural interference, _none_ therefore can exist in the eye of
the Supreme.

The objects of God are inscrutable: an appearance of the departed upon
earth may have consequences which none—_not even those who are affected
by it_,—can either discover or suppose.[25] Can any human wisdom presume
to divine—why man was originally created at all? why one man is cut
short in high-blooming health and youth, and another lingers long in age
and decrepitude? why the best of men are frequently the most
unfortunate, and the greatest villains the most prosperous? why the
heinous criminal escapes in triumph, and the innocent being is destroyed
by torture? And is the production of a supernatural appearance, for the
inscrutable purposes of God, more extraordinary, or less credible, than
these other ordinations of the Deity, or than all those unaccountable
phenomena of _nature_, which are only, as the rising and setting sun,
disregarded by common minds from the frequency of their occurrence?


Footnote 25:

  Nothing in print places my theory in so distinct, clear, and pleasing
  a point of view as Parnell’s Hermit,—a strong, moral, and impressive
  tale,—beautiful in poetry, and abounding in instruction. There the
  Omniscience of God is exemplified by human incidents, and the
  mysterious causes of his actions brought home to the commonest
  capacity. The moral of that short and simple tale says more than a
  hundred volumes of dogmatic controversies!—The following couplets
  appear to me extremely impressive:—

            The Maker justly claims that world he made:
            In this the right of Providence is laid:
            Its sacred majesty, through all, depends
            On using second means to work its ends.
            What strange events can strike with more surprise
            Than those which lately struck thy wondering eyes?
            Yet, taught by these, confess the Almighty just;
            And where you can’t _unriddle_, learn to _trust_.


This is a subject whereon I feel, and always have felt, strongly and
seriously; and hence it is that I have been led into so long an
exordium. I regard the belief in supernatural apparitions as inseparable
from my Christian faith and my view of Divine Omnipotence; and however
good and learned individuals may impugn my reasoning, I have the
consolation of knowing that the bench of bishops, the Pope, the very
best and wisest Doctors in Divinity and Masters of Arts; in fact, all
the collegians and scholars in the universe, can possibly have no better
or _truer_ information upon the subject than myself; that I am as much
in my senses as any of them; and that the Deity has made no sort of
distinction between the intellectual capacity of a bishop and a judge;
the secrets of Heaven being divulged to neither. The judge does justice
to other people, and the bishop does justice to _himself_; but both are
equally ignorant of the mysteries of futurity, and must alike wait until
they pass the dim boundary of this world before they can gain any
_practical_ information as to the next. When a military captain is
ordained a clergyman, (as is somewhat the fashion during the peace
establishment,) does he become one atom wiser or more knowing as to
futurity than when he was in the army?—probably, on the other hand, he
thinks much less about the matter than when standing upon the field of

I would not have the reader imagine that I should be found ready to
receive any idle ghost story which might be told me.—So far contrary, I
have always been of opinion that no incident or appearance, (and I have
expressed as much before in this work,) however strange, should be
considered as supernatural which could in any way be otherwise accounted
for, or referred to natural or human agency.

I will proceed at once to the little narrative thus importantly
prefaced. The circumstances will, I think, be admitted as of an
extraordinary nature: they were not connected with the workings of
imagination; depended not on the fancy of a single individual: the
occurrence was, altogether, both in its character and in its possible
application, far beyond the speculations of man. But let me endeavour to
soften and prepare my mind for the strange recital by some more pleasing
recollections connected with the principal subject of it.

Immediately after the rebellion of 1798, the Countess Dowager of Mayo
discovered a man concealed under her bed, and was so terrified that she
instantly fled from her country residence in the most beautiful part of
County Wicklow: she departed for Dublin, whence she immediately sailed
for England, and never after returned. Her ladyship directed her agent,
Mr. Davis, immediately to dispose of her residence, demesne, and every
thing within the house and on the grounds, for whatever they might
bring. All property in the disturbed districts being then of small
comparative value, and there having been a battle fought at Mount
Kennedy, near her house, a short time previous, I purchased the whole
estate, as it stood, at a very moderate price, and on the ensuing day
was put into possession of my new mansion. I found a house not large,
but very neat and in good order, with a considerable quantity of
furniture, some excellent wines, &c. and the lands in full produce. The
demesne was not extensive, but delightfully situated in a district
which, I believe, for the union of rural beauties and mild uniformity of
climate, few spots can excel.

I have already disclaimed all pretensions, as a writer, to the power of
scenic description or imaginary landscape—though no person existing is
more gratified than myself with the contemplation of splendid scenery.
In saying this, however, I do not mean that savage sublimity of
landscape—that majestic assemblage of stupendous mountain and roaring
cataract—of colossal rocks and innumerable precipices—where Nature
appears to designate to the bear and the eagle, to the boar or
chamois—those trackless wilds which she originally created for their
peculiar accommodation. To the enthusiastic sketcher and the
high-wrought tourist I yield an exclusive right to those interesting
regions, which are far too sublime for my ordinary pencil. I prefer that
luxurious scenery where the art and industry of man go hand in hand with
the embellishments of Nature, where beauty is unaccompanied by
danger,—sublimity has no horrors; and Providence, smiling, combines her
_blessings_ with her _beauties_.

Were I asked to exemplify my ideas of rural, animated, cheering
landscape, I should say—“My friend, travel!—visit that narrow region
which we call the _Golden Belt of Ireland_;[26] explore every mile from
the metropolis to the ‘meeting of the waters:’ journey which side you
please, you will find the native myrtle and indigenous arbutus glowing
throughout the severest winter, and forming the cottage fences, together
with the waving cypress and the sweet acacia.”


Footnote 26:

  That lovely district extends about thirty miles in length, and from
  four to seven in breadth: it commences near Dublin, and ends at a
  short distance beyond Avondale: the soil is generally a warm gravel,
  with verdant valleys, bounded by mountains arable to their summits on
  one side, and by the sea upon the other. The gold mine is on a
  frontier of this district; and it is perhaps the most congenial to the
  growth of trees and shrubs of any spot in the British dominions.


The scenery of Wicklow is doubtless on a minor scale, quite unable to
compete with the grandeur and immensity of continental landscape; even
to our own Killarney it is not comparable; but it possesses a genial
glowing luxury, a contrast and a variety, whereof more elevated
_extensive_ scenery is often destitute. It is small, but it is in the
world: its beauties seem _alive_. It blooms: it blossoms: the mellow
climate extracts from every shrub a tribute of its fragrance; and the
atmosphere, saturated with the perfumes of nature, creates that
delicious medium through which refreshing showers descend to brighten
the hue and revive the odour of the lively evergreen!

I frankly admit myself an enthusiast as to that lovely district. In
truth, I fear I should have been enthusiastic on many points, had not
_law_, the most powerful antidote to all refined enthusiasm, interposed
to check its growth.

The site of my sylvan residence, Drummon, was nearly in the centre of
the Golden Belt, about fifteen miles from the capital;—but owing to the
varied nature of the country, it appeared far more distant. Bounded by
the beautiful glen of the Downs, at the foot of the magnificent
Bellevue, and the more distant sugar-loaf mountain of the Dargle,
Tynnehinch, (where is seated that cottage celebrated for its unrivalled
scenery, and honoured by the residence of Ireland’s first patriot,) the
dark deep glen, the black lake, and mystic vale and rocks of Luggelough,
(that nursery of eagles and of falcons,) contrasted quite magically with
the highly cultivated beauties of Drummon: (the parks, and wilds, and
sublime cascade of Powerscourt, and the newly-created magnificence of
Mount Kennedy, abundantly prove that perfection itself may exist in
contrasts:) in fine, I found myself enveloped by the hundred beauties of
that enchanting district, which, though of one family, were rendered yet
more attractive by the variety of their features; and had I not been
tied to laborious duties, I should infallibly have sought refuge there
altogether from the cares of the world.

One of the greatest pleasures I enjoyed whilst resident at Drummon,
was the near abode of the late Lord Rossmore, at that time
commander-in-chief in Ireland. His lordship knew my father, and, from
my commencement in public life, had been my friend, and a sincere one.
He was a Scotsman born, but had come to Ireland when very young, as
page to the lord lieutenant. He had married an heiress; had purchased
the estate of Mount Kennedy; built a noble mansion; laid out some of
the finest gardens in Ireland; and, in fact, improved the demesne, as
far as taste, skill, and money could accomplish. He was what may be
called a remarkably fine old man, quite the gentleman, and when at
Mount Kennedy quite the _country_ gentleman. He lived in a style few
people can attain to: his table, supplied by his own farms, was
adapted to the viceroy himself, yet was ever spread for his
neighbours: in a word, no man ever kept a more even hand in society
than Lord Rossmore, and no man was ever better repaid by universal
esteem. Had his connexions possessed his understanding, and practised
his habits, they would probably have found more friends when they
wanted them.

This intimacy at Mount Kennedy gave rise to an occurrence the most
extraordinary and inexplicable of my whole existence—an occurrence which
for many years occupied my thoughts, and wrought on my imagination. Lord
Rossmore was far advanced in years, but I never heard of his having had
a single day’s indisposition. He bore, in his old age, the appearance of
robust health. During the viceroyalty of Earl Hardwick Lady Barrington,
at a drawing-room at Dublin Castle, met Lord Rossmore. He had been
making up one of his weekly parties for Mount Kennedy, to commence the
next day, and had sent down orders for every preparation to be made. The
lord lieutenant was to be of the company. Every second week his house
was filled by persons of the highest circle, interspersed with

“My little farmer,” said he to Lady Barrington, addressing her by a pet
name, “when you go home, tell Sir Jonah that no business is to prevent
him from bringing you down to dine with me tomorrow. I will have no
_ifs_ in the matter—so tell him that come he _must_!” She promised
positively, and on her return informed me of her engagement, to which I
at once agreed. We retired to our chamber about twelve; and towards two
in the morning, I was awakened by a sound of a very extraordinary
nature. I listened: it occurred first at short intervals; it resembled
neither a voice nor an instrument; it was softer than any voice and
wilder than any music, and seemed to float in the air. I don’t know
wherefore, but my heart beat forcibly: the sound became still more
plaintive, till it almost died away in the air; when a sudden change, as
if excited by a pang, changed its tone: it seemed _descending_. I felt
every nerve tremble: it was not a _natural_ sound, nor could I make out
the point whence it came.

At length I awakened Lady Barrington: she heard it as well as myself,
and suggested that it might be an Eolian harp; but to that instrument it
bore no similitude: it was altogether a different _character of sound_.
She at first appeared less affected than myself, but was subsequently
more so.

We now went to a large window in our bedroom which looked directly upon
a small garden underneath: the sound, which first appeared descending,
seemed then obviously to _ascend_ from a grass-plot immediately below
our window. It continued: Lady Barrington requested that I would call up
her maid, which I did, and she was evidently much more affected than
either of us. The sounds lasted for more than half an hour. At last a
deep, heavy, throbbing sigh seemed to issue from the spot, and was
shortly succeeded by a sharp but low cry, and by the distinct
exclamation, thrice repeated, of “Rossmore!—Rossmore!—Rossmore!” I will
not attempt to describe my own sensations; indeed I cannot. The maid
fled in terror from the window, and it was with difficulty I prevailed
on Lady Barrington to return to bed: in about a minute after the sound
died gradually away, until all was silent.

Lady Barrington, who is not _superstitious_, as I am, attributed this
circumstance to a hundred different causes, and made me promise that I
would not mention it next day at Mount Kennedy, since we should be
thereby rendered _laughing-stocks_. At length, wearied with
speculations, we fell into a sound slumber.

About seven the ensuing morning a strong rap at my chamber-door awakened
me. The recollection of the past night’s adventure rushed instantly upon
my mind, and rendered me very unfit to be taken suddenly on any subject.
It was light: I went to the door, when my faithful servant, Lawler,
exclaimed, on the other side, “Oh Lord, Sir!”—“What is the matter?” said
I hurriedly: “Oh, Sir!” ejaculated he, “Lord Rossmore’s footman was
running past the door in great haste, and told me in passing that my
lord, after coming from the Castle, had gone to bed in perfect health,
but that about _half-after two_ this morning, his own man hearing a
noise in his master’s bed (he slept in the same room), went to him, and
found him in the agonies of death; and before he could alarm the other
servants, all was over!”

I conjecture nothing. I only relate the incident as unequivocally
_matter of fact_: Lord Rossmore _was absolutely dying at the moment I
heard his name pronounced_! Let sceptics draw their own conclusions:
perhaps natural causes _may_ be assigned; but _I_ am totally unequal to
the discovery.

Atheism may ridicule me: Orthodoxy may despise me: Bigotry may lecture
me: Fanaticism might _burn_ me: yet in my very faith I would seek
consolation. It is in my mind better to believe _too much_ than _too
little_, and that is the only theological crime I can be fairly accused

                           MEMORANDA CRITICA.

Remarks on Lady Morgan’s novel of “The Wild Irish Girl,” &c.—Prince
  O’Sullivan at Killarney—Miss Edgeworth’s “Castle Rackrent”—Memoir of
  Jonathan Clerk—“Florence Macarthy”—Comparison between Lady Morgan and
  Thomas Moore as writers—The author’s knowledge of both—“Captain Rock”
  condemned—The “Irish Melodies” by Moore—The harmonising of them by Sir
  John Stevenson injurious to the national music—Anecdote of Mr. Thomas
  Moore and Mrs. K * * * y.

It is remarkable that the various gradations of habit and society in
Ireland have been best illustrated by two female authors,—the one of
more imaginative, the other of purer narrative powers; but each, in her
respective line, possessing very considerable merit.

Though a fiction not free from some inaccuracies, much inappropriate
dialogue, and forced incident, it is impossible to peruse “The Wild
Irish Girl” of Lady Morgan without deep interest, or to dispute its
claims as a production of true national feeling as well as literary

That tale was the first and is perhaps the best of all her novel
writings. Compared with others, it strikingly exhibits the author’s
_falling off_ from the simple touches of unsophisticated nature to the
_less_ refined conceptions of what she herself styles “fashionable

To persons unacquainted with Ireland, “The Wild Irish Girl” may appear
an ordinary tale of romance and fancy; but to such as understand the
ancient history of that people, it may be considered as a _legend_. The
authoress might perhaps have had somewhat in view the last descendant of
the Irish princes, who did not altogether forget the station of his

O’Sullivan, lineally descended from the King of the Lakes, not many
years since vegetated on a retired spot of his hereditary dominions at
Killarney; and, though overwhelmed by poverty and deprivation, kept up
in his mind a visionary dignity. Surveying from his wretched cottage
that enchanting territory over which his ancestors had reigned for
centuries, I have been told he never ceased to recollect his royal
descent. He was a man of gigantic stature and strength; of uncouth, yet
authoritative mien—not shaming his pretensions by his presence. He was
frequently visited by those who went to view the celebrated lakes, and I
have conversed with many who have seen him: but at a period when
familiar intercourse has been introduced between actual princes and
their subjects, tending undoubtedly to diminish in the latter the sense
of individual respect and distance, so wholesome to royalty, the poor
descendant of the renowned O’Sullivan had no reason to expect much
commiseration from modern sensibility.

The frequent and strange revolutions of the world within the last forty
years, the radical alterations in all the material habits of
society,—announced the commencement of a new era: and the ascendancy of
commerce over rank, and of avarice over every thing, completed the
_regeneration_. But, above all, the loosening of those ties which bound
kindred and families, in one common interest, to uphold their race and
name;—the extinction of that spirit of chivalry which sustained those
ties;—and the common prostitution of the heraldic honours of
antiquity;—have steeled the human mind against the lofty and noble
pretensions of birth and rank; and while we superficially decry the
principles of _equality_, we are travelling toward them, by the shortest
and most dangerous road degeneracy and meanness can point out.

I confess myself to be a determined enemy to the Utopian vision of
political and social equality: in the exercise of justice alone should
the principle of equality be paramount; in any other sense, it never
did, and never can, for any length of time, exist in Europe.

Miss Edgeworth’s “Castle Rackrent” and “Fashionable Tales” are
incomparable in truly depicting several traits of the rather modern
Irish character: they are perhaps on one point a little overcharged;
but, in some parts, may be said to exceed the generality of Lady
Morgan’s Irish novels. Fiction is less perceptible in them: they have a
greater air of reality—of what I have myself often and often observed
and noted in full progress and actual execution throughout my native
country. Nothing is exaggerated: the stories and names are coined, but
the characters and incidents are “from _life_.” The landlord, the agent,
and the attorney of “Castle Rackrent” (in fact every person it
describes) were neither fictitious nor even uncommon characters: and the
changes of landed property in the county where I was born (where perhaps
they have prevailed to the full as widely as in any other of the united
empire) owed, in nine cases out of ten, their origin, progress, and
catastrophe to circumstances in no wise differing from those so
accurately painted in Miss Edgeworth’s narrative.

Though moderate fortunes have frequently and fairly been realised by
agents, yet, to be on the sure side of comfort and security, a country
gentleman who wishes to send down his estate in tolerably good order to
his family should always be _his own receiver_, and compromise any claim
rather than employ an attorney to arrange it.

I recollect to have seen in Queen’s County a Mr. Clerk, who had been a
working carpenter, and when making a bench for the session justices at
the court-house, was laughed at for taking peculiar pains in planing and
smoothing the seat of it. He smilingly observed, that he did so to make
it _easy for himself_, as he was resolved he would never die till he had
a right to sit thereupon: and he kept his word:—he was an industrious
man, and became an agent; honest, respectable, and kind-hearted, he
succeeded in all his efforts to accumulate an independence: he did
accumulate it, and uprightly: his character kept pace with the increase
of his property, and he lived to sit as a magistrate on that very bench
that he sawed and planed.

I will not quit the subject without saying a word about another of Lady
Morgan’s works—“Florence Macarthy,” which, “errors excepted,” possesses
an immensity of talent in the delineation of the genuine Irish
character. The judges, though no one can mistake them, are totally
caricatured; but the Crawleys are _superlative_, and suffice to bring
before my vision, in their full colouring, and almost without a
variation, persons and incidents whom and which I have many a time
encountered. Nothing is _exaggerated_ as to _them_; and Crawley himself
is the perfect and plain model of the combined agent, attorney, and
magistrate—a sort of mongrel functionary whose existence I have
repeatedly reprobated, and whom I pronounce to be at this moment the
greatest nuisance and mischief experienced by my unfortunate country,
and only to be abated by the residence of the great landlords on their
estates. No people under heaven could be so easily tranquillised and
governed as the Irish: but that desirable end is alone attainable by the
personal endeavours of a liberal, humane, and resident aristocracy.

A third writer on Ireland I allude to with more pride on some points,
and with less pleasure on others; because, though dubbed “The bard of
Ireland,” I have not yet seen many literary productions of his on
national subjects that have afforded me unalloyed gratification.

He must not be displeased with the observations of perhaps a truer
friend than those who have led him to forget himself. His “Captain Rock”
(though, I doubt not, well intended), coming at the time it did and
under the sanction of his name, is the most exceptionable publication,
in all its bearings as to Ireland, that I have yet seen. Doctor Beattie
says, in his _Apology for Religion_, “if it does no good, it can do no
harm:” but, on the contrary, if “Captain Rock” does no harm, it could
certainly do no good.

Had it been addressed to, or calculated for, the better orders, the book
would have been less noxious: but it is _not_ calculated to instruct
those whose influence, example, or residence could either amend or
reform the abuses which the author certainly exaggerates. It is _not_
calculated to remedy the great and true cause of Irish ruin—the
absenteeism of the great landed proprietors: so much the reverse, it is
directly adapted to increase and confirm the real grievance, by scaring
every landlord who retains a sense of personal danger, and I know none
of them who are exempt from _abundance_ of it, from returning to a
country where “Captain Rock” is _proclaimed_ by the “Bard of Ireland” to
be an _Immortal Sovereign_. The work is, in fact, _dangerous_: it is an
effusion of _party_, not a remonstrance of _patriotism_. It is a work
better fitted for vulgar _éclat_ than for rational approbation. Its
effects were not calculated on; and it appears to me, in itself, to
offer one of the strongest arguments against bestowing on the lower
orders in Ireland the power of reading. Could reading _Captain Rock_ be
of service to the peasantry?

Perhaps I write warmly myself.[27] I write not however for distracted
cottagers, but for proprietors and legislators; and I have endeavoured
honestly to express my unalterable conviction that it is by encouraging,
conciliating, reattaching, and recalling the higher, and not by
confusing and inflaming the lower orders of society, that Ireland can be
eventually tranquillised.


Footnote 27:

  In my Memoirs of Ireland.


Most undoubtedly Mr. Thomas Moore and Lady Morgan are among the most
distinguished modern writers of our country: indeed, I know of none
(except Miss Edgeworth) who has at present a right to be named with

But I can never repeat too often that I am _not_ a literary _critic_,
although I choose to speak my mind strongly and freely. I hope neither
my friend Moore nor her ladyship will be displeased at my stating thus
candidly my opinion of their _public_ merits: they would perhaps scout
me as an adulator were I to tell them what I thought of their _private_
ones. I dare say some of the periodical writers will announce, that my
telling the world I am a very inefficient critic is mere work of
_supererogation_: at any rate, it must be owned that making the
confession in advance is to the full as creditable as leaving the thing
to be stated for me.

In my rambling estimate of the merits of these two justly celebrated
authors, let me bear in mind that they are of different sexes, and
recollect the peculiar attributes of either.

Both of them are alike unsparing in their use of the bold language of
liberty: but Lady Morgan has improved her ideas of freedom by
_contrasts_ on the European continent; while Thomas Moore has _not_
improved his by the _exemplification_ of freedom in America. Lady Morgan
has succeeded in adulterating her refinement; Thomas Moore has
unsuccessfully endeavoured to refine his grossness: she has abundant
_talent_; he has abundant _genius_; and whatsoever distinction those
terms admit of, indicates, in my mind, their _relative_ merit. This
allowance, however, must be made; that the lady has contented herself
with invoking only substantial beings and things of this sublunary
world, while the gentleman has ransacked both heaven and hell, and “the
half-way house,” for figurative assistance.

I knew them both before they had acquired any celebrity and after they
had attained to much. I esteemed them then, and have reason equally to
esteem them now: it is on their own account that I wish some portion of
their compositions had never appeared; and I really believe, upon due
consideration, they will themselves be of my way of thinking. But let it
be remembered, that my esteem and friendship were never yet increased or
diminished by the success or non-success of any body. Besides, while a
man is necessitated to read much _law_, he cannot read much literature;
and hence I scarcely saw the writings of either until the general buzz
called my attention to them.

I recollect Moore being one night at my house in Merrion Square, during
the spring of his celebrity, touching the piano-forte, in his own unique
way, to “Rosa,” his favourite amatory sonnet: his head leant back;—now
throwing up his ecstatic eyes to heaven, as if to invoke refinement—then
casting them softly sideways, and breathing out his chromatics to
elevate, as the ladies said, their souls above the world, but at the
same moment convincing them that they were completely _mortal_.

A Mrs. K * * * y, a lady then _d’âge mûr_, but moving in the best
society of Ireland, sat on a chair behind Moore: I watched her profile:
her lips quavered in unison with the piano; a sort of amiable
convulsion, now and then raising the upper from the under lip, composed
a smile less pleasing than expressive; her eye softened, glazed,—and
half melting she whispered to herself the following words, which I,
standing at the back of her chair, could not avoid hearing: “Dear,
dear!” lisped Mrs. K * * * y, “Moore, this is not _for the good of my

Almost involuntarily, I ejaculated in the same low tone, “_What_ is not,
Mrs. K * * * y?”

“You know well enough!” she replied (but without blushing, as people
used to do formerly); “how can you ask so silly a question?” and she
turned into the crowd, but never came near the piano again that night.

I greatly admire the national, indeed patriotic idea, of collecting and
publishing the Irish Melodies, so admirably acted on by Mr. T. Moore;
and it were to be wished that some of them had the appearance of having
been written more _enthusiastically_.[28]

Sir John Stevenson, that celebrated warbler, has melodised a good many
of these; but he certainly has forgotten poor Carolan, and has also
_melo-dramatised_ a considerable portion. I think our rants and
planxties would have answered just as well without either symphonies or
chromatics, and that the plaintive national music of Ireland does not
reach the heart a moment the sooner for passing through a crowd of
scientific variations. Tawdry and modern upholstery would not be very
appropriate to the ancient tower of an Irish chieftain; and some of Sir
John’s proceedings in melodising simplicity, remind me of the Rev.
Doctor Hare, who whitewashed the great rock of Cashell to give it a
_genteel_ appearance against the visitation.

As I do not attempt (I ought to say _presume_) to be a literary, so am I
still less a _musical_ critic: but I know what pleases myself, and in
_that_ species of criticism I cannot be expected to yield to any body.

As to my own authorship, I had business more important than writing
books in my early life: but now, in my old days, it is my greatest
amusement, and nothing would give me more satisfaction than hearing the
free and fair remarks of the critics on my _productions_.


Footnote 28:

  I allude to the public trial as to copyright, by Mr. Power, when it
  was stated that Mr. Moore wrote the Melodies for _so much a year_.
  They are certainly very unequal.


I cannot omit one word more, in conclusion, as to Lady Morgan. It is to
me delightful to see a woman, solely by the force of her own natural
talent, succeed triumphantly in the line of letters she has adopted, and
in despite of the most virulent, illiberal, and unjust attacks ever yet
made on any author by mercenary reviewers.

                           MEMORANDA POETICA.

Poets and poetasters—Major Roche’s extraordinary poem on the battle of
  Waterloo—“Tears of the British Muse”—French climax of love—A man’s age
  discovered by his poetry—Evils of a motto—Amorous feelings of
  youth—Love verses of a boy; of a young man—“Loves of the
  Angels”—Dinner verses of an Oxonian—“The Highlander,” a poem—Extracts
  from the poetical manuscripts of Miss Tylden, &c.

There cannot be a juster aphorism than “Poeta nascitur, non fit:” the
paucity of those literary productions which deserve the epithet of
poetry, compared with the thousand volumes of what rhyming authors call
poems, forms a conclusive illustration.

A true _poet_ lives for ever; a _poetaster_, just till a new one
relieves him in the circulating libraries, or on toilets, being used in
private families to keep young ladies awake at night and put them to
sleep in the morning.

There may possibly be _three_ degrees of excellence in true poetry, but
certainly no more. A _fourth_-rate _poet_ is, in my idea, a mere forger
of rhymes; a _blacksmith_ of versification: yet if he minds his prosody,
and writes in a style either “vastly interesting,” “immensely
_pathetic_,” or “delightfully _luxurious_,” he will probably find
readers among the fair sex from fifteen to forty-five: the _measure_ he
adopts is of no sort of consequence, so that it be _tender_.

Major Roche, an Irishman, who in 1815 printed and published at Paris a
full and true hexameter account of the great battle of Waterloo, with
his own portrait emblazoned in the front, and the Duke of Wellington’s
in the rear, must certainly be held to exceed in ingenuity all the poets
and poetasters, great and small, of the present generation.

The alphabetical printed list of subscribers to Major Roche’s poem sets
forth the name of every emperor, king, prince, nobleman, general,
minister, and diplomatist—Russian, Prussian, Austrian, German, Swedish,
Danish, Dutch, English, Irish, Scotch, Hanoverian, Don Cossack, &c. &c.
Such an imperial, royal, and every way magnificent list was in fact
never before, nor ever will be again, appended to any poem, civil,
political, military, religious, or scientific: and as the major thought
very truly that a book so patronised and garnished must be worth vastly
more than any other poem of the same dimensions, he stated that “a few
copies _might still_ be procured at _two guineas_ each.” He succeeded
admirably, and I believe got more money at Paris than any one of the
army did at Waterloo, and I am glad of it.

His introduction of the Duke of Wellington in battle was well worth the
money:—he described his grace as Mars on _horseback_ (new!), riding
helter-skelter, and charging fiercely over every thing in his headlong
course; friends and foes, men, women, and children, having no chance of
remaining perpendicular if they crossed his way; his horse’s hoofs
striking fire even out of the regimental buttons of the dead bodies
which he galloped over! while swords, muskets, bayonets, helmets,
spears, and cuirasses, pounded down by his trampling steed, formed as it
were a turnpike-road, whereupon his grace seemed to fly, in his
endeavours to _catch_ Buonaparte.

I really think Major Roche’s idea of making Lord Wellington Mars was a
much better one than that of making him Achilles, as the ladies have
done at Hyde-Park-Corner. Paris found out the weak point of Achilles,
and _finished_ him: but Mars is immortal; and though Diomed knocked him
down, neither his carcase nor character is a jot the worse. Besides,
though Achilles killed Hector, it certainly was not Lord Wellington who
killed Buonaparte.

A remark of mine which, though of no value, is however rather a curious
one, I cannot omit—namely, that every man who has been in the habit of
scribbling rhyme of any description, involuntarily betrays his _age_ and
decline by the nature of his composition. The truth of this observation
I will endeavour to illustrate by quotations from some jingling couplets
written at different periods of life by a friend of mine, merely to show
the strange though gradual transitions and propensities of the human
mind from youth to maturity, and from maturity to age. I was brought up
at a school where poetry was cultivated, whether the soil would bear a
crop or not: I early got, however, somehow or other, an idea of _what_
it was, which boys in general at that age never think of. But I had no
practical genius, and never set up for it. Our second master, the son of
the principal one, was a parson, and, as he thought, a poet, and wrote a
thing called “The Tears of the British Muse,” which we were all obliged
to purchase, and repeat once a month. In fact, of all matters, prosody
was most assiduously whipped into us.

Love is the first theme of all the poets in the world. Though the French
do not understand that matter a bit better than other folks, yet their
language certainly _expresses_ amatory ideas far more comprehensively
than ours. In talking of love they do not speak of refinement: I never
knew a Frenchwoman tie them together fast: their terms of gradation
are—L’AMOUR _naturel, bien sensible, très fort, à son goût, superbe_:
finishing the climax with _pas nécessaire encore_. (There certainly is a
touch of despondency in the last gradation.) This classing of the
passion with the palate is a very simple mode of defining its varieties.

However, the state of the feelings and propensities of men is much
regulated by the amount of their years (ladies in general stick to their
text longest). In early youth, poetry flows from natural sensation; and
at this period verses in general have much modesty, much feeling, and a
visible struggle to keep in with refinement.

In the next degree of age, which runs quite close upon the former, the
scene nevertheless sadly alters. We then see plain amatory sonnets
turning poor _refinement_ out of company, and showing that it was not so
very pure as we had reason to suppose. Next comes that stage wherein
sensualists, wits, ballad-singers, gourmands, experienced lovers, and
most kinds of poetasters, male and female, give their varieties. All the
organs of craniology swell up in the brain and begin to prepare
themselves for development: this is rather a lasting stage, and gently
glides into, and amalgamates with the final one, filled by satirists,
psalmists, epigrammatists, and other specimens of antiquity and
ill-nature. But I fancy this latter must be a very unproductive line of
versification for the writer, as few ladies ever read such things till
after they begin to wear spectacles. Few persons like to see themselves
caricatured; and the moment a lady is convinced that she ceases to be an
object of _love_, she fancies that, as matter of course, she at once
becomes an object of _ridicule_: so that she takes care to run no chance
of reading to her own mortification till she feels that it is time to
commence _devotee_.

I recollect a friend of mine writing a poem of satire so general, that
every body might attribute it to their _neighbours_, without taking it
to _themselves_. The first edition having gone off rapidly, he published
a second, announcing improvements, and giving as a motto the words of

                  “To hold the mirror up to _Nature_.”

This motto was fatal; the idea of holding up the _mirror_ condemned the
book: nobody would venture to _look into_ it; and the entire impression
is, I dare say, in the act of dry-rotting at the present moment.

One short period is the true Paradise of mortals, that delicious dream
of life, when age is too far distant to be seen, and childhood fast
receding from our vision!—when Nature pauses briefly between refinement
and sensuality—first imparting to our wondering senses what we are and
what we shall be, before she consigns us to the dangerous guardianship
of chance and of our passions!

That is the crisis when lasting traits of character begin to bud and
blossom, and acquire sap; and every effort should _then_ be made to crop
and prune, and train the young shoots, while yet they retain the
principle of ductility.

During that period the youth is far too chary to _avow_ a passion which
he does not fully comprehend, satisfied with making known his feelings
by delicate allusions, and thus contriving to disclose the principle
without mentioning its existence. All sorts of pretty sentimentalities
are employed to this end:—shepherds and shepherdesses are pressed into
the service; as are likewise tropes of Arcadian happiness and
simplicity, with abundance of metaphorical roses with thorns to
them—perfumes and flowers.

A particular friend of mine, who, when a young man, had a great
propensity to fall in love and make verses accordingly, has often told
me his whole progress in both, and says positively that he should
ascertain in a moment a man’s _decimal_ from his versification. He
entertained me one morning by showing me certain memorandums which he
had from time to time made upon this subject, and from which he
permitted me to take extracts, as also from some of his own effusions
which he said he had kept out of curiosity.

It appears that at the age of fifteen he fell in love with a Miss Lyddy
St. John, who was herself a poetess of fourteen, and the most delicate
young _Celestial_ he had ever seen. The purity of her thoughts and
verses filtered all his sentiments as clear as spring water, and did not
leave an atom of grossness in the whole body of them.

Before he left school he wrote the following lines on this young lady,
which he has suffered to stand as the poetical illustration of his


              What sylph that flits athwart the air,
              Or hovers round its favourite fair,
              Can paint such charms to fancy’s eye,
                        Or feebly trace
                        The unconscious grace
              Of her for whom I sigh?


              As silver flakes of falling snow
              Tell the pure sphere from whence they flow,
              So the chaste beauties of her eye
                        Faintly impart
                        The chaster heart
              Of her for whom I sigh.

Lyddy, however, objected to the last line of each stanza, as she did not
understand what he meant by _sighing_ for her; and he not being able to
solve the question, she seemed to entertain rather a contempt for his
intellects, and palpably gave the preference to one of his
schoolfellows—a _bolder_ boy.

In the next stage toward maturity the poet and lover began to know
better what he would be at; and determined to pay a visit to the fair
one, and try if any lucky circumstance might give him a _delicate_
opportunity of disclosing his sentiments and sufferings, and _why_ he
_sighed_ for her.

He unfortunately found that the innocent cause of his torment had gone
on a tour, and that his interview must be adjourned _sine die_: however,
he explored the garden; sat down in all the arbours; walked pensively
over the flower-plats; peeped into her chamber-window, which was on the
ground-floor, and embroidered with honeysuckles and jasmine: his very
soul swelled with thoughts of love and rural retirement: and thus his
heart, as it were, burst open, and let out a gush of poetry, which he
immediately committed to writing in the garb of a lamentation for the
fair one’s absence, and forced under the window-frame of her
bed-chamber; after which he disconsolately departed, though somewhat
relieved by this effort of his Muse.—The words ran thus:



      Ah, where has she wander’d? ah, where has she stray’d?
      What clime now possesses our lost sylvan maid?—
      No myrtle now blossoms; no tulip will blow;
      And the lively arbutus now fades at Croneroe.


      No glowing carnation now waves round her seat;
      Nor crocus, nor cowslip weave turf for her feet;
      And the woodbine’s soft tendrils, once train’d by her hand,
      Now wild round her arbour distractedly stand.


      Her golden-clothed fishes now deaden their hue:
      The birds cease to warble—the wood-dove to coo:
      The cypress spreads wide, and the willow droops low,
      And the noon’s brightest ray can’t enliven Croneroe.


      In the low-winding glen, all embosom’d in green,
      Where the thrush courts her muse, and the blackbird is seen,
      The rill as it flows, limpid, silent, and slow,
      Trickles down the gray rock as the tears of Croneroe.


      Then return, sylvan maid, and the flowers will all spring,
      And the wood-dove will coo, and the linnet will sing—
      The gold-fish will sparkle, the silver streams flow,
      And the noon ray shine bright thro’ the glen of Croneroe.

Nothing very interesting occurred for above two months to our amorous
lyrist, when he began to tire of waiting for the nymph of Croneroe, and
grew fond of one of his own cousins without being able to give any very
particular reason for it, further than that he was becoming more and
more enlightened in the ways of the world. But this family flame soon
burnt itself out; and he next fell into a sort of furious passion for a
fine, strong, ruddy, country girl, the parson’s daughter: she was a
capital housekeeper, and the parson himself a jolly hunting fellow: at
his house there was a _good table_, and a hearty style of joking,—which
advantages, together with a walk in the shrubbery, a sillabub under the
cow, and a romp in the hay-making field, soon sent poor refinement about
its business. The poet became absolutely _mortal_, and began to write
common hexameters. However, before he was confirmed in his mortality, he
happened one day to mention a _sylph_ to his new sweetheart; she merely
replied that she _never saw one_, and asked her mamma privately what it
was, who desired her never to mention _such a word_ again.

But by the time he set out for Oxford he had got tolerably well quit of
all his ethereal visions, celestials, and snow-drops: and to convince
his love what an admiration he had for sensible, _substantial_ beauty,
like hers, he wrote the following lines in a blank leaf of her
prayer-book, which she had left in his way, as if suspecting his


      Refinement’s a very nice thing in its way,
        And so is Platonic regard;
      Melting sympathy too—as the _highfliers_ says—
        Is the only true theme for a bard.
      Then give them love’s phantoms and flights for their pains;
      But grant me, ye gods! _flesh and blood and blue veins_,
            And dear Dolly—dear Dolly Haynes.


      I like that full fire and expression of eyes,
        Where love’s true _materiel_ presides;
      With a glance now and then to the jellies and pies,
        To ensure us good living besides.
      Ye refiners, take _angels_ and _sylphs_ for your pains;
      But grant me, ye gods! _flesh and blood and blue veins_,
            And dear Dolly—dear Dolly Haynes.

I should not omit mentioning here an incident which at the time
extremely amused me. A friend of mine, a barrister, whose extravagant
ideas of _refinement_ have frequently proved a source of great
entertainment to me, was also a most enthusiastic admirer of Mr. Thomas
Moore’s writings, prose and verse. I had read over to him the foregoing
rather “of earthy” composition, to which he listened with a shrug of the
shoulders and a contraction of the upper lip; and I was desirous of
drawing out his opinion thereon by adverting to his own favourite bard.

“Here,” said I, “we have a fine illustration of the natural progress
from refinement to sensuality—the amalgamation of which principles is so
beautifully depicted by Mr. Thomas Moore in his ‘Loves of the Angels.’”

“Your observation is just,” replied my friend: “I cannot conceive why
those elegant amours have been so much carped at—since their only object
is to prove that flesh and blood is in very high estimation even with
the spirituals.”

“What a triumph to mortality!” replied I.

“And why,” continued he, “should people be so very sceptical as to the
_authenticity_ of these angelic love-matches? surely there are no
negative proofs; and are we not every day told by the gravest
authorities that we are bound at our peril to believe divers matters not
an atom more intelligible? For my part, I can’t comprehend why a poet
should not be as credible a witness as a bishop on matters that are
equally and totally invisible to both of them.”

“True,” observed I, smiling; “and the more so, as poets, generally
_residing_ nearer the _sky_ than any other members of society, are
likely to get better information.”

“Ay, poor fellows, ‘on compulsion!’” said my friend, with a
compassionate sigh.—“But,” resumed he, falling in with my tone, “there
is one point which I could have wished that our most melodious of
lyrists had cleared up to my satisfaction—_videlicet_, what _gender_
angels really are of?”

“Very little doubt, by logical reasoning, need exist upon that point,”
answered I: “Mr. Moore represents his angels in the characters of _gay
deceivers_, and those characters being performed by the male sex—_ergo_,
angels must be males. You perceive the syllogism is complete?”

“Ay, ay,” said my friend; “but how comes it, then, that when we see a
beautiful _woman_, we cry out involuntarily, ‘What an _angel_!’”

“The word _homo_ signifies either man or woman,” replied I; “give a
similar latitude to the word _angel_, and you have your choice of sexes!
Divers of the classics, and some of the sculptors, perfectly authorise
Mr. Moore’s delicious _ambiguity_.”

“That,” said my _Moorish_ friend, “is certainly the fact, and most
elegantly has our lyrist handled this question of celestial sexuality:
he has paid the highest compliment ever yet conceived to human beauty,
by asserting that ethereal spirits, instead of taking up with their own
transparent species, prefer the opaque body-colouring of terrestrial
dairy-maids—though fastidious casuists may, perhaps, call that a
depraved taste.”

“No such thing,” replied I; “it is rather a proof of refined and
filtered epicurism. The heathen mythology is crammed with precedents on
that point. Every god and goddess in former times (and the sky was then
quite crowded with them,)——”

“And may be so still,” interrupted my friend, “for any thing we _know_
to the contrary.”

“They played their several pranks upon our globe,” continued I, “without
the slightest compunction: even Jupiter himself frequently became a
trespasser on the honour and peace of several very respectable fleshly
families. The distinction between the spiritual and corporeal is
likewise dexterously touched on by the dramatist Farquhar, who makes one
of his characters[29] exclaim to another, ‘I’ll take her _body_, you her
_mind_: which has the better bargain?’”


Footnote 29:

  _Archer_ in “The Beaux Stratagem.”


“But,” rejoined my friend, “modern sentiment, which brings all these
matters into collision, had not then been invented: now we can have both
in one lot.”

Finally, we determined to consult Mr. Thomas Moore himself upon this
most interesting consideration, agreeing that nobody could possibly
understand such a refined subject so well as the person who wrote a book
about it: we therefore proceeded (as I shall now do) to the next stage
of years and of poetry.

The poet and lover was soon fixed at the university of Oxford, where he
shortly made fast acquaintance with a couple of hot young Irishmen, who
lost no time in easing him of the dregs of his sentimentality, and
convinced him clearly that no _rational_ man should ever be in love
except when he is _drunk_, in which case it signifies little whom he
falls in love with. Thus our youth soon forgot the parsonage, and grew
enamoured of the bottle: but having some lees of poetry still remaining
within him, the classics and the wine set them a fermenting; and he now
wrote drinking-songs, hunting-songs, boating-songs, satires on the
shopkeepers’ daughters, and lampoons on the fellows of Jesus and
Brazen-nose; answered letters in verse; and, in a word, turned out what
the lads called a _genius_.

The reverend private tutor of these young Irishmen wrote one day a
letter to our poet in verse, inviting him to “meet at dinner a few
fellow-countrymen, just arrived.” The tutor was a hard-going old parson,
fond of wine and versification, who had been sent over from Ireland by
the father of the two young men above alluded to, with direction to
“take care that the lads did not fall into the d——d English _morals_,
which would soon turn them into _snow-balls_, and disqualify them ever
after from living in their own _proper_ country and _natural society_.”
These instructions the tutor faithfully acted up to; and the young poet
very much amused the whole party by his humour and turn for rhyming; and
was compelled to swear that he would pay them a _visit_, for a couple of
years, near Belturbet in Ireland, where they would show him what _living
was_. Their father was himself dotingly fond of _poetry_ and the
_bag-pipes_; and was induced to send them to Oxford only to please their
mother’s brother, who was, most _unfortunately_, an _Englishman_.

My friend’s reply to the parson’s invitation was also in verse, and ran
as follows: it was not amiss for a young tipster, and smacked, in some
degree, both of Oxford and “Belturbet.”

                     Please your reverence,—
     When parsons and poets their functions unite,
     And court the old Muses to sing “an invite,”
     The profane and the sacred connected we find,
     And are sure of a banquet to every man’s mind.
     Though on Pegasus mounted, to Bacchus we fly,
     Yet we’ll quaff just like Christians;—our priest tells us why:
     “’Tis _moist_ hospitality banishes sin,
     For the wine-open’d heart lets benevolence in.”
     Then no long canting grace cools our spicy ragout,
     While the impatient champagne bristles up his _mousseu_,
     Which, darting toward heaven, cries “Come, goblets give!
     ’Tis my old Pagan cream teaches Christians to live!”
     Then the pastor and flock quickly empty the bowl,
     And its spirit divides ’twixt the head and the soul.
     Though the Jove of our banquet no eagle can boast,
     We’ll have plenty of “_kites_ flying” all round our host:
     Midst loud peals of laughter, undaunted we’ll sit,
     And for flashes of lightning have flashes of wit:
     Should his reverence perceive that our _spirits_ are _laid_,
     Then hot-pepper’d devils he’ll call to his aid,
     And, all Christians surpassing, as Tantalus, see!
     The more liquor we quaff, still the drier we’ll be!
       But two modes of death sinful mortals should know,
     Break their necks from Parnassus, or drown in Bordeaux;
     And to which of those deaths I am doom’d from on high,
     I’m sure of a parson, who’ll teach me to die.
     Then who can refuse to accept of a dinner,
     Where the host is from Erin—a priest—_saint_[30]—and sinner?

In fact, this same friend of mine, of whose poetry, or rather
versification, I have thus given samples to the reader, is a very
peculiar personage: bred to a profession which he never followed, with
ample means and no occupation, he has arrived at a ripe age without much
increasing his stock of wisdom, or at all diminishing that of his
peculiarity. He told me, he found his standard relief against _ennui_
was invoking the Muses, which by ransacking his ideas and puzzling his
genius, operated as a stimulus to his brain, and prevented that
stagnation of the fluids which our ablest nosologists say is so often
the inducement to suicide. My friend argues that the inexhaustible
variety of passions, propensities, sentiments, and so forth, inherent to
the human frame, and which poets (like noblemen’s fools in days of yore)
have a license for dressing in all colours as they think proper, affords
to the language of poetry a vast superiority over that of prose: which
latter being in its nature but a _hum-drum_ concern, is generally
expected to be reasonably correct, tolerably intelligible, and
moderately decent;—astringent qualifications, which some of our modern
poets appear to have very laudably disregarded.


Footnote 30:

  _St. Ambrose._


My friend, however, observed, that he himself was not enabled to take
other than a limited advantage of this license—inasmuch as he had been
frequently jilted by the Muses, who never would do more than _flirt_
with him; and hence, for want of a sufficient modicum of inspiration, he
was generally necessitated to put up with the ordinary subjects of
verse—such as epigrams, satires, odes on _natal days_, epitaphs on
lap-dogs and little children, translations of Greek songs that he never
saw, and of Italian poetry that had never existed, &c. It was true, he
went on to inform me, he had occasionally flown at higher game in the
regions of poesy; but, somehow or other, no bookseller would publish his
effusions: one said they were too _flat_; another that they were too
_elevated_; a third characterised them as too _wild_ for the critics;
and a fourth pronounced them too _tame_ for the ladies. At length,
however, the true state of the matter was candidly developed by a very
intelligent presbyterian bookseller in the city, who told my friend that
he was quite _too late_ as to _poetry_, with which the publishers were
crammed and the public farcied. Besides, he said, all the poetic
stations in any way productive were already occupied:—for instance, a
Poet Fitzgerald (whom Lord Byron calls “Hoarse Fitzgerald”) had, ever
since the days of the “Rejected Addresses,” been considered as the
writer, reciter, and proprietor of the _fulsome_ line of poetry:—the
amatory, celestial, and horticultural departments had long been
considered the property of Mr. Thomas Moore; and every dactyl or spondee
relating to roses, posies, dew-drops and thorns, grapes, lilies, kisses,
blisses, blushes, angels, &c. would be considered as gross plagiarism,
emanating from any other pen than that of our justly celebrated lyrist;
while, as to historic or Caledonian poetry, Sir Walter Scott had not
left an idea unappropriated for any fresh penman: he had raised an
obscure people to eternal celebrity, by recording their _murders_ in
English versification; and by his “Battle of Waterloo” had proved that
his own Muse, in the department of slaughter, was in a very languishing
state, probably owing to the extraordinary fatigue she had previously

My friend was proceeding to detail further the admonitory conversation
of this honest bibliopole, when I interrupted him by asking, naturally
enough, how he could continue to derive any pleasure from a pursuit in
which he admitted himself to have been so very unsuccessful? to which he
adroitly replied, “On the very same principle that a bad shot may have
just as much amusement as a capital sportsman; perhaps more,—_one_ good
hit being as gratifying to him as twenty to an undeviating fowler.” I
coincided in my friend’s remark, adding, that the same sort of
observation would apply to random jokers as well as rhymesters; and that
I have more than once absolutely envied the inordinate happiness of a
universal punster when he _chanced_ to say any thing that had a symptom
of wit in it.

My friend then, gravely opening his portfolio, selected two of his
productions, which he gave me permission to publish, particularly as one
of them had been most abruptly rejected by an eminent newspaper, and the
other by a magazine of considerable reputation.

The intended Magazine article ran as follows:—but as one of the
_attachés_ was a _northern_ gentleman of the Edinburgh Review, it was
sent back to my friend with what he called a _tantara rara_.

                      THE HIGHLANDER.


     A _sans culotte_ from Caledonia’s wilds,
     Rasp’d into form by Nature’s roughest files,
     Hearing of savoury meats—of monies made—
     Of unsmoked women—and of dexterous trade;—
     Resolved, from sooty cot, to seek a town,
     And to the low-lands boldly stump it down.
     But then, alas! his garb would never do—
     The greasy kilt, bare loins, and tatter’d shoe:
     Yet urged to better food and better fame,
     He borrow’d breeches and assumed a name;
     Then truck’d his kilt, barter’d his motley hose,
     New nail’d his heels, and capp’d the peeping toes.
     His freckled fist a swineherd’s bludgeon wields,—
     His tried companion through the sties and fields,
     (Full many a grunting brawn had felt its sway)
     Now to a _cane_ promoted, helps its master’s way.
     Full fifty bawbees Sandy had in store,
     And piteous tales had raised him fifty more:
     His knife, his pipe, and eke his bawbee bank,
     In Basil pouch hung dangling from his flank:
     No empty wallet on his shoulder floats:
     Hard eggs, soft cheese, tobacco, salt, and oats,
     Cramm’d in one end, wagg’d o’er his brawny chest,
     And what was once a blanket poised the rest:
     Thus wealthy, victuall’d, proud, content, and gay,
     Down Grampian’s sterile steeps young Sandy wound his way.
     Hail food! hail raiment! hail that happy lot
     Which lured such genius from the smoky cot,
     To mingle in the ranks of breeches’d men,
     And coin a name and family again!


     Where fam’d St. Andrew’s turrets tower on high;
     Where frozen doctors lecture, doze, and die;
     Where Knowledge sleeps, and Science seeks repose,
     And mouldering halls more mouldering heads disclose,—
     Where Roman Virgil pipes in Celtic verse,
     And Grecian Homer sings to gods in Erse;—
     ’Twas there that Sandy form’d his worldly creed,
     Brush’d gowns, swept book-shelves, learn’d to shave and read:
     From craft to craft his willing genius rose;
     When cash was scarce he wisely wrought for clothes,
     And threadbare trophies, once the kirkmen’s pride,
     Mickle by mickle swell’d his wallet’s side.
     Well turn’d, well scoured, the rags denied their age,
     While Sandy’s granite visage aped the _sage_.
     Here, great Lavater! here thy science stands
     Confess’d, and proved by more than mortal hands.
     Though o’er his features Nature’s skill we see,
     Her deepest secrets are disclosed through thee.
     The green-tinged eye, curl’d lip, and lowering brows,
     Which malice harrows, and which treachery ploughs,
     In deep sunk furrows on his front we find,
     Tilling the crops that thrive in Sandy’s mind.
     No soft sensations can that face impart;
     No gratitude springs glowing from the heart;
     As deadly nightshade creeping on the ground,
     He tries to poison what he cannot wound.
     Yet Sandy has a most consistent mind,
     Too low to rise, too coarse to be refin’d,
     Too rough to polish, and too loose to bind:
     Yet if * * * * *

On looking over the residue, I conceived that I could not with propriety
continue the publication: were I to proceed five or six lines further,
ill-natured people might possibly (though erroneously) affect to find a
pretence for _designation_, and I should be very sorry to be considered
as capable of becoming an instrument in so improper a procedure. My
friend assured me he did not intend to particularise any individual: I,
however, returned the copy to my portfolio, and subsequently to the
author, mentioning my reasons, and advising him to burn the rest. His
reply to me was laconic—“My dear B * * *, _qui caput ille facit_. If any
man adopts it, ’tis not my fault.”

The other trifle is a mere _jeu d’esprit_, and cannot be disagreeable to
any body, unless it may be taken amiss by some West-Indian proprietor,
whose probable touchiness at the introduction of the word _slavery_ I do
not feel called on to compassionate.


                  _Sir Sidney Smith and Miss Rumbold._

         Says Sidney—“I’ll put all white slavery down;
             All Europe I’ll summon to arms;”
         But fair Rumbold replied—“I’ll reverse _my_ renown,
             For all men shall be slaves to my charms.”

         If thus, lovely champion, that tongue and those eyes
             Can set all mankind by the ears;
         Go—fire off your glances, explode a few sighs,
             And make captive the Dey of Algiers!

         Thus you’ll rival papa both in glory and gains;
         He may conquer the tyrant—you’ll lead him in _chains_.

I cannot conclude these memoranda without adding a few fragments from
some unpublished and nearly unknown works, the production of Miss
Tylden, the amiable young lady to whom I have before introduced the
reader, (see pages 71, 72, 141, 142,) and who commenced versifying at
the early age of fifteen. Her compositions are numerous, and comprise a
variety of subjects and of styles; but, with a natural and becoming
modesty, (though in _her_ case, in my opinion, unnecessary,) she refuses
to submit them to the ordeal of the public. I sincerely hope she may
change her resolution.

                               THE BARD.

        _Extracted from an unpublished Poem, called_ “BOADICEA.”
                          _By Miss M. Tylden._

              Amid those aged sons of song
              One seem’d to tower the rest among:
              For though the heavy hand of Time
              Had somewhat marr’d his youthful prime;
              Though the sunny glow had faded
              On the locks his brow that shaded;
              Stern Time, not ev’n thy icy sway
              Might quench the heaven-enkindled lay
              Which waken’d to achievements high
              Those heroes of antiquity.
              Howe’er it were, from that bright band
              Sadly apart he seem’d to stand,
              And lowly on his harp he leant
              With eye of gloom and eyebrow bent;
              But still, despite his sterner mood,
              By all with reverence he was view’d,
              Such charm of dignity hath age
              When on the brow experience sage
              Hath stamp’d the worth of years that sleep,
              And when the mind hath known to reap
              Harvests of scientific lore,
              And well secured the precious store;—
              When all the stormy dreams of youth
              Fade in the beacon-light of truth;
              When fiery feelings are repress’d,
              The spirit calm’d, the heart at rest!
              Then in the form of age we find
              Somewhat surpassing earthly kind.
              Now forth his harp that minstrel drew,
              And o’er the chords his fingers threw,
              The while beneath their lighter sway
              Murmur’d the scarcely-bidden lay,
              In soft half-warbled cadence stealing
              O’er the melting soul of feeling:—
              But when he caught the transport high
              Which mark’d the kindling melody,
              His upturn’d eye and heaving breast
              The mighty frenzy quick confess’d;
              The sympathetic strings beneath
              A wild inspiring chorus breathe,
              And, borne the lofty halls along,
              Floats high the patriot minstrel’s song:—

       The mildew of time steeps the laurel-bound wreath,
       And the war-sword ingloriously rusts in its sheath,
       Which burst on the foe as the bolt from on high,
       And sprinkled the blood of revenge to the sky.

       The arm is unbraced and the nerves are unstrung
       Of him who in combat that dark weapon swung;
       For the souls of the heroes of loftier days,
       Kindled high in their glory, have sunk in the blaze:

       And the laurels of Britain, droop’d, wither’d and shrunk,
       And her standard of freedom all hopelessly sunk,
       And the sons of the isles, scatter’d thin on the hill,
       Stood forsaken and drooping, but dauntlessly still.

       Ye sons of the brave! is the bold spirit fled
       Which to combat and conquest your forefathers led?
       Oh no! it but sleeps in the souls it should warm,
       The more fiercely to burn in the day of the storm.

       But too long it hath slept: for the hearts of the brave
       Are a country’s best bulwarks to guard and to save:
       Oh then be the lion aroused in each breast,
       Triumphant to conquer, or nobly to rest.

       Be it yours to divulge the dark volume of fate;
       Be it yours to revenge, ere revenge be too late:
       Oh let not the spirit of freedom repose
       Till it visit the wrongs of our land on its foes.

       ’Tis your country that calls; shall that cry be in vain?
       All bleeding she lies in the conqueror’s chain:
       Chiefs! one struggle more, and her freedom is won:
       Let us triumph or die, as our fathers have done.

       Like the lightning of heaven be your arms on the heath,
       Loud, loud ring your shields with the thunder of death:
       As the waves of your ocean rush down to the strife,
       And each stroke be for Britain,—for freedom and life!

             The bard has ceased: the lofty lay
             In long vibrations dies away,
             And melts upon the air around
             Till silence blends away the sound.
             The bard upon each warrior gazed,
             To mark what thoughts his strain had raised.
             The eye that late flash’d high with mirth
             In alter’d cheer now sought the earth;
             The cheek that bright with joy had blush’d,
             Far other feeling now had flush’d.
             It might have seem’d throughout the hall
             (So motionless, so mute were all)
             As though the spirit of the storm
             Had swept along each stately form.
             A moment—and what change was wrought
             In every look and every thought!
             Roused by the breath of life, they seem
             To start at once from their death-like dream;
             A sudden impulse, wild and strong,
             Agitates the moving throng,
             And like the billows of the deep,
             When darkening tempests o’er it sweep,
             In every freeborn heart, that strain
             Concordant echoes roused again!

                  *       *       *       *       *

                       THEATRICAL RECOLLECTIONS.

The author’s early visits to Crow-street Theatre—Interruptions of the
  University _men_—College pranks—Old Mr. Sheridan in “Cato” and in
  “Alexander the Great”—Curious _scene_ introduced, by mistake, in the
  latter tragedy—Mr. Digges in the Ghost of Hamlet’s father—Chorus of
  cocks—The author’s preference of comedy to tragedy—Remarks on Mr. Kean
  and the London moralists—Liston in “Paul Pry”—Old Sparkes—The Spanish
  _débutante_—Irish Johnstone—Modern comedy—The French stage.

From my youth I was attached to theatrical representations, and have
still a clear recollection of many of the eminent performers of my early
days. My grandmother, with whom I resided for many years, had permanent
silver tickets of admission to Crow-street Theatre, whither I was very
frequently sent.

The playhouses in Dublin were then lighted by tallow candles, stuck into
tin circles hanging from the middle of the stage, which were every now
and then snuffed by some performer; and two soldiers, with fixed
bayonets, always stood like statues on each side the stage, close to the
boxes, to keep the audience in order. The galleries were very noisy and
very _droll_. The ladies and gentlemen in the boxes always went dressed
out nearly as for court; the strictest etiquette and decorum were
preserved in that circle; whilst the pit, as being full of critics and
wise men, was particularly respected, except when the young gentlemen of
the University occasionally forced themselves in, to revenge some
insult, real or imagined, to a member of their body; on which occasions,
all the ladies, well-dressed men, and peaceable people generally,
decamped forthwith, and the young gentlemen as generally proceeded to
beat or turn out the residue of the audience, and to break every thing
that came within their reach. These exploits were by no means uncommon;
and the number and rank of the young culprits were so great, that
(coupled with the impossibility of selecting the guilty,) the college
would have been nearly depopulated, and many of the great families in
Ireland enraged beyond measure, had the students been expelled or even

I had the honour of being frequently present, and (as far as in
_mêlée_,) giving a helping hand to our encounters both in the
play-houses and streets. We were in the habit of going about the latter,
on dark nights, in coaches, and, by flinging out halfpence, breaking the
windows of all the houses we rapidly drove by, to the astonishment and
terror of the proprietors. At other times, we used to convey gunpowder
squibs into all the lamps in several streets at once, and by longer or
shorter fuses contrive to have them all burst about the same time,
breaking every lamp to shivers and leaving whole streets in utter
darkness. Occasionally we threw large crackers into the china and
glass-shops, and delighted to see the terrified shopkeepers trampling on
their own porcelain and cut-glass, for fear of an explosion. By way of a
treat, we used sometimes to pay the watchmen to lend us their cloaks and
rattles: by virtue whereof, we broke into the low prohibited
gambling-houses, knocked out the lights, drove the gamblers down stairs,
and then gave all their stakes to the watchmen. The whole body of
watchmen belonging to one parish (that of the round church, St.
Andrew’s) were our sworn friends, and would take our part against any
other watchmen in Dublin. We made a permanent subscription, and paid
each of these regularly seven shillings a week for his _patronage_. I
mention these trifles, out of a thousand odd pranks, as a part of my
plan, to show, from a comparison of the past with the present state of
society in the Irish metropolis, the extraordinary improvement which has
taken place in point of decorum within the last half century. The young
gentlemen of the University then were in a state of great
insubordination;—not as to their learning, but their wild habits:
indeed, the singular feats of some of them would be scarcely credible
now; and they were so linked together, that an offence to one was an
offence to all. There were several noblemen’s sons with their
gold-laced, and elder sons of baronets with their silver-laced gowns,
who used to accompany us, with their gowns turned inside out: yet our
freaks arose merely from the fire and natural vivacity of uncontrolled
youth: no calm, deliberate vices,—no low meannesses,—were ever
committed: that class of young men now termed “dandies” we then called
_macaronies_; and we made it a standing rule to thrash them whenever we
got a fair opportunity: such also as had been long tied to their
“mothers’ apron-strings” we made no small sport with when we got them
clear inside the college: we called them _milk-sops_, and if they
declined drinking as much wine as ordered, we always dosed them (as in
duty bound) with tumblers of salt and water till they came to their
_feeding_, as we called it. Thus generally commenced a young man of
fashion’s novitiate above fifty years ago. However, our wildness,
instead of increasing as we advanced in our college courses, certainly
diminished, and often left behind it the elements of much talent and
virtue. Indeed, there were to the full as good scholars, and certainly
to the full as high-bred, and much more talented gentlemen educated in
the Dublin University then, than in this wiser and more cold-blooded
era. But it has utterly degenerated.

I remember, even before that period, seeing old Mr. Sheridan perform the
part of _Cato_ at one of the Dublin theatres; I do not recollect which:
but I well recollect his dress, which consisted of bright armour under a
fine laced scarlet cloak, and surmounted by a huge, white, bushy,
well-powdered wig (like Dr. Johnson’s), over which was stuck his helmet.
I wondered much how he could kill himself without stripping off the
armour before he performed that operation! I also recollect him
particularly (even as if before my eyes now) playing _Alexander the
Great_, and throwing the javelin at _Clytus_, whom happening to miss, he
hit the cup-bearer, then played by one of the hack performers, a Mr.
Jemmy Fotterel. Jemmy very naturally supposed that he was hit
_designedly_, and that it was some _new light_ of the great Mr. Sheridan
to slay the cup-bearer in preference to his friend _Clytus_, which
certainly would have been a less unjustifiable murder, and that he ought
to tumble down and make a painful end, according to dramatic custom time
immemorial. Immediately, therefore, on being struck, Mr. James Fotterel
(who was the ugliest cup-bearer ever employed by any monarch) reeled,
staggered, and fell very naturally, considering it was his _first
death_; but being determined on this unexpected opportunity to make an
impression upon the audience, when he found himself stretched out on the
boards at full length, he began to roll about, kick, and flap the stage
with his hands most immoderately; falling next into strong convulsions,
exhibiting every symptom of exquisite torture, and at length expiring
with a groan so loud and so long that it paralysed even the people in
the galleries, whilst the ladies believed that he was really killed, and
cried aloud at the misfortune.

Though then very young, I was myself so terrified in the pit that I
never shall forget it. However, Mr. Jemmy Fotterel being dragged off by
the legs, soon re-entered in rude health, and was more applauded than
any Clytus had ever been;—even the slayer himself could not help
laughing most heartily at the incident.

The actresses both of tragedy and genteel comedy formerly wore large
hoops, and whenever they made a speech walked across the stage and
changed sides with the performer who was to speak next, thus veering
backwards and forwards, like a shuttlecock, during the entire
performance. This custom partially prevailed in the continental theatres
till _very_ lately.

I recollect Mr. Barry, who was accounted the handsomest man of his day,
and his lady (formerly Mrs. Dancer); also Mr. Digges, who used to play
the _Ghost_ in “Hamlet.” One night in doubling that part with (I
believe) Polonius, Digges forgot, on appearing as the _Ghost_,
previously to rub off the bright _red_ paint with which his face had
been daubed for the other character. A sprite with a large red nose and
vermilioned cheeks was extremely novel and much applauded. There was
also a famous actor who used to play the _Cock_ that crew to call off
the _Ghost_ when Hamlet had done with him: this performer did his part
so well that every body used to say he was the best _Cock_ that ever had
been heard at Smock-alley; and six or eight other gentry of the dunghill
species were generally brought behind the scenes, who, on hearing him,
mistook him for a brother cock, and set up their pipes all together: and
thus, by the infinity of crowing at the same moment, the hour was the
better marked, and the _Ghost_ glided back to the other world in the
midst of a perfect _chorus_ of cocks—to the no small admiration of the

The distinguishing merits of the old actors I cannot recollect, and
indeed of many of the more modern ones I profess myself but a very
moderate judge. One thing, however, I am sure of;—that, man or boy, I
never admired tragedy, however well personated. Lofty feelings and
strong passions may be admirably mimicked therein; but the ranting,
whining, obviously premeditated starting, disciplined gesticulation,
&c.—the committing of suicide in mellifluous blank verse, and rhyming
when in the agonies of death,—stretch away so _very_ far from nature, as
to destroy all that illusion whereon the effect of dramatic exhibition
in my mind entirely depends. Unless occasionally to witness some very
celebrated new actor, I have not attended a tragedy these forty years;
nor have I ever yet seen any tragedian on the British stage who made so
decided an impression on my feelings as Mr. Kean, in some of his
characters, has done. When I have seen other celebrated men enact the
same parts, I have remained quite tranquil, however my judgment may have
been satisfied: but he has made me _shudder_, and that, in my
estimation, is the grand triumph of the tragedian’s art. I have seldom
sat out the last _murder_ scene of any play except “Tom Thumb,” or
“Chrononhotonthologos,” which certainly are no burlesques on some of our
standard tragedies.

In serious comedy, Kean’s _Shylock_ and _Sir Giles Overreach_, seemed to
me neither more nor less than actual _identification_ of those
portraitures: so much so, in fact, that I told him myself, after seeing
him perform the first-mentioned part, that I could have found in my
heart to knock his brains out the moment he had finished his


Footnote 31:

  Nothing could be more truly disgusting than the circumstance of the
  most ruffianly parts of the London population, under the general
  appellation of a “_British audience_,” assuming to themselves the
  feelings of virtue, delicacy, decorum, morals, and modesty—for the
  sole purpose of driving into exile one of the first performers that
  ever trod the stage of England!—and that for an offence which (though
  abstractedly unjustifiable) a great number of the gentry, not a few of
  the nobility, and even members of the holy church militant, are
  constantly committing and daily detected in: which commission and
  detection by no means seem to have diminished their popularity, or
  caused their reception to be less cordial among saints, methodists,
  legal authorities, and justices of the quorum.

  The virtuous sentence of transportation passed against Mr. Kean by the
  mob of London certainly began a _new series_ of British _morality_;
  and the laudable societies for the “suppression of vice” may shortly
  be eased of a great proportion of their labours by more active
  moralists, (the frequenters of the upper gallery) culled from
  High-street St. Giles’s, the Israelites of Rag-fair, and the Houses of
  Correction. Hogarth has, in his print of “Evening,” immortalised the
  happy state of the horned citizens at his period.


Two errors, however, that great actor has in a remarkable degree: some
of his _pauses_ are so long, that he appears to have forgotten himself;
and he _pats his breast_ so often, that it really reminds one of a nurse
patting her infant to keep it from squalling: it is a pity he is not
aware of these imperfections!

If, however, I have been always inclined to undervalue tragedy, on the
other hand, the great comic performers of my time in Ireland I perfectly
recollect. I allude to the days of Ryder, O’Keeffe, Wilks, Wilder,
Vandermere, &c. &c. &c.

The effect produced by even one singular actor, or one trivial incident,
is sometimes surprising. The dramatic trifle or translation called “Paul
Pry” had a greater run, I believe, than any piece of the kind ever
exhibited in London, though it is a mere _bagatelle_—in itself
_nothing_. I went to see it, and was greatly amused—not by the piece,
but by the ultra oddity of one performer. Put any handsome, or even
human-looking person, in Liston’s place, and take away his _umbrella_,
and Paul Pry would scarcely bring another audience. His countenance
certainly presents the drollest set of stationary features I ever saw,
and has the uncommon merit of being exquisitely comic _per se_, without
the slightest distortion: no _artificial_ grimace, indeed, could improve
his _natural_. I remember O’Keeffe, justly the delight of Dublin: and
Ryder, the best _Sir John Brute_, _Ranger_, _Marplot_, &c. in the world:
the prologue of “Bucks, have at ye all!” was repeated by him four
hundred and twenty-four times. O’Keeffe’s _Tony Lumpkin_, Vandermere’s
_Skirmish_, Wilder’s _Colonel Oldboy_, Wilks’s _Jessamy_, and the
performances of several others in the comic line, came as near nature as
acting and mimicry could possibly approach. There was also a _first
edition_ of _Liston_ as to drollery, on the Dublin stage, usually called
“Old Sparkes.” He was very tall, and of a very large size; with
heavy-hanging jaws, gouty ancles, big paunch, and sluggish motion; but
his comic face and natural drollery were irresistible. He was a most
excellent actor in every thing he could personate: his grotesque figure,
however, rendered these parts but few. _Peachum_, in the “Beggar’s
Opera,” _Caliban_, (with _his own_ additions) in “The Tempest,” and all
bulky, droll, low characters, he did to the greatest perfection. At one
time, when the audiences of Smock-Alley were beginning to flag, Old
Sparkes told Ryder, if he would bring out the afterpiece of “The
Padlock,” and permit him to manage it, he would ensure him a succession
of good nights. Ryder gave him his way, and the bills announced a first
appearance in the part of Leonora: the _débutante_ was reported to be a
Spanish lady. The public curiosity was excited, and youth, beauty, and
tremulous modesty were all anticipated; the house overflowed; impatience
was unbounded; the play ended in confusion, and the overture of “The
Padlock” was received with rapture. Leonora at length appeared; the
clapping was like thunder, to give courage to the _débutante_, who had a
handsome face, and was very beautifully dressed as a Spanish donna,
which it was supposed she really was. Her gigantic size, it is true,
rather astonished the audience. However, they willingly took for granted
that the Spaniards were an immense people, and it was observed that
England must have had a great escape of the Spanish Armada, if the men
were proportionably gigantic to the ladies. Her voice too was rather of
the hoarsest, but that was accounted for by the sudden change of
climate: at last, Leonora began her song of “Sweet Robin”—

                 Say, little foolish fluttering thing,
                 Whither, ah! whither would you wing?

and at the same moment Leonora’s mask falling off, Old Sparkes stood
confessed, with an immense gander which he brought from under his cloak,
and which he had trained to stand on his hand and screech to his voice,
and in chorus with himself. The whim took: the roar of laughter was
quite inconceivable: he had also got Mungo played by a _real_ black: and
the whole was so extravagantly ludicrous, and so entirely to the taste
of the Irish galleries at that time, that his “Sweet Robin” was encored,
and the frequent repetition of the piece replenished poor Ryder’s
treasury for the residue of the season.

I think about that time Mr. John Johnstone was a dragoon. His mother was
a very good sort of woman, whom I remember extremely well. Between fifty
and sixty years ago she gave me a little book, entitled “The History of
the Seven Champions of Christendom,” which I have (with several other
books of my childhood) to this day. She used to call at my
grandmother’s, to sell run muslins, &c. which she carried about her hips
in great wallets, passing them off for a hoop. She was called by the old
women, in pleasantry, “Mull and Jacconot;” sold great bargains, and was
a universal favourite with the ladies. Young Johnstone was a remarkably
genteel well-looking lad; he used to bring presents of trout to my
grandmother, which he caught in the great canal then going on close to
Dublin. He soon went into the army: but having a weakness in his legs,
he procured a speedy discharge, and acquired eminence on the Irish

I never happened to meet Mr. John Johnstone for many years in private
society till we met at dinner at Lord Barrymore’s, in 1812, where Col.
Bloomfield, my old and good-hearted friend Mr. Richard Martin, and
others, were assembled. I was glad to meet the distinguished comedian,
and mentioned some circumstances to him which proved the extent of my
memory. He sang that night as sweetly as ever I heard him on the stage,
and that is saying much.

Mr. Johnstone was a truly excellent performer of the more _refined_
species of Irish characters; but Nature had not given him enough of that
original _shoulder-twist_, and what they call the “_pot-sheen-twang_,”
which so strongly characterise the genuine national _vis comica_ of the
lower orders of Irish. In this respect, Owenson was superior to him, of
whom the reader will find a more detailed account in a future page.

No modern comedy, in my mind, equals those of the old writers. The
former are altogether devoid of that high-bred, witty playfulness of
dialogue so conspicuous in the works of the latter. Gaudy spectacle,
common-place clap-traps, forced dialogue, and bad puns, together with
ill-placed mongrel sentiment, _ad captandum vulgus_, have been
substituted to “make the unskilful laugh,” and to the manifest sorrow of
the “judicious.” Perhaps so much the better:—as, although there are now
most excellent scene-painters and fire-workers, the London stage appears
to be almost destitute of competent performers in the parts of the old
genuine comedy, and the present London audiences seem to prefer
gunpowder, resin, brimstone, musketry, burning castles, dancing ponies,
and German hobgoblins, to any human or _Christian_ entertainments,
evidently despising all those high-finished comic characters, which
satisfy the understanding and owe nothing to the scenery.

In Paris the scenery and orchestra at the first theatre for _acting_ in
the world (the Theatre François) are below mediocrity. But there is
another species of theatrical representation extant in France—namely,
_scriptural_ pieces; half burlesque, half melodrame. These are
undoubtedly among the drollest things imaginable; mixing up in one
unconnected mass, tragedy, comedy, and farce, painting, music, scenery,
dress and undress, decency and indecency![32]


Footnote 32:

  “Samson pulling down the hall of the Philistines” is the very finest
  piece of _spectacle_ that can be conceived!—“Susannah and the Elders”
  is rather too _naked_ a concern for the English ladies to look at,
  unless through their fans: _transparent_ ones have lately been
  invented, to save the expense of blushes, &c. But the most whimsical
  of their scriptural dramas is the exhibition of Noah as a
  _ship-builder_, preparatory to the deluge: it is a most splendid
  spectacle. He is assisted by large gangs of angels working as his
  _journeymen_, whose great solicitude is to keep their wings clear out
  of the way of their hatchets, &c. At length the whole of them _strike_
  and turn out for wages, till the arrival of a body of _gens d’armes_
  immediately brings them to order, by whom they are threatened to be
  sent back to _heaven_ if they do not _behave themselves_!


I have seen many admirable comedians on the continent. Nothing can
possibly exceed Mademoiselle Mars (for instance) in many characters: but
the French are _all_ actors and actresses from their cradles; and a
great number of performers, even at the minor theatres, seem to me to
_forget_ that they are playing, and at times nearly make the audience
forget it too! Their spectacle is admirably good; their dancing
excellent, and most of their dresses beautiful. Their orchestras are
_well filled_, in every sense of the word, and the level of musical
composition not so low as _some_ of Mr. Bishop’s effusions. The French
singing however is execrable; their tragedy rant; but their _prose_
comedy nature itself!

In short, the French beyond doubt exceed all other people in the world
with regard to theatrical matters: and as every man, woman, and child in
Paris is equally attached to _spectacle_, every house is full, every
company encouraged,—all tastes find some gratification. An Englishman
can scarcely quit a Parisian theatre without having seen himself or some
of his acquaintances characteristically and _capitally_ represented: the
_Anglais_ supply certainly an inexhaustible source of French mimicry;
and as we cannot help it, do what we will, our countrymen now begin to
practise the good sense of laughing at themselves! John Bull thinks that
roast beef is the finest dish in the whole world, and that the finest
fellow in Europe is the man that eats it: on both points the Frenchman
begs leave, _tout à fait_, to differ with John; and nothing can be
sillier than to oppose opinions with a positive people, in their own
country, and who never yet, right or wrong, gave up an argument.

No part of this world, I believe, combines corporeal and intellectual
luxuries to an equal extent with Paris; and I am sure no place can
afford them on such easy terms. There is a variety for the eye, the
mind, and the palate quite inexhaustible, and within the reach of _all
purses_.—However, no persons but those some time resident in the
metropolis of France can even imagine its conveniences or its pleasures,
and their _cheapness_: nor can there be any city where strangers are
more kindly used, or more sedulously protected. In point of courtesy,
sociability, animated good-nature, address and dress, I regret to say we
cannot approach their well-bred females.

                              MRS. JORDAN.

Public mis-statements respecting that lady—The author’s long
  acquaintance with her—_Début_ of Mrs. Jordan, at the Dublin Theatre,
  as Miss Francis—Her incipient talents at that period—Favourite
  actresses then in possession of the stage—Theatrical jealousy—Mrs.
  Daly (formerly Miss Barsanti)—Curious inversion of characters in the
  opera of “The Governess,” resorted to by the manager to _raise the
  wind_—Lieut. Doyne proposes for Miss Francis—His suit rejected from
  prudential considerations—Miss Francis departs for England—Mr.
  Owenson, Lady Morgan’s father—Comparison between that performer and
  Mr. John (commonly called _Irish_) Johnstone—Introduction of the
  author to his Royal Highness the Duke of Clarence—Reflections on the
  scurrilous personalities of the English press—Mrs. Jordan in the
  green-room, and on the stage—Her remarks on the theatrical art, and on
  her own style of acting—Her last visit to Dublin, and curious
  circumstances connected therewith—Mr. Dwyer the actor and Mr. Serjeant
  Gold—Mrs. Jordan in private society—Extracts from her letters—Her
  retirement from Bushy and subsequent embarkation for France.

The foregoing short and superficial sketches of the Dublin stage in my
juvenile days bring me to a subject more recent and much more
interesting to my feelings. I touch it nevertheless with pain, and must
ever deeply regret the untimely catastrophe of a lady who was at once
the highest surviving prop of her profession and a genuine sample of
intrinsic excellence: had her fate descended, whilst filling her proper
station, and in her own country; or had not the circumstances which
attended some parts of that lady’s career been entirely mistaken;—had
not the cause of her miseries been grossly misrepresented, and the story
of her desertion and embarrassed state at the time of her dissolution
altogether false;—I probably should never have done more (under the
impression of its being intrusive, perhaps indelicate) than mention her
professional excellences.

But so much of that lady, and so much relating to her death, has been
recently mis-stated in the public prints, (not for the purpose of doing
her justice, but of doing another injustice,) that I feel myself
warranted in sketching some traits and incidents of Mrs. Jordan’s
character and life—which I know to be true, and a proportion whereof I
was personally acquainted with.—Some degree of mystery has doubtless
rested, and will probably continue to rest, on the cause which led that
lady to repair to a foreign country, where she perished; all I shall
say, however, on that score is, that this cause has been known to a very
limited number of individuals, and never had, in any shape or degree,
bearing or connexion with her former situation. The reports current on
this head I know to be utterly unfounded, and many of them I believe to
be altogether malicious.

I am not Mrs. Jordan’s biographer; my observations only apply to
abstract portions of her conduct and abstract periods of her life. I had
the gratification of knowing, for some time intimately, that amiable
woman and justly celebrated performer. Her public talents are recorded;
her private merits are known comparatively to few. I enjoyed a portion
of her confidence on some very particular subjects, and had full
opportunity of appreciating her character.

It was not by a mere cursory acquaintance Mrs. Jordan could be
known:—confidence alone could develope her qualities, and I believe few
of them escaped my observation. I have seen her in the busy bustling
exercise of her profession:—I have seen her in the tranquil lap of ease,
of luxury, and of magnificence;—in a theatre, surrounded by a crowd of
adulating dramatists—and when surrounded by a numerous, interesting, and
beloved offspring. I have seen her happy:—I have seen her _miserable_:
and I could not help participating in all her feelings.

At the point of time when I first _saw_ Mrs. Jordan, she could not be
much more I think than sixteen or seventeen years of age; and had made
her _début_ as Miss Francis, at the Dublin Theatre. It is worthy of
observation, that her early appearances in Dublin were not in any of
those characters (save one) wherein she afterward so eminently excelled;
though such as, being more girlish, were better suited to her spirits
and age. I was at that time, of course, somewhat less competent than now
to form a judgment; yet could not _then_ but observe, that in these
parts she was _perfect_ even on her first appearance: she had no art to
study;—Nature was her sole instructress. Youthful, joyous, animated, and
droll, her laugh arose from her heart, her tear started ingenuously from
her feeling. Her countenance was all expression, without being all
beauty:—her form, then light and elastic—her flexible limbs—the juvenile
graces of her every movement impressed themselves, as I perceived,
deeply upon those who attended even her earliest performances.

Her expressive features and eloquent action at all periods harmonised
blandly with each other—not by skill, but by intellectual _sympathy_:
when her figure was adapted to the part she assumed, she had only to
speak the words of an author to become the very person he delineated.
Her voice was clear and distinct, modulating itself with natural and
winning ease; and when exerted in song, its gentle flute-like melody
formed the most captivating contrast to the convulsed and thundering
_bravura_. She was throughout the untutored child of Nature: she sang
without effort, and generally without the accompaniment of instruments;
and whoever heard her _Dead of the Night_, and her _Sweet Bird_, either
in public or private, if they had any soul, must have surrendered at

In playful genteel comic characters, such as _Belinda_, &c., she was
excellent: but in the _formal, dignified, high-bred_ parts of comedy,
her superiority was not so decided:—her line, indeed, was distinctly
marked out; within its extent she stood altogether unrivalled—nay,

At the commencement of Mrs. Jordan’s theatrical career she had
difficulties to encounter which nothing but superiority of talent could
so suddenly have surmounted. Both of the Dublin theatres were filled
with performers of high popular reputation, and thus every important
part in her line of acting was ably preoccupied. The talent of the
female performers, matured by experience and disciplined by practice,
must yet have yielded to the fascinating powers of her natural genius,
had it been suffered fairly to expand. But the jealousy which never
fails to pervade all professions was powerfully excited to restrain the
development of her mimic powers; and it was reserved for English
audiences to give full play and credit to that extraordinary comic
genius, which soon raised her to the highest pitch, at once of popular
and critical estimation.

Mrs. Daly (formerly Miss Barsanti) and Mrs. Leyster were foremost among
the successful occupants of those buoyant characters to which Miss
Francis was peculiarly adapted:—others had long filled the remaining
parts to which she aspired, and thus scarcely one was left open to
engage her talents.

Mr. Daly, about this time, resorted to a singular species of theatrical
entertainment, by the novelty whereof he proposed to rival his
competitors of Smock-Alley; namely, that of _reversing characters_, the
men performing the female, and the females the male parts in comedy and
opera. The opera of “The Governess” was played in this way for several
nights, the part of _Lopez_ by Miss Francis. In this singular and
unimportant character the versatility of her talent rendered the piece
attractive, and the season concluded with a strong anticipation of her
future celebrity.

The company then proceeded to perform in the provinces, and at Waterford
occurred the first grave incident in the life of Mrs. Jordan. Lieutenant
Charles Doyne, of the third regiment of heavy horse (Green’s), was then
quartered in that city; and, struck with the _naïveté_ and almost
irresistible attractions of the young performer, his heart yielded, and
he became seriously and honourably attached to her. Lieutenant Doyne was
not handsome, rather the reverse, but he was a gentleman and a worthy
man. He had been my friend and companion some years at the university; I
therefore knew him intimately, and he entrusted me with his passion.
(Miss Francis’s mother was then alive, and sedulously attended her.)
Wild and thoughtless myself, I told him, if he could win the young lady,
to marry her; adding, that no doubt Fortune _must_ smile, whether she
chose or not, on so disinterested a union; he being no beauty himself,
and having no chance of getting a moneyed wife by his attractions, as
young ladies seldom fall in love with the unsophisticated goodness of a
lover: an ordinary picture without either frame or gilding is seldom
seen in a fashionable drawing-room.

Her mother, however, was of a different opinion; and as she had no
fortune but her talent, the exercise of which was to be relinquished
with the name of Francis, it became matter of serious consideration
whence they were to draw their support—with the probability too of a
family! Here was a real enigma. His commission was altogether
inadequate, and his private fortune small.—This, in short, was
insurmountable. Mrs. Francis, also anticipating the future celebrity of
her child, and unwilling to extinguish in obscurity all chance of fame
and fortune by means of the profession she had adopted, worked upon her
daughter to decline the proposal. The treaty accordingly ended, and
Lieut. Doyne appeared to me for a time almost inconsolable. Miss Francis
I did not see afterward; she accompanied her mother, soon after, to
England, and soon commenced her ascent toward the pinnacle of fame.
Lieut. Doyne lately died collector of the Queen’s County. His esteem for
Mrs. Jordan was never obliterated.

Mr. Owenson, the father of Lady Morgan, was at that time highly
celebrated in the line of Irish characters, and never did an actor exist
so perfectly calculated, in my opinion, to personify that singular class
of people. Considerably above six feet in height;—remarkably handsome
and brave-looking,—vigorous and well-shaped,—he was not vulgar enough to
disgust, nor was he genteel enough to be _out of character_: never did I
see any actor so entirely identify himself with the peculiarities of
those Irish parts he assumed. In the higher class of Irish characters
(old officers, &c.) he looked well, but did not exhibit sufficient
formal dignity; and in the _lowest_, his humour was scarcely quaint and
original enough; but in what might be termed the “_middle class of
Paddies_,” no man ever combined the look and the manner with such
felicity as Owenson. Scientific singing was not an Irish quality; and he
sang well enough.—I have heard Mr. Jack Johnstone warble so sweetly and
so very skilfully, and act some parts so very like a man of education,
that I almost forgot the nation he was mimicking: that was not the case
with Owenson; he acted as if he had not received too much schooling, and
sang like a man whom nobody had instructed. He was, like most of his
profession, careless of his concerns, and grew old without growing rich.
His last friend was old Fontaine, a very celebrated French
dancing-master, many years domiciliated and highly esteemed in Dublin.
He aided Owenson and his family whilst he had means to do so, and they
both died nearly at the same time—instances of talent and improvidence.

This digression I have ventured on, because in the first place it
harmonises with the theatrical nature of my subject, and may be
interesting—because it relates to the father of an eminent and amiable
woman; and most particularly, because I was informed that Mr. Owenson
took a warm interest in the welfare of Miss Francis, and was the
principal adviser of her mother in rejecting Mr. Doyne’s addresses.

After a lapse of many years I chanced to acquire the honour of a
favourable introduction to His Royal Highness the Duke of C——, who
became the efficient friend of me and of my family—not with that high
and frigid mien which so often renders ungracious even the favours of
upstart authorities in the British government, but with the
condescending frankness and sincerity of a royal prince. He received at
an early age, and educated, my only son with his own, and sent him, as
lieutenant of the fifth dragoon guards, to make his campaigns in the
Peninsula. This introduction to His Royal Highness gave me unerring
opportunities of knowing, appreciating, and valuing, Mrs. Jordan. In her
there was no guile; her heart was conspicuous in every word—her feelings
in every action; and never did I find, in any character, a more complete
concentration of every quality that should distinguish a mother, a
friend, and a gentlewoman.

The outlines of Mrs. Jordan’s public life during her connexion of
twenty-three years with a royal personage are too well known to require
recital here. But with respect to her memoirs after that period, so much
falsehood and exaggeration have gone abroad—so many circumstances have
been distorted, and so many _invented_—some of the latter possessing
sufficient plausibility to deceive even the most wary—that, if not a
duty, it appears at least not wrong to aid in the refutation of
malicious calumnies.

I have ever felt a great abhorrence of the system of defamation on
hearsay. Public men, _as such_, may properly be commented on. It is the
birthright of the British people to speak fairly their sentiments of
those who rule them; but libel on private reputation is a disgusting
excrescence upon the body of political freedom, and has latterly grown
to an extent so dangerous to individuals, to families, and to society in
general, and so disgraceful to the press at large, that it may hereafter
afford plausible pretences for curtailing the liberty of that organ—the
pure and legal exercise of which is the proudest and surest guardian of
British freedom. The present lax, unrestrained, and vicious exuberance
of the periodical press, stamps the United Kingdom as the very focus of
libel and defamation in all their ramifications. No reputation—no
rank—no character, public or private, neither the living nor the
dead,—can escape from its licentiousness. One comfort may be drawn from
the reflection—that it can proceed no further; its next movement must be
a retrograde one, and I trust the legislature will not permit this
retrogression to be long deferred.

That spirit of licentiousness I have been endeavouring to stigmatise was
never more clearly instanced than by the indefatigable and reiterated
attempts (for several years persevered in) to disparage a royal
personage, whose domestic habits, and whose wise and commendable
abstinence from political party and conflicting factions, should have
exempted him from the pen and from the tongue of misrepresentation, and
rendered sacred a character which only requires development to stand as
high in the estimation of every man who regards the general happiness
and power of the empire, as that of any other member of the same
illustrious house. On this point I speak not lightly: that which I state
is neither the effusion of gratitude nor the meanness of adulation: the
royal personage I allude to would not commend me for the one, and would
despise me for the other.

I cannot conclude this digression without reprobating in no measured
terms that most dangerous of all calumnious tendencies which endeavours
systematically to drag down the highest ranks to the level of the
lowest, and by labouring to excite a democratic contempt of royal
personages, attempts gradually to sap the very foundation of
constitutional allegiance: such, however, has been a practice of the
day, exercised with all the rancour, but without any portion of the
ability, of Junius.[33]


Footnote 33:

  I rather think that a very good man, and one of the first advocates of
  Ireland, carried this observation of mine and its bearings rather
  beyond the point I here intended, in his speech (as _reported_) in the
  Court of Chancery, on the arrival of the present chancellor. The reply
  of Sir Anthony Hart appeared to me to be the wisest, the most
  dignified, effective, and honest, that could possibly be pronounced by
  a lord chancellor so circumstanced, and coming after his noble


It is deeply to be lamented that this system has been exemplified by
some individuals whose literary celebrity might have well afforded them
the means of creditable subsistence, without endeavouring to force into
circulation works of mercenary penmanship containing wanton slander of
the very highest personage in the United Empire. I specify no name: I
designate no facts;—if they exist not, it is unimportant; if they are
notorious, the application will not be difficult. It is true that a
libeller cannot fully atone—yet he may repent; and even that
mortification would be a better penance to any calumniator of
distinguished talent than to run the risk of being swamped between the
Scylla and Charybdis of untruth and disaffection.

But to return to the accomplished subject of my sketch:—I have seen her,
as she called it, _on a cruise_, that is, at a provincial theatre
(Liverpool); having gone over once from Dublin for that purpose: she was
not then in high spirits: indeed her tone, in this respect, was not
uniform; in the mornings she usually seemed depressed; at noon she went
to rehearsal—came home fatigued, dined at three, and then reclined in
her chamber till it was time to dress for the performance. She generally
went to the theatre low-spirited.

I once accompanied Mrs. Jordan to the green-room at Liverpool: Mrs.
Alsop, and her old maid, assiduously attended her. She went thither
languid and apparently reluctant; but in a quarter of an hour her very
nature seemed to undergo a metamorphosis: the sudden change of her
manner appeared to me, in fact, nearly miraculous; she walked spiritedly
across the stage two or three times, as if to measure its extent; and
the moment her foot touched the scenic boards her spirit seemed to be
regenerated; she cheered up, hummed an air, stepped light and quick, and
every symptom of depression vanished! The comic eye and cordial laugh
returned to their mistress, and announced that she felt herself moving
in her darling element. Her attachment to the practice of her
profession, in fact, exceeded any thing I could conceive.

Mrs. Jordan delighted in talking over past events. She had strong
impressions of every thing; and I could perceive was sometimes
influenced rather by her feelings than her judgment.

“How happens it, Mrs. Jordan,” said I to her, when last in Dublin, “that
you still exceed all your profession even in characters not so adapted
to you now as when I first saw you? How do you contrive to be so
buoyant—nay, so childish, on the stage, while you lose half your
spirits, and degenerate into gravity, the moment you are off it?”
“Habit!” replied Mrs. Jordan, “old habit! had I formerly studied my
positions, weighed my words, and measured my sentences, I should have
been artificial, and they might have hissed me: so, when I had got the
words well by heart, I told Nature I was then at _her_ service to do
whatever she thought proper with my feet, legs, hands, arms, and
features: to her I left the whole matter: I became, in fact, merely _her
puppet_, and never interfered further _myself_ in the business. I heard
the audience laugh at me, and I laughed at myself: they laughed again,
so did I: and they gave me credit for matters I knew very little about,
and for which Dame Nature, not I, should have received their

“The best rule for a performer,” said Mrs. Jordan, “is to forget, if
possible, that any audience is listening. We perform best of all in our
closets, and next best to crowded houses. How singular the contrast! but
I scarcely ever saw a good performer who was always _eyeing_ the
_audience_. If,” continued she, “half the gesticulation, half the wit,
drollery, and anecdote which I heard among you all at Curran’s Priory,
at Grattan’s cottage, and at your house, had been displayed before an
audience, _without your knowing that any body was listening to you_, the
performance would have been cheered as one of the finest pieces of comic
acting possible, though, in fact, your only _plot_ was endeavouring to
get tipsy as agreeably as possible!”

This last visit of Mrs. Jordan to the Irish capital took place in the
year 1809, and afforded me a full opportunity of eliciting the traits of
her nature and disposition. She was greeted in that metropolis with all
the acclamations that her reputation and talent so fully merited: she
was well received among the best society in Dublin, whose anxiety was
excited beyond measure to converse with her in private. Here, however,
she disappointed all; for there was about her no _display_; and the
animated, lively, brilliant mimic, on the boards, was in the saloon
retiring, quiet, nay, almost reserved. Mrs. Jordan seldom spoke much in
company, particularly in very large assemblies: but then she spoke well:
she made no exertion to appear distinguished, and became more so by the
absence of effort. The performer was wholly merged in the gentlewoman;
and thus, although on her entrance this celebrated person failed to
_impress_ the company, she _never_ failed to retire in possession of
their respect.

On that tour she said she was very ill-treated by the managers. The
understanding was, she told me, that she was to receive half the
profits: yet, although the houses were invariably crowded, the receipts
were inadequate to her expectations. Many of the performers who had been
appointed to act with her were below mediocrity. One was
forgetful—another drunk. I confess I never myself saw such a crew. All
this rendered Mrs. Jordan miserable, and she sought relief in the
exercise of her benevolent feelings. Among other objects of her bounty
was an old actor called Barrett, who had played on the night of her
_début_, and was then in most indigent circumstances. Him she made
comfortable, and gave efficient assistance to several others whom she
had known in former years.

The managers (I know not why) acted toward her not with so much respect
as _every body_, except themselves, had shown that most amiable woman.
She had found it absolutely necessary to refuse performing with one or
two vulgar fellows belonging to the set whom they had selected to
_sustain_ her; and she quitted the country at length, having formed a
fixed determination never to repeat any engagement with the same

She had scarcely arrived in England when some of the parties, including
a Mr. Dwyer, a player, quarrelled; and actions for defamation were
brought forward among them. A writer of the name of Corri also published
periodical libels, in one of which he paid Mrs. Jordan the compliment of
associating her with the Duchess of Gordon. I and my family had likewise
the honour of partaking in the abuse of that libel, and I prosecuted the
printer. On the trial of the cause, one of the counsel, Mr. Thomas (now
Serjeant) Gold, thought proper (as reported in the newspapers) to
indulge himself in language and statements respecting Mrs. Jordan
neither becoming nor true. In cross-examining me as a witness, on the
prosecution of the printer, he _essayed_ a line of interrogation highly
improper as to that lady; but he took care not to go too far with me
when I was _present_: a monosyllable or two I found quite sufficient to
check the exuberance of “my learned friend;” and on this occasion he was
not backward in taking a hint. The libeller was found guilty, and justly
sentenced to a protracted imprisonment.

I never knew Mrs. Jordan feel so much as at the speech of Mr. Gold on
that occasion: as it appeared in _several newspapers_, it was too bad
even for a vulgar declaimer; and when Mrs. Jordan’s situation, her
family, and her merits were considered, it was inexcusable. I do not
state this feeling of Mrs. Jordan solely from my own impression: I
received from her a letter indicative of the anguish which that speech
had excited within her; and I should do injustice to her memory if (as
she enjoined me to do) I did not publish in her justification an extract
of that letter.

                                            “Bushy House, Wednesday.

    “My dear Sir,

            “Not having the least suspicion of the business in
    Dublin, it shocked and grieved me very much; not only on my own
    account, but I regret that I should have been the involuntary
    cause of any thing painful to you, or to your amiable family.
    But of Mr. Jones I can think any thing: and I beg you will do me
    the justice to believe that my feelings are not selfish. Why
    indeed should _I_ expect to escape their infamous calumnies?
    Truth, however, will force its way.* * * * * I wanted nothing
    from Mr. C * * *’s generosity, but I had a claim on his
    justice:—* * * * *

    “During the two representations of ‘The Inconstant’ I
    represented to him the state Mr. Dwyer was in, and implored him,
    out of respect to the audience, if not in pity to my terrors, to
    change the play. As to the libel on Mr. Dwyer, charged to me by
    Mr. Gold, I never directly or indirectly, by words or by
    writing, demeaned myself by interfering in the most remote
    degree with so wretched a concern. I knew no editor—I read no
    newspapers while in Dublin. The charge is false and _libellous_
    on _me_, published, I presume, through Mr. Gold’s assistance.
    Under that view of the case, he will feel himself rather
    unpleasantly circumstanced should I call upon him either to
    _prove_ or _disavow_ his assertions. To be introduced any way
    into such a business shocks and grieves me: he might have
    pleaded for his companions without calumniating me: but, for the
    present, I shall drop an irksome subject, which has already
    given me more than ordinary uneasiness. * * * * * *

                                            “Yours, &c.
                                            “DORA JORDAN.”[34]

                  *       *       *       *       *

I have seen this accomplished woman in the midst of one of the finest
families in England, surrounded by splendour, beloved, respected, and
treated with all the deference paid to a member of high life. I could
perceive, indeed, no offset to her comforts and gratification. She was,
in my hearing, frequently solicited to retire from her profession: she
was _urged_ to forego all further emoluments from its pursuit; and this
single fact gives the contradiction direct to reports which I should
feel it improper even to allude to further. Her constant reply was, that
she would retire _when Mrs. Siddons did_; but that her losses by the
fire at Covent Garden, together with other incidental outgoings, had
been so extensive, as to induce her continuance of the profession to
replace her finances. Her promise to retire with Mrs. Siddons, however,
she did not act up to, but continued to gratify the public, with
enormous profit to herself, down to the very last year she remained in
England. It is matter of fact, too, (though perhaps here out of place,)
that, so far from a desertion of this lady, as falsely reported, to the
last hour of her life the solicitude of her royal friend was, I believe,
undiminished; and though separated, for causes in no way discreditable
to either, he never lost sight of her interest or her comforts. It was
not the nature of His Royal Highness:—he was incapable of _unkindness
toward Mrs. Jordan_: those reports had, indeed, no foundation, save in
the vicious representation of hungry or avaricious editors, or in the
scurrility of those hackneyed and indiscriminate enemies of rank and
reputation, whose aspersions are equally a disgrace and an injury to the
country wherein they are tolerated.


Footnote 34:

  The speeches of counsel on that trial being published in the
  newspapers, she requested my advice as to bringing an action for
  defamation against some of the parties. My reply to her was the same
  that had been pleasantly and adroitly given to myself by Sir John

  “If you wrestle with a chimney-sweeper,” said Sir John, “it is true
  you may _throw_ your antagonist; but you will be sure to dirty your
  own coat by the encounter.” Never was there a better aphorism. Mrs.
  Jordan adopted it; and most properly satisfied herself with despising,
  instead of punishing, all her calumniators.


To contribute toward the prevention of all further doubt as to Mrs.
Jordan’s unmixed happiness at the period of her residence at Bushy, as
well as to exhibit the benevolence of her heart and the warmth of her
attachments, I will introduce at this point extracts from some other
letters addressed to myself:—


    “My dear Sir,

            “I cannot resist the pleasure of informing you that your
    dear boy has not only passed, but passed with great credit, at
    the Military College:—it gives us all the highest satisfaction.
    My two beloved boys are now at home:—they have both gone to
    South-Hill to see your Edward. We shall have a full and merry
    house at Christmas; ’tis what the dear duke delights in:—a
    happier set, when altogether, I believe never yet existed. The
    ill-natured parts of the world never can enjoy the tranquil
    pleasures of domestic happiness.

                  *       *       *       *       *

    “I have made two most lucrative trips since I saw you. Adkinson
    came to see me at Liverpool—quite as poetical as ever, and the
    best-natured _poet_ I believe in the world.

                                                “Yours, ever truly,
                                                “DORA JORDAN.”


    “My dear Sir,

            “I returned here on the 7th inst. after a very
    fatiguing, though very prosperous _cruise_ of five weeks, and
    found all as well as I could wish. Your Edward left us this
    morning for Marlow: I found him improved in every thing. I never
    saw the duke enjoy any thing more than the poultry you sent
    us:[35] they were delicious: he desires me to offer his best
    regards to yourself and your ladies. Lucy is gone on a visit to
    Lady De Roos.

                                                “Yours, most truly,
                                                “DORA JORDAN.”


    “My dear Sir,

            “I have returned here:—but, alas! the happiness I had
    promised to myself has met a cruel check at finding the good
    duke very unwell. You can scarcely conceive my misery at the
    cause of such a disappointment: but there is every appearance of
    a favourable result not being very distant: ’tis his old
    periodical attack, but not near so severe as I have seen it. I
    shall not write to you as I intended till I can announce His
    Royal Highness’s recovery. I shall have neither head nor nerves
    to write, or even to think, till I am able to contribute to your
    pleasure, by announcing my own happiness and his recovery.

                                                 “* * * * &c.
                                                 “DORA JORDAN.

      “Sir J. Barrington,
    “Merrion-square, Dublin.”


Footnote 35:

      There were a species of chickens then to be had in Dublin such
      as I never saw in any other country;—as white as snow, very
      small, fat, and trussed up as round as little balls: the eye
      and the palate were equally gratified by them. The _crammed_
      fowls of Dublin were then also unrivalled. I believe they are
      now _equalled_ in London, and vastly _exceeded_ by the
      _capons_ of Paris, which are quite delicious:—lamb at Paris,
      too, is finer than any where else.



    “We have just returned from Maidenhead; and I postponed writing
    to you till I could give you an account of Edward, who, with
    Colonel Butler, dined with us there:—he looks wonderfully well,
    and the uniform becomes him extremely. On the ladies leaving the
    room, Colonel Butler gave the duke a very favourable account of
    him; and I trust it will give you and Lady Barrington the more
    satisfaction, when I assure you that it is by no means a partial

    “I am sure you will be pleased to hear that your young friend
    Lucy is about to be married, much to my satisfaction, to Colonel
    Hawker, of the 14th dragoons: he is a most excellent man, and
    has a very good private property: she will make the best of
    wives; a better girl never yet lived: it makes me quite happy,
    and I intend to give her the value of 10,000_l._

                                                “* * * * &c.
                                                “DORA JORDAN.”

The days of Mrs. Jordan continued to pass on, alternately in the
exercise of a lucrative profession and the domestic enjoyment of an
adoring family, when circumstances (which, because _mysterious_ to the
public, are construed necessarily to imply culpability somewhere or
other) occasioned a separation:—certainly an event most unexpected by
those who had previously known the happy state of her connexion. I was
at first ignorant of it, and it would be worse than presumption to enter
into any converse on a subject at once so private, so delicate, and so
interesting. Suffice it to say, that of all the accounts and surmises as
to that event in which the public prints were pleased to indulge
themselves, not one was true: indeed, I have good reason to believe that
there was scarcely a single incident whereto that separation was
publicly attributed, that had any degree of foundation whatsoever. Such
circumstances should ever remain known to those only who feel the
impropriety of amusing the readers at a news-room with subjects of
private importance. I will, however, repeat, from authority I cannot
doubt, that the separation took effect from causes no way dishonourable
to either party: that it was not sought for by the one, nor _necessary_
on the part of the other. It was too hasty to be discreet, and too much
influenced by feelings of the moment to be hearty. Though not altogether
unacquainted with those circumstances, I never presumed to make an
observation upon the subject, save to contradict, in direct terms,
statements which, at the time I heard them, I knew to be totally
unfounded; and never was the British press more prostituted than in the
malicious colouring given (and rather recently, too,) to the conduct of
a royal personage on that occasion.

General Hawker, one of the late King’s aides-de-camp, had married Miss
Jordan; and in the punctilious honour and integrity of this gentleman,
every body who knew and knows him did and does rely with unmixed
confidence. Such reliance His Royal Highness evinced by sending, through
him, I believe, _carte blanche_ to Mrs. Jordan, when the separation had
been determined on, enabling her to dictate whatever she conceived would
be fully adequate to her maintenance, without recurrence to her
profession, in all the comforts to which she had been so long
accustomed; and every thing she wished for was arranged to her
satisfaction. Still, however, infatuated with attachment to theatrical
pursuits, she continued to accept of temporary engagements to her great
profit: and it will perhaps scarcely be credited, that so unsated were
British audiences with Mrs. Jordan’s unrivalled performances, that even
at her time of life, with certainly diminished powers and an altered
person, the very last year she remained in England brought her a clear
profit of near 7000_l._ I _cannot_ be mistaken in this statement; for my
authority (a person of truth and honour in their fullest extent) could
not wilfully err on that point. The malicious representations,
therefore, of her having been left straitened in pecuniary circumstances
were literally _fabulous_; for to the very moment of her death she
remained in full possession of all the means of comfort—nay, if she
chose it, of _luxury_. Why, therefore, she emigrated, pined away, and
expired in a foreign country (of whose language she was ignorant, and in
whose habits she was wholly unversed), with every _appearance_ of
necessity, is also considered a mystery by those unacquainted with the
cruel circumstances which led to that unfortunate catastrophe. It is not
by my pen that miserable story, as I learned it, shall be told. It was a
transaction wherein her royal friend had, _directly or indirectly_, no
concern, nor did it _in any way_ spring out of _that_ connexion. She
had, in fact, only to _accuse_ herself of benevolence, confidence, and
honour: to those _demerits_, and to the ingratitude of others, she fell
a lingering, broken-hearted victim.

When His Royal Highness was informed of the determination on the part of
her friends that Mrs. Jordan should take up a temporary residence on the
continent, he insisted on her retaining the attendance of Miss
K * * * *, who for many years had been attached to the establishment at
Bushy, as superintendent and governess of the duke’s children. This
lady, therefore, whose sincere attachment had been so long and truly
proved, accompanied Mrs. Jordan (as I have understood) as her companion,
and almost to the time of her death continued to administer to her
comforts—endeavouring, so far as in her lay, by her society and
attentions, to solace the mental misery which pressed upon her friend’s
health and had extinguished her spirits. She was also accompanied to the
continent by Colonel Hawker, the general’s brother: but, as she wished,
during her residence in France, to be totally retired, she took no
suite. She selected Boulogne as a place of convenient proximity to
England; and in a cottage half a mile from that town awaited with
indescribable anxiety the completion of those affairs which had
occasioned her departure, rapturously anticipating the happiness of
embracing her children afresh after a painful absence.

                         MRS. JORDAN IN FRANCE.

Decline of Mrs. Jordan’s health—Description of her cottage and grounds
  at Boulogne-sur-Mer—Madame Ducamp and her servant Agnes—Their account
  of Mrs. Jordan’s habits and manners—Removal of that lady to Versailles
  and subsequently to St. Cloud—Account of her illness and last moments.

The circumstances which induced Mrs. Jordan to repair to the continent
were of such a nature, that the reader need not think it extraordinary
that a deep impression was made upon her health; not indeed in the shape
of actual disease, but by the workings of a troubled spirit, pondering
and drooping over exaggerated misfortunes. Estranged, though only
temporarily, from those she loved, and from that profession the resort
to which had never failed to restore her animation and amuse her fancy,
mental malady soon communicated its contagion to the physical
organisation, and sickness began to make visible inroads on the
heretofore healthy person of that lamented lady.

She established herself first at Boulogne-sur-Mer. A cottage was
selected by her at Maquetra, about a quarter of a mile from the gate of
the fortress. Often have I since, as if on classic ground, strolled down
the little garden which had been there her greatest solace. The cottage
is very small, but neat, commodious, and of cheerful aspect. A flower
and fruit garden of corresponding dimensions, and a little paddock
(comprising much less than half an acre) formed her demesne. In an
adjoining cottage resided her old landlady, Madame Ducamp, who was in a
state of competence, and altogether an original. She had married a
gardener, much younger and of humbler birth than herself. I think she
had been once handsome: her story I never heard fully; but it appeared
that she had flourished during the Revolution. She spoke English when
she pleased; and, like most Frenchwomen, when _d’âge mûr_, was
querulous, intrusive, and curious _beyond limitation_, with as much
_professed_ good-nature as would serve at least fifty of our old English
gentlewomen. She was not, in truth, devoid of the reality as well as the
semblance of that quality: but she _overacted_ the philanthropist, and
consequently did not deceive those accustomed to look deeper than the
surface. This good lady is still _in statu quo_, and very likely to
remain so.

Under colour of taking her vacant cottage for a friend, a party of my
family went to Maquetra, to learn what we could respecting Mrs. Jordan’s
residence there. The old lady recollected her name, but pronounced it in
a way which it was scarcely possible for us to recognise. A long
conversation ensued, in some parts as interesting, and in others nearly
as light as the subject could admit of.—Madame Ducamp repeated to us a
hundred times, in five minutes, that she had “beaucoup, _beaucoup_ de
vénération pour cette _chère, chère_ malheureuse dame Anglaise!” whom
she assured us, with a deep sigh, was “sans doute _un ange supérieur_!”
She was proceeding to tell us every thing she knew, or I suppose could
invent, when, perceiving a child in the garden pulling the flowers, she
abruptly discontinued her eulogium, and ran off to drive away the
intruder; having done which, she returned to resume: but too late! in
her absence her place had been fully and fairly occupied by Agnes, an
ordinary French girl, Madame Ducamp’s _bonne_ (servant of _all work_),
whom we soon found was likely to prove a much more truth-telling person
than her mistress.

Agnes informed us, with great feeling, that “the economy of that
charming lady was very strict: _nécessairement, je crains_,” added she,
with a slow movement of her head and a truly eloquent look. They had
found out (she said) that their lodger had been once _riche et
magnifique_; but when there she was _very—very_ poor indeed! “But,”
exclaimed the poor girl, her eye brightening up and her tone becoming
firmer, “that could make no difference to me! _si j’aime,—j’aime! J’ai
servi cette pauvre dame avec le même zèle (peut-être encore plus) que si
elle eut été une princesse!_”

This frank-hearted display of poor Agnes’s sentiments was extremely
affecting; it was, however, not in fact called for, since Mrs. Jordan
might have commanded, during the whole period of her continental
residence, any sums she thought proper. She had money in the bank, in
the funds, and in miscellaneous property, and had just before she came
over received some thousands. But she was become nearly careless as well
of pecuniary as other matters, and took up a whim (for it was nothing
more) to affect poverty,—thus deceiving the world, and giving, herself,
a vantage-ground to the gossiping and censorious.

Agnes’s information went on to show that Mrs. Jordan’s whole time was
passed in anxious expectation of letters from England, and on the
English post-days she was peculiarly miserable. We collected from the
girl that her garden and guitar were her only resources against that
consuming melancholy which steals even the elements of existence, and
plunges both body and mind into a state of morbid languor—the fruitful
parent of disease, insanity, and death.

At this point of the story Madame Ducamp would no longer be restrained,
and returned to the charge with redoubled assertions of her own
friendship to “the poor lady,” and _bonne nature_ in general.

“Did you know her, Monsieur?” said she: “alas! she nearly broke _my_
heart by trying to break _her own_!”

“I have heard of her since I arrived here, Madame,” replied I

“Ah! Monsieur, Monsieur,” rejoined Madame Ducamp, “if you had known her
as well as Agnes and I did, you would have loved her just as much. I am
sure she had been accustomed to _grandeur_, though I could never
_découvrir la cause de sa ruine_. Ah!” pursued Madame, “she was _aimable
et honnête_ beyond description; and though _so very poor_, paid her
_louage_ like a goddess.” At this moment some other matter, perhaps
suggested by the word _louage_, came across the old woman’s brain, and
she again trotted off. The remaining intelligence which we gathered from
Agnes related chiefly to Mrs. Jordan’s fondness for music and perpetual
indulgence therein, and to her own little achievements in the musical
way on a guitar, which she produced,—whereby, she told us with infinite
_naïveté_, she had frequently experienced the gratification of playing
and singing _Madame to sleep_! She said that there was some little
mutual difficulty in the first place as to understanding each other,
since the stranger was ignorant of the French language, and she herself
“had not the honour” to speak English. “However,” continued Agnes, “we
formed a sort of language of our own, consisting of looks and signs, and
in these _Madame_ was more eloquent than any other person I had ever
known.” Here the girl’s recollections seemed fairly to overcome her; and
with that apparently exaggerated sensibility which is, nevertheless,
_natural_ to the character of her country, she burst into tears,
exclaiming, “_Oh Ciel! oh Ciel!—elle est morte! elle est morte!_”[36]


Footnote 36:

  The intermixed French phrases which I have retained in sketching this
  conversation at Maquetra may perhaps appear affected to some; and I
  frankly admit there are few things in composition so disagreeable to
  me as a jumble of words culled from different tongues, and
  constituting a _mélange_ which advances no just claim to the title of
  any language whatever. But those who are accustomed to the familiar
  terms and expressive ejaculations of French colloquy, know that the
  idiomatic mode of expression _only_ can convey the _true_ point and
  spirit of the dialogue, and more particularly does this observation
  apply to the variegated traits of character belonging to French

  The conversation with Agnes consisted, on her part, nearly of broken
  sentences throughout—I may say, almost of looks and monosyllables! at
  all events, of simple and expressive words in a combination utterly
  unadapted to the English tongue. Let a well-educated and unprejudiced
  gentleman hold converse on the same topics with an English and a
  French girl, and his remarks as to the difference will not fail to
  illustrate what I have said.

  Far—very far be it from me to depreciate the fair ones of our own
  country. I believe that they are steadier and better calculated to
  describe _facts_, or to advise in an emergency: but they must not be
  offended with me for adding, that in the _expression_ of every
  feeling, either of a lively or tearful nature, as well as in the
  graces of motion, their elastic neighbours are immeasurably superior.
  Even their _eyes_ speak idioms which our less pliable _language_
  cannot explain. I have seen humble girls in France who speak more in
  one second than many of our finest ladies could utter in almost a
  century! _Chaqu’un a son goût_, however; and I honestly confess, that
  a sensitive French girl would make but an ill-assorted match with a
  thorough-bred John Bull!


I cannot help thinking that the deep and indelible impression thus made
by Mrs. Jordan upon an humble unsophisticated servant girl exemplifies
her kind and winning manners better than the most laboured harangues of
a whole host of biographers.

Madame Ducamp meanwhile had been fidgeting about, and arranging every
thing to show off her cottage to the greatest advantage; and without
further conversation, except as to the price of the tenement, we parted
with mutual “assurances of the highest consideration.”

I renewed my visits to the old woman; but her stories were either so
fabulous or disconnected, and those of Agnes so unvaried, that I saw no
probability of acquiring further information, and lost sight of Mrs.
Jordan’s situation for a considerable time after her departure from
Boulogne. I thought it, by-the-bye, very extraordinary that neither the
mistress nor maid said a word about any attendant of Mrs. Jordan, even
although it was not till long after that I heard of Col. Hawker and Miss
K * * * * having accompanied her from England. After Mrs. Jordan left
Boulogne, it appears that she repaired to Versailles, and subsequently,
in still greater privacy, to St. Cloud, where, _totally_ secluded, and
under the name of Johnson, she continued to await, with agitated
impatience, in a state of extreme depression, the answers to some
letters, by which was to be determined her future conduct as to the
distressing business that had led her to the continent. Her solicitude
arose not so much from the real importance of this affair as from her
indignation and disgust at the ingratitude which she had experienced,
and which by drawing aside the curtain from before her unwilling eyes,
had exposed a novel and painful view of human nature.

At that period I occupied a large hotel adjoining the Bois de Boulogne.
Not a mile intervened between us; yet, until long after Mrs. Jordan’s
decease, I never heard she was in my neighbourhood. There was no
occasion whatever for such entire seclusion; but the anguish of her mind
had by this time so enfeebled her, that a bilious complaint was
generated, and gradually increased. Its growth did not appear to give
her much uneasiness—so dejected and lost had she become. Day after day
her misery augmented, and at length she seemed (we were told) actually
to regard the approach of dissolution with a kind of placid welcome!

The apartments she occupied at St. Cloud were in a house in the square
adjoining the palace. This house appeared to me large, gloomy, cold, and
inconvenient; just the sort of place which would tell in description in
a romance. It seemed almost in a state of dilapidation. I could not, I
am sure, wander over it at night without a superstitious feeling. The
rooms were numerous, but small; the furniture scanty, old, and tattered.
The hotel had obviously once belonged to some nobleman; and a long,
lofty, flagged gallery stretched from one wing of it to the other, which
looked over a large uncultivated garden, and a charming country beyond.
But Mrs. Jordan’s chambers were wretched: no English comforts solaced
her latter moments! In her little drawing-room, a small old sofa was the
best piece of furniture: on this she constantly reclined, and on it she


Footnote 37:

  When I first saw Mrs. Jordan’s abode at St. Cloud, it was on a dismal,
  chilly winter’s day, and I was myself in corresponding mood. Hence
  perhaps every cheerless object was exaggerated, and I wrote on the
  spot the above description. I have again viewed the place: again
  beheld with melancholy interest the sofa on which Mrs. Jordan breathed
  her last. There it still, I believe, remains; but the whole premises
  have been repaired, and an English family has now one wing, together
  with an excellent garden, before overgrown with weeds: the two
  melancholy cypress-trees I first saw upon the little terrace yet
  remain. The surrounding prospect is undoubtedly very fine; but I would
  not, even were I made a present of that mansion, consent to reside in
  it _one month_;—in winter, not one _night_!


The account given to us of her last moments, by the master of the house,
was very affecting: he likewise thought she was poor, and offered her
the use of money, which offer was of course declined. Nevertheless, he
said, he always considered her apparent poverty, and a magnificent
diamond ring which she wore, as quite incompatible, and to him
inexplicable. I have happened to learn since that she gave four hundred
guineas for that superb ring. She had also with her, as I heard, many
other valuable trinkets; and on her death, seals were put upon all her
effects, which I understand still remain unclaimed.

From the time of her arrival at St. Cloud, it appears, Mrs. Jordan had
exhibited the most restless anxiety for intelligence from England. Every
post gave rise to increased solicitude, and every letter she received
seemed to have a different effect on her feelings. Latterly she appeared
more anxious and miserable than usual: her uneasiness increased almost
momentarily, and her skin became wholly discoloured. From morning till
night she lay sighing upon her sofa.

At length an interval of some posts occurred during which she received
no answers to her letters, and her consequent anxiety, my informant
said, seemed too great for mortal strength to bear up against. On the
morning of her death this impatient feeling reached its crisis. The
agitation was almost fearful: her eyes were now restless, now fixed; her
motion rapid and unmeaning; and her whole manner seemed to bespeak the
attack of some convulsive paroxysm. She eagerly requested Mr. C * * *,
_before_ the usual hour of delivery, to _go for her letters_ to the
post. On his return, she started up and held out her hand, as if
impatient to receive them. He told her _there were none_. She stood a
moment motionless; looked toward him with a vacant stare; held out her
hand again, as if by an involuntary action; instantly withdrew it, and
sank back upon the sofa from which she had arisen. He left the room to
send up her attendant, who however had gone out, and Mr. C * * *
returned himself to Mrs. Jordan. On his return, he observed some change
in her looks that alarmed him: she spoke not a word, but gazed at him
steadfastly. She wept not—no tear flowed: her face was one moment
flushed—another livid: she sighed deeply, and her heart seemed bursting.
Mr. C * * * stood uncertain what to do: but in a minute he heard her
breath drawn more hardly, and as it were sobbingly. He was now
thoroughly terrified: he hastily approached the sofa, and leaning over
the unfortunate lady, discovered that those _deep-drawn sobs_ had
immediately preceded the moment of Mrs. Jordan’s dissolution. She was
already no more!

Thus terminated the worldly career of a woman at the very head of her
profession, and one of the best-hearted of her sex! Thus did she expire,
after a life of celebrity and magnificence, in exile and solitude, and
literally of _a broken heart_! She was buried by Mr. Forster, now
chaplain to the ambassador.

Our informant told this little story with a feeling which evidently was
not affected. The French have a mode of narrating even trivial matters
with gesticulation and detail, whereby they are impressed on your
memory. The slightest incident they repeat with emphasis; and on this
occasion Mr. C * * * completed his account without any of those
digressions in which his countrymen so frequently indulge.

Several English friends at Paris, a few years ago, entered into a
determination to remove Mrs. Jordan’s body to Père la Chaise, and place
a marble over her grave. The subscription, had the plan been proceeded
in, would have been ample; but some (I think rather mistaken) ideas of
delicacy at that time suspended its execution. As it is, I believe I may
say, “Not a stone tells where she lies!”


Diversity of the author’s pursuits—Superficial acquirements contrasted
  with solid—Variety and change of study conducive to health—Breeding
  ideas—How to avoid _ennui_—The principles of memory and fear—The
  author’s theory respecting the former, and his motive for its

My pursuits from my earliest days have been (right or wrong) all of my
own selection: some of them were rather of a whimsical character; others
merely adopted _pour passer le temps_; a few of a graver and more solid
cast. (The law was an _indispensable_ one.) On the whole, I believe I
may boast that few persons, if any, of similar standing in society
adopted a greater variety of occupations than myself.

The truth is, I never suffered my mind to _stagnate_ one moment; and
unremittingly sought to bring it so far under my own controul, as to be
enabled to turn its energies at all times, promptly and without
difficulty, from the lightest pursuits to the most serious business, and
vice versâ; and, for the time being, to occupy it exclusively on a
single subject. These are the arts of managing thought; a person who can
do such things is never _bilious_!

My _system_ (if such it may be called) led me to a dabbling in sciences,
arts, and literature—just sufficient to feed my intellect with
varieties, and keep my mind busy and afloat without being overloaded:
thus, I dipped irregularly into numerous elementary treatises, embracing
a great variety of subjects—among which, even theology, chemistry,
physic, anatomy, architecture, the trades and mechanical arts, (to say
nothing of politics) were included. In a word, I looked into every
species of publication I could lay my hands on; and I never have been
honoured by one second of _ennui_, or felt a propensity to an hour’s
_languor_ during my existence except when I was actually sick. My _mind_
is never disordered, and my brain having plenty of occupation, I never
had _time_ to go _mad_!

This fanciful—the reader may, if he pleases, say superficial and
frivolous species of learning and self-employment, would, I doubt not,
be scouted with contempt by learned LL. Ds., Bachelors of Arts, Fellows
of Colleges, Wranglers at Universities, &c. These gentlemen very
properly saturate their capacities with more _solid_ stuff, each
imbibing, even to the dregs, one or two dignified, substantial sciences,
garnished with dead languages, and served up to their pupils with a
proper seasoning of pedantry and importance. Thus they enjoy the
gratification of being wiser in _something_ than their neighbours,
without much troubling their organs of _variety_; a plan, I readily
admit, more appropriate to learning and philosophy, and perhaps more
useful to others: but at the same time, I contend that mine (and I speak
with the experience of a very long life) is conducive in a greater
degree to pleasure, to health, to happiness; and I shrewdly suspect far
more _convenient_ to the greater number of capacities.

A certain portion of external and internal variety, like change of air,
keeps the animal functions in due activity, while it renders the mind
supple and elastic, and more capable of accommodating itself with
promptitude to those difficult and trying circumstances into which the
vicissitudes of life may plunge it. I admire and respect solid learning;
but even a _superficial_ knowledge of a _variety_ of subjects tends to
excite that inexhaustible succession of thoughts which, at hand on every
emergency, gives tone and vigour both to the head and heart, (not
infrequently excluding more unwelcome visitors,) and is a decided and
triumphant enemy to hanging, drowning, shooting, cutting of throats, and
every other species of suicide except that which so frequently
originates from being _too rich_—a _misfortune_ which seldom falls to
the lot of persons who follow the _system_ I have recommended. I do
really think, that if a very rich man, who meditated suicide, would for
one moment reflect what sincere pleasure his heirs, executors,
administrators, and personal representatives (probably his wife and
children) would derive from his dangling from the ceiling, he would lock
up his rope and become vastly more hospitable.

All my life I perceived the advantage of _breeding ideas_: the brain can
never be too populous, so long as you keep its inhabitants in that
wholesome state of discipline, that _they_ are under _your_ command, not
_you_ under _theirs_; and, above all things, never suffer a mob of them
to come jostling each other in your head at the same time: keep them as
distinct as possible, or it is a hundred to one they will make a
blockhead of you at last.

From this habit it has ensued that the longest day is always too short
for me. If in tranquil mood, I find my ideas as playful as kittens; if
chagrined, consolatory fancies are never wanting. When a man can send
the five orders of architecture to build castles in the firmament, of
any shape, size or materials he may fancy, and furnish it accordingly, I
think a permanent state of melancholy quite unnecessary. Should I grow
weary of thoughts relating to the present, my memory carries me back
fifty or sixty years with equal politeness and activity; and never
ceases shifting time, place, and person, till it lights on some matter
more agreeable.

I had naturally _very_ feeble sight: at fifty years of age, to my
extreme surprise, I found it had strengthened so much as to render the
continued use of spectacles unnecessary; and now I can peruse the
smallest print without any glass, and can write a hand so minute, that I
know several elderly gentlemen of my own decimal who cannot conquer it
even with their reading-glasses. For general use I remark, that I have
found my sight more confused by poring for a given length of time over
_one_ book, than in double that time when shifting from one print to
another, and changing the place I sat in, and of course the _quality of
light and reflection_: to a neglect of such precautions I attribute many
of the weak and near visions so common with book-worms.

But another quality of inestimable value which I did and still do
possess, thank Heaven! in a degree which, at my time of life, if not
supernatural, is not very far from it—is a memory of the most
wide-ranging powers: its retrospect is astonishing to myself, and has
wonderfully increased since my necessary application to a single science
has been dispensed with. The recollection of one early incident of our
lives never fails to introduce another; and the marked occurrences of my
life from childhood to the wrong side of a grand climacteric are at this
moment fresh in my memory, in all their natural tints, as at the instant
of their occurrence.

Without awarding any extraordinary merit either to the brain, or to
those human organs generally regarded as the seat of recollection, or
rather _retention_ of ideas, I think this fact may be accounted for in a
much simpler way—more on _philosophical_ than on _organic_ principles. I
do not insist on my theory being a true one; but as it is, like
Touchstone’s forest-treasure, “my own,” I like it, and am content to
hold by it “for better, for worse.”

The two qualities of the human mind with which we are most strongly
endowed in childhood are those of fear and memory; both of which
accompany us throughout all our worldly peregrinations—with this
difference, that with age the one generally declines, while the other

The mind has a tablet whereon Memory begins to engrave occurrences even
in our earliest days, and which in old age is full of her handy-work, so
that there is no room for any more inscriptions. Hence old people
recollect occurrences long past better than those of more recent date;
and though an old person can faithfully recount the exploits of his
schoolfellows, he will scarcely recollect what he himself was doing the
day before yesterday.

It is also observable that the recollection, at an advanced period, of
the incidents of childhood, does not require that extent of memory which
at first sight may appear essential; neither is it necessary to bound at
once over the wide gulf of life between sixty years and three.

Memory results from a _connected_ sequence of thought and observation:
so that intervening occurrences draw up the recollection as it were to
preceding ones, and thus each fresh-excited act of _remembrance_ in fact
operates as a new _incident_. When a person recollects well (as one is
apt to do) a correction which he received in his childhood, or whilst a
schoolboy, he probably owes his recollection not to the whipping, but to
the _name of the book_ which he was whipped for neglecting; and whenever
the book is occasionally mentioned, the _whipping_ is recalled, revived,
and perpetuated in the memory.

I once received a correction at school, when learning prosody, for
falsely pronouncing the word _semisopitus_; and though this was between
fifty and sixty years ago, I have never since heard prosody mentioned
but I have recollected that word, and had the schoolmaster and his rod
clearly before my eyes. I even recollect _the very leaf_ of the book
whereon the word was printed. Every time I look into a book of poetry, I
must of course think of prosody, and prosody suggests _semisopitus_, and
brings before me, on the instant, the scene of my disgrace.

This one example is sufficient for my theory, and proves also the
advantage of breeding ideas, since, the more links to a chain, the
farther it reaches.

The faculty of memory varies in individuals almost as much as their
features. One man may recollect names, dates, pages, numbers, admirably,
who does not well remember incidents or anecdotes; and a linguist will
retain fifty thousand words, not one-tenth part of which a wit can bury
any depth in his recollection.

This admission may tend to excite doubts and arguments against the
general application of my theory: but I aim not at making proselytes;
indeed I have only said thus much to anticipate observations which may
naturally be made respecting the extent to which my memory has carried
the retention of bygone circumstances, and to allay the scepticism which
might perhaps otherwise follow.


Letter from the author to Mr. Burne, relating to the political conduct
  of the former at the period of the Union—Extracts from letters written
  to the author by Lord Westmoreland—General reflections on the
  political condition of Ireland at the present time—Hint toward the
  revival of a curious old statute—Clerical justices—The king in
  Ireland—The Corporation of Dublin—The “Glorious Memory”—Catholics and
  Protestants—Mischievous virulence of party feeling.

The introduction of the following letter and extracts (though somewhat
digressive from my original intention in compiling this work) is
important to me, notwithstanding they relate to times so long past by;
inasmuch as certain recent calumnies assiduously propagated against me
demanded at my hands a justification of my conduct toward government at
the period of the Union. With this view the letter in question was
written to my friend Mr. Burne, whom I requested to communicate its
contents to my connexions in Dublin, or indeed to any person who might
have been prejudiced against me by those aspersions. Having, however,
reason to fear that only a very partial circulation of my letter took
place, I have adopted this opportunity of giving it full publicity by
mixing it up with these sketches:—

                            “Paris, Rue de Richelieu, 2nd May, 1825.

    “My dear Friend,

            “I am well aware that the reports you mention as to my
    ‘having broken trust with the government in the years 1799 and
    1800’ had been at one period most freely circulated: but I could
    scarcely suppose the same would be again and lately revived, to
    do me injury on a very important concern. This has not been
    altogether without its operation, and I feel it a duty to myself
    unequivocally to refute such imputation. The fact is proved in
    few words:—I _could_ not break my trust with the government, for
    I _never accepted any trust_ from them. I never entered into any
    stipulation or political engagement with _any_ government; and
    every public act which I did—every instance of support which I
    gave, resulted from my own free agency and unbiassed judgment.

    “My first return to parliament, in the year 1790, for the city
    of Tuam, was altogether _at my own expense_. I had before
    stood a contested election for Ballynakill, formerly my
    father’s borough. I was under no tie nor obligation to the
    government: I had not then, nor have I ever had, any patron; I
    never, in fact, solicited patronage: I never submitted to the
    dictation of any man in my life: my connexion with government
    therefore was my own choice, and the consequent support I gave
    to Lord Westmoreland’s administration of my own freewill. I
    liked Lord Buckinghamshire (Major Hobart) individually, and
    lived much in his society: I respected Lord Westmoreland
    highly, and he has always been very obliging to me during a
    period of seven-and-thirty years whenever he had an
    opportunity. During his administration I accepted office; and
    on his recall, he recommended Lord Camden to return me to
    parliament. Mr. Pelham did so for the city of Clogher; but
    made no sort of _terms_ with me, _directly or indirectly_. In
    the autumn of 1798 Mr. Cooke wrote to me, and I had two
    interviews with him; on the second, I found that a Union would
    probably be submitted to parliament; and I promptly replied,
    that I must decline all further support to any government
    which should propose so destructive a measure, at the same
    time tendering my seat. He replied, ‘That I should think
    _better_ of it.’

    “Lord Cornwallis came over to carry this great measure; and I
    opposed him, Lord Castlereagh, and the Union, in every stage of
    the business, and by every means in my power, both in and out of
    parliament. Lord Cornwallis was defeated: he tried again;—Lord
    Castlereagh had purchased or packed a small majority in the
    interval, and the bill was carried. In January, 1800, I received
    a letter from Lord Westmoreland, stating that as Clogher had
    been a government seat, he doubted if I could in honour retain
    it. I had already made up my mind to resign it when required. I
    mentioned the subject to Mr. Forster, the speaker, who thought I
    was _not_ bound to resign; however, I acceded to the suggestion
    of Lord Westmoreland, and accepted an escheatorship. But no
    office in his Majesty’s gift—no power, no _deprivation_, would
    have ever induced me to support the Union.

    “I stood, at my own expense, a very hard-contested election for
    Maryborough, Queen’s County, in which I was supported by Sir
    Robert Staples, Mr. Cosby of Stradbally Hall, Dean Walsh,
    Colonel Pigot, Mr. Warburton, (member for the county,) the
    Honourable Robert Moore, (against his brother, the Marquess of
    Drogheda,) &c., and by the tenantry of the present Lord
    Maryborough. I was outvoted by a majority of three, the scale
    being turned against me by Lord Castlereagh, who sent down Lord
    Norbury, the crown solicitor, and several such-like gentry for
    the purpose. With that election my political career concluded:
    but I am happy and proud to state that, at its termination, I
    retained the confidence and esteem of every body whose
    friendship I considered it desirable to retain. Lord
    Westmoreland bears the most unexceptionable testimony to my
    straightforward conduct: I have been honoured by his friendship,
    without intermission, down to the present day; and the following
    extracts from his lordship’s letters to me, wherein he states
    his desire to bear witness to my strict conduct in my
    transactions with government, form the best refutal of all these
    calumnies against me.

    “Since the period of my retirement from public life two of my
    then most intimate friends (namely, the present Chief Justice
    Bush and the present Attorney-general Plunkett) have succeeded
    beyond their most sanguine expectations, yet certainly not
    beyond their just merits. No government could pass such men by,
    at the bar, if they chose to claim offices. They took the same,
    and as strong an anti-Union part as I did; but, after the Union,
    my public pursuits were nearly at an end. Ireland lost all
    charms for me; the parliament (the source of all my pride,
    ambition, and gratification as a public man) had been bought and
    sold; I felt myself as if nobody,—became languid, careless, and
    indifferent to every thing. I was no longer in fact in my proper
    sphere: my health rapidly declined; and I neither sought for nor
    would have accepted any other government office in Ireland.

    “Most of these facts, my dear Burne, you have been long
    acquainted with; and this is solely a recapitulation of some
    circumstances which I have no other means of making generally
    known. You will use it as you think may best serve me; and it
    only remains for me to repeat, what you already know, that I am
    most sincerely

                                          “Yours ever,
                                          “JONAH BARRINGTON.

    “John Burne, Esq., K. C.

Extracts of letters from the Earl of Westmoreland to Sir Jonah
Barrington (enclosed to Mr. Burne):—

                                          “London, March 28th, 1795.

    “My dear Sir,

    * * * * * “I shall always be obliged to you whenever you will
    have the goodness to let me know what is going on on your side
    of the water, wherein I am convinced you will always bear a very
    considerable part. I must at the same time assure you that no
    man’s name is more in public repute than your own.

    “Lord Camden left town this morning, and I have not failed to
    assure him of your talents and spirit, which were so useful to
    my government on many occasions; and which, as I am satisfied he
    will find equally so, so is he equally disposed, I believe, to
    give them that countenance they deserve.

                  *       *       *       *       *

    “The state of Ireland since I left you is most wonderful, but
    the reign of faction seems drawing to a close.

    “I beg to be remembered to all friends, and am,

                                  “Dear Sir, yours very faithfully,

    “To Jonah Barrington, Esq., one of His
      “Majesty’s Counsel at Law, &c. &c.
        “Merrion-square, Dublin.”

Much correspondence took place between his lordship and me after that
period, in which he was always equally kind.[38] Indeed, in that
kindness he never varied; and after knowing me seven-and-thirty years,
(the most important of all revolutions having during that interval taken
place in Ireland,) and after I had directly and diametrically opposed,
in parliament and out of it, his lordship’s opinion and acts upon that
great question;—the following extract of another letter from the same
nobleman (dated 1817) proves that he never has changed his opinion of my
honourable conduct toward the king’s government, (and permits me to
state his approbation of that conduct,) every part of which he must have
well known; since he had been, with very little intermission, a member
of the British cabinet during the entire period.


Footnote 38:

  He proposed, and superficially effected, a reconciliation between me
  and Lord Castlereagh: it had no good practical effect for me, but
  occasioned a very important episode in my history, which I may
  hereafter mention, though not in the present work.



                                          “Paris, 19th August, 1817.

    “Dear Sir,

                  *       *       *       *       *

    * * * * “I have enclosed you a letter of introduction to Sir C.
    Stuart, and will certainly speak to him as you wish, and shall
    have great pleasure if it should prove of any convenience to you
    or your family: and I assure you I have _always_ much
    satisfaction in giving my testimony to the honourable manner in
    which you have always conducted yourself in the political
    relations wherein you have stood with me.

                                   “I am your very faithful servant,

I also added the following, by way of postscript, to my explanatory
letter to Mr. Burne:—

    “I think, my dear Burne, that after these testimonials, he must
    be a daring enemy who will reassert the calumnies against me. I
    apprehend that few public men can show more decided proofs of
    honour and consistency than I, in the fair and disinterested
    conduct I displayed when I found it necessary to oppose the
    government. I must also observe, on a principle of gratitude,
    that throughout the whole course of my public life I have
    uniformly experienced from the government and ministers of
    _England_, (let me here particularise Lord Stowell,) at all
    times and on all occasions, whether supporting or opposing them,
    the greatest kindness, justice, and considerate attention;
    together with a much greater interest, in any concerns of mine
    submitted to them, than I could possibly have conceived, much
    less have expected.

    “But his Majesty’s public functionaries in _Ireland_ were men of
    a different bearing: after the _surveillance_ of a local
    parliament was extinguished, the country was, as it were, given
    over to them, bound hand and foot, and they at once assumed new
    powers, which before they durst not even have aimed at. Every
    grade of public functionaries bounded above their station; and
    brevet rank was no longer confined to military officers. I
    possess much knowledge respecting some of them, of the
    communication of which they are not aware; and I am not inclined
    to permit certain individuals to go down to their graves without
    hearing my observations. When the proper time arrives I shall
    not be silent.

                                          “Again, dear Burne, yours,
                                          “J. BARRINGTON.”

On reading over the foregoing postscript of the letter to my poor friend
Burne (who has lately paid his debt on demand to Nature), some
observations occur to me respecting Ireland herself, her parties, and
species of government, not uncongenial to the subject of that letter.
The justice of these observations each day’s experience tends to prove;
and I firmly believe many members of the British government at this
moment view the matter precisely as I do. They find it difficult,
however, to disentangle themselves from the opinions which have been so
frequently expressed by themselves heretofore, and which, had they been
equally informed then as now, would never, I apprehend, have been
entertained. The people of England, and also of some continental
kingdoms, are fully aware of the distracted state of Ireland, but are at
a loss to account for it. It is, however, now in _proof_, that
twenty-seven years of _Union_ have been twenty-seven years of _beggary_
and of _disturbance_; and this result, I may fairly say, I always
foresaw. The only question now asked is, “What is to be done?” and the
only comment on this question that it is in my power to make is, “a
council of peace is better than a council of war.” Much of the
unfortunate state of that country may be attributed to the kindred
agency of two causes—namely, fanaticism in Ireland, and ignorance (I
mean, want of _true_ information) in Great Britain. The Irish are
deluded by contesting factions, and by the predominance of a couple of
watchwords;[39] while the great body of the English people know as
little of Ireland (except of its disturbances) as they do of Kamschatka;
and the king’s ministers, being unluckily of different opinions, go on
debating and considering what is best to be done, and meanwhile doing
nothing. If they do not take care, in some time there may be nothing
left _them_ to do. This is now my decided sentiment. A spectator can see
the play much better than the gamester.


Footnote 39:

  An ancient law still appears among the statutes of Ireland to prohibit
  the natives of that country from using the words _Crum-a-boo_, and
  _Butler-a-hoo_, as being the watchwords of two most troublesome
  hostile factions, which kept, at the period of the prohibition, the
  whole nation in a state of uproar. In my mind, a revival of that
  salutary enactment would not be amiss just now. A similar case (as
  regards the existing state of things) may be easily made out; and, as
  we lawyers say, “_like case like rule_.” As the statute is still upon
  our books, there is a precedent at hand, and it will only be necessary
  to amend it by changing the two terms _Crum-a-boo_ and _Butler-a-hoo_,
  into _Ascendancy-a-boo_ and _Emancipation-a-hoo_! The penalty for
  raising these cries might be the treadmill; and there can be little
  doubt that so wholesome a measure would speedily tranquillise the
  country, and save a good deal of _rope_, some _anatomising_, and the
  turning _religion_ into a subject for _debating societies_.


I firmly believe England now means well and honourably to the Irish
nation on all points, but I think she is totally mistaken as to
measures. Neither honourable intentions, nor Sunday-schools, nor the
four rules of arithmetic, nor _Bible societies_, can preserve people
from _starving_: education is a very good thing in its proper place, but
a sorry substitute for food; and I know the Irish well enough to say
they never will be taught _peace_ upon an _empty_ stomach. Work creates
industry, and industry produces the means of averting hunger; and when
they have work enough and food enough, are permitted to dance on
Sundays, and _fight_ once a year, they may be turned to _any thing_. I
speak, of course, of the lowest orders: the class immediately above
those is now very unmanageable, because it is supported by its starving
inferiors, who depend upon it alone for subsistence—the higher being
absent. The nature and materials of the present species of Irish
constitution appear to me totally unadapted to the necessities of that
country. The Union never should have existed, or it should have been
more _perfect_:—no _half-mounted_ government can ever rule Ireland.

It is but too obvious that the natural attachment which ought to subsist
between Great Britain and Ireland is _not increasing_, though on the due
cultivation of that attachment so entirely depends the strength, the
peace, and the prosperity of the United Empire; yet I fearlessly repeat
that, in my mind, the _English_ members of the imperial parliament mean
well by Ireland, and only require to ascertain her true circumstances to
act for her tranquillisation. Politically they may be sure that the
_imperium in imperio_, as at present operating in that country, is not
calculated to reform it. The protecting body of the country gentlemen
have evacuated Ireland, and in their stead we now find official clerks,
griping agents, haughty functionaries, proud clergy, and agitating
demagogues. The resident aristocracy of Ireland, if not quite
extinguished, is hourly diminishing; and it is a political truism, that
the co-existence of an oligarchy without a cabinet; a resident executive
and an absent legislature; tenants without landlord, and magistracy
without legal knowledge;[40] must be, from its nature, a form of
constitution at once incongruous, inefficient, and dangerous. Nobody can
appreciate the native loyalty of the Irish people better than his
present Majesty, whose reception in Ireland was enthusiastic: they
adored him when he left it; and amidst millions of reputed rebels he
wanted no protection: every man would have been his life-guard! I speak
not however of corporations or guilds—of gourmands, or city feasters:
these have spoken for themselves, and loudly too. His Majesty’s wise and
paternal orders were ridiculed and disobeyed by them the very moment his
back was turned! With such folks the defunct King William seems more
popular than the living King George.[41]


Footnote 40:

  I allude here more particularly to the _clerical justices_ of Ireland.
  I believe I only coincide with some of the first English lawyers of
  this day, in maintaining that clergymen should confine themselves to
  _spiritual_ and _charitable_ duties, in doing justice to which ample
  occupation would be afforded them.

Footnote 41:

  I lately met rather a noted corporator of Dublin in Paris. Of course I
  did not spare my interrogations as to the existing state of things;
  and in the course of conversation I asked why, after the king’s visit
  to Dublin, and his conciliatory admonitions, the corporation still
  appeared to prefer the _Boyne Water_ and _King William_? “Lord bless
  you, Sir Jonah! (replied the corporator) as for the _wather_, we don’t
  care a rap dam about that; but if we once gave up ould King William,
  we’d give up all our _plisures_! Only for the ‘glorious mimory’ we
  would not have a toast now to get drunk with—eh! Sir Jonah? ha! ha!
  ha!” To humour the corporator, I did not hesitate to join in the
  hearty laugh which he set up in satisfaction at his own waggery.


Sound government, and the sufferance of active local factions are, in my
view of things, utterly incompatible. Faction and fanaticism (no matter
on _which_ side ranged) ought to be put down to the ground—_gently_, if
possible; but if a _strong hand_ be necessary, it should not be
withheld. In Ireland it has now proceeded too far to be longer blinked
at. The British cabinet may be somewhat divided; but they will soon see
the imperative necessity of firmness and unanimity. It is shameful that
the whole empire should thus be kept in a state of agitation by the
pretended theological animosities of two contending sects—a great
proportion of whose respective partisans are in no way influenced by
_religion_, the true object of their controversy being “_who shall get
the uppermost_.” It is a struggle that cannot continue. There is a
“tide” in the affairs of empires as well as of individuals: every
_fever_ has a _crisis_. Ireland is in one now. I am no factionist, I am
no fanatic: I am the partisan only of tranquillity in the country where
I drew my first breath.

I learn from Ireland with great pleasure—indeed, I read of _general_
satisfaction being experienced at one of the ablest lawyers and most
decisive, moderate, and unbiassed public functionaries of England having
been presented as a head to my profession:—’tis a good beginning:—_ça

                       SCENES AT HAVRE DE GRACE.

Peace of 1814—The Bourbons and _émigrés_ generally—Motives of the author
  in visiting the continent—His departure from England with his
  family—Arrival at Havre de Grace—The _Côteau d’Ingouville_—Doctor
  Sorerie and his _graduated scale_—The Pavilion Poulet—Price of
  commodities at Havre—Rate of exchange—English assumption abroad—The
  author’s rural retirement disturbed by Napoleon’s return from
  Elba—Circumstances attending the announcement of this fact at
  Havre—Previous demonstrations of the inhabitants of the town, and more
  particularly of the military quartered there—Uniform of the old
  guard—Two Russians mutilated by the mob—Retirement of Louis _le
  Désiré_ from Paris—Curious variety of feeling manifested among the
  people at Havre—Policy of the priests—Good humour of all
  parties—Recruiting for the _Emperor_ and the _King_—Consternation of
  the English at Havre—Meeting at the house of the consul, Mr. Stuart—A
  vinous harangue—Prompt embarkation of the British—Accommodations of a
  storehouse—The huissiers and the spring showers—_Signs_ of the times.

On the abdication of the Emperor Napoleon in the year 1814, my curiosity
was greatly excited to view the alteration which different revolutions,
a military government, and a long-protracted warfare, must necessarily
have made in the manners, habits, and appearance of the French people.
My ardent desire to see the emperor himself had been defeated by his
abdication, and no hope remained to me of ever enjoying the sight of so
celebrated a personage.

The royal family of France I had the honour of meeting often in society
during the long visit with which they favoured the British nation;—the
last time was at Earl Moira’s, one of their most zealous friends: my
curiosity on that score was therefore quite satisfied. I had also known
many, and had formed a very decisive opinion as to most, of their
countrymen who had emigrated to England; nor has the experience acquired
during my residence in France at all tended to alter the nature of that
opinion. Some of these men have, I fear, the _worst memories_ of any
people existing!—indeed, it should seem that since their return home,
they must have drunk most plentifully of Lethe.

I was extremely desirous also to see the persons who had rendered
themselves so conspicuous during the long and mighty struggle wherein
the destinies of Europe were all at stake—the great heroes both of the
field and cabinet; and, therefore, upon the restoration of King Louis, I
determined to visit Paris, the rather as my family were infected with
the same curiosity as myself.

Accordingly we set out on our journey, taking Havre de Grace in our
route to the metropolis. I was then in a very declining state of health,
and consequently unnerved and incapable of much energy either mental or
corporeal. On arriving at Havre, I was so captivated by the fine air and
beautiful situation of the Côteau d’Ingouville, (rising immediately over
the town,) that we determined to tarry there a few months, and visit
Paris in the spring, when my health and strength should be renovated;
and never did any person recover both so rapidly as I did during the
short period of my sojourn on that spot.

Doctor Sorerie, (the first physician at Havre,) told me that he divided
the hill of Ingouville into three medical compartments: “the summit,”
said he, “never requires the aid of a physician—the middle portion only
twice a year—the base _always_.” His fanciful estimate, he assured me,
was a perfectly true one; and, on the strength of that assurance, I
rented the beautiful cottage on the summit of the hill, called the
_Pavillon Poulet_, now occupied, I believe, by the American consul. All
around was new to me: of course I was the more observing; and the result
of my observations was, that I considered Havre, in 1815, as being a
hundred years behind England in almost every thing. Tea was only sold
there as a species of _medicine_, at the apothecaries’ shops; and
articles of _cotton_ manufacture were in general more than double the
price of _silk_ fabrics. The market was very good and very moderate; the
hotels most execrable. But the most provoking of all things which I
found at Havre was the rate of _exchange_: the utmost I could get for a
one-pound Bank of England note was sixteen francs; or for an accepted
banker’s bill, sixteen francs and a half to the pound (about fourteen
shillings for my _twenty_). This kind of thing, in profound peace,
surprised me, and the more particularly, as the English _guinea_ was at
a premium, and the _smooth_ English _shilling_ at a _high_ premium,
though of little intrinsic value.

A visit paid to the continent after so very long an exclusion, really
made one feel as if about to explore a kind of _terra incognita_, and
gave everything a novel and perhaps over-important character to the
traveller. In a country altogether strange, ordinary occurrences often
assume the dignity of adventures; and incidents which at home would
scarcely have been noticed, become invested on the sudden with an air of
interest. Our fellow-countrymen are too apt to undervalue every thing
which differs from their own established ways either of acting,
thinking, or eating. For this overbearing spirit they have been and are
plentifully and justly quizzed by the natives of other countries. Yet
they exhibit few signs of amendment. An Englishman seems to think it
matter of course that he must be lord of the ascendant wherever he
travels, and is sometimes reminded of his mistake in a manner any thing
but gentle.[42] The impatience he constantly manifests of any foreign
trait, whether of habit or character, is really quite amusing. If
Sterne’s _Maria_ had figured away at Manchester, or his Monk at
Liverpool, both the one and the other would have been deemed fit objects
either for a mad-house or house of correction: probably the girl would
have been committed by his worship the mayor to Bedlam, and the old man
to the treadmill. In fact, Yorick’s sentiment in France would be
nonsense at Birmingham; and La Fleur’s letter to the corporal’s wife be
considered as decided evidence of _crim. con._ by an alderman of


Footnote 42:

  In the years 1815 and 16, the very frequent quarrels between the
  French and English gave rise to a curious embarrassment. The French
  would only fight with the _sword_, the English with the _pistol_; it
  was impossible to please both parties: however the French soon put the
  matter into a course of equality. _Schools_ to _teach_ pistol-firing
  were established in divers parts of Paris: the best “_point-blankers_”
  were provided. Each student paid a small fee for ten shots and proper
  instructions: they began by firing at a large _baby_; first, at his
  _body_, then his _head_, and at length at his _eye_. The young
  Frenchmen soon became the very _best shots_ I ever saw: even “Sligo”
  now need not be ashamed of them. Hence quarrels have grown far less
  frequent; indeed _rare_, but generally _fatal_: that _accounts for


As for myself, I have of late felt a sort of medium sensation. As men
become stricken in years, a species of venerable insipidity insinuates
itself among their feelings. A great proportion of mine had turned sour
by long keeping, and I set out on my travels without one quarter of the
good-nature which I had possessed thirty years before. My palate was
admirably disposed at the time to feast upon novelties, of which I had
made up my mind to take a full meal, and thought I should be all the
better prepared by a few months of salubrious air and rural

The interval, however, which I had thus devoted to quiet, and thorough
reinstatement of health upon the breezy and delightful Côteau
d’Ingouville, and which I expected would flow on smoothly for some
months, (without the shadow of an adventure, or, indeed, any thing
calculated to interfere with my perfect composure,) turned out to be one
filled with the most extraordinary occurrences which have ever marked
the history of Europe.

The sudden return of Napoleon from Elba, and the speedy flight of the
French king and royal family from the Tuileries, without a single effort
being made to defend them, appeared to me, at the time, of all possible
incidents the most extraordinary and least expected. The important
events which followed in rapid and perplexing succession afforded me
scope for extensive observation, whereof I did not fail to take
advantage. My opportunities were indeed great and peculiar:—but few,
comparatively, of my fellow-countrymen had as yet ventured into France:
those who did avail themselves of the conclusion of peace in 1814, fled
the country in dismay, on the return of Napoleon; whilst I, by staying
there throughout his brief second reign, was enabled to ascertain facts
known to very few in England, and hitherto not published by any.

At Havre it appeared clearly to me that Napoleon, during his absence,
was any thing but forgotten or disesteemed. The empress, when there, had
become surprisingly popular amongst all classes of people; and the
misfortunes of her husband had only served to render his memory more
dear to his brother-soldiers, by whom he was evidently still regarded as
their general and their prince. In truth, not only by the soldiers, but
generally by the civic ranks, Louis, rather than Napoleon, was looked on
there as the usurper.

There were two regiments of the line at Havre, the officers of which
made no secret of their sentiments, whilst the men appeared to me
inclined for any thing but obedience to the Bourbon dynasty. The spirit
which I could not help seeing in full activity here, it was rational to
conclude, operated in other parts of the kingdom, and the justice of
this inference was suddenly manifested by the course of events.

We were well acquainted with the colonel and superior officers of one of
the regiments then in garrison. The colonel, a very fine soldier-like
man, about forty-five, with the reputation of being a brave officer and
an individual at once candid, liberal, and decided, was singularly frank
in giving his opinions on all public subjects. He made no attempt to
conceal his indestructible attachment to Napoleon; and I should think
(for his tendencies must necessarily have been reported to the
government) that he was continued in command only from a consciousness
on their part that, if they removed him, they must at the same moment
have disarmed and disbanded the regiment,—a measure which the Bourbon
family was then by no means strong enough to hazard.

On one occasion, the colonel, in speaking to me whilst company was
sitting around us, observed, with a sardonic smile, that his _master_,
Louis, was not quite so firmly seated as his _émigrés_ seemed to think.
“The puissant allies,” continued he, sneering as he spoke, “may change a
_king_, but” (and his voice rose the while,) “they cannot change a

Circumstances, in fact, daily conspired to prove to me that the army was
still Napoleon’s. The surgeon of that same regiment was an Italian,
accounted very clever in his profession, good-natured, intelligent, and
obliging; but so careless of his dress, that he was generally called by
us the “dirty doctor.” This person was less anxious even than his
comrades to conceal his sentiments of men and things, both politically
and generally; never failing, whether in public or private, to declare
his opinion, and his attachment to “the exile.”

A ball and supper was given by the _prefect_ and other authorities of
Havre in honour of _Louis le Désiré’s_ restoration. The affair was very
splendid: we were invited, and went accordingly. I there perceived our
dirty doctor, dressed most gorgeously in military uniform, but _not that
of his regiment_. I asked him to what corps it appertained: he put his
hand to his mouth, and whispered me, “C’est l’uniforme de _mon cœur_!”
(“Tis the uniform of my heart!”) It was the dress uniform of Napoleon’s
old guard, in which the doctor had served. The incident spoke a volume,
and (as to the sentiments of its wearer) was decisive.

About six weeks after that incident two small parties of soldiers of the
garrison passed repeatedly through the market-place, on a market-day,
with drawn swords, flourishing them in the air, and crying incessantly,
“Vive _Napoleon_! vive _l’Empereur_!” but they did not manifest the
slightest disposition towards riot or disturbance, and no body appeared
either to be surprised at or to mind them much. I was speaking to a
French officer at the time, and he, like the rest of the spectators,
showed no wish to interfere with these men, or to prohibit the
continuance of their exclamations, nor did he remark in any way upon the
circumstance. I hence naturally enough inferred the state of public
feeling, and the very slight hold which _Louis le Désiré_ then had upon
the crown of his ancestors.

A much more curious occurrence took place, when a small detachment of
Russian cavalry, which had remained in France from the termination of
the campaign, were sent down to Havre, there to sell their horses and
embark for their native country. The visit appeared to me to be a most
unwelcome one to the inhabitants of the place, and still more so, as
might be expected, to the military stationed there. The Russians were
very fine-looking fellows, of large size, but with a want of flexibility
in their limbs and motions; and were thence contrasted rather
unfavourably with the alert French soldiery, who, in manœuvring and
rapid firing, must have a great advantage over the northern stiffness.

I had the pleasure of becoming acquainted at Havre with Mr. Wright, a
very respectable gentleman, and I believe, by affinity, a nephew of Mr.
Windham. We had been in a café together, and were returning to our hotel
about ten o’clock at night, when we saw a small assemblage of people
collected at the church-door in the main street. There were some women
amongst them, and they seemed earnestly employed on some business which
the total darkness of the night prevented us from seeing. There was in
fact no light around save one glimmering lamp in the porch of the
church-door, where the people appeared fairly knotted together. There
was scarcely any noise made above a sort of buzz, or as it were, rather
a _suppression_ of voices. Mr. Wright remained stationary whilst I went
across the street to reconnoitre; and after a good deal of peeping over
shoulders and under arms, I could perceive that the mob was in the act
of deliberately cutting off the ears of two powerful-looking Russian
soldiers, who were held so fast by many men, that they had not the least
capability of resistance. They seemed to bear the application of the
blunt knives of their assailants with considerable fortitude, and the
women were preparing to complete the _trimming_ with scissors!—but one
glance was quite enough for me. I got away as quick as thought; and as
the circumstance of Mr. Wright wearing mustaches might possibly cost him
his ears, I advised him to get into a house as soon as possible: he took
to his heels on the suggestion, and I was not slow in following. The
next day I saw one of the Russians in the street with a guard to protect
him—his head tied up with bloody cloths, and cutting altogether a most
frightful figure. All the French seemed highly diverted, and shouted out
their congratulations to the Russian, who however took no manner of
notice of the compliment.

I believe the authorities did all they could in this affair to apprehend
the trimmers, but unsuccessfully. Some individuals were, it is true,
taken up on suspicion; but as soon as the Russians were embarked they
were liberated. In fact the local dignitaries knew that they were not as
yet sufficiently strong to enforce punishment for _carving_ a Russian.

I often received great entertainment from sounding many of the most
respectable Frenchmen whose acquaintance I made at Havre with regard to
their political tendencies; and the result as well of my queries as of
my observations led me to perceive that there were not wanting numerous
persons by whom the return of Bonaparte, sooner or later, was looked
forward to as an occurrence by no means either violently improbable, or

Nevertheless, no very deep impression was made on my mind as to these
matters, until one morning Lady Barrington, returning from Havre,
brought me a small printed paper, announcing the emperor’s actual return
from Elba, and that he was on his route for Paris. I believed the
evidence of my eye-sight on reading the paper; but I certainly did not
believe its contents. I went off immediately to my landlord, Mr. Poulet,
a great royalist, and his countenance explained circumstances
sufficiently before I asked a single question. The sub-prefect soon left
the town: but the intelligence was scarcely credited, and not at all to
its full extent. I went into every café and public place, and through
every street. In all directions I saw groups of people, anxious and
busily engaged in converse. I was much amused by observing the various
effects of the intelligence on persons of different opinions, and by
contrasting the countenances of those who thronged the thoroughfares.

I did not myself give credence to the latter part of this
intelligence—namely, that Bonaparte was on his way to Paris. I could not
suppose that the king had found it impracticable to command the services
of a single regiment; and it must be confessed that his majesty, a man
of excellent sense, had, under all the circumstances, made a very bad
use of his time in acquiring popularity, either civil or military.
Notwithstanding the addition of _Désiré_ to his Christian name,
(wherewith it had been graced by _Messieurs les émigrés_,) it is
self-evident that outward demonstrations alone had been conceded to him
of respect and attachment. I never heard that _surname_ appropriated to
him at Havre, by-the-bye, except by the prefects and revenue officers.

The dismal faces of the Bourbonites, the grinning ones of the
Bonapartists, and the puzzled countenances of the neutrals were mingled
together in the oddest combinations: throughout the town every body
seemed to be talking at once, and the scene was undoubtedly of the
strangest character, in all its varieties. Joy, grief, fear, courage,
self-interest, love of peace, and love of battle—each had its votaries.
Merchants, priests, _douaniers_, military officers, were strolling
about, each apparently influenced by some distinctive feeling: one
sensation alone seemed common to all—that of astonishment.

The singularity of the scene every moment increased. On the day
immediately ensuing fugitives from Paris, full of news of all
descriptions, came in as quick as horses and cabriolets could bring
them. Bulletin after bulletin arrived—messenger after messenger! But all
the dispatches in any shape official combined in making light of the
matter. The intelligence communicated by private individuals, however,
was very contradictory. One, for instance, stated positively that the
army had declared _against_ Napoleon; another that it had declared _for_
him; a third that it had not declared at all! One said that Napoleon was
_surrounded_:—“Yes,” returned a bystander, “but it is by his _friends_!”
Towards evening every group seemed to be quite busy making up their
minds as to the news of the day, and the part they might think it
advisable to take: as for the English, they were frightened out of their
wits, and the women had no doubt that they should all be committed to
gaol before next morning.

I observed, however, that amidst all this bustle, and mass of
conflicting opinions, scarce a single priest was visible: these cunning
gentry had (to use a significant expression) determined, if possible,
“not to play their cards till they were sure what was _trumps_.” On the
preceding Sunday they had throughout the entire day been chanting
benedictions on Louis le Désiré and on St. Louis his great-grandfather;
but on the sabbath which followed, if they chanted at all, (as they were
bound to do,) they would necessarily run a great risk of chanting for
the last time in their lives, if they left out Napoleon; and, inasmuch
as they were unable to string together Louis le Désiré, Napoleon, and
St. Louis, in one _benedicite_, a most distressing dilemma became
inevitable amongst the clergy! Common sense, however, soon pointed out
their safest course: a plea of _compulsion_ operating on the meek
resignation of their holy trade, might serve as an excellent apology, on
the part of an ecclesiastical family, in the presumption of Louis’s
becoming victor; but in the emperor, they had to deal with a different
sort of person, as they well knew—with a man who would not be put off
with unmeaning excuses, and in due homage to whom it would be dangerous
to fail. Under all circumstances, therefore, they took up a line of
conduct which I cannot but think was very wise and discreet, proceeding
as it did upon the principle “of two evils choose the least.” Their
loyalty was decided by their fears, which sufficed to stimulate the
whole body of priests and curés at Havre, old and young, to uplift their
voices with becoming enthusiasm in benediction of “Napoleon le Grand!”
Indeed they seemed to be of opinion that, having taken their ground, it
would be as well to appear in earnest; and never did they work harder
than in chanting a _Te Deum laudamus_ in honour of their old master’s
return: to be serious, I believe they _durst_ not have done otherwise;
for I heard some of the military say very decidedly, that if the priests
played any tricks upon the occasion, they would _hash_ them!

The observation which surprised me most of all was, that though the two
parties had declared themselves, and the _fleur-de-lis_ and eagle were
displayed in direct opposition to each other throughout the town;—though
the sub-prefect had run away, whilst the tricoloured flag was floating
in one place, and the white one in another,—no _practical_ animosity or
ill blood whatsoever broke out amongst the respective partisans. The
bustle somewhat resembled that of an English election, but had none of
the violence or dissipation, and only half the noise, which circulate on
those august occasions. On the contrary, civility was maintained by
every one: the soldiers were very properly kept in their barracks; and
an Englishman could scarcely conceive so polite, peaceable, temperate,
and cheerful a _revolution_—more particularly as neither party could
tell on which side the _treason_ would ultimately rest.

At length orders came from Napoleon, at Lyons, that the imperial army
should be recruited; while, at the very moment this order arrived, some
of the merchants and officers of the national guards were actually
beating up for the royal armament. The drums of the respective partisans
rattled away through every street, and the recruiters often passed each
other with the utmost courtesy: not one man was seen in a state of
intoxication on either side. Meanwhile there was no lack of recruits to
range themselves under either standard; and it was most curious to
observe that these men very frequently changed their opinions and their
party before sunset! I think most recruits joined the king’s party: his
serjeants had plenty of money, while Napoleon’s had none; and this was a
most tempting distinction—far better than any abstract consideration of
political benefit. Many of the recruits managed matters even better than
the priests, for they took the _king’s_ money in the morning, and the
_emperor’s_ cockade in the afternoon; so that they could not be accused
on either side of _unqualified_ partiality. The votaries of _le Désiré_
and _le Grand_ were indeed so jumbled and shuffled together, (like a
pack of cards when on the point of being dealt,) that nobody could
possibly decipher which had the best chance of succeeding.

The English alone cast a dark and gloomy shade over the gay scene that
surrounded them; their lengthened visages, sunken eyes, and hanging
features proclaiming their terror and despondency. Every one fancied he
should be incarcerated for life, if he could not escape before Napoleon
arrived at Paris, which seemed extremely problematical; and I really
think I never saw a set of men in better humour for suicide than my
fellow-countrymen, who stalked like ghosts along the pier and sea-side.

The British consul, Mr. Stuart, (a _littérateur_ and a gentleman, but
whose wine generally regulated his nerves, while his nerves governed his
understanding,) as good-natured a person as could possibly be about a
_couple of bottles_ after dinner, (for so he counted _time_,—a mode of
computation in which he certainly was as regular as clockwork,) called a
general meeting of all the British subjects in Havre, at his apartments;
and after each had taken a bumper of Madeira to “George the Third,” he
opened the business in as long and flowery an harangue, in English and
Latin, as the grape of Midi and its derivative distillations could
possibly dictate.

“My friends and countrymen,” said Mr. Stuart, “I have good _consular_
reasons for telling you all, that if Bonaparte gets into Paris, he will
order every mother’s babe of you, men, women, and children, _et cetera_,
into gaol for _ten_ or _twelve_ years at the least computation! and I
therefore advise you all, _magnus_, _major_, _maximus_, and _parvus_,
_minor_, _minimus_, to take yourselves off without any delay great or
small, and thereby _save your bacon_ while you have the power of doing
so. Don’t wait to take care of your property; _nulla bona_ is better
than _nulla libertas_. As for me, I am bound _ex-officio_ to _devote_
myself for my country! I will risk my life (and here he looked heroical)
to protect your property; I will remain behind!”

The conclusion of the consul’s speech was a signal for the simultaneous
uplifting of many voices.—“I’ll be off certainly!” exclaimed one
terrified gentleman.—“Every man for himself, God for us all: the _devil
take the hindmost_!” shouted another.—“Do you mean to affront me, Sir?”
demanded the worthy self-devoted consul, starting from his seat. A
regular uproar now ensued; but the thing was soon explained, and
tranquillity restored.

Two ships were next day hired, at an enormous price, to carry the
English out of the reach of Bonaparte. The wind blew a gale, but no
hurricane could be so terrific as Napoleon. Their property was a serious
consideration to my fellow-countrymen; however, there was no choice:
they therefore packed up all their small valuables, and relinquished the
residue to the protection of _Providence_ and the _consul_.

In a short time all was ready; and, as Mr. Stuart had advised, men,
women, children, and lap-dogs, all rushed to the quay; while, in
emulation of the orator at the consul’s, “the devil take the
_hindmost_,” if not universally expressed, was universally the principle
of action. Two children, in this most undignified sort of confusion,
fell into the sea, but were picked up. The struggling, screeching,
scrambling, &c. were at length completed; and in a shorter time than
might be supposed, the English population were duly shipped, and away
they went under a hard gale. Dr. Johnson calls a ship a prison with the
chance of being drowned in it; and as if to prove the correctness of the
doctor’s definition, before night was over one vessel was ashore, and
the whole of its company just on the point of increasing the
_population_ of the British Channel.

Havre de Grace being thus emptied of the king of England’s subjects, who
were “saving their bacon” at sea, in a violent hurricane, the consul
began to take care of their property: but there being a thing called
_loyer_, or _rent_, in France as well as in England, the _huissiers_
(bailiffs) of the town saved the consul a great deal of trouble
respecting his guardianship in divers instances. Nevertheless, so far as
he could, he most faithfully performed his promise to the fugitives, for
the reception of whose effects he rented a large storehouse, and so far
all was wisely, courteously, and carefully managed: but not exactly
recollecting that the parties did not possess the property as _tenants
in common_, the worthy consul omitted to have _distinct inventories_
taken of each person’s respective chattels, though, to avoid any risk of
favouritism, he had all jumbled together; and such an heterogeneous
medley was perhaps never seen elsewhere. Clothes, household furniture,
kitchen utensils, books, linen, empty bottles, musical instruments, &c.
strewed the floor of the storehouse in “most admired disorder.” All
being safely stowed, locks, bolts, and bars were elaborately
constructed, to exclude such as might feel a disposition to picking and
stealing; but, alas! the best intentions and the most cautious
provisions are sometimes frustrated by accident or oversight. In the
present instance, in his extraordinary anxiety to secure the door, Mr.
Stuart was perfectly heedless of the _roof_; and in consequence, the
intrusion of the rain, which often descended in torrents, effectually
saved most of the proprietors the trouble of identifying their goods
after the result of the glorious battle of Waterloo. Disputes also were
endless as to the right and title of various claimants to various
articles; and in the result, the _huissiers_ and the landlord of the
storehouse were once more intruders upon the protected property.

To return—Havre being completely evacuated by my countrymen, it now
became necessary to strike out some line of proceeding for myself and
family. Sir William Johnson, who was in the town, had participated in
the general alarm, and had set off with his household for the
Netherlands, advising me to do the same. I was afterward informed,
though falsely, that they all foundered in a dyke near Antwerp. In the
mean time, the transformation of things at Havre became complete, and
perfect order quickly succeeded the temporary agitation. The
tri-coloured flag was again hoisted at the port; and all the painters of
the town were busily employed in changing the royal signs into imperial
ones. One auberge, _Louis le Désiré_, was changed into a _blue boar_:
the _Duchesse d’Angoulême_ became _the Virgin Mary_: _royal_ was
new-gilt into _imperial_ once more at the lottery offices:
_fleurs-de-lis_ were metamorphosed, in a single day, into beautiful
_spread-eagles_: and the _Duc de Berry_, who had hung creaking so
peaceably on his post before the door of an hotel, became, in a few
hours, _St. Peter_ himself, with the keys of Heaven dangling from his
little finger!


A family council—Journey from Havre to Paris—Attention of the French
  officers to the author and his party—Peaceable condition of the
  intervening country—Thoughts on revolutions in general—Ireland in
  1798—Arrival in the French capital—Admirable state of the police—Henry
  Thevenot—Misgivings of the author—His interview with Count
  Bertrand—Polite conduct of the Count—The Emperor’s chapel—Napoleon at
  mass—His deportment—Treasonable garments—Col. Gowen—Military
  inspection after mass—Alteration in the manner of the
  Emperor—Enthusiasm of the soldiers.

To see Napoleon, or not to see Napoleon,—that was the question! and well
weighed it was in my domestic republic. After a day’s reasoning, _pro_
and _con_, (curiosity being pitted against fear, and women in the
question,) the matter was still undecided, when our friends the colonel
and the dirty doctor came to visit us, and set the point at rest, by
stating that the regiments at Havre had declared unanimously for the
emperor, and that the colonel had determined to march next day direct
upon Paris; that therefore if we were disposed to go thither, and would
set off at the same time, the doctor should take care of our safety, and
see that we had good cheer on our journey to the metropolis.

This proposal was unanimously adopted; we were at peace with France, and
might possibly remain so; and the curiosity of three ladies, with my own
to back it, proved to be totally irresistible. A new sub-prefect also
having arrived in the town, came to see us; expressed his regret that
the English should have deemed it necessary to quit the place; and gave
us a letter of introduction to his wife, who lived in the Rue St.
Honoré, at Paris. We all believed there would be no war.

We immediately packed up. I procured three stout horses to my carriage,
and away we went after the advanced guard of the (as well as I
recollect) 41st regiment. The soldiers seemed to me as if they thought
they never could get to Napoleon soon enough: they marched with
surprising rapidity; and after a most agreeable journey, we arrived at
the good city of Paris without any let or hindrance; having experienced
from the dirty doctor every possible attention. We were sure of the best
cheer at any place we halted at; and the more so as the advanced guard
only preceded us one stage, and the main body of the troops was a stage
behind us. We were immediately escorted by four mounted soldiers, who
were in attendance upon our medical friend. I have learnt since that
this kind and firm-hearted man escaped the campaign and returned to
Italy: the colonel was shot dangerously at Quatre Bras, but I understand
his wounds did not prove mortal.

Our route from Havre to Paris exhibited one general scene of peace and
tranquillity, not dashed by the slightest symptom of revolution. The
national guards every where appeared to have got new clothing, and were
most assiduously learning in the villages to hold up their heads, and
take long strides and lock steps, but (for any thing that appeared to
the contrary) solely for their own amusement. The same evidences of
undisturbed serenity and good-humour were displayed in all directions,
and the practice of military exercises by the national guards was the
only warlike indication of any kind throughout the whole extent of
country we traversed.

On our arrival at the capital we found no exception therein to the
tranquillity of the provinces. People at a distance are apt to conceive
that a _revolution_ must necessarily be a most terrific affair—a period
of anarchy and confusion, when every thing is in a state of animosity,
bustle, and insecurity. This is in some instances a great mistake;
(although, generally speaking, true enough;) for, on the other hand,
many modern revolutions have been effected, governments upset, dynasties
annihilated, and kings trucked, with as little confusion as the
exchanging a gig-horse. I have indeed seen more work made about the
change of a hat than of a diadem; more anxiety expressed touching a cane
than a sceptre; and never did any revolution more completely prove the
truth of these remarks than that in France during March, 1815, when
Napoleon quietly drove up post, in a chaise and four, to the palace of
the Bourbons, and Louis XVIII. as quietly drove _off_ post, in a chaise
and four, to avoid his visitor. Both parties, too, were driven back
again, within three months, pretty nearly in the same kind of vehicle!
Let my reader compare, for his edification, this bloodless revolution
with the _attempt_ at revolution in the obscure corner of the globe from
whence I sprang, _Anno Domini_ 1798 during the brief summer of which
year there was, in secluded Ireland, (the _kingdom_ of Ireland, as it
was then called,) more robbery, shooting, hanging, burning, piking,
flogging, and picketing, than takes place in half a dozen of the best
got-up continental revolutions—always excepting that great convulsion
which agitated our French neighbours toward the close of the eighteenth

During the interval of the Hundred Days, and some time subsequently, I
kept a regular diary, wherein I accurately took down every important
circumstance, except some which I then considered much safer in my mind
than under my hand; and a few of these are now, for the first time,
submitted to the public. After some days’ stay in Paris, I began to feel
rather awkward. I found very few of my fellow-countrymen had remained
there, and that there seemed to exist but little partiality toward the
English. But the police was perfect, and no outrage, robbery, or breach
of the peace was heard of; nor could I find that there were any
political prisoners in the gaols, or in fact many prisoners of any kind.
No dissolutes were suffered to parade the streets or contaminate the
theatres; and all appeared polite, tranquil, and _correct_. I kept
totally clear, meanwhile, both in word and deed, of political subjects.

I hired as footman a person then very well known in Paris, Henry
Thevenot. I have since heard (but cannot vouch for the fact) that he is
the Thevenot who attended Mr. Wakefield and Miss Turner. I have likewise
recently been apprised that, at the time I engaged him, he was actually
on the police establishment. Be that as it may, I certainly always
considered Thevenot to be a mysterious kind of person, and, on one
particular occasion, which will be hereafter mentioned, discharged him
suddenly, without enlarging on my reasons: he was however an excellent
servant. I had brought a passport from the new Sous-Préfet at Havre,
which having lodged at the police-office, I felt quite at my ease; but,
reflecting afterward upon the probable consequence in case of war or
change of circumstances, I determined at once to take a bold step and go
to the Palais de Bourbon Elysée, (where Napoleon resided,) and endeavour
to see Count Bertrand, whom I proposed to inform truly of my situation,
and ask for a _carte de sureté_, or a passport to return.

On the second day whereon I made an attempt to see him, with difficulty
I succeeded in obtaining an audience. I told the count who I was, and
all the facts, together with my doubts as to the propriety of remaining.
He very politely said I should have what I required, but that a
gentleman in my station was perfectly safe, and there could be no
difficulty as to my remaining as long as I chose; and concluded by
bowing me out, after a very short interview. As I was going down the
steps an officer recalled me, and asked if I had any family in Paris. I
replied in the affirmative—three ladies: mutual bows ensued, and I
returned very well satisfied with the result of my visit to the Palais
de Bourbon Elysée. At that time the emperor was employed day and night
on business in the palace: at daybreak he occasionally rode out with
some of his staff, to inspect the works at Montmartre; and on hearing
this, my ancient curiosity to see so distinguished a person came afresh
upon me.

The ensuing day, a man with a large letter-box buckled before him
entered our apartment without the least ceremony, and delivered a letter
with “Bertrand” signed at the corner. I was rather startled at the
moment, as the occurrence certainly looked singular: nevertheless, the
man’s appearance and manner were not such as to confirm unpleasant
surmises, and I proceeded to unseal the envelope, which enclosed a
billet to the Commissaire de Police at the prefecture, desiring him to
grant me a _carte de sureté_ and a _sauf conduit_ through any part of
France, if I chose to travel in that country—(the signature was not that
of Bertrand):—the packet also contained a polite note from an
aide-de-camp of the count, mentioning that he was directed to enclose me
an admission to the emperor’s chapel, &c. and to say that, on production
of my _carte de sureté_, our party would find a _free admission_ to the
theatres and other spectacles of Paris.—So much politeness (so _very_
different from what would have been the case in England) both gratified
and surprised me. I wrote a letter of thanks; but at our privy council,
we agreed that, under existing circumstances, it would be better to say
nothing of the _latter_ favour. I afterward discovered the friendly
quarter through which it originated.

We hired a _calèche_ by the month, and set out with a determination to
lose no time in seeing whatever was interesting; and in fact every thing
was at that moment interesting to strangers. We spoke French
sufficiently well for ordinary purposes; and determined, in short, to
make ourselves as comfortable as possible.

I have already observed that I kept a diary during the Hundred Days, but
afterward thought it most prudent not to commit any thing very important
to writing. From that diary, so far as I pursued it, (and from scraps
which nobody could understand but myself,) I have since selected some
details and observations which have not hitherto been published, and for
the collection of which my peculiar situation at Paris, and consequent
opportunities, abundantly qualified me. Consistently with the foregoing
part of these fragments, I shall not even attempt any thing like strict
order or chronological arrangement, but leave, generally speaking, the
various subjects brought before the reader’s attention to illustrate and
explain each other. On this principle, I shall now, without further
prelude, describe the first scene which impressed itself on my

The first Sunday after the receipt of our permission we repaired to the
emperor’s chapel, to see that wonderful man, and to hear mass chanted in
the first style of church music. Napoleon had already entered: the
chapel was full; but we got seats very low down, near the gallery in
which the emperor sat; and as he frequently leaned over the front, I had
opportunities of partially seeing him. In the presence of so celebrated
a man as Bonaparte, all other things sank into comparative
insignificance, and the attention of the spectator was wholly absorbed
by the one great object. Thus, in the present case, there was nothing
either in the chapel or congregation that had power to divide my regards
with the great Napoleon. As I have said, he often leaned over the front
of the gallery wherein he sat; and I had thence an opportunity of
observing that he seemed quite restless, took snuff repeatedly, stroked
down his head with an abstracted air—and, in fact, was obviously
possessed by feelings of deep anxiety. I should not suppose he had at
the moment the least consciousness as to where he was, and that, of all
things, the priests and the mass were the last likely to occupy his

Whilst thus employed in reconnoitring the emperor as intensely as stolen
glances afforded me means of doing, a buzz in the chapel caused me to
turn round to ascertain its cause. Though low, it increased every
moment, and was palpably directed toward us—so much so, that no doubt
remained of our being somehow or other the sole objects of it. I then
whispered my companions that our presence was evidently offensive in
that place, and that we had better retire, when a French lady who sat
near Lady Barrington, said to her, “Madame, you perceive that you are
the object of this uncourteous notice.”—“Yes,” replied she, “it is
become quite obvious.” The French lady smiled, and continued, “You had
better _lay aside your shawls_!”—Lady Barrington and my daughter
accordingly, taking the hint, threw off the shawls, which they suffered
to drop at their feet, and at once the buzzing subsided, and no further
explanation took place until the conclusion of the service.

At that moment several French ladies came up with great courtesy, to
apologise for the apparent rudeness of the congregation, which they
begged Lady Barrington to excuse on account of its cause, and to examine
her shawl, on doing which, she would perceive that it was very unlucky
(_bien mal à propos_) to wear such a one in presence of the emperor. She
did so, and found that both hers and my daughter’s (though very fine
ones) were unfortunately speckled all over with _fleurs-de-lis_! They
had been sold her the preceding day by a knavish shopkeeper at the
Passage Feydeau, who, seeing she was a foreigner, had put off these
articles, thinking it a good opportunity to decrease his stock in that
kind of gear, the sale whereof would probably be pronounced high treason
before the month was over.

The confusion of the ladies at this _éclaircissement_ may be well
conceived; but it was speedily alleviated by the elegant consolations
and extreme politeness of the Frenchwomen. Among those who addressed us
was a gentleman in the uniform of a colonel of the national guards; he
spoke to me in perfect English, and begged to introduce his family to
mine. I told him who I was, and he asked us to a dinner and ball next
day at his house in the Rue de Clichy. We accepted his invitation, and
were magnificently entertained. This was Colonel Gowen, the proprietor
of the first stamp-paper manufactory in France—a most excellent,
hospitable, and friendly person, but ill-requited, I fear, afterward by
some of our countrymen. I subsequently experienced many proofs of his
hospitality and attention.

An English lady (the wife of Dr. Marshall, an English physician) was
also remarkably attentive and polite on this occasion, and gave her card
to Lady Barrington, No. 10, Rue Pigale:—so that the affair of the shawl,
so far from being _mal à propos_, seemed to turn out quite a lucky

In viewing Napoleon that day, it was not the splendid superiority of his
rank; it was neither his diadem, sceptre, nor power, which communicated
that involuntary sensation of awe it was impossible not to feel:—it was
the gigantic degree of talent whereby a man of obscure origin had been
raised so far above his fellows. The spectator could not but deeply
reflect on the mystic nature of those decrees of Providence which had
placed Napoleon Bonaparte on one of the highest of earthly thrones and
at the very pinnacle of glory; had hurled him from that eminence and
driven him into exile; and now seemed again to have warranted his second
elevation, replacing him upon that throne even more wondrously than when
he first ascended it.

Such were my impressions on my first sight of the Emperor Napoleon. So
much has he been seen and scrutinised throughout the world,—so familiar
must his countenance have been to millions,—so many descriptions have
been given of his person and of his features by those who knew him
well,—that any portrait by me must appear to be at least superfluous.
Every person, however, has a right to form his own independent judgment
on subjects of physiognomy, and it is singular enough that I have never
yet met any one with whom I entirely coincided as to the peculiar
expression of Napoleon’s features;—and I have some right to speak, for I
saw him at periods and under circumstances that wrought on and agitated
every muscle of his fine countenance, and have fancied (perhaps
ridiculously) that I could trace indications of character therein
unnoticed by his biographers. Several who have confidently spoken of his
physiognomy never saw him; by such, therefore, any estimation of its
cast cannot be very accurate.

On this day my observations must necessarily have been superficial: yet
I thought I could perceive, in the movement of a single feature, some
strong-excited feeling, some sensation detached and wandering away from
the ordinary modes of thinking, though I could not even guess from what
passion or through what impulse that sensation originated. After I had
seen him often, I collated the emotions palpable in his countenance with
the vicissitudes of his past life, fancying that I might thence acquire
some data to go upon in estimating the tone of his thoughts: but at this
first sight, so diversified were the appearances as he leaned over the
gallery, that even Lavater could not have deciphered his sensations. He
was uneasy, making almost convulsive motions, and I perceived
occasionally a quiver on his lip: on the whole, my anxiety was raised a
hundredfold to be placed in some situation where I might translate at
leisure the workings of his expressive countenance. That opportunity was
after a short interval fully given me.

On the same day I had indeed a second occasion of observing the emperor,
and in a much more interesting occupation—more to his taste, and which
obviously changed the entire cast of his looks, quite divesting them of
that deep, penetrating, gloomy character, which had saddened his
countenance during the time he was at chapel. After mass he first came
out upon the balcony in front of the Tuileries: his personal staff,
marshals, generals, and a few ladies surrounded him; while the civil
officers of the court, in the richest dresses, stood in small groups
aside, as if wishing to have nothing to do with the military spectacle.
Napoleon was now about to inspect eight or ten thousand of the army in
the Place Carousel. The transition from an array of priests to a parade
of warriors—from the hymns of the saints to the shouting of the
soldiery—from the heavy, although solemn, music of the organ to the
inspiriting notes of the drum—added greatly to the effect of the scene,
which strongly impressed my mind, alive and open to all these novel
incidents. Age had not then, nor has it yet, effaced the susceptibility
of my nature. I own the latter scene was on that day to my mind vastly
preferable to the first: the countenance of Napoleon was metamorphosed;
it became illuminated; he descended from the balcony, and mounted a gray
barb. He was now obviously in his element: the troops, as I have said,
amounted to about ten thousand: I did not conceive the court of the
Tuileries could hold so many.

Napoleon was now fully exposed to our view. His face acknowledged the
effect of climate: his forehead, though high and thinly strewn with
hair, did not convey to me any particular trait; his eyebrows, when at
rest, were not expressive, neither did his eyes on that occasion speak
as much as I should have expected; but the _lower_ part of his face
fixed my attention at once. It was about his mouth and chin that
character seemed to be concentrated. I thought, on the whole, that I
could perceive a mixture of steadiness and caprice, of passion and
generosity, of control and impetuousness; but I could _decide_ on

My attention, however, was soon turned to the inspection itself. There
was not a soldier who did not appear nearly frantic with exultation, and
whose very heart, I believe, did not beat in unison with the hurrahs
wherewith they received their favourite leader.

It was the first time I had ever heard a crowd express its boisterous
pleasure in a tone of sensibility unknown in our country. The troops
were _in earnest_, and so was the general. The _old guard_ (including
such as had returned from Elba and such as had rejoined their colours)
formed a body of men superior to any I ever before witnessed.
Descriptions of Napoleon amidst his soldiers are however so common, that
I will not occupy either the reader’s time or my own by enlarging
further on the subject.

                         THE ENGLISH IN PARIS.

Doctor and Mrs. Marshall—Col. Macirone, aide-de-camp to Joachim Murat,
  while king of Naples—General Arthur O’Connor—Lord and Lady
  Kinnaird—His lordship under the _surveillance_ of the police—Suspected
  of _espionage_, and arrested, but set at liberty immediately
  after—Messrs. Hobhouse and Bruce—Dr. Marshall’s correct information as
  to passing events—Real character of the _coterie_ at his house—_Madame
  la parente du ministre Fouché_—Misconception of the minister’s Swiss
  porter—Henry Thevenot.

Shortly after this period I became particularly intimate with Dr.
Marshall, a circumstance which, in the paucity of English who had
remained in Paris, was productive to me of great satisfaction. He was a
man of prepossessing appearance and address; had travelled much; had
acted (he informed me) as physician to the army in Egypt, &c.; and had
gone on some confidential missions to Murat while king of Naples. His
wife was a pretty woman, rather _en bon point_, about thirty, and with
the complete appearance and address of a gentlewoman. The doctor kept a
very handsome establishment, and entertained small companies splendidly.

The society I met there consisted, generally, of Col. Macirone, who had
been aide-de-camp to Murat, and has published an account of the romantic
circumstances attendant on the death of that ill-fated man. Another
member of the society was Count Julien, formerly, I believe, some
secretary or civil officer of Murat, a boisterous, overbearing fat man,
consequential without being dignified, dressy without being neat, and
with a showy _politeness_ that wanted the elements of _civility_. Count
Julien was the only person I met at Doctor Marshall’s whose character or
occupation I had much curiosity about.

Fouché was then the emperor’s minister of police, and they all appeared
to be more or less acquainted with him: but I had not then the slightest
idea that most of them were in some way _employés_ of the police
minister, and hollow friends, if not absolute enemies to Napoleon.

I met several other gentlemen less remarkable at Doctor Marshall’s; many
of them I never saw again: some were Italians, but mostly French. Only
one lady appeared besides the mistress of the house. This was a plain,
rational, sedate woman under forty. She was introduced to us by Mrs.
Marshall as the wife of a _relative_ of Fouché, and at that time (with
her husband) on a visit to his excellency at his hotel, Rue Cerutti.

One day before dinner, at Dr. Marshall’s house, I observed this lady,
just on our arrival, hurrying into Mrs. Marshall’s boudoir, and when
dinner was announced she re-entered decked out with a set of remarkable
coral ornaments, which I had seen Mrs. Marshall wear several times. This
circumstance struck me at the moment, but was neither recollected nor
accounted for till we paid an unlucky visit to that “relative of
Fouché,” when the whole enigma became developed, and my suspicions
fairly aroused.

Dr. Marshall meanwhile continued to gain much on my esteem. He saw that
I was greedy of information as to the affairs of Italy; and he, as well
as Col. Macirone, saturated me in consequence with anecdotes of the
court of Naples, and of Murat himself, highly entertaining, and I
believe authentic; for I do really think that Macirone was sincerely
attached to that king, and attended his person with friendship and
sincerity. On the contrary, Count Julien seemed to me incapable of much
feeling, and perfectly indifferent as to any body’s fate but his own.
This, however, I only give as my individual opinion: I soon lost sight
of the man altogether. Once (I think the day of the abdication) I saw
him at Fouché’s office, whither I strolled to make observations. He was
lavishing the most boundless invectives against the ex-emperor.

In the midst of this society I passed my time during the greater part of
the Hundred Days: and Doctor Marshall informing me, I believe truly,
that he was on terms of confidence (though not immediately) with Fouché,
and well knowing that he might with perfect security communicate any
thing to me (I should be silent for my own sake), scarce a day passed
but we had much conversation in his garden; and he certainly did give me
very correct information as to the state of affairs and the condition of
the emperor, together with much that was not equally correct, regarding
himself. This I occasionally and partially perceived; but his address
was imposing and particularly agreeable: he was good-natured and

We had also cultivated our acquaintance (originated through the
adventure of the shawls) with Colonel Gowen, of the national guards,
whose hotel in Rue Clichy bore a most extraordinary castellated
appearance, and was surrounded by very large gardens, where we were
often nobly entertained: the leads of the hotel overlooked Tivoli, and
indeed every place about Paris. The colonel lived extremely well; spoke
English perfectly; and might, in fact, be mistaken for an hospitable
colonel of British yeomanry.

Another gentleman, a Mr. Lewins, I also happened accidentally to meet,
who was an Irishman, and whom I had known many years previously. We
became intimate, and I derived utility and information from that
acquaintance. This gentleman knew, and had long known, much more of past
French affairs and individuals than any of my other acquaintances; and
seeming at the same time replete with good-nature (with his _politics_,
which I really believe were very _undecided_, I had nothing to do), I
could not fail to be a gainer by our intercourse, which continued.

Another more remarkable and very clever person, Mr. Arthur O’Connor, was
then a French general unemployed. I had known him thirty years before:
he had married the daughter and sole heiress of the unfortunate and
learned Marquis de Condorcet; and was prohibited from returning to his
native country by act of parliament. General Arthur O’Connor was a
remarkably strong-minded, clever man, with a fine face and manly air: he
had besides a great deal of Irish national character, to some of the
failings whereof he united several of its best qualities. I met him, and
relished his company highly. For old acquaintance sake I professed and
truly felt a friendship for him; and, differing as we did upon public
subjects, we talked over all without arguing upon any, which is the only
agreeable method of conversation among persons whose opinions do not

Lord and Lady Kinnaird were also in Paris at that period. I did not pay
my respects to them for a very singular, though at such a time a very
sufficient reason. Her ladyship was the daughter of one of my most
respected friends, the late Duke of Leinster, to every member of whose
family I owe all possible attention: but Lord Kinnaird, by over-acting
his part, had drawn on himself an absurd degree of suspicion; and I had
been informed by a friend, in confidence, that every person who was seen
visiting him was immediately suspected likewise, and put secretly under
_surveillance_, which would not have been particularly agreeable to me.
In a little time this information was curiously illustrated. I was
informed that Lord Kinnaird had been arrested by order of Fouché: but
Fouché soon found he had fallen into a very ridiculous error; and I
believe his lordship was immediately liberated with an ample apology. I
heard also incidentally among the _employés_, (for I took care at all
times to display no inordinate curiosity even though I might be
literally bursting with that feeling,) that his lordship was accustomed
to express himself so hyperbolically in favour of Napoleon, that the
police (to whom every thing was made known by unsuspected domestics)
could not give his lordship credit for sincerity, and therefore took for
granted that he was playing some double game: in fact, they fancied he
was a spy!—using ultra eulogiums on the emperor to cloke a secret

Messrs. Hobhouse and Bruce were both in Paris at the same period, and I
have often regretted that I did not know them. I afterward knew the
latter well, when in La Force with Sir R. Wilson and my friend Mr. J.
Hutchinson, for assisting the escape of Lavalette. I found in Mr. Bruce
an able man with some excellent qualities, and a thirst after
information, which I admire in any body.

These, together with the family of Mr. Talbot, were the only English
whom I met in Paris immediately after my arrival and during the most
momentous crisis Europe ever witnessed.[43] That point of time formed it
was then supposed the pivot whereon the future destiny of every nation
in the fairest quarter of the globe was vibrating:—but I am here
trenching on a subject in which the nature of this work does not permit
me to indulge.


Footnote 43:

  There were others, but I knew them not. One mysterious person I was
  then well acquainted with. I have for several years past lost sight of
  him; and never could find out _who_ he was. He was clever,
  intelligent, and actively friendly: obviously not _rich_, and as
  obviously not _poor_.—I should be glad to see him again.


The successive occurrences at Paris, after Napoleon’s return, were daily
published, and are known to every body. The press seemed free from
restraint, and every public act was recorded: it was therefore to the
_private_ acts and characters of men I applied my observation, as
forming the best ground for speculative opinions, (which that portentous
interval necessarily tended to stimulate,) and likewise as calculated to
yield the best materials for future entertainment.

Dr. Marshall was, as I have already stated, on certain occasions
confidentially employed by Fouché; and placing some confidence in
me—perhaps not duly estimating the extent of my curiosity,—he was very
communicative. (I think he hated the principles of Fouché.) In fact, not
a day passed, particularly after Napoleon’s return from Waterloo, that I
did not make some discovery through the doctor, as much from his air of
mystery as from direct admissions. From him I collected Fouché’s
flagitious character, and the ductility and total absence of principle
exhibited by some of his _attachés_.

The intelligence I daily acquired did not surprise, but greatly
disgusted me. Napoleon had _many_ false _friends_. I hate treachery in
all its ramifications: it is not, generally speaking, a French
characteristic; but Fouché certainly displayed a complete
personification of it. Men of that description generally do each other
_strict justice_, by the operation and exercise of mutual hatred,
contempt, and invective. I never heard one such person say a kind word
of another _behind his back_; and when a man is necessitated by policy
to puff a brother villain, it is not difficult for a stander-by to
decipher the sneer of jealousy and mental reservation distorting the
muscles of the speaker’s countenance, and involuntarily disclosing the
very feeling which he was perhaps desirous to conceal.

Thus was it with various tools of that treacherous minister; and in his
own countenance were engraven distinctly the characteristics of
plausibility, cunning and insincerity. From the first moment I saw
Fouché, and more particularly when I heard him _coldly_ swear fidelity
to his imperial master, I involuntarily imbibed a strong sensation of
dislike. His features held out no inducement to place confidence in
their owner: on the contrary, they could not but tend to beget distrust
and disesteem. The suspicions which they generated in me I never could
overcome, and the sequel proved how just were my anticipations.

After awhile, I began slightly to suspect the composition of the society
I was associating with, and it occurred to me to request that Lady
Barrington would pay a visit to the lady we had met at Doctor
Marshall’s, and whom we had understood from Doctor and Mrs. Marshall to
be on a visit to Fouché, her _relative_. I proposed to go also, and
leave my card for her husband, whom we had not yet seen. We accordingly
waited on them at Fouché’s hotel, and asked the Swiss if _madame_ was at

“_Madame!_” said the porter; “_madame! quelle madame?_” as if he had
heard us imperfectly. We had forgotten her name, and could therefore
only reply, “_madame la parente de monsieur le ministre_.”

“_Parente de monsieur le ministre?_” repeated the Swiss. “There is no
such person here, monsieur,” with a half-saucy shrug.

“Oh yes,” exclaimed I: “she is on a visit to the Duc D’Otrante.”

“_No, no, monsieur et madame_,” repeated the pertinacious Swiss: “_point
du tout!_” and he seemed impatient to send us away; but after a moment’s
pause, the fellow burst out into a fit of laughter. “I beg your pardon,
_monsieur et madame_,” said he, “I begin to understand whom you mean.
_Your friend_ undoubtedly resides in the hotel, but she is just now from

I handed him our cards for her and her husband. On reading “_Le
Chevalier et Milady_,” the man looked more respectful, but apparently
could not control his laughter. When, however, he at length recovered
himself, he bowed very low, begged pardon again, and said he thought we
had been inquiring for some _vraie_ madame. The word stimulated my
curiosity, and I hastily demanded its meaning; when it turned out that
_monsieur_ was the maitre d’hotel, and _madame_, his wife, looked to the
linen, china, &c. as _femme de confiance_:—in English, _housekeeper_!

We waited to hear no more. I took up our cards and away we went; and my
suspicions as to that lady’s rank were thus set at rest. I did not say
one word of the matter at Dr. Marshall’s, but I suppose the porter told
the _lady_, as we never saw her afterward, nor her husband at all.

I now began to see my way more clearly, and redoubled my assiduity to
decipher the events passing around me. In this I was aided by an
increased intimacy with Colonel Macirone, whom closer acquaintance
confirmed as an agreeable and gentlemanly man.

I perceived that there was some plot going forward, the nature of which
it was beyond my power to develope. The manner of the persons I lived
among was perpetually undergoing some shade of variation; the mystery
thickened; and my curiosity increased with it.

In the end this curiosity was completely gratified; but all I could
determine on at the moment was, that there existed an extensive
organised system of deception and treachery, at the bottom of which was
Fouché himself: whether, however, my acquaintances would ultimately
adhere to the emperor or his minister, seemed quite problematical. I
meanwhile dreaded every body, yet affected to fear none, and listened
with an air of unconcern to the stories of my valet, Henry Thevenot,
though at that time I gave them no credit: subsequent occurrences,
however, rendered it manifest that this man procured, somehow or other,
sure information.

Among other matters, Thevenot said he knew well there was an intention,
if opportunity occurred, of assassinating Napoleon on his road to join
the army in Belgium.[44] I did not much relish being made the depositary
of such dangerous reports, and ordered my servant never to mention
before me again “any such ridiculous stories,” otherwise I should
discharge him as an _unsafe_ person. Yet I could not keep his tongue
from wagging, and I really dreaded dismissing him. He said “that Fouché
was a traitor to his master; that several of the cannon at Montmartre
were rendered _unserviceable_; and that mines had been charged with
gunpowder under various parts of the city, preparatory to some attempt
at counter-revolution.”


Footnote 44:

  I have often thought that the Mameluke who had always been retained by
  Napoleon about his person had some very deep reason for his ultimate
  desertion; and to this moment that circumstance appears to me to leave
  just grounds for a suspicion that his fidelity had long been shaken.


                      INAUGURATION OF THE EMPEROR.

The peers and deputies summoned for the 8th of June—Abduction of the
  regalia by the royalists—Author obtains a ticket of admission to
  the gallery of the Chamber of Deputies, to witness the
  ceremony—Grenadiers of the Old Guard—Enthusiasm of the military,
  and comparative quiescence of the other ranks—Entrance of Napoleon
  into the Chamber—Sketch of his appearance and that of _Madame
  Mère_—Administration of the oath of allegiance—The Duke of Otranto
  and Count Thibaudeau—The imperial speech and its ineffective

The days rolled on, and in their train brought summer and the month of
June, on the 8th of which the peers and deputies of the legislative body
were summoned to attend collectively at two o’clock in the Chamber of
Deputies, to receive the emperor, and take the oath of fidelity to him
and to the constitution, in the midst of all the splendor which the
brilliant metropolis of France could supply. The abduction of the
regalia by some friends of King Louis, when they ran away to Ghent, had
left Napoleon without any crown wherewith to gratify the vanity of a
people at all times devoted to every species of spectacle; he had only a
button and loop of brilliants which fastened up his Spanish hat, over
the sides whereof an immense plumage hung nodding. But this was such a
scene, and such an occasion, that a wreath of laurel would have become
the brow of Napoleon far better than all the diamonds in the
universe!—The whole of the imperial family were to be present.

The number of persons who could be admitted as spectators into the
gallery was necessarily very limited: and in a great metropolis where
every body is devoted to show, the difficulty of procuring admission
would, I conceived, be of course proportionably great. It may be well
imagined that I was indefatigable in seeking to obtain tickets, as this
spectacle was calculated to throw every thing besides that I had
witnessed in Paris completely into the back-ground;—and what tended
still more to whet the edge of my curiosity, was the reflection that it
would, in all probability, be the last opportunity I should have of
deliberately viewing the emperor, whose departure from Paris to join the
army was immediately contemplated.

I therefore made interest with every body I knew; I even wrote to the
authorities; and, in short, left no means whatever untried which
suggested themselves to me. At length, when I began to think my chance
but a very poor one, on the day actually preceding the ceremony, to my
unspeakable gratification, I received a note from the chamberlain,
enclosing an admission for _one_ person _debout_, which the difficulty I
had every where encountered led me to esteem a great favour. I did not
think that, at my age, I could possibly be so anxious about any thing;
but I believe there are few persons who will not admit that the
excitement was great, occasioned by the prospect of contemplating, for a
length of time and in a convenient situation, the bodily presence of a
man to whom posterity is likely to award greater honours than can be
conceded to him by the prejudices of the present race.

The programme announced that all Napoleon’s marshals and generals,
together with the veterans of his staff and the male branches of his
family, were to be grouped around him; as were likewise several of those
statesmen whose talents had helped originally to raise him to the
throne, and whose treachery afterwards succeeded in hurling him a second
time from it. The peers and deputies, in their several ranks and
costumes, were each, individually and distinctly, on that day to swear
new allegiance to their emperor, and a lasting obedience to the

The solemnity of Napoleon’s inauguration, and that of his promulgating
the new constitution at the Champ de Mars, made by far the greatest
impression on my mind of all the remarkable public or private
occurrences I had ever witnessed. The intense interest—the incalculable
importance, not only to France but to the world, of those two great
events, generated reflections within me more weighty and profound than
any I had hitherto entertained: whilst the variety of glittering
dresses, the novelty and the ever-changing nature of the objects around
me, combined to cheat me almost into a belief that I had migrated to
fairy-land, and in fact to prevent me from _fixing_ my regards on any

The first of those days was the more interesting to France—the second to
Europe at large. Though totally unparalleled in all their bearings, and
dissimilar from every other historical incident ancient or modern, yet
these solemnities seem to have been considered by most who have written
upon the subject as little more than ordinary historic transactions.
Were I to give my feelings full play in reciting their effect on myself,
I should at this calmer moment be perhaps set down as a visionary or
enthusiast. I shall, therefore, confine myself to simple narrative.

The procession of the emperor from the Tuileries to the Chambers, though
short, was to have been of the most imposing character. But, much as I
wished to see it, I found that by such an attempt I might lose my place
in the gallery of the Chamber, and, consequently, the view of the
inauguration scene.—At 11 o’clock, therefore, I brought my family to a
house on the Quay, for which I had previously paid dearly; and where
having placed them at a window, I repaired myself to the Chamber of
Deputies, in company of a French colonel, who had been introduced to us
by Colonel Gowen, and who kindly undertook to be my usher, and to point
out to me the most celebrated warriors and generals of the guard and
army, who in groups promenaded the courts and gardens of the
senate-house, awaiting the appointed hour for parading to receive the
emperor. This gentleman introduced me to several officers and persons of
rank; and though at that moment war, attended by all its horrors, was
deemed inevitable, I was addressed with a courtesy and gentlemanly
frankness which, under similar circumstances, would in any other
country, I fear, have been wanting. They spoke without reserve of the
tremendous struggle about to be commenced; but not a man of them
appeared to me to have a single doubt of triumphing; and had my own
country been neutral or uninterested, I certainly should have preferred
the brilliance of Napoleon’s despotism to the contracted, glimmering
tyranny of his continental enemies. But I knew that Great Britain _was_
implicated. Napoleon and England might coalesce for a moment; but I felt
that the ascendency of the former was considered as incompatible with
the power of the latter, and I was chilled by the reflection, which in
some degree abated my relish for the striking scene before me.

Among other individuals of note to whom I was presented by the colonel,
was Labedoyere, who was destined so soon to atone with the forfeiture of
his life for his fidelity to his first patron. I had heard then nothing
particular of this man, and consequently took but little notice of him.
There was not one whom I remarked more than Ney, then prince of Moskwa.
“That,” said the colonel, as he pointed him out to me, “is the greatest
_sabreur_ in Europe:” and Ney’s rough, manly, sun-burnt countenance,
well set off by his muscular, warlike figure, confirmed the character.
“There,” continued my informant, pointing to a civilian in full dress,
“is one of the truest partisans the emperor has in France—Count
Thibaudeau, though at one time doubted.” I had previously remarked the
person to whom my attention was thus directed, as one not formed of
common materials, and had occasion soon after to observe him still more

So many of the objects of that day have been sketched in various
publications, that I shall not endeavour to give any thing in the shape
of a list of them, but content myself with the mention of those which
struck me most forcibly at the moment.

Whoever was in Paris during the Hundred Days must have seen the old
guard of Napoleon. Such a body of soldiers (all appearing as if cast in
the same mould) I believe never was collected! Their Herculean vigour,
more than the height of their persons, was remarkable; and their dark,
deep-furrowed visages, (enveloped in mustaches and surmounted by the
bear’s skin of their lofty caps, glittering with ornaments,) combined,
together with their arms, their clothes, and more particularly their
steadiness, to exhibit to me the most perfect model of real soldiers.
Their looks, though the very emblem of gravity and determination, were
totally devoid of ferocity; and I could fancy the grenadiers of the old
guard to be _heroes_, uniting the qualities of fidelity, of valour, and
of generosity: their whole appearance indeed was most attractive.

The cavalry had dismounted, and were sitting around on the steps and
parapets of the edifice, mostly employed in sharpening their sabres with
small hones; and the whole seemed to me as if actuated only by an ardent
wish to proceed to action. One officer asked me in English, rather more
freely than the rest, if I knew the British commander (Lord Wellington)?
I said I did.—“Well,” replied he, “we shall have a brush with him before
_quinze jours_ are over!” and turned away with an expression strongly
indicative of contempt. I believe Lord Wellington did not quite
anticipate the short time that would be given him by his opponents. My
observations and introductions were however at length interrupted by the
first cannon, which announced that the emperor had commenced his passage
from the Tuileries. All was in immediate bustle; the drums beat, the
trumpets sounded, the deputies and officials flocked into their halls,
the cuirassiers were mounted, the old guard and grenadiers in line, the
officers at their stations;—and in less than five minutes the mingled
and motley crowd was arranged in order so regular and so silently
assumed, that it was almost impossible to suppose they had ever been in
confusion. The different bands struck up: they had received orders
respecting the airs that should be played as the emperor approached,
which they began to practise; and the whole scene, almost in a moment,
wore an aspect entirely new.

The firing of cannon continued: the emperor had advanced along the
quays, and passed over that very spot where the last French monarch had,
twenty years before, been immolated by his subjects. The word
enthusiasm, strong as its meaning is generally held to be in France,
failed, on this occasion, to express _as much_ as the military seemed to
feel. The citizens who thronged around did not, it is true, appear to
partake in this sentiment to any thing like a corresponding extent.
Whether it was that they felt it not, or that they were conscious of
acting only a subordinate part in the pageant, (which unquestionably
bore too much of a military character,) I do not know.

I proceeded without delay to the stairs which led to my _loge_, as noted
on my admission ticket. This _loge_, however, it turned out to be no
easy matter to find. My heart began to sink; I inquired of every body;
some did not understand, others looked contemptuously; nobody would pay
the least attention to my solicitations. Thus I seemed likely, after
all, to lose the benefit of my exertions. Meanwhile, every new discharge
of cannon seemed as if announcing, not only the emperor’s approach, but
my seclusion from the chamber; and I was getting fast into a state of
angry hopelessness when an officer of the guard, who saw that I was a
foreigner, addressed me in English. I explained to him my embarrassments
and fears, and showed him my ticket. He told me I was on the wrong side,
and was so good as to send a soldier with me to the door of the box. I
rapped, and was instantly admitted. There were two rows of chairs, and
accommodation for three persons to stand behind. I was one of the
latter; and it was impossible to be better situated for hearing and
seeing every thing. My _loge_ exactly faced the throne; and in the next
sat the emperor’s mother, and all the females, with their attendants. I
knew nobody: I saw no English there: there was one person in full-dress,
who was said to be _un chevalier Ecosse_, and who having distinguished
himself and announced his nation by making an abominable noise about
something or other, was very properly sent out. We sat in silent
expectation of the emperor’s arrival, which was to be announced by the
cessation of the repeated salutes of artillery. The moments were
counted: the peers and deputies were seated in their places, all in
full-dress—the former occupying the front benches, and the deputies
ranged behind them. Servants of the chamber, in the most splendid
liveries that can be conceived, were seen busy at all the side doors:
the front door was underneath our _loge_; it was therefore impossible
for me to see the effect of the first appearance of the emperor, who at
length, followed by a numerous retinue, crossed the chamber—not
majestically, but with rather hurried steps: having slightly raised his
hat, he seated himself abruptly on the throne, and wrapping himself in
his purple cloak, sat silent.

The scene was altogether most interesting; but there was no time for
contemplation. The whole assembly immediately rose; and if a judgment
might be formed from the outward expression of their feelings, it would
be inferred that Napoleon was enthroned in the heart of almost every
peer and deputy who that day received him. A loud, continued, and
unanimous burst of enthusiastic congratulation proceeded from every
quarter: it echoed throughout the whole chamber, and had all the
attributes of sincerity. One circumstance I particularly remarked: the
old cry of “_Vive_ l’Empereur,” was discontinued, and, as if the
spectators’ hearts were too full to utter more, they limited themselves
to a single word,—“_l’Empereur! l’Empereur!_” alone bursting from the
whole assembly. I found afterwards that there was a meaning in this:
inasmuch as the ceremony was not a mere greeting—it was an
_inauguration_ of the emperor. It was this solemnity which in fact
_recreated_ his title after his formal abdication, and the assembly thus
noted the distinction.

Meanwhile Napoleon sat apparently unmoved: he occasionally touched his
hat, but spake not. I stood immediately in front of, and looking down
on, the throne; and being in the back row, could use my opera-glass
without observation. Napoleon was at that moment, all circumstances
considered, the most interesting personage in existence. His dress,
although very rich, was scarcely royal: he was not, as a king should be
by prescription, covered with jewels: he had no crown, and wore the same
dress exactly as he afterward did on his visit to the Champ de Mars;
namely, a black Spanish hat, fastened up in front with a diamond loop
and button; heavy plumes of ostrich feathers, which hung nodding over
his forehead; and rather a short but very full cloak of purple velvet,
embroidered with golden bees. The dimensions of his person were thus
concealed; but his stature, which had attained about the middle height,
seemed lower on account of his square-built form and his high,
ungraceful shoulders: he was, in fact, by no means a majestic figure. I
watched his eye; it was that of a hawk, and struck me as being
peculiarly brilliant. Without moving his head, or a single muscle of his
countenance, his eye was every where, and seemed omniscient: an almost
imperceptible transition moved it from place to place, as if by magic;
and it was fixed steadily upon one object before a spectator could
observe its withdrawal from another.

Yet even at this moment, powerful as was the spell in which Napoleon’s
presence bound the spectator, my attention was drawn aside by another
object which seemed to me to afford much scope for contemplation: this
was the emperor’s mother. I stood, as I have already said, in the next
_loge_ of the gallery to that occupied by the imperial family. The
dutiful and affectionate regard of Napoleon to his mother is universally
authenticated: and as his nature was not framed either to form or
perpetuate mere attachments of course, it was natural to conclude that
this lady’s character had something about it _worthy_ of affection. I
was therefore curious to trace, as far as possible, the impressions made
upon her by the passing scene.

Madame Mère (as she was then called) was a very fine old lady,
apparently about sixty, but looking strong and in good health. She was
not, and I believe never had been, a beauty; but was, nevertheless,
well-looking, and possessed a cheerful, _comfortable_ countenance. I
liked her appearance: it was plain and unassuming, and I set my mind to
the task of scrutinising her probable sensations on that important day.

Let us for a moment consider the situation of that mother, who, whilst
in an humble sphere of life, and struggling with many difficulties, had
born, nursed, and reared a son, who, at an early age, and solely by his
own superior talents, became ruler of one of the fairest portions of the
civilised creation; to whom kings and princes crouched and submitted,
and transferred their territories and their subjects, at his will and
pleasure; to whom the whole world, except England, had cringed; whom one
great emperor had flattered and fawned on, handing over to him a
favourite daughter even whilst the conqueror’s true wife was still
living; and whom the same bewildered emperor had afterwards assisted in
rousing all Europe to overthrow; thus dethroning his daughter,
disinheriting his grandson, and exposing himself to the contempt and
derision of the universe,—only that he might have the gratification of
enslaving six millions of the Italian people! The mother of Napoleon had
seen all this; and had, no doubt, felt bitterly that reverse of fortune
whereby her son had been expelled and driven into exile, after his long
dream of grandeur and almost resistless influence. What then must be the
sensations of that mother at the scene we are describing! when she
beheld the same son again hailed emperor of the French, restored to
power and to his friends by the universal assent of a great nation, and
the firm attachment of victorious armies! He remounted his throne before
her eyes once more, and, without the shedding of one drop of blood, was
again called to exercise those functions of royalty from which he had
been a few months before excluded.

It was under these impressions that I eagerly watched the countenance of
that delighted lady: but her features did not appear to me sufficiently
marked to give full scope to the indication of her feeling. I could
judge, in fact, nothing from any other feature except her eye, to which,
when I could catch it, I looked for information. At first I could see
only her profile; but as she frequently turned round, her emotions were
from time to time obvious: a tear occasionally moistened her cheek, but
it evidently proceeded from a happy rather than a painful feeling—it was
the tear of parental ecstasy. I could perceive no lofty sensations of
gratified ambition; no towering pride; no vain and empty arrogance, as
she viewed underneath her the peers and representatives of her son’s
dominions. In fact, I could perceive nothing in the deportment of Madame
Mère that was not calculated to excite respect for her as a woman, and
admiration of her as the person who had brought into the world a man for
many years the most successful of his species.

From observation of this interesting lady I was called off by the scene
which followed. After the emperor had been awhile seated, (his brothers
and the public functionaries around him, as expressed in a printed
programme,) the oath was administered to the peers and deputies
individually, so that each was distinctly marked by name; and what I
considered most fortunate was, that a French gentleman, who sat
immediately before me (I believe some public officer), was assiduous in
giving the two ladies who accompanied him, not only the name of each
peer or deputy, as he took the oath, but also some description of him. I
took advantage of this incident, and in a little tablet copied down the
names of such as I had heard spoken of as remarkable persons, and
particularly the generals and marshals.

Their manner of administering and taking the oath was very different
from ours.[45] The French had, from the period of the revolution, very
justly conceived that an oath of any description would not be one atom
more binding on the party if taken upon a book than if trust were
reposed in their mere word of honour. On the present occasion, each
person, as his name was called over, arose, and holding out his right
arm to its extent, (the palm of the hand uppermost,) deliberately
pronounced, “_Je jure fidélité à l’Empereur, et obédience à la
Constitution_.” The reader will easily believe that it was a source of
the utmost interest to watch the countenances of these dignitaries of
France while they were engaged in performing this important ceremonial.
My physiognomical observation was kept fully on the stretch, and was
never, before or since, so sated with materials to work on. The emperor,
meanwhile, sat almost immovable. He did not appear exhilarated: indeed,
on the other hand, I think he was indisposed. His breast heaved at times
very perceptibly; an involuntary convulsed motion agitated his lip; but
never did I see an eye more indefatigable and penetrating! As each man’s
name was called, and the oath administered, its regard was fixed upon
the individual; and nothing could be more curious to the spectator than
to transfer his gaze alternately from the party taking the oath to the
emperor himself. Some of the peers and deputies Napoleon’s eye passed
over with scarcely a look; while others he regarded as though disposed
to penetrate their very souls, and search there for proofs of a
sincerity he considered doubtful. Some seemed to excite a pleasurable,
others a painful sensation within him; though this was difficult to
recognise, inasmuch as his features seldom, and never more than
slightly, changed their expression. The countenances of the members
themselves were more easily read, and afforded in many instances good
clews whereby, if not the real feelings, at least the _tendency_ of the
parties might be deciphered. Some stood boldly up, and loudly, and
without hesitation took the oath; while others, in slow, tremulous
voices, pledged themselves to what they either never meant, or were not
quite certain of their ability to perform; and a few displayed manifest
symptoms of repugnance in their manner:—but the scene was of a nature so
splendid, so generally interesting, that few persons, except those whose
habits had long led them to the study of mankind, or such as might have
some especial interest in the result, would have attended to these
physiognomical indications, which were of course not suffered in any
instance to become prominent.


Footnote 45:

  One of the devices to prevent the accumulation of petty larceny, in
  the court of Common Pleas of Ireland, was very amusing. Lord Norbury’s
  register, Mr. Peter Jackson, complained grievously to his lordship
  that he really could not afford to supply the court with Gospels or
  Prayer-books, as witnesses, after they had taken their oaths, were in
  the constant habit of stealing _the book_! “Peter,” said Lord Norbury,
  “if the rascals _read_ the book, it will do them more good than the
  petty larceny may do them mischief.”—“Read or not read,” urged Peter,
  “they are rogues, that’s plain. I have tied the book fast, but
  nevertheless they have contrived to loosen and abstract it.”—“Well,
  well!” replied my lord, “if they are not afraid of the _cord, hang_
  your Gospel _in chains_, and that perhaps, by reminding the fellows of
  the fate of some of their fathers and grandfathers, may make them
  behave themselves.” Peter Jackson took the hint: provided a
  good-looking, well-bound New Testament, which he secured with a strong
  jack-chain that had evidently done duty, and well, before the
  _kitchen-fire_, and was made fast to the rail of the jury gallery.
  Thus, the holy volume being gibbeted, had free scope to swing about
  and clink as much as it chose, to the great terror of witnesses, and
  good order of the jurors themselves.


One of the first persons who took the oath was Fouché, Duke of Otranto.
I had been in this nobleman’s office on my first arrival in Paris, had
marked his countenance, and have already given my judgment of him. He
had originally been a monk, (I believe a Jesuit,) and was on all hands
admitted to be a man of the utmost talent, but at the same time without
moral principle;—a man who, in order to attain his ends, would disregard
justice, and set opinion at insolent defiance. But, above all, Fouché’s
reigning character was _duplicity_: in that qualification of a statesman
he had no rival. Napoleon knew him thoroughly; but, circumstanced as he
was, he had (fatally for himself) occasion for such men.

Yet even Fouché I really think was, on this day, off his guard. He was
at the time, there can be little doubt, in actual communication with
some of Napoleon’s enemies; and he certainly appeared, whether or no
from “compunctious visitings of conscience,” to be ill at his ease. I
kept my eye much on him; and it was quite obvious to me that some
powerful train of feeling was working within his breast. On his name
being called, there was nothing either bold, frank, or steady in his
appearance or demeanour. He held out his hand not much higher than his
hip, and, in a tone of voice languid, if not faltering, swore to a
fidelity which he was determined, should he find it convenient, to
renounce. I really think (and my eye and glass were full upon him) that
Fouché, at the moment, _felt_ his own treachery: a slight hectic passed
over his temples, and his tongue seemed to cleave to his mouth. I cannot
account for my impression further than this, but from that instant I set
down the man as a traitor! Napoleon for the first time turned his head
as Fouché tendered his allegiance. I could perceive no marked expression
in the emperor’s countenance, which remained placid and steady; but I
could not help thinking that even that complacent regard (which
certainly indicated no confidence, if it was free from agitation) seemed
to say, “I know you!” The ceremony proceeded; and after awhile the name
was called of a person whom I had before seen—Count Thibaudeau. The
contrast between this gentleman and Fouché was very remarkable. He stood
up quickly, and with great firmness stepped a little forward, and held
his arm _higher_ than his shoulder:—“_Je jure_,” exclaimed Count
Thibaudeau, “_Je jure_,” repeating the words with emphasis, “_fidélité_
à MON Empereur et obédience à la Constitution!” I watched Napoleon’s
look: it was still serene, but a ray of gratification was not absent,
and shot rapidly across his features.—The business at length terminated.
I treasured up in my mind the impressions made upon it that day, and in
very few of my forebodings was I eventually mistaken.

The inauguration of the emperor was now complete, and the reflection was
extremely solemn, that all the powers of Europe were armed to overthrow
the business of that morning. Neither peace nor truce was to be made
with Napoleon, who was, on his part, about to try the strength of France
alone against a union of inveterate and inexorable foes. He was now
about to inform his assembled legislators of this decision, and to make
a declaration that should at once rouse the French people generally, and
instil into the legislature a portion of his own energy.

I was all expectation;—the critical moment arrived: the occasion—the
place—the subject, and more especially the effect expected to be
produced—all combined in leading me to anticipate some speech more
impressive than any I had ever heard.

The emperor rose from his throne rather quickly, raised his hat for a
moment, and looked round him with a glance which, though probably meant
to imply confidence, had to me the expression of _scrutiny_. Having done
this, he re-seated himself, and commenced his speech. In language it was
well adapted to the French soldiery; as a proclamation it might be
considered admirable; but to a _legislative_ assembly, it seemed to me
(perhaps erroneously) ill adapted. I did expect, at all events, that it
would be pronounced with that energy which was indicative of the
speaker’s character; but miserably was I disappointed! Napoleon read it
distinctly, but, to my mind, utterly without effect: there was no
adequate ardour—no emphasis—no modulation of voice—no action, to enforce
the sentiment. The delivery was monotonous and unimpressive; nor can I
yet conceive how it was possible such a man could pronounce such a
speech without evincing that warmth of feeling which the words, as well
as the great subject itself, (to say nothing of his own situation,) were
calculated to inspire. The French in general read extremely ill; and
Napoleon’s style of elocution was a very humble specimen even of theirs.
He ran the sentences into each other: in short, seemed to view the whole
thing as a mere matter of course, and to be anxious to _get through_ it.
It put me more in mind of a solicitor reading a marriage-settlement than
any thing else. Here and there, indeed, he appeared somewhat touched by
the text, and most probably _he himself_ felt it all; but he certainly
expressed nothing in a manner that could make _others_ feel it. The
concluding words of the speech—“_This is the moment to conquer or to
perish_,” though pronounced by Napoleon with little more energy than the
preceding parts, (much as if he had been saying, “And your petitioner
will ever pray,”) yet made a strong and visible impression upon the
entire auditory. Two or three of the deputies, I observed, by (to all
appearance) an involuntary movement, put their hands on their
sword-hilts, and whispered those who sat next them; and among the
military officers who were in the assembly there was evidently a very
gallant feeling. I cast my eye at this moment on Fouché: he was looking
upon the ground, seemingly in contemplation, and moved not a muscle.

At the conclusion of his speech Napoleon, whose languid manner had
considerably damped my previous excitement, immediately descended from
the throne, and, in the same state and amidst redoubled applauses,
returned to the palace to make preparations for meeting his parliaments,
and carrying into sudden execution what I have since heard denominated
by English generals the finest military manœuvre of his whole life. Two
things seem to be universally admitted: that the first object of that
train of movements, namely the surprise and division of the allied
troops, was completely successful; and that its second object—the defeat
of those troops in a general engagement, was so near its accomplishment,
that its failure may almost be regarded as miraculous.

I returned home full of reflection. I soon recounted all my impressions
(particularly with respect to Fouché and Napoleon) to my family and two
or three friends who dined with us. I did not hesitate to speak frankly
my opinion of the game playing by the Duke of Otranto; nor did any long
period elapse before my predictions were verified.


Apathy of the people—Temporary building in front of the _Ecole
  Militaire_—Pont de Jena—Policy of Napoleon regarding Fouché—Procession
  to the Champ de Mars—Peculiar accoutrements of a regiment of
  cavalry—Reflections on some points in the history of Napoleon—His
  mistake in changing the republican into a monarchical
  government—Coaches of ceremony of the French noblesse and officers of
  state—The Emperor’s liberality to various members of his
  court—His personal dejection on this day—Rejoicings succeeding
  the promulgation—Superiority of the French in matters of
  _embellishment_—Gratuitous distribution of provisions and
  wine—Politeness of the lower orders of French—Display of
  fire-works—Mr. Hobhouse’s Second Reign of Napoleon.

The next great act of Napoleon’s second reign was the promulgation of
the new articles of the constitution, at the Champ de Mars, which
promised to elicit much of the public sentiment. For my own part, I
conceived it would be the true touchstone of Parisian political feeling;
but in this idea I was greatly disappointed.

It was natural to suppose that the establishing a constitution, by a
nearly despotic monarch, whereby his own power would be greatly
contracted, would, even under Napoleon’s circumstances, be considered
one of the measures best calculated to propitiate a long-tramelled
population. But, in fact, the thing assumed _no_ such character; the
_spectacle_ seemed, indeed, to be held in the utmost value by the
Parisians; but the _constitution_ itself in little, if any. They had
never possessed any regular constitution, and, I really think, had no
settled or digested ideas upon the subject: even as yet they are but

The extraordinary splendour of the preparations for this ceremony, and
the admixture of civil and military pomp, were to me very interesting.
The temporary buildings thrown up for the occasion might, it is true, be
denominated _tawdry_; yet, strangely enough, there is no other people in
the world who can deck out gewgaws with any thing like corresponding
taste and effect.

The scene was on an immense scale. In an inconceivably short time, and
almost as if by magic, a sort of amphitheatre was constructed in front
of the Ecole Militaire, of magnitude sufficient to contain about 15,000
persons. Though only of planks and paper, it seemed of marble and
bronze, and glowed with the richest velvets and most sumptuous gilding.
In the centre arose an altar similar to those provided, in ancient
sacrifices, for the _sacred fire_ to descend on; and at this altar
Cardinal Cambaceres presided. A great proportion of the front of the
military school was covered with crimson velvet, and the imperial throne
was placed on the platform of the first story, facing the altar: around
it were seats for the princes. I was not present at the actual ceremony
within the great temporary edifice.

I had, on the inauguration, (as already stated,) fully satisfied myself
as to the demeanour both of the emperor and the senators; but I had not
seen the grand procession which had preceded; and on this occasion, as
it was to be much more of a military character, and the emperor’s last
public appearance before he joined the army to decide the fate of
Europe, I was desirous of witnessing the spectacle, and accordingly
engaged a window on the quay for my family, in a house close to the Pont
de Jena, over which the whole must pass. We had thence a full view of
the Champ de Mars, of the amphitheatre, and of the artificial mount
whence the constitution was to be proclaimed by the emperor in person to
the people.

Napoleon well knew the great importance of leaving a strong impression
on public feeling. His posting from the coast to the Tuileries without
interruption was the most extraordinary event in history, ancient or
modern: but it was not _immediately_ followed up by any unusual
circumstance, or any very splendid spectacle to rouse or gratify
Parisian volatility. The retired official life of the emperor after his
return (necessarily absorbed in business night and day) had altogether
excited little or no stir, and still less expression of public feeling
in the metropolis: in fact, the Parisians did not seem to feel so much
interest about the state of affairs as they would have done upon the
most unimportant occurrences: they made light of every thing except
their _pleasure_, which always was and always will be the god of Paris:
and never was any deity more universally and devoutly worshipped! The
king’s flight to Ghent was then as little thought of or regarded as if
he had gone to St. Cloud; and Napoleon’s arrival made as little stir as
Louis’s departure. But the emperor was now about to go to battle; he was
well aware of the treachery which surrounded him, and that on his
success or discomfiture depended its explosion. He determined,
therefore, as he had not time to counteract, to dissemble; and I have no
doubt that to this circumstance alone Fouché knew he owed his existence.
The month preceding Napoleon’s departure from Paris he became thoroughly
acquainted with the intrigues of his minister; and I firmly believe that
each was determined on the destruction of the other upon the first
feasible opportunity, as the only means of securing himself. I do
believe that Fouché would not have survived Bonaparte’s successful
return more than four-and-twenty hours, and I equally believe that
Fouché had actually meditated, and made some progress in providing for,
Napoleon’s assassination. I made up my mind on these points, not from
any _direct_ information, but from a process yclept by our
great-grandmothers _spelling_ and _putting together_; and if the reader
will be good enough to bear in mind what I have already told him, he
will not be at a loss to understand _how_ my suspicions were excited.

In truth, the army _alone_ was sincerely and unanimously attached to the
reinstated monarch. By his soldiers Bonaparte was, in every part of his
career, almost _worshipped_. They seemed to regard him rather as a
demigod; and nobody could be deceived as to their _entire_ devotion to
the divinity which they had set up. But it was not so with the civil
ranks of Paris.

I should tire myself and readers were I to describe the almost boyish
anxiety which I felt when the firing of the ordnance announced the first
movement of the emperor from the Tuileries to the Champ de Mars. I shall
leave to the supposition of the reader the impression I received from
the passing of the _cortége_. Let him picture to himself an immense army
pouring along the spacious quays of Paris, in battalions and
squadrons:—the enthusiasm of the soldiers, the bright cuirasses, the
multitude of waving plumes, the magnificence of the marshals and their
staff:—these, set off by the glowing sun, combined to implant in the
mind of a person unaccustomed to such a sight the idea of almost certain

What struck me most, was the appearance of a splendid, but not numerous
regiment, in the costume of Turkish cavalry, mounted upon small barbs
and dashingly accoutred: their officers rode, for the most part, piebald
horses, many of which were caparisoned with breast armour, and decked
with gaudy trappings. The uniform of the men was scarlet, with green
cossack trowsers, immense turbans, and high plumes of feathers; the
whole ornamented and laced in as splendid and glittering a style as
ingenuity could dictate: their stirrups were foot-boards, and they had
very crooked sabres and long lances. I believe these men were accoutred
_en Mamelück_, and I mention them the more particularly, because I
believe they did not go to Waterloo—at least not in that uniform. In
calling to my recollection this superb scene, the hundred bands of
martial music seem even at this moment to strike my ear. It seemed as if
every instrument in Paris was in requisition! The trumpets and
kettle-drums of the gaudy heralds; the deep sackbuts; the crashing
cymbals; and the loud gongs of the splendid Mamelukes, bewildered both
the ear and the imagination: at first they astonished, then gratified,
and at length fatigued me. About the centre of this procession appeared
its principal object, who, had he lived in times of less fermentation,
would, in my opinion, have been a still greater statesman than he was a
warrior. It is indisputable that it was Bonaparte who definitively freed
the _entire_ continent of Europe from that democratic mania, of all
other tyrannies the most cruel, savage, and unrelenting; and which was
still in full, though less rapid progress, when he, by placing the
diadem of France on his own brow, restored the _principle_ of monarchy
to its vigour, and at one blow overwhelmed the many-headed monster of
democratic revolution.

It has been the fashion, in England, to term Napoleon a “Corsican
usurper.” We should have recollected Paoli before we _reproached_ him
for being a _Corsican_, and we should have recurred to _our own_ annals
and our great King William, who dethroned his _father_, before we called
Napoleon a _usurper_. _He_ mounted a throne which had long been vacant;
the decapitation of Louis, in which he _could_ have had no concern, had
completely overwhelmed the dynasty of Bourbon, and Napoleon in a day
re-established that monarchical form of government which _we_ had, with
so much expense of blood and treasure, been for many years
unsuccessfully attempting to restore. I cannot avoid repeating this
pointed example of _our own inconsistency_. We actually made peace and
concluded treaties with Napoleon Bonaparte when he was acting as a
_republican_ (the very species of government against which we had so
long combated); and we refused to listen to his most pacific
demonstrations when he became a monarch![46]


Footnote 46:

  Another observation I cannot but make on this subject.—As events have
  turned out, Napoleon only sat down on the throne of France to _keep it
  for the Bourbons_. Had he remained a republican, as when we
  acknowledged and made peace with him, the names of the whole family of
  Louis would still have appeared on the pension list of England.


This has I confess been a sad digression: but when I call to mind that
last scene of Bonaparte’s splendour, I cannot altogether separate from
it the prior portion of his history and that of Europe. I have mentioned
that about the centre of the _cortége_ the emperor and his court
appeared. It was the custom in France for every person of a certain rank
to keep a sort of state-coach gaudily gilded and painted, and, in
addition to the footmen, a chasseur to mount behind, dressed _en grande
toilette_, with huge mustaches, immense feathers in his hat, and a large
sabre depending from a broad-laced belt, which crossed his shoulder:—he
was generally a muscular, fine-looking man, and always indicated rank
and affluence in his master. Napoleon liked this state to be preserved
by all his ministers, &c. He obliged every man in office to appear at
court and in public according to the station he held; and instances were
not wanting where the emperor, having discovered that an officer of rank
had not pecuniary means to purchase a coach of ceremony, had made him a
present of a very fine one. He repeatedly paid the debts of several of
his marshals and generals, when he thought their incomes somewhat
inadequate; and a case has been mentioned, where a high officer of his
household had not money to purchase jewels for his wife, of Napoleon
ordering a set to be presented to her with an injunction to wear them at

On this day he commanded the twelve mayors of Paris to appear in their
carriages of ceremony; and, to do them justice, they were gilt and
caparisoned as finely as time and circumstances could admit. Bonaparte
himself sat alone, in a state coach with glass all round it: his
feathers bowed deeply over his face, and consequently little more than
the lower parts of it were quite uncovered. Whoever has marked the
countenance of Napoleon must admit it to have been one of the most
expressive ever created. I have already spoken of it as affected on
distinct occasions; but I beg to be understood as distinguishing it from
what is _generally_ called an expressive countenance; namely, one
involuntarily and candidly proclaiming the feelings whereby its
proprietor is actuated: the smile or the look of scorn, the blush, or
the tear, serving not unfrequently to communicate matters which the lips
would have kept secret. Though that species of expressive countenance
may be commonly admired, it is often _inconvenient_, and would be
perfectly unbefitting a king, a courtier, a gambler, a diplomatist, or,
in short, a man in any station of life which renders it incumbent on him
to _keep his countenance_. The lower portion of Bonaparte’s face (as I
have mentioned in speaking of my first glance at it) was the finest I
think I ever saw, and peculiarly calculated to set the feelings of
others on speculation, without giving any decided intimation of his own.
On the day of the promulgation, it occurred to me, and to my family
likewise, as we saw him pass slowly under our window, that the
unparalleled splendour of the scene failed in arousing him from that
deep dejection which had apparently seized him ever since his return to
Paris, and which doubtless arose from a consciousness of his critical
situation, and the hollow ground whereon he trod. There was ill-timed
languor in his general look: he smiled not, and took but little notice
of any surrounding object. He appeared in fact _loaded_ with some
presentiment, confined however to himself; for of all possible events,
his approaching and sudden fate was last, I believe, in the
contemplation of any person among that prodigious assembly. I apprehend
the intelligence of Murat’s defeat in Italy had reached him about that
time, and made a great impression on him.

Two marshals rode on each side Napoleon’s coach, and his three brothers
occupied the next. I thought they all appeared cheerful; at least, no
evil presentiments were visible in their countenances. After the emperor
had passed my interest diminished. I was absorbed by reflection, and my
mind was painfully diverted to the probable result of the impending
contest, which would most likely plunge into a gory and crowded grave
thousands of the gay and sparkling warriors who, full of the principle
of life and activity, had that moment passed before me.

The crowds in the Champ de Mars; the firing of the artillery; the
spirited bustle of the entire scene; and the return of the same
_cortége_ after the new articles of the constitution had been
proclaimed, left me in a state of absolute languor; and when I returned
to my hotel, it required more than a single bottle of _Château Margot_
to restore the serenity of my over-excited nerves.

The rejoicings which followed the promulgation of the constitution were
in a style of which I had no previous conception. I have already
observed, and every person who has been much on the continent will bear
me out in the remark, that no people are so very adroit at embellishment
as the French. Our carpenters, paper-hangers, &c. know no more about
Parisian embellishments than our plain cooks do of the hundred and
twenty-six modes of cooking an egg, whereof every French _cuisinier_ is
perfectly master.

Many temporary stands had been erected in the Champs d’Elysée, whence to
toss out all species of provisions to the populace. Hams, turkeys,
sausages, &c. &c. were to be had in abundance by scrambling for them.
Twenty fountains of wine were set playing into the jars, cups, and pails
of all who chose to adventure getting near them. A number of temporary
theatres were constructed, and games of every description were dispersed
throughout the green. Quadrilles and waltzes were practised every where
around: all species of music was heard among the trees, together with
regular bands in numerous orchestras; singing—juggling—in fine, every
thing that could stamp the period of the emperor’s departure on the
minds of the people were ordered to be put in requisition; and a scene
of enjoyment ensued which, notwithstanding the bustle necessarily
attendant, was conducted with the politeness and decorum of a
drawing-room; with much more, indeed, than prevails at most of our
public assemblies. No pick-pockets were heard of; no disputes of any
description arose; the very lowest orders of the French _canaille_
appear on such occasions cleanly dressed, and their very nature renders
them polite and courteous to each other. They make way with respect for
_any_ woman, even from a duchess to a beggar; and it is a very paradise
for _old_ ladies, who are just as politely treated as young ones.

At night, stretching across the whole of the Place Louis Quinze, was a
transparent painting of Napoleon’s return from Elba, the mimic ship
being of equal dimensions with the real one. Napoleon appeared on the
deck, and the entire effect was most impressive.

The rejoicings concluded with a display of fireworks—a species of
entertainment wherein I never delighted. It commenced with a flight of
five thousand rockets, of various colours, at one _coup_, and was
terminated by the ascent of a balloon loaded with every species of
fire-work, in every form and device, and in an abundance I had no
conception of; which, bursting high in the air, illuminated by their
overpowering momentary blaze the whole atmosphere. At midnight, all,
like an “unsubstantial pageant,” had faded away, leaving the ill-starred
emperor[47] to pursue his route to partial victory, final defeat,—to
ruin, incarceration and death.


Footnote 47:

  I have read with pleasure many parts of “Napoleon’s Second Reign,” by
  Mr. Hobhouse. Though I do not coincide with that gentleman in all his
  views of the subject, (differing from him _in toto_ as to some,) I
  admit the justice of a great portion of his observations, and consider
  the work, on the whole, as a very clever performance. In several
  matters of description and anecdote he has anticipated me; and I
  really think has treated them with as much accuracy, and in a much
  more comprehensive manner, than I should, or perhaps _could_ have
  done. Mine in fact is but a sketch—his a history. In some matters of
  fact he appears to have been imperfectly informed: but they are not
  errors of a sufficiently important nature to involve any charge of
  general inaccuracy. I myself kept an ample diary of the events of the
  Hundred Days, (of so much of them at least as I spent in Paris,) and
  until the re-entry of Louis; and in fact subsequently, though less
  regularly. From these documents I have extracted what I now publish;
  but the whole may perhaps hereafter appear in its original shape.

  I cannot but express my regret that Mr. Hobhouse did not remain in
  Paris until _after_ Napoleon’s return from Belgium, when there was a
  far wider and fairer field presented for the exercise of his pen. I
  really conceive it will be a loss to literature if he does not recur
  to that period (materials cannot be wanting): take up his own work
  where he finished, and continue it until the evacuation of Paris by
  the allied forces. The events of that interval are richly worth
  recording; and it would fill up what is, as yet, nearly a blank in the
  history of Europe.


One remark in conclusion:—it was really extraordinary to witness the
political apathy of the entire population, save the military. Scarce a
single expression or indication of party feeling escaped in any
direction. All seemed bent on their own pleasures, and on pleasure
alone; careless whether the opportunity for its indulgence were afforded
them by Napoleon or Louis—by preparations for peace or war—by the
establishment of despotism or liberty. They were, I sincerely believe,
absolutely weary of politics, and inclined to view any suggestion of
that nature with emotions of total indifference. At all times, indeed,
the Parisians prefer pleasure to serious speculation. The _wisest_ king
of France will ever be that one who contrives to keep his “good
citizens” constantly _amused_; and the most impolitic will be any
monarch who _curbs_ their enjoyments. No Parisian will _fight_ if he can
_dance_. I very lately saw a collection of men who were going about in
the evening in Rue de Sevres, crying “_à bas Villele!_” &c. &c., and
seeming to be bent on some immediate mischief, stop short to hear an old
clarionet player, a long drum, and a barrel organ; and being joined by
some ladies of their own class, in ten minutes they were quadrilling
with as much politeness as the Almackers.


Rejoicings on Napoleon’s victory over Blucher and surprise of Lord
  Wellington—Bulletin issued at St. Cloud—Budget of news communicated by
  a French cockney—Author’s alarm on account of his family—Proposes
  quitting Paris—Information of Henry Thevenot: confirmed at
  Lafitte’s—Napoleon’s return from Waterloo—The author’s sources of
  intelligence—His visits to the Chamber of Deputies—Garat, minister of
  justice at the period of Louis’s decapitation—The _Rousseau Mss._ and
  their peculiar utility to the author—Fouché’s treachery—Vacillating
  plan to inform Napoleon thereof, through Count Thibaudeau—Observations
  on the vicissitudes and political extinction of Bonaparte.

The emperor having left Paris to take command of the army in Belgium,
the garrison left in that city was necessarily very inconsiderable. It
was the universal belief that the allies would be surprised by a
simultaneous attack, and the event in some degree warranted this
supposition. The result was—a double defeat of Blucher; the separation
of the Prussian and British armies; the consequent retreat of Lord
Wellington upon Brussels; the march of Grouchy upon that city; and the
advance of Napoleon; all this the work of two days only. The impatience
of the Parisians for news may be easily conceived; nor were they long
kept in suspense. Meanwhile, there ran through the whole mass of society
a suspicion that treachery was on foot, but nobody could guess in what
shape it would explode. The assassination of Napoleon was certainly
supposed to have been then spoken of, and was a thing in contemplation.
The disaffection of sundry general officers and others was likewise
publicly discussed at the Palais Royal; but no _names_ were mentioned
except Fouché’s.

On Sunday, the 18th of June, at day-break, I was roused by the noise of
artillery. I arose and instantly sallied out to inquire the cause:
nobody could at the moment inform me; but it was soon announced that it
was public rejoicings on account of a great victory gained by Napoleon
over the Prussians, commanded by Blucher, and the English, by the Duke
of Wellington: that the allies had been partly surprised, and were in
rapid retreat, followed by the emperor and flanked by Grouchy: that a
lancer had arrived as courier, and given many details, one of which was,
that our light dragoons, under Lord Anglesey, had been completely

I immediately determined to quit Paris for the day. It was Sunday: every
body was a-foot; the drums were beating in all directions, and it was
impossible to say how the _canaille_ might, in exultation at the
victory, be disposed to act by the English in Paris. We therefore set
out early, and breakfasted at St. Cloud. The report of the victory had
reached that village, but I perceived no indication of any great feeling
on the subject. We adjourned to Bagatelle, in the very pretty gardens of
which we sauntered about till dinner-time.

This victory did not surprise me; for when I saw the magnificent and to
me almost innumerable array of troops on the occasion of the
Promulgation, and before, I had adopted the unmilitary idea that they
_must be_ invincible. As yet we had heard no certain particulars: about
eleven o’clock, however, printed bulletins were liberally distributed,
announcing an unexpected attack on the Prussian and English armies with
the purpose of dividing them, which purpose was stated to be fully
accomplished; the Duke of Brunswick killed; the Prince of Orange
wounded; two Scotch regiments broken and sabred; Lord Wellington in full
retreat; Blucher’s army absolutely ruined; and the emperor in full march
for Brussels, where the Belgian army would join the French, and march
unitedly for Berlin. The day was rather drizzling: we took shelter in
the grotto, and were there joined by some Parisian shopkeeper and his
family, who had come out from the capital for their recreation. This man
told us a hundred incidents which were circulated in Paris with relation
to the battle. Among other things, it was said, that if the emperor’s
generals did their duty, the campaign might be already considered over,
since every man in France and Belgium would rise in favour of the
emperor. He told us news had arrived, that the Austrians were to be
neutral, and that the Russians durst advance no further; that the king
of Prussia would be dethroned; and that it was generally believed Lord
Wellington would either be dead or in the castle of Vincennes by
Wednesday morning! This budget of intelligence our informant
communicated himself in a very _neutral_ way, and without betraying the
slightest symptom either of gratification or the reverse; and as it was
impossible to doubt the main point (the defeat), I really began, from
the bulletin, to think all was lost, and that it was high time to
consider how we should get out of France forthwith; more particularly as
the emperor’s absence from Paris would, by leaving it at the mercy of
the populace, render that city no longer a secure residence for the
subjects of a hostile kingdom; and, in fact, the _marais_ had already
shown great impatience at the restraints of the police, and had got wind
of Fouché’s having smuggled a quantity of arms out of Paris, which was a
_fact_: he sent them to Vincennes. How singular was it that, at the very
moment I was receiving this news,—at the instant when I conceived
Napoleon again the conqueror of the world, and the rapidity of his
success as only supplementary to the rapidity of his previous return,
and a prelude to fresh achievements, that bloody and decisive conflict
was actually at its height, which had been decreed by Providence to
_terminate_ Napoleon’s political existence! What an embarrassing problem
to the mind of a casuist must a speculation be, as to the probable
results, had this day ended differently!

Our minds were now made up to quit Paris on the following Thursday; and,
as the securest course, to get down to St. Maloes, and thence to Jersey,
or some of the adjacent islands: and without mentioning our intention, I
determined to make every preparation connected with the use of the _sauf
conduit_ which I had procured on my first arrival in Paris. But Fate
decreed it otherwise. Napoleon’s destiny had been meantime decided, and
my flight became unnecessary.

On returning to Paris, we found every thing quiet. On that very Sunday
night my servant, Henry Thevenot, told me that he had heard the French
had got entangled in a forest, and met a repulse. He said he had been
told this at a public house in Rue Mont Blanc.

I feared the man: I suspected him to be on the _espionnage_
establishment, and therefore told him to say no more to me about the
war, and that I wished much to be in England.

About nine on Wednesday morning, as soon as I rose, Thevenot again
informed me, with a countenance which gave no indication of his own
sentiments, that the French were _totally defeated_; that the emperor
had returned to Paris; and that the English were in full march to the

I always dreaded lest the language of _my servant_ might in some way
implicate _me_, and I now chid him for telling me so great a falsehood.

“It is _true_,” returned he.

Still I could not believe it; and I gave him notice, on the spot, to
quit my service. He received this intimation with much seeming
indifference, and his whole deportment impressed me with suspicion. I
went immediately, therefore, to Messrs. Lafitte, my bankers, and the
first person I saw was my friend, Mr. Phillips, very busily employed at
his desk in the outside room.

“Do you know, Phillips,” said I, “that I have been obliged to turn off
my servant for spreading a report that the French are beaten and the
emperor returned?”

Phillips, without withdrawing his eyes from what he was engaged on,
calmly and concisely replied, “It is true enough.”

“Impossible!” exclaimed I.

“Quite possible,” returned this man of few words, still without looking
off his account book.

“Where is Napoleon?” said I.

“In the Palais de Bourbon Elysée,” said he.

I saw it was vain to expect further communication from Mr. Phillips, and
I went into an inner chamber to Mr. Clermont, who seemed however more
taciturn than the other.

Being most anxious to learn all the facts, I proceeded to the Palais
d’Elysée, my scepticism having meanwhile undergone great diminution from
seeing an immense number of splendid equipages darting through the
streets, filled with full-dressed men, plentifully adorned with stars
and orders. When I got to the palace I found the court full of
carriages, and a large body of the national guard under arms: yet I
could scarcely believe my eyes; but I soon learned the principal fact
from a hundred mouths and with a thousand different details:—my
informants agreeing only on one point—namely, that the army was defeated
_by treachery_, and that the emperor had returned to Paris in quest of
new _matériel_. Groups and crowds were collecting every where, and
confusion reigned triumphant.

Being somewhat rudely driven out of the court-yard, I now went round to
the Champs d’Elysée, at the rear of the palace. Sentinels, belonging to
Napoleon’s guard, were by this time posted outside the terrace that
skirts the garden. They would permit no person to approach close; but I
was near enough to discern Napoleon walking deliberately backward and
forward, in easy conversation with two persons whom I conceived to be
his uncle, Cardinal Fesch, and Count Bertrand; and I afterward heard
that I was right. The emperor wore a short blue coat and a small
three-cocked hat, and held his hands behind his back, seemingly in a
most tranquil mood. Nobody could in fact suppose he was in any agitation
whatever, and the cardinal appeared much more earnest in the
conversation than himself. I stood there about fifteen minutes, when the
sentries ordered us off; and as I obeyed, I saw Napoleon walk up toward
the palace.

I never saw the emperor of the French after that day, which was, in
fact, the last of his actual reign. It ought to have been the last day
of his existence, or the first of some new series of achievements: but
Fate had crushed the man, and he could rouse himself no more. Though I
think he could count but scantily on the fidelity of the national
guards, yet he was in possession of Montmartre, which the old guard had
occupied. Paris was quite within his power; and, as the event proved,
another and a very powerful army might soon have been gathered about
him. Perhaps, too, had Bonaparte rallied _in good earnest_, he might
have succeeded in working even on the very pride of his former subjects
to free the soil of the _grande nation_ from foreign invasion. The
people of the _marais_ appeared in crowds, quite wild, and I apprehend
nearly ungovernable.

Madame Le Jeune, the mistress of the hotel wherein we resided, was
sister to General Le Jeune, the painter who executed those noble pieces
of the battles of Jena and Austerlitz, which were formerly in the
outside room at the gallery of the Tuileries. I am no judge of painting,
but I think every thing he did (and his pieces were numerous) possessed
great effect. Through him, until the siege terminated by the surrender
of Paris, we learned all that was going on among the French; and through
Doctor Marshall and Col. Macirone I daily became acquainted with the
objects of the English.

After Napoleon had been making faint and fruitless endeavours to induce
the deputies to grant him the _matériel_ and aid him in a new armament,
their coldness to himself individually became too obvious to be
misconstrued: fortune had in fact forsaken Napoleon, and friends too
often follow fortune; and it soon became notorious that Fouché had every
disposition to seal his master’s destruction. The emperor had, however,
still many true and faithful friends—many ardent partisans on whose
fidelity he might rely. He had an army which _could_ not be estranged,
which no misfortune could divert from him. But his enemies (including
the timid and neutral among the deputies) appeared to me decidedly to
outnumber those who would have gone _far_ in ensuring his reinstatement.
Tranquillity seemed to be the general wish, and the re-equipment of
Napoleon would have rendered that unattainable.

Nevertheless, the deputies proceeded calmly on their business, and
events every day assumed a more extraordinary appearance. The interval
between the emperor’s return from Waterloo and his final
abdication—between his departure for Malmaison and the siege of
Paris—was of the most interesting and important nature; and so great was
my curiosity to be aware of passing events, that I am conscious I went
much farther lengths than prudence would have warranted.

During the debates of the deputies after Napoleon’s return, I was almost
daily present. I met a gentleman who procured me a free admission, and
through whom I became acquainted, by name with most, and personally with
many, of the most celebrated characters, not only of the current time,
but also those who had flourished during the different stages of the
revolution. I was particularly made known to Garat, who had been
minister of justice at the time Louis XVI. was beheaded, and had read to
him his sentence and conducted him to the scaffold. Although he had not
voted for the king’s death, he durst not refuse to execute his official
functions; his attendance therefore could not be considered as
voluntary. He was at this time one of the deputies. His person would
well answer the idea of a small, slight, sharp-looking, lame _tailor_;
but his conversation was acute, rational, and temperate. He regarded
Napoleon as lost beyond all redemption; nor did he express any great
regret hereat, seeming to be a man of much mental reservation. I suspect
he had been too much of a genuine republican, and of too democratic and
_liberal_ a policy, ever to have been any great admirer even of the most
splendid of monarchs. I think he was sent out of Paris on the king’s

My friend having introduced me to the librarian of the Chamber of
Deputies, I was suffered to sit in the ante-room, or library, whenever I
chose, and had consequently a full opportunity of seeing the ingress and
egress of the deputies, who frequently formed small groups in the
ante-room, and entered into earnest although brief conferences. My ready
access to the gallery of the house itself enabled me likewise to know
the successive _objects_ of their anxious solicitude.

The librarian was particularly obliging, and suffered me to see and
examine many of the most curious old documents. But the original
manuscript of Rousseau’s “Confessions,” and of his “Eloisa,” afforded me
a real treat. His writing is as legible as print: the “Eloisa,” a work
of mere fancy, without one obliteration; while the “Confessions,” which
the author put forth as matter of _fact_, are, oddly enough, full of
alterations in every page.

When I wished for an hour of close observation, I used to draw my chair
to a window, get Rousseau into my hand, and, while apparently rivetted
on his “Confessions,” watch from the corner of my eye the earnest
gesticulation and ever-varying countenances of some agitated group of
deputies: many of them, as they passed by, cast a glance on the object
of my attention, of which I took care that they should always have a
complete view.

Observing one day a very unusual degree of excitement amongst the
members in the chamber, and perceiving the sally of the groups into the
library to be more frequent and earnest than ordinary, I conceived that
something very mysterious was in agitation. I mentioned my suspicions to
a well-informed friend: he nodded assent, but was too wise or too
timorous to give any opinion on so ticklish a subject. I well knew that
Napoleon had been betrayed, because I had learned from an authentic
source that _double_ dispatches had been actually sent by Fouché to the
allies, and that the embassy to the emperor of Russia, from M. Lafitte,
&c. had been some hours anticipated and _counteracted_ by the chief
commissioner of government.

It was clear to every body that Napoleon had lost his fortitude: in
fact, to judge by his conduct, he seemed so feeble and irresolute that
he had ceased to be formidable, and it occurred to me that some sudden
and strong step was in the contemplation of his true friends to raise
his energies once more, and stimulate him to resistance. I was led to
think so, particularly, by hearing some of his warmest partisans
publicly declare that, if he had not lost all feeling both for himself
and France, he should take the alternative of either reigning again or
dying in the centre of his still-devoted army.

The next day confirmed my surmises. A letter had been written without
signature,[48] addressed to Count Thibaudeau, disclosing to him in
detail the treachery of Fouché, &c. and advising the emperor _instantly_
to arrest the traitors, unfold the treason to the chambers, then put
himself at the head of his guards, re-assemble the army at Vilette, and,
before the allies could unite at Paris, make one effort more to save
France from subjugation. This was, I have reason to believe, the purport
of the letter; and I also learned the mode and hour determined on to
convey it to Count Thibaudeau. It was to be slipped into the letter-box
in the ante-room of the chamber, which was used, as I have already
mentioned, as a library. I was determined to ascertain the fact; and,
seated in one of the windows, turning over the leaves and copying
passages out of my favourite manuscript, I could see plainly where the
letter-box was placed, and kept it constantly in my eye. The crowd was
always considerable; groups were conversing; notes and letters were
every moment put into the box for delivery; but I did not see the person
who I believed was about to give Count Thibaudeau the information. At
length, however, I saw him warily approach the box: he was obviously
agitated—so much so indeed, that far from _avoiding_, his palpable
timidity would have _excited_ observation. He had the note in his hand:
he looked around him, put his hand toward the box, withdrew it, changed
colour, made a second effort—and, his resolution again faltering, walked
away without effecting his purpose. I afterward learned that the letter
had been destroyed, and that Count Thibaudeau received no intimation
till too late.


Footnote 48:

  The writer of that letter, whose real politics I was extremely
  doubtful of, but which I afterward perceived were unfixed and
  speculative, lived to become an _ultra_ loyalist. He was a British
  subject, and a bigot in _every thing_: his prejudices _pro_ or _con_
  were invincible. He died long since the first edition of this book was


This was an incident fraught with portentous results: had that note been
dropped, as intended, into the box, the fate of Europe might have
remained long undecided; Fouché would _surely_ have met his due reward;
Bonaparte would have put himself at the head of the army assembling at
Vilette—numerous, enthusiastic, and desperate. Neither the Austrian nor
Russian armies were within reach of Paris; while that of the French
would, I believe, in point of numbers, have exceeded the English and
Prussian united force: and it is more than probable, that the most
exterminating battle which ever took place between two great armies,
would have been fought in the suburbs, perhaps _in the boulevards_ of

Very different indeed were the consequences of that suppression. The
evil genius of Napoleon pressed down the balance; and instead of any
chance of remounting his throne, he forfeited both his _character_ and
his life; while Fouché, dreading the risk of detection, devised a plan
to get the emperor clear out of France, and either _end_ him, or at
least put him into the power of the British government, as is detailed
in a subsequent chapter.

This last occurrence marked finally the destiny of Napoleon. Fortune had
not only _forsaken_, she had _mocked_ him! She tossed about, and played
with, before she destroyed her victim—one moment giving him hopes which
only rendered despair more terrible the next. After what I saw of his
downfall, no public event, no revolution, can ever excite in my mind one
moment of surprise. I have seen, and deeply feel, that we are daily
deceived in our views of every thing and every body, public and private.

Bonaparte’s last days of power were certainly full of tremendous
vicissitudes:—on one elated by a great victory—on the next overwhelmed
by a fatal overthrow. Hurled from a lofty throne into the deepest
profundity of misfortune; bereft of his wife and only child; persecuted
by his enemies; abandoned by his friends; betrayed by his ministers;
humbled, depressed, paralysed;—his proud heart died within him; his
great spirit was quenched; and, after a grievous struggle, Despair
became his conqueror, and Napoleon Bonaparte degenerated into an
ordinary mortal.

                         DETENTION AT VILETTE.

Negotiation between the provisional government of Paris and the
  allies—Col. Macirone’s mission—The author crosses the barrier of the
  French army, misses the colonel, and is detained on suspicion—Led
  before Marshal Davoust, Prince d’Eckmuhl and commander-in-chief of the
  forces at Vilette—The marshal’s haughty demeanour, and the
  imprecations of the soldiery—A friend in need; or, one good turn
  deserves another—Remarks of a French officer on the battle of
  Waterloo—Account of the physical and moral strength and disposition of
  the army at Vilette—Return of the _parlementaires_—Awkward mistake of
  one of the sentries—Liberation of the author—Marshal Davoust’s
  expressions to the negotiators.

In the month of July, 1815, there was a frequent intercourse of
_parlementaires_ between the commissioners of the French government and
the allies. Davoust, Prince d’Eckmuhl, commanded the French army
assembled at Vilette and about the Canal d’Ourk, a neighbourhood where
many thousand Russians had fallen in the battle of the preceding summer.
I had the greatest anxiety to see the French army; and Col. Macirone
informing me that he was to be sent out with one of Fouché’s despatches
to the Duke of Wellington, I felt no apprehension, being duly armed with
my _sauf-conduit_, and thought I might take that opportunity of passing
the Barrier de Roule, and strolling about until Macirone’s carriage
should come up. It however drove rapidly by me, and I was consequently
left in rather an awkward situation, not knowing the localities, and the
sentry refusing to suffer me to re-enter.

I did not remain long in suspense, being stopped by two officers, who
questioned me in French somewhat tartly as to my presumption in passing
the sentries, “who,” said they, “must have mistaken you for one of the
commissaries’ attendants.” I produced my passport, which stood me in no
further advantage than to ensure a very _civil_ arrest. I was directly
taken a long way to the quarters of Marshal Davoust, who was at the time
breakfasting on grapes and bread in a very good hotel near the canal. He
showed at first a sort of austere indifference that was extremely
disagreeable to me: but on my telling him who I was, and every thing
relating to the transaction, the manifestation of my candour struck him
so forcibly, that he said I was at liberty to walk about, but not to
repass the lines till the return of the _parlementaires_, and further
inquiry made about me. I was not altogether at my ease: the prince was
now very polite; but I knew nobody, and was undoubtedly a suspicious
person. However, I was civilly treated by the officers who met me, and
on the contrary received many half-English curses from several soldiers
who, I suppose, had been prisoners in England. I was extremely hungry
and much fatigued, and kept on the bank of the canal, as completely out
of the way of the military as I could.

I was at length accosted in my own language by an elderly officer, tall
and _distingué_ in his appearance.

“Sir,” said he, “I think I have seen you in England?”

“I have not the honour to recollect having met you, sir,” replied I.

“I shall not readily forget it,” rejoined the French officer: “do you
remember being, about two years since, in the town of Odiham?”

“Very well,” said I.

“You recollect some French officers who were prisoners there? There were
two ladies with you.”

These words at once brought the circumstance to my mind, and I answered,
“I do now recollect seeing you perfectly.”

“Yes,” said my interlocutor, “I was one of the three officers who were
pelted with mud by the _garçons_ in the streets of Odiham; and do you
remember striking one of the _garçons_ who followed us, for their

“I do not forget it, sir,” said I.

“Come with me then,” pursued he, “and we’ll talk it over in another

The fact had been as he represented. A few French officers, prisoners at
Odiham, were sometimes, as they told me, roughly treated by the mob.
Passing by chance one day with Lady Barrington and my daughter through
the streets of that town, I saw a great number of boys following,
hooting and hissing the French officers, and throwing dirt at them. I
struck two or three of these idle dogs with my cane, and rapped at the
constable’s door, who immediately came out and put them to
flight,—interfering, however, rather reluctantly on the part of what he
called the “d—d _French_ * * * *.” I expressed and felt great
indignation; the officers thanked me warmly, and I believe were all
shortly after removed to Oswestry: they were much disliked on that side
of London.

My French friend told me that his two comrades at Odiham were killed—the
one at Waterloo, and the other by a waggon passing over him at
Charleroi, on the 16th of June; and that scarcely an officer who had
been prisoner at his _dépôt_ at Oswestry had survived the last campaign.
He gave me in his room near Vilette wine, bread, and grapes, with dried
sausages well seasoned with garlic, and a glass of eau-de-vie. I was
highly pleased at this rencontre. My companion was a most intelligent
person, and communicative to the utmost extent of my curiosity. His
narrative of many of the events of the battles of the 16th and 18th ult.
was most interesting, and carried with it every mark of candour. The
minutes rolled away speedily in his company, and seemed to me indeed far
too fleeting.

He had not been wounded, though in the heat of both engagements. He
attributed the loss of the battle to three causes:—the wanton
expenditure of the cavalry; the uncovering of the right wing by Grouchy;
and the impetuosity of Napoleon, in ordering the last attack by the old
guard, which he should have postponed till next day. He said he had no
doubt that the Belgian troops would all have left the field before
morning. He had been engaged on the left, and did not see the Prussian
attack; but said, that it had the effect of consolidating all the
different corps of the French army into a confused mass, which lost the

He told me that Napoleon was forced off the field by the irresistible
crowds which the advance of the English cavalry had driven into
disorder, while there was not a possibility of rallying a single
squadron of their own. His episodes respecting the occurrences of that
day were most affecting, and I believe true.

In this agreeable society my spirits mounted again, and I soon acquired
courage sufficient to express my great anxiety to see the army, adding,
that I durst not go alone. My friend immediately took me under his arm,
and walked with me through the whole lines, introducing me to several of
his comrades, and acting throughout in the kindest and most gentlemanly
manner. This was precisely the opportunity I had so long wished for of
viewing the French troops, which were then full of impetuosity and
confidence, and eager for battle. Neither the Russians nor Austrians had
reached Paris, and it was supposed Davoust would anticipate the attack
of the other allies, who only waited for the junction of these powers
and their heavy artillery to recommence operations. The scene was so new
to me, so impressive, and so important, that it was only on my return
home my mind got steady enough to organise its ideas, and permit me to
take coherent notes of what I had witnessed.

The battle of Waterloo was understood to have dispersed so entirely the
French army,—that powerful and glorious display of heroes and of arms
which a very few days previously had passed before my eyes,—that
scarcely ten men (except Grouchy’s division) returned in one body to
Paris; and those who did return were in such a state of wretchedness and
depression, that I took for granted the spirit of the French army had
been _extinguished_—their battalions never to be rallied—their courage
thoroughly cooled! I considered that the assembly in the vicinity of
Vilette could not be numerous, and was more calculated to make a show
for better terms than to resist the conquerors. How great then must have
been my astonishment when the evening parades turned out, as the
officers informed me, _above sixty-five thousand infantry_, which, with
artillery and cavalry, reached together near 80,000 men. I thought
several of the privates had drunk rather too much: but whether sober or
not, they seemed to be all in a state of wild, enthusiastic
excitement—little removed from insubordination, but directly tending to
hostility and battle. Whole companies cried aloud, as the superior
officers passed them, “_Mon Général—à l’attaque!—l’ennemi!
l’ennemi!—allons! allons!_” others shouted “_Nous sommes trahis!
trahison! trahison! à la bataille! à la bataille!_” Crowds of them, as
if by instinct or for pastime, would rush voluntarily together, and in a
moment form a long column, then disperse and execute some other
manœuvre; while others, dispersed in groups, sang in loud chorus sundry
war songs, wherein _les Prusses_ and _les Anglais_ were the general

I had no conception how it was possible that, in a few days after such a
total dispersion of the French army, another could be so rapidly
collected, and which, though somewhat less numerous, the officer told me
evinced double the enthusiasm of those who had formed the defeated
corps. They had now it is true the stimulus of that defeat to urge them
desperately on to retrieve that military glory which had been so awfully
obscured; their artillery was most abundant; and we must never forget
that the French soldier is always better informed, and possessed of more
_morale_ than our own. In truth, I really do believe there was scarcely
a man in that army at Vilette who would willingly have quitted the field
of battle alive, unless victorious.

Though their tumultuous excitement certainly at this time bore the
appearance of insubordination, my conductor assured me I was mistaken in
forming such a judgment: he admitted that they durst not check that
exuberant zeal on the instant; but added, that when the period arrived
to form them for battle, not a voice would be heard—not a limb move,
till the attack commenced, except by order of their leaders; and that if
the _traitors in Paris_ suffered them once more to try their fortune, he
did not think there was an individual in that army who entertained a
doubt of the result.

In the production of this confidence, party spirit was doubtless mixed
up: but no impartial observer could deny, that had the troops at Vilette
been heartily joined by the national guards and country volunteers then
within the walls of Paris, the consequence would have been at least
extremely problematical; and if the _marais_ had been armed with pikes,
the whole would have been overwhelming.

The day passed on, and I still strolled about with my polite conductor,
whom I begged to remain with me. He was not an officer of high rank: I
believe a captain of the eighty-first infantry—very thin and worn,
gentlemanly, and had seen long service.

From this crowd of infuriated soldiers, he led me farther to the left,
whither a part of the old guard, who had been I believe quartered at
Montmartre, had been that evening removed. I had, as the reader will
perhaps recollect, a previous opportunity of admiring that unrivalled
body of veteran warriors; and their appearance this evening interested
me beyond measure. Every man looked like an Ajax, exhibiting a firmness
of step and of gesture at once formidable and even graceful. At the same
time, I fancied that there was a cast of melancholy over their bronzed
countenances. When I compare that corps to the ordinary-looking troops
now generally composing the guardians of that once military nation, I
can scarcely avoid sighing while I exclaim _tempora mutantur_! I
returned to the barrier with my friend, after a long walk.

I grew at length impatient; evening was closing, and, if detained, I
must I suppose have bivouacked. To be sure the weather was so fine that
it would have been of no great consequence: still my situation was
disagreeable, and the more so, as my family, being quite ignorant of it,
must necessarily feel uneasy. I was therefore becoming silent and
abstracted, (and my friend had no kind of interest to get me released,)
when two carriages appeared driving toward the barrier where we stood. A
shot was fired by the advanced sentry at one of them, which immediately
stopped. A party was sent out, and the carriage entered: there were two
gentlemen in it, one of whom had received the ball, I believe, in his
shoulder. A surgeon instantly attended, and they proceeded within the
lines. They proved to be two of the _parlementaires_ who had gone out
with dispatches. The wound was not mortal; and its infliction arose from
a mistaken construction, on the part of the sentinel, of his orders.

The other carriage (in which I conceived was Col. Macirone) drove on
without going to the head-quarters of Davoust. My kind companion said he
would now go and try to get me dismissed: he did so, and procured an
order from the adjutant-general for my departure, on signing my name,
address, and occupation, and the name of some person who knew me in
Paris. I mentioned Mr. Phillips, of Lafitte’s, and was then suffered to
depart. It will be imagined that I was not dilatory in walking home,
where, of course, I was received as a _lost sheep_,—no member of my
family having the slightest idea whither I had gone.

The officer, as he accompanied me to the barrier, described to me the
interview between the French _parlementaires_ and Davoust. They had, in
the morning, it seems, made progress in the negotiation, Very much
against the marshal’s inclinations. He was confident of victory, and
expressed himself, with great warmth, in the following emphatic
words:—“Begone! and tell your employer, Fouché, when you return, that
the prince of Eckmuhl will defend Paris till its flames _set this
handkerchief on fire_!”—waving one as he spoke. From what I saw, I do
believe he would have kept his word; and I cannot doubt that if the
dreadful conflict _had_ taken place, the victory on either side would
have cost the conqueror _half_ his army:—situated as they were, and with
the spirit both armaments possessed, they never could have parted
without an almost exterminating carnage.

                     PROJECTED ESCAPE OF NAPOLEON.

Attack on the bridge of Charenton by the Russians—Fouché’s arrangements
  for the _defence_ of Paris—Bonaparte’s retirement to Malmaison—His
  want of moral courage—Comparison between Napoleon and Frederick the
  Great—Extraordinary resolution of the ex-emperor to repair to
  London—Preparations for his undertaking the journey as _secretary_ to
  Dr. Marshall—The scheme abandoned from dread of treachery on the road
  to the coast—Termination of the author’s intercourse with Dr.
  Marshall, and the cause thereof—Remuneration of Col. Macirone by the
  arch-traitor Fouché.

It was the received opinion that the allies would form a blockade rather
than venture an assault on Paris: their mortars or heavy artillery had
not arrived, and the numerical strength and _morale_ of the French army
at Vilette the reader has already seen. The English army was within view
of, and occupied, St. Denis; the Prussians were on the side of Sevres;
and the Russians were expected in the direction of Charenton, along the
Marne; while a Brunswick corps at Versailles had been surprised and cut
up. That Paris might have been taken by storm is _possible_, but not
more, if they fought; but had the French army been augmented by one half
of the national guard, the effort would surely have been most
sanguinary, and the result most doubtful. Had the streets been
intersected, mines sunk, the bridges broken down, and the populace armed
as well as circumstances would permit (the heights being at the same
time duly defended), though I am not a military man, and therefore very
liable to error on such a subject, I have little doubt the allied forces
would have presented but a scanty army before they arrived in the centre
of the French metropolis. The defence of Saragossa by Palafox (though
but a chieftain of Guerilla) proved the possibility of defending an
_open_ town against a valorous enemy. However, this was not the course
meditated by Davoust: he wished to _attack_; and no doubt, considering
the humour of the French army at the time, the offensive was the best

I was breakfasting in Dr. Marshall’s garden when we heard a heavy firing
commence: it proceeded from Charenton, about three miles from Paris,
where the Russian advanced-guard had attacked the bridge, which had not
been broken up, although it was one of the leading avenues to the Castle
of Vincennes. Fouché indeed had contrived to weaken this post
effectually, so that the defence there could not be long protracted; and
he had also ordered ten thousand stand of arms to be taken secretly out
of Paris and lodged in the Castle of Vincennes (to prevent the Parisians
from arming) the day before.

The discharges continuing in occasional volleys, like a sort of running
fire of platoons, I was most anxious to go to some spot which would
command a view of that part of the country; but the doctor dissuaded me,
saying it _could_ not be a severe or lengthened struggle, as Fouché had
taken care of _that_ matter. I led him gradually into conversation on
the business, and he made known to me, though _equivocally_, much more
than I had ever suspected. Every dispatch, every negotiation, every step
which it was supposed by such among the French as had their country’s
honour and character at heart, might operate to prevent the allies from
approaching Paris after the second abdication, had been either
accompanied by counter-applications, or defeated by secret instructions
from Fouché.

While mock negotiations were carrying on at a distance, and before the
English army had reached St. Denis, Bonaparte was already at Malmaison.
It had become quite clear that he was a lost man; and this most
celebrated of all soldiers on record proved by his conduct, at that
crisis, the distinction between animal and mental courage: the first is
an instinctive quality, enjoyed by us in common with many of the brute
creation; the latter is the attribute of man alone. The first Napoleon
eminently possessed; in the latter he was certainly defective. Frederick
the Great, in mental courage, was altogether superior to Napoleon. He
could fight and fly, and rally and fight again; his spirit never gave
in; his perseverance never flagged: he seemed, in fact, insusceptible of
despondency, and was even greater in defeat than in victory: he never
quitted his army whilst a troop could be rallied; and the seven years’
war proved that the king of Prussia was equally illustrious, whether
fugitive or conqueror.

Napoleon reversed those qualities. No warrior that history records was
ever so great _while successful_: his victories were followed up with
the rapidity of lightning: in overwhelming an army, he in fact often
subdued a kingdom, and profited more by each triumph than any general
that had preceded him. But he could not stand up under _defeat_!—except
at Vienna.

Several plans for Napoleon’s escape I heard as they were successively
formed: such of them as had an appearance of plausibility Fouché found
means to counteract. It would not be amusing to relate the various
devices which were suggested for this purpose. Napoleon was meanwhile
almost passive and wrapped in apathy. He clung to existence with even a
mean tenacity; and it is difficult to imagine but that his intellect
must have suffered before he was led to endure a life of ignominious

At Doctor Marshall’s hotel one morning, I remarked his travelling
carriage as if put in preparation for a journey, having candles in the
lamps, &c. A smith had been examining it, and the servants were all in
motion. I suspected some movement of consequence, but could not surmise
what. The doctor did not appear to think that I had observed these

On a sudden, while walking in the garden, I turned short on him.

“Doctor,” said I, at a venture, “you are going on an important journey

“How do you know?” said he, thrown off his guard by the abruptness of my

“Well!” continued I, smiling, “I wish you well _out of it_!”

“Out of _what_?” exclaimed he, recovering his self-possession, and
sounding me in his turn.

“Oh, no matter, no matter,” said I, with a significant nod, as if I was
already acquainted with his proceedings.

This bait took in some degree; and after a good deal of fencing,
(knowing that he could fully depend on my secrecy,) the doctor led me
into his study, where he said he would communicate to me a very
interesting and important matter. He then unlocked his desk, and
produced an especial passport for himself and his _secretary_ to Havre
de Grace, thence to embark for England; and he showed me a _very_ large
and also a smaller bag of gold, which he said he was about to take with

At length he informed me that it was determined Napoleon should go to
England; that he had himself agreed to it; and that he was to travel in
Dr. Marshall’s carriage, as his secretary, under the above-mentioned
passport. It was arranged that, at twelve o’clock that night, the
emperor with the queen of Holland were to be at Marshall’s house (Rue
Pigale), and that Napoleon and the doctor were to set off thence
immediately; that on arriving in England he was forthwith to repair to
London, preceded by a letter to the Prince Regent, stating that he threw
himself on the protection and generosity of the British nation, and
required permission to reside therein as a private individual during his

The thing seemed to me too romantic to be serious; and the doctor could
not avoid perceiving my incredulity. He however enjoined me to secrecy,
which by the bye was on my own account quite unnecessary; I should have
mentioned it only to one member of my family, whom I knew to be to the
full as cautious as myself. But I determined to ascertain the fact; and
before twelve o’clock at night repaired to the Rue Pigale, and stood up
underneath a door somewhat further on the opposite side of the street to
Dr. Marshall’s house.

A strong light shone through the curtains of the first floor windows,
and lights were also moving about in the upper story. The court meantime
was quite dark, and the indications altogether bespoke that something
unusual was going forward in the house. Every moment I expected to see
Napoleon come to the gate. He came not:—but about half after twelve an
elderly officer buttoned up in a blue surtout rode up to the _porte
cochère_, which, on his ringing, was instantly opened. He went in, and
after remaining about twenty minutes, came out on horseback as before,
and went down the street. I thought he might have been a precursor, and
still kept my ground until some time after, when the light in the first
floor was extinguished; and thence inferring what subsequently proved to
be the real state of the case, I returned homeward disappointed.

Next day Dr. Marshall told me that Napoleon had been dissuaded from
venturing to Havre de Grace—he believed by the queen of Holland: some
idea had occurred either to him or her that he might not be _fairly
dealt with_ on the road. Marshall seemed much hurt. I own the same
suspicion had struck me when I first heard of the scheme, and reflected
on what I had long before heard from my valet, Henry Thevenot, as
already mentioned. I was far from implicating the doctor in any
proceeding of a decidedly treacherous nature. I believed, and still
believe him to be _utterly incapable_ of countenancing in any way such
an action. His disposition always appeared to me gentle and humane. The
incident was, however, in all its bearings, an extraordinary one.

My intimacy with Doctor Marshall at length ceased, and in a manner very
disagreeable. I liked the man, and I do not wish to hurt his feelings;
but certain mysteries respecting his lady, and that alone, terminated
our connexion.

A person with whom I was extremely intimate happened to be in my
drawing-room one day when Mrs. Marshall called. I observed nothing of a
particular character except that Mrs. Marshall went suddenly away; and
as I handed her into her carriage, she said, “You promised to dine with
us to-morrow, and I requested you to bring any friend you liked: but do
not let it be _that fellow_ I have just seen; I have taken a great
dislike to his countenance!” No further observation was made, and the
lady departed.

On the next morning I received a note from Mrs. Marshall, stating that
she had reason to _know_ some malicious person had represented me as
being acquainted with certain affairs very material for the government
to understand, and as having papers in my possession which might be
required from me by the minister Fouché; advising me therefore to leave
town for awhile, sooner than be troubled respecting business so
disagreeable; and adding that, in the mean time, Colonel Macirone would
endeavour to find out the facts, and apprise me of them. This note was
curious, and I retain it.

I never was more surprised in my life than at the receipt of this
letter. I had never meddled at all in French politics, save to hear and
see all I could, and say nothing. I neither held nor had held any
political paper whatever, though I knew _Doctor Marshall_ possessed many
very important ones; and I therefore immediately went to Sir Charles
Stuart, our ambassador, made my complaints, showed him the note, and
requested his excellency’s personal interference. To my surprise, Sir
Charles in reply asked me how I could chance to know Macirone? I did not
feel comfortable at this, and answered, “Because both the English and
French governments, and his excellency to boot, (as Col. Macirone had
himself informed me,) not only had intercourse with, but had employed
Macirone both in Italy and Paris; and that I believed him to be at the
very moment in communication with persons of the _highest_
respectability in both countries.”

Sir Charles then wrote a note,—I think it was to Fouché,—informing him
who I was, &c. &c.; and I finally discovered it was all a scheme of Mrs.
Marshall for a purpose of her own. I know not whether Macirone’s name
was mentioned with his knowledge or not. This led me to other
investigations; and the result was, that further communication with Dr.
Marshall on my part became impossible. I certainly regretted the
circumstance, for he was a gentlemanly and intelligent man.

Colonel Macirone himself was soon taught by Fouché what it was to be the
_attaché_ of such a traitor. He had the mortification to find, that the
only remuneration which the arch-apostate was disposed to concede him,
was public disgrace and a _dungeon_!

Col. Macirone _himself_ often spoke to _me_ of his connexion with Fouché
as _employé ministériel_. One day after dinner, at Doctor Marshall’s, I
was so far off my guard as to tell Col. Macirone, in presence of many
persons, my opinion of Fouché, and of his (Macirone’s) late connexion
with him. I plainly foretold what actually happened soon after, when
Fouché signed _death_ or _banishment_ warrants for a crowd of his own
friends and instruments.

In about two months I met a person on the boulevard (as I was walking
with Lady Barrington, my daughter, and my nephew,) who accosted me as a
free acquaintance. I knew him not: he looked dejected; was almost
threadbare in his dress; unshaven, and obviously in bad health. He
stopped me, and asked me if I had forgotten _Macirone_? I started: I was
very sorry to see him in such a plight, and tendered my services. We had
a long conversation that afternoon, and another the succeeding day. I
found I had been but _too true_ a _prophet_; Fouché had seized him in
his bed; taken all his _papers_; and plunged him _en secret_ into a deep
dungeon, where he was kept six weeks, and then ordered to quit France
forthwith. I have had search lately made as to circumstances leading to
and connected with that and similar events: they will make an episode in
a subsequent recital concerning that period. As to Macirone, he himself
told me he deeply regretted his connexion with Fouché’s policy. He was
considered in Paris as a person quite attached to Murat, while _he_

                       BATTLE OF SEVRES AND ISSY.

Afternoon ramble on the Boulevard Italien—Interrupted by the report of
  artillery—_Sang-froid_ of the fair sex—Female soldiers—The author
  repairs to a point commanding the field of battle—Site of the
  projected palace of the king of Rome—Rapidity of the movements of the
  French as contrasted with those of the Prussians—Blowing up of the
  bridge of St. Cloud—Visit of the author to the encampment in the Champ
  de Mars—The wounded soldier.

My anxiety to witness a battle, without being a party in it, did not
long remain ungratified. While walking one afternoon on the Boulevard
Italien, a very heavy firing of musketry and cannon burst upon my ear.
It proceeded from up the course of the Seine, in the direction of
Sevres. I knew at once that an engagement was going forward, and my
heart bounded at the thought: the sounds appeared to me of all others
the most sublime and tremendous. A light breeze bore them to the city.
One moment there was a rattling of musketry, which appeared nearer or
more distant according to the strength of the air which wafted its
volleys; another, the heavy echo of ordnance rolled through the groves
and valley of Sevres, and the village of Issy; again, these seemed
superseded by a separate firing, as of small bodies of skirmishers; and
the whole was mingled with the distant yet audible shouts and hurras of
the assailants and assailed. Altogether, my nerves experienced a
sensation different from any that had preceded it, and alike
distinguished both from bravery and trepidation.

As yet the battle had only reached me by one sense; although
imagination, it is true, supplied the place of all. Though my eyes
viewed not the field of action, yet the sanguinary conflict moved before
my fancy in most vivid colouring.

I was in company with Mr. Lewins when the first firing roused our
attention. “A treble line” of ladies were seated in front of Tortoni’s,
under the lofty arbours of the Boulevard Italien, enjoying their ices,
attended by a host of unmilitary _chers-amis_, who, together with
mendicant songsters and musicians, were dispersed along that line of
female attraction, which “occupied” one side of the entire boulevard,
and with scarcely any interruption “stretched away” to the Porte St.
Martin. Strange to say, scarcely a movement was excited amongst the fair
part of the society by the report of the ordnance and musketry; not one
beauty rose from her chair, or checked the passage of the refreshing ice
to her pouting lips. I could not but be astonished at this apathy, as I
supposed, which was only disturbed by the thunder of a tremendous salvo
of artillery, announcing that the affair was becoming more general.

“_Ah! mon Dieu! ma chère!_” said one lovely creature to another, as they
sat at the entrance of Tortoni’s: “_sacre Dieu! qu’est-ce que ce superbe
coup-là?”—“C’est le canon, ma chère!_” replied her friend: “_la bataille
est à la pointe de commencer.”—“Ah! oui, oui! c’est bien magnifique!
écoutez! écoutez!”—“Ah!_” returned the other, tasting with curious
deliberation her lemon-ice, “_cette glace est très excellente!—mon Dieu!
mon Dieu!_”

Meanwhile the firing continued. I could stand it no longer; I was stung
with curiosity, and determined to see the battle. Being at a very little
distance from our hotel, I recommended Lady Barrington and my family to
retire thither, (which advice they did not take,) and I immediately set
off to seek a good position somewhere in the neighbourhood of the fight,
which I imagined could not be far distant, as the sounds seemed every
moment to increase in strength. It had reached Issy, and seemed
approaching. I now perceived a great many gendarmes singly, and in
profound silence, strolling about the boulevard, and remarking (though
without seeming to notice) every thing and every body.

I had no mode of accounting for the fortitude and indifference of so
many females, but by supposing that a great proportion of them might
have been themselves campaigning with their husbands or their
_chers-amis_—a circumstance that, I was told, had been by no means
uncommon during the wars of the revolution and of Napoleon. But that
could not have been the case with at least five hundred who then were
seated on the boulevard under the trees.

One lady told me herself, some time after, that she did not dress for
ten years in the attire of a female: her husband had acted, I believe,
as commissary general. They are both living and well, to the best of my
knowledge, at this moment: the lady is particularly clever and
intelligent. “Nothing,” said she to me one day, “nothing, sir, can
longer appear strange to me. I really think I have witnessed an example
of every thing good or evil!” and from the various character of the
scenes through which she had passed, I believe her.

A Jew physician living in Rue Richelieu, (a friend of Baron Rothschild,)
who had a tolerable telescope, had lent it to me. I first endeavoured to
gain admission into the pillar in the Place Vendome, but was refused. I
saw that the roof of Nôtre Dame was already crowded, and knew not where
to go. I durst not pass a barrier, and I never felt the tortures of
curiosity so strongly upon me! At length I got a cabriolet, and desired
the man to drive me to any point from whence I might see the battle. He
accordingly took me to the farther end of Rue de Bataille, at Chailloit,
in the vicinity whereof was the site marked out for the palace of the
King of Rome. He seemed to me scarcely to regard any thing about him.
(He afterward told me his curious history, which a future volume may
contain.) Here was a green plat, with a few half-dead trees; and under
one of those I sat down upon the grass and overlooked distinctly the
entire left of the engagement and the sanguinary combat which was fought
on the slopes, lawn, and about the house and courts of Bellevue.

Whoever has seen the site of that intended palace must recollect that
the view it commands is one of the finest imaginable. It had been the
hanging gardens of a monastery: the Seine flows at the foot of the
slope, and thence the eye wanders to the hill of Bellevue and onward to
St. Cloud. The village of Issy, which commences at the foot of Bellevue,
stretches itself at some distance thinly up the banks of the Seine
toward Paris, nearly to Vaugirard, one of the suburbs—which leaves a
border of meadow and garden ground here and there to edge the waters.
Extensive, undulating hills rise up high behind the Hotel de Bellevue,
and there the first attack had been made upon the Prussians. In front
the Pont de Jena opens the entrance to the Champ de Mars, terminated by
the magnificent gilt dome of the Ecole Militaire and Hôtel des
Invalides, with the city of Paris stretching to the left.

It was then a tranquil evening: the sun, in all his glory, piercing
through the smoke which seemed to mount reluctantly from the field of
battle, and illuminating its sombre flakes, likened it to a rich gilded
canopy moving over the combatants.

The natural ardour of my mind was peculiarly stimulated on this
occasion. Never having witnessed before any scene of a corresponding
nature, I could not (and indeed sought not to) repress a sensation of
awe: I felt my breathing short or protracted as the character of the
scene varied. An old soldier would no doubt have laughed at the excess
of my emotion—particularly as the affair, although sharp, was not of a
very extensive nature. It was said that the Prussians, &c. amounted to
_thirty_ thousand. If so, they were on the left, out of my sight. The
French certainly were not so numerous. I guessed _twenty_ thousand.
There were _no_ English. But there were of Brunswickers, I think, some
regiments in scarlet. I at the time took them for English. There was no
charge of cavalry, that I saw: but great bodies were in motion on the
plain of Grenelle and the road.

One observation was forcibly impressed on me; namely, that both the
firing and manœuvring of the French were a great deal more rapid than
those of the Prussians. When a change of position was made, the
Prussians _marched_—the French _ran_: their advance was quicker—their
retreat less regular: but their rallying seemed to me most
extraordinary: dispersed detachments of the French reassociated with the
rapidity of lightning, and advanced again as if they had never

The combats _within_ the hotel of Bellevue and the courts behind were of
course concealed: but if I might judge from the constant firing
within—the echoes—the loud crash of doors and casements—the sudden
rushes from the house—the storming at the entrance, and the battles on
the lawn and in the hall,—there must have been great carnage. In my
simplicity, I only wondered how _any body_ could escape.

The battle now extended to, and quite filled the village of Issy, which
was taken and retaken many times. Neither party could keep possession of
it—scouting in and out as fortune wavered; then storming again; then
retiring in disorder; and again, in narrow columns, forcing back into
the streets. At length, probably from the actual exhaustion of the men,
the fire of musketry slackened, but the cannon still rolled at intervals
around Sevres. In the wood of Sevres the firing was incessant; and a
Prussian shell fell into the celebrated manufactory of that place, while
several cannon-shot penetrated the handsome hotel which stands on an
eminence above Sevres, and killed fourteen or fifteen Prussian officers,
who were in a group taking refreshment.[49]

I now began to feel weary of gazing on the boisterous monotony of the
fight, which, so far as any advantage appeared to be gained on either
side, might be interminable. A man actually engaged in battle can see
but little and think less; but a secure and contemplative spectator has
open to him a field of inexhaustible reflection; and my faculties were
fast becoming abstracted from the scene of strife, when a loud and
uncommon noise announced some singular event, and once more excited me.
We could not perceive whence it came; but guessed, and truly, that it
proceeded from the demolition of the bridge of St. Cloud, which the
French had blown up. A considerable number of French troops now appeared
withdrawing from the battle, and passing to our side of the river, many
on rafts, far above the bridge, which was just under our feet. We could
not tell the cause of this movement, but it was reported by a man who
came into the field that the English army at St. Denis was seen in
motion, and that some attack on our side of the city itself might be
expected. I knew not the fact, and I scarcely believed this: yet the
retreat of a part of the French troops tended not to discourage the
idea; and as the national guards were heard beating to arms in all
directions of the city, I thought it most advisable to return, which I
immediately did before the firing had ceased, and in the same cabriolet.
Immense bodies of the national guards were collecting in companies; but
I believe did not form into any columns.


Footnote 49:

  I visited the spot a few days subsequently, and found that noble hall,
  which had been totally lined by the finest mirrors, without one
  remaining. I never saw such useless and wanton devastation as had been
  committed. I learned that it was the _Cossacks_ who broke all the
  mirrors, looking for money behind them.


On my return, judge of my astonishment at finding _the very same
assemblage_ in _the very same place_ on the boulevard as when I left it;
nor did a single being, except my own family, express the slightest
curiosity upon hearing whence I had come.

The English army, as it turned out, did not move. The firing, after
awhile, totally ceased; and the French cavalry (which I did not see
engaged) with some infantry marched into the Champ de Mars, to take up
their night’s position.

Having thus been gratified by the view of what to my unaccustomed eyes
seemed a great battle, and would, I suppose, by military men be termed
nothing more than a long skirmish, I met Sir Francis Gold, who proposed
that we should walk to the Champ de Mars, “just,” said he, “to see what
the fellows are doing after the battle.”

To this I peremptorily objected, for reasons which must be obvious, and
which seemed to prohibit any Englishman in his sober senses from going
into such company at such a moment.

“Never mind,” continued Sir Francis, “I love my skin every bit as well
as you do yours; and depend upon it we shall not meet the slightest
molestation. If we go with a lady in our company, be assured we may walk
about and remain in the place as long as we please. I can speak from

“Ah, true, true, perhaps: but where is the lady?” said I.

“I will introduce you to a very charming one of my acquaintance,”
answered Sir Francis, “and I’ll request her to do us the favour of
accompanying us.” I now half-reluctantly agreed; curiosity prevailed as
usual, and away we went to the lodgings of Sir Francis’s fair friend. I
knew Sir Francis could not be in love with danger, though he might with
his fair protectress.

The lady certainly did not dishonour the epithet Sir Francis had
bestowed on her: she was a young, animated, French girl, rather pretty,
interesting, and very well dressed;—one of those lively creatures who,
you would say, always have their “wits about them.” My friend explained
the request he had come to prefer, and begged her to make her toilet
with all convenient expedition. The lady certainly did not dissent, but
her acquiescence was followed by a most hearty and seemingly
uncontrollable burst of laughter. “Excuse me, gentlemen,” exclaimed she;
“but really I cannot help laughing. I will, with pleasure, walk with
you; but the idea of my _playing the escort_ to two gallant English
chevaliers, both _d’âge mûr_, is too ridiculous! However, _n’importe_! I
will endeavour to _defend_ you, though against a whole army!”

The thing unquestionably did look absurd, and I could not refrain myself
from joining in the laugh. Sir Francis too became infected, and we made
a regular chorus of it, after which the gay Frenchwoman resumed:—

“But surely, Sir Francis, you pay the French a great compliment; for you
have often told me how you alone used to put to flight whole troops of
rebels in your own country, and take entire companies with your single

Champagne was now introduced, and Sir Francis and I having each taken a
glass or two, perhaps more, at the lady’s suggestion, to _keep up our
courage_, we sallied out in search of adventures to the Champ de Mars.
The sentinel at the entrance demurred a little on our presenting
ourselves; but our fair companion, with admirable presence of mind, put
it to his gallantry,—“Can a gallant soldier,” said our fair guardian,
“refuse admittance to a lady and her _uncles_?” The polite soldier, with
very good grace, permitted us to enter. As she passed, she held out her
hand for him to kiss, which he did most respectfully!

Once fairly inside, we strolled about for above two hours, not only
unmolested, but absolutely unnoticed—though I cannot say I felt
perfectly at ease. It is certain that the presence of the female
protected us. The respect paid to women by the French soldiery is
apparent at all their meetings, whether for conviviality or service; and
I have seen as much decorum, nay more, preserved in an alehouse
festivity at Paris, as at the far-famed Almack’s in London.

The scene within the barrier must have appeared curious to any
Englishman. The troops had been about an hour on the ground after
fighting all the evening in the village of Issy. I did not see the
cavalry actually engage, and their horses were picketed. The soldiers
had got, in all directions, tubs of water, and were washing their hands
and faces, which had been covered with dirt, their mouths being quite
blackened by the cartridges. In a little time every thing was arranged
for a merry-making: some took off their coats, to dance the lighter; the
bands played; an immense number of women, of all descriptions, had come
to welcome them back; and in half an hour after we arrived there, some
hundred couples were at the quadrilles and waltzes, as if nothing had
occurred to disturb their tranquillity! It appeared, in fact, as if they
had not only totally forgotten what had passed that day, but cared not a
sou as to what might happen the next.

Numerous old women, with frying-pans strapped before them, with a little
charcoal underneath, were incessantly frying sliced potatoes, livers,
and bacon together: we tasted some of these dainties, and found them
really quite savoury. Some soldiers, who were tired or perhaps slightly
hurt, were sitting in the fosses cooking soup, and, together with the
venders of bottled beer, &c. stationed on the elevated banks, gave the
whole a picturesque appearance. I saw a very few men who had rags tied
round their heads; some who limped a little; and others who had their
hands in slings: but nobody seemed to regard these, or indeed any thing
except their own pleasure. The wounded had been carried to hospitals,
and I suppose the dead were left on the ground for the night. The guards
mounted at the Champ de Mars were all fresh troops.

In contrast with this scene, I digress to remark that there were few
circumstances attending that memorable era which struck me more forcibly
than the miserable condition of those groups of fugitives who continued
every hour arriving in Paris during the few days immediately succeeding
their signal discomfiture at Waterloo. These unfortunate stragglers
arrived in parties of two, three, or four, and in a state of utter
destitution—most of them without arms, many without shoes, and some
almost naked. A great proportion of them were wounded and bandaged: they
had scarcely rested at all on their return; in short, I never beheld
such pitiable figures.

One of these unfortunate men struck me forcibly one evening as an object
of interest and compassion. He was limping along the Boulevard Italien:
his destination I knew not; he looked elderly, but had evidently been
one of the finest men I ever saw, and attached, I rather think, to the
imperial guard. His shoes were worn out; his clothes in rags; scanty
hairs were the only covering of his head; one arm was bandaged with a
bloody rag, and slung from his neck by a string; his right thigh and leg
were also bandaged, and he seemed to move with pain and difficulty, yet

Figures of a similar description were, it is true, so common during that
period, that nobody paid them much attention: this man, however, somehow
or other, interested me peculiarly. It was said that he was going to
some hospital where he would be taken good care of: but I felt greatly
for the old warrior; and crossing the street, put, without saying a
word, a dollar into his yellow and trembling hand.

He stopped, looked at me attentively, then at the dollar; and appearing
doubtful whether he ought to receive it, said, with an emphatic tone,
“Not for _charity_! _pas—pour l’amour de Dieu!_”

I saw his pride was kindled, and replied, “No, my friend, in respect to
your bravery!” and I was walking away, when I heard his voice
exclaiming, “Monsieur, Monsieur!” I turned, and, as he hobbled up to me,
he surveyed me in silence from head to foot; then, looking earnestly in
my face, he held out his hand with the dollar: “Excuse me, Monsieur,”
said he, in a firm and rather proud tone,—“you are an Englishman, and I
cannot receive bounty from the enemy of my emperor!”

Good God! thought I, what a man must Napoleon have been! This incident
alone affords a key to all his victories.

                         CAPITULATION OF PARIS.

Retirement of the army of Vilette behind the Loire—Occupation of the
  French capital by the allies—Thoughts on the disposition of the
  Bourbon government toward Great Britain—Conduct of the allies after
  their possession of Paris—Infringements of the treaty—Removal of the
  works of art from the Louvre—Reflections on the injurious result of
  that measure to the British student—_Liberal_ motive operating on the
  English administration of that period—Little interludes got up between
  the French king and the allies—Louis the Eighteenth’s magnanimous
  letters—Threatened destruction of the _Pont de Jena_ by Marshal
  Blucher—Heroic resolution of His Most Christian Majesty to perish in
  the explosion.

The rapid succession of these extraordinary events bore to me the
character of some optical delusion, and my mind was settling into a
train of reflections on the past and conjectures as to the future, when
Fouché surrendered Paris, and gave up France to the discretion of its
enemies; at least, on a capitulation, the _terms_ of which were too
indefinite to protect the _spirit_ of it. In a few hours after I saw
that enthusiastic, nay that half-frantic army of Vilette (in the midst
of which I had an opportunity of witnessing a devotion to its chief
which no defeat could diminish) on the point of total annihilation. I
saw the troops, sad and crestfallen, marching out of Paris to
consummate, behind the Loire, the fall of France as a warlike kingdom.
With arms still in their hands, with a great park of artillery, and
commanded by able generals, yet were they constrained to turn their
backs on their metropolis, abandoning it to the “tender mercies” of the
Russian Cossacks, whom they had so often conquered.

I saw likewise Fouché, Duke of Otranto (who had with impunity betrayed
his patron and his master) betraying, in their turn, his own tools and
instruments—signing lists of _proscription_ for the death or exile of
those whose ill fortune or worse principle had rendered his _dupes_; and
thus confirming, in my mind, the scepticism as to all public men and
measures which had long been growing on me. With all the faults of
Napoleon, he never could have merited the superlative ingratitude of
those whom he had raised from _nothing_, and fostered in his bosom, to
destroy himself.

The only political point I fancy at present that I can see any certainty
in is, that the French nation is not _mad_ enough to engage lightly in a
fresh war with England. The highest-flown ultras, even the Jesuits
themselves, cannot forget that to the inexhaustible perseverance of the
United Kingdom is attributable the present political condition of
Europe.—The _people_ of France may not, it is true, owe us much
gratitude as to their magnificence or power; but, considering that we
transmitted both his present and his late majesty safely from exile here
to their exalted station among the potentates of Europe, I do hope, for
the honour of our common nature, that the _government_ of that country
would not willingly turn the weapons which _we_ put into their hands
against ourselves. If they should, however, it is not too much to add,
bearing in mind what we have successfully coped with, that their
hostility would be as ineffectual as ungrateful. And here I cannot
abstain from briefly congratulating my fellow-countrymen on the manly
and encouraging exposition of our national power recently put forth by
Mr. Canning in the House of Commons. It has been felt by every cabinet
in Europe—even to its core. The Holy Alliance has dwindled into
insignificance; and Great Britain, under an energetic and liberal-minded
administration, re-assumes that influence to which she is justly
entitled, as in the first order of European empires.[50]


Footnote 50:

  Since the first edition of this work, most unexpected events have
  taken place in the state of England and her relative situation with
  the continent. The admirable policy of Canning has opened the eyes of
  Europe, and supplanted the despotism of the Holy Alliance by
  principles of a liberal and enlightened nature. The first practical
  effect of this has been seen in Greece. The battle of Navarino has
  done more toward exciting cordiality between the French and English
  people than any person can suppose, who has not witnessed its
  extraordinary effects in France, both on the people and the


To return:—The conduct of the allies after their occupation of Paris was
undoubtedly strange, to say the least of it; and nothing could be more
inconsistent than that of the populace on the return of King Louis. That
Paris was betrayed is certain; and that the article of capitulation
which provided that “wherever doubts existed, the construction should be
in _favour_ of the Parisians,” was not adhered to, is equally so. It was
never in contemplation, for instance, that the capital was to be rifled
of the monuments of art and antiquity, whereof she had become possessed
by right of conquest. If such a _right_ exists, it should be respected:
if it does not exist, there have not been a more illegal body of
depredators in the universe than ourselves. A reclamation of the great
mortar in St. James’s Park, or of the throne of the king of Ceylon,
would have just as much appearance of fairness as that of _Apollo_ by
the Pope, and _Venus_ by the Grand Duke of Tuscany. What preposterous
affectation of justice was there in employing British engineers to take
down the brazen horses of Alexander the Great, in order that they may be
re-erected in St. Mark’s Place at Venice,—a city to which the Austrian
emperor has no more equitable a claim than we have to Vienna! I always
was, and still remain to be, decidedly of opinion that, by giving our
aid in emptying the Louvre, we authorised not only an act of unfairness
to the French, but of impolicy as concerned ourselves;—since by so
doing, we have removed beyond the reach of the great majority of British
artists and students the finest specimens and models of sculpture and of
painting this world has produced. Besides, to send a _heathen god_ to
the _pope_ might certainly have been dispensed with.

When this step was first determined on the Prussians began with
moderation; they rather _smuggled_ away than openly stole, fourteen
paintings only; but no sooner was this rifling purpose generally made
known, than the legate of his _holiness_ the pope was all anxiety to
have his master’s _gods_ again locked up in the dusty store-rooms of the
Vatican! The Parisians now took fire. They remonstrated, and protested
against this infringement of the treaty; and a portion of the national
guards stoutly declared that they would _defend the gallery_! But the
king loved the pope’s toe better than all the works of art ever
achieved; and the German autocrat being also a devoted friend of St.
Peter’s (while at the same time he lusted after the “brazen images”),
the assenting fiat was given, and the plundering proceeded with the
utmost voracity. Wishing, however, to throw the stigma from the
shoulders of Catholic monarchs upon those of Protestant soldiers, these
wily allies determined that, although England was not to share the
spoil, she should bear the trouble and discredit; and therefore the
national guards in the Louvre were threatened with a regiment of
Scotchmen—which threat produced the desired effect.

Now it may be said, that the “right of conquest” is as strong on one
side as on the other, and justifies the reclamation as fully as it did
the original capture of these _chef-d’œuvres_:—to which plausible
argument I oppose two words—_the treaty!—the treaty!_ Besides, if the
right of conquest is to decide, then I fearlessly advance the claim of
Great Britain, who was the principal agent in winning the prize at
Waterloo, and had therefore surely a right to wear at least some portion
of it; but who nevertheless stood by and _sanctioned_ the injustice,
although she affected to have too high a _moral sense_ to participate in
it. What will my fellow-countrymen say, when they hear that the
_liberal_ motive which served to counterbalance, in the minds of the
British ministry of that day, the solid advantages resulting from the
retention of the works of art at Paris, was, a jealousy of suffering the
French capital to remain “the Athens of Europe?”[51]


Footnote 51:

  These words were used to me by Mr. Secretary Cook, at the moment, in
  Paris. But the truth was, our generals and diplomatists then on the
  spot knew but little and cared less about the fine arts or belles


The farce played off between the French king and the allies was
considered supremely ridiculous. The Cossacks bivouacked in the square
of the Carousel before his majesty’s windows; and soldiers dried their
shirts and trowsers on the iron railings of the palace. This was a
nuisance; and for the purpose of abating it, three pieces of ordnance
duly loaded, with a gunner and ready-lighted match, were stationed day
and night upon the quay, and pointed directly at _his majesty’s
drawing-room_; so that one salvo would have despatched the Most
Christian King and all his august family to the _genuine_ Champs
Elysées. This was carrying the jest rather too far, and every rational
man in Paris was shaking his sides at so shallow a manœuvre, when a new
object of derision appeared in shape of a letter purporting to be
written by King Louis the XVIIIth, expressing his wish that he was young
and active enough (who could doubt his wish to grow young again?) to put
himself at the head of his own army, attack his puissant allies, and cut
them all to pieces for their duplicity to his loving and beloved

A copy of this alleged letter was given me by a colonel of the national
guards, who said that it was _circulated_ by the _highest_ authority. I
still retain it.

            “_Lettre du Roi au Prince Talleyrand._

                                               “Du 22 Juillet, 1815.

            “La conduite des armées alliées réduira bientôt mon
    peuple à s’armer contre elles, comme on a fait en Espagne.

    “Plus jeune, je me mettrais à sa tête:—mais, si l’âge et mes
    infirmités m’en empêchent, je ne veux pas, au moins, paroître
    conniver à des mesures dont je gémis! je suis résolu, si je ne
    puis les adoucir, à demander asile au roi d’Espagne.

    “Que ceux qui, même après la capture de l’homme à qui ils ont
    déclaré la guerre, continuent à traiter mon peuple en ennemi, et
    doivent par conséquent me regarder comme tel, attentent s’ils le
    veulent à ma liberté! ils en sont les maîtres! j’aime mieux
    vivre dans ma prison que de rester ici, témoin passif des pleurs
    de mes enfans.”

But,—to close the scene of his majesty’s gallantry, and anxiety to
preserve the capitulation entire. After he had permitted the plunder of
the Louvre, a report was circulated that Blucher had determined to send
all considerations of the treaty to the d—, and with his soldiers to
blow up the _Pont de Jena_, as the existence of a bridge so named was an
_insult_ to the victorious Prussians! This was, it must be admitted,
sufficiently in character with Blucher: but some people were so
fastidious as to assert that it was in fact only a clap-trap on behalf
of his Most Christian Majesty; and true it was, that next day copies of
a very dignified and gallant letter from Louis XVIII. were circulated
extensively throughout Paris. The purport of this royal epistle was not
_remonstrance_: that would have been merely considered as matter of
course: it demanded, that Marshal Blucher should inform his majesty of
the precise moment the bridge was to be so blown up, as his majesty
(having no power of resistance) was determined to go in person—stand
upon the bridge at the time of the explosion, and mount into the air
amidst the stones and mortar of this beautiful piece of architecture! No
doubt it would have been a sublime termination of so _sine cura_ a
reign; and would have done more to immortalise the Bourbon dynasty than
any thing they seem at present likely to accomplish!

However, Blucher frustrated that gallant achievement, as he did many
others; and declared in reply, that he would not singe a hair of his
majesty’s head for the pleasure of blowing up a hundred bridges![52]


Footnote 52:

  Nothing could be more hostile than the feelings of the French were, at
  that period, to the allies;—the Prussians they hated inveterately; the
  English next in proportion. Their detestation of the _Prussians_
  remains still in full vigour, and, indeed, daily increases: their
  animosity to the _English_ is extinguished. The French clearly see
  that both interest and pleasure are the result of a friendly
  intercourse with us, and I think it is cementing fast, and ought to be
  cultivated by the respective governments. They are a fine people.
  England and France never should be enemies: there is world enough for
  both: united, they might command Europe as far as Smolensko; that is
  the “Rubicon Russe.” The liberal policy of Mr. Canning’s government
  made an incredible and most rapid impression on the French nation: the
  old and _savage_ principle that England and France were natural
  enemies is totally at an end: they may be occasionally _political_,
  but not _natural_ adversaries.

  I have never seen popular gratification more strong or more general
  than that of the French on hearing of the battle of Navarino; nor have
  I ever yet seen a feeling of generous liberality and growing
  friendship more pure and unequivocal than was evinced by the French
  military and people at the cordiality with which their fleets and ours
  mingled in battle. Their having been led to victory by an
  _Englishman_, so far from creating _jealousy_, delighted them.



The Catacombs of Paris—Ineffective nature of the written description of
  these as compared with the reality—Author’s descent into them—His
  speedy return—Contrast presented by the cemetery of Père la
  Chaise—Tomb of Abelard and Heloise—An English capitalist’s notions of

The stupendous catacombs of Paris form perhaps the greatest curiosity of
that capital. I have seen many well-written descriptions of this
magazine of human fragments, yet on actually visiting it, my sensations
of awe, and I may add, of disgust, exceeded my anticipation.

I found myself (after descending to a considerable depth from the light
of day) among winding vaults, where, ranged on every side, are the
trophies of Death’s universal conquest. Myriads of grim, fleshless,
grinning visages seem (even through their eyeless sockets) to stare at
the passing mortals who have succeeded them, and ready with long knotted
fingers to grasp the living into their own society. On turning away from
these hideous objects, my sight was arrested by innumerable white
scalpless skulls and mouldering limbs of disjointed skeletons—mingled
and misplaced in terrific pyramids; or, as if in architectural mockery
of nature, framed into mosaics, or piled into walls and barriers with
taste fantastic!

There are men of nerve strong enough to endure the contemplation of such
things without shrinking. I participate not in this apathetic mood.
Almost at the first step which I took between these ghastly ranks in the
deep catacomb d’Enfer, (whereinto I had plunged by a descent of ninety
steps,) my spirit no longer remained buoyant: it felt subdued and cowed;
my feet reluctantly advanced through the gloomy mazes; and at length a
universal thrill of horror crawled along the surface of my skin. It
would have been to little purpose to protract this struggle, and _force_
my will to obedience: I therefore, instinctively as it were, made a
retrograde movement; I ascended into the world again, more rapidly than
I had gone downward, and left my less sensitive and wiser friends to
explore at leisure those dreary regions. And never did the sun appear to
me more bright; never did I feel his rays more cheering and genial, than
as I emerged from the melancholy catacombs, to resume the sight of man
and the sensations of existence.

The visitor of Paris will find it both curious and interesting to
contrast with these another receptacle for the dead—the cemetery of Père
la Chaise. It is strange that there should exist among the same people,
in the same city, and almost in the same vicinity, two _Golgothas_, in
their nature so utterly dissimilar and repugnant from each other.

The soft and beautiful features of landscape which characterise Père la
Chaise are scarcely describable: so harmoniously are they blended
together,—so sacred does the spot appear to quiet contemplation and
hopeful repose,—that it seems almost profane to attempt description, or
to submit its charms in detail before the reader’s eye. All in fact that
I had ever read about it fell, as in the case of the catacombs, (“alike,
but ah, how different!”) far short of the reality.

I have wandered whole mornings together over its winding paths and
venerable avenues. Here are no “ninety steps” of descent to gloom and
horror: on the contrary, a gradual _ascent_ leads to the cemetery of
Père la Chaise, and to its enchanting summit, on every side shaded by
brilliant evergreens. The straight lofty cypress and spreading cedar
uplift themselves around; and the arbutus, exposing its deceptive
berries, tenders to the walker at once its shade and fragrance. In lieu
of the damp mouldering scent exhaled by three millions of human
skeletons, we are presented with the perfumes of jasmines and of
myrtles—of violet-beds or variegated flower-plats decked out by the
ministering hand of love or duty;—as if benignant Nature had spread her
most splendid carpet to cover, conceal, and render alluring even the
abode of death, and commemorate the noblest passions and the purest
sympathies of mortality.

Whichever way we turn, the labours of art combine with the luxuriance of
vegetation to raise in the mind new reflections: marble, in all its
varieties of shade and grain, is wrought by the hand of man into
numerous bewitching shapes; while one of the most brilliant and cheerful
cities in the universe seems to lie, with its wooded boulevards, gilded
domes, palaces, gardens, and glittering waters, just beneath our feet.
One sepulchre, alone, of a decidedly mournful character, attracted my
notice—a large and solid mausoleum, buried amidst gloomy yews and low
drooping willows; and this looked only like a patch on the face of
loveliness. Père la Chaise presents a solitary instance of the abode of
the dead ever interesting me _agreeably_.

I will not remark on the well-known tomb of Abelard and Eloisa: a
hundred pens have anticipated me in most of the observations I should be
inclined to make respecting that celebrated couple. The most obvious
circumstance in their “sad story” always struck me as being—that he
turned priest when he was good for nothing else, and she became “quite
correct” when opportunities for the reverse began to slacken. They no
doubt were properly qualified to make very respectable _saints_: but
since they took care previously to have their fling, I cannot say much
for their _morality_.

I am not sure that a burial-place similar to Père la Chaise would be
admired in England: it is almost of too picturesque and sentimental a
character. The humbler orders of the English people are too coarse to
appreciate the peculiar feeling such a cemetery is calculated to excite;
the higher orders too licentious; the trading classes too avaricious.
The plum-holder of the city would very honestly and frankly “d—n all
your nonsensical sentiment!” I heard one of these gentlemen, last year,
declare that what poets and _such-like_ called _sentiment_, was neither
more nor less than deadly poison to the _Protestant religion_!

Though there is perhaps as much real refinement in London as in Paris,
the French certainly mingle more _mind_ with their _vices_. Those of the
Englishman are merely sensual: those of the French seasoned with
intellect.—The Englishman’s the result of _instinct_—the Frenchman’s of
_excitement_: an Englishman is _always_, a Frenchman _never_, in

Père la Chaise would only remind a cockney of _suicide_: it sets a
Parisian gabbling about the meadows of Elysium. A Paris shopkeeper can
descant on the _heathen mythology_: the _cockney_ talks of _heaven_ from
his _bible_ and the _pulpit_; and if the _river Styx_ should be
mentioned, he probably considers it scaffolding at London Bridge.

As to the French ladies, they all fancy that they are saturated with
refinement. A very spirited and handsome Frenchwoman told me some time
since, with as much gravity as she was susceptible of, that she had more
_refinement_ than she knew what to do with, and most ardently wished
that she could have the honour of transferring the _balance_ to some of
my fair countrywomen, who, she understood, considered it a particular


The author’s efforts to discover the source of his name and family—The
  Irish herald-at-arms—Reference made by him to the English
  professor—Heraldic speculation—Ascent of the author’s pedigree to the
  reign of William the Conqueror—Consultation with the Norman herald
  suggested—Author’s visit to Rouen—Anecdotes of French convents—Madame
  Cousin and her _system_—Traits of toleration—M. Helliot, the
  celebrated _ancien avocat_ of Rouen—Practice of _legal bigamy_ in
  Normandy—A breakfast party—Death of M. Helliot—Interview with an old
  herald, formerly of the noblesse—His person and costume
  described—Discovery of the town and castle of _Barentin_—Occurrences
  there—The old beggar-man—Visit to Jersey, where Drogo de Barentin was
  killed in defending the castle of Mont Orgueil—Return to Barentin, and
  singular incident at Ivetot—Conclusion.

My visit to France enabled me, besides gratifying myself by the sight
and observation of the distinguished characters of whom I have in the
Sketches immediately foregoing made mention, to pursue an inquiry that I
had set on foot some time previously in my own country.

As I have already informed the reader in the commencement of this work,
I was brought up among a sort of democratic aristocracy, which, like the
race of wolf-dogs, seems to be extinct in Ireland. The gentry of those
days took the greatest care to trace, and to preserve by tradition, the
pedigree of their families and the exploits of their ancestors.

It is said that “he must be a wise man who knows _his own_ father;” but
if there are thirty or forty of one’s forefathers to make out, it must
necessarily be a research rather difficult for ordinary capacities. Such
are therefore in the habit of resorting to a person who obtains his
livelihood by begetting grandfathers and great-grandfathers _ad
infinitum_!—namely, the herald, who, without much tedious research, can,
in these commercial days, furnish any private gentleman, dealer, or
chapman, with as beautifully transcribed, painted, and gilt a pedigree
as he chooses to be at the expense of purchasing—with arms, crests, and
mottoes to match: nor are there among the nobility themselves
emblazonments more gaudy than may occasionally be seen upon the tilbury
of some retired tailor, whose name was probably selected at random by
the nurse of a foundling hospital.

But as there is, I believe, no great mob of persons bearing my name in
existence, and as it is pretty well known to be rather old, I fancied I
would pay a visit to our Irish herald-at-arms, to find out, if possible
to a certainty, from what country I originally sprang. After having
consulted every thing he had to consult, this worthy functionary only
brought me back to Queen Elizabeth, which was doing nothing, as it was
that virgin monarch who had made the first territorial grant to my
family in Ireland, with liberty to return two members to every future
parliament, which they actually did down to my father.

The Irish herald assured me that he could not honestly carry me one inch
farther _back_ on the _male_ line, and so (having painted a most
beautiful pedigree) he recommended me to the English herald-at-arms,
who, he had no doubt, could take the thread at the top, and unravel it
to my satisfaction.

I accordingly took the first opportunity of consulting this fresh oracle
in London, whose minister having politely heard my case, transferred it
to writing, screwed up his lips, and looked steadfastly at the ceiling
for some five minutes: he then began to reckon centuries on his fingers;
but there being only _eight_ of them, he applied to his _thumbs_; took
down several large books full of emblazonments, nodded his head, and at
last, cleverly and scientifically taking me up from the times of Queen
Elizabeth, where I had been abruptly dropped by my fellow-countryman,
delivered me, in less than a fortnight, as handsome a genealogical tree
as could be reasonably desired: on this I triumphantly ascended to the
reign of William the Conqueror, and the battle of Hastings, at which
some of my ancestors were, it appears, fairly sped, and provided with
neat lodgings in Battle Abbey, where, for aught I know to the contrary,
they still remain.

The English herald-at-arms also informed me (but rather mysteriously)
that it was _probable_ I had a right to put a French _De_ at the
beginning of my name, as there was a Norman _ton_ at the end of it; but
that, as he did not profess French heraldry, I had better inquire
further from some of the craft in Normandy, where that science had at
the period of the crusades greatly flourished—William the Conqueror, at
the time he was denominated _the Bastard_, having by all accounts
established a very celebrated heraldic college at Rouen.

I was much pleased with his candour, and thus the matter rested until
Louis XVIII. returned home with his family, when, as the reader is
aware, I likewise passed over to France with mine.

I did not forget the hint given me by my armorial friend in London; and
in order to benefit by it, repaired, as soon as circumstances permitted,
to Rouen, in which town we had been advised to place our two youngest
daughters, for purposes of education, at a celebrated Ursuline convent,
the abbess whereof was considered a more tolerating _religieuse_ than
any of her contemporaries. Before I proceed to detail the sequel of my
heraldic investigations I will lay before the reader one or two
anecdotes connected with French nunneries.

The abbess of the convent in question, Madame Cousin, was a fine,
handsome, fat old nun, as affable and insinuating as possible, and
gained on us at first sight. She enlarged on the great advantages of her
system; and showed us long galleries of beautiful little bed-chambers,
together with gardens overlooking the boulevards, and adorned by that
interesting tower wherein Jeanne d’Arc was so long confined previous to
her being humanely burned alive as a _witch_ by our Duke of Bedford, who
_attended the execution_! The window he overlooked her tortures from is
still preserved in the square at Rouen. Her table, Madame Cousin assured
us, was _excellent_ and _abundant_.

I was naturally impressed with an idea that a _nun_ feared God at any
rate too much to tell twenty direct falsehoods, and practise twenty
deceptions in the course of half an hour, for the lucre of fifty
Napoleons,—which she required in advance, without the least intention of
giving the value of five for them: and, under this impression, I paid
the sum demanded, gave up our two children to Madame Cousin’s _motherly_
tutelage, and returned to the Hôtel de France, almost in love with the
old abbess.

On our return to Paris we received letters from my daughters, giving a
most flattering account of the convent generally, of the excellence of
Madame l’Abbesse, the plenty of good food, the comfort of the bed-rooms,
and the extraordinary progress they were making in their several
acquirements. I was hence induced to commence the second half-year, also
in advance, when a son-in-law of mine, calling to see my daughters,
requested the eldest to dine with him at his hotel, which request was
long resisted by the abbess, and only granted at length with manifest
reluctance. Arrived at the hotel, the poor girl related a tale of a very
different description from the foregoing, and as piteous as unexpected.
Her letters had been _dictated_ to her by a _priest_, the brother of the
abbess. I had scarcely arrived at Paris when my children were separated,
turned away from the _show_ bed-rooms, and allowed to speak _any_
language to each other only _one hour_ a day, and _not a word_ on
Sundays. The eldest was urged to turn Catholic; and, above all, they
were fed in a manner at once so scanty and so bad, that my daughter
begged hard not to be taken back, but to accompany her brother-in-law to
Paris. This he conceded; and when the poor child arrived, I saw the
necessity of immediately recalling her sister. I was indeed shocked at
seeing her,—so wan and thin, and _greedy_ did she appear.

On our first inquiry for the convent above alluded to, we had been
directed by mistake to another establishment belonging to the saint of
the same name, but bearing a very inferior appearance, and superintended
by an abbess whose _toleration_ certainly erred not on the side of
laxity. We saw the old lady within her grated lattice. She would not
come out to us; but, on being told our business, smiled as cheerfully as
fanaticism would let her. (I dare say the expected _pension_ already
jingled in her glowing fancy.) Our terms were soon concluded, and every
thing was arranged, when Lady Barrington, as a final direction,
requested that the children should not be called _too early_ in the
morning, as they were unused to it. The old abbess started: a gloomy
doubt seemed to gather on her furrowed temples; her nostrils distended;
and she abruptly asked, “_N’êtes-vous pas Catholiques?_”

“_Non_,” replied Lady Barrington, “_nous sommes Protestans_.”

The countenance of the abbess now utterly fell, and she shrieked out,
“_Mon Dieu! alors, vous êtes hérétiques! Je ne permets jamais
d’hérétique dans ce convent!—allez!—allez!—vos enfans n’entreront jamais
dans le couvent des Ursulines!—allez!—allez!_” and instantly crossing
herself, vehemently counting her beads, and muttering Latin like a
schoolmaster, she withdrew from the grate.

Just as we were _turned out_, we encountered, near the gate, a very odd
though respectable-looking figure. It was that of a man whose stature
must originally have exceeded six feet, and who was yet erect, and, but
for the natural shrinking of age, retained his full height and manly
presence: his limbs still bore him gallantly, and the frosts of more
than eighty winters had not yet chilled his warmth of manner. His dress
was neither neat nor shabby: it was of silk—of the old costume: his thin
hair was loosely tied behind; and, on the whole, he appeared to be what
we call _above the world_.

This gentleman saw that we were at a loss about something; and with the
constitutional politeness of a Frenchman of the old school, at once
begged us to mention our embarrassment and command his services. Every
body, he told us, knew him, and he knew every body at Rouen. We accepted
his offer, and he immediately constituted himself _cicisbeo_ to the
ladies and Mentor to me. After having led us to the other _Convent des
Ursulines_, of which I have spoken, he dined with us, and I conceived a
great respect for the old gentleman. It was Monsieur Helliot, once a
celebrated _avocat_ of the parliament at Rouen: his good manners and
good-nature rendered his society a real treat to us; while his memory,
information, and activity were almost wonderful. He was an _improvisore_
poet, and could converse in rhyme, and sing a hundred songs of his own

On my informing M. Helliot that one of my principal objects at Rouen was
a research in heraldry, he said he would next day introduce me to the
person of all others most likely to satisfy me on that point. His friend
was, he told me, of noble family, and had originally studied heraldry
for his amusement, but was subsequently necessitated to practise it for
pocket-money, since his regular income was barely sufficient (as was
then the average with the old nobility of Normandy) to provide him soup
in plenty, a room and a bed-recess, a weekly laundress, and a repairing
tailor. “Rouen,” continued the old advocate, “requires no heralds now!
The nobles are not even able to emblazon their pedigrees, and the
manufacturers purchase arms and crests from the Paris heralds, who have
always a variety of magnificent ones to _dispose of_ suitable to their
new customers.”

M. Helliot had an apartment at Rouen, and also a country-house about
four miles from that city, near the Commandery, which is on the Seine;—a
beautiful wild spot, formerly the property of the Knights of St. John of
Jerusalem. Helliot’s house had a large garden ornamented by his own
hands. He one day came to us to beg we would fix a morning for taking a
_déjeûner à la fourchette_ at his cottage, and brought with him a long
bill of fare (containing nearly every thing in the eating and drinking
way that could be procured at Rouen), whereon he requested we would mark
with a pencil our favourite dishes! He said this was always their
ancient mode when they had the honour of a _société distingué_; and we
were obliged to humour him. He was delighted; and then, assuming a more
serious air,—“But,” said he, “I have a very particular reason for
inviting you to my cottage: it is to have the honour of introducing you
to a lady who, old as I am, has consented to marry me the ensuing
spring. I know,” added he, “that I shall be happier in her society than
in that of any other person; and, at my time of life, we want somebody
interested in rendering our limited existence as comfortable as

This seemed ludicrous enough, and the ladies’ curiosity was excited to
see old Helliot’s sweetheart. We were accordingly punctual to our hour.
He had a boat ready to take us across the Seine near the Commandery, and
we soon entered a beautiful garden in a high state of order. In the
house (a small and very old one) we found a most excellent repast. The
only company besides ourselves was the old herald to whom M. Helliot had
introduced me; and, after a few minutes, he led from an inner chamber
his intended bride. She appeared, in point of years, at least as
venerable as the bridegroom; but a droop in the person and a waddle in
the gait bespoke a constitution much more enfeebled than that of the
gallant who was to lead her to the altar. “This,” said the advocate, as
he presented her to the company, “is Madame * * *:—but _n’importe!_
after our repast you shall learn her _name_ and history. Pray, madame,”
pursued he, with an air of infinite politeness, “have the goodness to do
the honours of the table;” and his request was complied with as nimbly
as his inamorata’s shrivelled and quivering hands would permit.

The wine went round merrily: the old lady declined not her glass; the
herald took enough to serve him for the two or three following days; old
Helliot hobnobbed _à la mode Anglaise_; and in half an hour we were as
cheerful, and, I should think, as curious a breakfast party as Upper
Normandy had ever produced.

When the repast was ended, “Now,” said our host, “you shall learn the
history of this venerable bride that is to be on or about the 15th of
April next. You know,” continued he, “that between the age of seventy
and death the distance is seldom _very_ great, and that a person of your
nation who arrives at the one is generally fool enough to be always
gazing at the other. Now we Frenchmen like, if possible, to evade the
prospect; and with that object we contrive some new event, which, if it
cannot conceal, may at least take off our attention from it; and, of all
things in the world, I believe _matrimony_ will be admitted to be most
effectual either in fixing an epoch or directing a current of thought.
We antiquated gentry here, therefore, have a little law, or rather
custom of our own—namely, that after a man has been in a state of
matrimony for _fifty_ years, if his charmer survives, they undergo the
ceremony of a _second_ marriage, and so begin a new contract for another
half-century, if their joint lives so long continue! and inasmuch as
_Madame Helliot_ (introducing the old lady anew, kissing her cheek, and
chucking her under the chin) has been now forty-nine years and four
months on her road to a second husband, the day that fifty years are
completed we shall re-commence our honey-moon, and every friend we have
will, I hope, come and see the happy re-union”—“Ah!” said madame, “I
fear my bride’s-maid, _Madame Veuve Gerard_, can’t hold out so
long!—_Mais, Dieu merci!_” cried she, “I think I shall myself, monsieur,
(addressing me) be well enough to get through the ceremony!”

I wish I could end this little episode as my heart would dictate. But,
alas! a cold caught by my friend the advocate boating on the Seine,
before the happy month arrived prevented a ceremony which I would have
gone almost any distance to witness. The old gentleman spent three or
four days with me every week during several months that I continued at
Rouen.—_Sic transit gloria mundi!_

But to my heraldic investigation. The old professor with whom M. Helliot
had made me acquainted had been one of the _ancienne noblesse_, and
carried in his look and deportment evident marks of the rank from which
he had been compelled to descend. Although younger than the advocate, he
was somewhat stricken in years. His hair, thin and highly powdered,
afforded a queue longer than a quill, and nearly as bulky. A tight
plaited stock and _solitaire_, a tucker and ruffles, and a cross with
the order of St. Louis;—a well-cleaned black suit, (which had survived
many a cuff and cape, and seen many a year of full-dress service,) silk
stockings, _paste_ knee and large _silver_ shoe-buckles, completed his

He said, on my first visit, in a desponding voice, that he deeply
regretted the republicans had burned most of his books and records
during the Revolution; and having consequently little or nothing left of
remote times to refer to, he really could not recollect my ancestors,
though they might perhaps have been a very _superbe famille_. On
exhibiting, however, my English and Irish pedigrees, (drawn out on
vellum, beautifully ornamented, painted and gilt, with the chevalier’s
casquet, three scarlet chevanels and a Saracen’s head,) and touching his
withered hand with the _metallic tractors_, the old herald’s eyes
assumed almost a youthful fire; even his voice seemed to change; and
having put the four dollars into his breeches’-pocket, buttoned the
flap, and then felt at the outside to make sure of their safety, he drew
himself up with pride:—

“Between this city and Havre-de-Grace,” said he, after a longer pause,
and having traced with his bony fingers the best gilded of the
pedigrees, “lies a town called Barentin, and there once stood the superb
château of an old warrior, Drogo de Barentin. At this town, monsieur,
you will assuredly obtain some account of your noble family.” After some
conversation about William the Conqueror, Duke Rollo, Richard Cœur de
Lion, &c. I took my leave, determining to start with all convenient
speed toward Havre-de-Grace.

On the road to that place I found the town designated by the herald, and
having refreshed myself at an auberge, set out to discover the ruins of
the castle, which lie not very far distant. Of these, however, I could
make nothing; and, on returning to the auberge, I found mine host decked
out in his best jacket and a huge opera-hat. Having made this worthy
acquainted with the object of my researches, he told me, with a smiling
countenance, that there was a _very old_ beggar-man extant in the place,
who was the depositary of all the circumstances of its ancient history,
including that of the former lords of the castle. Seeing I had no chance
of better information, I ordered my dinner to be prepared in the first
instance, and the mendicant to be served up with the dessert.

The figure which presented itself really struck me. His age was said to
exceed a hundred years: his beard and hair were white, and scanty, while
the ruddiness of youth still mantled in his cheeks. I don’t know how it
was, but my heart and purse opened in unison, and I gratified the old
beggar-man with a sum which, I believe, he had not often seen before at
one time. I then directed a glass of eau-de-vie to be given him, and
this he relished even more than the money. He then launched into such an
eulogium on the noble race of Drogo of the castle, that I thought he
never would come to the point; and when he did, I received but little
satisfaction from his communications, which he concluded by advising me
to make a voyage to the island of Jersey. “I knew,” said he, “in my
youth, a man much older than I am now, and who, like me, lived upon the
good people. This man was the final descendant of the Barentins, being
the last lord’s bastard, and he has often told me, that on that island
his father had been murdered, who having made no will, his son was left
to beg, while the king got all, and bestowed it on some young lady. They
called him here _Young Drogo_ down to the day of his death! They did
indeed:—they did!—heigh ho!”

This whetted my appetite for further intelligence, and I resolved,
having fairly engaged in it, to follow up the inquiry. Accordingly, in
the spring of 1816, leaving my family in Paris, I set out for St.
Maloes, thence to Granville, and, after a most interesting journey
through Brittany, crossed over in a fishing-boat, and soon found myself
in the square of St. Hilliers, at Jersey. I had been there before on a
visit to General Don, with General Moore and Colonel le Blanc, and knew
the place: but this time I went _incog._

On my first visit to Jersey I had been much struck with the fine
situation and commanding aspect of the magnificent castle of Mont
Orgueil, and had much pleasure in anticipating a fresh survey of it. But
guess the gratified nature of my emotions, when I learnt from an old
warder of the castle that Drogo de Barentin, a Norman chieftain, had
been its last governor!—that his name was on some of its records, and
that he had lost his life in its defence on the outer ramparts! He left
no offspring that could be traced, and thus the Norman’s family had
become extinct. The old man said that he had left children by a Saxon
woman in _England_; but that the Normans would surely have destroyed
them had they come to Barentin.

This I considered as making good progress; and I returned cheerfully to
Barentin, to thank my mendicant and his patron the _aubergiste_,
intending to prosecute the inquiry further at Rouen. I will not hazard
fatiguing the reader by detailing the result of any more of my
investigations; but it is curious enough that at Ivetot, about four
leagues from Barentin,—to an ancient château near which place I had been
directed by mine host, and where there was to be an auction of old
trumpery, the ancient furniture of the château, I met, among a parcel of
scattered articles collected for that sale, the portrait of an old
Norman warrior, which _exactly_ resembled those of my great-grandfather,
Colonel Barrington of Cullenaghmore. But for the difference of scanty
black hair in one case, and a large white wig in the other, the heads
and countenances would have been quite undistinguishable! I marked this
picture with my initials, and left a request with the innkeeper at
Ivetot to purchase it for me at any price; but having unluckily
forgotten to leave him money likewise, to pay for it, the man, as it
afterward appeared, thought no more of the matter. So great was my
disappointment, that I advertised for this portrait—but in vain.

I will now bid the reader farewell,—at least for the present.

                            END OF VOL. II.



                         SIR JONAH BARRINGTON’S

                      HISTORIC MEMOIRS OF IRELAND,


Illustrated by Delineations of the principal Characters connected with
those Transactions, curious Letters and Papers in fac-simile; and
numerous Original Portraits engraved by the elder HEATH.

                  *       *       *       *       *

Unforeseen circumstances, over which the Author had no influence or
control, had altogether checked the progress of this Work, suspended the
publication of its latter parts, and left them on the Publisher’s
shelves unadvertised and uncirculated.

This temporary relinquishment had given rise to unfounded and injurious
reports of its suppression; an object which never was for one moment in
the contemplation of the Author, nor sought for, or even suggested, by
the Government of England.

On the contrary—the lamentable and unimproving march of Ireland from the
period of the Union having fully proved the deceptious prospective given
to that fatal measure by its mistaken or corrupt supporters, and
exciting a novel interest and grave reflections of vital importance to
the British Empire, the Author had determined to seize upon the first
available opportunity of fulfilling his engagement to the friends and
patrons of the Work, by its completion.

Those friends were not confined to one party. They were mingled in
all—they comprised several of the highest orders of society—many who
held, and some who still hold, important stations in the Government of
both countries:—and the commencing parts of this Work having been
honoured by the approbation and encouragement of His late Majesty and
other Members of His Royal House, it was with deep regret the Author
found himself, from a succession of causes, for several years unable to
fulfil his intentions, and gratify his own laudable ambition, by
compiling into a compact Memoir the most important Historic Events of
Ireland. In many of those he was himself a not unimportant actor. He
possessed also the advantage of individual intimacy or acquaintance with
the most celebrated personages of all parties; without which, and the
fidelity of a contemporary and independent pen, the delineation of their
characters and the record of their conduct, if not lost for ever, would
have descended to posterity with imperfect details and an ambiguous
authenticity,—or have left a wide chasm in a highly interesting epocha
of British History.

The fallacious measure of a Legislative Union,—the progress of which
from commencement to consummation the Author energetically resisted—has
proved, by its inoperative or mischievous results, the justness of that
resistance. And he now, in common with many of the most distinguished of
its original supporters, deeply deplores its accomplishment. But
established by lapse of time—confirmed by passive assent—and complicated
with some beneficial, and many political and financial arrangements, its
tranquil reversal seems to have passed feasibility. Yet—as an hereditary
friend to British connexion—the Author hopes, by the revival and
completion of this History, to open wide the eyes of Great Britain to
the present dangers of Ireland—to draw aside the curtain of ignorance
and prejudice by which her history has been so long obscured—to compare
her once rising prosperity with her existing miseries—to discover the
occult causes of their continuance and the false principles of her
misrule—to display her sacrifices for England—and to unmask her
libellers in both countries.

Developments such as these may rouse the Legislature to probe her wounds
to their depth—to employ her labour—to succour—to foster—and to rule her
on the broad principles of a steady and philanthropic policy—and to
relinquish for ever that system of coercive Government, which an
experience of many centuries has proved to be destructive of almost
every thing—except her crimes and her population.

The British people should also learn that the absence of the ancient
Nobles and protecting Aristocracy of Ireland,—drawn away by the Union
from their demesnes and their tenantry to the Seat of Legislation, and
replaced only by the griping hands and arbitrary sway of upstart
deputies,—increases in proportion with the miseries and turbulence of
the lower orders; and that the luxuriance of vegetation which clothes
that capable Island, has, through the same causes, become only a
harbinger of want, or the forbidden fruit of a famished peasantry.

It should therefore be the object of every pen and of every tongue, to
render the Union as innoxious as its paralysing nature can now admit of;
to recall the proprietors of the Irish soil to a sense of their own
security and their country’s welfare; and thereby strengthen the ties
which should bind the two nations together, in equality, prosperity, and
affection—on the firmness and durability of which _species_ of connexion
depends, not only the constitutional security of England herself, but
perhaps the political existence of both countries.

Such is the Author’s view in the completion of this Work. The obstacles
to its progress are surmounted, and its publication is now in the hands
of those who will spare nothing to render it worthy of its object, and
ensure a lasting and beneficial record to the United Empire.

It is fortunate for Ireland, and disastrous to her calumniators, that a
recent and great event has at once exposed the misrepresentations of her
enemies, and displayed a great source of her misfortunes. The visit of a
conciliating King to a distracted people rapidly disclosed their native
character, and produced a burst of unfeigned, unanimous, genuine
loyalty, never before experienced in such profusion by any Monarch from
his subjects. The equivocating language of diplomacy was rejected for a
while. The King was a Patriot, and the People were loyal. For the first
time they were allowed to approach each other. Both were sincere—and
both were ardent. In a few days, the King became despotic in the
affections of the Nation, and his Ministers descended into a comparative
insignificance. When he arrived, he was respected as a British King—but
when he departed, he was adored as an Irish Monarch. He saw at once that
the existence of faction and discord was incompatible with the peace and
prosperity of Ireland; and that she hung on Great Britain, as a
withering limb upon a healthful body—essential to its symmetry, but
useless to its functions, and injurious to its Constitution.

There was but one remedy—conciliation. His Majesty saw its efficacy and
commanded its adoption.—But his commands were disobeyed by the _Regal
Rebels_[53]—and Ireland is still seen withering and cankering—by the
obstinacy of intolerant faction, the irritation of local tyranny, and
the multiplying mischiefs resulting from disobedience to the benevolent
and wise commands of the only British King who ever yet set foot on the
Irish shore as a friend and as a patriot.


Footnote 53:

  Mr. Grattan’s definition of men, “_Who make their loyalism a pretence
  to perpetuate their supremacy,—and distract the peace of a country
  under colour of protecting it_.”


                  *       *       *       *       *

The above work will shortly be completed in ten numbers, royal 4to,
price 10_s._ 6_d._ each, and published by Messrs. COLBURN and BENTLEY,
New Burlington Street, London; BELL and BRADFUTE, Edinburgh; and JOHN
CUMMING, Dublin: and subscribers are particularly requested to send
their orders to their respective booksellers for the completion of their

                        PRINTED BY A. J. VALPY,
                     RED LION COURT, FLEET STREET.


                          Transcriber’s note:

Title page, ‘TWO’ changed to ‘THREE,’ “IN THREE VOLUMES.”

Page viii, ‘—’ inserted after ‘comedy,’ “Modern comedy—The French stage”

Page 4, ‘wont’ changed to ‘won’t,’ “I won’t humour you”

Instances of ‘N. B.’ on pages 16, 22, and 23 have been normalised to

Page 34, ‘guaging’ changed to ‘gauging,’ “determined on gauging Frank,”

Page 56, ‘scull’ changed to ‘skull,’ “both had iron skull-caps”

Page 78, ‘her’s’ changed to ‘hers,’ “caught his eye, closed her’s again”

Page 79, ‘years’ changed to ‘years’,’ “After two years’ struggle”

Page 81, ‘Madona’ changed to ‘Madonna,’ “sat for a Madonna”

Page 94, second ‘I’ struck, “as I think”

Page 95, ‘Madona’ changed to ‘Madonna,’ “sat for a Madonna. Nature”

Page 112, ‘accessary’ changed to ‘accessory,’ “as accessory to a crime”

Page 126, ‘“’ before ‘If’ struck, “If you begin to reason”

Page 128, ‘peice’ changed to ‘piece,’ “compose any piece of music”

Page 157, ‘“’ before ‘Wild’ struck, ““The Wild Irish Girl””

Page 197, ‘fusees’ changed to ‘fuses,’ “by longer or shorter fuses”

Page 231, full stop inserted after ‘Jordan,’ “Dora Jordan.”

Page 233, ‘Jordan’ capitalised, “Dora Jordan.”

Page 278, ‘pefect’ changed to ‘perfect,’ “with my perfect composure”

Page 340, ‘a’ changed to ‘à,’ “fidélité à MON Empereur”

Page 396, ‘ministériéle’ changed to ‘ministériel,’ “employé ministériel”

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