The Project Gutenberg eBook of Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine - Volume 55, No. 344, June, 1844

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Title: Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine - Volume 55, No. 344, June, 1844

Author: Various

Release date: November 17, 2007 [eBook #23529]
Most recently updated: January 25, 2021

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Brendan OConnor, Jonathan Ingram, Louise Pryor
and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at (This file was produced from images
generously made available by The Internet Library of Early


Transcriber's Note

Spellings are sometimes erratic. A few obvious misprints have been corrected, but in general the original spelling has been retained. Accents in the French and Spanish passages are inconsistent, and have not been standardised.




Traditions and Tales of Upper Lusatia. No. I. the Fairies’ Sabbath, 665
Columbus. (A Print After a Picture by Parmeggiano.) By B. Simmons,687
To Swallows on the Eve of Departure. By the Same,690
The Diligence. A Leaf from a Journal,692
Who wrote Gil Blas?698
Michael Kalliphournas,725
Africa—Slave Trade—Tropical Colonies,731
Narration of certain Uncommon Things that did formerly happen to me, Herbert Willis, B.D.749
Beau Brummell, 769
The Actual Condition of the Greek State,785

To whom all Communications (post paid) must be addressed.






No. I.
The Fairies’ Sabbath.

What is a fairy?


[“A Wood near Athens.—Enter a Fairy on one side, and Puck on the other.A]

Puck. How now, Spirit! whither wander you?
Fairy. Over hill, over dale,
Thorough bush, thorough brier,
Over park, over pale,
Thorough flood, thorough fire,
I do wander ever where,
Swifter than the moones sphere;
And I serve the Fairy Queen,
To dew her orbs upon the green:
The cowslips tall her pensioners be;
In their gold coats spots you see;
Those be rubies, fairy favours,
In those freckles live their savours:
I must go seek some dewdrops here,
And hang a pearl in every cowslip’s ear.
Farewell, thou lob of spirits, I’ll begone;
Our queen and all our elves come here anon.
Puck. The King doth keep his revels here to-night;
Take heed, the queen come not within his sight.
For Oberon is passing fell and wrath,
Because that she, as her attendant, hath
A lovely boy, stolen from an Indian king;
She never had so sweet a changeling.
And jealous Oberon would have the child
Knight of his train, to trace the forests wild:
But she, perforce, withholds the loved boy:
Crowns him with flowers, and makes him all her joy:
And now they never meet in grove, or green,
By fountain clear, or spangled starlight sheen,
But they do square; that all their elves, for fear,
Creep into acorn cups, and hide them there.”

And there, then, they are!—The blithe and lithe, bright and fine darlings of your early-bewitched and for ever-enamoured fancy! There they are! The King and the Queen, and the Two royal Courts of shadowy,   gorgeous, remote, and cloud-walled Elf-land: The fairies of the vision once wafted, “by moon or star light,” upon the “creeping murmur” of the Avon!—The Fairies in England! Your fairies!

Nevertheless you, from of old, are discreet. And you mistrust information which discountenances itself, by borrowing the magical robe of verse! Or you misdoubt this medley of our English blood, which in the lapse of ages must, as you deem, have confounded, upon the soil, the confluent streams of primitively distinct superstitions! Or your suspicious inquisition rebels against this insular banishment of ours, which, sequestering us from the common mind of the world, may, as you augur, have perverted, into an excessive individuality of growth, our mythological beliefs: Or—Southwards then!

One good stride over salt water lands you amongst a people, who, from the old, have kept themselves to themselves; whose warm, bold, thorough-loyal hearts hereditarily believe, after the love and reverence owed from the children’s children to the fathers’ fathers. Here are—for good and for ill—and from a sure hand:—“The Fairies in Lower Britanny; alio nomineThe Korrigans.”

“Like these holy virgins, (the Gallicenæ or Barrigenæ of Mela,) our Korrigans predict the future. They know the skill of healing incurable maladies with particular charms; which they impart, it is affirmed, to magicians that are their friends. Ingenious Proteuses, they take the shape of any animal at their pleasure. In the twinkling of an eye they whisk from one end of the world to the other. Annually, with returning spring, they celebrate a high nocturnal festivity. A tablecloth, white as the driven snow, is spread upon the greensward, by the margin of a fountain. It is covered with the most delicious viands; in the midst sparkles a crystal goblet, which sheds such a splendour as serves in the stead of torches. At the close of the repast, this goblet goes round from hand to hand; it holds a miraculous beverage, one drop of which, it is averred, would make omniscient, like the Almighty. At any least breath or stir of human kind, all vanishes.

“In truth, it is near fountains that the Korrigans are oftenest met with; especially near such as rise in the neighbourhood of dolmens.B For in the sequestered spots whence the Virgin Mary, who is held for their chief foe, has not yet driven them, they still preside over the fountains. Our traditions bestow upon them a strong passion for music, with sweet voices; but do not, like those of the Germanic nations, make dancers of them. The popular songs of all countries frequently depict them combing their fine fair hair, which they seem daintily to cherish. Their stature is that of the other European fairies: they are not above two feet in height. Their shape, exquisitely proportioned, is as airy, slight, and pellucid as that of the wasp. They have no other dress than a white veil, which they wrap around their body. Seen by night, they are very beautiful: in the daytime, you perceive that their hair is grey—that their eyes are red—that their face is wrinkled. Accordingly, they begin to show themselves only at the shut of eve; and they loathe the light. Every thing about them denotes fallen intelligences. The Breton peasants maintain that they are high princesses, who, because they would not embrace Christianity when the apostles came to preach in Armorica, were stricken by the curse of God. The Welsh recognise in them, souls of Druids doomed to penance. This coincidence is remarkable.

“They are universally believed to   feel a vehement hatred for the clergy, and for our holy religion, which has confounded them with the spirits of darkness—a grand motive, as it appears, of displeasure and offence to them. The sight of a surplice, the sound of bells, scares them away. The popular tales of all Europe would, meanwhile, tend to support the church, in viewing them as maleficent genii. As in Britanny; the blast of their breath is mortal in Wales, in Ireland, in Scotland, and in Prussia. They cast weirds.C Whosoever has muddied the waters of their spring, or caught them combing their hair, or counting their treasures beside their dolmen, (for they there keep, it is believed, concealed mines of gold and of diamonds,) almost inevitably dies; especially should the misencounter fall upon a Saturday, which day, holy to the Virgin Mother, is inauspicious for their kind,”D &c. &c. &c.

Here, in the stead of the joyously-sociable monarchal hive, you behold a republic of solitarily-dwelling, and not unconditionally beautiful, naiads! No dancing! And a stature, prodigiously disqualifying for the asylum of an acorn cup! You are unsatisfied. Shakspeare has indeed vividly portrayed one curiously-featured species, and M. De la Villemarqué another, of the air-made inscrutable beings evoked by your question; but your question, from the beginning, struck at the Generic notion in its purified logical shape—at the definition, then—of the thing, a fairy.

Sir Walter Scott,E writing—the first in time of all men who have written—at large and scientifically upon the fairies of Western Europe, steps into disquisition by a description, duly loose for leaving his own foot unentangled. “The general idea of Spirits, of a limited power and subordinate nature, dwelling among the woods and mountains, is perhaps common to all nations.”

A little too loose, peradventure!

Dr James Grimm, heroically bent upon rescuing from the throat of oblivion and from the tooth of scepticism, to his own Teutons—yet heathen—a faith outreaching and outsoaring the gross definite cognisances of this fleshly eye and hand, sets apart one—profoundly read and thought—chapter, to Wights and Elves.F

These terms, Wight and Elf, are presented by Dr Grimm as being, after a rough way, synonymous; and you have above seen another Germanic writer—a native of Warwickshire—take Elf for equivalent, or nearly so, with Fairy.

Of his many-natured Teutonic wights and elves, then, but with glances darted around, northwards and westwards, and southwards and eastwards, Dr Grimm begins with speaking thus:—

“From the deified and half-divine natures [investigated by this author in several of his antecedent chapters] a whole order of other beings is especially herein distinguished, that whilst the former either proceed of mankind,   or seek human intercourse, these form a segregated society—one might say, a peculiar kingdom of their own—and are only, by accident or the pressure of circumstances, moved to converse with men. Something superhuman, approximating them to the gods, is mingled up in them: they possess power to help and to hurt man. They are however, at the same time, afraid of him, because they are not his bodily match. They appear either far below the human stature, or misshapen. Almost all of them enjoy the faculty of rendering themselves invisible.”

You turn away your head, exclaiming that the weighty words of our puissant teacher are, for your proficiency, somewhat bewildering, and for your exigency by much too—Teutonic.

Have a care!

However, “Westward Hoe!” Put the old Rhine between the master of living mythologists and yourself, and listen to Baron Walckenaer unlocking the fountains of the fairy belief, and showing how it streams, primarily through France, and secondarily through all remaining Western Europe. “If there is a specifically characterized superstition, it is that which regards the fairies: those female genii,G most frequently without name, without descent, without kin, who are incessantly busied subverting the order of nature, for the weal or the woe of mortals whom they love and favour without a motive, or, as causelessly, hate and persecute.”H

What, female only? Where are Oberon and Puck? Without a name? Where Titania?—Mab? Without a motive? Where the godmother of the sweet-faced and sweet-hearted Cinderella? Partial, and without a distinct type in your own recollections, you guessingly pronounce the characterization of the perpetual secretary too——French. Driven back, disappointed on all sides, you turn round upon your difficulties, and manfully project beating out a definition of your own; to which end, glancing your eye back affectionately, and now, needle-like, northwards across the Channel, you “at one slight bound” once more find yourself at your own fireside, and on your table The Midsummer Night’s Dream, open at the second scene of the first act.

Inquirer whosoever! A problem lies large before us—complicated, abstruse even, yet—suitably to the subject—a delicate one! To hunt down an elusive word, and a more elusive notion! It is to find a set of determinings which, laid together, shall form a circle fitted to confine that inconfinable spirit—a Fairy; or, if you better like plain English, to find the terms needed for signifying, describing, expounding the Thought which, lurking as at the bottom of your mind, under a crowd of thoughts, rises up, in all circumstances, to meet and answer the name——a fairy; the Thought, which when all accidental and unessential attributes liable to be attracted to the fairy essence have been stripped away, remains; the substrate, absolute, essential, generic notion, therefore—a fairy; that Thought, which whencesoever acquired, and held howsoever, enables you to deal to your satisfaction with proposed fairies, acknowledging this one frankly;—this, but for a half-sister; shutting the door upon another. You may distinguish these terms at your pleasure, by sundry denominations: for example, you may call them Elements of the notion—a fairy—or circumscriptive Lines of such a notion, or indispensable Fairy-marks, or elfin Criteria, or by any other name which you may happen to like as well or better; but when found, call them as you will, they must reveal in essence, the thing which we look for—the answer to the question with which we first started, and to which we have as yet found no satisfactory solution.

As for the process of the finding.   This notion is to be tracked after widely, and in intimate recesses; more hopefully, therefore, according to a planned campaign than a merely wild chance expatiation. The chase ranges over a material and an intellectual ground. Of either—a word.

I. The material—is a geographical—region, and may be called, summarily—The western half of Europe. Let us regard it as laid out by languages at this day spoken. Here is a map, roughly sketched:—


1. North-Western CELTS.—Ireland, Highlands of Scotland, and the interjacent Isle of Man.

2. South-Western CELTS.—Wales, Britanny, and the, till lately, Celtic-speaking Cornwall.

3. Northern GERMANS, or Germans beyond the Eider, or Scandinavians.—Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Iceland.

4. Southern GERMANS, or Germans below the Eider, or Teutons.—Netherlands, the German empire, Switzerland.

B.—Latin speaking.

1. Italy.—Sicily.

2. Spain.

3. Portugal.

4. Latin-speaking France, distinguishing Normandy.

C.—German and Latin mixed.

1. England.

2. Scottish Lowlands.

II. From all this tangible territory, we are to sweep up—what? An overlying intellectual kingdom, videlicetThe Kinds of the Fairies, rudely marked out, perhaps, as follows:—

1. The community of the Fairies, monarchal or republican:—The Fairy folk; Fairies proper.

2. The solitary domestic serviceable Fairy.

3. In the mines, under the water; a Fairy folk.

4. The solitary water Fairy.

5. The Fairy-ancestress.

6. The Fairy, tutelary or persecuting, of the chivalrous metrical romance.

7. The Fairy, tutelary or persecuting, now giving and now turning destinies, of the fairy tale proper.

We have then to ask what are the terms, marks, common traits, or by whatsoever name they are to be called, which are yielded by a comparison of such seven kinds. Something like the following eight will possibly arise:—

First, A Fairy is a subordinate spirit.

Secondly, Is attracted to the surface of our planet.

Thirdly, At once seeks and shuns mankind.

Fourthly, Has a body.

Fifthly, Is attenuate.

Sixthly, Is without proper station and function in the general economy of the universe; or is mythologically displaced.

Seventhly, Is endowed with powers of intelligence and of agency excelling human.

Eighthly, Stands under a doom.

To these eight criteria, taken in the nature of the thing enquired, the reflective inquirer will perchance find himself led on to add two furnished from within himself, as that—

First, Acknowledging, as in these latter days our more delicate psychologists have called upon us to do, the names fancy and imagination as designating two faculties, the fairies belong rather to the fancy.

Secondly, Accepting for a legitimate thought, legitimately and cogently signified, the High Marriage   which one of these finer MetaphysiciansI—instructed no doubt by his personal experience—prophesies to his kind, between the “intellect of man” and “this goodly universe,” we may say that, regularly, this marriage must have its antecedent possessing and agitating Love; that this love must, like all possessing agitated love, have its attendant Reverie. Now, might one venture to surmise that this reverie breathes into the creating of a fairy?

Does the jealous reader perchance miss in the above proposed eight several elements the unity of notion, which he has all along seemed to feel in his own spirit and understanding? Let him at once conceive, as intensely joined, the two permanent characters of tenuity and mythological displacement, and take this compound for the nucleus of the unity he seeks. About these two every other element will easily place itself. For a soul, he shall infuse into the whole, after in like manner inseparably blending them—fancy, and that love-inspired reverie which won its way to us from Grassmere.

And so take, reader, our answer to your question, “What is a fairy?THIS is a Fairy. Are you still unsatisfied? Good. The field of investigation lies open before you, free and inviting. On, in your own strength, and Heaven speed you!

The eight or nine tales of sundry length, and exceedingly diversified matter, contained in the two little volumes of Herr Ernst Willkomm,J which have put us a-journeying to Fairy-land, have begun to produce before the literary world the living popular superstitions of a small and hidden mountainous district, by which Cis Eidoran Germany leans upon Sclavonia: hidden, it would seem, for any thing like interesting knowledge, until this author began to write, from the visiting eye of even learned curiosity. Nor this without a sufficient reason; since the mountains do, of themselves, shut in their inhabitants, and, for a stranger, the temper of the rugged mountaineer, at once shy and mailing himself in defiance, is, like the soil, inaccessible. To Ernst Willkomm this hinderance was none. He discloses to us the heart of the country, and that of the people which have born him, which have bred him up; and he will, if he is encouraged, write on. Three of these tales, or of these traditions—for the titles, with this writer, appear to us exchangeable—regard the fairies properly so called. They are, “The Priest’s Well,” “The Fairies’ Sabbath,” here given, and “The Fairy Tutor,” being the first, the third, and the seventh, of the entire present series. Upon these three tales the foregoing attempt at fixing the generic notion of a fairy was intended to bear. Should pretty Maud, the stone-mason’s daughter, our heroine for to-day, find the favour in English eyes which her personal merit may well claim, the remaining two are not likely to be long withheld.

The illustrations which shall now follow, drawn from distinguished authorities, aim at showing the consonancy of Herr Willkomm’s pictures with authentic representations of Elfin superstition already known to the   world. If, however, the criteria which have been proposed, have been rightfully deduced, the illustrations should as materially serve us in justifying these by proof.

Amongst the numerous points of analogy which strikingly connect our tale with popular tales and traditions innumerable, three are main to the structure of the tale itself. They may be very briefly described as—

I. The Heathenism of the Fairies.

II. Their need, thence arising.

III. Maud’s ability to help them.

I. The opinion, which sets the fairies in opposition to the established faith of all Christendom, is widely diffused. To the Breton peasant, as M. de la Villemarqué has above informed us, his Korrigan is a heathen princess, doomed to a long sorrow for obstinately refusing the message of salvation.

The brothers Grimm, speaking of the fairies in Ireland, say that “they are angels cast out from heaven, who have not fallen as low as hell; but in great fear and uncertainty about their future state, doubt, themselves, whether they shall obtain mercy at the last day.”K

Of the fairies in Scotland, it is averred by the same learned and exact writers, that “they were originally angels dwelling in bliss, but who, because they suffered themselves to be seduced by the archfiend, were hurled down from heaven in innumerable multitudes. They shall wander till the last day over mountains and lakes. They know not how their sentence will run—whether they shall be saved or damned; but dread the worst.”

Tales, in many parts of Europe, which represent the fairies as exceedingly solicitous about their salvation, and as inquiring of priests and others concerning their own spiritual prospects, for the most part with an unfavourable answer, tend to fix upon them a reproachful affinity with the spirits of darkness.

II. That the powerful fairies, who have appeared to us, from childhood upwards, as irresistible dispensers of good and evil to our kind, should need aid of any sort from us, is an unexpected feature of the fairy lore, which breaks by degrees upon the zealous and advancing inquirer.

The two excellent brothers Grimm, in the most elaborate and comprehensive collection,L probably, of national traditions that Europe possesses, have furnished us with various instances. We select a very few. In the following graceful Alpine pastoral, the need of human help attaches to an exigency of life or death:—


No. CCXX. The Queen of the Snakes.

“A herd maiden found upon the fell a sick snake lying and almost famished. Compassionately she held down to it her pitcher of milk. The snake licked greedily, and was visibly revived. The girl went on her way; and it presently happened that her lover sued for her, but was too poor for the proud wealthy father, who tauntingly dismissed him till the day when he too should be master of as large herds as the old herdsman. From this time forwards had the old herdsman no luck more, but sheer misfortune. Report ran that a fiery dragon was seen passing o’ nights over his grounds; and his substance decayed. The poor swain was now as rich, and again sued for his beloved, whom he obtained. Upon the wedding-day a snake came gliding into the room, upon whose coiled tail there sat a beautiful damsel, who said that it was she to whom formerly the kind   herd maid had, in strait of hunger, given her milk, and, out of gratitude, she took her brilliant crown from her head, and cast it into the bride’s lap. Thereupon she vanished; but the young couple throve in their housekeeping greatly, and were soon well at ease in the world.”

Since fairies, like ourselves, are mortal, two lives may be understood as at stake in the following:—

No. LXVIII. The Lady of Alvensleben.

“Some hundred years ago, there lived at Calb, in the Werder, an aged lady of the house of Alvensleben, who feared God, was gracious to the people, and willingly disposed to render any one a service: especially she did assist the burgesses’ wives in difficult travail of childbirth, and was, in such cases, of all desired and highly esteemed. Now, therefore, there did happen in wise following:—

“In the night season there came a damsel to the castle gate, who knocked and distressfully called, beseeching that it should not mislike her, if possible, forthwith to arise, and to accompany her from the town, where there lay a good woman in travail of child, because the last hour and uttermost peril was already upon her, and her mistress wist no help for her life. The noblewoman said, ‘It is very midnight; all the town gates be shut and well barred: how shall we make us forth?’ The damsel rejoined that the gate was ready open, she should come forth only, (but beware, as do some add, in the place whither she should be conducted, to eat or to drink any thing, or to touch that should be proffered her.) Thereupon did the lady rise from her bed, dressed her, came down, and went along with the damsel which had knocked. The town gate she found open, and as they came further into a field was there a fair way which led right into a hillside. The hill stood open, and although she did well perceive that the thing was darksome, she resolved to go still on, unalarmed, until she arrived at last where was a little wifikin that lay on the bed, in great pains of travail. But the noble lady gave her succour, (by the report of some, she needed no more than lay her hand upon her body,) and a little baby was born to the light of day.

“When she had yielded her aid, desire took her to return from out the hill, home; she took leave of the sick woman, (without having any thing touched of the meats and liquors that were offered her,) and the former damsel anew joined her, and brought her back unharmed to the castle. At the gateway the damsel stood still, thanked her highly in her mistress’s name, and drew off from her finger a golden ring, which she presented to the noblewoman with these words, ‘Have this dear pledge in right heedful keeping, and let it not part from you and from your house. They of Alvensleben will flourish so long as they possess this ring. Should it ever leave them, the whole race must become extinct.’ Herewith vanished the damsel.

“It is said that the ring, at this day, is rightly and properly kept in the lineage, and for good assurance deposited at Lubeck. But others, that it was, at the dividing of the house into two branches, diligently parted in two. Others yet, that the one half has been melted, since when it goes ill with that branch: the other half stays with the other branch at Zichtow. The story moreover goes, that the benevolent lady was a married woman. When she upon the morrow told her husband the tale of that had betid her in the night, he would not believe her, until she said, ‘Forsooth, then, an’ ye will not trow me, take only the key of yon room from the table: there lieth, I dare warrant, the ring.’ Which was exactly so. It is marvellous the gifts that men have received of the fairies.”

The most touching by far of the traditions at our disposal for illustrating at once the dependence of the fairies upon man, and their anxiety concerning their souls’ welfare, is one in which the all-important hope which we have said that they sometimes solicit from the grave and authorized lips of priests, appears as floating on the lightest breath of children. Our immediate author is James Grimm, speaking in his German Mythology of the water spirit. The tradition itself is from Sweden, where this mythological   being, the solitary water fairy, bears the name of “The Neck.”

“Two lads were at play by the river side. The Neck sate and touched his harp. The children called to him—

“‘Why sittest thou here, Neck, and playest? Thou wilt not go to heaven.’ Then the Neck began bitterly weeping, flung his harp away, and sank in the deep water. When the boys came home they told their father, who was a priest, what had happened. The father said—

“‘Ye have sinned towards the Neck. Go ye back, and give him promise of salvation.’

“When they returned to the river, the Neck sate upon the shore, mourning and weeping. The children said—

“‘Weep not so, thou Neck. Our father hath said, that thy Redeemer too liveth.’

“Then the Neck took joyfully his harp, and played sweetly until long after sundown.”

“I do not know,” tenderly and profoundly suggests Dr Grimm, “that any where else in our traditions is as significantly expressed how needy of the Christian belief the Heathen are, and how mildly it should approach them.”

III. A few words shall here satisfy the claims of a widely-stretching subject. Is there one order of spirits which, as the Baron Walckenaer has assured us, lavishes on chosen human heads love unattracted, and hate unprovoked? We must look well about us ere fixing the imputation. Spirits, upon the other hand, undoubtedly there are, and those of not a few orders, fairies of one or another description being amongst them, who exert, in the choice of their human favourites, a discrimination challenging no light regard.

A host of traditions, liberally scattered over a field, of which, perhaps, Ireland is one extremity and China the other, now plainly and emphatically declare, and now, after a venturous interpretation, may be understood to point out, simplicity of will and kindness of heart as titles in the human being to the favour of the spirits. At times a brighter beam irradiates such titles, to which holiness, purity, and innocence, are seen to set their seal. We cull a few instances, warning the reader, that, although of our best, he will possibly find them a mere working upwards to the most perfect which we have it in our power to bring before him in the beautiful tale of Maud.

Amongst the searchers who seem to have been roused into activity by the German traditions of the brothers Grimm, Ludwig Bechstein takes distinguished place for the diligence with which he has collected different districts of Germany. Our inquiry shall owe him the two following


No. LVII. The little Cherry-Tree upon Castle Raueneck.

“There prevails, concerning the ruins of the old hill-castle Raueneck, a quite similar tradition to that which holds of the like named ruined strength near Baden, in Austria. There lies yet buried here a vast treasure, over which a spirit, debarred from repose, keeps watch, anxiously awaiting deliverance. But who is he that can and shall actually lift this treasure and free the spirit? Upon the wall there grows a cherry seedling that shall one day become a tree; and the tree shall be cut down, and out of it a cradle made. He that, being a Sunday’s child, is rocked in this cradle, will grow up, but only provided that he have kept himself virginally pure and chaste, at some noontide hour set free the spirit, lift the treasure, and become immeasurably rich; so as he shall be able to rebuild Castle Raueneck and all the demolished castles in the neighbourhood round. If the plant wither, or if a storm break it, then must the spirit again wait until once more a cherry stone, brought by a bird to the top of the lofty wall, shoot and put forth leaves, and haply grow to a tree.”

No. LXII. The Hollow Stone.

“In the wood near Altenstein there stands a high rock. The inhabitants   of the neighbourhood say that this rock is hollow within, and filled with treasure in great store from the olden time. At certain seasons and hours, it is given to Sunday children to find the rock doors open, or to open them with the lucky flower.”

The singular superstition of spiritual favour fixing itself upon the human child, consecrated, as it were, by the hallowed light upon which the eyes first open, will shortly return upon us in The Fairies’ Sabbath.

Lo! where, from the bountiful hand of the Brothers Grimm, fall two bright dewdrop of tradition upon the pure opening flower of childhood.


NO. CLIX. The Treasure at Soest.

“In the time of the Thirty Years’ war, there was to be seen standing not far from the town of Soest, in Westphalia, an old ruin, of which the tradition ran that there was an iron trunk there, full of money, kept by a black dog and a bewitched maiden. The grandfathers and grandmothers Who are gone, used to tell that a strange nobleman shall one day arrive in the country, deliver the maiden, and open the chest with a fiery key. They said that divers itinerant scholars and exorcists had, within the memory of man, betaken themselves thither to dig, but been in so strange sort received and dismissed, that no one since further had list to the adventure, especially after their publishing that the treasure might be lifted of none who had once taken woman’s milk. It was not long since a little girl from their village had led her few goats to feed about the very spot; one of which straying amongst the ruins, she had followed it. Within, in the castle court, was a damsel who questioned her what she did there: and when she was informed, pointing to a little basket of cherries, further said, ‘It is good; therefore take of that thou see’st before thee, with thy goat and all, and go; and come not again, neither look behind, that a harm befall thee not.’ Upon this the frightened child caught up seven cherries, and made her way in alarm out of the ruins. The cherries turned, in her hand, to money.”

NO. CLX. The Welling Silver.

“In February of the year 1605, in the reign of Henry Julius, Duke of Brunswick, at a mile’s distance from Quedlinburg, where it is called at the Dale, it happened that a poor peasant sent his daughter into the next shaw to pick up sticks for fuel. The girl took for this use a larger basket upon her head, and a smaller in her hand; and when she had filled them both and was going home, a mannikin clad all in white came towards her, and asked:—

“‘What art carrying there?’

“‘Gathered sticks,’ the girl made answer, ‘for heating and cooking.’

“‘Empty the wood out,’ said further the little manling, ‘take thy basket and follow me. I shall show thee something that is better and more profitable than thy sticks.’

“He then took her by the hand, and led her back again to a knoll, and showed her a place which might be of two ordinary tables’ breadth of a fair pure silver, being smaller and larger coins of a moderate thickness, with a image stamped like a Virgin Mary, and all round an impress of exceedingly old writing. As the silver welled up, as it were, abundantly out of the ground, the little girl was terrified and drew back, neither would she empty out the sticks from her small hand-basket. Accordingly, the little man in white himself did so, filled the basket with the money, and gave it back to the little damsel with saying, ‘That shall be better for thee than thy sticks.’ She was confounded and took it; but upon the mannikin’s requiring that she should likewise empty out her larger basket and take silver therein, she refused and said—‘That she must carry fuel home too; for there were little children at home who must have a warm room, and there must be wood ready likewise for cooking.’ This contented the manling, who said, ‘Well, then, go; take it all home,’ and thereupon disappeared.

  “The girl carried the basket of silver home, and told what had happened to her. The boors now ran flocking with pickaxes and other tools, and would have their share of the treasure, but none of them was able to find the spot where the silver had welled out.

“The Prince of Brunswick had a pound of the coined silver brought him, as did moreover a burgess of Halberstadt, N. Everkan, purchase the like.”

The quick-sighted reader will not easily have missed detecting the sudden effect produced upon the two spirits by the truthful right-mindedness of the two little girls.

Correspondingly, James Grimm, from surveying collectively the Teutonic traditions of bewitched or mysteriously hidden treasure, says—

“To the lifting of the treasure is required silence and innocence. * * * Innocent children’s hands are able to lay hold upon it, as to draw the lot. * * * Who has viciously stained himself cannot approach it.”M

Two short instances more from the copious fraternal collection, and we have done. With a temper of pure childlike antiquity, they express in the persons of the dwarfs—Teutonic approximative, fairies—the sympathy of the spirits with unstained and innocent human manners; and may, if the traditions which exhibit the fairies under a cloud of sin and sorrow should have been felt by the reader as at all grating upon his old love of them, help to soothe and reconcile him by a soft gleam of illumination, here lingering as in a newly revealed Golden Age of his own.


No. CXLVII. The Dwarfs upon the Tree.

“In the summer, the dwarfs often came trooping from the cliffs down into the valley, and joined either with help, or as lookers-on at least, the human inhabitants at their work, especially the mowers, in hay-harvest. They, then and there, seated themselves at their ease and pleasantly, upon the long and thick arm of a maple in the embowering shade. But once there came certain evil-disposed persons, who, in the night, sawed the bough through, so that it held but weakly on to the trunk; and when the unsuspecting creatures, upon the morrow, settled themselves down upon it, the bough cracked in two, the dwarfs tumbled to the ground, were heartily laughed at, fell into violent anger, and cried aloud—

‘O, how is the heaven high and long!
And falsehood waxen on earth so strong!
Here to-day, and for ever away!’

They kept their word, and never again made their appearance in the country.”

No. CXLVIII. The Dwarfs upon the Crag Stone.

“It was the wont of the dwarflings to seat themselves upon a great crag stone, and from thence to watch the haymakers; but a few mischievous fellows kindled a fire upon the stone, made it red-hot, and swept away embers and ashes. Morning came, and with it the tiny folk, who burned themselves pitiably. They exclaimed in high anger—

‘O wicked world! O wicked world!’

cried vengeance, and vanished for evermore!”

We have shown,—1. The Anti-christian character imputed by tradition to the fairies. 2. The occasional dependence of the more powerful spirits upon the less powerful human beings; and, 3. The strong affectionate leaning in the will of the spirits towards moral human excellence. Of the ability which, in virtue of this excellence, the human creature possesses to help, Maud must, for the present, be permitted to stand for the   sole, as she is beyond all comparison our best, example.

The book of Ernst Willkomm takes a position in strong contrast to the corresponding works due to the Brothers Grimm, and other great gatherers of legendary lore. He has a personal poetic interest in the tales which they have not. He presents himself as the expositor, not only of his native superstitions, but also, zealously, of the Upper Lusatian manners. Himself cradled amongst the mountains, he has drawn with infinite pains, and by slow degrees, as he best could, from the deep interior life of the people, their jealously withheld credences, and the traditions which are sacredly associated with every nook of their craggy district.

“The tract of country,” says Willkomm in his Preface, “the true Highlands of Upper Lusatia, called by the inhabitants themselves the Upper Country, to which the tales are native, is one very narrowly circumscribed. It amounts to scarcely ten square (German) miles. I have, however, selected it for my undertaking,” he continues, “because it is intimately familiar to me; because the innermost character of the small population who inhabit it is confidentially known to me; because there is hardly a road or a path in the country which, on the darkest night, I could not find. Interesting, romantic, magnificent is the piece of earth which, at the confines of Bohemia, runs over hilly heights and lofty hill, tops on to the high mountain-chain. But still more interesting, I maintain with confidence, is the race of people.”

It may seem strange at first, that the wise and profound explorers whom we have so often had occasion to cite, the brothers Grimm, should have failed to present us with any traditions from a corner of ground around which they have so successfully laboured. We have hinted already at the sufficient reason of the blank. Willkomm tells us, that the rest of the world, which “the cabin’d cribb’d” Lusatian has himself learned to call “o’ th’ outside,” has taken no cognisance of his beautiful hill country. Lusatia has a literature of her own, and no one is acquainted with it. “She had, and partly still has, her own, similar to the Imperial cities, exceeding free and energetic municipal constitution.” But no one cares about it. Celebrated and learned historians, questioned by Willkomm on the subject, have acknowledged their ignorance in regard to the character and laws of its small people. A more cogent reason, however, lies nearer home, in the impenetrable reserve and self-insulation of the mountaineers themselves. Willkomm confesses that their coldness towards strangers is unparalleled; they have no confidence whatever in foreigners; “and let a Lusatian but suspect,” he says, “that you come a-fishing to him, and to listen out his privacies; then may you,” as we may render the Lusatian proverb, “‘Lose yourself before you find his mushroom.’” He will communicate to strangers little of his manners and customs; of his superstitious practices, his sacredly guarded traditions, absolutely nothing. “He is unpliant, self-sequestered, coarse-grained; beyond all conception easy and phlegmatic.”

Every genuine people, however, is rough-handed; and Willkomm proceeds, after an ingenuous description of their defects, to vindicate the natural heart of his brother highlanders. “Let him amongst the gentle,” he proudly exclaims, “who desire to hear for once something novel, something right vigorous, sit down beside me. He need not fear that morals and decency will be cast out of doors. No, no! The people are thoroughly moral and chaste at heart, if they are somewhat coarse in expression;—ay, and tender withal. Their imagination glides as delighted along fragrant threads of gold, as it eagerly descends amongst the powers of darkness, amidst the dance of will-o’-the-wisps and horrible ghost-reels. They are, at once, a blunt, good-hearted, aboriginal stamp of men, with all the advantages and deficiencies appurtenant.”

The Lusatian traditions, brought to light in Germany by Ernst Willkomm, and now first made known to Englishmen in these pages, were collected by our author, as we have already observed, with difficulty and labour. A native only of the mountain district   could obtain from the lips of the people their sacred and well-preserved lore, and even he not easily. The tales were narrated from time to time in the spinning-room, or in the so-called “Hell” of the boor or weaver, without any determinate connexion. The listener gathered mere fragments, and these not fully, when, thrown off his guard, he ventured to interrupt the speaker. Each narrator conceives his tale differently, and one individual is apt to garnish the experience of many, or what he has heard from others, with a little spice of his own invention. Further, the details of ten or twelve occurrences are associated with one single spot; all of which appear externally different, and yet internally are connected closely, “so that when comprehended in one whole picture, and not till then, they form what, in a strict and literary sense, we are accustomed to call a Tradition or Tale. I, at least,” adds Ernst Willkomm, “in such an upgathering of these disjointed tones of tradition, could only accomplish something that satisfied me by searching out the profound hidden meaning of the people’s poesy: and I have at last gone no further than attempting to compose these detached fragments of tradition, Lusatianwise and popularwise, from the people’s own telling, into a whole. Upon this scheme only could alike the poetical worth of the tales, and the portraiture of the race, be rescued and rightly secured.”

That the traditions have been rescued and maintained in their purity and truth; coloured, no doubt, in the telling, and that unavoidably, under the pencil of their educated renderer—we have every reason to believe from internal evidences. Maintaining their own originality, they correspond in the main to the traditions which come to us from almost every known country on the globe, concurring to attest the intimate and necessary relation of the human soul with what would seem to be the remnants of an ancient and universal mythology. They bear upon their front the minute impress of reality, not to be mistaken, and beyond the mere invention of the poet. They are a valuable addition to the common stock. The style of Willkomm is clear, and to the point; almost always, as he says, in characterizing the speech of his own Upper Lusatians, “hitting the nail upon the head.” It breathes of his own mountain air, and possesses a charm, a vigour, and freshness, which we fear that we shall endeavour in vain to transfer to the following version:—


“Children born of a Sunday, and bastards, inherit the gift, denied to other human beings, of beholding spirits, of talking with them, and, if opportunity befriend, of right intimately communing with them. This was a truth experienced by pretty Maud, the stone-mason’s only daughter, who, a hundred years ago or so, led, at the foot of the mountain-ridge yonder, a quiet home-loving life. Maud was born, of all days in the year, upon Easter Sunday, which is said to be a truly lucky day for a mortal not otherwise heavily burdened with earthly blessings. In this last respect, Maud had no reasonable cause of complaint; for her father, by the labour of his hands, painfully earned just as much as went to a frugal housekeeping, and the mother kept the little family in order; so that things looked always neat and clean enough in the abode of the stone-mason.

“All Sunday’s children are very wise, and, if they are maidens, always uncommonly beautiful. Maud was, as a child, admired by every body; nay, it once went so far, as that a rich and beautiful, but very sickly-looking, lady of quality, who was travelling over the mountain in a fine carriage, tried hard to coax the poor mother out of her pretty Maud with a large sum of gold. When the maiden had fairly stepped out of child’s shoes, and was obliged to seek employment away from home, there was a mighty ado. It was for all the world as if a fairy was going through the place, when Maud, early in the morning, strolled along the banks of the murmuring stream on her road to a wealthy weaver’s. The young fellows saluted the fair one as they greeted no other.   No one ventured, however, to accost her with unseemly speeches—a kind of thing, by the way, that young men at all times are very prone to. Maud was treated by every one like a saint. Maidens even, her equals in years, prized her highly; and in no way envied her the general admiration. This might be founded in the behaviour itself of Maud. More forward to oblige, to do good offices, more sweetly behaved, was no one. And then she had such a grace with it all, so innocent an eye, that when you looked into it, heaven itself seemed to shine out upon you. In short, whoever spoke with Maud, or might walk a few steps with her, that man was for the whole day another and a happier creature, and whatever he undertook prospered with him.

“It would have been strange indeed had such a maiden lacked suitors, or not very early found a sympathizing heart. Now, as for the suitors, there was no dearth of them, Heaven knows! for there were youngsters of the queerest fashion. Many without manners, though right well to look at; others wealthy, but without heart or soul; and others again ready to burst with rage, if any one but touched his hat to the beautiful Matilda. To all such, the innocent child had not a word to say; for she knew well enough, that scant blessing waits on marriages of such a make. There was but one young fellow who could be said to please her thoroughly, and he was neither rich nor singularly handsome. She had become acquainted with him at the weaver’s, where he, like herself, went daily to work. Albert was industrious, well-behaved, and spoke so sensibly and right-heartedly, that Maud ever listened to him with delight. Truth to tell, he simply put her own feelings into words. A very little time passed, before she engaged herself secretly to Albert; and all would have gone on happily and well with them, had the two lovers but possessed just money enough to scrape a few matters together, and to set up housekeeping. But both were poor—poor as church mice; and, just for that reason, the father of Maud did not look very favourably upon the settled love-affair of his daughter. He would have been better satisfied if the silly thing, as he called her, had given her hand to one of the rich suitors, who would have given their ears to please her. Since, however, once for all, the mischief was done, he, like a good man, determined to cause his only child no heartache, and let matters get on as they might. One condition only he insisted upon—which was, that Maud should for the future work under her father’s roof; Albert, meanwhile, having leave every evening to pay his visits there. In this arrangement the two lovers cordially acquiesced; for, young as they were, they could well afford a little waiting. Meantime, it must be their endeavour, by incessant labour and careful economy, to save up as much as they needed for setting themselves up in their humble dwelling. So they lived on from day to day in quiet content. And so, no doubt, many days, and many, would have glided by, had not a singular occurrence disturbed the profound tranquillity. This was the way of it:—

“Maud’s father, the stone-mason, found it too much for him, with his heavy work and all, when, at noon, he had the long journey to make between the stone quarry and his own home. Besides, the fine stone-dust had brought on an inflammation of the eyes, so that he was obliged to avoid the glare of the sun: no easy thing for him to do, since his road homeward lay over a green high hill, upon which the sun beat scorchingly: wherefore, also, the people have given it the name of the Sun’s hill. It was made, in consequence, Maud’s duty to take daily her father’s homely dinner to the stone quarry—a road which, although toilsome, was by no means disagreeable to her; inasmuch as Albert often found means to get leave of absence, and then always escorted her a part of the way.

“Over the Sun’s hill nobody went willingly alone, either by day or by night; for the tale ran, that to many persons wondrous things had happened. Some had even caught, they said, their death-sickness there. True it is, any more definite report was not easily obtained. Only so much had Maud heard from her mother, that the Good People were said, a very, very long time ago, to have vanished   into the green hill; just when, in all the places around, so many churches had sprung up, and the sound of bells rang over mountain and wood. These reports notwithstanding, Maud, unconscious of evil, took her daily walk over the Sun’s hill, where indeed no one ever encountered her; so that the splendid landscape looked often desolate and awful in the hot midday’s glow.N For this reason it was always a great relief to her, when, from the top of the steep hill, she saw Albert ascending towards her. She then felt herself more secure, and went with better spirits forward. It was near Whitsuntide—the father sickly and more peevish than ever, and work bringing in no supply; for provisions had risen fearfully in price in consequence of the previous unusually hard winter. Now, as often as Maud brought the dinner to her father, he complained bitterly, and reproached her harshly for her folly; so that the poor child was almost heartbroken, pined, and led a melancholy life.

“She most deeply felt her trouble, when at noon she took her lonely journey along the desolate path that led to the quarry. Then she often shed the bitterest tears, and prayed to God to show her an outlet, and to have pity on their poverty.

“One day—it was just a week to Whitsun-eve—it happened that as she went upon her way, silently and in sorrow, and in vain looked for the beloved figure of Albert, she suddenly heard such a marvellously clear sound of a bell that she stood still to hearken. It was upon the mid summit of the Sun’s hill; the air perfectly calm, and around, far and near, not a creature to be seen. From the distant hamlet in the valley clinked only the sharp tones of the whetting scythe. Maud believed that she had had a ringing in her ears, and walked on. The singular sound was repeated, resembling the tone exactly of a small silver bell.

“‘How strange it is!’ said the maiden to herself, casting her eyes upon the ground; and in the soft moss, right at her feet, she perceived something glistening like a fragment of blue glass. She stooped and picked up what in colour and shape resembled a blue harebell, or, as it is called, Fairy’s hat; only, where the stalk should have been, there was a so small and elegantly-wrought little silver bell, that Maud could not help laughing outright.

“‘Bless me!’ she exclaimed, ‘who can have made that comical thing?’ and thereupon she shook the flower, and the wee little bell began to sound so prodigiously clear, that the poor damsel let it fall, affrighted.

“‘What are thy commands?’ asked immediately a slender bright voice. Before her stood a delicate creature, not higher than her hand; but of a symmetry of person that was perfectly astonishing. His small expressive head, round which a grove of curls, like crisped sunbeams, played, was just of a size, that the flower with the wondrous bell served it for a covering. For Maud saw how he put on the sparkling hat with much gravity, and at the same time, very knowingly, giving himself a right bold and dandy appearance.

“‘What are you then?’ asked Maud trembling.

“The little fellow made a smart bow, ‘Thy servant, with thy good leave,’ replied the strange being. ‘I and my people have known thee a long time. We have heard thy complainings; and because thou hast a kind heart, and lovest the flowers, and dost not wantonly pull them to pieces, am I charged to do thee a pleasure, provided thou wilt do the like for me and my people.’

“‘Indeed! you pretty little original!’ answered Maud, ‘who are thy people? I’——

“‘Hush!’ interrupted the little one, with a repelling gesture of the hand and a very impressive contraction of the brow. ‘These are questions which I cannot answer, and, what is more, cannot suffer. It is not civil to put questions of the whence and the what. If thou wilt trust me, and I   should think that I have the air of a proper gentleman, then resolve without delay whether thou wilt do me a pleasure for a reasonable compensation.’

“‘Dear little sir!’ replied Maud, overcome, ‘I am not mistrustful, but so beset and afflicted that I really do not know how I am to understand this strange business. Do not make sport of me, good child; or, if thou art a spirit, I beseech thee have compassion on me, and let me go my way in peace. My father is waiting for me. His little bit of dinner is drying in the heat of the sun.’

“‘Silly prattle!’ interrupted the little one. ‘Thy old father lies under the rock side, and snores till the fern leaves waggle over him. The good man’s dinner will not take much harm. However, that thou mayest see how good and honourable my intentions are, take thou my little cap. Be it the pledge which I shall redeem from thee with a compensation. Only resolve quickly now whether thou wilt trust me. My time is short.’

“Maud hesitated still. She held the miraculous cap with its silver bell in her hand. The desire to get rid of the uncanny creature the sooner the better, and also, perhaps, a particle of female curiosity wrung from her her consent.

“‘Good!’ said the little one in great glee. ‘Now, hear me! This day week, upon Whitsun-eve, as ye call it, do thou come here in the evening, as soon as the moon has mounted this green hill. Be not afraid; for only good will befall thee. As soon as thou hast reached this spot, ring with the little bell which I have given thee; and thou wilt not repent having been serviceable to the good people.’

“Scarcely had the little man given Maud her direction, when the astonished maiden remarked that the ground before her feet flashed like molten gold, sunk deeper and deeper, and in this glowing gulf the extraordinary being vanished, like a silver star. The whole phenomenon lasted only a few seconds, then every thing was again at rest as before. The little bell-flower only assured Matilda that she did not dream, and that something unusual had really taken place.

“Possessed with her feelings, she took her father his meal; and found him, in sooth, fast asleep under the wall of rock. Of her adventure she said nothing, but carried the pledge of the little man well secured in her bosom. And yet how was it possible for her to persevere in her silence? It is true, Maud knew not if the communication of the incident was permitted her. She put her trust, however, in the pledge; and, since she had not been commanded to silence, she hoped to be justified in making Albert acquainted with what had happened.

“She did it with fear and trembling, and produced to her astonished lover, as witness, the flower which had withered in the warmth of her bosom. Singularly enough, let her shake it as often as she would, the little bell could not be made to ring.

“‘And you really mean to go?’ asked Albert, when he had a little recovered from his surprise. ‘I should like to see you! To get flirting with ghosts and hobgoblins, or whatever else the devils may be. No! go you don’t. You will throw that stupid thing into the running stream. There it won’t hurt you; and upon that confounded Sun’s hill you will please never to set foot more.’

“‘I have given my word, Albert; and I must keep my word let what will happen.’

“‘Very well,’ said the youngster, ‘that’s enough! Then every thing’s at an end between us—clean at an end!’

“‘How you take on now! For whom else, but for you, have I accepted this pledge? For whom else have I so long endured—so long borne my father’s upbraidings? Dost thou think that, had I wished it, I could not long since have wedded? And is it my fault that I am a Sunday’s child? Is it not said that all Sunday’s children are born to good-luck? If you hinder me from keeping my word with this miraculous being—and the luck that is decreed me is meanwhile scattered to all the four winds—you may settle it with the spirit and face his anger; for I wash my hands in innocency.’

“Maud began to cry, kissed the shrunken leaf, and hid it again in her bosom. Albert was not at ease. He was annoyed at the untoward encounter,   a touch of jealousy disquieted and distressed his soul, and yet he could not say that the girl was in the wrong. At length he said, dispiritedly—

“‘Go through with your folly then. I will, however, be near you, and if the moon-spun rascal takes improper liberties, I will snap his neck, though mine too should crack for it.’

“For the first time in his life, Albert parted with Maud in an ill-humour, and the poor girl herself passed a bad and restless night.

“‘Mother,’ said Maud a few days afterwards, whilst she was getting the father’s dinner ready for her, ‘did you ever see a fairy?’

“‘God forbid, girl!’ cried the worthy and somewhat timid woman, crossing herself. ‘How came that into thy head? What hast thou to do with fairies and elves, dwarfs and wights? A good Christian has no business with such things of nothing, or worse.’

“‘Why, aunt Nelly was telling the other day such surprising stories of the people!’ Matilda replied; ‘but she did not drop a hint of our having reason to fear any harm from them. She even called them the good people.’

“‘Daughter!’ the mother seriously rejoined, ‘we call them so that they may do us no mischief. It is safer for us to leave them quite alone.’

“‘Can it be true, mother, that they have buried themselves under the Sun’s hill, and keep house and home there? Aunt Nelly would have it that in the still of the night, by bright moonlight, you may hear them singing wonderful tunes.’

“The mother fixed her eyes upon Maud, set the old man’s morsel of food upon the hearth stone, and, taking her daughter by the hand, led her to the stove, and seated her upon the family bench.

“‘Listen!’ she said, ‘and take thou heed to my words. The good people, or the fairies, which is their proper name, although they do not like to be called so, do indeed live, though few have the gift of beholding them, in all the mountains and valleys round about. Very, very seldom, and only upon the most extraordinary occasions, do they ever show themselves. When they do, it betokens luck to him that sees them, and brings it, if he quietly fulfill their wishes. These are certainly often out of the way, just like the people, who are strange and incomprehensible enough. Thank Goodness, they never crossed my path! but your godmother Helen, she had many, many years ago, a curious adventure with the fairies.’

“‘Really, mother! Aunt Nelly spoken to the fairies! O pray, dear mother, tell me quickly and fully the whole story!’

“‘First run to the quarry, and take your father his dinner,’ said the mother. ‘I will try in the meanwhile to remember all about it; and if you will promise me to say not a word to any one—not even to your godmother, you shall hear what your aunt told me at that time.’

“Maud very naturally promised every thing, took herself off, and was back again as quickly as possible. She did not loiter for a moment upon the road, did not even notice the signals which her Albert made as he came towards her from the distance. She could think only of her mother’s story.

“‘Here I am again, mother!’ she said breathless. ‘I call that running! I should say that the king’s trained runners could do no better. But now begin, dear mother. I will listen to you as if you were saying mass.’

“‘As well as I can remember,’ proceeded the mother, ‘the case of the fairies is a very singular one. Your godmother Helen disclosed to me, it is true, just the chief particulars only; but they were quite enough to let you understand something of the good people. They told her that, once in every fifty or a hundred years, they have a kind of church meeting, which from old time they call a Sabbath. For you must know, child, that the fairies are properly Jews,O right down   old chaffering Jews, from Olim’s time.’P

“‘O bless me! Jews!’ cried Maud, frightened out of her wits.

“‘Yes, yes, Jews and nothing else,’ repeated the mother warmly; ‘and that’s the very reason why, up to this day, they are so given to trafficking in precious stones, pearls, gold, silver, and artful jewellery. And when they give themselves a holiday, they go running about above-ground, making presents to new-born babies if they are very lovely, and playing all kinds of odd pranks. According to your godmother Helen, the history of the fairies runs thus:—The whole people, and their name is legion, were formerly in heaven.’

“‘In heaven!’ cried Maud, interrupting her mother, ‘then why didn’t the silly creatures stay there? Where else do they hope to be more snug and comfortable than in heaven! seated under the fur-cap of father Abraham!’

“‘How you prate!’ said the mother, checking her. ‘If you do not instantly tie up your tongue, and think more respectfully of the good people, I shall not tell you another syllable.’

“‘O pray! I will be quite quiet!’

“‘Very well. Then the fairies were a long while ago in heaven,’ continued the mother. ‘At that time they were part of the angelic host, were fine handsome people, went about in glittering robes, and sat at God’s right hand. Now, it befell that the chief angel of all got dissatisfied with the old management of affairs in heaven, stirred up discontent, tampered with the half of all the angels, and tried, with their help, to thrust out the old rightful Master of heaven and earth from his bright throne. But it fared with him as it does with most rebels, and rightly should with all. Our Father, in his glory, got the better of Satan, took him by the hair of his head, and pitched him head-foremost out of heaven into the pit of darkness, and his whole sharkish band of retainers after him. Amongst these, however, a good many had given ear to his fine tales, and had followed him thoughtlessly, although they were not properly wicked at heart. They repented their hasty work, even whilst they were falling deeper and deeper into gloom. They put up a prayer of repentance to their Lord, and implored his forgiveness; and because God saw that they were not rotten at the core, he hearkened to their petition, and rescued them out of the claws of Satan. But since they were not worthy to be received into heaven again, the Lord banished them back to the earth, with leave given them to dwell either within it, or in upper air, upon the hills and rocks. You must know that, during their fall, a surprising change had gone on in the transgressors. They had kept their forms of light—dwindled in size, however, immensely. And since they could not now become men,Q and had fooled away their celestial bliss, the Lord granted them a clear field, with power, until the last day, to make themselves worthy by good deeds of being re-admitted into heaven. And thus they have their abodes all about the open hills and the meadow flats; and only once in every fifty or a hundred years, upon Whitsun-eve, are they permitted, in their own way, to keep the Sabbath. And then they can only do it by loading a truly good human being with the blessings of fortune. For thus only can they hope to expiate their great offence in the sight of Heaven.’

“‘And did godmother Helen hear this from the good people themselves?’ asked Maud, as her mother ceased. ‘Was she, then, lucky?’

“‘No,’ said the mother, ‘Nelly was not lucky, because she did not observe the commandment of the fairies.’

“‘Well, if one of the creatures came to me, and should lay a command upon me, I would keep a quiet tongue within my head, and do readily what he wished.’

“‘Foolish chatter!’ said the mother chidingly. ‘Thou dost offend the quiet people with thy empty babbling   for they can hear every thing that human lips utter.’

“Maud went singing to her work, and long mused upon her timid mother’s narrative. What she had heard filled her with so eager a curiosity that she could scarcely wait for Whitsun-eve, although she took care to let no one observe it. From time to time she stole a glance at her bell-flower, tried to make it ring with shaking, but failed to bring, by any means, one sound from the delicate little bell.

“With a longing dread, Maud saw the promised Whitsun-eve draw near. It was not easy to leave the parental roof at nightfall. The enamoured maiden, however, found a becoming excuse which placed a few hours at her disposal. She went her way with the fairy cap in her bosom, ascended the green summit of the Sun’s hill, now glimmering in the moonlight, and drew from its hiding-place the pledge that had been entrusted to her. As if by a miracle, the little flower, touched by the moon’s silvery glow, expanded in an instant. Almost spontaneously it began to oscillate in her hand, and shrill and clear the little bell rang, so that it resounded into the adjacent wood, whence a soft echo melodiously responded.

“The voice of Albert, who with vigorous strides was ascending the hill to look close after the adventure of his beloved, reached her ear. But the senses of Matilda were engrossed by the fairies, and to his repeated calls she gave no answer. And she had good reason. For scarcely had the little bell rung, when a flash, like a sparkling snake, darted here and there upon the grass, and out of the quivering light there arose a small and exceedingly beautiful creature, whom Maud immediately recognised for the lord of the bell-flower. The little fellow was in Spanish costume. He wore a doublet of sky-blue butterflies’ wings, over which dropped a magnificent lace collar woven of the gossamer. The delicate feet were covered with transparent shoes, made of dew-drops.

“Maud stood mute with astonishment, as well at the tiny smallness of the fairy, as at his truly classical beauty. The little creature was, in his way, a perfect Adonis.

“‘Now, my trembler, art thou resolute to follow me?’ whispered the fairy in a note that came to her like a note of the harmonicon. ‘Restore me the pledge, for we have no time to lose.’

“Maud gave back the bell-flower; the elf seized it in his little diaphanous alabaster floral hands, waved it three times round his dazzling head, so that the little bell sent a peal round the hills, and then threw it upon the ground. It dilated immediately, took the shape of a galley with masts and yards, although no larger than the moon’s disk as we see it from the earth. In the same instant the elf sat in the little vessel, which trembled at every step, drew a rush from his girdle, and steered with it in the air.

“‘Now, come, step in!’ he called to Maud.

“‘In that!’ exclaimed the maiden astounded. ‘Heaven love you, there’s hardly room for my two feet! Besides, it will tear under me like a poppy-leaf, for I verily believe it is made of mere air.’

“‘Spare your remarks, Miss Pert!’ returned the fairy, ‘and step in. I pledge my honour, and will give up my hope of salvation, if this bark of our master’s do not carry thee safely over half the earth ball in less than no time.’

“It might be that Maud now stood under the mysterious power of a spell, or that she was urged by an invincible curiosity. Enough: she placed her feet in the quaking gondola, which swelled aloft like an air-balloon until it reached the maiden’s shoulders. Now the ground sank away, and Matilda’s senses failed her in the dizzy speed with which she was hurried down into the bowels of the earth. At this precise moment Albert reached the top of the hill. He had only the pleasure of looking after them, and hardly that; for it appeared to him as if every thing about him was immersed in a sea of azure so resplendently clear, that he was for several minutes robbed of his sight.

“From the magical slumber into which the child had fallen during her descent into the kingdom of the fairies, she was awakened by a witching harmony of sounds. She opened her eyes, and observed, with not a little wonder, that she was lying upon a bed or mat, or whatsoever else it   might be called, of costly emerald. Over her head nodded marvellous flowers of the most glowing colours; butterflies, of unseen splendour, flitted on cooling pinions around her couch, and fanned her with an air so sweet, so invigorating, that the maiden had never breathed before with such delight. But with all the magnificence, all the spirit and splendour, every thing was quite other than upon the sunny earth above. The flowers and herbs glittered indeed; but they seemed to be juiceless, and looked as if formed of crystal. Even the butterflies had a peculiar motion, like that of an involuntary sleepwalker. Only the harmonious strains, which now rang louder and louder, more and more ravishing, were so ecstatic, so inviting to joyous devotion, that Maud would fain have shouted aloud for joy; but she felt that she could not speak, could not cry out, and sight, touch, and hearing, were more alive than ever.

“Thus she lay for some time motionless, pleasingly intent upon the nodding flowers, the swarming butterflies. At length the winged multitude dispersed, and two slender fairy-forms approached her bed and beckoned her to arise and follow them.

“Maud arose; and the fairies, who hardly reached up to her knee, taking her between them, conducted her through a gate of mother-of-pearl into an illimitable space, through which throng of countless millions of elves confusedly moved. The converse of these semi-spirits sounded in the distance harmonious, like perfect music. Notwithstanding the immense multitude, there was nothing of tumult, nothing of uproar. They stood all in the finest concord, and bent, waving their flower-caps gracefully, towards the abashed, astonished maiden. It bewildered Maud to see that not only overhead arched a star-bespangled sky, but likewise underneath her feet the same solemn starry splendour was revealed, as if the slight fairy people walked, between two heavens, upon the milkwhite vapour which rolled on under them like clouds. Every fairy had on glass or crystal shoes, if that which they wore on their feet might be so called. It is, however, possible that the exquisitely made limbs of these perplexing beings only deluded the eyes of the poor girl with such an appearance.

“Nearly in the middle of the immeasurable arena rose a temple of gold, silver, and precious stones, which, with its lofty pillars reaching to the sky, was emblazoned in so wondrous a light, that, notwithstanding the extreme refulgence, it did not dazzle. Within this, upon a ceaselessly revolving sun-orb, stood the most beautiful and tallest of the fairies. In her golden hair gleamed stars. Joy and ecstasy radiated like a glory from her lovely pale face, and vapoury raiment concealed, but as with a breath, her incomparable figure. Towards her pressed the innumerable host; for the sublime creature might be the priestess of the united elfin race. Maud was carried forwards with them, that she might be a witness of the singular worship that was here solemnized. Not a word was spoken, no hymn was sung; there was but a looking-up of supplication, of trustfulness, in which all the fairies, turning round upon their sparkling little feet, took part. After a few minutes a joyful expression in the countenance of the worshippers proclaimed the happy issue of the Sabbath. The stars of the upper sky shot down like silver spangles, and hung suspended in the luminous hair of the fairies, giving them the appearance of carrying dancing lights on their heads. A loud, melodious, strain of rejoicing thrilled through the vast room. The radiant structure heaved and sank. Overhead a verdurous canopy of leaves vaulted itself; the elves, entwining arms and legs, flew in a lightning whirl around the high priestess and the dazzled Maud, who, unawares, had come close upon the lovely fairy.

“In a little while the slender body-chain of elves gave way; they grouped themselves into numberless rows; every one took off the star from his head, and, tripping up, deposited it at the feet of the priestess, where they at length all united in composing themselves into a great gold-bright sphere, exactly resembling that upon which the high, officiating fairy had been borne round in the temple.

“The elfin now extended her hand to Maud and said—

“‘We thank thee for the readiness   with which thou hast followed my messenger into this our hidden kingdom. Thou hast, by thy presence, prospered our Sabbath festival. Receive, for thy reward, the gratitude of all the fairies; and bear with thee this gift in remembrance of this day.’

“So speaking, she plucked the coronal of stars from her hair, stretched it out with both her hands, and hung it upon the head and neck of Matilda.

“‘Whenever thou art in trouble,’ she continued, ‘think of the good people; pull one of these stars, throw it in the air by the light of the moon, and whatsoever thou wishest, provided it be lawful, shall be granted thee.’

“Maud would have stammered forth her thanks, but she felt herself still powerless to speak. A kiss of the fairy upon her forehead was the signal for breaking up. The good people once more waved their caps. The gondola floated by, Maud mounted it, and, as quickly as she had descended, was lifted up upon the earth again.

“‘There!’ said the little pilot fairy, tying the supple rudder about the wrist of Maud, ‘that is my wedding gift to you and Albert. Give him the half of it if he pouts; and—have a care—no blabbing!’

“With that the gondola dissolved like a cloud in the air. The fairy vanished; and Maud lay alone upon the fragrant dewy grass of the Sun’s hill.

“Still all-amazed at what had happened, and not yet come rightly to herself, she slowly rose, intending to go home. It was then she perceived Albert, who, with folded arms, was staring wildly and savagely into the wood below. Matilda coughed.

“‘Why where, in the name of all that is holy, have you been dancing to?’ was the not very tender greeting of her lover. ‘I saw you standing there as I came up the hill; and then lightning and streams of fire were all about me, and here I have been full five minutes, running about in all directions, without being able to find a trace of you.’

“‘Only five minutes!’ exclaimed Maud; ‘that is extraordinary!’

“‘Yes; and, no offence to you, not altogether right,’ answered Albert. ‘Did I not beg of you to wait for me?’

“‘That you might wring the fairy’s neck for him?’ said the maiden, laughing. ‘Set yourself at ease, Albert; it is much better as it is.’

“‘What is?’ screamed the youngster.

“‘Never mind! It is all done now; and indeed, dear boy, we shall neither of us repent it. Come, let us go home.’

“‘O ho!—dear boy!—Mighty wise and patronizing truly!’

“‘Well, then, good Albert,’ said Matilda coaxingly; ‘only come away, and don’t be angry. In four weeks we shall be married.’

“‘In fo—ur wee—eeks!’ stuttered Albert.

“‘Yes, and in three, if you like it better,’ prated the overjoyed Maud. ‘The good people,’ she added, almost inaudibly, ‘have enabled us to marry. Therefore behave pretty, be quiet, and don’t quarrel—or else—‘every thing is at an end between us—clean at an end!’ Don’t you know that I am a Sunday’s child, and am under the especial protection of these kind, little, powerful creatures?’

“The jealous youth followed the maiden with reluctance. Whilst he walked, murmuring in an under-tone at her side, he noticed by the light of the full moon something flickering in Matilda’s hair. He examined it more closely, and then stood still.

“‘What new fashion do you call that?’ he asked in a voice of chagrin. ‘The idea of hanging dried mushrooms in one’s hair! If you will only walk with that finery by daylight down to the brook, the children will run after you, and point at you with their finger.’

“‘Mushrooms!’ replied Maud. ‘Why, where are your eyes again?’

“‘Well, I suppose you don’t mean to call them silver crowns? Thank Heaven, my eyes are good enough yet to see the difference between dried funguses and coined money!’

“‘They are glittering stars, sir,’ said Maud, short and decided.

“‘O indeed!’ returned Albert. ‘Well, then, the next time I would recommend you to select some that shine rather brighter.’

“The lovers had, in the meanwhile, reached the hut of the stone-mason. Albert entered with Matilda. The father lay asleep by the stove. The mother turned her spinning-wheel.

  “‘Good-evening, mother!” said Albert. ‘Have the goodness to tell that conceited girl there, that her headgear is the most miserable that ever was seen.’

“‘What!’ said the old lady wondering, and with a shake of the head. ‘Maud has no other gear that I see, but her own beautiful hair, which may God long preserve to her!’

“Instead of giving any answer, Albert would have set the daughter before her mother’s eyes. But Maud had already, in the doorway, pulled off the fairy’s gift, and turned pale as she saw that she had actually worn dried mushrooms on a string, twisted of withered rushes. Albert observed her perplexity, and laughed. He bantered her, and snatched two or three mushrooms from the chain, to hoard up for future sport. This was the token of their reconciliation. Maud, although very calmly, assured her lover, over and over again, that within a month their nuptials should take place. That the tired old man might not be disturbed, Albert went home early; and Maud hastened to put carefully away, for a while, the very meagre-looking fairy gifts.

“On the following morning, Albert was off betimes to his work. Putting on his jacket, he heard something chinking within. His surprise was naturally great, knowing that he had no money there. He dived at once into his pocket, and drew out two large old gold pieces. Then he suddenly remembered, that the evening before he had pocketed the mushrooms which he had snatched away from Maud, and the most extravagant joy possessed him. He forgot his work and every thing else; started off, and ran, as fast as his legs could carry him, to the house of the stone-mason.

“Maud stood at the brook, before the door, washing her small white hands in the clear stream.

“‘Good-morrow, dear Maud, and a thousand blessings on thy sweet head!’ cried Albert to her, as he came running. ‘Look, look, how thy mushrooms have changed! If the others turn out as well, I am afraid that, after all, I must forgive that little shrimp that was so killingly polite to you!’

“‘Delightful! delightful!’ exclaimed Matilda, gazing at the gold pieces. ‘Mine have not changed yet—but that doesn’t matter; for in the night, a little rush band, with which the fairy steered me into his kingdom of wonders, has bloomed into precious pearls and brilliants, and two sparkling wreaths are now lying upstairs in my drawer.’

“Joyful surprise choked Albert’s words in his throat; but Maud drew him on, and displayed to him her glories from the fairy world.

“‘Let us leave nothing undone that may help our luck. Do you take the little wreath for the present. Such is the wish of the mysterious being, who required my attendance at the Fairies’ Sabbath.’

“Albert received the gift with a softened heart. He begged Maud’s forgiveness of his fault; she granted it willingly, and before four weeks had passed by, the lovers were man and wife.

“Of her adventure on Whitsun-eve, Maud never spoke. So much the more had her godmother Helen to say about it; for it was not difficult to guess that the fairies had had their prospering hand in the marriage of her godchild. The stone-mason now gave up his laborious calling. Albert became the master of a moderate property, which he diligently cultivated with his beloved Maud; and, as fair child after child was born to them, the happy mother laid upon the breast of each a shriveled leaf from the elfin chain, for so had her little guide counseled her, when she once, in a doubtful hour, had summoned him to her aid. Albert and Matilda reached a good old age; their children throve, and carefully preserved, like their parents, the gifts received from the subterranean folk, who continued their favour to them and to all their posterity.”

A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

B Dolmen; literally, stone table. Remarkable structures, learnedly ascribed to the Druids; unlearnedly, to the dwarfs and fairies; and numerous throughout Western Britanny. One or more large and massive flat stones, overlaying great slabs planted edgeways in the ground, form a rude and sometimes very capacious chamber, or grotto. The superstition which cleaves to these relics of a forgotten antiquity, stamps itself in the names given to many of them by the peasantry:—Grotte aux fées, Roche aux fées, &c.

C Weirds. The French has—Lots. “Elles jettent des sorts.” For justifying the translation, see the fine old Scottish ballad of Kempion; or Kemp Owayne, at the beginning:—

“Come here, come here, ye freely fede, (i. e. nobly born,)
And lay your head low on my knee,
A heavier weird I shall ye read
Than ever was read to gay ladye.
“I weird ye to a fiery beast:
And released shall ye never be,
Till Kempion the kinges son
Come to the crag and thrice kiss thee!”

D From the preface to the exceedingly interesting collection by M. Th. de la Villemarqué, of the transmitted songs that are current amongst his Bas Breton countrymen.

E Essay on The Fairies of Popular Superstition, in “The Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border.”

F Deutsche Mythologie, von Jacob Grimm. Chap. xiii. Ed. 1. 1835, and xvii. Ed. 2. 1843.

GCes génies femelles.

H From Walckenaer’s Dissertation on the Origin of the Fairy Belief; last printed, in an abridged form, by Jacob, in his edition of the Contes des Fées, par Perrault, (Paris, 1842.)


“Paradise and groves
Elysian, fortunate fields—like those of old
Sought in the Atlantic main, why should they be
A history only of departed things,
Or a mere fiction of what never was?
For the discerning Intellect of man,
When wedded to this goodly Universe
In love and holy passion, shall find these
A simple produce of the common day.
I long before the blissful hour arrives
Would chant, in lonely peace, the spousal verse
Of this great consummation.”
Wordsworth. Preface to the Excursion.

J Sagen und Mahrchen aus der Oberlausitz. Nacherzahlt von Ernst Willkomm, Hanover, 1843.

K Irische Elfenmarchen: Uebersetzt von den Brüdern Grimm. Leipzig, 1826. Introduction.

L Deutsche Sagen: Herausgegeben von den Brüdern Grimm. Berlin, 1816 and 1818.

M Grimm’s German Mythology, p. 544.


“——his look
Drew audience and attention, still as night
Or Summer’s noontide air.”—Paradise Lost. Book II.

O The fairies themselves hardly can have imparted to godmother Helen the two irreconcilable derivations of their order: that they were Jews, and that they were fallen angels. But the poet dramatically joins, upon the mother’s lip, the two current traditions. With her, fallen angel and Jew are synonymous, as being both opposed to the faith of the cross.

P Who is this unknown Olim? Our old friend perchance, the Latin adverb, “Olim,” of yore—gradually slipped from the mouths of scholars into the people’s, and risen in dignity as it descended.

Q Sic.


(A Print after a Picture by Parmeggiano.)
BY B. Simmons.

Rise, Victor, from the festive board
Flush’d with triumphal wine,
And lifting high thy beaming sword,
Fired by the flattering Harper’s chord,
Who hymns thee half divine.
Vow at the glutted shrine of Fate
That dark-red brand to consecrate!
Long, dread, and doubtful was the fray
That gives the stars thy name to-day.
But all is over; round thee now
Fame shouts, spoil pours, and captives bow,
No stormier joy can Earth impart,
Than thrills in lightning through thy heart.
Gay Lover, with the soft guitar,
Hie to the olive-woods afar,
And to thy friend, the listening brook,
Alone reveal that raptured look;
The maid so long in secret loved—
A parent’s angry will removed—
This morning saw betrothèd thine,
That Sire the pledge, consenting, blest,
Life bright as motes in golden wine,
Is dancing in thy breast.
Statesman astute, the final hour
Arrives of long-contested Power;
Each crafty wile thine ends to aid,
Party and principle betray’d;
The subtle speech, the plan profound,
Pursued for years, success has crown’d;
To-night the Vote upon whose tongue,
The nicely-poised Division hung,
Was thine—beneath that placid brow
What feelings throb exulting now!
Thy rival falls;—on grandeur’s base
Go shake the nations in his place!
Fame, Love, Ambition! what are Ye,
With all your wasting passions’ war,
To the great Strife that, like a sea,
O’erswept His soul tumultuously,
Whose face gleams on me like a star—
A star that gleams through murky clouds—
As here begirt by struggling crowds
A spell-bound Loiterer I stand,
Before a print-shop in the Strand?
What are your eager hopes and fears
Whose minutes wither men like years—
  Your schemes defeated or fulfill’d,
To the emotions dread that thrill’d
His frame on that October night,
When, watching by the lonely mast,
He saw on shore the moving light,
And felt, though darkness veil’d the sight,
The long-sought World was his at last?A
How Fancy’s boldest glances fail,
Contemplating each hurrying mood
Of thought that to that aspect pale
Sent up the heart’s o’erboiling flood
Through that vast vigil, while his eyes
Watch’d till the slow reluctant skies
Should kindle, and the vision dread,
Of all his livelong years be read!
In youth, his faith-led spirit doom’d
Still to be baffled and betray’d,
His manhood’s vigorous noon consumed
Ere Power bestow’d its niggard aid;
That morn of summer, dawning grey,B
When, from Huelva’s humble bay,
He full of hope, before the gale
Turn’d on the hopeless World his sail,
And steer’d for seas untrack’d, unknown,
And westward still sail’d on—sail’d on—
Sail’d on till Ocean seem’d to be
All shoreless as Eternity,
Till, from its long-loved Star estranged,
At last the constant Needle changed,C
  And fierce amid his murmuring crew
Prone terror into treason grew;
While on his tortured spirit rose,
More dire than portents, toils, or foes,
The awaiting World’s loud jeers and scorn
Yell’d o’er his profitless Return;
No—none through that dark watch may trace
The feelings wild beneath whose swell,
As heaves the bark the billows’ race,
His Being rose and fell!
Yet over doubt, and pride, and pain,
O’er all that flash’d through breast and brain,
As with those grand, immortal eyes
He stood—his heart on fire to know
When morning next illumed the skies,
What wonders in its light should glow—
O’er all one thought must, in that hour,
Have sway’d supreme—Power, conscious Power—
The lofty sense that Truths conceived,
And born of his own starry mind,
And foster’d into might, achieved
A new Creation for mankind!
And when from off that ocean calm
The Tropic’s dusky curtain clear’d,
All those green shores and banks of balm
And rosy-tinted hills appear’d
Silent and bright as Eden, ere
Earth’s breezes shook one blossom there—
Against that hour’s proud tumult weigh’d,
Love, Fame, Ambition, how ye fade!
Thou Luther of the darken’d Deep!
Nor less intrepid, too, than He
Whose courage broke Earth’s bigot sleep
Whilst thine unbarr’d the Sea
Like his, ’twas thy predestined fate
Against your grin benighted age,
With all its fiends of Fear and Hate,
War, single-handed war, to wage,
And live a conqueror, too, like him,
Till Time’s expiring lights grow dim!
O, Hero of my boyish heart!
Ere from thy pictured looks I part,
My mind’s maturer reverence now
In thoughts of thankfulness would bow
To the Omniscient Will that sent
Thee forth, its chosen instrument,
To teach us hope, when sin and care,
And the vile soilings that degrade
Our dust, would bid us most despair—
Hope, from each varied deed display’d
Along thy bold and wondrous story,
That shows how far one steadfast mind,
Serene in suffering as in glory,
May go to deify our kind.

A October 11, 1492.—“As the evening darkened, Columbus took his station on the top of the castle or cabin, on the high poop of his vessel. However he might carry a cheerful and confident countenance during the day, it was to him a time of the most painful anxiety; and now, when he was wrapped from observation by the shades of night, he maintained an intense and unremitting watch, ranging his eye along the dusky horizon in search of the most vague indications of land. Suddenly, about ten o’clock, he thought he beheld a light glimmering at a distance. Fearing that his eager hopes might deceive him, he called to Pedro Gutierrez, gentleman of the king’s bedchamber, and enquired whether he saw a light in that direction; the latter replied in the affirmative. Columbus, yet doubtful whether it might not be some delusion of the fancy, called Rodrigo Sanchez of Segovia, and made the same enquiry. By the time the latter had ascended the roundhouse, the light had disappeared. They saw it once or twice afterwards in sudden and passing gleams, as if it were a torch in the bark of a fisherman rising and sinking with the waves, or in the hand of some person on shore, borne up and down as he walked from house to house. So transient and uncertain were these gleams, that few attached any importance to them; Columbus, however, considered them as certain signs of land, and, moreover, that the land was inhabited.”—Irving’s Columbus, vol. i.

B “It was on Friday, the 3d of August 1492, early in the morning, that Columbus set sail on his first voyage of discovery. He departed from the bar of Saltes, a small island in front of the town of Huelva, steering in a south-westerly direction,” &c.—Irving. He was about fifty-seven years old the year of the Discovery.

C “On the 13th September, in the evening, being about two hundred leagues from the island of Ferro, he, for the first time, noticed the variation of the needle, a phenomenon which had never before been remarked. Struck with the circumstance, he observed it attentively for three days, and found that the variation increased as he advanced. It soon attracted the attention of the pilots, and filled them with consternation. It seemed as if the very laws of nature were changing as they advanced, and that they were entering another world subject to unknown influences.”—Ibid.



“The day before V——’s departure for the last time from the country—it was the 4th of August, one of the hottest days of the season—as evening fell, he strolled with an old school-fellow through the cool green avenues and leafy arcades of the neighbouring park, where his friend amused him by pointing out to his attention vast multitudes of Swallows that came swarming from all directions to settle on the roofs and gables of the manor-house. This they do for several days preparatory to their departing, in one collected body, to more genial climates.”—MS. Memoir.

Joyous Birds! preparing
In the clear evening light
To leave our dwindled summer day
For latitudes more bright!
How gay must be your greeting,
By southern fountains meeting,
To miss no faithful wing of all that started in your flight!
Every clime and season
Fresh gladness brings to you,
Howe’er remote your social throngs
Their varied path pursue;
No winds nor waves dissever—
No dusky veil’d for ever,
Frowneth across your fearless way in the empyrean blue.A
Mates and merry brothers
Were ye in Arctic hours,
Mottling the evening beam that sloped
Adown old Gothic towers!
As blythe that sunlight dancing
Will see your pinions’ glancing
Scattering afar through Tropic groves the spicy bloom in showers!
Haunters of palaced wastes!B
From king-forlorn Versailles
To where, round gateless Thebes, the winds
Like monarch voices wail,
Your tribe capricious ranges,
Reckless of glory’s changes;
Love makes for ye a merry home amid the ruins pale.
Another day, and ye
From knosp and turret’s brow
Shall, with your fleet of crowding wings,
Air’s viewless billows plough,
With no keen-fang’d regretting
Our darken’d hill-sides quitting,
—Away in fond companionship as cheerily as now!
Woe for the Soul-endued—
The clay-enthrallèd Mind—
Leaving, unlike you, favour’d birds!
Its all—its all behind.
Woe for the exile mourning,
To banishment returning—
A mateless bird wide torn apart from country and from kind!
This moment blest as ye,
Beneath his own home-trees,
With friends and fellows girt around,
Up springs the western breeze,
Bringing the parting weather—
Shall all depart together?
Ah, no!—he goes a wretch alone upon the lonely seas.
To him the mouldering tower—
The pillar’d waste, to him
A broken-hearted music make
Until his eyelids swim.
None heeds when he complaineth,
Nor where that brow he leaneth
A mother’s lips shall bless no more sinking to slumber dim.
Winter shall wake to spring,
And ’mid the fragrant grass
The daffodil shall watch the rill
Like Beauty by her glass
But woe for him who pineth
Where the clear water shineth,
With no voice near to say—How sweet those April evenings pass!
Then while through Nature’s heart
Love freshly burns again,
Hither shall ye, plumed travellers,
Come trooping o’er the main;
The selfsame nook disclosing
Its nest for your reposing
That saw you revel years ago as you shall revel then.C
—Your human brother’s lot!
A few short years are gone—
Back, back like you to early scenes—
Lo! at the threshold-stone,
Where ever in the gloaming
Home’s angels watch’d his coming,
A stranger stands, and stares at him who sighing passes on.
Joy to the Travail-worn!
Omnific purpose lies
Even in his bale as in your bliss,
Careerers of the skies!
When sun and earth, that cherish’d
Your tribes, with you have perish’d,
A home is his where partings more shall never dim the eyes.

A “They all quit together; and fly for a time east or west, possibly in wait for stragglers not yet arrived from the interior—they then take directly to the south, and are soon lost sight of altogether for the allotted period of their absence. Their rapidity of flight is well known, and the ‘murder-aiming eye’ of the most experienced sportsman will seldom avail against the swallow; hence they themselves seldom fall a prey to the raptorial birds.”—Cuvier, edited by Griffiths. Swallows are long-lived; they have been known to live a number of years in cages.

B In the fanciful language of Chateaubriand, “This daughter of a king (the swallow) still seems attached to grandeur; she passes the summer amid the ruins of Versailles, and the winter among those of Thebes.”

C “However difficult to be credited, it seems to be ascertained beyond doubt, that the same pair which quitted their nest and the limited circle of their residence here, return to the very same nest again, and this for several successive years; in all probability for their whole lives”—Griffiths’ Cuvier.


A Leaf from a Journal.

A diligence is as familiar to our countrymen as a stage-coach; and, as railroads flourish more amongst us than with our less commercial and enterprising neighbours, it is probable that, to many English travellers, it is even more familiar. There is no need, therefore, to describe the portentous vehicle. Suffice it to say, that, of the three compartments into which it is divided, I found myself lodged—not in the coupée which looks out in front, and which has the appearance of a narrow post-chaise that has been flattened and compressed in the effort to incorporate it with the rest of the machine—nor in the rotunde behind, where one rides omnibus-fashion—but in the central compartment, the interieur, which answers to the veritable old English stage-coach, and carries six. I was one of the central occupants of this central division; for I had not been so fortunate as to secure a corner seat. Now, for the convenience of the luckless person who occupies this position, there depends from the roof of the coach, and hangs just before his face, a broad leathern strap, with a loop through which he can, if so disposed, place his arms; and, when his arms are thus slung up, he can further rest his head upon them or upon the strap, and so seek repose. Whether he finds the repose he seeks, is another matter. One half of the traveller swings like a parrot on his perch, the other half jolts on stationary—jolts over the eternal stones which pave the roads in France. Perhaps there are who can go to roost in this fashion. And if it is recorded of any one that he ever slept in this state of demi-suspension—all swing above, all shake below—I should like very much to know, in the next place, what sort of dreams he had. Did he fancy himself a griffin, or huge dragon, beating the air with his wings, and at the same time trotting furiously upon the ground? Or, in order to picture out his sensations, was he compelled to divide himself into two several creatures, and be at once the captured and half-strangled goose, with all its feathers outstretched in the air, and the wicked fox who is running away with it, at full speed, upon its back? As to myself, in no vain expectation of slumber, but merely for the sake of change of position, I frequently slung my arms in this loop, and leaning my head against the broad leathern strap, I listened to the gossip of my fellow-travellers, if there was any conversation stirring; or, if all was still, gave myself up to meditations upon my own schemes and projects.

And here let me observe, that I have always found that a journey in a stage-coach is remarkably favourable to the production of good resolution and sage designs for the future; which I account for partly on the ground that they cannot, under such circumstances, demand to be carried into immediate execution, and therefore may be indulged in the more freely; and partly on this other ground, that one who has become a traveller has loosened himself from his old customary moorings, and so gives himself, as it were, a new starting-point in life, from which he may, if the spirit of delusion is still happily strong within him, draw a mathematically straight line in the given direction A B, to be the faithful index of his future career.

What a generous sample of humanity it is that a well filled diligence carries out of the gates of Paris! The mountain of luggage upon the roof, consisting of boxes of all shapes and sizes, does not contain in its numerous strata of stuffs, and implements, and garments, rags and fine linen, a greater variety of dead material, than does the threefold interior, with its complement of human beings, of living character and sentiment. As to the observation not unfrequently made, that Frenchmen have less variety of character than ourselves, it is one which seems to me to have little or no foundation. Something there doubtless is of national character, which pervades all classes and all classifications of men; and this colouring, seen diffused over the mass, makes us apprehend, at first view, that there is   in the several parts a radical similarity which, in fact, does not exist. We have only to become a little more intimate with the men themselves, and this national colouring fades away; while the strong peculiarities resulting from social position, or individual temperament, stand out in sharp relief. And, in general, I will venture to say of national character—whatever people may be spoken of—that one may compare it to the colour which the sea bears at different times, or which different seas are said to be distinguished by: view the great surface at a distance, it is blue, or green, or grey; but take up a handful of the common element, and it is an undistinguishable portion of brackish water. It is French, or Flemish, or Spanish nature in the mass, and at a distance; looked at closer, and in the individual, there is little else than plain human nature to be seen.

But I did not open my journal to philosophize upon national character; but to record, while it is still fresh in my memory, some part of the conversation to which I was, as I travelled along, of necessity, and whether willingly or unwillingly, a listener. To the left of me the corner seats were occupied by two Englishmen—would it be possible to enter into a diligence without meeting at least two of our dear compatriots? They were both men in the prime of life, in the full flush of health, and apparently of wealth, who, from allusions which they dropt, could evidently boast of being of good family, and what follows of course—of having received an university education; and whom some one of our northern counties probably reckoned amongst its most famous fox-hunters. All which hindered not, but that they proved themselves to belong to that class of English travellers who scamper about the Continent like so many big, boisterous, presumptuous school-boys, much to the annoyance of every one who meets them, and to the especial vexation of their fellow-countrymen, who are not, in general, whatever may be said to the contrary, an offensive or conceited race, and are by no means pleased that the name of Englishmen should be made a by-word and a term of contempt. Opposite to me sat a Frenchman, of rather formal and grave demeanour, and dressed somewhat precisely. He was placed in a similar position in the diligence to myself; he had, however, curled up his leathern strap, and fastened it to the roof. Apparently he did not think the posture to which it invited one of sufficient dignity; for during the whole journey, and even when asleep, I observed that he maintained a certain becomingness of posture. Beside me, to the right, sat a little lively Frenchwoman, not very young, and opposite to her, and consequently in front also of myself, was another lady, a person of extreme interest, who at once riveted the eye, and set the imagination at work. She was so young, so pale, so beautiful, so sad, and withal so exceeding gentle in her demeanour, that an artist who wished to portray Our Lady in her virgin purity and celestial beauty, would have been ravished with the model. She had taken off her bonnet for the convenience of travelling, and her dark brown hair hung curled round her neck in the same simple fashion it must have done when she was a child. She was dressed in mourning, and this enhanced the pallor of her countenance; ill-health and sorrow were also evidently portrayed upon her features; but there was so much of lustre in the complexion, and so much of light and intelligence in the eye, that the sense of beauty predominated over all. You could not have wished her more cheerful than she was. Her face was a melody which you cannot quarrel with for being sad—which you could not desire to be otherwise than sad—whose very charm it is that it has made the tone of sorrow ineffably sweet.

Much I mused and conjectured what her history might be, and frequently I felt tempted to address myself in conversation to her; but still there was a tranquillity and repose in those long eyelashes which I feared to disturb. It was probable that she preferred her own reflections, melancholy as they might be, to any intercourse with others, and out of respect to this wish I remained silent. Not so, however, my fellow-traveller of her own sex, who, far from practising this forbearance, felt that she acted the kind and social part by engaging her in conversation. And so perhaps she did. For certainly, after some time, the beautiful   and pensive girl became communicative, and I overheard the brief history of her sufferings, which I had felt so curious to know. It was indeed brief—it is not a three-volumed novel that one overhears in a stage-coach—but it had the charm of truth to recommend it. I had been lately reading Eugene Sue’s romance, The Mysteries of Paris, and it gave an additional interest to remark, that the simple tale I was listening to from the lips of the living sufferer bore a resemblance to one of its most striking episodes.

The shades of evening were closing round us, and the rest of the passengers seemed to be preparing themselves for slumber, as, leaning forward on my leathern supporter, I listened to the low sweet voice of the young stranger.

“You are surprised,” she said in answer to some remark made by her companion, “that one of our sex, so young and of so delicate health, should travel alone in the diligence; but I have no relative in Paris, and no friend on whose protection I could make a claim. I have lived there alone, or in something worse than solitude.”

Her companion, with a woman’s quickness of eye, glanced at the rich toilette of the speaker. It was mourning, but mourning of the most costly description.

“You think,” she continued, replying to this glance, “that one whose toilette is costly ought not to be without friends; but mine has been for some time a singular condition. Wealth and a complete isolation from the world have been in my fate strangely combined. They married me”——

“What! are you a married woman and so young?” exclaimed the lady who was addressed.

“I have been; I am now a widow. It is for my husband that I wear this mourning. They took me from the convent where I was educated, and married me to a man whom I was permitted to see only once before the alliance was concluded. As I had been brought up with the idea that my father was to choose a husband for me, and as the Count D—— was both handsome and of agreeable manners, the only qualities on which I was supposed to have an opinion, there was no room for objection on my part. The marriage was speedily celebrated. My husband was wealthy. Of that my father had taken care to satisfy himself; perhaps it was the only point on which he was very solicitous. For I should tell you that my father, the only parent I have surviving, is one of those restless unquiet men who have no permanent abode, who delight in travelling from place to place, and who regard their children, if they have any, in the light only of cares and encumbrances. There is not a capital in Europe in which he has not resided, and scarcely a spot of any celebrity which he has not visited. It was therefore at the house of a maiden aunt—to whom I am now about to return—that I was married.

“I spent the first years of my marriage, as young brides I believe generally do, in a sort of trouble of felicity. I did not know how to be sufficiently thankful to Heaven for the treasure I found myself the possessor of; such a sweetness of temper and such a tenderness of affection did my husband continually manifest towards me. After a short season of festivity, spent at the house of my aunt, we travelled together without any other companion towards Paris, where the Count had a residence elegantly fitted up to receive us. The journey itself was a new source of delight to one who had been hitherto shut up, with her instructress, in a convent. Never shall I forget the hilarity, the almost insupportable joy, with which the first part of this journey was performed. The sun shone out upon a beautiful landscape, and there was I, travelling alone with the one individual who had suddenly awoke and possessed himself of all my affections—travelling, too, with gay anticipations to the glorious city of Paris, of which I had heard so much, and in which I was to appear with all the envied advantages of wealth.

“As we approached towards Paris, I noticed that my husband became more quiet and reserved. I attributed it to the fatigue of travelling, to which my own spirits began to succumb; and as the day was drawing to a close, I proposed, at the next stage we reached, that we should rest there, and resume our journey the next morning. But in an irritable and impetuous manner, of which I had never seen the   least symptom before, he ordered fresh horses, and bade the postilion drive on with all the speed he could. Still as we travelled he grew more sullen, became restless, incommunicative, and muttered occasionally to himself. It was now night. Leaning back in the carriage, and fixing my eye upon the full moon that was shining brightly upon us, I tried to quiet my own spirit, somewhat ruffled by this unexpected behaviour of my husband. I observed, after a short time, that his eye also had become riveted on the same bright object; but not with any tranquillizing effect, for his countenance grew every minute more and more sombre. On a sudden he called aloud to the postilion to stop—threw open the carriage-door, and walked in a rapid pace down towards a river that for some time had accompanied our course. I sprang after him. I overtook, and grasped him as he was in the very act of plunging into the river. O my God! how I prayed, and wept, and struggled to prevent him from rushing into the stream. At length he sat down upon the bank of the river; he turned to me his wild and frenzied eye—he laughed—O Heaven! he was mad!

“They had married me to a madman. Cured, or presumed to be cured, of his disorder, he had been permitted to return to society; and now his malady had broken out again. He who was to be my guide and protector, who was my only support, who took the place of parent, friend, instructor—he was a lunatic!

“For three dreadful hours did I sit beside him on that bank—at night—with none to help me—restraining him by all means I could devise from renewed attempts to precipitate himself into the river. At last I succeeded in bringing him back to the carriage. For the rest of the journey he was quiet; but he was imbecile—his reason had deserted him.

“We arrived at his house in Paris. A domestic assisted me in conducting him to his chamber; and from that time I, the young wife, who the other morning had conceived herself the happiest of beings, was transformed into the keeper of a maniac—of a helpless or a raving lunatic. I wrote to my father. He was on the point of setting out upon one of his rambling expeditions, and contented himself with appealing to the relatives of my husband, who, he maintained, were the proper persons to take charge of the lunatic. They, on the other hand, left him to the care of the new relations he had formed by a marriage, which had interfered with their expectations and claims upon his property. Thus was I left alone—a stranger in this great city of Paris, which was to have welcomed me with all its splendours, and festivities, and its brilliant society—my sole task to soothe and control a maniac husband. It was frightful. Scarcely could I venture to sleep an hour together—night or day—lest he should commit some outrage upon himself or on me. My health is irretrievably ruined. I should have utterly sunk under it; but, by God’s good providence, the malady of my husband took a new direction. It appeared to prey less upon the brain, and more upon other vital parts of the constitution. He wasted away and died. I indeed live; but I, too, have wasted away, body and soul, for I have no health and no joy within me.”

Just at this time a low murmuring conversation between my two fellow-countrymen, at my left, broke out, much to my annoyance, into sudden exclamation.

“By God! sir,” cried one of them, “I thrashed him in the Grande Place, right before the hotel there—what’s its name?—the first hotel in Petersburg. Yes, I had told the lout of a postilion, who had grazed my britska against the curbstone of every corner we had turned, that if he did it again I would punish him; that is, I did not exactly tell him—for he understood no language but his miserable Russian, of which I could not speak a word—but I held out my fist in a significant manner, which neither man nor brute could mistake. Well, just as we turned into the Grande Place, the lubber grazed my wheel again. I jumped out of the carriage—I pulled him—boots and all—off his horse, and how I cuffed him! My friend Lord L—— was standing at the window of the hotel, looking out for my arrival, and was witness to this exploit. He was most dead with laughter when I came up to him.”

“I once,” said his interlocutor,   “thrashed an English postilion after the same fashion; but your Russian, with his enormous boots, must have afforded capital sport. When I travel I always look out for fun. What else is the use of travelling? I and young B——, whom you may remember at Oxford, were at a ball together at Brussels, and what do you think we did? We strewed cayenne pepper on the floor, and no sooner did the girls begin to dance than they began incontinently to sneeze. Ladies and gentlemen were curtsying, and bowing, and sneezing to one another in the most ludicrous manner conceivable.”

“Ha! ha! ha! Excellent! By the way,” rejoined the other, “talking of Brussels, do you know who has the glory of that famous joke practised there upon the statues in the park? They give the credit of it to the English, but on what ground, except the celebrity they have acquired in such feats, I could never learn.”

“I know nothing of it. What was it?”

“Why, you see, amongst the statues in the little park at Brussels are a number of those busts without arms or shoulders. I cannot call to mind their technical name. First you have the head of a man, then a sort of decorated pillar instead of a body, and then again, at the bottom of the pillar, there protrude a couple of naked feet. They look part pillar and part man, with a touch of the mummy. Now, it is impossible to contemplate such a figure without being struck with the idea, how completely at the mercy of every passer-by are both its nose—which has no hand to defend it—and its naked toes, which cannot possibly move from their fixed position. One may tweak the one, and tread upon the other, with such manifest impunity. Some one in whom this idea, no doubt, wrought very powerfully, took hammer and chisel, and shied off the noses and the great toes of several of these mummy-statues. And pitiful enough they looked next morning.”

“Well, that was capital!”

“And the best of it is, that even now, when the noses have been put on again, the figures look as odd as if they had none at all. The join is so manifest, and speaks so plainly of past mutilation, that no one can give to these creatures, let them exist as long as they will, the credit of wearing their own noses. The jest is immortal.”

The recital of this excellent piece of fun was followed by another explosion of laughter. The Frenchman who sat opposite to me—a man, as I have said, of grave but urbane deportment, became curious to know what it was that our neighbours had been conversing about, and which had occasioned so much hilarity. He very politely expressed this wish to me. If it was not an indiscretion, he should like to partake, he said, in the wit that was flowing round him; adding, perhaps superfluously, that he did not understand English.

“Monsieur, I am glad of it,” I replied.

Monsieur, who concluded from my answer that I was in a similar predicament with respect to the French language, bowed and remained silent.

Here the conversation to my left ceased to flow, or subsided into its former murmuring channel, and I was again able to listen to my fair neighbours to the right. The lively dame who sat by my side had now the word; she was administering consolations and philosophy to the young widow.

“At your age health,” said she, “is not irretrievable, and, sweet madam, your good looks are left you. A touch of rouge upon your cheek, and you are quite an angel. And then you are free—you will one day travel back again to Paris with a better escort than you had before.”

And here she gave a sigh which prepared the hearer for the disclosure that was to follow.

“Now I,” she continued, “have been married, but, alas! am not a widow. I have a husband standing out against me somewhere in the world. In the commercial language of my father, I wish I could cancel him.”

“What! he has deserted you?” said her fair companion, in a sympathizing tone.

“You shall hear, my dear madam. My father, you must know, is a plain citizen. He did not charge himself with the task of looking out a husband for his girls; he followed what he called the English plan—let the girls look out for themselves, and contented   himself with a veto upon the choice, if it should displease him. Now, Monsieur Lemaire was a perfect Adonis; he dressed, and danced, and talked to admiration; no man dressed, danced, or talked better; his mirth was inexhaustible—his good-humour unfailing.”

Well, thought I to myself, what is coming now? This lady, at all events, chose with her own eyes, and had her own time to choose in. Is her experience to prove, that the chance of securing a good husband is much the same, let him be chosen how he may?

“No wonder, then,” continued the lady, “that I accepted his proposal. The very thought of marrying him as paradise; and I did marry him.”

“And so were really in paradise?” said the widow, with a gentle smile.

“Yes, yes! it was a paradise. It was a constant succession of amusements; theatre, balls, excursions—all enjoyed with the charming Lemaire. And he so happy, too! I thought he would have devoured me. We were verily in paradise for three months. At the end of which time he came one morning into the room swinging an empty purse in the air—‘Now, I think,’ said he with the same cheerful countenance that he usually wore, ‘that I have proved my devotion to you in a remarkable manner. Another man would have thought it much if he had made some sacrifice to gain possession of you for life; I have spent every farthing I had in the world to possess you for three months. Oh, that those three months were to live over again! But every thing has its end.’ And he tossed the empty purse in his hand.

“I laughed at what I considered a very pleasant jest; for who did not know that M. Lemaire was a man of ample property? I laughed still more heartily as he went on to say, that a coach stood at the door to take me back to my father, and begged me not to keep the coachman waiting, as in that case the fellow would charge for time, and it had taken his last sou to pay his fare by distance. I clapped my hands in applause of my excellent comedian. But, gracious Heavens! it was all true! There stood the coach at the door, the fare paid to my father’s house, and an empty purse was literally all that I now had to participate with the gay, wealthy, accomplished Lemaire.”

“What!” I exclaimed with rage and agony, as the truth broke upon me, “do you desert your wife?”

“Desert my charming wife!” he replied. “Ask the hungry pauper, who turns his back upon the fragrant restaurant, if he deserts his dinner. You are as beautiful, as bright, as lovely as ever—you cannot think with what a sigh I quit you!”

“But”——and I began a torrent of recrimination.

“‘But,’ said he, interrupting me, ‘I have not a sou. For you,’ he continued, ‘you are as charming as ever—you will win your way only the better in the world for this little experience. And as for me—I have been in Elysium for three months; and that is more than a host of your excellent prudent men can boast of, who plod on day after day only that they may continue plodding to the end of their lives. Adieu! my adorable—my angel that will now vanish from my sight!’ And here, in spite of my struggles, he embraced me with the greatest ardour, and then, tearing himself away as if he only were the sufferer, he rushed out of the room. I have never seen him since.”

“And such men really exist!” said the young widow, moved to indignation. “For so short a season of pleasure he could deliberately compromise the whole of your future life.”

“Is it not horrible? His father, it seems, had left him a certain sum of money, and this was the scheme he had devised to draw from it the greatest advantage. Mais, mon Dieu!” added the lively Frenchwoman, “of what avail to afflict one’s-self? Only if he would but die before I am an old woman! And then those three months”——

Here the diligence suddenly stopped, and the conductor opening the door, invited us to step out and take some refreshment, and so put an end for the present to this medley conversation.


In the year 1783, Joseph Francisco De Isla, one of the most eminent of modern Spanish writers, published a Spanish translation of Gil Blas. In this work some events were suppressed, others altered, the diction was greatly modified, the topographical and chronological errors with which the French version abounded were allowed to remain, and the Spanish origin of that celebrated work was asserted on such slender grounds, and vindicated by such trifling arguments, as to throw considerable doubt on the fact in the opinion of all impartial judges. The French were not slow to seize upon so favourable an occasion to gratify their national vanity; and in 1818, M. le Comte François de Neufchateau, a member of the French Institute and an Ex-minister of the Interior, published a dissertation, in which, after a modest insinuation that the extraordinary merit of Gil Blas was a sufficient proof of its French origin, the feeble arguments of Padre Isla were triumphantly refuted, and the claims of Le Sage to the original conception of Gil Blas were asserted, to the complete satisfaction of all patriotic Frenchmen. Here the matter rested, till, in 1820, Don Juan Antonio Llorente drew up his reasons for holding the opinion of which Isla had been the unsuccessful advocate, and, with even punctilious courtesy, transmitted them before publication to M. Le Montey, by whose judgment in the matter he expressed his determination to abide. M. Le Montey referred the matter to two commissioners—one being M. Raynouard, a well-known and useful writer, the other M. Neufchateau, the author whom Llorente’s work was intended to refute.

This literary commission seems to have produced as little benefit to the public as if each of the members had been chosen by a political party, had received a salary varying from £1500 to £2000 a-year, and been sent into Ireland to report upon the condition of the people, or into Canada to discover why French republicans dislike the institutions of a Saxon monarchy. To be sure, the advantage is on the side of the French academicians; for, instead of sending forth a mass of confused, contradictory, and ill-written reports, based upon imperfect evidence, and leading to no definite conclusion, the literary commission, as Llorente informs us, was silent altogether; whereupon Llorente attributing, not unnaturally, this preternatural silence on the part of the three French savans, to the impossibility of finding any thing to say, after the lapse of a year and a half publishes his arguments, and appeals to literary Europe as the judge “en dernier ressort” of this important controversy. Llorente, however, was too precipitate; for on the 8th of January 1822, M. de Neufchateau presented to the French Academy an answer to Llorente’s observations, on which we shall presently remark.

It is maintained by the ingenious writer, Llorente—whose arguments, with such additions and remarks as have occurred to us upon the subject, we propose to lay before our readers,

1st, That Gil Blas and the Bachiller de Salamanca were originally one and the same romance.

2dly, That the author of this romance was at any rate a Spaniard.

3dly, That his name was Don Antonio de Solis y Ribadeneira, author of Historia de la Conquista de Méjico.

4thly, That Le Sage turned the single romance into two; repeating in both the same stories slightly modified, and mixing them up with other translations from Spanish novels.

As the main argument turns upon the originality of Le Sage considered as the author of Gil Blas, we shall first dispose in a very few words of the third proposition; and for this purpose we must beg our readers to take for granted, during a few moments, that Gil Blas was the work of a Spaniard, and to enquire, supposing that truth sufficiently established, who that Spaniard was.

Llorente enumerates thirty-six eminent writers who flourished in 1655, the period when, as we shall presently see, the romance in question was written. Of these Don Louis de   Guevarra, author of the Diablo Cojuelo, Francisco de Santos, José Pellicer, and Solis, are among the most distinguished. Llorente, however, puts all aside—and all, except Pellicer perhaps, for very sufficient reasons—determining that Solis alone united all the attributes and circumstances belonging to the writer of Gil Blas. The writer of Gil Blas was a Castilian—this may be inferred from his panegyric on Castilian wit, which he declares equal to that of Athens; he must have been a dramatic writer, from his repeated criticisms on the drama, and the keenness with which he sifts the merit of contemporary dramatic authors; he must have been a great master of narrative, and thoroughly acquainted with the habits and institutions of his age and country; he must have possessed the art of enlivening his story with caustic allusions, and with repartees; he must have been perfectly conversant with the intrigues of courtiers, and have acquired from his own experience, or the relation of others, an intimate knowledge of the private life of Olivarez, and the details of Philip IV.’s court. All these requisites are united in Solis:—he was born at Alcalá de Henares, a city of Castile; he was one of the best dramatic writers of his day, the day of Calderon de la Barca. That he was a great historical writer, is proved by his Conquista de Méjico; his comedies prove his thorough knowledge of Spanish habits; and the retorts and quiddities of his Graciosos flash with as much wit as any that were ever uttered by those brilliant and fantastic denizens of the Spanish stage. He was a courtier; he was secretary to Oropezo, viceroy successively of Navarre and of Valencia, and was afterwards promoted by Philip IV. to be “Oficial de la Secretaria” of the first minister Don Louis de Haro, and was allowed, as an especial mark of royal favour, to dispose of his place in favour of his relation. This happened about the year 1654—corresponding, as we shall see, exactly with the mission of the Marquis de Lionne. Afterwards he was appointed Cronista Mayor de las Indias, and wrote his famous history. These are the arguments in favour of Solis, which cannot be offered in behalf of any of his thirty-six competitors. It is therefore the opinion of Llorente that the honour of being the author of Gil Blas is due to him; and in this opinion, supposing the fact which we now proceed to investigate, that a Spaniard, and not Le Sage, was the author of the work, is made out to their satisfaction, our readers will probably acquiesce.

The steps by which the argument that Gil Blas is taken from a Spanish manuscript proceeds, are few and direct. It abounds in facts and allusions which none but a Spaniard could know: this is the first step. It abounds in errors that no Spaniard could make—(by the way, this is much insisted upon by M. de Neufchateau, who does not seem to perceive that, taken together with the preceding proposition, it is fatal to his argument:) this is the second step, and leads us to the conclusion that the true theory of its origin must reconcile these apparent contradictions.

A Spanish manuscript does account for this inconsistency, as it would furnish the transcriber with the most intimate knowledge of local habits, names, and usages; while at the same time it would not guard him against mistakes which negligence or haste, or the difficulty of deciphering a manuscript in a language with which the transcriber was by no means critically acquainted, must occasion. Still less would it guard him against errors which would almost inevitably arise from the insertion of other Spanish novels, or the endeavour to give the work a false claim to originality, by alluding to topics fashionable in the city and age when the work was copied.

The method we propose to follow, is to place before the reader each division of the argument. We shall show a most intimate knowledge with Spanish life, clearly proving that the writer, whoever he is, is unconscious of any merit in painting scenes with which he was habitually familiar. Let any reader compare the facility of these unstudied allusions with the descriptions of a different age or time, even by the best writers of a different epoch and country, however accurate and dramatic they may be—with Quentin Durward or Ivanhoe, for instance; or with Barante’s Histoire des Ducs de Bourgogne, and they will see   the force of this remark. In spite of art, and ability, and antiquarian knowledge, it is evident that a resemblance is industriously sought in one case, and is spontaneous in the other; that it is looked upon as a matter of course, and not as a title to praise, by the first class of writers, while it is elaborately wrought out, as an artist’s pretension to eminence, in the second. If Le Sage had been the original author of Gil Blas, he would have avoided the multiplication of circumstances, names, and dates; or if he had thought it necessary to intersperse his composition with them, he would have contented himself with such as were most general and notorious; the minute, circuitous, and oblique allusions, which it required patient examination to detect, and vast local knowledge to appreciate, could not have fallen within his plan.

Secondly—We shall point out the mistakes, some of them really surprising even in a foreign writer, with regard to names, dates, and circumstances, oversetting every congruity which it was manifestly Le Sage’s object to establish. We shall show that the Spanish novels inserted by him do not mix with the body of the work; and moreover we shall show that in one instance, where Le Sage hazarded an allusion to Parisian gossip, he betrayed the most profound ignorance of those very customs which, in other parts of the work passing under his name, are delineated with such truth of colouring, and Dutch minuteness of observation.

If these two propositions be clearly established, we have a right to infer from them the existence of a Spanish manuscript, as on any other hypothesis the claims of an original writer would be clashing and contradictory.

M. Neufchateau, as we have observed, reiterates the assertion that the errors of Gil Blas are such as no Spaniard could commit, leaving altogether unguarded against the goring horn of the dilemma which can only be parried by an answer to the question—how came it to pass that Le Sage could enumerate the names of upwards of twenty inconsiderable towns and villages, upwards of twenty families not of the first class; and in every page of his work represent, with the most punctilious fidelity, the manners of a country he never saw? Nay, how came it to pass that, instead of avoiding minute details, local circumstances, and the mention of particular facts, as he might easily have done, he accumulates all these opportunities of mistake and contradiction, descends to the most trifling facts, and interweaves them with the web of his narrative (conscious of ignorance, as, according to M. Neufchateau, he must have been) without effort and without design.

Let us begin by laying before the readers the pièces du procès. First, we insert the description of Le Sage given by two French writers.

“Voici ce que disoit Voltaire à l’article de Le Sage, dans la première édition du Siècle de Louis XIV.:—

“‘Son roman de Gil Blas est demeuré, parcequ’il y a du naturel.’

“Dans les editions suivantes du Siècle de Louis XIV., Voltaire ajoute un fait qu’il se contente d’énoncer simplement, comme une chose hors de doute; c’est que Gil Blas est pris entièrement d’un livre écrit en Espagnol, et dont il cite ainsi le tître—La vidad de lo Escudero Dom Marco d’Obrego—sans indiquer aucunement la date, l’auteur, ni l’objet de cette vie de l’écuyer Dom Marco d’Obrego.”

“Extrait du Nouveau Porte-feuille historique, poetique, et litteraire de Bruzen de La Martinière.

“‘Baillet n’entendoit pas l’Espagnol. Au sujet de Louis Velés de Guevarra, auteur Espagnol, dans ses jugements des savants sur les poètes modernes, § 1461, il dit: On a de lui plusieurs comedies qui ont été imprimées en diverses villes d’Espagne, et une pièce facétieuse, sous le tître El Diabolo Cojuelo, novella de la otra vida: sur quoi M. de La Monnoye fait cette note. Comment un homme qui fait tant le modeste et le reservé a-t-il pu écrire un mot tel que celui-la? Cette note n’est pas juste. Il semble que M. de La Monnoye veuille taxer Baillet de n’avoir pas sontenu le caractère de modestie, qu’il affectoit. Baillet ne faisoit pas le modeste, il l’étoit véritablement par état et par principe; et s’il eût entendu le mot immodeste, ce mot lui auroit été suspect; il eut eu recours à l’original, où il auroit trouvé Diablo, et non Diabolo, Cojuelo et non Cojudo, et auroit bien vîte corrigé la faute. Mais comme il n’entendoit ni l’un ni l’autre de ces derniers mots, il lui fut aisé, en copiant ses extraits, de   prendre un el pour un d, et de changer par cette légère différence Cojuelo, qui veut dire boiteux, en Cojudo, qui signifie quelqu’un qui a de gros testicules, et sobrino l’exprime encore plus grossièrement en François. M. de La Monnoye devoit moins s’arrêter à l’immodestie de l’épithète, qu’à la corruption du vrai tître le Guevarra.”

“Au reste, c’est le même ouvrage que M. La Sage nous a fait connoître sous le tître du Diable Boiteux; il l’a tourné, à sa manière, mais avec des différences si grandes que Guevarra ne se reconnoîtroit qu’à peine dans cette pretendue traduction. Par exemple, le chapitre xix de la seconde partie contient une aventure de D. Pablas, qui se trouve en original dans un livre imprimé à Madrid en 1729, (sic.) L’auteur des lectures amusantes, qui ne s’est pas souvenu que M. Le Sage, en avoit inséré une partie dans son Diable Boiteux, l’a traduite de nouveau avec assez de liberté, mais pourtant en s’écartant moins de l’original, et l’a insérée dans sa première partie à peu près telle qu’elle se lit dans l’original Espagnol. Mais M. Le Sage l’a traitée avec de grands changements, c’est sa manière d’embellir extrêmement tout ce qu’il emprunte des Espagnols. C’est ainsi qu’il en a usé envers Gil Blas, dont il a fait un chef-d’œuvre inimitable.”—(Pages 336-339, édition de 1757, dans les Passetemps Politiques, Historiques, et Critiques, tome 11, in 12.)

As an example of the accuracy with which Le Sage has imitated his originals, we quote the annexed passages from Marcos de Obregon—Page 3.

“En leyendo el villete, dixo al que le traia: Dezilde a vuestro amo, que di goyo, que para cosas, que me inportan mucho gusto no me suelo leuantar hasta las doze del dia: que porque quiere, que pare matarme me leuante tan demañana? y boluiendose del otro lado, se tornô a dormir.”

“Don Mathias prit le billet, l’ouvrit, et, après l’avoir lu, dit an valet de Don Lope. ‘Mon enfant, je ne me leverois jamais avant midi, quelque partie de plaisir qu’on me pût proposer; juge si je me leverai à six heures du matin pour me battre. Tu peux dire à ton maître que, s’il est encore à midi et demi dans l’endroit où il m’attend, nous nous y verons: va, lui porter cette réponse.’ A ces mots il s’enfonça dans son lit, et ne tarda guère à se rendormir.”

“No quereys que siéta ofensa hecha a un corderillo, como este? a una paloma sin hiel, a un mocito tan humilde, y apazible que, aun quexarse no sabe de una cosa tan mal hecha? cierto y quisiera ser hombre en este punto para végarle.”

“‘Pourquoi,’ s’écria-t-elle avec emportement—pourquoi ne voulez-vous pas que je ressente vivement l’offense qu’on a fait à ce petit agneau, à cette colombe sans fiel, qui ne se plaint seulement pas de l’outrage qu’il a reçu? Ah! que ne suis-je homme en ce moment pour le venger!”

After this we think we are fairly entitled to affirm, that Le Sage was not considered by his contemporaries as a man of original and creative genius; although he possessed, in an eminent degree, the power of appropriating and embellishing the works of others, that his style was graceful, his allusions happy, and his wit keen and spontaneous. If any one assert that this is to underrate Le Sage, and that he is entitled to the credit of an inventor, let him cite any single work written by Le Sage, except Gil Blas, in proof of his assertion. Of course Gil Blas is out of the question. Nothing could be more circular than an argument that Le Sage, because he possessed an inventive genius, might have written Gil Blas; and that because he might have written Gil Blas, he possessed an inventive genius. This being the case, let us examine his biography. Le Sage was born in 1668 at Sargan, a small town near Vannes in Bretagne; at twenty-seven he published a translation of Aristœnætus; and declining, from his love of literature, the hopes of advancement, which, had he taken orders, were within his reach, he came to Paris, where he contracted an intimate friendship with the Abbé de Lyonne, who settled a pension on him, taught him Spanish, and bequeathed to him his library—consisting,   among other works, of several Spanish manuscripts—at his death. His generous benefactor was the third son of Hugo, Marquis de Lyonne, one of the most accomplished and intelligent men in France. In 1656 he was set on a secret mission to Madrid; the object of this mission was soon discovered in the peace of the Pyrenees 1650, and the marriage of Maria Theresa of Austria, eldest daughter of Philip IV., with Louis XIV. During his residence in Spain the Marquis de Lyonne lived in great intimacy with Louis de Haro, Duke of Montoro. The Marquis de Lyonne was passionately fond of Spanish literature; he not only purchased all the printed Spanish works he could procure, but a vast quantity of unprinted manuscripts in the same language, all which, together with the rest of his library, became at his death the property of his son, the Abbé de Lyonne—the friend, patron, and testator of Le Sage. To these facts must be added another very important circumstance, that Le Sage never entered Spain. Of this fact, fatal as it is to Le Sage’s claims, Padre Isla was ignorant; but it is stated with an air of triumph by M. Neufchateau, is proved by Llorente, and must be considered incontestable. The case, then, as far as external evidence is concerned, stands thus. Le Sage, a master of his own language, but not an inventive writer, and who had never visited Spain, contracts a friendship which gives him at first the opportunity of perusing, and afterwards the absolute possession of, a number of Spanish manuscripts. Having published several elegant paraphrases and translations of printed Spanish works, he published Gil Blas in several volumes, at long intervals, as an original work; after this, he published the Bachelier de Salamanque, which he calls himself a translation from a Spanish manuscript, of which he never produces the original. Did the matter rest here, much suspicion would be thrown upon Le Sage’s claims to the authorship of Gil Blas; but we come now to the evidence arising, “ex visceribus causæ,” from the work itself, and the manner of its publication.

The chief points of resemblance between Gil Blas and the Bachelier de Salamanque, are the following:—

1. The Bachelier de Salamanque is remarkable for his logical subtilty—so is Gil Blas.

2. The doctor of Salamanque, by whom the bachelor is supported after his father’s death, is avaricious—so is Gil Blas’s uncle, the canon of Oviedo, Gil Perez.

3. The doctor recommends the bachelor of Salamanca to obtain a situation as tutor—the canon gives similar advice to Gil Blas.

4. The bachelor is dissuaded from becoming a tutor—Fabricio dissuades Gil Blas from taking the same situation.

5. A friar of Madrid makes it his business to find vacant places for tutors—a friar of Cordova, in Gil Blas, does the same.

6. The bachelor is obliged to leave Madrid because he is the favoured lover of Donna Lucia de Padilla—Gil Blas is obliged to leave the Marquise de Chaves for the same reason.

7. Bartolome, the comedian, encourages his wife’s intrigues—Melchier Zapata does the same.

8. The lover of Donna Francisca, in Granada, is a foreign nobleman kept there by important business—the situation of the Marquis de Marialva is the same.

9. The comedian abandons an old and liberal lover, for Fonseca, who is young and poor—Laura prefers Louis de Alaga to his rival, for the same reason.

10. Bartolome, to deceive Francisca, assumes the name of Don Pompeio de la Cueva—to deceive Laura, Gil Blas pretends to be Don Fernando de Ribera.

11. Le Bachelier contains repeated allusions to Dominican friars, and particularly to Cirilo Carambola—similar allusions abound in Gil Blas, where Louis de Aliaga, confessor of Philip III., is particularly mentioned.

12. The character of Diego Cintillo, in the Bachelier de Salamanque, is identical with that of Manuel Ordoñez in Gil Blas.

13. An aunt of the Duke of Uzeda obtains for the bachelor the place of secretary in the minister’s office—Gil Blas obtains the same post by means of an uncle of the Count of Olivarez.

14. The bachelor, whilst secretary at Uzeda, assists in bringing about   his patron’s daughter’s marriage—Gil Blas does the same whilst secretary of the Duke of Olivarez.

15. Francisca, the actress, is shut up in a convent at Carthagena, because the corregidor’s son falls in love with her—Laura, in Gil Blas, is shut up in a convent, because the corregidor’s only son falls in love with her.

16. The adventures of Francisca and Laura resemble each other.

17. So do those of Toston and Scipio.

18. Toston and Scipio both lose their wives; and both disbelieve in reality, though they think proper to accept, the excuses they make on their return.

19. Finally, in Gil Blas we find a vivid description of the habits and manners prevalent in the European dominions of Spain during the reigns of Philip III. and Philip IV. But in no part of Gil Blas do we find any allusion to the habits and manners of the viceroy’s canons, nuns, and monks of America; and yet Scipio is dispatched with a lucrative commission to New Spain. It may fairly be inferred, therefore, that so vast a portion of the Spanish monarchy did not escape the notice of the attentive critic who wrote Gil Blas; and the silence can only be accounted for by the fact, that the principal anecdotes relating to America, were reserved to make out the Bachelier de Salamanque, from the remainder of which Gil Blas was taken.

Now, the dates of Gil Blas and the Bachelier de Salamanque were these:—the two first volumes of Gil Blas were published in 1715, the third volume in 1724, which, it is clear, he intended to be the last. First, from the Latin verses with which it closes; and secondly, from the remark of the anachronism of Don Pompeyo de Castro, which he promises to correct if his work gets to a new edition. In 1735 he published a fourth volume of Gil Blas, and, in 1738, the two volumes of the Bachelier de Salamanque as a translation. Will it be said that Le Sage’s other works prove him to have been capable of inventing Gil Blas? It will be still without foundation. All his critics agree, that, though well qualified to embellish the ideas of others, and master of a flowing and agreeable style, he was not an inventive or original writer. Such is the language of Voltaire, M. de la Martinière, and of Chardin, and even of M. Neufchateau himself; and yet, it is to a person of this description that the authorship of Gil Blas, second only to Don Quixote in prose works of fiction, has been attributed.

Among the topics insisted upon by the Comte de Neufchateau as most clearly establishing the French origin of Gil Blas, an intimate acquaintance with the court of Louis XIV., and frequent allusions to the most remarkable characters in it, are very conspicuous. But to him who really endeavours to discover the country of an anonymous writer, such an argument, unless reduced to very minute details, and contracted into a very narrow compass, will not appear satisfactory. He will recollect that the extremes of society are very uniform, that courts resemble each other as well as prisons; and that, as was once observed, if King Christophe’s courtiers were examined, the great features of their character would be found to correspond with those of their whiter brethren in Europe. The abuses of government, the wrong distribution of patronage, the effects of clandestine influence, the solicitations and intrigues of male and female favourites, the treachery of confidants, the petty jealousies and insignificant struggles of place-hunters, are the same, or nearly so, in every country; and it requires no great acuteness to detect, or courage to expose, their consequences—the name of Choiseul, or Uzeda, or Buckingham, or Bruhl, or Kaunitz, may be applied to such descriptions with equal probability and equal justice. But when the Tiers Etat are portrayed, when the satirist enters into detail, when he enumerates circumstances, when local manners, national habits, and individual peculiarities fall under his notice; when he describes the specific disease engendered in the atmosphere by which his characters are surrounded; when, to borrow a lawyer’s phrase, he condescends to particulars, then it is that close and intimate acquaintance with the scenes and persons he describes is requisite; and that a superficial critic falls, at every step into errors the most glaring   and ridiculous. There are many passages of this description in Gil Blas to which we shall presently allude; in the mean time let us follow the advice of Count Hamilton, and begin with the beginning—

“Me voila donc hors d’Oviédo, sur le chemin de Peñaflor, au milieu de la campagne, maître de mes actions, d’une mauvaise mule, et de quarante bons ducats, sans compter quelques réaux que j’avois volés à mon très-honoré oncle.

“La première chose que je fis, fut de laisser ma mule aller à discrétion, c’est-à-dire au petit pas. Je lui mis la bride sur le cou, et, tirant mes ducats de ma poche, je commençai à les compter et recompter dans mon chapeau. Je n’étois pas maître de ma joie; je n’avois jamais vu tant d’argent; je ne pouvois me lasser de le regarder et de le manier. Je la comptois peut-être pour la vingtième fois, quand tout-à-coup ma mule, levant la tête et les oreilles, s’arrêta au milieu du grand chemin. Je jugeai que quelque chose l’effrayoit; je regardai ce que ce pouvoit être. J’aperçus sur la terre un chapeau renversé sur lequel il y avoit un rosaire à gros grains, et en meme temps j’entendis une voix lamentable qui prononça ces paroles: Seigneur passant, ayez pitié, de grace, d’un pauvre soldat estropié: jetez, s’il vous plait, quelques pièces d’argent dans ce chapeau; vous en serez recompensé dans l’autre monde. Je tournai aussitôt les yeux du côté d’où partoit la voix. Je vis au pied d’un buisson, à vingt ou trente pas de moi, une espèce de soldat qui, sur deux batons croisés, appuyoit le bout d’une escopette, qui me parut plus longue qu’une pique, et avec laquelle il me couchoit en joue. A cette vue, qui me fit trembler pour le bien de l’église, je m’arretai tout court; je serrai promptement mes ducats; je tirai quelques reaux, et, m’approchant du chapeau, disposé à recevoir la charité des fidèles effrayés, je les jetai dedans l’un après l’autre, pour montrer au soldat que j’en usois noblement. Il fut satisfait de ma generosité, et me donna autant de bénédictions que je donnia de coups de pieds dans les flancs de ma mule, pour m’eloigner promptement de lui; mais la maudite bête, trompant mon impatience, n’en alla pas plus vite; la longue habitude qu’elle avoit de marcher pas à pas sous mon oncle lui avoit fait perdre l’usage du galop.”

In France, the custom of travelling on mules was unknown, so was the coin ducats, so was that of begging with a rosary, and of extorting money in the manner in which Gil Blas describes. In fact, the “useful magnificence,” as Mr Burke terms it, of the spacious roads in France, and the traffic carried on upon them, would render such a manner of robbing impossible. How then could Le Sage, who had never set his foot in Spain, hit upon so accurate a description? Again, Rolando explains to Gil Blas the origin of the subterraneous passages, to which an allusion is also made by Raphael; now such are in France utterly unknown.

Rolando, giving an account of his proceedings, says, that his grandfather, who could only “dire son rosaire,” “rezar su rosario.” This is as foreign to the habits of a “vieux militaire François,” as any thing that can be imagined; and, on the other hand, exactly conformable to those of a Spanish veteran:—

“Nous demeurâmes dans le bois la plus grande partie de la journée, sans apercevoir aucun voyageur qui pût payer pour le religieux. Enfin nous en sortîmes pour retourner an souterrain, bornant nos exploits à ce risible événement, qui faisoit encore le sujet de notre entretien, lorsque nous decouvrîmes de loin un carrosse à quatre mules. Il venoit à nous au grand trot, et il étoit accompagné de trois hommes à cheval qui nous parurent bien armés.”

In this statement are many circumstances irreconcilable with French habits. 1st, A whole day passing without meeting a traveller on the high-road of Leon, an event common enough in Spain, but in France almost impossible; 2d, the escort of the coach, a common precaution of the Spanish ladies against violence—the fact that the coach is drawn by mules, not horses, of which national trait six other instances may be found in the same story:—

“Plusieurs personnes me voulurent voir par curiosité. Ils venoient l’un après l’autre se présenter à une petite fenêtre par où le jour entroit dans ma prison; et lorsqu’ils m’avoient considéré quelque temps, ils s’en alloient. Je fus surpris de cette nouveauté: depuis que j’étois prisonnier, je n’avois   pas vu un seul homme se montrer à cette fenêtre, qui donnoit sur une cour où regnoient le silence et l’horreur. Je compris par là que je faisois du bruit dans la ville, mais je ne savois si j’en devois concevoir un bon ou mauvais presage.” ... “Là dessus le juge se retira, en disant qu’il alloit ordonner au concierge de m’ouvrir les portes. En effet, un moment après, le geolier vint dans mon cachot avec un de ses guichetiers qui portoit un paquet de toile. Ils m’otèrent tous deux, d’un air grave et sans me dire un seul mot, mon pourpoint et mon haut-de-chausses, qui étoit d’un drap fin et presque neuf; puis, m’ayant revêtu d’une vieille souquenille, ils me mirent dehors par les épaules.”

This is an exact description of the manner in which prisoners were treated in Spain, but bears not the slightest resemblance to any abuse that prevailed at that time in France:—

“Une fille de dix ans, que la gouvernante faisoit passer pour sa nièce, en depit de la médisance, vint ouvrir; et comme nous lui demandions si l’on pouvoit parler au chanoine, la dame Jacinte parut. C’étoit une personne deja parvenue à l’âge de discretion, mais belle encore; et j’admirai particulièrement la fraîcheur de son teint. Elle portoit une longue robe d’un étoffe de laine la plus commune, avec une large ceinture de cuir, d’où pendoit d un côté un trousseau de clefs, et de l’autre un chapelet à gros grains”—“Rosario de cuentas gordas.”—Lib. II. c. 1.

This is an exact description of a class of women well known in Spain by the name Beata, but utterly unknown in France till the Sœurs de Charité were instituted:—

“Pendant qu’ils étoient ensemble j’entendis sonner midi. Comme je savois que les secretaires et les commis quittoient à cette heure la leurs bureaux, pour aller diner où il leur plaisoit, je laissai là mon chef-d’œuvre, et sortis pour me rendre, non chez Monteser, parcequ’il m’avoit payé mes appointemens, et que j’avois pris congé de lui, mais chez le plus fameux traiteur du quartier de la cour.”-Lib. III.

During the reign of Philip III. and Philip IV., and even till the time of Charles IV., twelve was the common hour of dinner, and all the public offices were closed: this is very unlike the state of things in Paris during the reign of Louis XV., when this romance was published.

In Spain, owing in part to the hospitality natural to unsettled times and a simple people, in part to the few strangers who visited the Peninsula, inns were for a long time almost unknown, and the occupation of an innkeeper, who sold what his countrymen were delighted to give, was considered degrading: so dishonourable indeed was it looked upon, that where an executioner could not be found to carry the sentence of the law into effect upon a criminal, the innkeeper was compelled to perform his functions: therefore the innkeepers, like usurers and other persons, who follow a pursuit hostile to public opinion, were profligate and rapacious. Don Quixote teems with instances to this effect; and there are other allusions to the same circumstance in Gil Blas. It must be observed that if M. Le Sage stumbled by accident upon so great a peculiarity, he was fortunate; and if it was suggested to him by his own enquiries, they were more profound in this than in most other instances. The Barber, describing his visit to his uncle’s, (1, 2, 7,) mentions the narrow staircase by which he ascended to his relation’s abode. Here, again, is a proof of an intimate acquaintance with the structure of the hotels of the Spanish grandees: in all of them are to be found a large and spacious staircase leading to the apartments of the master, and a small one leading to those of his dependents. So the hotel in which Fabricio lives, (3, 7, 13,) and that inhabited by Count Olivarez, are severally described as possessing this appurtenance. It is singular that Le Sage, who seems to have been almost as fond of Paris as Socrates was of Athens, should have picked up this intimate knowledge of the hotels of Madrid. The knowledge of music and habit of playing upon the guitar in the front of their houses, is another stroke of Spanish manners which no Frenchman is likely to have thought of adding to his work (1, 2, 7.) Marcelina puts on her mantle to go to mass. This custom prevailed in Spain till the   sceptre passed to the Bourbons—in many towns till the time of Charles III., and in small villages till the reign of Charles IV. Gil Blas joins a muleteer, (1, 3, 1,) with four mules which had transported merchandise to Valladolid—this method of carrying goods is not known in France. The same observation applies to 3, 3, 7. Rolando informs Gil Blas, (1, 3, 2,) “Lorsqu’il eut parlé de cette sorte, il nous fit enfermer dans un cachot, où il ne laissa pas languir mes compagnons; ils en sortirent au bout de trois jours pour aller jouer un rôle tragique dans la grande place.”

This exactly corresponds with the Spanish custom, which was to allow prisoners, capitally convicted, three days to prepare for a Christian death. Rolando continues, “Oh! je regrette mon premier metier, j’avoue qu’il y a plus de sûreté dans le nouveau; mais il y a plus d’agrément dans l’autre, et j’aime la liberté. J’ai bien la mine de me defaire de ma charge, et de partir un beau matin pour aller gagner les montagnes qui sont aux sources du Tage. Je sais qu’il y a dans cet endroit une retraite habitée par une troupe nombreuse, et remplie de sujets Catalans: c’est faire son éloge en un mot. Si tu veux m’accompagner, nous irons grosser le nombre de ces grands hommes. Je serai dans leur compagnie capitaine en second; et pour t’y faire recevoir avec agrément, j’assurerai que je t’ai vu dix fois combattre à mes côtés.”

The chain of mountains of Cuença Requena Aragon y Abaracin, in which the Tagus rises, does contain such excavations as Rolando employed for such purposes as Rolando mentions, (1, 3, 11.) The grace of Carlos Alfonso de la Ventolera in managing his cloak, was an Andalusian accomplishment, and an accomplishment which ceased to prevail when the Bourbons entered Spain. It could not have been applied to describe a Castilian, as it was confined to the inhabitants of Murcia, Andalusia, Valencia, and la Mancha. How could Le Sage have known this? When the Count Azumar dines with Don Gonzalo Pacheco, the conversation turns on bull-fights, (2, 4, 7.)

“Leur conversation roula d’abord sur une course de taureaux qui s’étoit faite depuis peu de jours. Ils parlèrent des cavaliers qui y avoient montré le plus d’adresse et de vigueur; et la-dessus le vieux comte, tel que Nestor, à qui toutes les choses presentes donnoient occasion de louer les choses passées, dit en soupirant—Hélas! je ne vois point aujourd’hui d’hommes comparables à ceux que j’ai vus autrefois, ni les tournois ne se font pas avec autant de magnificence qu’on les faisoit dans ma jeunesse.”

This alludes to the “Caballeros de Plaza,” as they were called, gentlemen by birth animated by the love of glory, very different from the hired Picadors. This custom of the Spanish gentlemen, which many of our fox-hunting and pheasant-shooting squires will condemn for its cruelty, was very common during the reigns of Philip III. and IV., but gradually declined, and was at last only prevalent at the Fiestas Reales. The last example was known in 1789, to celebrate the jura of the Prince of Asturia, afterwards the pious and exemplary Ferdinand VII. This must have been before his attempted parricide. Ambrosio de Lamela, in order to accomplish his designs on Simon, (2, 6, 1,) purchases articles at Chelva in Valencia, among others—

“Il nous fit voir un manteau et une robe noire fort longue, deux pourpoints avec leurs hauts-de-chausses, une de ces écritoires composées de deux pièces liées par un cordon, et dont le cornet est séparé de l’etui où l’on met les plumes; une main de beau papier blanc un cadenas avec un gros cachet, et de la cire verte; et lorsqu’il nous eut enfin exhibé toutes ses emplettes, Don Raphael lui dit en plaisantant: Vive Dieu! Monsieur Ambroise, il faut avouer que vous avez fait là un bon achat.”

Now this is a faithful portrait of the inkstand, called Tintero de Escribano, which the Spanish scriveners always carry about with them, and which it is most improbable that M. Le Sage should ever have seen in his life, or indeed have heard of but through the medium of a Spanish manuscript. The account proceeds; and the distinction, which the reader will find taken with so much accuracy, between the inquisitor and   familiar of the holy office, is one which, however familiar to every Spaniard, it is not likely a Frenchman should be acquainted with. In France the inquisitor was confounded with the commissary, and all were supposed to be Dominican friars.

“Là, mon garçon barbier étala ses vivres, qui consistoient das cinq ou six oignons, avec quelques morceaux de pain et de fromage: mais ce qu’il produisit comme la meilleure pièce du sac, fut une petite outre, remplie, disoit-il, d’un vin delicat et friand,” (2, 6.)

This custom of carrying wine in a leathern bag, is a peculiar trait of Spanish manners.

Catalena, the chambermaid of Guevarra, nurse of Philip IV., obtains from her mistress, for Ignatio, the archdeaconry of Granada, which, as “pais de conquista,” was subject to the crown’s disposal:—

“Cette soubrette, qui est la même dont je me suis servi depuis pour tirer de la tour de Segovie le seigneur de Santillane, ayant envie de rendre service à Don Ignacio, engagea sa maîtresse à demander pour lui un bénéfice an Duc de Lerme. Ce ministre le fit nommer à l’archidiaconat de Granade, lequel étant en pays conquis; est à la nomination du roi.”

Now, that Le Sage should have been acquainted with this fact, for fact it unquestionably is, does appear astonishing. Till the concordat of 1753, the kings of Spain could only present to dignities in churches subject to the royal privilege, among which was this of Granada, by virtue of particular bulls issued at the time of its conquest. This is a fact, however, with which very few Spaniards were acquainted. Antonio de Pulgar, in his Cronica de Los Reyes Catholicos, c. 22, tells us that Isabella, “En el proueer de las yglesias que vacaron en su tiempo, ouo respecto tan recto, que pospuesta toda afficion siempre supplico al Papa por hombres generosos, y grandes letrados, y de vida honesta; lo que no se lee que con tanta diligencia ouiesse guardado ningun rey de los passados.” Another remarkable passage, and to us almost conclusive, is the following—

“Je le menai au comte-duc, qui le reçut très poliment, et lui dit qu’il s’étoit si bien conduit dans son gouvernement de la ville de Valence, que le roi, le jugeant propre à remplir une plus grande place, l’avoit nommé à la viceroyauté d’Aragon. D’ailleurs, ajouta-t-il, cette dignité n’est point au-dessus de votre naissance, et la noblesse Aragonoise ne sauroit murmurer contre le choix de la cour.”

This alludes to a dispute between the Spanish government and the Aragonese, which had continued from the days of Charles V. The Aragonese claimed either that the king himself should reside among them, or be represented by some person of the royal blood. Charles V. appointed, as viceroy of Aragon, his uncle, the Archbishop of Zaragoza, and then Don Fernando de Aragon, his cousin. Philip II. appointed a Castilian to that dignity. This produced great disturbances in Aragon, and the dispute lasted till 1692, when the Aragonese settled the matter by putting the Castilian viceroy, Inigo de Mendoza, to death. His successor was an Aragonese, Don Miguel de Luna, Conde de Morata, and he was succeeded by Don John of Austria, his brother. It is most improbable that M. Le Sage, whose knowledge of Spanish literature was very superficial, and whose ignorance of Spanish history was complete, should have understood this allusion. This, therefore, leads to the conclusion that it must have been taken from a Spanish manuscript.

In conformity with this we find Mariana saying, in the days of Ferdinand and Isabella—“Los Aragoneses no querian recebir por Virrey a D. Ramon Folch, Conde de Cardona, que el rey tenia señalado para este cargo; decian era contra sus fueros poner en el gobierno de su reyno hombre extrangero. Hobo demandas y respuestas, mas al fin el rey temporizo con ellos, y nombro por Virrey a su hijo D. Alonso de Aragon, Arzobispo de Zaragoza.”

Can any one doubt that the writer of the following passage had seen the spot he describes?

“Il me fit traverser une cour, et monter par un escalier fort étroit à une petite chambre qui étoit tout an haut de la tour. Je ne fus pas peu surpris, en entrant dans cette chambre, de voir sur   une table deux chandelles, qui bruloient dans des flambeaux de cuivre, et deux couverts assez propres. Dans un moment, me dit Tordesillas, on va nous apporter à manger: nous allons souper ici tous deux. C’est ce reduit que je vous ai destiné pour logement. Vous y serez mieux que dans votre cachot; vous verrez de votre fenêtre les bords fleuris de l’Erêma, et la vallée delicieuse qui, du pied des montagnes qui separent les deux Castilles, s’étend jusqu’à Coca. Je suis bien que vous serez d’abord peu sensible à une si belle vue, mais quand le temps aura fait succeder une douce mélancolie à la vivacité de votre douleur, vous prendrez plaisir à promener vos regards sur des objets si agréables.”

These notices of reference, taken at random, are all adapted to the places at which they are found—the narrative leads to them by regular approximation, or they are suggested by the subject and occasion which it draws forth. To introduce a given story into the body of a writing without abruptness, or marks of unnatural transition,

“Ut per læve moventes,
Effundat junctura ungues.”

is, as Paley observes, one of the most difficult artifices of composition; and here are upwards of a hundred Spanish names, circumstances, and allusions, incorporated with the story written, as M. Neufchateau assures us, by a Frenchman concerning the court of Louis XIV. A line touching on truth in so many points, could never have been drawn accidentally; it is the pencil thrown luckily full upon the horse’s mouth, and expressing the foam which the painter, with all his skill, could not represent without it. Let the reader observe how difficult Le Sage has found the task of connecting the anecdotes taken from Marcos de Obregon, and put into the mouth of Diego, with the main story. How awkward is this transition? “Le seigneur Diego de La Fuente me raconta d’autres aventures encore, qui lui étoient arrivées depuis; mais elles me semblent si peu dignes d’être rapportées, que je les passerai sous silence.”

The next branch of the argument which we are called upon to consider, relates to the Spanish words in Gil Blas, which imply the existence of a Spanish manuscript. The names Juan, Pedro, often occur in Le Sage’s work, and Pierre, Jean, are sometimes used in their stead. The word Don is prefixed by the Spaniards to the Christian, and never to the surname, as Don Juan, Don Antonio, not Don Mariana, Don Cervantes. In France, Dom, its synonyme, is, on the contrary, prefixed to the surname—as Dom Mabillon, Don Calmet. Le Sage always adheres to the Spanish custom. The robber who introduces Gil Blas to the cavern, says, “Tenez, Dame Leonarde, voici un jeune garçon,” &c. Again, “On dressa dans le salon une grande table, et l’on me renvoya dans la cuisine, où la Dame Leonarde m’instruisit de ce que j’avais a faire.... Et comme depuis sa mort c’étoit la Senora Leonarda qui avoit l’honneur de présenter le nectar à ces dieux infernaux,” &c. This expression “Señora Leonarda,” is much in favour of a Spanish original; why should not Le Sage have repeated the expression “Dame Leonarde,” on which we have a few observations to offer, had it not been that he thought the word under his eyes at the moment would lend grace and vivacity to the narrative. A French writer would have said, “Tenez, Leonarde,” or perhaps, “Tenez, Madame Leonarde;” but such a phrase as “Tenez, Dame Leonarde,” in a French writer, can be accounted for only by the translation of “señora.” So we have “la Señora Catalena,” (7, 12)—“la Señora Sirena,” (9, 7)—and “la Señora Mencia,” (8, 10) of the French version, and instead of “une demoiselle,” “une jeune dame,” which is a translation of “señorita.” In giving an account of his projected marriage with the daughter of Gabriel Salero, Gil Blas says, (9, 1)—“C’étoit un bon bourgeois qui étoit comme nous disons poli hasta porfiar. Il me présenta la Señora Eugenia, sa femme, et la jeune Gabriela, sa fille.” Here are three Spanish idioms—“hasta porfiar,” which Le Sage thinks it necessary to explain, “la Señora Eugenia,” “Gabriela.” Diego de la Fuente tells his friend, “J’avois pour maître de cet instrument un vieux ‘señor escudero,’ à qui je faisois la barbe. Il se nommoit Marcos Dôbregon.” A   French author, instead of “señor escudero,” would have said, “vieux ecuyer;” a Spanish transcriber would have written “Marcos de Obregon.” We have (x. 3, 11) “Señor Caballero des plus lestes,” “romances” instead of “romans,” (1, 5,) “prado” instead of “pré,” twice, (4, 10; 7, 13.)

Laura says—“Un jour il nous vint en fantaisie à Dorothée et à moi d’aller voir joner les comédiens de Seville. Ils avaient affiché qu’ils representaient la famosa comedia, et Embajador de si mismo, de Lope de Vega Carpio.... En fin le moment que j’attendais étant arrivé, c’est-à-dire, la fin de la famosa comedia, nous nous en allâmes.” We have “hidalgo” instead of “gentilhomme” three times; “contador mayor” twice, once used by Chinchillo, again by the innkeeper at Suescas, “oidor” instead of “juge” or “membre de la cour royale,” “escribano” instead of “notaire,” (8, 9.) “Hospital de niños” instead of “hospice des enfans orphelins,” “olla podrida” three times “marmalada de berengaria,” (9, 4,) and “picaro” instead of “fripon,” (4, 10, 12.) Scipio says, “un jour comme je passois auprès de l’église de los reyes.” There is at Toledo a church named “San Juan de los Reyes.” How could Le Sage, who never had been in Spain, know this fact? Gil Blas thus relates an event at Valencia—“Je m’en approchai pour apprendre pourquoi je voyois là un si grand concours d’hommes et de femmes, et bientôt je fus au fait, en lisant ces paroles écrites en lettres d’or sur une table de marbre noir, qu’il-y avait audessus de la porte, ‘La posada de los representantes,’ et les comédiens marquaient dans leur affiche qu’ils joueraient ce jour-là pour la première fois une tragédie nouvelle de Don Gabriel Triaguero.” This passage is an attestation of the fact, that during the reign of Philip IV. the buildings of the Spanish provinces in which dramatic performances were represented were at the same time the residence, “posada,” of the actors—a custom even now not altogether extinguished; but which Le Sage could only know through the medium of a Spanish manuscript. Gil Blas, imprisoned in the tower of Segovia, hears Don Gaston de Cavallos sing the following verses—

“Ayde nie un año felice
Parece un soplo ligero
Pero sin duda un instante
Es un siglo de tormento.”

Where did Le Sage find these verses, sweet, gracious, and idiomatic as they are? The use of the word “felice” for “feliz” is a poetical license, and displays more than a stranger’s knowledge of Spanish composition. It has been said that Smollett has left many French words in his translation of Gil Blas, and that too strong an inference ought not to be drawn from the employment of Spanish phrases by Le Sage. But what are the words? Are they words in the mouth of every one, and such as a superficial dilettante might easily pick up; or do they, either of themselves or from the conjunctures in which they are employed, exhibit a consummate acquaintance with the dialect and habits of the people to which they refer? Besides, it should be remembered that French is a language far more familiar to well-educated people in England, than Spanish ever was to the French, and that Smollett had lived much in France; whereas Le Sage knew from books alone the language which he has employed with so much colloquial elegance and facility. We now turn to the phrases and expressions in French which Le Sage has manifestly translated.

The first word which occurs in dealing with this part of the subject is “seigneur” as a translation for “señor;” “seigneur” in France was not a substitute for “monsieur,” which is the proper meaning of “señor.” On the use of the word “dame” we have already commented. Instead of Dame Leonarde and Dame Lorenzo Sephora, a French writer would have put “Madame” or “la cuisinière,” or “la femme de chambre,” as the case might be. So the exclamation of the highwayman, “Seigneur passant,” &c., must be a translation of “Señor passagero.” Describing the parasite at Peñaflor, Gil Blas says, “le cavalier portait une longue rapière, et il s’approcha de moi d’un air empressé, Seigneur écolier, me dit-il, je viens d’apprendre que vous êtes le seigneur   Gil Blas de Santillane. Je lui dis, seigneur cavalier, je ne croyois pas que mon nom fût connu à Penáflor.” “Le cavalier” means a man on horseback, which is not a description applicable to the parasite; “chevalier” is the French word for the member of a military order. “Cet homme,” or “ce monsieur,” would have been the expression of Le Sage if “este caballero” had not been in the manuscript to be copied. “Carillo” for “Camillo,” “betancos” for “betangos,” “rodillas” for “revilla;” and yet M. Le Sage is not satisfied with making his hero walk towards the Prado of Madrid, but goes further, and describes it as the “pré de Saint Jerome”—Prado de S^te Geronimo, which is certainly more accurate. Again he speaks of “la Rue des Infantes” at Madrid, (8, 1)—“De los Infantos is the name of a street in that city—and in the same sentence names “une vieille dame Inesile Cantarille.” Inesilla is the Spanish diminutive of Ines, and Cantarilla of Cantaro. The last word alludes to the expression “mozas de Cantaro,” for women of inferior degree. Philip III. shuts up Sirena “dans la maison des repenties.” This is also the name of a convent at Madrid, called “casa de las arrepentidas.” But a still stronger argument in favour of the existence of a Spanish manuscript, is to be found in the passage which says that Lucretia, the repentant mistress of Philip IV., “quitte tout à coup le monde, et se ferme dans le monastère de la Incarnacion;” that having been founded by Philip III. in compliance with the will of Doña Margarita, his wife, it was reserved expressly for nuns connected in some way with the royal family of Spain; and that therefore Lucretia, having been the mistress of Philip IV., was entitled to become a member of it.

“Nous aperçumes un réligieux de l’ordre de Saint Domingue, monté, contre l’ordinaire de ces bons pères, sur une mauvaise mule.A Dieu soit loué, s’écria le capitaine.” In this sentence all the passages in Italics are of Spanish origin. “Seigneur cavalier, vous êtes bien heureux qu’on se soit adressé à moi plutôt qu’à un autre: je ne veux point décrier mes confrères: à Dieu ne plaise que je fasse le moindre tort à leur réputation: mais, entre nous, il n’y en a pas un qui ait de la conscience—ils sont tous plus durs que des Juifs. Je suis le seul fripier qui ait de la morale: je ne borne à un prix raisonable; je me contente de la livre pour sou—je veux dire du sou pour livre. Grâces au ciel, j’exerce rondement ma profession.” Here we find “Seigneur cavalier,” “à Dieu ne plaise,” which is the common Spanish phrase, “no permita Dios,” “Grâces an ciel,” instead of “Dieu merci,” from “Gracias a Dios.” A little further we find the phrase “Seigneur gentilhomme,” which can only be accounted for as a translation of “Señor hidalgo;” “garçon de famille,” (1, 17,) “bénéfice simple,” (11, 17) are neither of them French expressions. “The virtuous Jacintha,” says Fabricio, “mérite d’être la gouvernante du patriarche des Indes.” Now, it is impossible that the existence of such a dignity as this should have been known at Paris. It was of recent creation, and had been the subject of much conversation at Madrid. “Garçon de bien et d’honneur,” (1, 2, 1,) “un mozo, hombre de bien y de honor.” “Je servis un potage qu’on auroit pu présenter au plus fameux directeur de Madrid, et deux entrées qui auroient eu de quoi piquer la sensualité d’un viceroi.” It is impossible not to see that the first of the phrases in italics is a translation “del director mas famoso de Madrid;” first, because a Frenchman would have used “célèbre,” and secondly, because the word “director” in a different sense from that of confessor was unknown at Madrid. The allusion to the Viceroy, a functionary unknown to the French government, also deserves notice. The notaire, hastening to Cedillo, takes up hastily “son manteau et son chapeau.” This infers a knowledge on   the part of the writer that the Spanish scrivener never appeared, however urgent the occasion, without his “capa.” We have the word “laboureurs” applied to substantial farmers, (1, 2, 7.) This is a translation of “labradores,” to which the French word does not correspond, as it means properly, men dependent on daily labour for their daily bread. “J’ai fait éléver,” says the schoolmaster of Olmedo, “un théatre, sur lequel, Dieu aidant, je ferai réprésenter par mes disciples une pièce que j’ai composée. Elle a pour titre les jeunes amours de Muley Bergentuf Roi de Moroi.” “Disciples” is a translation of “discipulos.” A French writer would have said “élèves.” Again, the title of the Pedant’s play is thoroughly Spanish. It was intended to ridicule the habit which prevailed in Spain, after the expulsion of the Moriscoes in 1610, of adapting for the stage Moorish habits and amusements, by making a stupid pedant in an obscure village, select them as the subject of his tragedy.

Describing the insolence of the actors, Gil Blas says, “Bien loin de traiter d’excellence les seigneurs, elles ne leur donnoient pas même de la seigneurie.” This would hardly be applicable to the manners of the French. The principal of Lucinde’s creditors, “se nommoit Bernard Astuto, qui meritoit bien son nom.” The signification of the name is clear in Spanish; but in French the allusion is totally without meaning. This probably escaped Le Sage in the hurry of composition, or it would have been easy to have removed so clear a mark of translation. The following mark is still stronger. Speaking of Simon, the bourgeois of Chelva, he says—“Certain Juif, qui s’est fait Catholique, mais dans le fond de l’âme il est encore Juif comme Pilate.” Now, the lower classes of Spain perpetually fall into this error of calling Pilate a Jew; and this is a trait which could hardly have occurred to a foreign writer, however well acquainted with Spain, much less to a writer who had never set his foot in that country. Here we cannot help observing, that the whole scene from which this passage is taken is eminently Spanish. In Spain only was such a proceeding possible as the scheme for deprecating Simon, executed by Lucinda and Raphael. The character of the victim, the nature of the fraud, the absence of all suspicion which such proceedings would necessarily provoke in any other country, are as conclusive proofs of Spanish origin as moral evidence can supply. Count Guliano is found playing with an ape, “pour dormir la siesta.” Lucretia says to Gil Blas, “Je vous rends de très humbles grâces,” “doy a usted muy umildes gracias.” A French writer would have said, “Je vous remercie infiniment.” Melendez is described as living “à la Porte du Soleil du coin de la Rue des Balustrées,” “esquina de la Calle de Cofreros.” There is such an alley as this, but it is unknown to ninety-nine Spaniards in a hundred. Beltran Moscada tells Gil Blas, “Je vous reconnois bien, moi—nous avons joué mille fois tous deux à la Gallina ciega.” This Le Sage thinks it necessary to explain by a note, to inform his readers that it is the same as “Colin Maillard.” From all these various phrases and expressions, scattered about in different passages of Gil Blas, and taken almost at random from different parts of the work, the conclusion that it was copied from a Spanish manuscript appears inevitable.

Le Sage has named Sacedon, Buendia, Fuencarrat, Madrid, Campillo, Aragon, Penaflor, Castropot, Asturias; Salcedo, Alava; Villaflor, Cebreros, Avila; Tardajos, Kevilla, Puentedura, Burgos; Villar-de-saz; Almodovar, Cuença; Almoharin, Monroy, Estremadura; Adria, Gavia, Vera, Granada; Mondejar, Gualalajara; Vierzo, Ponferrada, Cacabelos, Leon; Calatrava, Castilblanco, Mancha; Chinchilla, Lorque, Murcia; Duenas, Palencia; Colmenar, Coca, Segovia; Carmona, Mairena, Sevilla; Cobisa, Galvez, Illescas, Loeches, Maqueda, Kodillas, Villarejo, Villarrubia, Toledo; Bunol, Chelva, Chiva; Gerica, Liria Paterna, Valencia; Ataquines, Benavente, Mansilla, Mojados, Olmedo, Penafiel, Puente de Duero, Valdestillas, Valladolid.

The story of Gil Blas contains the names of no less than one hundred and three Spanish villages and towns of inferior importance, many of them are unknown out of Spain—such as   Albarracin, Antequera, Betanzos, Ciudad Real, Coria, Lucena, Molina, Mondonedo, Monzon, Solsona, Trujillo, Ubeda.

There are also cited the names of thirteen dukes—Alba, Almeida, Braganza, Frias (condestable de Castilia,) Lerma, Medina-celi, Medina de Rioseco, (almirante de Castilia,) Medina-Sidonia, Medina de las Tarres (Marques de Toral,) Mantua, Osuna, Sanlucar la Mayor y Uceda. Eleven marquises—De Almenara, Carpia, Chaves, Laguardia, Leganes, Priego, Santacruz, Toral, Velez, Villa-real y Zenete. Eight condes—De Azumar, Galiano, Lemos, Montanos, Niebla, Olivares, Pedrosa y Polan. Of these four only are fictitious. It is remarkable also, that one title cited in Gil Blas, that of Admirante de Castilia, did not exist when Le Sage published his romance—Felipe V. having abolished it, to punish the holder of that dignity for having embraced the cause of the house of Austria. Nor are there wanting the names of persons celebrated in their day among the inhabitants of the Peninsula. Such are Fray Luis Aliago, confessor of Philip III., Archimandrite of Sicily, and inquisitor-general, Don Rodrigo Calderon, secretary of the king, Calderon de la Barca, Antonio Carnero, secretary of the king, Philip IV., Cervantes, Geronimo de Florencia, Jesuit preacher of Philip IV., Fernando de Gamboa, one of the gentlemen of his bedchamber, Luis de Gongora, Aña de Guevarra, his nurse, Maria de Guzman, only daughter of Olivarez, Henry Philip de Guzman, his adopted son, Baltasar de Zuniga, uncle of Olivarez, Lope de Vega Carpio, Luis Velez de Guevarra, Juana de Velasco, making in all nineteen persons. There are the names of not only thirty-one families of the highest class in Spain, as Guzman, Herrera, Mendoza, Acuna, Avila, Silva, &c., but twenty-five names belonging to less illustrious, but still distinguished families; and twenty-nine names really Spanish, but applied to imaginary characters. This makes a list of eighty-five names, which it seems impossible for any writer acquainted only with the lighter parts of Spanish literature to have accumulated. Nor should it be forgotten that there are forty-five names, intended to explain the character of those to whom they are given, like Mrs Slipslop and Parson Trulliber, retained by Gil Blas, notwithstanding the loss of their original signification. Doctor Andros don Añibal de Chinchilla, Alcacer, Apuntador, Astuto, Azarini, Padre Alejos y Don Abel, Buenagarra, Brutandof, Campanario Chilindron, Chinchilla, Clarin, Colifichini, Cordel, Coscolina, Padre Crisostomo, Doctor Cuchillo, Descomulgado, Deslenguado, Escipion, Forero, Guyomar, Ligero, Majuelo, Mascarini, Melancia, Mogicon, Montalban, Muscada, Nisana, Doctor Oloroso, Doctor Oquetos, Penafiel, Pinares, Doctor Sangrado, Stheimbach, Samuel Simon, Salero, Talego, Touto, Toribio, Triaquero, Ventolera, Villaviciosa, are all names of this sort. Who but a Spaniard, then, was likely to invent them? Were there no other argument, the case for Spain might almost safely be rested on this issue. But this is not all, since the mistakes, orthographical and geographical, which abound in the French edition of Gil Blas, carry the argument still further, and place it beyond the reach of reasonable contradiction. The reader will observe, that much of the question depends upon the fact, admitted on all sides, that Le Sage did not transcribe his version from any printed work, but from a manuscript. Had Le Sage merely inserted stories here and there taken from Spanish romances, his claims as an original writer would hardly be much shaken by their discovery, supposing the plot, with which they were skilfully interwoven, and the main bulk and stamina of the story, to be his own. But where the errors are such as can only be accounted for by mistakes, not of the press, but of the copies of a manuscript, and are fully accounted for in that manner—where they are so thickly sown, as to show that they were not errors made by a person with a printed volume before his eyes, but by a person deciphering a manuscript written in a language of which he had only a superficial acquaintance, no candid enquirer will hesitate as to the inference to which such facts lead, and by which alone they can be reconciled with the profound and intimate   knowledge of Spanish literature, habits, and manners, to which we have before adverted. The innkeeper of Peñaflor is named Corcuelo in the French version, an appellation utterly without meaning. The real word was Corzuelo, a diminutive from corzo, which carries a very pointed allusion to the character of the person. It was usual to write instead of the zc with a cedilla, and this was probably the origin of the mistake. The innkeeper of Burgos is called in the French text Manjuelo, which is not Spanish, and is equally unmeaning. The original undoubtedly was Majuelo, the diminutive of Majo, which is very significant of the class to which the person bearing the name belonged. The person to whom Gil Blas applies for a situation at Valladolid, is called in the French text Londona. The real word is Londoño, the name of a village near Orduña, in Biscay. Inesile is the name given to the niece of Jacinta. This is instead of Inesilla, and corresponds with the French Agnés. Castel Blargo is used for Castel Blanco. Rodriguez says to his master, “Je ne touche pas un maravédis de vos finances.” The word in the manuscript was marivedi. Le Sage has used the plural for the singular. “Seguier,” a proper name, is used for “Seguiar.” “De la Ventileria” is the unmeaning name given to a frivolous coxcomb, instead of “De la Ventilera.” Le Sage, speaking of the same person, sometimes calls her “Doña Kimena de Guzman,” and sometimes “Doña Chimena,” a manifest proof that “Doña Ximena” was written in the work from which he transcribed; as the French substitute sometimes k and sometimes ch, for the Spanish x.
Pedros is used for Pedroga, (the name of a noble family.)
Moyades for Miagades, (a village.)
Zendero for Zenzano, (do.)
Salceda for Salcedo, (do.)
Calderone for Calderon.
Oliguera for Lahiguera.
Niebles for Niebla.
Jutella for Antella.
Leiva for Chiva.

After Gil Blas’s promotion, he says that his haughty colleague treated him with more respect; and this is expressed in such a way as to show that Le Sage was ignorant of Spanish etiquette, and did not understand thoroughly the meaning of what he transcribed. “Il Don Rodrigo de Calderone ne m’appela plus que Seigneur de Santillane, lui qui jusqu’alors ne m’avoit traité que de vous, sans jamais se servir du terme de seigneurie,” supposing the meaning equivalent—whereas, in fact, though Gil Blas might complain of not being addressed in the third person, which would draw with it the use of señor, and was a common form of civility—it would have been ridiculous to represent him as addressed by a name, señoria, to which none but people of high station and illustrious rank were entitled. But Le Sage supposed that every one addressed as señor, might also be spoken of by the term señoria; a mistake against which a very moderate knowledge of Spanish usages would have guarded him. We may illustrate this by a quotation from Navarete:—

“En este estado enviaron a decir a Magallanes.... Que si se queria avenir a lo que cumpliese, al servicio de S. M. estarian a lo que les mandase, y que si hasta entonces le dieron tratamiento de merced, en adelante se lo darian de senoria, y le besarian pies y manos.”

This was intended as a proof of the greatest reverence by the mutineers, whom, notwithstanding this submission, Magallanes took an early opportunity to destroy.

Gil Blas relates the absurd resolution of the Conde Duque D’Olivarez, to adopt the son of a person with whom he, among others, had intrigued as his own. This anecdote was well known in Spain. The supposed father of this youth was an alcalde de corte, called Valcancel; and he had been rivaled by an alguazil. The son was called in the early part of his life Julian Valcancel. When adopted by Olivarez, he took the name of Eurique Felipe de Guzman, which the people said ought to be exchanged for that of Del Alguazil del Alcalde de Corte. Olivarez divorced him from the woman to whom he was certainly married, and obliged him to marry the daughter of the Duca de Frias. He was called by the people of Madrid a man with two names, the son of three   fathers, and the husband of two wives. Le Sage, by substituting the name of Valdeasar for that of Valcancel, proves that he was ignorant of the whole transaction. In the auto da fé which Gil Blas sees at Toledo, and in which his old friends terminate their adventures in so tragical a manner—some of the guilty are represented as wearing carochas on their heads. This is a word altogether without meaning; the real word was corozas, a cap worn by criminals as a badge of degradation.

Another mistake deserves attention, as supplying the strongest proof of an inaccurate transcriber. “J’espère,” says Maître Joachim to his master, “que je vous servirai tantôt un ragout digne d’un cantador mayor.” The word was not “cantador,” but “contador mayor,” the “ministro de hacienda,” or chancellor of the exchequer; a situation under a despotic government of the highest dignity and opulence. So Don Annibal de Chinchilla exclaims—“Me croit-elle un contador mayor,” when repelling a demand of a rapacious prostitute. But Le Sage mistook the o of his manuscript for an a, and turned a phrase very intelligible into nonsense. We now come to the passage which M. Neufchateau quotes as decisive in favour of Le Sage’s claims. It certainly was to be found in no Spanish manuscript.

“Don Louis nous mena chez un jeune gentilhomme de ses amis, qu’on appeloit don Gabriel de Pedros. Nous y passâmes le reste de la journée; nous y soupâmes même, et nous n’en sortîmes que sur les deux heures après minuit pour nous en retourner au logis. Nous avions peut-être fait la moitié du chemin, lorsque nous rencontrâmes sous nos pieds dans la rue deux hommes étendus par terre. Nous jugeâmes que c’étoient des malheureux qu’on venoit d’assassiner, et nous nous arretâmes pour les secourir, s’il en étoit encore temps. Comme nous cherchions à nous instruire, autant que l’obscurité de la nuit nous le pouvoit permettre, de l’état où ils se trouvoient, la patrouille arriva. Le commandant nous prit d’abord pour des assassins, et nous fit environner par ses gens; mais il eut meilleure opinion de nous lorsqu’il nous eut entendus parler, et qu’à la faveur d’une lanterne sourde, il vit les traits de Mendoce et de Pacheco. Ses archers, par son ordre, examinèrent les deux hommes que nous nous imaginions avoir été tués; et il se trouva que c’étoit un gros licencie avec son valet, tous deux pris de vin, ou plutôt ivres-morts. ‘Messieurs,’ s’écria un des archers, ‘je reconnois ce gros vivant. Eh! c’est le seigneur licencie Guyomar, recteur de notre université. Tel que vous le voyez, c’est un grand personnage, un génie superieur. Il n’y a point de philosophe qu’il ne terrasse dans une dispute; il a un flux de bouche sans pareil. C’est dommage qu’il aime un peu trop de vin, le procès, et la grisette. Il revient de souper de chez son Isabella, où, par malheur, son guide s’est enivre comme lui. Ils sont tombes l’un et l’autre dans le ruisseau. Avant que le bon licencie fut recteur, cela lui arrivoit assez souvent. Les honneurs, comme vous voyez, ne changent pas toujours les mœurs.’ Nous laissâmes ces ivrognes entre les mains de la patrouille, qui eut soin de les porter chez eux. Nous regagnâmes notre hôtel, et chacun ne songea qu’à se reposer.”

Now this story pierces to the heart the theory which M. Neufchateau cites it in order to establish. It is an anecdote incorporated by Le Sage with the rest of the work; and how well it tallies with a Spanish story, and the delineation of Spanish manners, let the reader judge. The rector of the university of Salamanca was required to unite a great variety of qualifications. In the first place, his birth must have been noble for several generations; not perhaps as many as a canon of Strasburg was required to trace, but more than it was possible for the great majority even of well born gentlemen to produce. The situation, indeed, was generally conferred upon the members of the second class of nobility, and very often upon those of the first. He was a judge, with royal and pontifical privileges, exempt from the authority of the bishop in ecclesiastical, and from the royal tribunals in secular, matters. His morals were sifted with the strictest scrutiny; and yet this dignified ecclesiastic is the person whom Le Sage represents as lying in the streets stupefied with intoxication, and this not from accident, but from habitual indulgence in a vice which, throughout Spain, is considered infamous, and   which none but those who are below the influence of public opinion, and even those but in rare instances, are ever known to practise. To call a man a drunkard in Spain, is considered a worse insult than to call him a thief; and the effect of the story is the same as if a person, pretending to describe English manners, were to represent the Lord Chancellor as often in custody on a charge of shoplifting, and permitted, in consideration of his abilities, still to remain in office and exercise the duties of his station.

The principal topographical errors are the following:—Doña Mencia names to Gil Blas two places on the road near Burgos—these she calls Gofal and Rodillas; the real names are Tardagal and Revilla, (1, 11;) Ponte de Mula is put for Puenta Duro, (1, 13;) Luceno for Luyego; Villardera for Villar del Sa, (5, 1;) Almerim for Almoharia, (5, 1;) Sliva for Chiva, (7, 1;) Obisa for Cobisa, (10, 10;) Sinas for Linas; Mililla for Melilla; Arragon for Aragon. Describing his journey from Madrid to Oviedo, Gil Blas says they slept the first night at Alcala of Henares, and the second at Segovia. Now Alcala is not on the road from Madrid to Segovia, nor is it possible to travel in one day from one of these cities to the other—probably Galapagar was the word mistaken. Penafiel is mentioned as lying on the road from Segovia to Valladolid, (10, 1;) this is for Portillo. Now, if Le Sage had invented the story, and clothed it with names of Spanish cities and villages, taken from printed books, can any one suppose that he could have fallen into all these errors?

A thread of Spanish history winds through the whole story of Gil Blas, and keeps every circumstance in its place; therefore the date of the hero’s birth may be fixed with the greatest precision. He tells us he was fifty-eight at the death of the Count Duke of Olivarez, that is, 1646; Gil Blas was therefore born 1588, and this corresponds altogether with different allusions, which show that when the romance was written the war between Spain and Portugal was present to the author’s mind, and the subject of his constant animadversion. Portugal, as our readers may recollect, became subject to the Spanish yoke in 1580, the Duke of Braganza was raised to the throne of that kingdom in 1640; and the war to which that event gave rise was not terminated till 1668; when Charles II. acknowledged Alphonso VI. as the legitimate ruler of Portugal. That when the work was written the war between Spain and Portugal continued, may be inferred from the fact, that the mention of Portugal is perpetually accompanied with some allusion to hostilities which were then carried on between the two countries. The romance must therefore have been written between the disgrace of the Count Duke, 1646, and the recognition of Portuguese independence, 1668. But we may contract the date of the work within still narrower limits. It could not have been written before 1654, as the works of Don Augustini Moreto, none of which were published before 1654, are cited in it—it is not of later date, because there is no allusion in any part of the work to the death of Philip IV., to the peace of the Pyrenees, or to any other ministers but Lerma, Uzeda, and Olivarez. Don Louis de Haro, Marquis of Carpio, and Duke of Montora, is not mentioned moreover. Gil Blas, describing himself to Laura, says that he is the only son of Fernando de Ribera, who fell in a battle on the frontiers of Portugal fifteen years before. This is a prolepsis; for the battle was fought in 1640. But this manifest anachronism, which entirely escaped Le Sage, was intended by the author as an autograph, a sort of “chien de Bassano,” to point out the real date of the work. Bearing in mind, then, that Gil Blas was born in 1588; that Portugal was annexed to Spain in 1580 without a struggle; and remained subject to its dominion till 1640; let us consider the anachronisms in which Le Sage has plunged himself, partly through his ignorance of Spanish history, partly from the attempt to interpolate other Spanish novels with the main body of the work he has translated. One of these is confessed by Le Sage himself, and occurs in the story of Don Pompeio de Castro, inserted in the first volume. Don Pompeio is supposed to relate this story at Madrid   in 1607; in it a king of Portugal is spoken of at that time as being an independent sovereign. Now in the third volume of the seventh book, in the year 1608, Pedro Zamora tells Laura, with whom he has eloped, that they were in security in Portugal, a foreign kingdom, though actually subject to the crown of Spain. Now this is quite correct, and here Le Sage’s attention was called to the anachronism above cited in his preceding volume, which he undertakes to correct in another edition—a promise which he fulfilled by the clumsy expedient of transferring the scene from Portugal to Poland. But how comes it to pass that Le Sage, who singles out with such painful anxiety the error to which we have adverted, suffers others of equal importance to pass altogether unnoticed? For instance, in the twelfth book, eighth chapter, Olivarez speaks of a journey of Philip IV. to Zaragoza; which took place indeed, but not until two years after the disgrace of Olivarez. Cogollos, speaking in 1616, alludes to a circumstance connected with the revolt of Portugal in 1640; Olivarez, sixteen months afterwards, mentions the same circumstance, saying to Cogollos—“Your patron, though related to the Duke of Braganza, had, I am well assured, no share in his revolt.” In 1607, Gil Blas, being the servant of Don Bernardo de Castel Blanco, says, that some suppose his master to be a spy of the king of Portugal, a personage who at that time did not exist. Now, if Le Sage intended to leave to posterity a lasting and unequivocal proof of his plagiarism, how could he do so more effectually than by dwelling on one anachronism as an error which he intended to correct, in a work swarming in every part with others equally flagrant, of which he takes no notice? We have mentioned these mistakes, particularly as being mistakes into which the original author had fallen, and which, as his object was not to give an exact relation of facts, he probably disregarded altogether. And here again we must repeat our remark, that these perpetual allusions indicate a writer not afraid of exposing himself by irretrievable blunders, and certain of being understood by those whom he addressed. A Spaniard writing for Spaniards, would of course take it for granted that his countrymen were acquainted with those very facts and allusions which Le Sage sometimes formally endeavours to explain, and sometimes is unable to detect; while a writer conscious, as the French author was, of a very imperfect acquaintance with the language and usages of Spain, would never indulge in those little circumstantial touches which a Spaniard could not help inserting.

We now come to errors of Le Sage himself. Doña Mencia speaks of her first husband dying in the service of the king of Portugal, five or six years after the beginning of the seventeenth century. Events are described as taking place in the time of Philip II., under the title of Le Mariage de Vengeance, which happened three hundred years before, at the time of the Sicilian Vespers, 1283. Gil Blas, after his release from the tower of Segovia, tells his patron, Alonzo de Leyva, that four months before he held an important office under the Spanish crown; while he tells Philip IV. that he was six months in prison at Segovia. But the following very remarkable error almost determines the question, as it discovers demonstrably the mistake of a transcriber. Scipio, returning to his master in April 1621, informs Gil Blas that Philip III. is dead; and proceeds to say that it is rumoured that the Cardinal Duke of Lerma has lost his office, is forbidden to appear at court, and that Gaspar de Guzman, Count of Olivarez, is prime minister. Now, the Cardinal Duke of Lerma had lost his office since the 4th October 1618, three years before the death of Philip III. How is this mistake explained? By the transcriber’s omission of the words “Duke of Uzeda, son of,” which should precede the cardinal duke, &c., and which makes the sentence historically correct; for the Duke of Uzeda was the son of the Cardinal Duke of Lerma, did succeed his father, and was turned out of office at the death of Philip III., when he was succeeded by Olivarez. If there was no other argument but this, it would serve materially to invalidate Le Sage   ’s claims to originality; as the omission of these words makes nonsense of a sentence perfectly intelligible when corrected, and causes the writer, in the very act of alluding to a most notorious fact in Spanish history, with which, even in its least details, he appears in other places familiar, to display the most unaccountable ignorance of the very fact he makes the basis of his narrative. Surely if plagiarism can ever be said “digito monstrari et dicier hic est,” it is here.

If we consider the effect of all these accumulated circumstances—the travelling on mules, the mode of extorting money, the plunder of the prisoners by the jailer, the rosary with its large beads carried by the Spanish Tartuffe, instead of the “haire and the discipline” mentioned by Molière, the description of the hotels of Madrid, the inferior condition of surgeons, the graceful bearing of the cloak, the notary’s inkstand, the posada in which the actors slept as well as acted, the convent in which Philip’s mistress is placed with such minute propriety, the Gallina Ciega, the lane in Madrid, the dinner hour of the clerks in the minister’s office, the knowledge of the ecclesiastical rights of the crown over Granada, and of the Aragonese resistance to a foreign viceroy, the number of words left in the original Spanish, and of others which betray a Spanish origin, the names of cities, villages, and families, that rise spontaneously to the hand of the writer, and the perpetual mistakes which their enumeration occasions, among which we will only here specify that of Cantador for Contador, and the omission of the words “Duc d’Uzeda,” which can alone set right a flagrant anachronism—if we consider the effect of all these circumstances, we shall look in vain for any reason to doubt the result which such a complication of probabilities conspires to fortify.

The objections stated by M. Neufchateau to this overwhelming mass of evidence, utterly destructive as it is to the hypothesis of which he was the advocate, are so feeble and captious, that they hardly deserve the examination which Llorente, in the anxiety of his patriotism, has condescended to bestow on then. M. Neufchateau objects to the minute references on which many of Llorente’s arguments are built; but he should remember that, in an examination of this sort, it is “one thing to be minute, and another to be precarious;” one thing to be oblique, and another to be fantastical. On such occasions the more powerful the microscope is that the critic can employ, the better; not only because all suspicion of contrivance or design is thereby further removed, but because proofs, separately trifling, are, when united, irresistible; and the circumstantial evidence to which courts of justice are compelled, by the necessity of human affairs, to recur, in matters where the lives and fortunes of individuals are at stake, is not only legitimate, but indispensable, before tribunals which have not the same means of investigation at their command. In this, however, the evidence is as full, positive, and satisfactory as any evidence not appealing to the senses or mathematical demonstration for its truth, can possibly be; and any one in active life who was to forbear from acting upon it, would deserve to be treated as a lunatic. Let us, however, consider the admissions of M. Neufchateau. He admits, 1st, That Le Sage was never in Spain. 2dly, Le Sage, in 1735, acknowledged the chronological error into which he had fallen, from inserting the story of Don Pompeyo de Castro, and announced his intention to correct it. 3dly, He allows, in 1724, when the third volume of Gil Blas was published, Le Sage annexed to it the Latin distich, implying that the work was at an end—

“Inveni portum, spes et fortuna, valete;
Sat me lusistis, ludite nunc alios.”

He allows, therefore, that the publication of the fourth volume, eleven years after the third volume of Gil Blas was published, was as far from the original intention of the author as it was on the expectation of the public. 4thly, That, from the introduction of the Duke of Lerma on the stage at the close of the work, the history of Spain is adhered to with exact fidelity. 5thly, He allows that the description of Spanish inns, (10, 12,) is taken from the “Vida del Escudero Marcos de Obregon.” 6thly, He allows that the novel of “Le Mariage de   Vengeance,” related by Doña Elvira, is inconsistent with all the rest of the story of Gil Blas. The anachronisms in which Le Sage is entangled, by applying a story to the seventeenth century that relates to the thirteenth, prove his ignorance of Spanish history. On this M. Neufchateau remarks as usual, that no Spaniard would have fallen into such an error. True; but how does it happen that the person making it is so intimately acquainted with the topography and habits of Spain? and how can this contradiction be solved, but by supposing that Le Sage incorporated a Spanish story which caught his fancy with the manuscript before him? 7thly, He allows that the story of Doña Laura de Guzman is taken from a Spanish comedy entitled, “Todo es enredos amor y el diablo son las mugeres.” 8thly, He allows that the expression, “et je promets de vous faire tirer pied ou aile du premier ministre,”B is not French; it is in fact the translation of a Spanish proverb, “Agarrar pata o alon.” 9thly, He admits that the intimate acquaintance with the personal history of the Count Duke, displayed by Le Sage, is astonishing. 10thly, He admits that the stories of—

Doña Mencia de Mosquera, contained in 1st book, 11th, 12th, 13th, and 14th chapters,

Of the story of Diego de la Fuente, contained in the 2d book, 7th chapter,

Don Bernardo de Castelblanco, contained in the 2d book, 1st chapter,

Don Pompeyo de Castro, contained in the 2d book, 7th chapter,

Doña Aurora de Guzman, contained in the 4th book, 2d, 3d, 5th, and 6th chapters,

Matrimonio por Venganza, contained in the 4th book, 4th chapter,

Doña Serafina de Polan and Don Alfonso de Leiva, contained in 10th book,

Rafael and Lucinda, contained in 5th book, 1st chapter,

Samuel Simon en Chelva, contained in 6th book, 1st chapter,

Laura, contained in 7th book, 7th chapter,

Don Añibal de Chinchilla, contained in 7th book, 12th chapter,

Valerio de Luna and Inesilla Cantarilla, contained in 8th book, 1st chapter,

Andres de Tordesillas, Gaston de Cogollos, and Elena de Galisteo, contained in 9th book, 4th, 11th, and 13th chapters,

Scipio, contained in 10th book, 10th, 11th, and 12th chapters,

Laura and Lucrecia, contained in 12th book, 1st chapter,

And the Histories of Lerma and Olivarez, contained in 11th book, 5th, 6th, 8th, 9th, 11th, 12th, 13th; and 2d book, 3d, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, and 13th chapters.

Composing more than two-thirds of Gil Blas—are taken from the Spanish. Such are the admissions of Le Sage’s advocates.

Even after these important deductions, there remains enough to found a brilliant reputation. To this remainder, however, Le Sage is not entitled. It is, we trust, proved to every candid reader, that, with the exception of one anecdote, entertaining in itself, but betraying the greatest   ignorance of Spanish manners, two or three allusions to the current scandal and topics of the day, and the insertion of several novels avowedly translated from other Spanish writers; all the merit of Le Sage consists in dividing a manuscript placed by his friend, the Abbé de Lyonne, in his possession, into two stories—one of which was Gil Blas, and the other, confessed by himself to be a translation and published long after the former, was the Bachelier de Salamanque. To the argument of chronological error, the sole answer which M. Neufchateau condescends to give is, that they are incomprehensible; and on his hypothesis he is right. As to the Spanish words and phrases employed in Gil Blas, the names of villages, towns, and families which occur in it, he observes that these are petty circumstances—so they are, and for that very reason the argument they imply is irresistible. The story of the examination of Gaspar, the servant of Simon, in the Inquisition scene, is gravely urged by M. Neufchateau as a proof that the writer was a Frenchman, as no Spaniard would dare to attack the Inquisition. This is strange confusion. Not a word is uttered against the Inquisition in the scene. Some impostors disguise themselves in the dress of inquisitors to perpetrate a fraud. If a French novel describe two or three swindlers, assuming the garb of members of the old Parliament of Paris in execution of their design, is this an attack on the Parliament of Paris? Is the “Beaux’ Stratagem” an attack on our army and peerage? The argument, however, may be retorted; for had a Frenchman been the author of the story, it is more than probable that he would have introduced some attack upon the Inquisition, and quite certain that the characters brought forward would have deviated from the strict propriety they now preserve. Some confusion would have been made among them—an error which M. Neufchateau, in the few lines he has written upon the subject, has not been able to avoid. We may add that this whole scene was printed in Spanish, under the eye of the Inquisition, without any interference on the part of that venerable body, who, though tolerably quick-sighted in such matters, were not, it should seem, aware of the attack upon them which M. Neufchateau has been sagacious enough to discover. To the argument drawn from the geographical blunders, M. Neufchateau mutters that they are excusable in a writer who had never been in Spain. The question, how such a writer came wantonly to incur them, he leaves unanswered. M. Neufchateau asserts, that there is in Spanish no proverb that corresponds to the French saying, “A quelque chose le malheur est bon.” But a comedy was written in the time of Philip IV., entitled, “No hay man que por bien no venga.” He argues that Gil Blas is not the work of a Spaniard, because it does not, like Don Quixote, abound with proverbs; by a parity of reasoning, he might infer The Silent Lady was not written by an Englishman; as there is no allusion to Falstaff in it.

But it may be said, if Le Sage was so unscrupulous as to appropriate to himself the works of another writer in Gil Blas, how came he to acknowledge the Bachelier de Salamanque as a translation?

This is a fair question, but the answer we can give is satisfactory. The originals of all his translations, except Gil Blas and the Bachelier de Salamanque, were printed; and therefore any attempt at wholesale plagiarism must have been immediately detected. The Bachelier de Salamanque, it is true, was in manuscript; but it had been long in the possession of the Marquis de Lerma and his son, before it became the property of Le Sage; and although tolerably certain that it had never been diligently perused, Le Sage could not be sure that it had not attracted superficial notice, and that the name was not known to many people. Now, by eviscerating the Bachelier de Salamanque of its most entertaining anecdotes, and giving them a different title, and then publishing the mutilated copy of a work, the name of which, with the outline of its story, was known to many people as an acknowledged translation, he took the most obvious means of disarming all suspicion of plagiarism, and setting, as it seems he did, on   a wrong track the curiosity of enquirers. How came the original manuscript not to be printed by its author? Because it could not be printed with impunity within the jurisdiction of the Spanish monarchy: the allusions to the abuses of the court and the favourites of the day are so obvious—the satire upon the imbecility of the Spanish government so keen and biting—the personal descriptions of Philip III. and Philip IV. so exact—the corruption of its ministers of justice, and the abuses practised in its prisons, branded in terms so lively and vehement—the attacks upon the influence of the clergy, their hypocrisy, their ambition, and their avarice, so frequent and severe—that while Philip IV. and Don John of Austria, the fruit of his intrigue with the actress Marie Calderon, so carefully pointed out, were still alive, and before the generation to which it alludes had passed away, its publication, in Spain at least, was impossible. The Bachelier de Salamanque was not published for the same reason; and for the same reason, even in a country with perhaps more pretensions to freedom than Spain possessed, no one has yet acknowledged himself the writer of Junius. But why do you not produce the Spanish manuscript, and set the question at rest? exclaims with much naïveté M. Neufchateau. Does such an argument deserve serious refutation? That is, why do not you Spaniards produce a manuscript given to one Frenchman by another at Paris, in the 18th century, which of course, if our theory be true, he had the strongest temptation to destroy? Rather may the Spaniards ask, why do not you produce the original manuscript of the Bachelier de Salamanque, which would overthrow at least one portion of our hypothesis?

The object of Gil Blas is to exhibit a vivid representation of the follies and vices of the successive administrations of Lerma, Uzeda, and Olivarez; to point out the actual state of the drama in Spain under the reign of Philip IV., who, indolent as he was, possessed the taste of a true Spaniard for dramatic representation; to criticise the absurd system pursued by the physicians, abuses of subordinate officers of justice, the follies of false pretenders to philosophy, the disorders and corruptions which swarm in every department of a despotic and inefficient government, the multitude of sharpers and robbers in the towns and highways, the subterranean habitations in which they found shelter and security, the ingenuity of their frauds, and daring outrages of their violence—in short, to hold up every species of national error, and every weakness of national folly, to public obloquy and derision. In dwelling upon such topics the writer will, of course, describe scenes and characters common to every state of civilized society. The broad and general features of the time-serving courtier, of the servile coxcomb, of the rapacious mistress, of the expecting legatee, the frivolous man of fashion, and the still more frivolous pedant, will be the same, whatever be the country in which the scene is laid, and by whatever names they happen to be distinguished. France had, no doubt, her Sangrados and Ochetos, her Matthias de Silva and Rodrigo, her Lauras and her Archbishops of Granada.

“Pictures like these, dear madam, to design,
Asks no firm hand, and no unerring line;
Some wandering touches, some reflected light,
Some flying stroke, alone can hit ’em right.”

Where the touches are more exact and delicate, where the strokes are laid on with the painful labour of a Flemish pencil, where the business and the bosoms of men are addressed more directly, there it is we shall find proofs of the view and purpose of the author; such traits are the key with the leather strap that verified the judgment of Sancho’s kinsmen. To what purpose should a Frenchman, writing in the time of Louis XIV., censure the rapacity of innkeepers, and the wretchedness of their extorted accommodation, when France, from the time of Chaucer to the present hour, has been famous for the civility of the one and the convenience of the other? To what purpose, if the French government were to be criticised, enumerate the danger of high-roads, and the caverns unexplored by a negligent administration,   in which bandits found a refuge? If France was aimed at, how does it happen that the literature of its golden age is the subject of attack, and a perverted and fantastic style of writing assigned to an epoch remarkable for the severity and precision of its taste? If Spain is meant, the attack is perfectly intelligible, as the epoch is exactly that when Spanish taste began to degenerate, and the style of Spanish writers to become vicious, inflated, and fantastic, in imitation of Gongora, who did so much to ruin the literature of his country; as other writers of much less ability, but who addressed themselves to a public far inferior in point of taste to that of Gongora, have recently done in England. Nothing could be worse chosen than such a topic. As well might England be attacked now for its disregard of commerce and its enthusiastic love of genius, or France for its contempt of military glory. When Gil Blas was published, France was undoubtedly the model of civilized Europe, the fountain from whence other stars drew light. To ridicule the bad taste of the age of Malebranche, the master of Addison, and of Boileau, the master of Pope, will appear ridiculous to an Englishman. To accuse the vicious style which prevailed in the age of Bossuet, Fénélon, and Pascal, will appear monstrous to every one with the least tincture of European literature.

Let us apply this mode of reasoning to some instance in which national prejudice and interest cannot be concerned. Let us suppose that some one were to affirm that the Adelphi of Terence was not a translation from Menander; among the incorrigible pedants who think Niebuhr a greater authority on Roman history than Cicero, he would not want for proselytes. Let us see what he might allege—he might urge that Terence had acknowledged obligations to Menander on other occasions, and that on this he seemed rather studiously to disclaim it, pointing out Diphilus as his original—he might insist that Syrus could only have been the slave of a Roman master, that Sannio corresponded exactly with our notions of a Roman pander, that Æschinus was the picture of a dissolute young patrician—in short, that through the transparent veil of Grecian drapery it was easy to detect the sterner features of Roman manners and society; nay more, he might insist on the marriage of Micio at the close of the drama, as Neufchateau does upon the drunkenness of Guyomar, as alluding to some anecdote of the day, and at any rate as the admitted invention of Terence himself. He might challenge the advocates of Menander to produce the Greek original from which the play was borrowed; he might reject the Greek idioms which abound in that masterpiece of the Roman stage with contempt, as beneath his notice; and disregard the names which betray a Grecian origin, the allusions to the habits of Grecian women, to the state of popular feeling at Athens, and the administration of Athenian law, with supercilious indifference. All this such a reasoner might do, and all this M. Neufchateau has done. But would such a tissue of cobweb fallacies disguise the truth from any man of ordinary taste and understanding? Such a man would appeal to the whole history of Terence; he would show that he was a diligent translator of the Greek writers of the middle comedy, that his language in every other line betrayed a Grecian origin, that the plot was not Roman, that the scene was not Roman, that the customs were not Roman; he would say, if he had patience to reason with his antagonist, that a fashionable rake, a grasping father, an indulgent uncle, a knavish servant, an impudent ruffian, and a timid clown, were the same at Rome, at Thebes, and at Athens, in London, Paris, or Madrid. He would ask, of what value were such broad and general features common to a species, when the fidelity of an individual likeness was in question? He would say, that the incident quoted as a proof of originality, served only, by its repugnance to Grecian manners, and its inferiority to the work in which it was inserted, to prove that the rest was the production of another writer. He would quote the translations from fragments still extant, which the work, exquisite as it is, contains, as proofs of a still more beautiful original. Lastly, he would cite the “Dimidiate Menander” of Cæsar, as a proof of the opinion   entertained of his genius by the great writers of his own country; and when he had done this, he might enquire with confidence whether any one existed capable of forming a judgment upon style, or of distinguishing one author from another, who would dispute the position for which he contended.

The sum and substance of all M. Neufchateau’s argument is the slight assumption, that every allusion to a man eminent for wit and genius, must be intended for a Frenchman. Of this nature is the affirmation that Triaquero is meant for Voltaire; and the still more intrepid declaration, that Lope de Vega and Calderon de la Barca are cited, not as Spanish authors, but as types by which Corneille and Racine are shadowed out. It is true that the passage is exactly applicable to Calderon and Lope de Vega; and for that reason, as they are great comic writers, can hardly apply equally well to Corneille and Racine. But such trifling difficulties are as dust when placed in the balance with the inveterate opinion to which we have already alluded.

According to the principles adopted by M. Neufchateau, Gil Blas might be adapted to any court, or age, or country. For instance, if Triaquero, meaning a charlatan, (which, by the way, it does not,) refers of necessity to Voltaire, might not any Englishman, if the work had been published recently, insist that the work must have been written by an Englishman, as the allusion could apply to no one so well as him, who, having been a judge without law, and a translator of Demosthenes without Greek, had, to his other titles to public esteem, added that of being an historian without research?

The difference between Dr Sangrado and our hydropathists is merely that between hot and cold water, by no means excluding an allusion to the latter, under the veil, as M. Neufchateau has it, of Spanish manners. Would it be quite impossible to find in St James’s Street, or in certain buildings at no great distance from the Thames, the exact counterparts of Don Matthias de Silva and his companions? Gongora, indeed, in spite of his detestable taste, was a man of genius; and therefore to find his type among us would be difficult, if not impossible, unless an excess of the former quality, for which he was conspicuous, might counterbalance a deficiency in the latter. Are our employés less pompous and empty than Gil Blas and his companions? our squires less absurd and ignorant than the hidalgoes of Valencia? Let any one read some of the pamphlets on Archbishop Whately’s Logic, or attend an examination in the schools at Oxford, and then say if the race of those who plume themselves on the discovery, that Greek children cried when they were whipped is extinct? To be sure, as the purseproud insolence of a nouveau riche, and indeed of parvenus generally, is quite unknown among us, nobody could rely on those points of resemblance. But with regard to the other topics, would it not be fair to say, in answer to such an argument—All this is mere commonplace generality; such are the characters of every country where European institutions exist, or European habits are to be found? Something more tangible and specific is requisite to support your claim. You are to prove that the picture is a portrait of a particular person—and you say it has eyes and a nose; so have all portraits. But where are the strokes that constitute identity, and determine the original?—There is no mention of Crockford’s or of the Missionary Society, of the Old Bailey or the Foundling Hospital; and if Ordonez is named, who gets rich by managing the affairs of the poor, this can never be meant for a satire on the blundering pedantry of your Somerset-house commissioners.—Here is no hint that can be tortured into a glance at fox-hunters, or game-preservers, of the society for promoting rural deans, at your double system of contradictory law, at special pleading at quarter-sessions,C at the technical rigour   of your institutions, at the delay, chicanery, and expense of your judicial proceedings, at the refinement, ease, wit, gayety, and disinterested respect for merit, which, as every body knows, distinguish your social character; nothing is said of the annual meeting of chemists, geologists, and mathematicians, so beneficial to the real interests of science, by making a turn for tumid metaphor and the love of display necessary ingredients in the character of its votaries, extirpating from among them that simplicity which was so fatal an obstacle to the progress of Newton,—and turning the newly discovered joint of an antediluvian reptile into a theme of perennial and ambitious declamation; nothing is said about those discussions on baptismal fonts, those discoveries of trochees for iambics, or the invention of new potatoe boilers, which in the days of Hegel, Berryer, Schlosser, Savigny, and Cousin, are the glory and delight of England; in short, there is nothing to fix the allusions on which you rely on to distinguish them from those which might be applicable to Paris, Vienna, or Madrid.

There are no people less disposed than ourselves to detract from the merit of eminent French writers; they are always clear, elegant, and judicious; often acute, eloquent, and profound. There is no department of prose literature in which they do not equal us; there are many in which they are unquestionably our superiors. Unlike our authors, who, on those subjects which address the heart and reason jointly, adopt the style of a treatise on the differential calculus; and when pure science is their topic, lead us to suppose (if it were not for their disgusting pomposity) they had chosen for their model the florid confusion of a tenth-rate novel;—the French write on scientific subjects with simplicity and precision, and on moral, æsthetic, and theoretical questions with spirit, earnestness, and sensibility. Having said so much, we must however add, that a liberal and ingenious acknowledgment of error is not among the shining qualities of our neighbours. When a question is at issue in which they imagine the literary reputation of their country to be at stake, it is the dexterity of the advocate, rather than the candour of the judge, that we must look for in their dissertations. He who has argued on the guilt of Mary with a Scotchman, or the authenticity of the three witnesses with a newly made archdeacon, and with a squire smarting under an increasing poor-rate or the corn-laws, may form a just conception of the task he will undertake in endeavouring to persuade a French critic that his countrymen are in the wrong. The patient, if he does not, as it has sometimes happened in the cases to which we have referred, become “pugil et medicum urget,” is sure, as in those instances, to triumph over all the proofs which reason can suggest, or that the hellebore of nine Anticyras could furnish him with capacity to understand. Of this the work of M. Neufchateau is a striking proof. Truth is on one side, Le Sage’s claim to originality on the other; and he supports the latter: we do not say that he is willing, rather than abandon his client, to assert a falsehood; but we are sure that, in order to defend him, he is ready to believe absurdities.

The degree of moral guilt annexed to such conduct as that which we attribute to Le Sage, is an invidious topic, not necessarily connected with our subject, and upon which we enter with regret.

Lessing accused Wieland of having destroyed a palace, that he might build a cottage with its materials. However highly we may think of the original, we can hardly suppose such an expression applicable to Gil Blas. Of the name of the author whose toil Le Sage thus appropriated, charity   obliges us to suppose that he was ignorant; but we should not forget that the case of Le Sage is not precisely that of a person who publishes, as an original, a translation from a printed work, as Wieland did with his copy of Rowe’s Lady Jane Grey, and Lord Byron with his copy of the most musical lines in Goethe. The offence of Le Sage more resembles that imputed (we sincerely believe without foundation) to Raphael; namely, that after the diligent study of some ancient frescoes, he suffered them to perish, in order to conceal his imitation. But we hasten to close these reflections, which tenderness to the friend and companion of our boyhood, and gratitude to him who has enlivened many an hour, and added so much to our stock of intellectual happiness, forbid us to prolong. Let those who feel that they could spurn the temptation, in comparison with which every other that besets our miserable nature is as dross—the praise yielded by a polished and fastidious nation to rare and acknowledged genius—denounce as they will the infirmity of Le Sage. But let them be quite sure, that instead of being above a motive to which none but minds of some refinement are accessible, they are not below it. Let them be sure that they do not take dulness for integrity, and that the virtue, proof to intellectual triumphs, and disdaining “the last infirmity of noble minds,” would not sink if exposed to the ordeal of a service of plate, or admission in some frivolous coterie. For ourselves we will only say, “Amicus Plato sed magis amica veritas.”

For these reasons, then, which depend on the nature of the thing, and which no testimony can alter—reasons which we cannot reject without abandoning all those principles which carry with them the most certain instruction, and are the surest guides of human life—we think the main fact contended for by M. Llorente, that is, the Spanish origin of Gil Blas, undeniable; and the subordinate and collateral points of his system invested with a high degree of probability; the falsehood of a conclusion fairly drawn from such premises as we have pointed out would be nearer akin to a metaphysical impossibility; and so long as the light of every other gem that glitters in a nation’s diadem is faint and feeble when compared with the splendour of intellectual glory, Spain will owe a debt of gratitude to him among her sons who has placed upon her brow the jewel which France (as if aggression for more material objects could not fill up the measure of her injustice towards that unhappy land) has kept so long, and worn so ostentatiously.


A So in Don Quixote the friars are described “Estando en estas razones, aslomaron por el camino dos Frayles de la Orden de san Benito, Cavalleros sobre dos Dromedarios, que no eran mas pequneas dos mulas en que venian.”

B It occurs, however, in Madame de Sevigné’s letters. But that most charming of letter-writers understood Spanish, which Anne of Austria had probably made a fashionable accomplishment at the court of France. The intrigue for which Vardes was exiled, shows, that to write in Spanish was an attainment common among the courtiers of Louis XIV.

C We call ourselves a practical people! A man incurred, a few months ago, an expense of £70, for saying that he was “ready,” instead of saying that he was “ready and willing” to do a certain act. The man’s name was Granger. Another unfortunate creature incurred costs to the amount of £3000, by one of the most ordinary proceedings in our courts, called a motion, of course, and usually settled for a guinea. A clergyman libelled two of his parishioners in a Bishop’s Court. The matter never came to be heard, and the expense of the written proceedings was upwards of £800! Can any system be more abominable than one which leads to such results?


Few of the events of our life afford us greater pride than revisiting a well-known and celebrated city after many years’ absence. The pleasure derived from the hope of enjoyment, the self-satisfaction flowing from the presumption of our profound knowledge of the place, and the feeling of mental superiority attached to our discernment in returning to the spot, which, at the moment, appears to us the particular region of the earth peculiarly worthy of a second visit—or a third, as the case may be—all combine to stuff the lining of the diligence, the packsaddle of the Turkish post-horse, or the encumbrance on the back of the camel which may happen to convey us, with something softer than swandown. Time soon brings the demon of discontent to our society. The city and its inhabitants appear changed—rarely for the better, always less to our taste. Ameliorations and improvements seem to us positive evils; we sigh for the good old times, for the dirty streets of Paris, the villanous odours of Rome, the banditti of Naples, the obsequiousness of Greece, and the contempt, with the casual satisfaction of being spit upon, of Turkey. In short, we feel the want of our youth every where.

I enjoyed all the delights and regrets which mere local associations can call up, a few months ago, on revisiting Athens after many years’ absence. On the 6th of May 1827, I had witnessed the complete defeat of the Greek army. I had beheld the delhis of Kutayia sabring the flying troops of Lord Cochrane and General Church, and seen 1500 men slain by the sword in less than half an hour, amidst the roll of an ill-sustained and scattered fire of musketry. The sight was heartbreaking, but grand. The Turkish cavalry came sweeping down to the beach, until arrested by the fire of the ships. Lord Cochrane and his aide-de-camp, Dr Goss, themselves had been compelled to plunge more than knee-deep in the Ægean ere they could gain their boat. On the hill of the Phalerum I had heard General Gueheneuc criticise the manœuvres of the commander-in-chief, and General Heideck disparage the quality of his coffee. As the Austrian steamer which conveyed me entered the Piræus, my mind reverted to the innumerable events which had been crowded into my life in Greece. A new town rose out of the water before my eyes as if by enchantment; but I felt indignant that the lines of Colonel Gordon, and the tambouria of Karaiskaki, should be effaced by modern houses and a dusty road. As soon as I landed, I resolved to climb the Phalerum, and brood over visions of the past. But I had not proceeded many steps from the quay, lost in my sentimental reverie, ere I found that reflection ought not to begin too soon at the Piræus. I was suddenly surrounded by about a dozen individuals who seemed determined to prevent me from continuing my walk. On surveying them, they appeared dressed for a costume ball of ragamuffins. Europe, Asia, and Africa had furnished their wardrobe. The most prominent figure among them was a tall Arab, in the nizam of Mehemet Ali, terminated with a Maltese straw hat. His companions exhibited as singular a taste in dress as himself. Some wore sallow Albanian petticoats, carelessly tied over the wide and dusky nether garments of Hydriots, their upper man adorned by sailors’ jackets and glazed hats; others were tightly buttoned up in European garments, with their heads lost in the enormous fez of Constantinople. This antiquarian society of garments, fit representatives to a stranger of the Bavaro-Hellenic kingdom of Otho the gleaner, and the three donative powers, informed me that it consisted of charioteers. Each member of the society speaking on his own account, and all at the same time—a circumstance I afterwards found not uncommon in other antiquarian and literary societies at Athens—asked me if I was going to Athens: εἰς Ἀθήνας was the phrase. The Arab and a couple of Maltese alone said “Ees teen Atheena.” Entrapped into   a reply by the classic sound, I unwittingly exclaimed “Malista—Verily I am.”

The shouts my new friends uttered on hearing me speak Greek cannot be described. Their volubility was suddenly increased a hundredfold; and had all the various owners of the multitudinous garments before me arisen to reclaim their respective habiliments, it could hardly have been greater. I could not have believed it possible that nine Greeks, aided by two Maltese and a single Arab, could have created such a din. The speakers soon perceived that it was utterly impossible for me to hear their eloquent addresses, as they could no longer distinguish the sounds of their own voices; so with one accord they disappeared, and ere I had proceeded many steps again surrounded me, rushing forward with their respective vehicles, into which they eagerly invited me to mount. If their habiliments consisted of costumes run mad, their chariots were not less varied, and afforded an historical study in locomotion. Distant capitals and a portion of the last century must have contributed their representatives to the motley assemblage. The tall Arab drove a superb fiacre of the days of hoops, a vehicle for six insides; phaetons, chariots, droschkies, and britskas, Strong’s omnibus, and Rudhart’s stuhlwagen, gigs, cars, tilburies, cabriolets, and dogcarts, were all there, and each pushing to get exactly before me. Lord Palmerston’s kingdom is doubtless a Whig satire on monarchy; the scene before me appeared a Romaic satire on the Olympic games. I forgot my melancholy sentiment, and resolved to join the fun, by attempting to dodge my persecutors round the corners of the isolated houses and deep lime-pits which King Otho courteously terms streets. I forgot that barbarians were excluded from the Olympic games, not on account of the jealousy of the Greeks, but because no barbarian could display the requisite skill. The charioteers and their horses knew the ground so much better than I did, that they blockaded me at every turn; so, in order to gain the rocky ground, I started off towards the hill of the Phalerum pursued by the pancosmium of vehicles. On the first precipitous elevation I turned to laugh at my pursuers, when, to my horror, I saw Strong’s omnibus lumbering along in the distance, surrounded by a considerable crowd, and I distinguished the loud shouts of the mob:—Ποῦ εἶναι ὁ τρελός ὁ Ἄγγλος; “Where is the mad Englishman?” So my melancholy was conducting me to madness.

My alarm dispelled all my reminiscences of Lord Cochrane, and my visions of the Olympic games. I sprang into the droschky of a Greek sailor, who drove over the rocks as if he only expected his new profession to endure for a single day. We were soon on the Piræus road, which I well knew runs along the foundations of one of the long walls; but I was too glad to escape, like Lord Palmerston and M. Thiers, unscathed from the imbroglio I had created, to honour even Themistocles with a single thought. My charioteer was a far better specimen of the present, than foundations of long walls, ruined temples, and statues without noses, can possibly be of the past. He informed me he was a sailor: by so doing, he did not prove to me that he estimated my discernment very highly, for that fact required no announcement. He added, however, what was more instructive; to wit, that he had received the droschky with the horses, that morning, from a Russian captain, in payment of a bad debt. He had resolved to improviso the coachman, though he had never driven a horse before in his life—εὔκολον εἶναι—“it is an easy matter;” and he drove like Jehu, shouted like Stentor, and laughed like the Afrite of Caliph Vathek. He ran over nobody, in spite of his vehemence. Perhaps his horses were wiser than himself: indeed I have remarked, that the populace of Greece is universally more sagacious than its rulers. In taking leave of this worthy tar at the Hotel de Londres, I asked him gravely if he thought that, in case Russia, England, or France should one day take Greece in payment of a bad debt, they would act wisely to drive her as hard as he drove his horses? He opened his eyes at me as if he was about to unskin his head, and began to reflect in silence; so, perceiving that he entertained a very high opinion of my wisdom, I availed myself of the opportunity   to advise him to moderate his pace a little in future, if he wished his horses to survive the week.

During my stay at Athens, King Otho was absent from his capital; so that, though I lost the pleasure of beholding the beautiful and graceful queen, I escaped the misfortune of being dishonoured by receiving the cross of an officer of the order of the Redeemer. His Hellenic majesty takes a peculiar satisfaction in hanging this decoration at the buttonholes of those who served Greece during the revolutionary war; while he suspends the cross of Commander round the necks, or ornaments with the star of the order the breasts, of all the Bavarians who have assisted him in relieving Greece of the Palmerstonian plethora of cash gleaned from the three powers. For my own part, I am not sure but that I should have made up my mind to return the cross, with a letter full of polite expressions of contempt for the supposed honour, and a few hints of pity for the donor; as a very able and distinguished friend of Greece, whose services authorized him so to act, did a few days before my arrival.

On attempting to find my way through Bavarian Athens, I was as much at a loss as Lady Francis Egerton, and could not help exclaiming, “Voila des rues qui ont bien peu de logique!” After returning two or three times to the church Kamkarea, against whose walls half the leading streets of the new city appear to run bolt up, I was compelled to seek the assistance of a guide. At length I found out the dwelling once inhabited by my friend Michael Kalliphournas. A neat white villa, with green Venetian blinds, smiling in a court full of ruins and rubbish, had replaced the picturesque but rickety old Turkish kouak of my former recollections. I enquired for the owner in vain; the property, it was said, belonged to his sister; of the brother nobody had heard, and I was referred for information to the patriotic and enterprising Demarch, or mayor, who bears the same name.

In the end my enquiries were successful, and their result seemed miraculous. To my utter astonishment I learned that Michael had become a monk, and dwelt in the monastery of Pentelicus; but I could obtain no explanation of the mystery. His relations referred me to the monk himself—strangers had never heard of his existence. How often does a revolution like that of Greece, when the very organization of society is shaken, compress the progress of a century within a few years! There remained nothing for me but to visit the monastery, and seek a solution of the singular enigma from my friend’s own mouth; so, joining a party of travellers who were about to visit the marble quarries of Pentelicus, and continue their excursion to the plain of Marathon, I set out on such a morning as can only be witnessed under the pure sky of Attica.

The scenery of our ride is now familiar to tourists. Parnes or Parnethus with its double top,A Brilessus or Pentelicus with its numerous rills and fountains, and Hymettus with its balmy odours, have been “hymned by loftier harps than mine.” My companions proved gay and agreeable young men. They knew every body at Athens, and every thing, and willingly communicated their stores of knowledge. I cannot resist recounting some of the anecdotes I heard, as they do no discredit to the noble princes to whom they relate.

When an English prince visited Athens, King Otho, who it seems is his own minister, and conducts business quite in a royal way, learned that he was no Whig, and instantly conceived the sublime idea of making use of his royal highness’s services to obtain Lord Palmerston’s dismissal from office. The monarch himself arranged the plan of his campaign. The prince was invited to a fête champêtre at Phyle, and when the party was distributed in the various carriages, he found himself planted in a large barouche opposite the king and queen. King Otho then opened his   intrigue; he told the prince of the notes in favour of constitutional government and economical administration which Lord Palmerston had written, and Sir Edmund Lyons had presented; and he exclaimed, “I assure you, my dear prince, all this is done merely to vex me, because I would not keep that speculating charlatan Armansperg! Lord Palmerston cares no more about a constitution, nor about economy, than Queen Victoria, or you and I. When the Duc de Broglie, who has really more conscience than our friend the Viscount, proposed that Greece should be pestered with a constitution and such stuff, Palmerston answered very judiciously, ‘Greece—bah!—Greece is not fit for a constitution, nor indeed for any other government but that of my nabob!’ Now, my dear prince, Queen Victoria can never mean to offend me, the sovereign of Greece, when the Ottoman empire is so evidently on the eve of dismemberment; and,” quoth Otho the gleaner, “I am deeply offended, at which her British majesty must feel grievously distressed.” The prince doubtless thought her majesty’s distress was not inconsolable; but he only assured his Hellenic majesty that he could be of no possible use to him in his delicate intrigue at the court of St James’s. He tried to get a view of the scenery, and to turn the conversation on the state of the country; but Otho was not so easily repulsed. He insisted that the prince should communicate his sentiments to Queen Victoria; and, in spite of all the assurances he received of the impossibility of meddling with diplomatic business in such a way, his Hellenic majesty, to this very day, feels satisfied that Lord Palmerston was sent to the right-about for offending him; and he is firmly persuaded that, unless Lord Aberdeen furnish him with as many millions as he demands to secure his opposition to Russia, the noble earl will not have a long tenor of office.

A young Austrian of our party shouted, “Ah, it requires to be truly bon garçon, like the English prince, to submit to be so bored, even by a king! But,” added he, “our gallant Fritz managed matters much better. The Archduke Frederick, who behaved so bravely at Acre, and so amiably lately in London, heard, it seems, of the treatment the prince had met with, and resolved to cure his majesty of using his guests in such style. Being invited to a party at Pentelicus, he was aware that he would be placed alone on the seat, with his back to the horses, and deprived of every chance of seeing the country, if it were only that the diplomatic intrigue at the court of Queen Victoria might remain concealed from the lynx-eyed suspicion of the corps diplomatique of Athens; for King Otho fancies his intrigues always remain the profoundest secrets. When the archduke handed the lovely queen into the carriage, politeness compelled King Otho to make a cold offer to the young sailor to follow; the archduke bowed profoundly, sprang into the carriage, and seated himself beside her majesty. The successor of Agamemnon followed, looking more grim than Hercules Furens: he stood for a moment bolt upright in the carriage, hoping his guest would rise and vacate his seat; but the young man was already actively engaged in conversation. The Emperor of the East—in expectancy—was compelled to sit down with his back to the horses, and study the landscape in that engaging manner of viewing scenery. Never was a fête given by a sulkier host than King Otho that day proved to be. In returning, the archduke had a carriage to himself. When questioned on the subject of his ride, he only remarked that he always suffered dreadfully from sickness when he rode with his back to the horses. He was sure, therefore, that King Otho had placed him beside the queen to avoid that horrible inconvenience.”

Other anecdotes were recounted during our ride, and our opinion of his Hellenic majesty’s tact and taste did not become more favourable, when it was discovered that his proceedings had utterly ruined the immense quarries of Pentelicus—

“Still in its beam Pentele’s marbles glow,”

can now only be said of the ruins, not of the quarries. In order to obtain the few thousand blocks required for the royal palace at Athens, millions of square feet of the purest statuary marble have been shivered to atoms   by the random process of springing mines with gunpowder. If King Otho had done nothing worse in Greece than converting the marble quarries of Pentelicus into a chaos of rubbish, when he found them capable of supplying all Europe for ages with the most beautiful material for the sculptor, he would have merited the reputation he so justly bears, of caring as little about the real welfare of Greece as Lord Palmerston himself. My companions quitted me at the quarries, making pasquinades on the royal palace and its royal master; while I put up my horse and walked slowly on to the ancient monastery of Pentele, not Mendele, as Lord Byron has it.

I was soon sitting alone in the cell of Michael, and shall now recount his history as I had it from his own mouth. Michael Kalliphournas was left an orphan the year the Greek revolution broke out. He was hardly fourteen years old, and yet he had to act as the guardian and protector of a sister four years younger than himself. The storm of war soon compelled him to fly to Ægina with the little Euphrosyne. The trinkets and gold which his relations had taught him to conceal, enabled him to place his sister in a Catholic monastery at Naxos, where she received the education of a European lady. Michael himself served under Colonel Gordon and General Fabvier with great distinction. In 1831, when the Turks were about to cede Attica to Greece, Michael and Euphrosyne returned to Athens, to take possession of their family property, which promised to become of very great value. At that time I had very often seen Phróssa, as she was generally called; indeed, from my intimacy with her brother, I was a constant visitor in the house. Her appearance is deeply impressed on my memory. I have rarely beheld greater beauty, never a more elegant figure, nor a more graceful and dignified manner. She was regarded as a fortune, and began to be sought in marriage by all the young aristocracy of Greece. It was at last conjectured that a young Athenian, named Nerio, the last descendant of the Frank dukes of Athens, had made some impression on her heart. He was a gay and spirited young man, who had behaved very bravely when shut up with the troops in the Acropolis during the last siege of Athens, and he was an intimate friend of her brother. I had left Athens about this time, and my travels in the East had prevented my hearing any thing of my friends in Greece for years.

There is a good deal of society among the Greek families at Athens for a few weeks before the Carnival. They meet together in the evenings, and amuse themselves in a very agreeable way. At one of these parties the discourse fell on the existence of ghosts and spirits; Michael, who was present, declared that he had no faith in their existence. With what groans did he assure me his opinion was changed, and conjured me never to express a doubt on the subject. All the party present exclaimed against what they called his free-masonry; and even his sister, who was not given to superstition, begged him to be silent lest he should offend the neraiïdhes, who might punish him when he least expected it. He laughed and ridiculed Phróssa, offering to do any thing to dare those redoubted spirits which the company could suggest. Nerio, a far greater sceptic than Michael, suddenly affected great respect for the invisible world, and by exciting Michael, gradually engaged him, amidst the laughing of his companions, to undertake to fry a dozen of eggs on the tomb of a Turkish santon, a short distance beyond the Patissia gate—to leave a pot of charcoal, to be seen next morning, as a proof of his valour, and return to the party with the dish of eggs.

The expedition was arranged, in spite of the opposition of the ladies; four or five of the young men promised to follow at a little distance, unknown to Michael, to be ready lest any thing should happen. Michael himself, with a zembil containing a pot of charcoal, a few eggs and a flask of oil in one hand, and a frying-pan and small lantern in the other, closely enveloped in his dusky capote, proceeded smiling to his task. The tomb of the Turk consisted of a marble cover taken from some ancient sarcophagus, and sustained at the corners by four small pillars of masonry—the top was not higher than an ordinary table, and below the marble slab there was an empty space between the columns.   It has long since disappeared; but that is not wonderful, since King Otho and his subjects have contrived to destroy almost every picturesque monument of the past in the new kingdom. The thousands of Turkish tombs which not many years ago gave a historic character to the desert environs of Negrepont, and the splendid sérail of Zeitouni, with its magnificent marble fountains and baths, have almost disappeared—the storks have bid adieu to Greece—nightly bonfires, caused by absurd laws, destroy the few trees that remain; and in short, unless travellers make haste and visit Greece quickly, they will see nothing but the ruins which King Otho cannot destroy nor Pittaki deface, and the curiosities which Ross cannot give to Prince Pückler, added to the pleasure they will derive from beholding King Otho’s own face and the façade of his new palace.

The night was extremely dark and cold, so that the friends of Michael, familiar as they were with their native city, found some difficulty in following him without a lantern through the mass of ruins Athens then presented. As they approached the tomb, they perceived that he had already lighted his charcoal, and was engaged in blowing it vigorously, as much to warm his hands as to prepare for his cooking operations. Creeping as near to him as possible without risking a discovery, they heard, to their amazement, a deep voice apparently proceeding from the tomb, which exclaimed, “Bou gedje kek sohuk der adamlera.—It must be a cold night for mankind.” “To pisevo effendi,” said Michael in a careless tone, but nervously proceeded to pour a whole bottle of oil into the frying-pan. As soon as the oil was boiling and bubbling, the voice from the tomb again exclaimed, “Gaiour ne apayorsun, mangama pisheriorsun—yuckle buradam—aiyer yiklemassun ben seni kibab ederem, tahamun yerine seni yerim,” signifying pretty nearly, “Infidel, what are you doing here? You appear to be cooking; fly hence, or I will eat my supper of thy carrion.” And at the instant a head covered by an enormous white turban protruded itself from under the tombstone with open mouth. Michael, either alarmed at the words and the apparition, or angry at the suspicion of a premeditated trick on the part of his companions, seized the panful of boiling oil, and poured the whole contents into the gaping mouth of the spectre, exclaiming, “An echeis toson orexin, na to ladhi, Scheitan oglou!—If you are so hungry, take the oil, son of Satan!” A shriek which might have awakened the dead proceeded from the figure, followed by a succession of hideous groans. The friends of Michael rushed forward, but the lamp had fallen to the ground and was extinguished in the confusion. Some time elapsed ere it was found and lighted. The unfortunate figure was dragged from the tomb, suffocated by the oil, and evidently in a dying state, if indeed life was not already extinct. Slowly the horrible truth became apparent. Nerio had separated himself from the rest of the party unperceived, disguised himself, and gained the tomb before the arrival of Michael, who thus became the murderer of his sister’s lover. I shall not attempt to describe the feelings of Michael in recounting this dreadful scene.

The affair never made much noise. The Turks did not consider themselves authorized to meddle in the affairs of the Greeks. Indeed, the infamous murder of the Greek bakalbashi, a short time before by Jussuf-bey, with his own hand, had so compromised their authority, that they were in fear of a revolution. The truth was slowly communicated to Euphrosyne by Michael himself—she bore it better than he had anticipated. She consoled her brother and herself by devoting her life to religious and charitable exercises; but she never entered a monastery nor publicly took the veil. She still lives at Athens, where her charity is experienced by many, though few ever see her. When I left Greece on a visit to Mount Athos, my friend Michael insisted on accompanying me; and, after our arrival on the holy mountain, he exacted from me a promise that I would never discover to any one the monastery into which he had retired, nor even should we by chance meet again, address him as an acquaintance, unless he should speak to me. His sister alone is entrusted with his secret.


A The par, which indicates the double or equal summit, is only found in Latin, though unquestionably Æolic; the other two derivations are classic Greek. Parnes, Parnettus, Parnassus. The name of the two mountains is precisely the same.



The readers of this magazine will readily remember the part which it took, at an early period, in discussing and in delineating the geographical features of Africa. In the number for June 1826 there is an article, accompanied by a map, showing from undoubted authorities the course and termination of the great river Niger in the sea in the Bight of Benin, where, from similar authorities, it was placed by me in 1820 and 1821, and where actual observation by Englishmen has lately clearly established the fact that it does terminate. In the upper and middle parts of its course the longitudes were erroneous, having adopted Major Rennell’s delineation of Western Africa as a guide; but in 1839 the whole of that quarter of Africa was narrowly examined, and the courses of the western rivers reduced to their proper positions, as delineated in my large map of Africa constructed in that year, to which, with the “Geographical Survey of Africa,” for which it was made, the reader is referred for further and particular information on all these subjects.

With these observations, I proceed to bring before the reader geographical information concerning eastern and central Africa of the highest and most gratifying importance, and obtained by the researches of different voyagers and travellers within the last four years. Foremost amongst these ranks, the expedition sent by the present Viceroy of Egypt to explore the Bahr-el-Abiad, or White River, above its junction with the Blue River, from Khartoum upwards and southwards; after it, the interesting travels of Messrs Krapf and Isenberg, two missionaries from the Church Missionary Society, from Tajura to Ankobar, from Ankobar south-west to the neighbourhood of the sources of the Hawash; and after that, Mr Krapf’s journey from Ankobar north by Lake Haik, through Lasta to Antalow, and thence to Massouah on the Red Sea. Next, the interesting accounts collected by M. Lefebvre and M. D’Abbadie, concerning the countries in some parts of the more eastern horn of Africa; and last, and the most specific and important of the whole, the accounts received of the country of Adel, and the countries and rivers in and south of Shoa, and those from the Blue Nile in Gojam and Damot to the sea at the mouth of the Jub, under the equator, by Major Harris, late British ambassador to the King of Shoa.

As the present article is accompanied by a map, constructed after great labour, and engraved most carefully by Mr Arrowsmith, the general outline of the whole may here be deemed sufficient, without lengthened discussion and observation.

The Egyptian expedition alluded to started from Khartoum (now become a fine town) at the close of the wet season in 1839. It consisted of four or five small sailing vessels, some passage boats, and four hundred men from the garrison of Senaar, the whole commanded by an able officer, Captain Selim. They completed their undertaking, and returned to Khartoum at the end of 135 days, during which time, in obedience to the commands of their master, they explored the Bahr-el-Abiad to the distance southwards of 1300 miles, (turnings and windings included,) to three degrees thirty minutes north latitude, and thirty-one east longitude, from Greenwich, where it divided into two streams; the smaller, and it is very small, coming from the south-west, and the larger, still even at the close of the dry season a very considerable river, which came from the south-east, upwards from the east, and still more upwards from the north-east. A subsequent voyage in 1841 gained the information that the stream descended past Barry, and there can be no doubt that another, if not the chief branch, comes from the south-east, in the bearing which Ptolemy gave it, and, as he states, from amongst mountains covered with perpetual snow, of which Bruce also heard, and which we now learn from Major Harris really stand in that quarter of Africa.

The longitude of the river at the bifurcation is exactly the same as Ptolemy has given it, which is very   remarkable. The sources of the White River will therefore be found where Ptolemy and Bruce have placed them. The latter, in his notes, states expressly that the Bahr-el-Abiad rose to the south of Enarea, not far from the equator, and that it had no great western branch, nor was any necessary to give the river its magnitude. (Vol. vii. App. p. 92.)

The expedition in question found no very large affluents from the west side; but they found two of very considerable magnitude on the east side—one the Blue River, and the other the Red River, or Bahr-Seboth, which latter they navigated upwards of 150 miles in a direct line, and left it a considerable stream, nearly as large as the eastern branch of the White River, where they had left it. The banks of the Bahr-Seboth were precipitous and high, whereas those of the Bahr-el-Abiad were low, and on both sides covered with lakes, the remains probably of the preceding inundation. Scarcely a hill or mountain was in sight from the river till approaching the bifurcation, when the country became mountainous, the climate more cool, and the vegetation and trees around those of the temperate zone. The country on both sides is a high table-land, the scenery every where very beautiful, well peopled by different tribes, copper-coloured, and some of them even fair. Every where the banks are covered and ornamented with beautiful trees, and cattle, sheep, goats, elephants, &c., are numerous and abundant. Amongst the Bhours, they found Indian goods brought from the shores of the Indian ocean. Day by day, the breadth, depth, and current of the river were observed and marked. For a considerable distance above Khartoum, the breadth was from one and a half to one and a quarter mile, the depth three or four fathoms, and the current about one and a half mile per hour. Above the parallel of nine degrees, the river takes a remarkable bend due west for about 90 miles, when it passes through a large lake, the waters of which emitted an offensive smell, which might proceed from marshy shores.A Above the lake, the breadth decreases to one-third or one-fourth of a mile, the depth to twelve or thirteen feet, with a current of one and a half mile per hour, the bottom every where sand, with numerous islands interspersed in the stream. The mountainous country around the upper part abounds with iron mines.

Going eastward, we come to the elevated mountainous ranges which give birth to the Bahr-el-Abiad to the south, the Gochob, the Kibbee, and their numerous tributary streams to the east and south-east, and the Toumat, the Yabous, the Maleg, and other rivers which flow north into the Abay. This vast chain is very elevated, and in many places very cold, especially to the west of Enarea, and to the west and south of Kaffa. From the sources of the Kibbee and the Yabous, it stretches eastwards to Gurague, and thence, still eastward, by the Aroosi, Galla, and Hurrur or Harrar, to Cape Guardafui, approaching in some places to within sixty miles or less of the sea of Babel-Mandeb; the elevation to the east of Berbera decreases to about 5000 feet, and from which numerous streams flow both to the north and to the south. Eastward of the meridian of Gurague, a branch from the chain strikes off due north through Shoa, by Ankobar and Lake Haik, to the northward of which it separates, and runs one branch N.N.W. to Samen, and another by Angot, N.E. by east, to the Red Sea, at Assab, and the entrance of the straits of Babel-mandeb. The whole of this chain is very elevated; near Ankobar some peaks being 14,000 feet high, and constantly white with snow or hail; and round the sources of the Tacazzè and the Bashilo, near the territory of the Edjow Galla, the mountains are covered with snow. Mr Krapf, in his journey more to the east, found the cold exceedingly keen, the elevation exceeding 10,000 feet; and still more eastward, near the little Assanghe lake, Pearce found hoar frost in the   mornings in the month of October. From the ranges mentioned, numerous other ranges branch off in different directions, forming the divisions between tribes and rivers, the latter of which are very rapid, and their borders or banks very high and precipitous, and rugged.

From the province of Bulga or Fattygar, this chain, running northwards, rises to a great height, springing like the walls of a fortification from the western bank of the Hawash, from whence numerous small streams descend to increase that river. All to the eastward of that river is comparatively low, (called Kôlla, or the low hot country,) and to the sea-shore is one continued sheet of volcanic strata and extinct volcanoes, dry and poor, especially during the dry season, when travelling is difficult and dangerous owing to the want of water. It is inhabited chiefly by wild beasts and by fierce tribes of the wandering Dancali, and, more to the south-east, by the Mohammedan Somauli. In early times this country, however, was rich and powerful, from being the channel of commerce between Abyssinia when powerful, and the countries to the east, Arabia, Persia, and India. From Zeila and Erur southward, the country improves, and becomes fertile and well watered.

Before turning our attention to the interesting countries round the sources of the Gochob and its tributary streams, and those through which it subsequently flows, so clearly brought to our knowledge by Major Harris, (he is certainly the first who has done so,) and the survey of the coast near its mouth by Lieutenant Christopher of the Indian navy, and by him given to the gallant major—it is necessary, for the better understanding of our subject, to turn our attention to the explanation of the names of some countries and places given so differently by different informants, and which, thus given and not sufficiently attended to, create great confusion and great errors in African geography.

By the aid of Mr Bruce, Mr Krapf, Major Harris, and information collected from native travellers, (see Geographical Bulletins of Paris, Nos. 78 and 98,) we are enabled to rectify these points, and clear away heaps of inaccuracies and confusion.

First, then, Enarea and Limmu are the same. The country is called Enarea by the Abyssinians, and Limmu by the Gallas, having been conquered by a Galla tribe of that name, which tribe came originally from the south-west. There is another Limmu, probably so named from another portion of the same tribe. It is near or the same as Sibou, which, according to Bruce, is ten days’ journey from the capital of Enarea, and, according to the French Geographical Bulletin, (No. 114,) not far from Horro and Fazoglo. But the first Limmu is the Limmu of Jomard’s Galla Oware, because he states distinctly that Sobitche was its capital; that, in marching northwards from it, he crossed the Wouelmae river; and that Gingiro, to which he had been, lay to the right, or east, of his early route; and further, that the river which passed near Sobitche ran to the south. Enarea is not very extensive, but a high table-land, on every side surrounded by high mountain ranges, and is situated (see Geographical Bulletin, 1839) at the confluence of two rivers, the Gibe and the Dibe.

Kaffa, in its restricted sense, is a state on the upper Gochob; but, in its ancient and extended meaning, it is a large country, extending from north to south a journey of one month, and includes in it several states known by separate names, although the whole of these are often referred to in the name Kaffa by native travellers. It is known also by the names of Sidama and Susa, and the people of Dauro call it Gomara; but the Christians in Southern Abyssinia call it Kaffa, and Sidama or Susa, which latter, properly speaking, forms its southern parts.

Dawro, Dauro, or Woreta, are the same; it is a large country, and divided into three states—namely, Metzo or Metcho, Kulloo, and Goba; and is a low and hot, but fertile country, situated to the east of Kaffa, and to the west of the Gochob.

Major Harris is the only individual who has given us the bearings and distances connected with this portion of Africa, and without which the geographical   features of the country could not have been fixed with any precision; but which, having been obtained, act as pivots from which the correct positions of other places are ascertained and fixed with considerable accuracy.

Let us now attend to the sources and the courses of the principal rivers. The Kibbee, or Gibe, has three sources. The chief branch springs to the west of Ligamara, and southwards of that place it runs east, (Geographical Bulletin, No. 105, and also No. 78,) when suddenly turning upon itself; as it were, it bends its course westward to Limmu, having below Leka received the Gwadab, coming from the west and passing to the south of Lofe. The Kibbee waters the small but elevated country of Nono, and passes very near Sakka. Westward of Sakka it is joined by two other branches coming from the north-west and west, one called Wouelmae, the Wouelmae of Oware, and the other Dibe. From thence it flows eastward, and bounds Gingiro on the north. The early Portuguese travellers expressly state, that six days’ journey due east from Sakka, and at one day’s journey from the capital of Gingiro, having first crossed a very high mountain, they crossed the Kibbee, a rapid rocky stream, and as large as the Blue River where they had crossed it in the country of the Gongas. On the third day after leaving the capital of Gingiro, pursuing their course due east to the capital of Cambat, they again crossed the Zebee, or Kibbee, larger than it was to the westward of Gingiro, but less rapid and rocky; its waters resembling melted butter, (hence its name,) owing, no doubt, to the calcareous ridges through which it flowed. From thence it bends its course to the southward, and is soon after joined by the Gochob, which bounds the empire of Gingiro to the south. Bruce particularly and emphatically mentions the extraordinary angle which the Kibbee here makes.

To the north of Gingiro the Kibbee is joined by the Dedhasa, (pronounced Nassal,) and which is considered to be the same as Daneza or Danesa, which, according to Lieutenant Christopher, is a Galla name for the Jub or Gochob. This river is passed (see Geographical Bulletin of 1839) before coming to Ligamara and Chelea, and one and a half day’s journey from Gouma, in the route from Gooderoo to Enarea. In its lower course it abounds with crocodiles. Below the junction with the Dedhasa, the Kibbee receives the Gala river, coming from the north-east, and from the confines of Gurague and Kortshassie.

The separation of the waters in these parts takes place to the north of Gonea and Djimma, or Gouma. The rivers that flow to the Blue Nile or Abay, with the exception of the Yabous, which is, according to Bruce, a considerable stream descending from the south and south-east, are all small streams. Shat, the province where the tea-plant is produced, is situated to the north of Enarea, and is watered by the river called Giba, the fish of which are said to be poisonous, (Bruce, vol. iii. p. 254.) Bruce states most pointedly that the capital of Enarea is fifty leagues distant from the passage of the Abay at Mine, “due south, a little inclining to the west,” (Vol. iii. page 324;) and which bearing and distance corresponds very correctly with several very clear and satisfactory itineraries lately obtained. Without any high peaks or mountains, the country round the sources of these rivers is very elevated, and from the grain and fruits which they produce, cannot be less than 7500 feet above the level of the sea.

The Toumat is a small stream. Above Cassan, says the Geographical Bulletin, No. 110, it has water all the year, thus indicating that below that place the water fails in the dry season. It runs between two high chains of mountains; the east Bank, that chain being known as the country called Bertat. The rains, according to Bruce, (the Geographical Bulletin agrees in this,) commence in April; but they do not fall heavy at that time, and but little affect the rivers. Beyond the chain, on the western bank of the Toumat, the country is level to Denka and the banks of the White River, which is stated to be eleven days’ journey due west from Fazoglo. Iron is very abundant in the countries round   the Toumat and the Yabous, and caravans of Arabian merchants regularly traverse the country from Ganjar near Kuara, and two days’ journey south of Kas-el-Fael, by Fazoglo and Fadessi, to Kaffa and Bany; the road, as the latter places are approached, being described as hilly and very woody, with numerous small streams.

The Gochob rises in Gamvou, a high, wild, and woody country, part of Limmu; and bending its course south-east, next east, and then south-east, it forms the lake Tchocha, and afterwards rolls over the great cataract Dumbaro, soon after which it joins the Kibbee, when the united stream tales the name of the Gochob, or Jub, by which it is known till it enters the sea. Where crossed in the road from Sakka to Bonga, it is described as larger than any other stream which flows to join it from the country more to the south; much larger, indeed, than either the Gitche or Omo, its subsequent tributaries. These are the principal rivers of Kaffa, which is described as a high, cold country, as cold as Samen, or Simien, as Major Harris writes it, in Abyssinia. Bonga, the capital of Kaffa, or Susa, is one of the largest cities in these parts, and coffee of superior quality is produced every where, both in Kaffa and Enarea, in the greatest abundance. So also is civet and ivory.

The Omo, where crossed in the road to Tuftee, is passed by a bridge of wood sixty yards in length, which shows that it is not a very large river, nor can it be, this place being so near the district where its sources must lie. In the dry season it is described as a very small stream. The mountains in the south of Kaffa or Susa, are covered with snow, and to the south of this place they are said to rise to a stupendous height, “to reach the skies,” and are clothed with eternal snow!

Malo, or Malee, (as Major Harris spells it,) is westward from Koocha, and not far from Jajo, (certainly the Jedo of Salt,) and which is at a considerable distance from the sea, (Geographical Bulletin, No. 114.) Malee touches upon both Goba and Doko, and the latter again touches upon Kulloo. It is in Malee that the Omo, now a considerable stream, joins the Gochob, after having received from the mountains of Souro and valleys of Sasa the Toreesh or Gotze, a considerable stream. Doko and Malee, like Dauro or Woreta, are very hot low countries, abounding in cotton. In Doko, bamboo forests are frequent and extensive. The population are represented to be of a diminutive stature, exceedingly rude and ignorant, and are a prey to all their surrounding neighbours, who invade their country at pleasure, and carry off the wretched people into slavery. In this portion of Africa, or very near it, the early Arab writers and Portuguese navigators placed a nation of pigmies; and in this it would appear that they were correct. After the junction of the Omo, the Gochob pursues its way by Ganana to the sea at Juba, a few miles to the south of the equator. The western bank is inhabited by Galla tribes, and the eastern by Somauli. In this part of its course it is called Jub by the Arabians, Gowend or Govend by the Somauli, Yumbu by the Souahilis, and Danesa by the Gallas.

The Gochob below Wolama is joined on the east side by a considerable stream called the Una, which rises to the south of Gurague; and in Koocha and on the same side by a still larger stream, which comes from the country of the Ara or Ala Galla to the east of Gurague, and near the western sources of the Wabbe or Webbe. Koocha is thirty days’ navigation upwards and fifteen downwards from the sea, with which it has a considerable trade; white or fair people coming up the river to that place; but these are not allowed to proceed further inland. The inhabitants of Koocha carry on a great trade by means of the Gochob with Dauro in slaves, ivory, coffee, &c.; the Galla of Dauro bringing these down the Gochob in rafts with high gunwales, which indicates that the Gochob is a river of considerable magnitude, and may become of great importance in the future communications with Africa; the soil and climate around it being very fine, particularly in the lower parts near the sea, where the land is level, and the soil a fine deep red mould.

  After Bruce, Salt had delineated with considerable accuracy the source of the Webbe and the countries around it; but, except his map, we had no further particulars. These are, however, supplied by Major Harris and Mr Krapf in the countries south-east of Shoa, about Harrar and its sources; and further by accounts collected by D’Abbadie at Berbera from intelligent natives, travellers regarding the countries more to the south, and over the remainder of the north-eastern coast of Africa.

The principal source of the Webbe is to the east of the Aroosi mountains, and in the country of the Ala Galla; whence, running eastward, it passes Imi and Karanle, (the Karain of Krapf;) it runs south-east and afterwards south in a winding course towards the Indian ocean. To the north of six degrees of latitude, it is joined by several streams from the neighbourhood of Harrar and places more to the east; and in about six degrees of latitude, by a large stream which rises near Lake Souaie, and runs through the country of Bergama or Bahr Gama. The various countries through which the Webbe and his tributaries flow, are distinctly marked on the map. The country around its sources is very hilly and cold, the mountains resembling in height and appearance the boldest in Abyssinia; and to the eastward of its middle course, the mountains in Howea are very high and cold. In these springs the river Doaro, which flows into the sea, a considerable river during the rains; but at other times its mouth is nearly blocked up with sand, which is the case with some streams more to the northward.

North of Mount Anot the country is fine and well watered, and during the rains a very large river, according to Christopher, flows through it, descending from the range to the south-east of Berbera, and entering the sea in about eight degrees thirty minutes north latitude. Around Capes Halfoon and Guardafui the country is fine and well watered with small streams, and the climate delicious, as is the coast from Cape Guardafui westward to Berbera.

Harrar stands in a beautiful, fertile, and well-watered valley, surrounded with hills, the soil rich, and producing fine coffee abundantly. It is strictly Mahommedan, and, comparatively speaking, a considerable place, though much shorn of its dominion and power from those days when it had become the capital of that portion of eastern Africa ruled by the Mahommedans; and when under Mahommed Gragne, (left-handed,) it overran and desolated the whole Abyssinian empire, then under that unfortunate sovereign King David. In the county south of Berbera there is abundance of fine wells of excellent water. Waggadeyn is a very beautiful country, and produces abundance of myrrh and frankincense, as in fact every portion of the eastern horn, from Enarea inclusive, also does. It is the great myrrh and frankincense country, from which Arabia, Egypt, Judea, Syria, and Tyre were supplied in early days of Scripture history. The Webbe is only six fathoms broad and five feet deep in the dry season in Waggadeyn; but in the rainy season the depth is increased to five fathoms. It is navigated by rafts lower down. Incense, gum, and coffee, are every where abundant around the Webbe and its tributary streams. Harrar contains about 14,000 inhabitants, and Berbera 10,000; Sakka about 12,000.

All the early Arabian writers pointedly state, and so also do the Portuguese discoverers, that the Webbe entered the sea near Mukdishu or Magadoxo. This was no doubt the fact; but from what cause we know not, the river, after approaching within a short distance of Magadoxo to the north, turns south-west, and approaching in several places very near the sea, from which it is only separated by sandhills, it terminates in a lake about halfway between Brava and the Jub. This is Christopher’s account; but my opinion is, that this lake communicates with the sea during the rainy season, and even in a small stream in the dry season also. Christopher pointedly states, that besides filtrating through the sandhills, it communicates with the sea in two places, between Merka and Brava; and that this is correct, is proved from the fact, that while the river near Merka is 175 feet broad, it is reduced to seventy-five feet near Brava; while the Geographical Bull., No. 98, p. 96,   states, that a small river enters the sea to the south of Brava, a branch unquestionably from the Webbe.

The country between Magadoxo and the Jub is called Ber-el-Banader, and north of Magadoxo, and situated between the Webbe and the Doaro, is the considerable province called Hamer. Christopher describes the Somauli inhabiting the lower Webbe as civil and obliging, the soil fine and fruitful, and the climate the most delicious he had ever visited. The inhabitants offered to conduct him in safety to Abyssinia, and into very remote districts in the interior. The name of England is beginning to be well known, respected, and feared in this fine portion of Africa; and it is not a little to be regretted and lamented that this has not been the case at a much earlier period.

The early Arabian writers, such as Batouta, write Magadoxo, Mukdishu; Christopher states that it is now divided into two parts, in a state of hostilities with each other, and that the southern part is called Mukutshu, and the northern Mukkudeesha.

According to the Geographical Bulletin, No. 98, p. 98, the word ganana signifies queue, or tail, which explains at once the river which Christopher makes enter the Webbe near Galwen, coming from the north-westward, to be in reality a branch flowing off from the Jub at that place. It is a thing unknown to find a river rising in a low alluvial country.

To the east of the Webbe the country is inhabited by Somauli tribes, who are Mahommedans and considerable traders. The country seems every where to have a considerable population; and instead of being a blank and a waste, as hitherto supposed and represented on maps, it is found to be one of the finest portions of Africa, or of the world. Grain of every kind known in the temperate zones, especially wheat of superior qualities, is most abundant, and so cheap that the value of a dollar can purchase as much as will maintain a man for a whole year!

The sources of the Hawash approach within about thirty miles of the Abay. The lake Souaie in Gurague is about thirty miles in circumference, and contains numerous islands. In these are lodged some ancient and valuable Abyssinian records. It is fed by five small rivers, and empties itself into the Hawash, (see Ludolf.) Gurague is a Christian state, but reduced to great misery and poverty by the Galla tribes which surround it on every side. The elevation of Ankobar above the sea is 8200 feet, and of Augollalla about 200 more; so that the climate is very moderate. The country is every where very mountainous; but at the same time is in many places well cultivated. The rivers run in deep valleys or dells, and are very rocky and rapid. The present kingdom of Shoa contains about 2,500,000 of inhabitants, chiefly Christians of the Alexandrian Church.

In March 1842, Mr Krapf set out from Ankobar, to proceed to Egypt, by way of Gondar and Massuah; but, after traversing the mountainous parts of Northern Shoa, and the countries of the Woollo-Galla, and reaching a short distance beyond the Bashilo, (then only five days’ journey from Gondar,) he was compelled, from hostilities prevailing among the chiefs in that quarter, to retrace his steps to Gatera. In the journey which he had so far accomplished, Mr Krapf traversed the country near the sources of the numerous rivers which flow to form the Jimma and the Bashilo. The mountains were high and cold, (especially in the province of Mans,) and exceedingly precipitous, ascending and descending 3000 feet in the course of a few hours. The soil in the valleys was good, and tolerably well cultivated. Sheep, with long black wool, were numerous; the population in general rude and ignorant. From Gatera he took his course to Lake Haik, and from thence, pursuing his route north-eastward, he crossed the numerous streams which rise in the mountainous range to the westward, and pursue their course to the country of Adel, north of Aussa. Crossing the very elevated range on the western frontier of modern Angot, he pursued his journey to Antalon, leaving at Lat the Tacazzè four days’ journey to the west, and crossing in his course the numerous streams, such as the Tarir, the Ghebia, Sumshato, and the Tyana, (this last a considerable river,) which flow northward from the mountains   of Angot and Woggerat to form the Areequa, a large tributary to the Tacazzè. Mr Krapf’s route lay a little to the westward of Lake Assanghe, and considerably in this portion thereof to the west of the route of Alvaraez, who passed on the south side of Mount Ginnamora, from whence the streams descended to the south-east.

Lake Haik is a fine sheet of water about forty-five miles in circumference, with an island near the north-west corner, and an outlet in the west, which runs to the Berkona. On the east and the south sides it is surrounded with high mountains. Mount Ambassel or Amba Israel, the celebrated mountain in Geshen where the younger branches of the royal family of Abyssinia were imprisoned in early times, is a little to the north of Lake Haik, and beyond the Mille. It runs north and south, in length about twelve or thirteen miles, and is exceedingly high and steep, the sides thereof being almost perpendicular. Mr Krapf, amongst the most considerable rivers which he passed in this quarter, mentions the Ala, which he states runs to, and is lost in, the deserts of the country of Adel. This is important, and this river is no doubt the Wali of Bruce, which he mentions (vol. iii. p. 248) as the scene of a remarkable engagement between the sovereigns of Abyssinia and Adel in 1576, during the reign of the Abyssinian king Sertza Denghel. The Abyssinian army descended from Angot, and crossing the Wali, a considerable river, cut off the army of Adel from Aussa, drove a portion thereof into the stream, where they were drowned, while the remainder flying crossed the stream lower down, and thus effected their escape to Aussa. This confirms in a remarkable manner the position of this river, and would almost go to establish the fact that it cannot unite with Lake Aussa, the termination of the Hawash.

At the Ala Mr Krapf states that he was then seven days’ journey from Aussa. Aussa, according to Bruce, or rather the capital of Aussa, was in former times situated on a rock on the bank of the river Hawash. It is called Aussa Gurel in the old Portuguese maps, and is no doubt the Aussa Guraiel of Major Harris, laid down on the Arabic map which he obtained from a native of that place. When low, the termination of the Hawash may be said to form three lakes; but during the rainy season the land is flooded round to a great extent, the circumference of the lake then extending to 120 geographical miles. When the waters retire they leave, like the Nile in Egypt, a quantity of fine mud or slime, which, cultivated as it immediately is, produces abundant crops, and on this account the valley of Aussa is, and always has been, the granary of Adel. From the southern boundary of the lake to the place where the Hawash finally extricates itself from the mountainous ranges, the distance is about five days’ journey, or from sixty to seventy miles. The length of the fine valley of Aussa is about one hundred miles.

From the summit of the chain which separates the waters which flow south-east to Adel, and north-west to the Tacazzè, Mr Krapf says, that looking over Lasta to the towering snow-clad peaks of Samen or Simien, the whole country had the appearance of the raging waves of the sea in a terrible tempest. The soil around the upper branches of the Tacazzè is very good, especially in Wofila, Boora, and Enderta, adjoining the fine river Tyana; but it is only indifferently cultivated, owing to the perpetual wars and feuds amongst the chieftains and tribes in these parts, and the bad and unsettled governments which now exist in Tigre, and, in fact, in all Abyssinia. Travelling in these parts is difficult and insecure, owing to the plundering dispositions of the people, and the rapacity of the chiefs, who live beyond the control of any commanding or great sovereign power. At Gatera Mr Krapf was robbed of every thing that he had by the ferocious Woollo-Galla chief, Adara Bille, from whose clutches he escaped with some difficulty.

But time and space forbids me going more at length into the interesting journeys of these late eastern travellers, amongst which those of Major Harris is certainly the most important. He has accurately determined, and been the first to determine, the longitude and latitude of Tajoura, Lake Assal or the Salt Lake, and Ankobar,   &c., and thus given correct starting points from which to regulate the bearings and distances of the other very interesting places in the interior. The bay of Tajoura affords good anchorage; but the best point to start for the interior is Zeila, the route thence to Shoa running along the edges of the watered and more cultivated districts.

Amongst the travellers who visited this quarter of Africa lately is Dr T. C. Beke. He, however, went over the same ground as the others in his journey from Tajoura to Ankobar, (Messrs Krapf and Isenberg had preceded him a considerable time;) therefore his letters and communications, so far as yet known, contain little that is new. The only portion connected with Shoa which the others had not visited, is about thirty-five miles of the lower course of the Jimma, near its junction with the Abay, where the latter stream is about 600 feet broad, and from three to five feet deep. His subsequent travels in this part of Africa were confined to Gojam, Damot, and part of Agow Medre, and to the source of the Nile; but except being more minute in minor details regarding these provinces and their numerous small streams and rivers, they add little to the information given by Bruce. Still his journey, when given to the world, may supply us with some interesting particulars regarding what he actually saw.

Dr Beke travelled individually for information; but, in aid of his laudable enterprise, received some pecuniary assistance from the African Civilization Society and the Royal Geographical Society. Being a member of the former society, and while engaged in constructing the maps for the journals of the Church Missionary Society in the summer of last year—not for personal gain, but solely to benefit Africa—the communications and maps which from time to time came from Dr Beke to that society, were readily put into my hands to use, where they could be used, to advance the cause of Africa. Amongst the maps there was one of the countries to the south of the Abay, including Enarea, Kaffa, and Gingiro, constructed at and sent from Yaush in Gojam, September 6, 1842, together with some of the authorities on which it had been made. In that map the whole of the rivers, even to the south of Enarea and Kaffa, the Gojob, (as the Doctor writes it,) the Omo, the Kibbee or Gibe, the Dedhasa, and Baro, are all made, though rising beyond, that is, to the south of Gingiro and to the south and south-east of Kaffa and Woreta, (Woreta is placed to the south of Kaffa,) to run north-westward into the Abay. In fact, the Gojob is represented on that map to be the parent stream of the Bahr-el-Azreek or Blue River, and quite a distinct stream from the Abay, which it is made to join by the Toumat, having from the south-east received in its middle course the Geba, the Gibe, the Dedhasa, and the Baro, and from the south-west the Omo or Abo. The whole delineation, a copy of which I preserved, presented a mass so contrary to all other authorities, ancient and modern, that to rectify or reduce it to order was found impracticable, or where attempted only tended to lead into error.

The error of bringing such an influx of water as the rivers mentioned, and so delineated, would bring to the Blue Nile, is evident from the fact, that this river at Senaar in the dry season is, according to Bruce, only about the size of the Thames at Richmond. His words are specific and emphatic, (Vol. vii. App. p. 89)—“The Nile at Babosch is like, or greater than the Thames at Richmond”—“has fine white sand on its banks”—“the water is clear, and in some places not more than two feet deep.” Dumbaro (or Tzamburo, as the Doctor calls it in the map alluded to) is laid down between eight degrees and nine degrees north latitude, and west of Wallega; Tuftee is placed more to the north on the river designated the Blue River, and Gobo still further north upon it, in fact adjoining to its junction with the Abay. Doko is not noticed on the map.

The intelligent native Abyssinian Gregorius, without referring to numerous other credible, early, and also modern authorities, determines this important point quite differently and accurately; for he assured Ludolf, (A. D. 1650, see Ludolf, p. 38,) that all those rivers that are upon the borders of Ethiopia, in the countries of   “Cambat, Gurague, Enarea, Zandera, Wed, Waci, Gaci, and some others,” do not flow into the Nile or any of his tributaries, but “enter the sea, every one in his distinct region,” that is, the Indian ocean.

Since his return to England Dr Beke has, I have reason to believe, found out his great error; and will alter the course of all these rivers in Enarea and Kaffa, and bend their courses to the south-east and south.B

With these observations I proceed to a more important portion of my subject; namely, the position and capabilities of Africa, as these connect themselves with the present position and prospects of the British Tropical possessions, and the position and prospects of the Tropical possessions of other powers.

The support of the power and the maintenance of the political preponderance of Great Britain in the scale of nations, depend upon colonial possessions. To render colonies most efficient, and most advantageous for her general interests, it is indispensably necessary that these should be planted in the Tropical world, the productions of which ever have been, are, and ever will be, eagerly sought after by the civilized nations of the temperate zones.

One of the greatest modern French statesmen, Talleyrand, understood and recommended this fact to his master. In his celebrated memorial addressed to Bonaparte in 1801, speaking specially of England and her colonies, he says:—

“Her navy and her commerce are at present all her trust. France may add Italy and Germany to her dominions with less detriment to Great Britain then will follow the acquisition of a navy and the extension of her trade. Whatever gives colonies to France supplies her with ships, sailors, manufactures, and husbandmen. Victories by land can only give her mutinous subjects, who, instead of augmenting the national force by their riches or numbers, contribute only to disperse and enfeeble that force; but the growth of colonies supplies her with zealous citizens, and the increase of real wealth; and increase of effective numbers is the certain consequence.”

“What could Germany, Italy, Spain, and France, combining their strength, do against England? They might assemble in millions on the shores of the Channel, but there would be the limits of their enmity. Without ships to carry them over, and without experienced mariners to navigate these ships, Britain would only deride the pompous preparation. The moment we leave the shore her fleets are ready to pounce upon us, to disperse and to destroy our ineffectual armaments. There lies her security; in her insular situation and her navy consists her impregnable defence. Her navy is in every respect the offspring of her trade. To rob her of that, therefore, is to beat down her last wall, and to fill up her last moat. To gain it to ourselves is to enable us to take advantage of her deserted and defenceless borders, and to complete the humiliation of our only remaining competitor.”

These are correct opinions, and merit the constant and most serious attention of every British statesman. The increased cultivation and prosperity of foreign Tropical possessions is become so great, and is advancing so rapidly the power and the resources of other nations, that these are embarrassing this country in all her commercial relations, in her pecuniary resources, and in all her political relations and negotiations.

During the fearful struggle of a quarter of a century, for her existence as a nation, against the power and resources of Europe, directed by the most intelligent but remorseless military ambition against her, the command of the productions of the torrid zone, and the advantageous commerce which that afforded, gave to Great Britain the power and the resources which enabled her to meet, to combat, and to overcome, her numerous and reckless enemies in every battle-field,   whether by sea or by land, throughout the world. In her the world saw realized the fabled giant of antiquity. With her hundred hands she grasped her foes in every region under heaven, and crushed them with resistless energy.

Who, it may be asked, manned those fleets which bore the flag, and the fame, and the power, of England over every sea and into every land—who swept fleets from the sea, as at Aboukir, and navies from the ocean, as at Trafalgar?

It may pointedly and safely be stated—the seamen supplied by the colonial trade, and chiefly by the West Indian colonial trade of Great Britain. About 2000 seamen, for example, were every year drawn into the West Indian trade of the Clyde from the herring fisheries on the west coast of Scotland, and just as regularly transferred from that colonial trade into British men-of-war, such men being the best seamen that they had, because they were men accustomed to every climate from the arctic circle to the equator.

In the event of any future war, men of this description will more than ever be wanted; because the torrid regions are become more populous and more powerful, either in themselves or as connected with great nations in the temperate zones, and consequently the sphere of European conflicts will be more extended in them.

The world, especially Europe and America, is vastly improved since 1815. Great Britain must look at and attend to this. She must march and act accordingly. The world will not wait for her if she chooses to stand still; on the contrary, other nations will “go ahead,” and leave her behind to repent of her folly.

“England,” said her greatest warrior, “cannot have a little war;” neither can she exist as a little nation.

The natives of the torrid zone can only labour in the cultivation of the soil of that zone. In no other zone can the special productions of the torrid zone be produced in perfection.

There now remains no portion of the tropical world where labour can be had on the spot, and whereon Great Britain can so conveniently and safely plant her foot, in order to accomplish the desirable object—extensive Tropical cultivation—but Tropical Africa. Every other part is occupied by independent nations, or by people that may and will soon become independent.

British capital and knowledge will abundantly furnish the means to cultivate her rich fields. This is the only rational and lasting way to instruct and to enlighten her people, and to keep them enlightened, civilized, and industrious. By adopting this course also, that British capital, both commercial and manufacturing, which in one way or other finds its way, and which will continue to find its way, especially while money is so cheap in this country, into foreign possessions to assist the slave trade and to support slavery—will be turned to support the cause of freedom in Africa, and at the same time to increase instead of tending to diminish the trade and the power of this country.

The principle which Great Britain has adopted in her future agricultural relations with the Tropical world is, that colonial produce must be produced, and that it can be produced in that region cheaper by free African and East Indian labour than by slave labour. This great principle she cannot deviate from, nor attempt to revoke.

If the foreign slave trade be not extinguished, and the cultivation of the Tropical territories of other powers opposed and checked by British Tropical cultivation, then the interests and the power of such states will rise into a preponderance over those of Great Britain; and the power and influence of the latter will cease to be felt, feared, and respected, amongst the civilized and powerful nations of this world.

Civilization and peace can only be brought round in Africa by the extension of cultivation, accompanied by the introduction of true religion. Commerce will doubtless prove a powerful auxiliary; but to render it so, and to raise commerce to any permanent or beneficial extent, cultivation upon an extensive scale must precede commerce in Africa.

It is, therefore, within Africa, and by African hands and African exertions chiefly, that the slave trade can   be destroyed. It is in Africa, not out of Africa, that Africans, generally speaking, can and must be enlightened and civilized. Teach and show her rulers and her people, that they can obtain, and that white men will give them, more for the productions of their soil than for the hands which can produce these—and the work is done. All other steps are futile, can only be mischievous and delusive, and terminate in disappointment and defeat. To eradicate the slave trade will not eradicate the passions which gave it birth.

In attempting to extinguish the African slave trade and to benefit Africa, Great Britain has, in one shape or other, expended during the last thirty-six years above £20,000,000; yet, instead of that traffic being destroyed, it has, as regards the possessions of foreign powers, been trebled, and is now as great as ever, while Africa has received no advantage whatever. Since 1808, about 3,500,000 slaves have been transported from Africa to the Brazils and Cuba. The productions of what is technically denominated colonial Tropical produce has, in consequence, been increased from £15,000,000 to £60,000,000 annually, augmented in part, it is true, from the natural increase of nearly one million slaves more in the United States of America.

In abolishing slavery in the West Indies, Great Britain has besides expended above £20,000,000; still that measure has hitherto been so little successful, that £100,000,000 of fixed capital additional, invested in these colonies, stand on the brink of destruction; while, in addition to the former sums, the people of Great Britain have, from the enhanced price of produce, paid during the last six or seven years £10,000,00 more, and which has gone chiefly, if not wholly, into the pockets of the negro labourers in excessive high wages, the giant evil which afflicts the West Indies.

When the emancipation of the slaves in the West Indies was carried amidst feeling without judgment, the nation was so ready to pay £20,000,000, and the West Indians, especially those in England, so anxious to receive it, each considering that act all that was requisite to be done, that neither party ever thought for a moment of what foreign nations had done, were doing, and would do, in consequence. The warnings and advice of local knowledge were scouted in England, till these evils, which prudence might and ought to have prevented, now stare all parties in the face with a strength that puzzles the wisest and appals the boldest.

Instead of supplying her own wants with Tropical produce, and next nearly all Europe, as she formerly did, it is the fact that, in some of the most important articles, she has barely sufficient to supply her own wants; while the whole of her colonial possessions, east, west, north, and south, are at this moment supplied with—and, as regards the article of sugar, are consuming—foreign slave produce, brought direct, or, refined in bond, exported and sold in the colonies at a rate as cheap, if not really cheaper, than British muscovado, the produce of these colonies.

Such a state of things cannot continue, nor ought it any longer to be permitted to continue, without adopting an effectual remedy.

The extent of the power and the interests which are arrayed against each other, in this serious conflict, must be minutely considered to be properly understood in a commercial and in a political point of view. Unless this is done the magnitude of the danger, and the assistance which is necessary to be given, and the exertions which are requisite in order to bring the contest to a successful issue, cannot be properly appreciated or correctly understood.

The value of what is technically called colonial produce at present produced in the British colonial possessions, the East Indies included, is about £10,000,000 yearly, from a capital invested to the extent of £150,000,000. The trade thus created employs 800 ships, 300,000 tons, and 17,000 seamen yearly. This is the yearly value of the property and produce of the British Tropical agricultural trade, now dependent upon free labour.

Against this we have opposed, in the western world alone, nearly £60,000,000 of agricultural produce, exportable and exported yearly, requiring a trade in returns equal to   £56,000,000, and a proportionate number of ships’ tonnage and seamen. In the trade with Cuba and Port Rico alone, the United States have 1600 vessels employed yearly, (230,000 tons of shipping,) making numerous and speedy voyages, and from which trade only, these states, in case of emergency, could man and maintain from twenty to thirty sail of the line.

On the part of foreign nations there has, since 1808, been £800,000,000 of fixed capital created in slaves, and in cultivation wholly dependent upon the labour of slaves. On the other hand, there stands on the part of Great Britain, altogether and only, about £130,000,000 (deducting the value paid for the slaves) vested in Tropical cultivation, and formerly dependent upon slave labour, and which has in part been swept away, while the remainder is in danger of being so.

Let us have recourse to a few returns and figures, in order to show what is going on, especially by slave-labour in other countries, as compared with British possessions, in three articles of colonial produce, namely, sugar, (reducing the foreign clayed sugar into muscovado to make the comparison just,) coffee, and cotton; and as regards a few foreign countries only, nearly three-fourths of which produce, be it observed, has been created within the last thirty years.

British possessions.   Foreign possessions.
cwts.   cwts.
West Indies,2,508,552   Cuba,5,800,000
East Indies,940,452   Brazils,2,400,000
Mauritius, (1841,)544,767   Java,1,105,757
Total,3,993,771   Louisiana,1,400,000
lbs.   lbs.
West Indies,9,186,555   Java,134,842,715
East Indies,18,206,448   Brazils,135,000,800
Total,27,393,003   Cuba,33,589,325
lbs.   lbs.
West Indies,427,529   United States,790,479,275
East Indies,77,015,917   Java,165,504,800
To China from do.,60,000,000   Brazils,25,222,828
Total,137,443,446   Total,981,206,903

The above figures require only to be glanced at, to learn the increased wealth and productions of foreign nations, in comparison with the portion which England has in the trade and value of such articles, now become absolutely necessary for the manufactures, the luxuries, and the necessaries of life amongst the civilized nations of the world.

In the enormous property and traffic thus created in foreign possessions, by the continuance and extension of the slave trade, British merchants and manufacturers are interested in the cause of their lawful trade to a great extent. The remainder is divided amongst the great civilized nations of the world, maintaining in each very extensive, very wealthy, very powerful, and, as opposed to Great Britain, very formidable commercial and political rival interests.

Further, it is the very extensive and profitable markets which the above-mentioned yearly creation of property gives to the manufacturers of foreign countries, that have raised foreign manufactures to their present importance, and which enables these,   in numerous instances, to oppose and to rival our own.

The odds, therefore, in agricultural and commercial capital and interest, and consequently in political power and influence, arrayed against the British Tropical possessions are very fearful—six to one.

This is a most serious but correct state of things. Alarming as it is to contemplate, still it must be looked at, and looked at with firmness; for even yet it may be considered without terror or alarm.

The struggle, both national and colonial, is clearly therefore most important, and the stake at issue incalculably great.

It is by the assistance of African free labour, and by the judicious and just application thereof, both in Africa and in the West Indian colonies, that the victory of free labour over slave labour, freedom over slavery, can be achieved and maintained.

The abundant population of Africa, properly directed, and a small portion gradually taken from judiciously selected districts of that continent, and under proper regulations, will be found sufficient to cultivate, not only her own fertile fields, but also to supply in adequate numbers free labourers to maintain the cultivation of the British West Indian colonies. It must always be borne in mind, that in the maintenance of cultivation, civilization, and industry, in those possessions, the cultivation, industry, and civilization of Africa depend. The cause of both is henceforth the same, and cannot, and ought not, and must not be separated. Whatever sources the West Indian colonies may and must look to for immediate relief, it is in civilized and enlightened Africa that they can only depend for a future and permanent support. Abandon this principle and this course, and the error committed will, at an early day, be fatal and final.

Yet if the labour of Africa is continued to be abstracted to any considerable extent by Europeans, and from any points except from free European settlements in Africa, in order to cultivate other quarters of the world, all hope of improving the condition of Africa is at an end; because the abstraction of such labour can only be obtained by the continuation of internal slavery and a slave trade within Africa; because labour, if generally abstracted from Africa as heretofore, whether in freemen or slaves, will tend to enhance the cost of that which remains to such an extent, as will render it all but impossible for any industrious capitalist, whether European or native, to extend and maintain successfully cultivation in Africa.

Had the 9,000,000 of slaves which, from first to last, have been torn from Africa to cultivate America, been employed in their native land, supported by European (British) capital, and guided by British intelligence, how much more beneficial and secure than it is, would every thing have been to Africa, to England, and to the world?

Europe has been acting wrong: let her not continue in error; and, at the same time, let England meet and grapple with the question with enlarged and liberal views—views that look to future times and future circumstances—views such as England ought to entertain, and such as Great Britain only can yet see carried into effect.

We first established cultivation in the West Indies by a population not natives of the soil, but which required to be imported from another and distant quarter of the globe. This, politically and commercially speaking, was a great error; but it has been committed, and it would be a greater error to leave those people, now free British subjects, and the large British capital there vested, to decay, misery, and general deterioration. They must be supported, and it is fortunate that they can be supported, through their present difficulties, without inflicting a grievous wrong on Africa, by taking her children from her by wholesale to cultivate distant and foreign lands.

If European nations generally adopt the system of transporting labourers as freemen from Africa, then Africa would continue to be as much distressed, tortured, and oppressed, as ever she has been; while with the great strength of slave labour which those vast and fertile countries, Brazils, Cuba, &c., possess, they would, by the unlimited introduction of   people called free from Africa, but which, once got into their power, they could coerce to labour for stated hire, overwhelm by increased production all the British colonies both in the west and in the east.

Such abstraction of the African population from their country, would give a fearful impulse to an internal slave trade in Africa. The unfeeling chiefs on the coast, the most profligate, debased, and ferocious of mankind, would by fraud, force, or purchase, in the character of emigration agents, drag as many to the coast as they pleased and might be wanted; and while they did not actually sell, nor the European, technically speaking, buy, the people so brought from interior parts, these chiefs, by simply fixing high port charges and fiscal regulations for revenue purposes, would obtain from the transfer of the people—a transfer which these people could not resist or oppose—a much higher income than they before received from the bona fide sale of slaves; and with which income they could, and they would, purchase European articles from European traders, to enable them to furnish additional and future supplies.

In this way, millions after millions of Africans—for millions after millions would most unquestionably be demanded—would certainly be carried away. The poor creatures, unable to pay their own passage, would no more be their own masters from the moment they got on board the foreign ship, than if they were really slaves.

Such a traffic as this on the part of foreign nations, Great Britain could neither denounce nor oppose while she herself resorted to a similar course. In one way only she could reasonably resist and oppose it; namely, by urging that she only took people from her own African settlements, which are free, to her West Indian settlements, which are free also; while foreign nations, such as Brazils, had no possessions of any kind on the coast of Africa, and at the same time retained slavery in their dominions. Great Britain could only urge this plea in opposition to such proceedings on the part of other powers; but would such reasoning, however proper and just, be admitted or listened to? I do not think that it would. The consequences of the adoption of such a course by the nation alluded to, or by any other European power which has Tropical colonies, (France, Spain, Denmark, and Holland have,) will prove fatal to the best interests of Great Britain.

Already the people in the Brazils have begun to moot the question—that they ought in sincerity to put an end to the African slave trade, and in lieu thereof to bring labourers from Africa as free people. The supply of such that will be required, both to maintain the present numbers of the black population and to extend cultivation in that country, will certainly be great and lasting. The disparity of the sexes in Brazils is undoubtedly great. In Cuba it is in the proportion of 275,000 males to 150,000 females, and, amongst the whole, the number of young persons is small. To keep up the population only in these countries will probably require 130,000 people from Africa yearly; while interest will lead the agricultural capitalist in those countries to bring only effective labourers, and these as a matter of course chiefly males; which will tend to perpetuate the evils arising from the inequality of the sexes, and thus continue, to a period the most remote, the demand from Africa, and consequently a continued expense, equal perhaps to £30 each, for every effective free labourer brought from that continent.

It is thus obvious that African immigration in any shape, and to any nation, is a most serious matter. Unless the subject is considered in all its bearings, with reference not only to the present but to future times, and above all with reference to the steps which France, Portugal, or any other European power, may take in Africa, and also with reference to the steps which Great Britain may or may not take with regard to that great continent—most embarrassing results must follow; while, on the steps which may be taken by other nations, the British colonial interests henceforward depend.

There remains but one certain and efficient way to prevent fatal evils and destructive results, and that is the simple, and ready, and rational course; namely, to oppose free labour within Africa, and the West Indies and the East Indies, to African labour, whether free or bond, abstracted from her soil and carried by foreign nations to distant parts of the globe. In   Africa, where the soil, the climate, the productions are equal and the same, one-sixth part of the capital in labour would obtain labour equally efficient, nay more efficient, because removing Africans from their own country, either as slaves or freemen, even to other Tropical climates, must be attended with considerable risk and loss.

Produce, supplied cheaper from Africa than it can be obtained from the places above alluded to, would speedily and completely terminate, not only the foreign African slave trade, but the slave trade and slavery in Africa itself. This is the only safe, secure, and certain way to accomplish the great object. It is safe because it is just; it is secure because it is profitable to all concerned, the giver as well as the receiver of the boon.

It is neither prudent, patriotic, nor safe, to attempt to confine the productions of colonial commodities to the present British Tropical possessions; while the production of these in other countries and places will be increased by the capital and industry of other nations, and even by British capital and skill, more especially while capital cannot find room for profitable employment in England. During the war, Great Britain exported to the continent of Europe colonial produce to the extent of five millions yearly; and which in every case, but especially in bad seasons, when large supplies of continental grain were necessary for the food of her population, always secured a large balance of trade in her favour, and which would again be the case if she adopts the course here pointed out.

Adopting the course recommended, Great Britain at an early day would be able to supply, not only her own extensive markets, both home and colonial, with sugar, coffee, cotton, and dye-stuffs, &c. &c., but, in every other market of the world, she would come in for a large share of the external traffic. Her ships and her seamen would carry, both to her own and to foreign markets, the productions raised by British subjects and British capital, instead of carrying from foreign port to foreign port, as her ships and her seamen do at this moment, the productions raised by foreign people, capital, and industry. Great additional wealth would thus be drawn to this country; Tropical produce of every description would be obtained at a reasonable, yet remunerating rate; now, extensive, and profitable markets would be opened up to our manufactures. They would become and remain prosperous; and all classes of the community would be benefited and relieved. Prosperity would increase the power of the people to consume; increased consumption would produce increased revenue; and the government would be relieved from unceasing applications for relief, which, under existing circumstances, they have it not in their power to give.

The point under consideration also, important as it is, becomes still more important when the fact is considered, that if Great Britain does not set about the work to raise that produce in Africa, and command the trade proceeding from it, other nations most assuredly will; when she will lose, not only the advantages which that cultivation and trade would give her, but that trade also which she at present holds with her own colonies; for it is plain that the proceedings of foreign countries, such as have been adverted to, both in Africa, America, and other places, would cover the British colonies with poverty and ruin.

The geographical position of Africa is peculiarly favourable for commerce with all other countries, and especially with Great Britain and her vast and varied possessions. Africa, or rather Tropical Africa, is equally distant from America, and Europe, and the most civilized parts of Asia, besides her proximity to Arabia, and, by means of the Red Sea, with Egypt and the Mediterranean. Africa, whether we look to the Cape of Good Hope or the Red Sea, is the impregnable halfway house to India—the quarter to make good the loss of an Indian empire. She has numerous good harbours, many navigable rivers, a most fruitful soil, valuable productions of every kind, known in every other quarter of the Tropical world, besides some peculiarly her own; and a climate and a country, take it all in all, equal, if not superior, to any other Tropical quarter of the world in point of salubrity. Her population are indeed ignorant and debased; but generally speaking, and especially over large portions of her surface, they are even more active, and intelligent, and industrious, than the Indians of America, or the people in some parts of   Asia are, or than the population of Europe was, before the arms of Rome coerced and civilized them. Why, then, is Africa overlooked and neglected?

Let us attend to the following facts. They are, both in a political and commercial point of view, of great importance, as showing the progress of the opinions and efforts of foreign nations as directed towards Africa.

The great energies of France are, it is well known, at present strongly directed to the more important points of Tropical Africa, for the purpose of extending colonization, cultivation, and commerce therein, in order that she may thereby obtain supplies of colonial produce from the application of her own capital, and at the same time, and by this measure, to raise up a more extensive commercial marine, and consequently a more powerful and commanding navy.

Under such circumstances, the real question to be solved is—Shall Great Britain secure and keep, as she may do, the superiority in Tropical cultivation, commerce, and influence? or, Shall foreign countries be suffered to acquire this supremacy, not only as regards themselves specifically, but even to the extent of supplying British markets with the produce of their fields, their labour, and their capital, to the abandonment and destruction of her own?

This is the true state of the case; and the result is a vital question as regards the future power and resources of Great Britain.

France is already securely placed at the mouth of the Senegal, and at Goree, extending her influence eastward and north-eastward from both places. She has a settlement at Albreda, on the Gambia, a short distance above St Mary’s, and which commands that river. She has just formed a settlement close by Cape Palmas, and another at the mouth of the Gaboon, and a third by this time near the chief mouth of the Niger, in the Bight of Benin. She has fixed herself at Massuah and Buro, on the west shore of the Red Sea, commanding the inlets into Abyssinia. She is endeavouring to fix her flag at Brava and the mouth of the Jub; and she has just taken permanent possession of the important island of Johanna, situated in the centre of the northern outlet of the Mozambique channel, by which she acquires the command of that important channel. Her active agents are placed in Southern Abyssinia, and are traversing the borders of the Great Bahr-el-Abiad; while the northern shores of Africa will speedily be her own.

Spain has planted herself in the island of Fernando Po, which commands all the outlets of the Niger, and the rivers from Cameroons to the equator; and from which she can readily obtain at any time any number of people from the adjacent coasts for her West Indian possessions, either as slaves or freemen.

About six years ago, the government of Portugal appointed a commission to enquire into the state and condition of her once fine and still important colonies in Tropical Africa, and to report upon the best course to adopt to render them beneficial to the mother country. They have reported and wisely recommended, that Portuguese knowledge and capital should, as far as possible, be again sent to Africa, in order to instruct, enlighten, and cultivate these valuable possessions; and instead of allowing, as heretofore, labour in slaves to be abstracted from Africa, that native labourers should be retained and employed in Africa itself; and further, that it should to the utmost be aided and directed by European skill, capital, and labour. Thus, fourteen degrees of latitude on the east coast, and twenty degrees of latitude on the west coast, will, at an early day, be set free from the slave trade. From these points the Brazil markets were chiefly supplied with slaves; but Brazils being now separated from Portugal, the latter has and can have no interest in allowing the former to carry on the slave trade from her African dominions, but quite the reverse.

The discovery of the route to India by the Cape of Good Hope changed the course of eastern commerce. The exertions of Portugal in the manner proposed, will now, and most certainly and severely, affect Tropical productions and commerce in every market. In this case, England ought to encourage and support Portugal, and, by following her footsteps in other eligible parts of Africa, share in the advantages which such a state of things, and the cultivation and improvement of Africa, is certain to produce.

The Iman of Muscat, the sovereign   of Zanzibar, has lately put an end to the slave trade in his dominions in Africa, extending northwards from the Portuguese boundary eight degrees of latitude on the eastern coast. His envoy, who was lately in England, was so delighted with the treatment which he received, and with all that he heard and saw here, that he has influenced his master to carry out sincerely the views and objects recommended by England. I have in my possession a most interesting account of the country, extending into the interior of Africa, from the coast opposite Zanzibar all the way to the great lake Maravi. The country is intersected with noble rivers, one especially which issues out of the lake; is generally healthy and well cultivated, especially as the lake is approached. The population are generally of Arabian descent, industrious, and clothed. A wide field, therefore, for commercial operations is open in this quarter.

The powerful sovereign of Dahomey has agreed to abolish the slave trade. Independent of his considerable dominions, his fine country was one of the greatest high-roads for the slave caravans from the interior. He has received, welcomed, and encouraged the Wesleyan missionaries lately sent to that quarter. The missionaries from this society, and also one from the Church Missionary Society, have penetrated to Abekuta, a town containing 40,000 inhabitants, and about 106 miles north-east of Lagos, and north of Benin. The country, immediately after quitting the coast, becomes most fertile, pleasant, and healthy, as all that country to the north of the Formosa is well known to be. The population are eager for instruction; they are comparatively industrious and civilized; they manufacture all their necessary agricultural implements, bits for bridles, hoes, &c., from their own iron; they tan their own leather, and manufacture therefrom saddles, bridles, shoes, &c.

The great sovereign of Ashantee has also received with royal honours, and welcomed, the ministers of the gospel, encouraged them, and listened to them in the most gratifying manner. The Almamy of Teembo—a state which commands the fine districts around the Niger in its early course, and the roads from populous interior parts on the east to the western coast—has lately evinced the strongest desire to extend cultivation and commerce in lieu of the slave trade, and to have a ready communication with Europeans, and especially with the English. In other portions of Africa important movements are also going on, most gratifying to the friends of humanity and religion.

The United States of America, as a nation, is about to incorporate with her dominions the whole coast of Africa on Cape Palmas to the borders of the Gallinas—a fertile and healthy part of that continent, and wherein several settlements have of late years been made by the free people of colour from those states. This effected, there will hardly remain a spot of any consequence in Tropical Africa worth looking after for Great Britain to plant her foot, either for the purpose of obtaining labourers for her West Indian colonies, or to extend agriculture and commerce with Africa. The present British Tropical African possessions have been, and are, very badly selected for any one of the purposes alluded to, or for extending political power and influence in Africa. Still much more may be made of them than has ever hitherto been done.

But there is a still higher and more important consideration as regards Africa alone—the eternal salvation of her people. This consideration is addressed to the rulers of a Christian nation. The appeal cannot fall on deaf ears. The debt which Great Britain owes to Africa, it is undeniable, is incalculably great. The sooner it is put in course of liquidation the better. To spread Christianity throughout Africa can only atone for the past. Our duty as Christians, and our interests as men, call on us to undertake the work. It is the cause, the safety, the improvement, and the salvation of a large portion of the human race; it is the cause of our country, the cause of our colonies, the cause of truth, the cause of justice, the cause of Christianity, the cause and the pleading of a Christian nation—and a cause like this cannot plead in vain.

To secure these important objects no great or immediate expenditure is necessary; nay, if properly gone about, a saving in the present African expenditure may be effected.

James Macqueen.

London, 3d May 1844.

A This bend is represented in a map constructed in Paris, and said to be from information obtained in a second voyage; but no such bend is indicated in the journal of the original voyage by Captain Selim.

B Under date Yaush, September 21, 1842, Dr Beke states the curious and important fact, that the people of Enarea and Kaffa communicate with the west coast of Africa, and that one of the articles of merchandise brought from that coast to these places was salt.


It had pleased Heaven in the year 1672, when I had finished my studies in Magdalen College, Oxford, whereof I was a Demy, and had taken my degree of bachelor of arts in the preceding term, to visit me with so severe an affliction of fever, which many took at first for the commencement of the small-pox, that I was recommended by the physicians, when the malady had abated, to return to my father’s house and recover my strength by diet and exercise. This I was fain to do; and having hired a small horse of Master John Nayler in the corn market, to take me as far as to the mansion of a gentleman, an ancient friend of my father’s, who had a house near unto Reading in Berkshire, and in those troubled times, when no man knew whereunto things might turn from day to day, did keep himself much retired. I bade adieu to the university with a light heart but a weakened habit of body, and turned my horse’s head to the south. I performed the journey without accident in one day; but the exertion thereof had so exhausted my strength, that Mr Waller, (which was the name of my father’s friend, and of kin to the famous poet Edmund Waller, Esquire, who hath been ever in such favour with our governors and kings,) perceiving I was nigh discomfited, did press me to go to my chamber without delay. He was otherwise very gracious in his reception of me, and professed great amity to me, as being the son of his fast friend and companion; but yet I marked, as it were, a cloud that lay obscure behind his external professions, as if he was uneasy in his mind, and was not altogether pleased with having a stranger within his gates. Howbeit I thanked him very heartily for his hospitality, and betook myself to the chamber that was assigned for my repose. It was a pretty, small room, whereof I greatly admired the fashion; and the furnishing thereof was extreme gay, for the bed hangings were of bright crimson silk, and on a table was placed a mirror of true Venetian glass. Also, there were chests of mahogany wood, and other luxurious devices, which my weariness did not hinder me from observing; but finally I was overcome by my weakness, and I threw myself on the bed without removing my apparel, and sustained as I believe, though I have no certain warranty thereof, an access of deliquium or fainting. When I did recover my senses after this interval of suspended faculty, (whether proceeding from sleep or the other cause above designated,) I lay for many minutes revolving various circumstances in my mind. I resolved, if by any means my bodily powers were thereunto sufficient, to depart on the morrow, and borrow one of Mr Waller’s horses to convey me on my way, for I was uneasy to be thought an intruder; but when I had settled upon this in my mind, a new incident occurred which altered the current of my thoughts, for I perceived a slight noise at the door of my chamber as of one stealthily turning the handle, and I lay, without making any motion, to watch whereunto this proceeding would tend. The door was put gently open, and a figure did enter the room, so disguised with fantastical apparel, that I was much put to it to guess what the issue would be. It was of a woman, tall and majestical, with a red turbaund round her head, and over her shoulders a shawl much bedizened with needlework. Her gown was of green cloth, and I was made aware by the sound, as she passed along the floor, that the heels of her shoes were more than commonly high. With this apparition, of which I took only a very rapid observation through my half-closed eyelids, I was greatly astonished; for she was an exact resemblance to those bold Egyptian queans who were at first called Bohemians, but are nothing better than thieves and vagabonds, if indeed they be not the chosen people of the prince of darkness himself. She looked carefully all round the room, and after opening one of the drawers of mahogany wood, and taking something   therefrom which I could not discern, she approached to the side of my bed, and looked earnestly upon me as I lay. I could not keep up the delusion any longer, and opened my eyes. She continued gazing steadfastly upon me without alteration of her countenance or uttering any word, whether of apology or explanation; and I was so held in by the lustre of her large eyes, and the fixed rigidity of her features, that for some time I was unable to give utterance to my thoughts.

“Woman,” I said at last, “what want you with me?”

“Your help, if you will be gracious to poor mourners such as we.”

I interrogated her much and curiously as to what service she required at my hands; for I had a scrupulosity to promise any thing to one whose external made me think her a disciple of Mahomet, as those gipsies are said to be. After much hesitating, she could not conceal from me that she was in this disguise for some special and extraordinary purpose; nevertheless, she condescended on no particulars of her state or condition; but when I finally promised to satisfy her demand, if it might be done by a Christian gentleman, and a poor candidate for the holy ministry, she cautioned me not to be startled by whatever I should see, and beckoned me to follow her—the which I did in no easy frame of mind. Opening a little door which I had not seen when I took observation of the apartment, she disappeared down two or three steps, where I pursued the slight sound of her footfall; for there was great darkness, so that I could see nothing. We went, as I conjectured, through several passages of some length, till finally she paused; and knocked very gently three times at a door. The door was speedily opened; and in answer to a question of my guide, whether godly Mr Lees was yet arrived, a voice answered that he was there, and expecting us with impatience. When I passed through the door, I found myself in a small chamber, dimly lighted by one small lamp, which was placed upon a table by the side of a bed; and when I looked more fixedly I thought I perceived the figure of a person stretched on the bed, but lying so fixed and still, that I marvelled whether it was alive or dead. At the foot of the bed stood a venerable old man, in the dress of a clergyman of our holy church, with a book open in his hand, and my strange guide led me up to where he was standing, and whispered to him, but so that I could hear her words, “This gentleman hath promised to assist us in this matter.”

But hereupon I interposed with a few words to the same revered divine. “Sir,” I said, “I would be informed wherefore I am summoned hither, and in what my assistance is needful?”

“He hath not then been previously informed?” he said to the Egyptian; and receiving some sign of negation from her, he closed the book, and leading me apart into a corner of the apartment, discovered the matter in a very pious and edifying manner.

“It is to be godfather in the holy rite of baptism, to one whom it is our duty, as Christian men, to rescue from the dangerous condition of worse than unregenerate heathenism.”

“The child of that Egyptian woman?” I asked; but he said, “No. She who is now disguised in that attire is no Egyptian, but a true Samaritan, who hath been the means of working much good in the evil times past, and is likely to be a useful instrument in the troubled times yet to come. If this dissolute court, and Popish heir-presumptive, do proceed in their attempts to overthrow our pure Reformed church, depend on it, young man, that that woman will not be found wanting in the hour of trial. But for the matter in hand, will you be godfather to the person now to be received into the ark?”

I told him I could not burden my conscience with so great and important duties, without some assurance that I should be able to fulfil them. Whereto he replied, that such scrupulosities, however praiseworthy in calmer tines, ought now to yield to the paramount consideration of saving a soul alive.

A faint voice, proceeding from the bed, was here heard mournfully asking if the ceremony was now to begin, for death was near at hand.

  I went up to the bed and saw the face of a pale dying woman, whose eyes, albeit they encountered mine, had no sense of sight in them, for the shadows of the Great King were already settled upon her countenance. “Begin then,” I said to the clergyman; and on a motion from him, the woman who had conducted me went out, and shortly returned, leading by the hand a child of two, or haply three years of age, exceeding beautiful to look on, and dressed in the same style of outlandish apparel as her conductor. I had little time to look attentively at her, for her hand was put into mine, while the other was held by the Egyptian, (as I still call her, notwithstanding I knew she was a devout woman,) and another person, whom I guessed to be an attendant on the sick lady, stationed herself near; whereupon the clergyman commenced from our book of common prayer the form of baptism. The lady seemed to acquire strength at the sound of his low solemn voice, and half raised herself in the bed, and looked anxiously towards where we were; when the name was given, which was Lucy Hesseltine, she stretched herself back on her pillow with a faint smile. The ceremony was soon over, and the Egyptian took the new Christian to the side of the bed, and whispered in the lady’s ear, “Jessica, the child is now one of the Christian flock; she prays your blessing.” She waited for an answer, during which time the clergyman took me apart, and had again entered into discourse. But the Egyptian came to us. “Hush!” she said, “the ways of God are inscrutable; our friend is gone to her account.” Hereupon she hurried me through the same passages by which we had come, and bidding me God-speed at the hidden door of my chamber, told me to keep what I had seen a secret from all men, yea, if possible, to forget it myself, as there might be danger in having it spread abroad.

Tormented with many thoughts, and uneasy at the great risk I ran of bringing guilt on my own soul by having made sponsorial promises which I could not execute, I rested but indifferently that night. The next day I pursued my journey home in the manner I had proposed, and was glad to avoid the chance of being interrogated by Mr Waller as to what had occurred. In a short time my good constitution and home restored me to my former strength, and the memory of that strange incident grew more faint as other things came to pass which made deeper impressions on my heart and mind. Among these is not to be forgotten the death of my father, which happened on the 14th of June in the following year, videlicet 1673; and the goodness of the lord bishop of Oxford in giving me priests’ orders on my college Demyship, whereby I was enabled to present myself to this living, and hold it, having at that time attained the canonical age. My courtship also and marriage, which befell in the year 1674, had great effect in obliterating past transactions. I was married on Thursday, the 24th day of June.

(Here several pages are omitted as irrelevant, containing family incidents for some years.)

Howbeit things did not prosper with us so much as we did expect; for the payers of tithes were a stiff-necked generation, as were the Jews of old, and withheld their offerings from the priest at the very time when Providence sent a plentiful supply of mouths to which the offerings would have been of use. Charles was our only son, and was now in his third year—the two girls, Henrietta and Sophia, were six and seven—my eldest girl was nine years past, and I had named her, in commemoration of my father’s ancient friend, by the prenomen of Waller. It hath been remarked by many wise men of old, and also by our present good bishop, that industry and honesty are the two Herculeses that will push the heaviest waggon through the mire; and more particularly so, if the waggoner aids also by putting his shoulder to the wheel. And easy was it to see, that the wheel of the domestic plaustrum—wherein, after the manner of that ancient Parthians, I included all my family, from the full beauty of my excellent wife to the sun-lighted hair of my prattling little Charles, (the which reminds me of those beautiful lines which are contained in a translation of the Iliad of   Homer by Mr Hobbes, descriptive of the young Astyanax in his mother Andromache’s arm—

“And like a star upon her bosom lay
His beautiful and shining golden head”)—

It was easy, I say, to see, that with such an additional number of passengers, the domestic plaustrum would sink deeper and deeper in the miry ways of the world. And consultations many and long did my excellent wife and I hold over the darkening prospect of our future life. At last she bethought her of going to take counsel of her near friend and most kind godfather, Mr William Snowton of Wilts, which was a managing man for many of the nobility, and much renowned for probity and skilful discernment. He was steward on many great estates, and gave plentiful satisfaction to his employers, without neglecting his own interest, which is a thing that does always go with the other, namely, a care for your master’s affairs; for how shall a man pretend to devote his time and services to another man’s estate, and take no heed for himself? The thing is contra the nature of man, and the assertion thereof is fit only for false patriots and other evil men. It was with much weariness of heart and anxious tribulation that I parted from that excellent woman, even for so short a period of time; but Master George Sprowles of this parish having it in mind to travel into the village where the said Mr William Snowton kept his abode, I availed myself of his friendly offer to conduct my wife thither upon a pillion; and thereupon having sent forward her luggage two days before by a heavy waggon which journeyeth through Sarum, I took leave of the excellent woman, commending her heartily unto the care of Providence and Master George, which (Providence I mean) will not let a sparrow fall to the ground, much less the mother of a family, which moreover was riding on a strong sure-footed horse, which also was bred in our parish, and did sometimes pasture on the glebe. It was the first time we had been separated since our wedding-day. I took little Charles into my room that night, and did carefully survey the other children before I went to rest. They did all sleep soundly, and some indeed did wear a smile upon their innocent faces as I looked upon them, and I thought it was, perhaps, the reflection of the prayers which their mother, I well knew, was pouring out for them at that hour. That was on a Tuesday, and as the distance was nearly sixty miles, I could not hear of her safe arrival till the return of Master George, which could not be till the following Monday; not being minded, (for he was a devout man, and had imbibed his father’s likings in his youth, which was a champion for the late Man,) and would rather have done a murder on a Thursday than have travelled on the Sabbath-day. “Better break heads,” he was used to say, “than break the Sabbath.” I did always find him, the father I mean, a sour hand at a bargain; and when he was used to drive me hard upon his tithes and agistments, I could fancy he took me for one of the Amalekites, or one of the Egyptians, whom he thought it a meritorious Christian deed to spoil. The Monday came at last, and Master George Sprowles, before he rode to his own home, trotted his horse up our church avenue, and delivered into my hands a packet of writing carefully sealed with a seal, whereof the device was a true-love knot. Great was my delight and great my anxiety to read what was written therein, and all that evening I pored over the manuscript, on which she had bestowed great pains, and crossed all the t’s without missing one. But it is never an easy task to decipher a woman’s meaning, particularly when not addicted to penmanship; and although my excellent wife had attended a penman’s instructions, and had acquired the reputation, in her native place, of being an accomplished clerk, still, since her marriage, she had applied her genius to the making of tarts and other confections, rather than to the parts of scholarship, and it was difficult for me to make out the significance of her epistle in its whole extent. Howbeit, it was a wonderful effort of calligraphy, considering she had only had two days wherein to compose and write it, and she had been so little used to this manner of communication,   and it consisted of three whole sides of a large sheet of paper. She said therein that Mr Snowton was a father unto her in his affection and urbanity, and that he highly approved the motion for us to make provision of the meat that perishes, seeing it is indispensable for young children and also for adults; and that he had already bethought him of a way wherein he might be serviceable to us—viz. in procuring for me certain youth of the upper kinds, to be by me instructed in the learned tongues, and such other branches as I had proficiency in; and, in addition thereto, he said, that peradventure he might obtain a similar charge for my excellent wife in superintending the perfectionment of certain young ladies of his acquaintance in samplers, and millinery, and cookery, and such other of the fine and useful arts as she was known to excel in; and he subjoined thereto, that the charges for each pupil would be so large, being only those of consideration which he recommended unto me, that a few years would be sufficient wherein to consolidate portions for all my children. Such, with some misgivings touching my own interpretation, did I make out to be the substance of my excellent wife’s letter; and I rejoiced greatly that such an opening was made for me, by the which I might attain to such eminence of estate that I might place my Charles in the first ranks of the law, yea, might live to see him raised to the fulness of temporal grandeur, and sitting, as Lord High Keeper, among the peers and princes of the land, with a crown of pure gold upon his head. But there was no crown but a heavenly one, that fadeth not nor groweth dim, that could have added a fresh beauty to the fair head of my Charles. But the sweetest part of her missive was contained in the post scriptum. Therein she said, and in this I could not be wrong, that Mr Snowton had undertaken to forward her in his light wheeled cart, by reason of the conveniency it would be of to her in the transportation of herself and luggage, and also of Miss Alice Snowton, of Mr Snowton’s kindred, a young lady which he had adopted, (being the only child of his only brother, Mr Richard Snowton, deceased,) and advised my wife to accept the care of her as a beginning, and for the charges of the same he would be answerable for fifty golden Caroluses at Ladyday and Michaelmas. A hundred Caroluses each year! My heart bounded with joy. Great were my preparations for the reception of my new inmate, and busy were we all from my busy Waller down to Charles. He with much riotousness did superintend all, and rejoiced greatly at the noise caused by the hammering, and taking down and putting up of bed-hangings, and did in no slight measure add thereto by strange outbreaks of riotous mirth, such as whooping and screaming; causing confusion, at the same time, by various demonstrations of his enjoyments, such as throwing nails against the windows, beating on the floor with the poker, and occasionally interrupting our operations by tumbling down stairs, and causing us for a moment to believe him killed outright, or at least maimed for life. But there is a special providence over happy children; and save that he fell on one occasion into the bucket of soap and water, wherewith a domestic was scowering the chintz room floor, and suffered some inconvenience from the hotness thereof, he escaped in a manner truly miraculous from any accident affecting life or limb. When the time drew near in the which I expected the return of my excellent wife, I took all the children to the upper part of the church field which faces the high-road, upon which the large stones have recently been laid down, in the manner of a causeway, but which, at that period, was left to the natural hardness, or rather softness, of the soil, and was, in consequence thereof, dangerous to travel on by reason of the ruts and hollows; to that portion, I say, of the church field I conveyed all my little ones, to give the gratulations necessary on such an occasion to their excellent mother. The spot whereon we were stationed commanded a view of the hill which superimpends our village, and we were therefore gratified to think that we should have an early view of the expected travellers; and many quarrels and soft reconcilements did take place between my younger ones, upon   the point of who would be the first to see their approach. In the midst of these sweet contentions, whilst I was in the undignified and scarcely clerical act of carrying little Charles upon my shoulder, having decorated his head with my broad-brimmed hat, in order to enable him—vain imagination, which pleased the boy’s heart—to see over and beyond the hill, there did pass, in all her wonted state and dignity, with two outriders in the Mallerden livery, two palfreniers at her side, and four mounted serving-men behind, the ancient Lady Mallerden, which was so famous an upholder of our venerated church in the evil days through which it so happily passed; and with no little perturbation of mind, and great confusion of face, did I see the look of astonishment, not to say disdain, with which she regarded my position; more particularly as little Charles, elevated, as I have said, upon my shoulders, with his legs on each side of my neck, did lift up the professional hat, which did entirely absorb his countenance, with great courtesy, and made a most grave and ceremonious obeisance unto the lofty lady. She pursued her path, returning the salutation with a kind of smile, and at the same easy ambling pace as was her wont, proceeded up the hill. Just as she reached the summit thereof our eyes were gladdened with the sight, so long desired, of the light equipage on two wheels of the kind Mr Snowton, containing my excellent wife and her young charge, and also various boxes of uncommon size, in which were laid great store of bodily adornment for both the ladies; as was more fully seen thereafter, on the opening of the boxes, by reason of Mr Snowton having privily conveyed into them various changes of apparel for the use of my excellent wife, as also for each of the three girls. To Charles he also sent the image of an ass, which, by touching a certain string, did open its mouth and wave its ears in a manner most curious to behold, wherewith the infant was infinitely delighted, as was I, without enquiring at that time into the exquisite mechanism whereby the extraordinary demonstrations were produced. But in the course of little more than a month he was led, by his enquiring turn of mind, to pry into the mystery; and in the pursuit of knowledge—laudable surely in a person of his years, and demonstrative of astonishing sagacity and research—he did take the animal entirely to pieces, and saw the inward parts thereof. The great lady, with all the retinue, stopped short as she encountered with my excellent wife at the top of the hill, and did most courteously make tender enquiries of her state of health, and also of her plans—whereof she seemed some little instructed—and expressed her satisfaction therein, and did make many sweet speeches to her, and also to the pupil, and trusted that she would be good and dutiful, and an earnest and affectionate daughter of the Church of England. To all which my excellent wife replied in fitting terms, and Alice Snowton—so was she named—made promise so to do, God being her helper and I her teacher; and thereupon the great lady bended her head with smiles, and rode on. When they got down to where we stood in the church field, the flush of modesty, and perhaps of pride, at being spoken to in such friendly guise by the haughty Lady Mallerden, had not yet left the cheek of my excellent wife, upon which I impressed a kiss of true love, and held up little Charles as high as I could, to enable him to do likewise, which he did, with a pretty set speech which I had taught him, in gratulation of her return. Alice Snowton also did blush, and held out her cheek, whereon I pressed my lip, with fervent prayers for her advance in holiness and virtue, and also in useful learning, under my excellent wife’s instructions. She was a short girl, not much taller than my Waller, though she seemed to be three or even four years more advanced in age. She was a sweet engaging child of thirteen, and I loved her as one of my flock from the moment I saw her, as in duty bound. My children were divided between joy at seeing their excellent mother, and wonder at the stranger. But a short period wore off both these sentiments of the human mind, or rather the outward manifestation of them; and I will venture to assert that the quietude of night, and the clearness of the starry heavens,   fell on no happier household on that evening than the parsonage of Welding. And next day it was the same; and next, and next, and a great succession of happy, useful days. Alice was a dear girl, and we loved her as our own; and she loved Charles above all, and was his friend, his nurse, his playfellow. Their gambols were beautiful to behold; and, to complete the good work which was so well begun, good Mr Snowton did send to my care, at the same remuneration, two young gentlemen of tender years, Master Walter Mannering and Master John Carey—the elder of them being eight and the other seven; and, as if fortune never tired of raining down on us her golden favours, the great Lady Mallerden herself did use her interest on my behalf, and obtained for me the charge of a relative of her noble house—the honourable Master Fitzoswald, of illustrious lineage in the north, of the age of nine years. But doubtless, as the philosopher has remarked, there is no sweet without its bitter, or, as the poet has said, “no rose without its thorn,” or, better perhaps, as another great poet of antiquity has clothed the sentiment—

——“Medio de fonte leporum
Surgit amari aliquid;”

for it was made an express stipulation of the latter office—namely, the charge of the honourable young gentleman, being the second son of the noble Earl Fitzoswald, in Yorkshire—that the great Lady Mallerden should have joint superintendence of his studies with me, and the direction of his conduct, and also his religious education. And this was a sore drawback to the pleasure I experienced, for I knew her to be proud and haughty beyond most women, or even men; and also that she was of so active and inquisitive a turn of mind, that she would endeavour to obtain all power and authority unto herself, whereto I determined by no means to submit. Two hundred golden guineas was the honorarium per annum for his education; and my excellent wife, who was addicted, like the most of her sex, to dreams and omens, did very often have a vision in the night, of the Right Hon. the Earl Fitzoswald presenting me to a great office in the church—yea, even a seat among the right reverend the lord bishops of the Upper House of Parliament. Nor were portents and auguries wanting, such as this—which made an uncommon impression on my excellent wife’s mind—videlicet, it chanced that Alice Snowton did make a hat of paper, to be placed on Charles’s head when he was more than usually naughty, to be called the fool’s-cap out of derision; but this same paper hat, which was of a fantastic shape, being conical and high, the boy with scissors did dexterously mutilate and nearly destroy, and, coming quietly behind me when I was meditating the future with my excellent wife, he placed it on my head; and, to all our eyes, there was no mistaking the shape into which, fortuitously, and with no view or knowledge of such emblems, he had cut the paper-cap. It was evidently a mitre, and nothing else! But this, and various other concurring incidents, I pass over, having frequently rebuked my excellent wife for thinking more highly of such matters than she ought to think.

The course pursued in our studies was the following, which I particularly write down, having had great experience in that sort, and considering it may be useful, if perchance this account should fall into the hands of any who follow the honourable and noble calling of educating the rising generation. The Colloquies of Corderius, as also the Fables of Æsopus, with those also of Phædrus his Roman continuator....

(Many pages are here omitted as irrelevant.)

... And my excellent wife, after much entreaty, consented thereto. Accordingly, on the very next Sunday, the great Lady Mallerden attended at my house after church, and did closely question, not only the young gentlemen on the principles of their faith, but also Alice Snowton, and did, above all, clearly and emphatically point out to them the iniquities of the great Popish delusion; and exhorted them, whatever might be their future fate or condition, to hold fast by the pure Reformed church. And so much did my eldest daughter, who was now a great tall girl of twelve   years of age, win upon the heart of the great lady, that she invited her to come up for several days and reside with her at Mallerden Court, which was a great honour to my daughter, invitations not being extended to any to enter that noble mansion under the degree of nobility. Nor did her beneficence end here; for she did ask Alice Snowton, who was now a fine young woman of fifteen or thereby, to be her guest at the same time. Alice was not so stout in proportion to her years as my Waller; but there was a certain gracefulness about her when she moved, and a sweet smile when she spoke, which was very gainful on the affections, as Charles could testify; for he loved her, and made no secret thereof, better than any of his sisters, and also, I really and unfeignedly believe, better than that excellent woman his mother. And so great was the impression made on the great lady by my Waller’s cleverness and excellent manner of conducting herself, that, on her return at the end of three days, a letter, in the noble lady’s own land, bore testimony to her satisfaction, and a request, or rather a command, was laid on me, to send her, under charge as she expressed it, of Alice Snowton, to the Court for a longer period the following week. And such was the mutual happiness of the noble lady, and of that young girl, (my Waller, I mean,) who could now write a beautiful flowing hand, and spell with uncommon accuracy and expedition, that erelong it was an arranged thing, that three days in each week were spent by the two children at Mallerden Court; and a horse at last, on every Wednesday, was in waiting to convey them, on a double pillion, to the stately mansion.

I have not alluded to the state of public affairs, of which I was far from cognizant, saving that the writhings and strugglings which this tortured realm did make, shook also the little parsonage of Welding. We heard, at remote intervals of time, rumours of dangers and difficulties hanging over this church and nation; but were little alarmed thereat, putting faith in the bill of exclusion, and the honour of our most gracious and religious lord the king. Nor did I anticipate great harm even if the Duke of York, in the absence of lawful posterity of his brother, should get upon the throne, trusting in the truth of his royal word, and the manifold declarations of favour and amicableness to the church, which he from time to time put forth. But Æsopus hath it, when bulls fight in a marsh the frogs are crushed to death. It was on the tenth day of February, in the year of our Lord 1685, I was busy with my dear friends, the youths under my charge, in the Campus Martius, (which was a level space of ground in one of the glebe fields by the side of the river, whereon we performed our exercises of running, jumping, wrestling, and other athletic exercitations,) when we were startled by the hearing the sound of many horses galloping up the hill above the village; and looking over the hedge on to the road, we saw a cavalier going very fast on a fine black horse, which had fire in its eyes and nostrils, as the poet says, followed by a goodly train of serving-men, all well mounted, and proceeding at the same rate. We went on with our games for an hour or two, when all at once I was peremptorily sent for to go to my house without delay; and accordingly I hurried homewards, much marvelling what the summons could portend. I went into my study, and sitting in my arm-chair I saw the great Lady Mallerden; but she was so deep in thought, that for some minutes she kept me standing, and waiting her commands. At last she started to herself, and ordered me to be seated, and in her rapid glancing manner began to speak—

“I have been visited by my son, who rode post haste from London to tell me the king was dead. He has been dead four days.”

I was astonished and much saddened at the news.

“Sorry—yes—but there is no time for sorrow,” said the noble lady; “we must be up and doing. We are betrayed.”

“Did your son, the noble Viscount Mallerden, tell you this?”

“He is one of the betrayers—know you not what manner of man he is?—Then I will tell you.” And here a strange light flashed from her eyes, and her lips became compressed till all the colour disappeared—“He is a   viper that stung me once—and would sting me again if I took him to my bosom, and laid it open for his poisonous tooth. I tell you the Lord Mallerden is a godless, hopeless, faithless, man—bound hand and foot to the footstool of the despotic, cruel monster—the Jesuit who has now his foot upon the English throne. He is a Papist, fiercer, bitterer, crueller, because he has no belief neither in priest nor pope—but he is ambitious, reckless, base, a courtier. He prideth himself in his shame, and says he has openly professed. It is to please the hypocritical master he serves. And he boasts that our late king—defender of the faith—was shrived on his deathbed by a Popish friar.”

“I cannot believe it, my lady.”

“You are a good man—a good simple man, Master Willis,” she said; and although the words of her designation were above my deserts, seeing that simplicity and goodness are the great ornaments of the Christian character, still the tone in which she spoke did not pertake of the nature of a compliment, and I bowed, but made no observation in reply.

“But it needs men of other minds in these awful times which I see approaching—men of firmness, men of boldness—yea, who can shed blood and shudder not; for great things are at stake.”

“I trust not, my lady—albeit the shedding of blood”——

“I know, is generally condemned; yet be there texts which make it imperative, and I think I foresee that the occasion for giving them forth is at hand. All means in their power they will try; yes, though James of York has been but four days a king, he had already made perquisition for such as may be useful to him, not in settling the crown upon his head, but in carrying off this people and kingdom, a bound sacrifice to the blind idol which he worshippeth at Rome. You know not the history of that man; no, nor of my son. Alas! that a mother’s lips should utter such words about her own flesh and blood! The one of them I tell you is a bigot, a pursuer, a persecutor—the other a sensualist, a Gallio, a tool. For many years he has never beheld his mother’s face; he married in his youth; he injured, deserted, yea, he killed his wife—not with his own hand or with the dagger, but by the surer weapons of hatred, neglect, unkindness. And she died. He has but one child; that child was left in charge of my honoured and loving daughter, the Lady Pevensey of Notts, and hath been brought up in a Christian manner; but now, he—this man of Belial—wishes to get this infant in his own hands; nay, he boldly has made a demand of her custody both on me and Pevensey, my daughter. We will not surrender her; he is now great and powerful. The king will back his efforts with all the weight of the crown; and we have considered, if we could confide the persecuted dove to the hands of some assured friend—some true son of our holy church—some steady, firm-hearted, strong-nerved man, who in such cause would set lord and king at defiance”——

Here she paused, and looked upon me with her eyes dilated, and her nostrils panting with some great thought which was within her; and I availed myself of the pause to say—

“Oh, my lady! if you did mean me for such charge, I confess my deficiency for such a lofty office; for I do feel in me no stirrings of an ambitious spirit. Sufficient is it for me to take care of the innocent flock committed to my care, in the performance of which charge I have the approbation of my own heart, and also, I make bold to hope it, of your ladyship, seeing that I have instructed them in the true principles both of faith and practice; and although there are shortcomings in them all, by reason the answers in the Catechism are not adapted to the capacities of the younger ones, especially of Charles, (who, notwithstanding, has abilities and apprehensions above his years,) yet are they all embued with faithful doctrine, from Alice Snowton, which is the most advanced in stature, to the honourable Master Fitzoswald, which is somewhat deficient in growth, being only three inches taller than my little Charles.”

The great lady looked at me while I spoke, and made no answer for long time. At last she said with a sort of smile, which at the same   time was not hilarious or jocular in its nature—

“Perhaps ’tis better as it is. There is a providence in all things, and our plans and proposals are all overruled for the best—for which may God be praised! Therefore I will press you no more on the subject of the guardianship of my grandchild. But Mallerden will move heaven and earth to get her into his power—yes, though he has neglected her so long, never caring to see her since her childhood; yet now, when he sees ’twill gain him the treasurership of the royal household to sell the greatest heiress and noblest blood in England to the Papists, he will make traffic of his own child, and marry her to some prayer-mumbler to a wooden doll. Let us save her, good sir—but I forgot. No—I will save her myself. I, that have steered her through so many quicksands, will not let her make shipwreck at last. I will guard her like the apple of my eye, and possess my soul in patience until this tyranny be overpast.” And so ended the interview, during which my heart was tossed to and fro with the utmost agitation, and my whole frame so troubled that I various times lost all mastery of myself, and only saw before me a great black gulf of ruin, into which some invisible power was pushing me and all my little ones. Great, therefore, was my delight, and sweet the relief to my soul, when the great lady left me unconnected with her quarrels. For, in the crash of such contending powers, there was no chance of escape for such a weak instrument as I was; and fervent were my hopes, and deep my prayers, that the perils and evils prognosticated by the religious fears of my great protectress might be turned aside, and all good subject and sincere churchmen left each under his own vine and his own fig-tree, with nobody to make them afraid. But vain are the hopes of men. We read in no long time in all men’s looks the fate we were condemned to; for it seemed as if a great cloud, filled with God’s wrath, was spread out over this realm of England, and the faces of all men grew dark. We heard the name of Jeffreys whispered in corners, and trembled as if it had been a witch’s spell to make our blood into water. The great lady kept herself much in solitude in the ancient Court, and saw not even her favourite companion, my daughter Waller, for many months; but did ever write affectionate letters to her, and sent presents of rich fruits, and other delectations in which the young take pleasure. There was much riding to and fro of couriers, but whither, or whence, she did never tell, and it was not my province to enquire; but at last an order came for me to send up my Waller and her friend to the mansion. And at evening they were conveyed on horseback as before; but on this occasion their escort was not Master Wilkinson the under butler, but no less a person than my lady’s kinsman, the senior brother of my honourable pupil, the honourable Master Fitzoswald of Yorkshire, a stately young cavalier as could be seen, strong and tall, and his style and title was the Lord Viscount Lessingholm—being the eldest son and heir to that ancient earldom. He was an amiable and pleasant gentleman, full of courtesies and kindness, and particularly pleased with the newfangled fashion of a handsome cap which formed the headpiece of my excellent wife. He said also many handsome things about the brightness of my Waller’s eyes, and assured my excellent wife that he saw so promising an outsprout of talent in my Charles, that he doubted not to see him one of the judges of the realm, if so be he applied his intellectuals to the bar. He was also extreme civil to Alice Snowton, which answered his civilities in like manner; and seldom in so short a space as half an hour has any person made so favourable an impression as he did, particularly on his brother, by reason of his bestowing on him a large Spanish doubloon, and promising him a delicate coloured maneged horse immediately on his return to Yorkshire. It is a pleasant sight to see (and reflected some credit on my ministration of the moralities in this particular instance) the disinterested love of brethren, one towards another, and I failed not to ascertain that the Lord Lessingholm had been boarded in the house of an exemplary divine, to wit, Mr Savage of Corpus Christi College, Oxford—a fact which I think it proper to mention   to the honour of that eloquent member of our church—inasmuch as any man might be proud of having had the training up in the way he should go, of so excellent and praiseworthy a youth.

It was many days before my young ones came back, (I would be understood to include in this Alice Snowton, whom I looked upon with the tenderness of a father and the pride of a teacher all in one;) and when they returned to me, I thought I perceived that they were both more sorrowful than of wont. Alice (and my Waller also) looked oppressed with some secret that weight upon their hearts, and I was fearful the great lady had made them partakers of her cares in the matter of her son and her grandchild. Yet did I not think such a thing possible as that either of them should have been taken into her confidence on so high and momentous a concernment, by reason of my Waller being so young, though thoughtful and considerate, and also fuller grown than persons much more advanced in life; and Alice Snowton was of so playful and gentle a disposition, that she seemed unfitted for the depository of any secret, unless those more strictly appertaining to her youth and sex, and moreover was a stranger to this part of the country, being of a respectable family, as I have observed, in Wilts—namely, a brother of Mr Snowton, my kind patron and friend. I called them into my study, after my labours were over with the other pupils, and I said to them—

“Dear children, ill would it become me to pry into the secrets of my honoured lady, the Lady Mallerden; yet may there arise occasions wherein it is needful for one in my situation, (parent to the one of you, and in loco parentis to the other,) to make perquisition into matters of weight and importance to your well-being, even at the risk of appearing inquisitive into other peoples’ affairs. Answer me, therefore, Alice, my dear child, has the Lady Mallerden instructed you in any portion of her family story?”

“She has in some degree, Sir,” said Alice Snowton, “but not deeply.”

“You know of her disagreement on certain weighty points with her son, the Lord Viscount, and how that he is a wicked man, seeking to break into the pasture of the Lord, and tear down the hedges and destroy the boundaries thereof; and that in this view he is minded to get his daughter into his power, to use her as an instrument towards his temporal elevation?”

“Something of all this we have heard, but not much,” said Alice Snowton.

“And furthermore, I must tell you that overtures were made to me to aid and assist in the resistance to be offered to this man of sin, and I did, for deep and wholesome reasons, refuse my assent thereto, and in this refusal I meant you, my children, to be included; therefore, whatever propositions may be made to you, to hear, or know, or receive, or in any manner aid, in the concealment of the Lord Viscount’s daughter—which is at present in charge of an honourable lady in the north—I charge you, refuse them; they may bring ruin on an unambitious and humble household, and in no case can do good. We must fear God ever, and honour the king while he is entrusted with the sword of power; and family arrangements we must leave to the strong hands and able head of the great Lady Mallerden herself. In this caution I know I fulfil the intentions of my honoured friend, your esteemed uncle, Mr William Snowton, which is concerned with too many noble families to desire to get into enmity with any—and therefore be grateful for all the kindness you experience from my honoured lady; but if perchance she brings her grandchild to the Court, and wishes to make you of her intimates, inform me thereof; and greatly as it would be to be regretted, I would break off the custom of your visits to the noble house, for even that honour may be too dearly purchased by the enmity of powerful and unscrupulous men—if with sceptres in their hands, so much the more to be held in awe.” And I ended with Æsopus his fable of the frogs and bulls. This discourse (whereof I had prepared the heads in the course of the morning) I delivered with the full force of my elocution, and afterwards I dismissed them, leaving to my excellent wife the duty of enlarging on the same topic, and also of giving such advice to Alice, which   was now a full grown young woman, and very fair to look on, in respect of the young cavaliers she might see at the great house, particularly the noble lord, the Lord Lessingholm. Such advice I considered useless in regard to my Waller, she being only about fourteen years of age, but in other respects a fair and womanly creature to see; for her waist was nearly twice as large as Alice Snowton’s, and her shoulders also, and in weight she would have been greatly an overmatch; and certes, putting aside all parental fondness, which we know to be such a beautifier of one’s own kindred as to make the crow a more lovely animal than the dove, (in the eyes of the parent crow,) I will confess that in my estimation, and also in that of my excellent wife, there was no comparison between the two fair maidens, either in respect of fulness of growth or redness of complexion, the advantage being, in both these respects, on the side of the junior. Some sentiment of this sort I saw at the time must have possessed the honourable breast of the Viscount Lessingholm; for although he made much profession of visiting at the parsonage for the sake of seeing his juvenile brother, still there were certain looks and tokens whereby I was clearly persuaded that the magnet was of a different kind; and whereas it would have been vain and ambitious in me to lift my eyes so high, in view of matrimonial proposals, as to nearly the topmost branch in the peerage of England, (the Earls Fitzoswald being known to have been barons of renown at the period of the Norman Conquest;) still it would ill have become me to prevent my daughter from gathering golden apples if they fell at her feet, because they had grown on such a lofty bough of the tree; and I will therefore confess, that it was with no little gratification I saw the unfoldings of a pure and virtuous disposition in the honourable young nobleman. And I will further state, that it seemed as if his presence when he came, (and that was often, nay, sometimes twice in one day,) did make holiday in the whole house; and Charles was by no means backward in his friendship—receiving the fishing-rods presented unto him by the right honourable with so winning an eagerness, and pressing Alice (his constant friend) to go with him and the noble donor with so much zeal to the brook, therein to try the virtues of the gift, that I found it impossible to refuse permission; and therefore did those three often consume valuable hours, (yet also I hope not altogether wasted)—videlicet, Alice and Charles, and the honourable Viscount—in endeavouring to catch the finny tribe, yet seldom with much success. But whatever was the result of their industry—yea, though it was but a minnow—it was brought and presented to my Waller by the honourable hands of the young man, with so loving an air, that it was easy to behold how gladly he would have consented, if she had been the companion of their sports, if by any means Charles could have been persuaded to have exchanged Alice Snowton for her. But the very mention of such an idea did throw the child into such wrathful indignation, that the right honourable was fain to bestow on him whole handfuls of sugar-plums, and promise that Alice should not be left behind. So fared the time away; and at last I began to hope that the fears of the great lady were unfounded, and that nothing would occur to trouble her repose. The manner of living had been resumed again, with the difference that, on the days the young maidens did not visit the noble mansion, the honourable viscount was, as it were, domiciled in the parsonage; and I perceived that, by this arrangement, the great lady was highly pleased; perhaps because the presence of a kinsman, a courageous gentleman, gave her some security against the rudenesses she seemed to be afraid of on the part of her own son—a grievous state of human affairs when the fifth commandment is not held in honour, and reducing us below the level of puppy-dogs and kittens, to whom that commandment, along with the rest of the decalogue, is totally unknown. Sundry times I did observe symptoms of alarm; and care did write a sad story of mental suffering on the brow of the great lady, which was a person of the magnanimity of an ancient matron, and bore up in a   manner surprising to behold in one who stood, as it were, with one hand upon her coffin, while her other stretched backward through the shadow of fourscore years to touch her cradle. And ever, from time to time, couriers came to the noble mansion, while others flew in various directions on swift horses at utmost speed; and looking up into that lofty atmosphere, we saw clouds and ominous signs of coming storms, before we could hear the voice of the thunder. And once a royal messenger (called a pursuivant-at-arms) came down in person, and carried the great lady to London, and there she stayed many days, and was threatened with many things and great punishments, yea, even to be tried by the Lord Jeffreys for high treason, in resisting the king’s order to deliver up her grandchild to its natural guardian—which was its father, the Viscount Mallerden, now created by royal favour Marquis of Danfield. But even this last danger she scorned; and after months of confinement near the royal court, her enemies gave up persecuting her for that season, and at last she came back to Mallerden Court. In the meanwhile, we went on in a quiet and comfortable manner in the parsonage—the Viscount Lessingholm frequently with us, (almost as if he were a pupil of the house;) and on one or two occasions we had a visit for an evening from my honoured friend, Mr William Snowton of Wilts. He was pleased to use great commendations, both of my excellent wife and me, for the mode in which we attended to the mind and manners of his niece, the culinary and other accomplishments, and the rational education wherein he saw her advanced. He never stayed later than day-dawn on the following morning, and kept himself reserved, as one used to the intimacy of the great, and not liking to make his news patent to humble people such as we; and he would on no account open his mouth on the quarrels of our great lady and her son, the new Marquis of Danfield, but kept the conversation in equable channels of everyday matters, and expounded how my glebe lands might be made to yield a greater store of provision by newer modes of cultivation—the which I considered, however, a tampering with Providence, which gives to every field its increase, and no more. But by this time my glebe was not the only land on which I could plant my foot and say, Lo, thou art mine! for I had so prospered in the five years during which I had held a ladder for my pupils to the tree of knowledge, that much golden fruit had fallen to my share, (being kicked down, as it were, by their climbing among the branches;) so that I had purchased the fee simple of the estate of my friend, Master George Sprowles, who had taken some alarm at the state of public affairs, and gone away over the seas to the plantation called, I think, Massachusets, in the great American continent.

It was in the beginning of October 1688, that another call was made on the great lady to make her appearance within a month from that time in the city of London, to give a final answer for her contumacy in refusing obedience to the King and the lord high Treasurer. I felt in hopes the object of their search (namely, the young maiden his daughter, for it was bruited they rummaged to find her out in all directions) was safe with some foreign friends which the great lady possessed in the republic of Holland, where the Prince of Orange was then the chief magistrate; but of this I had no certain assurance. For some days no preparations were made at the noble mansion for so momentous a journey; but at length there were great signs of something being in prospect. First of all, the Viscount Lessingholm rode up from Yorkshire, whither he had been gone three weeks, attended by near a score of fine dressed serving-men, and took up his abode at Mallerden Court; then came sundry others of the great lady’s kinsfolk, attended also by their servants in stately liveries; and we did expect that the proud imperial-minded lady was to go up with such great escort as should impress the king with a just estimate of her power and dignity. With this expectation we kept to ourselves ready to see the noble procession when it should start on its way; but far other things were in store for me, and an instrument called a pea-spitter,   wherewith Charles had provided himself for the purpose of saluting various of the serving-men as they passed, was rendered useless. It was on the first day of November that the Lord Viscount Lessingholm, (who had conveyed the young maidens, videlicet Alice Snowton and my Waller, to the Court on the previous day,) did ride post haste up to my door, making his large grey horse jump over the gate at the end of the walk, as if he had been Perseus flying on his winged steed to the rescue of Andromede, (as the same is so elegantly described in the ancient poet,) and did summon me to go that moment to the noble mansion on matter of the highest import. Much marvelling, and greatly out of breath, I followed the noble gentleman’s motions as rapidly as was beseeming one of my responsible situation, in regard to the spiritual ministrations in the parish, while in sight of any of my flock; for nothing detracts more from the dignity of the apostolical character than rapid motions—such as running, or jumping, or an unordered style of apparel, without hatband or cassock. When out of the village street, I put (as the vulgar phrase expresses it) my best foot foremost, and enacted the part of a running serving-man in the track of my noble conductor; and finally I arrived, in such state as may be conceived, at the entrance-hall of the noble mansion. In the court-yard were numerous serving-men mounted in silent gravity, and ranged around the wall. Each man was wrapped up in a dark-coloured cloak; and underneath it I saw, depending from each, the clear polished extremity of a steel sword-sheath. They did bear their reins tightened, and their heels ornamented with spurs, as if ready to spring forth at a word, and great tribulation came over my soul. Howbeit I mounted the grand staircase, and, following the western corridor, I opened the door of the green-damask withdrawing-room, and found myself in the middle of a large and silent company. There were, perhaps, a dozen persons there assembled—motionless in their chairs; and at the further end of the apartment sat the great lady in whispered conversation with a tall dark gentleman of mature years, say fifty or thereabouts, and with a wave of her hand, having instructed me to be seated, she pursued her colloquies in the same under tones as before. When I had placed myself in a chair, and was in somewhat recovering my breath, which much hurrying and the surprising scene I saw had greatly impaired, a hand was laid upon my shoulder, and I turned round, and, sitting in the next chair to me, I beheld my honoured friend Mr William Snowton of Wilts.

“Good Master Willis,” he said, “you little expected to see me here, I do well believe; but it was but lately I was summoned.”

“And know you wherefore we are here assembled?” I enquired.

“Somewhat I know, but not all. The persons here be men of great power, some of them being those by whom I am employed in managing their worldly affairs, and shortly we shall hear what is determined on.”

“On what subject do they mean to consult us? I shall be ready,” said I, “to give what advice may be needed, if peradventure it suits with my sacred calling.”

“I fear they will hardly consult a person of your holy profession,” said Mr Snowton with a sober kind of smile. “It is of life or death we are now to take our choice.”

A great fear fell upon me, as a great shadow falls upon the earth before a thunder storm. “What mean ye?” I whispered. “There is no shedding of blood.”

“There will be much shedding of blood, good Master Willis; yea, the rivers in England will run red with the same, unless some higher power interferes to deliver us.”

“And wherefore am I summoned to such fearful conference? I am no man of blood. I meddle not with lofty matters. I”——

But here I was interrupted by Mr Snowton in a low grave tone. “Then you have not heard that the wicked man of sin, the false Papist, the Marquis of Danfield, hath discovered his child?”

“No, I have not been informed thereof. And hath he gained possession of her?”

“No, nor shall not!” and hereupon he frowned a great frown, and let his   sword-sheath strike heavily upon the floor. All the company looked sharply round; but seeing it was by hazard, they took no notice of what occurred.

“And where, then, is the maiden bestowed?” I demanded.

“In this house; you shall see her soon.”

“And what have I to do with these matters? They are above my concernment!” I exclaimed, in great anguish of mind.

“You have to unite her in the holy bands of wedlock.”

“Nay, that is clearly impossible! Where, I pray thee, is the license?”

“All that has been cared for by means of a true bishop of our church. There can be no scruple on canonical grounds; and if there be hesitation in obeying the Lady Mallerden’s orders, (provided she finally takes up her mind to deliver the same,) I would not answer for the recusant’s life, no, not for an hour.”

“But wherefore in such secrecy, with such haste?” I said, in dreadful sort.

“Because we know that the father slept at Oxford last night with store of troops, and that he will be here this night with a royal warrant to enforce his right to the bestowal of his child; and he hath already promised her to the leader of the malignant Papists.”

“And are we here to resist the king’s soldiers and the mandate of the king?”

“Yea, to the death!” he said, and sank into gloomy thoughts and said no more.

I looked around among the assembly, and recognized no other faces that I knew, and in a short space the great lady, having finished her colloquy with her next neighbour, rose up and said—“My lords, I believe ye be all of kin to this house, and the other gentlemen be its friends—a falling house, as represented by a feeble woman of fourscore years and five. Yet in the greatness of the cause, may we securely expect a gift of strength even to so frail an instrument as I am. I have consulted with you all, and finally have taken counsel with my kind cousin and sweet friend, the Earl of Fitzoswald, now at my side, and he hath agreed to what I have proposed. It now, then, but remains to carry our project into effect; and for that purpose I have summoned hither a good man and excellent divine, Master Willis of this neighbourhood, to be efficacious in that behalf.”

I started up, and said in great agitation—“Oh, my lady!”—but had not proceeded further when I was broken in upon by a voice of thunder—

“Silence, I say! What, is it for the frailness of a reed like you that such noble enterprise must perish? Make no remonstrance, sir, but do what is needed, or”——

Although the great lady did not finish her words, I felt an assurance steal like ice over my soul that my hours were numbered if I hesitated, and I bowed low, while Mr William Snowton did privily pull me down into my seat by the hinder parts of my cassock.

“You—you, Master Willis, of all men, should least oppose this godly step. For the noise thereof will sound unto the ends of the earth, and make the old Antichrist on his seven hills quake and tremble, and shake the pitiful spirit of the apostate of Whitehall. Say I not well, my lords?”

“You say well,” ran round the room in a murmur of consent.

“And you—you, Master Willis,” she went on, “least of all, should object to keep a lamb within the true fold—yea, a lamb which you did see with your own eyes introduced into the same. Remember you nought of godly Master Waller’s in Berkshire, or of the scene you saw in a certain chamber, where the baptismal waters were poured forth, and murmured like a pleasant fountain in the dying ears of a devout Christian woman?”

I was so held back with awe that I said not a word, and she went on—

“Oh, if good Master Lees had yet been spared, we should not have asked for the ministry of trembling and unwilling hands like yours! And now, my lords—and you, kind gentlemen, my plan as arranged with good Lord Fitzoswald is this:—I give my grandchild’s hand where her heart has long been bestowed; I then go with her through lanes and byways; under good escort, to the city of Exeter, where erelong we shall cast in our lot   with certain friends. The bridegroom shall see nought of his bride till happier days arrive, except at this altar; and you shall go directly to your respective stations, and be ready at the first blowing of the horns before which the walls of this Jericho are to fall. In the next chamber I have made preparation for the ceremony, and in a few minutes, when I have arranged me for the journey, I will summon you.”

Something of this I heard—the sense namely forced its way into my brain; but I was confused and panic-stricken. The whole sad scene enacted so many years before, at the house of good Master Waller, on my way home from Oxford, came back upon my heart, and I marvelled at the method whereby the great lady had acquired a knowledge of the secret. I was deep sunk in these cogitations when the door of the inner library was at last thrown open, and such light flashed upon us from the multitude of candles, which were illuminated in all parts of the chamber, that my eyes were for some time dazzled. When I came to myself I looked, and at a table under the eastern window, on which was spread out a golden-clasped prayer-book, opened at the form of solemnization of matrimony, I saw, along with two young men of about his own age, (all girt with swords, and booted and spurred,) the right honourable the Viscount Lessingholm, which I at once concluded was acting as bridegroom’s man to one of the other youths. The company, which had been assembled in the withdrawing-room, placed themselves gravely, as if some solemn matter was in hand, at the side of the table; and I took my place by a motion from the Earl Fitzoswald, and laid my hand upon the prayer-book, as ready to begin. The door at the other end of the room, which leadeth to the outer staircase, was opened, and there came noiselessly in a tall woman, dressed in the same fantastical apparel, like the apparel of the Bohemians or gipsies, which I remembered so well on the fatal night of the christening; and, when she cast her eyes on me, I could not have thought an hour had passed since that time, and I recognised in her, with awe and wonderment, the features of the great lady, the Lady Mallerden herself. In each hand she led a young person, in her left my daughter Waller, and I will not deny that at the sight my heart leapt up with strange but not unpleasing emotion, as, remembering the habitudes of the noble Viscount Lessingholm, I thought there was a possibility of a double wedding; and in her other hand, dressed as for a journey, with close fitting riding-coat, and a round hat with sable feathers upon her head, she conducted Alice Snowton, the which looked uncommon lovely, though by no means so healthy or stout-looking as her other companion—videlicet, my Waller. They walked up to the place whereat we stood, and the Lord Viscount springing forward, did give his hand to Alice Snowton, and did not let it go for some time; but looked upon her with such soft endearing looks that she held down her head, and a red blush appeared upon her cheek, as if thereupon there had been reflected the shadow of a rose. For it was not of the deep tinge which formed the ornament of the complexion of my Waller.

“This is no time for useless dalliance,” said the great lady; “let us to work. By no other means can we root out for ever the hopes of our enemies.”

“Where then, madam,” I said, “is the bride?—and who, I pray you, is the bridegroom?”

“The bridegroom is the Viscount Lessingholm. This maiden is the bride.”

“But Alice Snowton, my lady. I did think it was your honourable grandchild who was to be united to this noble gentleman.”

“And so it is—and so it is! She is Alice Snowton no longer. Our good friend, Master Snowton, the steward on my daughter Pevensey’s Wiltshire manor, was good enough to adopt her as his niece; and for her better concealment we placed her in the charge of a person whose character for meekness and simplicity was too notorious to raise suspicion of his being concerned in such a plot. Even to herself, till lately, her parentage was unknown, as Master Snowton kept well the secret.”

“And one other question,” I said;   “the child to whom I became bound as godfather?”

“’Tis the same. This is the poor Lucy Hesseltine, whose orphanship you witnessed in that lone and yet comfortable death.”

The lady Lucy Hesseltine, or rather Alice Snowton, for by that name I loved her best, did throw her arms about my neck, and kissed my cheek, and said I had been a kind godfather to her, yea, had been a father to her, and my excellent wife a mother. At this my heart was much moved, and I saw tears come to the eyes of several of the bystanders, but no tear came to the eyes of the great lady herself.

“Let this be enough,” she said. “Let us finish what we have yet to do.”

And thereupon, all being ready and in their due places, I began; but when I came to the question—“Lucy Hesseltine, wilt thou have this man to be thy lawful husband?”—a sudden noise in the court-yard under the window made me pause; but the great lady commanded me with a frown to go on, and I concluded the question, and received in reply a sweet but audible “yes.” But the noise was again repeated, and the assistants sprang to their feet, for it was the sound of the sharp shooting off of pistols.

“Stir not for your lives till the ceremony is over!” cried the great lady; and I hurried with trembling lips over the remainder of the service. A loud voice in the yard was heard amid the trampling of much horse. “In the king’s name, surrender!” the voice said. “We have a warrant here, and soldiers!”

“For as much as Frederick and Lucy Hesseltine,” (I said as calmly as I could, though with my heart quaking within me) “have consented together in holy wedlock, and have witnessed the same before God and this company, and thereto have given and pledged their troth either to other, and have declared the same by giving and receiving of a ring, and by joining of hands—I pronounce that they be man and wife together!”

“Now then, my lords and gentlemen,” cried the great lady, springing to her feet, “to the defence! We are witnesses of this marriage, and clashing swords must play the wedding peel. If need be, fear not in such quarrel to do your best; yea, to the shedding of blood! Though the blood were my son’s, it were well shed in such a holy cause. Now then, Lucy, come! Guard the front entrance but an hour, and we shall be beyond pursuit.”

And so saying she glided rapidly, with the nearly fainting bride, towards the hidden stairs, while Viscount Lessingholm rushed rapidly with drawn sword down the grand flight, and sprang on his grey horse. In the confusion my Waller had disappeared, and in great agonies of fear I slipped into the court-yard. Oh, what a sight met my eyes! There were several men lying dead, which had been shot or otherwise killed, and their horses were galloping hither and thither with loose reins and stirrups flapping; other men were groaning, and writhing in great pains, tearing the ground with bleeding hands, and dragging themselves, if such were possible, away from the mêlée. Meanwhile, horsemen drawn up on either side were doing battle with sword and pistol; and the trampling and noise of the shouting, the groans and deep execrations, all resounding at once in that atmosphere of smoke and approaching night, were fearful to listen to, and I bethought me of some way of escape. I slipped within the piazza of the servants’ court, and made my way towards the gate; but here the battle raged the fiercest, the noble Viscount Lessingholm being determined to keep it closed, and the furious Marquis resolute to force it open, whereby an accession of men might come to him which were shut out on the other side—the warder of the door having only admitted the marquis himself, and about fifty of the king’s dragoons. The retainers which I had seen on my entrance amounted to seventy or more; and seeing they had most of them been soldiers, yea, some which had grizzled locks, having been among the shouters at Dunbar, and on many fields besides, under the cruel eye of the ferocious Oliver himself, they did cry “Ha, ha! at the spear of the rider, and smelt the battle afar off.” The Marquis of Danfield did spur his black war-horse, with his sword poised high in air   towards the noble Viscount of Lessingholm, and with fierce cries the noble viscount raised also his sword, and was in act to strike the undefended head of his assailant. “Stop, Frederick!” cried a voice, which proceeded from the Earl Fitzoswald; “it is Danfield himself!” whereupon the young gentleman did ward off the blow aimed at him by the marquis, and passed on. All this I saw ere I gave up hopes of getting out by the gate; but seeing this was hopeless, I pursued my way back again, with intent to get out by one of the postern windows, and hurry homeward across the fields; and having opened a window near unto the buttery, I hung by my hands, and then shutting my eyes and commending my soul to Heaven, I let go, and dropt safely down upon the greensward. But ere I could recover myself sufficiently, I was set upon as if I had been an armed enemy, by a large number of mounted men, which were of the company of the marquis, whereby I saw that the house was surrounded, and feared the great lady and Alice (I would say the Viscountess Lessingholm) were intercepted in their retreat. Howbeit, I gave myself up prisoner, by reason of various blows with the flats of sabres, and sundry monitions to surrender or die. I was led in great fear to the front of the court, and brought before a proud, fierce-browed commander, which interrogated me “of all that was going on, and whether the Lady Lucy Mallerden was in the Court?” Whereto I answered, that I was so overcome with terror that I knew little of what I had seen, and, with regard to the noble lady, I was persuaded she was not within the walls. “If you answer me,” he said, “truly, and tell me what road she has taken, I will send you away in safety, and secure you his majesty’s pardon for any thing you may have done against his crown and dignity; but if you refuse, I will assuredly hang you on the court-yard gate the moment we gain possession thereof. Now, say which way went they?” I was sore put to it, for it was like betraying innocent blood to tell these savage men the course my godchild pursued in her escape; and yet to tell an untruth was repugnant to my nature, and I said to the captain, “It is a hard matter for me to point out where my friends are fleeing unto.”

“Then you’ll be hung as high as Haman at daybreak; so you can take your choice,” said he.

“If I direct you unto the place whereunto she is gone,” I said, “it will be a hard matter to find her.”

“That’s our business, not yours. Tell us where it is.”

“For, suppose she were in hiding in a city, a large busy place like Bristol, and waited for a conveyance to a foreign land”——

“In Bristol! Oho, say no more! Ensign Morley, take ten of the best mounted of the troop and scour the northern roads towards Bristol. You will overtake them ere they are far advanced.”

“I pray you, captain,” I said, “to observe—I have not told you she is gone towards Bristol.”

“I know you haven’t,” he said smiling, “I will bear witness you have kept her secret well; but here we are about to enter the Court, for the firing is finished. The rebels will be on gibbets within twenty-four hours, every one.”

But there was no sign of the gate being opened. Contrariwise there did appear, in the dimness of the evening-sky, certain dark caps above the outside wall, which I did recognize as being worn by the serving-men of the great lady’s friends; and while we were yet talking a flight of bullets passed close over our heads, and three or four of the troopers fell off dead men, leaving their saddles empty and their horses masterless.

“Draw close my men,” cried the captain, “right wheel;” and setting his men an example, he did gallop with what speed he might from the propinquity of the wall. As for myself, I was in some sort relieved by the knowledge that the noble mansion still continued in possession of the Viscount Lessingholm; and comforting myself with the assurance that no evil could befall my daughter Waller while under his protection, I did contrive to seize by the bridle one of the dragoons’ horses, (a stout black horse, which, being never claimed, did do my farming work for fifteen years,) and,   climbing up into the saddle, betook me home to inform my excellent wife of all these dreadful events. All next day, and all the next—yea, for three whole days—I stayed in my quiet home, receiving information quietly by means of a note brought to me by my servants, that the mansion still held out, that Waller was quite safe, and that, provided no artillery was brought to bear against them, that they could hold out till the time came. What was the meaning of the latter phraseology, I did not know; but considering it desirable at that period to cut down certain trees on my recently purchased estate, I proceeded with Thomas Hodge the carpenter, and various other artificers of my parishioners, (all being friends and dependents of the great lady,) and with saws and other instruments did level the whole row of very large oaks and elm trees which bordered the only high-road from Oxford; and, by some strange accident, all the trees did fall exactly across the same, and made it utterly impossible to move thereupon with cart or waggon; so that it was much to be suspected that the guns, which we heard were ordered to come up from Wallingford, could by no means get over the obstruction. It is also to be observed that Master George Railsworth, the mason, who had contracted to repair the strong bridge over our stream, did take this opportunity of taking down two of the arches of the same, and could find no sufficient assistance to enable him to restore them, which made the road impassable for horse or man. On the following day, namely, the fifth day of November, we heard that all the king’s soldiers were suddenly ordered from all parts up to London, and that the Marquis of Danfield had been left to his imprisonment in Mallerden Court. Whereupon I bethought me it would be safe to venture up once more, and bring my daughter Waller to the securer custody of my excellent wife. Next morning, at early dawn, I accordingly did go up, and was admitted, after a short parley, by the gate-keeper, which had a helmet on his head and a sword in his hand. Speedily I was in the arms of my daughter Waller, who looked as happy as if none of these scenes had been transacted before her eyes; and moreover did refuse, in very positive terms, to leave the Court till her dear friend Alice—I would say the Lady Lucy—returned. I reasoned with her, and reprimanded her, and showed her in what a fearful state of danger we all were, by reason of the rebellion we had been guilty of against his majesty the king. Whereupon the child did only laugh, and told me, “Here she would abide until the time came.” And with this enigmatical expression I was fain to be content; for she would vouchsafe me no other. And, corroborative of all which, she said, she relied on the assurances made unto her to that effect by Sir Walter Ouseley, one of the young gentlemen which had acted as bridegroom’s man to the noble Viscount Lessingholm, and was now in the Court as his lieutenant in the defence of the same. A goodly young gentleman he was, and fair to look upon, and extraordinary kind to me, soothing my fears, and encouraging me to hope for better things than those my terrors made me anticipate. I enquired of the behavings of the Marquis of Danfield, and learned to my surprise that it was expected that before this day was over, if he did receive a courier, as was thought, from the Lord Churchill, one of the king’s favourite officers, he would withdraw all his objections to the marriage, and rather be an encourager and advocate of the same. In these discourses the time passed away, and about three of the clock, after we had dined in the great hall, we were looking out from the battlements and saw a dust on the western road.

“It is Churchill’s letter,” said the noble Viscount Lessingholm, “and he has kept his promise for once.”

“There is too much dust for only one courier’s heels—there be twenty in company at least,” replied Sir Walter Ouseley, which had the arm of my Waller closely locked in his.

“There may be a surprise intended,” cried the noble viscount. “Hoist the flag, man the walls, treble the watchers, and sound for the men into the yard.”

We of the peaceful professions—videlicet, my daughter Waller and I—did descend from the bartizan, and   betook ourselves to the great withdrawing room, to wait for the result of the approach. We had not waited long when the door opened, and no other than the great lady herself, and my loved and lovely godchild, the Viscountess Lessingholm, came into the apartment. The great lady was now appareled as became her rank, having discarded those Bohemian habiliments which were her disguise in times of danger. Oh! it was a great sight to behold, the meeting between the Lady Lucy and my daughter Waller; but when hurried steps sounded on the stairs, and the door opened, and the noble viscount rushed into her arms, it was impossible to keep from tears. My feeble pen can venture on no such lofty flights of description, and therefore I will not attempt it. Meanwhile, in the outer court, great shouting was heard. Sir Walter Ouseley came up to us, and announced that the Marquis of Danfield “presented his respects to his noble mother, and congratulated her on the glorious news.”

“I knew how it would be,” she said, “with base natures such as his and Churchill’s. We accept their assistance, but despise the instrument. He will now be fierce against his benefactor, (who, though a bad king, was tender to his friends,) and bitterer against his faith than if he had never been either a courtier or a bigot. I receive his congratulations, Sir Walter Ouseley, but I decline an interview for some time to come.”

“He desired me also, my lady,” said Sir Walter, “to convey his blessing to the bride, and his tender love to his new son, the Viscount Lessingholm.”

“Well, let them not reject it. The blessing even of such a father has its value. But we must now make preparation, for the celebration of the happy nuptials, in a style fitting the rank of the parties. The prince is pleased with what we have done”——

The young man, Sir Walter Ouseley, who had been whispering in my ear, here broke in on the great lady’s speech.

“If it would please you, madam, at the same time, to permit two others to be happy, I have obtained Master Willis’s consent thereto, and also the consent of this fair maiden.”

The viscountess took Waller in her arms, and kissed her cheek, and the great lady smiled.

“I knew not, Sir Walter Ouseley, that you were so perfect a soldier as to sustain an attack and lay siege at the same time; but since in both you have been successful, I give you my hearty good wishes. And so, dear friends and true supporters, let us be thankful for the great deliverance wrought for this land and nation, as well as for ourselves. Our defender, the noble William, landed three days ago at Torbay, and is now in Hampton Court. The king has taken flight, never to be restored. Therefore, God save the Prince of Orange and the Lady Mary, the props and ornaments of a true Protestant throne!”


All things change; ours is the age of masses and classes, the last was the age of individuals. Half a dozen remarkable men then represented the London world, in politics, poetry, bon-mots, dining out, and gaming. Pitt and Fox, the Dukes of Queensberry and Norfolk, Sheridan and General Scott, were the substitutes for mankind in the great metropolis. George Brummell was the last of the beaus. The flame of beauism was expiring; but it flamed in its socket brighter than ever, and Beau Brummell made a more conspicuous figure in the supreme bon-ton of elegant absurdity, than any or all his predecessors. The only permanent beau on earth is the American savage. The Indians, who have been lately exhibiting their back-wood deformities in our island at shilling a-head, were prodigious dressers; Greek taste might probably have dissented from their principles of costume, but there could be no doubt of the study of their decoration. Their coiffeur might not altogether supersede either the Titus or the Brutus in the eye of a Parisian, but it had evidently been twisted on system; and if their drapery in general might startle Baron Stulz, it evidently cost as dexterous cutting out, and as ambitious tailoring, as the most recherché suit that ever turned a “middling man” into a figure for Bond Street.

But the charm which is the very soul of European fashion, is scorned by the Indian. Change—the “Cynthia of the minute,” the morning thought and midnight dream of the dilettanti in human drapery—has no captivation for the red man. He may like variety in his scalps or his squaws; but not a feather, not a stripe of yellow on one cheek, or of green on another, exhibits a sign of the common mutabilities of man. He struts in the plumes which his fathers wore, is attired in the same nether garments, exhibits the same head-gear, and decorates his physiognomy with the sane proportion of white-wash, red-lead, bear’s-grease, and Prussian blue.

Beauism, in England, scarcely goes farther back than the days of Charles II. It may be said that Elizabeth had her beaux; but the true beau being an existence of which no man living can discover the use, and which is, in fact, wholly useless except to his tailor and the caricaturists, the chevaliers of the time of Queen Bess are not entitled to the honour of the name. Raleigh, no doubt, was a good dresser; but then he could write and fight, and was good for something. Leicester is recorded as a superb dresser; but then he dabbled in statesmanship, war, and love-making, and of course had not much time on his hands. The Sedleys, Rochesters, and their compeers, had too much actual occupation, good and bad, to be fairly ranked among those gossamery ornaments of mankind; they were idle enough in their hearts for the purpose, but their lives were not shadows, their sole object was not self. They were more nice about swords than snuff-boxes and, if they were spendthrifts, their profusion was not limited to a diamond ring or a Perigord pie. They loved, hated, read, wrote, frolicked and fought; they could frown as well as smile, and see the eccentricity of their own follies as well as enjoy them. But the true beau is a beau-ideal, an abstraction substantialized only by the scissors, a concentrated essence of frivolity, infinitely sensitive to his own indulgence, chill as the poles to the indulgence of all others; prodigal to his own appetites, never suffering a shilling to escape for the behoof of others; magnanimously mean, ridiculously wise, and contemptibly clever; selfishness is the secret, the spring, and the principle of, par excellence, the beau.

In the brief introduction prefixed to the “Life,” some of those individuals who approached closest to perfection of old times are mentioned.   One of those was Sir George Hewitt, on whom Etheridge, the comic writer, sketched his Sir Fopling Flutter. This beau found a place in poetry as well as in prose,

“Had it not better been than thus to roam,
To stay, and tie the cravat-string at home?
To strut, look big, strike pantaloon, and swear
With Hewitt—D——me, There’s no action here?”

Wilson followed. He was a personage who first established the fashion of living by one’s wits. Returning from the army in Flanders with forty shillings in his pocket, he suddenly started into high life in the most dashing style, eclipsed every body by his equipage, stud, table, and dress. As he was not known at the gaming-table, conjecture was busy on the subject of his finances; and he was charitably supposed to have commenced his career by robbing a Dutch mail of a package of diamonds. Still he glittered, until involved in a duel with Mississippi Law; the latter financier, probably jealous of so eminent a rival, ran a rapier through his body.

The next on the list is Beau Fielding. He was intended for the bar, but intending himself for nothing, his pursuit was fashion. He set up a showy equipage, went to court, and led the life of “a man about town.” He was remarkably handsome, attracted the notice of Charles II., and reigned as the monarch of beauism. He was rapidly ruined, but repaired his fortune by marrying an heiress. She died; and the beau was duped by an Englishwoman, whom he married under the idea that she was a Madame Delaune, a widow of great wealth. Finding out the deception, he cast her off, and married the Duchess of Cleveland, though in her sixty-first year. For this marriage he was prosecuted, and found guilty of bigamy. He then became reconciled to his former wife, and died, in 1712, at the age of sixty-one. He was the Orlando of the Tatler.

Beau Edgeworth lives only in the record of Steele, in the 246th number of the Tatler, as a “very handsome youth who frequented the coffeehouses about Charing-Cross, and wore a very pretty ribbon with a cross of jewels on his breast.” Beau Nash completes the list of the ancient heroes, dying in 1761, at the age of eighty-eight—a man of singular success in his frivolous style; made for a master of the ceremonies, the model of all sovereigns of water-drinking places; absurd and ingenious, silly and shrewd, avaricious and extravagant. He created Bath; he taught decency to “bucks,” civility to card-players, care to prodigals, and caution to Irishmen! Bath has never seen his like again. In English high life, birth is every thing or nothing. Men of the lowest extraction generally start up, and range the streets arm-in-arm with the highest. Middle life alone is prohibited to make its approach; the line of demarcation there is like the gulf of Curtius, not to be filled up, and is growing wider and wider every day. The line of George Brummell is like that of the Gothic kings—without a pedigree; like that of the Indian rajahs—is lost in the clouds of antiquity; and like that of Romulus—puzzles the sagacious with rumours of original irregularity of descent. But the most probable existing conjecture is, that his grandfather was a confectioner in Bury Street, St James’s. We care not a straw about the matter, though the biographer is evidently uneasy on the subject, doubts the trade, and seems to think that he has thrown a shade of suspicion, a sort of exculpatory veil over this fatal rumour, by proving that this grandfather and his wife were both buried, as is shown by a stone, still to be seen by the curious, in St James’s church-yard. We were not before aware that Christian burial was forbidden to confectioners. The biographer further adds the convincing evidence of gentility, that this grandfather was buried within a few feet of the well-known ribald, Tom Durfey. Scepticism must now hang down its head, and fly the field.

We come to a less misty and remote period. In the house of this ancestor, who (proh dedecus!) let lodgings, lived Charles Jenkinson, then holding some nondescript office under government. We still want a history of that singularly dexterous, shy, silent,   and successful man; who, like Jupiter in Homer, did more by a nod than others by a harangue—made more as a scene-shifter than any actor on the stage of Westminster—continually crept on, while whole generations of highfliers dropped and died; and at length, like a worm at the bottom of a pool, started up to the surface, put on wings, and fluttered in the sunshine, Earl of Liverpool! The loss of such a biography is a positive injury to all students of the art of rising. Jenkinson was struck by the neatness of the autograph in which “Apartments to be Let” was displayed on the door; and probably, conscious that the “art of letting” was the true test of talents, made the young writer his amanuensis, and finally obtained for him a clerkship in the treasury. He was next in connexion with Lord North for the twelve years of that witty and blundering nobleman’s unhappy administration, and enjoyed no less than three offices, by which he netted L.2500 a-year. He was abused a good deal by the party-ink of his time; but the salary enabled him to bear spattering to any amount, and probably only increased Lord North’s sympathy for his fellow-sufferer, until that noble lord was suffocated in the public mire.

But after the crush of the minister, the man felt that his day was done; and he retired to “domestic virtue” as it is termed, took a good house in the country, enjoyed himself, and in 1794 died, leaving two sons and a daughter, and L.65,000 among them.

George Bryan Brummell, the second son, was born in June 1778. The biographer observes characteristically, that the beau avoided the topic of his genealogical tree with a sacred mystery. It appears that he avoided with equal caution all mention of the startling fact, that one of his Christian names was Bryan. It never escaped his lips; it never slipped into his signature; it was never suffered to “come between the wind and his nobility.” If it had by any unhappy chance transpired, he must have fainted on the spot, have fled from society, and hid his discomfiture in

“Deserts where no men abide.”

Brummell was a dandy by instinct, a good dresser by the force of original genius; a first-rate tyer of cravats on the involuntary principle. When a boy at Eton, in 1790, he acquired his first distinction not by “longs and shorts,” but by the singular nicety of his stock with a gold buckle, the smart cut of his coat, and his finished study of manners. Others might see glory only through hexameters and pentameters; renown might await others only through boating or cricket; with him the colour of his coat and the cut of his waistcoat were the materials of fame. Fellows and provosts of Eton might seem to others the “magnificoes” of mankind—the colossal figures which overtopped the age by their elevation, or eclipsed it by their splendour—the “dii majorum gentium,” who sat on the pinnacle of the modern Olympus; but Brummell saw nothing great but his tailor—nothing worthy of respect among the human arts but the art of cutting out a coat—and nothing fit to ensure human fame with posterity but the power to create and to bequeath a new fashion.

But the name of dandy was of later date; the age had not attained sufficient elegance for so polished a title; it was still buck or macaroni; the latter having been the legacy of the semi-barbarian age which preceded the eighteenth century. Brummell was called Buck Brummell when an urchin at Eton—a preliminary evidence of the honours which awaited him in a generation fitter to reward his skill and acknowledge his superiority. Dandy was a thing yet to come, but which, in his instance, was sure to come.

“The force of title could no further go—
The ‘dandy was the heirloom of the beau.’”

Yet even in boyhood the sly and subtle style, the Brummellism of his after years, began to exhibit itself. A party of the boys having quarreled with the boatmen of the Thames, had fallen on one who had rendered himself obnoxious, and were about to throw him into the river. Brummell, who never took part in those affrays, but happened to pass by at the time, said, “My good fellows, don’t throw him into the river; for, as the man is in   a high state of perspiration, it amounts to a certainty that he will catch cold.” The boys burst into laughter, and let their enemy run for his life.

At Eton, however, he was a general favourite for his pleasantry, the gentleness of his manner, and the smartness of his repartee. He had attained tolerable scholarship, was in the fifth form in 1793, the year in which he left Eton, and wrote good Latin verses, an accomplishment which he partially retained to his last days. From Eton he went to Oriel, and there commenced that cutting system of which he so soon became the acknowledged master. He cut an old Eton acquaintance simply because he had entered at an inferior college, and discontinued visiting another because he had invited him to meet two students of a hall which he was pleased to consider obnoxious. In his studies he affected to despise college distinctions, but yet wrote for the Newdigate prize, and produced the second best poem. But his violation of college rules was systematic and contemptuous. He always ordered his horse at hall time, was the author of half the squibs, turned a tame jack-daw with a band on into the quadrangle to burlesque the master, and treated all proctors’ and other penalties with contempt. Such, at least, is the character given him by Mr Lister in Granby.

But he was now to commence a new career. In 1794 he was gazetted to a cornetcy in the Tenth Hussars, the gift of its colonel the Prince of Wales. Brummell’s own account of this origin of his court connexions is, that when a boy at Eton he had been presented to the Prince, and that his subsequent intimacy grew out of the Prince’s notice on that occasion. But a friend of his told the biographer that the Prince, hearing of the young Etonian as a second Selwyn, had asked him to his table, and given him the commission to attach him to his service. This was a remarkable distinction, and in any other hands would have been a card of fortune. He was then but sixteen; he was introduced at once into the highest society of fashion; and he was the favourite companion of a prince who required to be amused, delighted in originality, and was fond of having the handsomest and pleasantest men of the age in his regiment.

Brummell, though an elegant appendage to the corps, was too much about the person of the Prince to be a diligent officer. The result was, that he was often late on parade, and did not always know his own troop. However, he evaded the latter difficulty in general, by a contrivance peculiarly his own. One of his men had a large blue-tinged nose. Whenever Brummell arrived late, he galloped between the squadrons till he saw the blue nose. There he reined up, and felt secure. Once, however, it happened unfortunately that during his absence there was some change made in the squadrons, and the place of the blue nose was shifted. Brummel, on coming up late as usual, galloped in search of his beacon, and having found his old friend he reined up. “Mr Brummell,” cried the colonel, “you are with the wrong troop.” “No, no,” said Brummell, confirming himself by the sight of the blue nose, and adding in a lower tone—“I know better than that; a pretty thing, indeed, if I did not know my own troop!”

His promotion was rapid; for he obtained a troop within three years, being captain in 1796. Yet within two years he threw up his commission. The ground of this singular absurdity is scarcely worth enquiring into. He was evidently too idle for any thing which required any degree of regularity. The command of a troop requires some degree of attention from the idlest. He had the prospect of competence from his father’s wealth; and his absolute abhorrence of all exertion was probably his chief prompter in throwing away the remarkable advantages of his position—a position from which the exertion of a moderate degree of intellectual vigour, or even of physical activity, might have raised him to high rank in either the state or the army.

Of course, various readings of his resignation have been given; some referred it to his being obliged to wear hair-powder, which was then ceasing to be fashionable; others, more probably, to an original love for doing nothing. The reason which he himself assigned, was comic and characteristic. It was his disgust at   the idea of being quartered, for however short a time, in a manufacturing town. An order arrived one evening for the hussars to move to Manchester. Next morning early he waited on the Prince, who, expressing surprise at a visit at such an hour from him, was answered—“The fact is, your royal highness, I have heard that we are ordered to Manchester. Now, you must be aware how disagreeable this would be to me; I really could not go. Think! Manchester! Besides, you would not be there. I have therefore, with your permission, determined to sell out.”—“Oh, by all means, Brummell!” said the Prince; “do as you please.” And thus he stripped himself of the highest opportunity in the most showy of all professions before he was twenty-one.

He now commenced what is called the bachelor life of England; he took a house in Chesterfield Street, May Fair; gave small but exquisite dinners; invited men of rank, and even the Prince, to his table; and avoiding extravagance—for he seldom played, and kept only a pair of horses—established himself as a refined voluptuary.

Yet for this condition his means, though considerable, if aided by a profession, were obviously inadequate. His fortune amounted only to L.30,000, though to this something must be added for the sale of his troop. His only resources thenceforth must be play, or an opulent marriage.

Nature and art had been favourable to him; his exterior, though not distinguished, was graceful, and his countenance, though not handsome, was intelligent. He possessed in a certain degree the general accomplishments, and exactly in the degree, which produce a flattering reception in society. He was a tolerable musician, he used his pencil with tolerable skill, and he wrote tolerable verses; more would have been worse than useless. He dressed admirably, and, as his cheval de battaile, he talked with a keenness of observation and a dexterity of language, scarcely less rare than wit, and still more exciting among the exhausted minds, and in the vapid phraseology, of fashion.

His person was well formed, and his dress was a matter of extreme study. But it is rather libellous on the memory of this man of taste to suppose, that he at all resembled in this important matter the strutting display which we have seen in later times, and which irresistibly strikes the beholder with surprise, that any man capable of seeing himself in the glass could exhibit so strong a temptation to laughter; while to the more knowing in the affairs of costume, it betrays instantly the secret that the exhibitor is simply a walking placard for a tailor struggling for employment, and supplying the performer on the occasion with a wardrobe for the purpose. Brummell’s dress was finished with perfect skill, but without the slightest attempt at exaggeration. Plain Hessian boots and pantaloons, or top boots and buckskins, which were then more the fashion than they are now; a blue coat, and a buff coloured waistcoat—for he somewhat leaned to Foxite politics for form’s-sake, however he despised all politics as unworthy of a man born to give the tone to fashion—was his morning dress. In the evening, he appeared in a blue coat and white waistcoat, black pantaloons closely fitting, and buttoning tight to the ankle, striped silk stockings, and opera hat. We may thus observe how much Brummell went before his age; for while he thus originated a dress which no modern refinement has yet exceeded, and which contained all that is de bon ton in modern equipment, he was living in the midst of a generation almost studiously barbarian—the Foxite imitators of the French republicans—where every man’s principle was measured by the closeness of his approach to savagery; and nothing but the War interposed to prevent the sans-culottism alike of the body and the mind.

Brummell, though not possessing the patronage of a secretary of state, had the power of making men’s fortunes. His principal tailors were Schweitzer and Davidson of Cork street, Weston, and Meyer of Conduit street. Those names have since disappeared, but their memory is dear to dandyism; and many a superannuated man of elegance will give “the passing tribute of a sigh” to the incomparable neatness of their   “fit,” and the unrivaled taste of their scissors. Schweitzer and Meyer worked for the Prince, and the latter was in some degree a royal favourite, and one of the household. He was a man of genius at his needle; an inventor, who even occasionally disputed the palm of originality with Brummell himself. The point is not yet settled to whom was due the happy conception of the trouser opening at the ankle and closed by buttons. Brummell laid his claim openly, at least to its improvement; while Meyer, admitting the elegance given to it by the tact of Brummell, persisted in asserting his right to the invention. Yet if, as was said of gunpowder and printing, the true inventor is the man who first brings the discovery into renown, the honour is here Brummell’s, for he was the first who established the trouser in the Bond street world.

The Prince, at this period, cultivated dress with an ardour which threatened to dethrone Brummell himself, and his wardrobe was calculated to have cost L.100,000. But his royal highness had one obstacle to encounter which ultimately drove him from the field, and restricted all his future chances of distinction to wigs; he began to grow corpulent. A scarcely less formidable evil arose in his quarreling with Brummell. In the course of hostilities, the Prince pronounced the beau a tailor’s block, fit for nothing but to hang clothes on; while the retaliation came in the shape of a caricature, in which a pair of leather breeches is exhibited lashed up between the bed-posts, and an enormously fat man, lifted up to them, is making a desperate struggle to get his limbs properly seated in their capacity: another operation of a still more difficult nature, the making the waistband meet, still threatening to defy all exertion.

Brummell’s style was in fact simplicity, but simplicity of the most studied kind. Lord Byron defined it, “a certain exquisite propriety of dress.” “No perfumes,” the Beau used to say, “but fine linen, plenty of it, and country washing.” His opinion on this subject, however, changed considerably in after time; for he used perfumes, and attributed a characteristic importance to their use. Meeting a gentleman at a ball with whom he conversed for a while, some of the party enquired the stranger’s name. “Can’t possibly tell,” was the Beau’s answer. “But he is evidently a gentleman—his perfumes are good.” He objected to country gentlemen being introduced into Watier’s, on the ground “that their boots always smelt of horse-dung and bad blacking.”

His taste in matters of virtu was one of the sources of his profusion; but it always had a reference to himself. He evidently preferred a snuff-box which he could display in his hand, to a Raphael which he could exhibit only on his wall. His snuff-boxes were numerous and costly. But even in taking snuff he had his style: he always opened the box with one hand, the left. The Prince imitated him in this tour de grace.

A fashion always becomes more fashionable as it becomes more ridiculous. People cling to it as they pet a monkey, for its deformity. The high head-dresses of France, which must have been a burden, made the tour of Europe, and endured through a century. The high heels, which almost wholly precluded safe walking, lasted their century. The use of powder was universal until it was driven out of France by republicanism, and out of England by famine. The flour used by the British army alone for whitening their heads was calculated to amount to the annual provision for 50,000 people. Snuff had been universally in use from the middle of the seventeenth century; and the sums spent on this filthy and foolish indulgence, the time wasted on it, and the injury done to health, if they could all have been thrown into the common form of money, would have paid the national debt of England. The common people have their full share in this general absurdity. The gin drunk in England and Wales annually amounts to nearly twenty millions of pounds sterling; a sum which would pay all the poor rates three times over, and, turned to any public purpose, might cover the land with great institutions—the principal result of this enormous expenditure now being to fill the population with vice, misery, and madness.

  In the matter of coats Brummell had but one rival, the Prince, whose rank of course gave him a general advantage, yet whose taste was clearly held as inferior by the royal artistes themselves. A baronet, who went to Schweitzer’s to get himself equipped in the first style, asked him what cloth he recommended. “Why, sir,” was the answer, “the Prince wears superfine, and Mr Brummell the Bath coating. Suppose, sir, we say Bath coating; I think Mr Brummell has a trifle the preference.” Brummell’s connexion with the Prince, his former rank in the hussars, and his own agreeable manners, introduced him to the intercourse of the principal nobility. In the intervals of his visits to the Prince at Brighton, he visited Belvoir, Chatsworth, Woburn, &c. But he was absolutely once in town in the month of November, as is proved by the following note from Woburn:—

“My dear Brummell,—By some accident, which I am unable to account for, your letter of Wednesday did not reach me till Wednesday. I make it a rule never to lend my box; but you have the entrée libre whenever you wish to go there, as I informed the boxkeeper last year. I hope Beauvais and you will do great execution at Up-Park. I shall probably be there shortly after you.—Ever yours sincerely,


At Belvoir he was l’ami de la famille, and at Cheveley, another seat of the Duke of Rutland’s, his rooms were as sacred as the Duke of York’s, who was a frequent visitor there. On the Duke of Rutland’s coming of age, in 1799, great rejoicings took place at Belvoir, and Brummell was one of the distinguished party there, among whom were the Prince of Wales, the late Duke of Argyll, the Marquis of Lorn, and the other chief fashionable people of the day. This fête was memorable, for it was said to have cost L.60,000. Brummell was not altogether effeminate; he could both shoot and ride, but he liked neither: he was never a Melton man. He said that he could not bear to have his tops and leathers splashed by the greasy galloping farmers. The Duke of Rutland raised a corps of volunteers on the renewal of the war in 1803; and as Brummell had been a soldier the duke gave him a majority. In the course of the general inspections of the volunteer corps, an officer was sent from the Horse Guards to review the duke’s regiment, the major being in command. On the day of the inspection every one was on parade except the major-commandant. Where is Major Brummell, was the indignant enquiry? He was not to be found. The inspection went on. When it was near its close, Brummell was soon coming full gallop across the country in the uniform of the Belvoir Hunt, terribly splashed. He apologized for himself by saying, that having left Belvoir quite early, he had expected to be on the parade in time, the meet being close at hand. However, his favourite hunter had landed him in a ditch, where, having been dreadfully shaken by the fall, he had been lying for an hour. But the general was inexorable, and Brummell used to give the worthy officer’s speech in the following style—“Sir, this conduct is wholly inexcusable. If I remember right, sir, you once had the honour of holding a captain’s commission under his royal highness the Prince of Wales, the heir-apparent himself, sir! Now, sir, I tell you; I tell you sir, that I should be wanting in a proper zeal for the honour of the service; I should be wanting, sir, if I did not this very evening report this disgraceful neglect of orders to the commander-in-chief, as well as the state in which you present yourself in front of your regiment; and this shall be done, sir. You may retire, sir.”

All this was very solemn and astounding; but Brummell’s presence of mind was not often astounded. He had scarcely walked his horse a few paces from the spot, when he returned, and said in a subdued tone—“Excuse me, general; but, in my anxiety to explain this most unfortunate business, I forgot to deliver a message from the Duke of Rutland. It was to request the honour of your company at dinner.” The culprit and the disciplinarian grinned together; the general coughed, and cleared his throat sufficiently to express his thanks in these words—“Ah! why, really I feel and am very much obliged to his grace. Pray, Major Brummell, tell the duke I shall be most happy;” and melodiously   raising his voice, (for the Beau had turned his horse once more towards Belvoir,) “Major Brummell, as to this little affair, I am sure no man can regret it more than you do. Assure his grace that I shall have great pleasure in accepting his very kind invitation;” and they parted amid a shower of smiles. But Brummell had yet but half completed his performance; for the invitation was extempore, and he must gallop to Belvoir to acquaint the duke of the guest he was to receive on that day.

Brummell always appeared at the cover side, admirably dressed in a white cravat and white tops, which latter either he, or Robinson his valet, introduced, and which eventually superseded the brown ones. The subtlety of Brummell’s sneers, which made him so highly amusing to the first rank of society, made him an object of alarm if not of respect to others. “Do you see that gentleman near the door?” said a woman of rank to her daughter, who had been brought for the first time to Almack’s. “Yes! Who is he?” replied the young lady. “A person, my dear, who will probably come and speak to us; and if he enters into conversation, be careful to give him a favourable impression of you, for he is the celebrated Mr Brummell.” The debutante was the daughter of a duke. It has been said that Madame de Stael considered herself as having failed to attract his approval, and that she spoke of it as the greatest malheur which had occurred to her during her stay in London, the next in point of calamity being that the Prince had not called on her in person. The Beau perfectly knew his own value. In reply to a nobleman who charged him with involving his son in a gaming transaction, he said—“Really I did my best for the young man; I gave him my arm all the way from White’s to Watier’s.” However, there can be no doubt that he was very often intolerably impudent; and, as impudence is always vulgar, he was guilty of vulgarity. Dining at a gentleman’s house in Hampshire, where the champagne did not happen to suit his taste, he refused his glass when the servant came to help him a second time, with—“No, thank you, I don’t drink cider!” The following anecdote is rather better known. “Where were you yesterday, Brummell?” said one of his club friends. “I think,” said he, “I dined in the city.” “What! you dined in the city?” said his friend. “Yes, the man wished me to bring him into notice, and I desired him to give a dinner, to which I invited Alvanley, Mills, Pierrepoint, and some others.” “All went off well, of course?” said the friend. “Oh yes! perfectly, except one mal-à-apropos: the fellow who gave the dinner had actually the assurance to seat himself at the table.”

Dining at a large party at the house of an opulent but young member of London society, he asked the loan of his carriage to take him to Lady Jersey’s that evening. “I am going there,” said his entertainer, “and will be happy to take you.” “Still, there is a difficulty,” said Brummell in his most delicate tone. “You do not mean to get up behind, that would not be quite right in your own carriage; and yet, how would it do for me to be seen in the same carriage with you?” Brummell’s manner probably laughed off impertinences of this order; for, given without their colouring from nature, they would have justified an angry reply. But he seems never to have involved himself in personal quarrel. He was intact and intangible. Yet he, too, had his mortifications. One night, in going to Lady Dungannon’s, he was actually obliged to make use of a hackney coach. He got out of it at an unobserved distance from the door, and made his way up her ladyship’s crowded staircase, conceiving that he had escaped all evidence of his humiliation; however, this was not to be. As he was entering the drawing-room a servant touched his arm, and to his amazement and horror whispered—“Beg pardon, sir, perhaps you are not aware of it, that there is a straw sticking to your shoe.” His style found imitations in the public prints, and one sufficiently characteristic thus set forth the merits of a new patent carriage step:—“There is an art in every thing; and whatever is worthy of being learned, cannot be unworthy of a teacher.” Such was the logical argument of the professor of the art of stepping in and out of a carriage, who represented himself as much   patronised by the sublime Beau Brummell, whose deprecation of those horrid coach steps he would repeat with great delight:—

“Mr Brummell,” he used to say, “considered the sedan was the only vehicle for a gentleman, it having no steps; and he invariably had his own chair, which was lined with white satin quilted, had down squabs, and a white sheepskin rug at the bottom, brought to the door of his dressing-room, on that account always on the ground-floor, from whence it was transferred with its owner to the foot of the staircase of the house that he condescended to visit. Mr Brummell has told me,” continued the professor, “that to enter a coach was torture to him. ‘Conceive,’ said he, ‘the horror of sitting in a carriage with an iron apparatus, afflicted with the dreadful thought, the cruel apprehension, of having one’s leg crushed by the machinery. Why are not the steps made to fold outside? The only detraction from the luxury of a vis à vis, is the double distress! for both legs—excruciating idea!’”

Brummell’s first reform was the neckcloth. Even his reform has passed away; such is the transitory nature of all human achievements. But the art of neckcloths was once more than a dubious title to renown in the world of Bond Street. The politics of the time were disorderly; and the dress of politicians had become as disorderly as their principles. The fortunes of Whiggism, too, had run low; and the velvet coat and embroidered waistcoat, the costly buckles and gold buttons of better days, were heavier drains on the decreasing revenues of the party than could be long sustained with impunity. Fox had already assumed the sloven—the whole faction followed; and the ghosts of the old oppositionists, in their tie wigs and silver-laced coats, would have been horrified by the sight of the shock-headed, leather-breeched, and booted generation who howled and harangued on the left side of the Speaker’s chair from 1789 to 1806. All was canaille. Fox could scarcely have been more shabby, had he been the representative of a population of bankrupts. The remainder of the party might have been supposed, without any remarkable stretch of imagination, to have emerged from the workhouse. All was sincere squalidness, patriotic pauperism—the unwashing principle. One of the cleverest caricatures of that cleverest of caricaturists, the Scotchman Gilray, was his sketch of the Whigs preparing for their first levee after the Foxite accession on the death of Pitt. The title was, “Making decent!” The whole of the new ministry were exhibited in all the confusion of throwing off their rags, and putting on their new clothing. There stood Sheridan, half-smothered in the novel attempt to put on a clean shirt. In another corner Fox, Grey, and Lord Moira, straining to peep into the same shaving-glass, were all three making awkward efforts to use the long-forgotten razor. Others were gazing at themselves in a sort of savage wonder at the strangeness of new washed faces. Some sans culottes were struggling to get into breeches; and others, whose feet were accustomed to the ventilation of shoes which let their toes through, were pondering over the embarrassment of shoes impervious to the air. The minor apparatus of court costume scattered round on the chairs, the bags and swords, the buckles and gloves, were stared at by the groups with the wonder and perplexity of an American Indian.

Into this irregular state of things Brummell made his first stride in the spirit of a renovator. The prevailing cravat of the time was certainly deplorable. Let us give it in the words of history:—“It was without stiffening of any kind, and bagged out in front, rucking up to the front in a roll.” (We do not precisely comprehend this expression, whose precision, however, we by no means venture to doubt.) Brummell boldly met this calamity, by slightly starching the too flexible material—a change in which, as his biographer with due seriousness and truth observes—“a reasoning mind must acknowledge there is not much objectionable.”

Imitators, of course, always exceed their model, and the cravat adopted by the dandies soon became excessively starched; the test being that of raising three parts of their length by one corner without bending. Yet Brummell, though he adhered to the happy medium, and was moderate in his starch, was rigorous in his tie. If his cravat did not correspond to his   wishes in its first arrangement, it was instantly cast aside. His valet was seen one morning leaving his chamber with an armful of tumbled cravats, and on being asked the cause, solemnly replied, “These are our failures.”

Perfection is slow in all instances; but talent and diligence are sure to advance. Brummell’s “tie” became speedily the admiration of the beau monde. The manner in which this dexterous operation was accomplished was perfectly his own, and deserves to be recorded for the benefit of posterity.

The collar, which was always fixed to his shirt, was so large, that, before being folded down, it completely hid his head and face, and the neckcloth was at least a foot in height. The first coup d’archet was made with the shirt-collar, which he folded down to its proper size; but the delicate part of the performance was still to come. Brummell “standing before the glass, with his chin raised towards the ceiling, now, by the gentle and gradual declension of his lower jaw, creased the cravat to reasonable dimensions; the form of each succeeding crease being perfected with the shirt which he had just discarded.” We were not aware of the nicety which was demanded to complete the folds of this superior swathing; but, after this development, who shall pronounce a dandy idle?

Brummell was as critical on the dress of others as he was recherché in his own, and this care he extended to all ranks. He was once walking up St James’s Street, arm-in-arm with a young nobleman whom he condescended to patronize. The Beau suddenly asked him, “what he called those things on his feet.”—“Why, shoes.”—“Shoes are they?” said Brummell doubtfully, and stooping to look at them; “I thought they were slippers?”

The late Duke of Bedford asked him his opinion of a new coat. “Turn round,” said Mr Beau. When the examination was concluded in front and rear, the Beau, feeling the lapel delicately with his finger and thumb, asked in a most pathetic manner, “Bedford, do you call this thing a coat?”

Somebody told him, among a knot of loungers at White’s, “Brummell, your brother William is in town. Is he not coming here?”—“Yes,” was the reply, “in a day or two; but I have recommended him to walk the back streets till his new clothes come home.”

Practical jokes are essentially vulgar, and apt to be hazardous besides; two reasons which should have prevented their performance by an individual whose object was to be the standard of elegance, and whose object at no time was to expose himself to the rougher remonstrances of mankind; but the following piece of sportiveness was at least amusing.

Meeting an old emigré marquis at the seat of some noble friend, and probably finding the Frenchman a bore, he revenged himself by mixing some finely powdered sugar in his hair-powder. On the old Frenchman’s coming into the breakfast-room next morning, highly powdered as usual, the flies, attracted by the scent of the sugar, instantly gathered round him. He had scarcely begun his breakfast, when every fly in the room was busy on his head. The unfortunate marquis was forced to lay down his knife and fork, and take out his pocket-handkerchief to repel these troublesome assailants, but they came thicker and thicker. The victim now rose from his seat and changed his position; but all was in vain—the flies followed in fresh clusters. In despair he hurried to the window; but every fly lingering there was instantly buzzing and tickling. The marquis, feverish with vexation and surprise, threw up the window. This unlucky measure produced only a general invasion by all the host of flies sunning themselves on the lawn. The astonishment and amusement of the guests were excessive. Brummell alone never smiled. At last M. le Marquis gave way in agony, and, clapping his hands on his head, and followed by a cloud of flies, rushed out of the room. The secret was then divulged, and all was laughter.

“Poodle B—g,” so well known in the world of fashion, owed his soubriquet to Brummell. B—g was fond of letting his hair, which was light-coloured, curl round his forehead. He was one day driving in his curricle, with a poodle by his side. The Beau hailed him with—“Ah, B—g, how do you do?—A family vehicle, I see.”

  Some of those oddities of expression are almost too well known now for effect; but they must have sparkled prodigiously among the exhausted circles of his West-end day.

“You seem to have caught cold, Brummell,” said a lounging visitor on hearing him cough. “Yes—I got out of my carriage yesterday, coming from the Pavilion, and the wretch of an innkeeper put me into the coffee-room with a damp stranger.”

In a stormy August—“Brummell, did any one ever see such a summer day?”—“Yes, I did, last winter.”

On returning from a country mansion, of which he happened to disapprove, he defined it “An exceedingly good house for stopping a single night in.”

On the whole, the biographer has given a tolerable selection of Brummell’s hits, some of which, however, were so intolerably impertinent, that he must have either thoroughly “known his man,” or he must have smoothed down their severity by some remarkable tone of voice or pleasantry of visage. Without those palliations, it is not easy to comprehend his occasional rudeness even to friends. One day, standing and speaking at the carriage-door of a lady, she expressed her surprise at his throwing away his time on so quiet and unfashionable a person.—“My dear friend, don’t mention it: there is no one to see us.”

But his admiration for the sex must have often brought him close on the edge of serious inconvenience. Once, at the house of a nobleman, he requested a moment’s interview in the library, and then and there communicated the formidable intelligence, “that he must immediately leave the house—on that day.”

“Why, you intended to stay a month,” said his hospitable entertainer.

“True—but I must be gone—I feel I am in love with your countess.”

“Well, my dear sir, I can’t help that. I was in love with her myself twenty years ago,” said the good-humoured husband. “But is she in love with you?”

The Beau cast down his eyes, and, in all the modesty of impudence, said faintly, “I believe she is.”

“Oh! that alters the case. I shall send for your post-horses. Good morning.”

His life was flirtation, a matter which could not be indulged in matrimony, and he therefore never married. Yet once he went so far as to elope with a young person of rank from a ball: the pair were, however, immediately overtaken. The affair was, of course, the talk of the clubs. But Brummell had his own way of wearing the willow. “On the whole,” said he, “I consider I have reason to congratulate myself. I lately heard from her favourite maid that her ladyship had been seen—to drink beer!”

Some of the Beau’s letters at this period are given; but they are not fortunate specimens of his taste: even in writing to women they are quaint, affected, and approaching to that unpardonable crime, dulness. His letters written in his wane of life, and under the realities of suffering, are much more striking, contain some pathetic and even some powerful language, and show that fashion and his own follies had obscured a mind of natural talent, if not of original tenderness.

The following letter we look upon as quite sufficient to have excluded him from the recollections of any Lady Jane on earth, if she happened to know the difference between coxcombry and common feeling:—

My dear Lady Jane,—With the miniature, it seems, I am not to be trusted even for two pitiful hours. My own memory must be then my only disconsolate expedient to obtain a resemblance.

“As I am unwilling to merit the imputation of committing myself by too flagrant a liberty in retaining your glove, which you charitably sent at my head yesterday, as you would have extended an eleemosynary sixpence to the supplicating hat of a mendicant, I restore it to you. And, allow me to assure you, that I have too much regard and respect for you, and too little practical vanity myself, (whatever appearances may be against me,) to have entertained, for one treacherous instant, the impertinent intention to defraud you of it. You are angry, perhaps irreparably incensed against me for this petty larceny. I have no defence to offer in mitigation but that of frenzy. But you know that you are an angel visiting these sublunary spheres, and therefore your first quality should be that of mercy. Yet you are sometimes wayward and volatile in your seraphic disposition. Though   you have no wings yet you have weapons, and those are resentment and estrangement from me.—With sentiments of the deepest compunction, I am always your miserable slave,

“George Brummell.”

We have not a doubt that he perused this toilsome performance a dozen times before he folded it up, advanced to his mirror to see how so brilliant a correspondent must look after so astonishing a production, moved round the room in a minuet step; and, when he sent it away at last, followed it with a sigh at the burial of so much renown in a woman’s escritoire, and a regret that it could not be stereotyped to make its progress round the world. And yet, as it appeared that the lady had thrown the glove at him, and even lent him her miniature, it would be difficult to discover any ground for her wrath or his compunction. Both were evidently equally imaginary.

The Beau always regarded the city as a terra incognita. A merchant once asked him to dine there. Brummell gave him a look of intense enquiry. The merchant pressed him. “Well,” said the Beau, (who probably had excellent reasons for non-resistance to the man of money;) “well, if it must be—but you must first promise faithfully never to say a word on the subject.”

A visitor, full of the importance of a tour in the north of England, asked him which of the lakes he preferred. “I can’t possibly remember,” was the reply; “they are a great way from St James’s Street, and I don’t think they are spoken of in the clubs.” The visitor urged the question. “Robinson,” said the Beau, turning in obvious distress to his valet, “Robinson, pray tell this gentleman which of the lakes I preferred.”—“Windermere, sir, I think it was,” said the valet. “Well,” added Brummell, “probably you are in the right, Robinson. It may have been. Pray, sir, will Windermere do?”

“I wonder, Brummell, you take the trouble of driving to the barracks of the 10th with four horses. It certainly looks rather superb,” said one of the officers. “Why, I dare say it does; but that is not the point. What could I do, when my French valet, the best dresser of hair in the universe, gave me warning that he must leave me to myself, unless I gave up the vulgarity of posting with two?”

We come, in the course of this goodly history, to the second great event of the Beau’s life—the first being his introduction to Carlton House. The second was his being turned out of it. Brummell always denied, and with some indignation, the story of “Wales, ring the bell!”—a version which he justly declared to be “positively vulgar,” and therefore, with due respect for his own sense of elegance, absolutely impossible for him. He gave the more rational explanation, that he had taken the part of lady who was presumed to be the rival of Mrs Fitzherbert, and had been rash enough even to make some remarks on Mrs Fitzherbert’s en bon point, a matter of course never to be forgiven by a belle. This extended to a “declining love” between him and the Prince, whose foible was a horror of growing corpulent, and whom Brummell therefore denominated “Big Ben,” the nickname of a gigantic porter at Carlton House; adding the sting of calling Mrs Fitzherbert Benina. Moore, in one of his satires on the Prince’s letter of February the 13th, 1812, to the Duke of York, in which he cut the Whigs, thus parodies that celebrated “sentence of banishment:”—

“Neither have I resentments, nor wish there should come ill
To mortal, except, now I think on’t, Beau Brummell,
Who threaten’d, last year, in a super-fine passion,
To cut me, and bring the old king into fashion.”

Brummell now, since the sword was drawn, resolved to throw away the sheath, and his hits were keen and “damaging,” as those things are now termed. In this style he said to little Colonel M’Mahon, the Prince’s secretary—“I made him, and I shall unmake him.”

The “fat friend” hit was more pungent in reality than in its usual form. The Prince, walking down St James’s Street with Lord Moira, and seeing Brummell approaching arm-in-arm with a man of rank, determined to show the openness of the quarrel, stopped and spoke to the noble lord with an apparent unconsciousness of   ever having seen the Beau before. The moment he was turning away, Brummell asked, in his most distinct voice, “Pray, who is your fat friend?” Nothing could be more dexterously impudent; for it repaid the Prince’s pretended want of recognition precisely in his own coin, and besides stung him in the very spot where he was known to be most thin-skinned.

It is sufficiently remarkable, that the alienation of the Prince from Brummell scarcely affected his popularity with the patrician world, or his reception by the Duke and Duchess of York. He was a frequent guest at Oatlands, and seems to have amused the duke by his pleasantry, and cultivated the taste of the duchess by writing her epigrams, and making her presents of little dogs. The Duke of York, though not much gifted with the faculty of making jests, greatly enjoyed them in others. He was a good-humoured, easy-mannered man, wholly without affectation of any kind; well-intentioned, with some sagacity—mingled, however, with a good deal of that abruptness which belonged to all the Brunswicks; and though unfortunate in his domestic conduct, a matter on which it would do no service to the reader to enlarge, yet a brave soldier, and a zealous and most useful commander-in-chief at the Horse Guards. He, too, could say good things now and then. One day at Oatlands, as he was mounting his horse to ride to town, seeing a poor woman driven from the door, he asked the servant what she was. “A beggar, your royal highness: nothing but a soldier’s wife.”—“Nothing but a soldier’s wife! And pray, sir, what is your mistress?” Of course, the poor woman was called back and relieved.

Still Brummell continued in high life, and was one of the four who gave the memorable fête at the Argyll Rooms in July 1813, in consequence of having won a considerable sum at hazard. The other three were, Sir Henry Mildmay, Pierrepoint, and Lord Alvanley. The difficulty was, whether or not to invite the Prince, who had quarrelled with Mildmay as well as with Brummell. In this solemn affair Pierrepoint sounded the Prince, and ascertained that he would accept the invitation if it were proposed to him. When the Prince arrived, and was of course received by the four givers of the fête, he shook hands with Alvanley and Pierrepoint, but took no notice whatever of the others. Brummell was indignant, and, at the close of the night, would not attend the Prince to his carriage. This was observed, and the Prince’s remark on it next day was—“Had Brummell taken the cut I gave him last night good-humouredly, I should have renewed my intimacy with him.” How that was to be done, however, without lying down to be kicked, it would be difficult to discover. Brummell however, on this occasion, was undoubtedly as much in the right as the Prince was in the wrong.

Brummell, in conformity to the habits of the time, and the proprieties of his caste, was of course a gambler, and of course was rapidly ruined; but we have no knowledge that he went through the whole career, and turned swindler. One night he was playing with Combe, who united the three characters of a lover of play, a brewer, and an alderman. It was at Brookes’s, and in the year of his mayoralty. “Come, Mash Tub, what do you set?” said the Beau. “Twenty-five guineas,” was the answer. The Beau won, and won the same sum twelve times running. Then, putting the cash in his pocket, said with a low bow, “Thank you, alderman; for this, I’ll always patronize your porter.”—“Very well, sir,” said Combe dryly, “I only wish every other blackguard in London would do the same.”

At this time play ran high at the clubs. A baronet now living was said to have lost at Watier’s L.10,000 at one sitting, at ecarté. In 1814, Brummell lost not only all his winnings, but “an unfortunate L.10,000,” as he expressed it, the last that he had at his bankers. Brummell was now ruined; and, to prevent the possibility of his recovery at any future period, he raised money at ruinous interest, and finally made his escape to Calais. Still, when every thing else forsook him, his odd way of telling his own story remained. “He said,” observed one of his friends at Caen, when talking about his altered circumstances, “that, up to a particular   period of his life, every thing prospered with him, and that he attributed this good luck to the possession of a silver sixpence with a hole in it, which somebody had given him some years before, with an injunction to take good care of it, as every thing would go well with him so long as he kept it, and everything the contrary if he happened to lose it.” And so it turned out; for having at length, in an evil hour, given it by mistake to a hackney coachman, a complete reverse of his affairs took place, and one misfortune followed another until he was obliged to fly. On his being asked why he did not advertise a reward for it, he answered—“I did; and twenty people came with sixpences with holes in them for the reward, but not my sixpence.” “And you never heard any more of it?” “No,” he replied; “no doubt that rascal Rothschild, or some of that set, have got hold of it.” But the Beau’s retreat from London was still to be characteristic. As it had become expedient that he must make his escape without eclat, on the day of his intended retreat he dined coolly at his club, and finished his London performances by sending from the table a note to his friend Scrope Davies, couched in the following prompt and expressive form:—

My Dear Scrope,—Lend me two hundred pounds: the banks are shut, and all my money is in the 3 per cents. It shall be repaid to-morrow morning.—Yours, George Brummell.

The answer was equally prompt and expressive—

My Dear George,—It is very unfortunate, but all my money is in the 3 per cents.—Yours, S. Davies.”

Such is the story;

“I cannot tell how the truth may be,
I tell the tale as ’twas told to me.”

Nothing daunted, the Beau went to the opera, allowed himself to be seen about the house, then quickly retiring, stepped into a friend’s chaise and met his own carriage, which waited for him a short distance from town. Travelling all night with four horses, he reached Dover by morning, hired a vessel to carry him over, and soon left England and his creditors behind. He was instantly pursued; but the chase stopped on reaching the sea. Debtors could not then be followed to France, and Brummell was secure.

The little, rude, and thoroughly comfortless town of Calais was now to be the place of residence, for nearly the rest of his life, to a man accustomed to the highest luxuries of London life, trained to the keenest sensibility of London enjoyment, and utterly absorbed in London objects of every kind. Ovid’s banishment among the Thracians could scarcely be a more formidable change of position. Yet Brummell’s pleasantry did not desert him even in Calais. On some passing friend’s remark on the annoyance of living in such a place—“Pray,” said the Beau, “is it not a general opinion that a gentleman might manage to spend his time pleasantly enough between London and Paris?”

At Calais he took apartments at the house of one Leleux, an old bookseller, which he fitted up to his own taste; and on which, as if adversity had no power to teach him common prudence, he expended the greater part of the 25,000 francs which, by some still problematical means, he had contrived to carry away with him. This was little short of madness; but it was a madness which he had been practising for the last dozen years, and habit had now rendered ruin familiar to him. At length a little gleam of hope shone across his fortunes. George IV. arrived at Calais on his way to Hanover. The Duke d’Angoulême came from Paris to receive his Majesty, and Calais was all in a tumult of loyalty. The reports of Brummell’s conduct on this important arrival, of the King’s notice of him, and of the royal liberality in consequence, were of every shape and shade of invention. But all of them, except the mere circumstance of the King’s pronouncing his name, seem to have been utterly false. Brummell, mingling in the crowd which cheered his Majesty in his progress, was observed by the King, who audibly said, “Good heavens, Brummell!” But the recognition proceeded no further. The Beau sent his valet, who was a renowned maker of punch, to exhibit his talent in that art at the royal entertainment, and also sent a present of some excellent maraschino. But no result followed. The King was said to have transmitted to him a   hundred pound note; but even this is unluckily apocryphal. Leleux, his landlord, thus gives the version. The English consul at Calais came to Mr Brummell late one evening, and intimated that the King was out of snuff, saying, as he took up one of the boxes lying on his table, “Give me one of yours.”—“With all my heart,” was the reply; “but not that box, for if the King saw it I should never have it again”—implying that there was some story attached to it. On reaching the theatre the consul presented the snuff, and the King turning, said, “Why, sir, where did you get your snuff? There is only one person that I know that can mix snuff in this way!”—“It is some of Mr Brummell’s, your Majesty,” replied the consul. The next day the King left Calais; and, as he seated himself in the carriage, he said to Sir Arthur Paget, who commanded the yacht that brought him over, “I leave Calais, and have not seen Brummell.” From this his biographer infers that he had received neither money nor message, and his landlord is of the same opinion. But slight as those circumstances are, it seems obvious that George IV. had a forgiving heart towards the Beau notwithstanding all his impertinences, that he would have been glad to forgive him, and that he would, in all probability, have made some provision for his old favourite if Brummell had exhibited any signs of repentance. On the other hand, Brummell was a man of spirit, and no man ought to put himself in the way of being treated contemptuously even by royalty; but it seems strange that, with all his adroitness, he should not have hit upon a middle way. There could have been no great difficulty in ascertaining whether the King would receive him, in sending a respectful message, in offering his loyal congratulations on the King’s arrival, or even in expressing his regret at his long alienation from a Prince to whom he had been once indebted for so many favours, and who certainly never harboured resentment against man. Brummell evidently repented his tardiness on this occasion; for he made up his mind to make a more direct experiment when the King should visit the town-hall on his return. But opportunities once thrown away are seldom regained. The king on his return did not visit the town-hall, but hurried on board, and the last chance of reconciliation was gone.

Yet during his long residence in Calais, the liberality of his own connexions in England enabled him to show a good face to poverty. He paid his bills punctually whenever the remittance came, and was charitable to the mendicants who, probably for the last thousand years, have made Calais their headquarters. The general name for him was the Roi de Calais. An anecdote of his pleasantry in almsgiving reached the public ear. A French beggar asked him for a two-sous piece. “I don’t know the coin,” said Brummell, “never having had one; but I suppose you mean a franc. There, take it.” His former celebrity had also spread far and wide among the population. A couple of English workmen in one of the factories of the town, one day followed a gentleman who had a considerable resemblance to Brummell. He heard one of them say to the other, “Now, I’ll bet you a pot that’s him.” Shortly after, one of them strolled up to him, with, “Beg pardon, sir—hope no offence, but we two have got a bet—now, a’n’t you George Ring the Bell?” Brummell’s habits of flirtation did not desert him in France; and in one instance he paid such marked attention to a young English lady, that a friend was deputed to enquire his purposes. Here Brummell’s knowledge of every body did him good service. The deputy on this occasion having once figured as the head of a veterinary hospital, or some such thing, but being then in the commissariat,—“Why, Vulcan!” exclaimed Brummell, “what a humbug you must be to come and lecture me on such a subject! You, who were for two years at hide-and-seek to save yourself from being shot by Sir T. S. for running off with one of his daughters.” “Dear me,” said the astonished friend, “you have touched a painful chord; I will have no more to do with this business.” The business died a natural death.

His dressing-table was recherché. Its batterie de toilette was curious, complete, and of silver; one part of it being a spitting-dish, he always declaring that “it was impossible to   spit in clay.” His “making up” every morning occupied two hours. When he first arrived in Caen he carried a cane, but often exchanged it for a brown silk umbrella, which was always protected by a silk case of remarkable accuracy of fit—the handle surmounted by an ivory head of George the Fourth, in well-curled wig and gracious smile. In the street he never took off his hat to any one, not even to a lady; for it would have been difficult to replace it in the same position, it having been put on with peculiar care. We finish by stating, that he always had the soles of his boots blackened as well as the upper leathers; his reason for this being, that, in the usual negligence of human nature, he never could be sure that the polish on the edge of the sole would be accurately produced, unless the whole underwent the operation. He occasionally polished a single boot himself, to show how perfection on this point was to be obtained. Clogs, so indispensable in the dirt of an unpaved French street, he always abhorred; yet, under cover of night, he could, now and then, condescend to wear them. “Theft,” as the biographer observes, “in Sparta was a crime—but only when it was discovered.”

But after this life of fantasy and frivolity, on which so much cleverness was thrown away, the unfortunate Beau finished his career miserably. On his application to the Foreign Office, representing his wish to be removed to any other consulate where he might serve more effectually, and of course with a better income; the former part of his letter was made the ground of abolishing the consulate, while the latter received no answer. We say nothing of this measure, any further than that it had the effect of utter ruin on poor Brummell. The total loss of his intellect followed; he was reduced to absolute beggary, and finally spent his last miserable hours in an hospital for lunatic mendicants. Surely it could not have been difficult, in the enormous patronage of office, to have found some relief for the necessities of a man whose official character was unimpeached; who had been expressly put into government employ by ministers for the sake of preserving him from penury; who had been the companion, the friend of princes and nobles; and whose faults were not an atom more flagrant than those of every man of fashion in his time. But he was now utterly ruined and wretched. Some strong applications were made to his former friends by a Mr Armstrong, a merchant of Caen, who seems to have constantly acted a most humane part to him, and occasional donations were sent. A couple of hundred pounds were even remitted from the Foreign Office; and, by the exertions of Lord Alvanley and the present Duke of Beaufort, who never deserted him, and this is much to the honour of both, a kind of small annuity was paid to him. But he was already overwhelmed with debt, for his income from the consulate netted him but L.80 a-year, the other L.320 being in the hands of the banker, his creditor; and it seems probable that his destitution deprived him of his senses after a period of wretchedness and even of rags. Broken-hearted and in despair, concluding with hopeless imbecility, this man of taste and talent, for he possessed both in no common degree, was left to die in the hands of strangers—no slight reproach to the cruel insensibility of those who, wallowing in wealth, and fluttering from year to year through the round of fashion, suffered their former associate, nay their envied example, to perish in his living charnel. He was buried in the Protestant cemetery of Caen, under a stone with this inscription:—

Memory of
George Brummell, Esq.,
who departed this life
On the 29th of March 1840.
Aged 62 years.

Mr Jesse deserves credit for his two volumes. There is a good deal in them which has no direct reference to Brummell; but he has collected probably all that could be known. The books are very readable, the anecdotes pleasantly told, the style is lively, and frequently shows that the biographer could adopt the thought as well as the language of his hero. At all events he has given us the detail of a character of whom every body had heard something, and every body wished to hear more.

A The Life of George Brummell, Esq. By Captain Jesse. 2 volumes.


“Say why
That ancient story of Prometheus chain’d?
The vulture—the inexhaustible repast
Drawn from his vitals? Say what meant the woes
By Tantalus entail’d upon his race,
And the dark sorrows of the line of Thebes?
Fictions in form, but in their substance truths—
Tremendous truths!—familiar to the men
Of long past times; nor obsolete in ours.”—Excursion.

In an article on the bankruptcy of the Greek kingdom, (No. CCCXXXV., September 1843,) we gave an account of the financial condition of the new state; and we ventured to suggest that a revolution was unavoidable. That revolution occurred even sooner than we expected; for our number had hardly reached Athens ere King Otho was compelled to summon a national assembly to aid him in framing the long promised constitution.

As our former number explained the immediate causes of the discontent in Greece, we shall now furnish our readers with a description of the revolution, of its results, and of the great difficulties which still oppose serious barriers to the formation of an independent kingdom in Greece. The late revolution was distinguished by an open rebellion of the army; and as a rebellion, in which the troops have been covered with decorations, and have received a gratification of some months’ pay, is not the era from which we should wish to date the civil liberty and national prosperity of a monarchy founded by Great Britain, France, and Russia, we shall use great delicacy in describing the movement, and record no fact which we cannot substantiate by legal or documentary evidence.

It is not to be supposed when we in Edinburgh were informed of the approaching storm in Greece, that the people of the country were without anxiety. The Morning Post, (23d September 1843,) which has generally contained very accurate information from Athens, published a letter written from that city on the 5th September. This Athenian correspondent declared “that the Greeks have so fully made up their minds to put an end to the Bavarian dynasty, as to be resolved not even to accept a constitution at the hands of the king. They declare that they will abstain from all outrage and personal violence; and that they only desire the embarkation of King Otho and his German followers, who shall be free to leave the country without the slightest injury.”

We solicit the attention of her majesty’s ministers to these memorable words, written before the revolution.

The danger, in short, was visible to every body but King Otho, his German camarilla, and his renegade Greek ministers. At this time Kalergy was inspector of the cavalry. He had always expressed his dissatisfaction with the system of Bavarian favouritism in the army; and his gallant and disinterested conduct during the war against the Turks, rendered him universally popular. Infinitely more of a gentleman and a man of the world than any of the court faction, it is said that he was viewed with feelings of personal as well as political aversion. It happened that, about a week before the revolution, the king reviewed the garrison of Athens, and in the order of the day which followed this review, General Kalergy was noticed in such a way that he felt himself deeply insulted. A Bavarian, Captain Hess, then marshal of the palace, was supposed to be the author of this document. As the attack on Kalergy was evidently caused by his political conduct, the whole Greek army took his part, and the cry was raised that the Bavarians must be driven out of Greece.

The prominent part which General Kalergy has taken in the late revolution, and the romantic incidents of his life, induce us to offer our readers a short sketch of his earlier career. We have known him in circumstances when intercourse ensures intimacy; for we have sat together round the same watch-fires, on the mountains of Argolis and Attica. To   parody the words of Anastasius, we saw him achieve his first deed of prowess, and we were present when he heard his first praises. Hastings’s lips have long been silenced by death, but the music of his applause still rings in our ears.

Demetrius Kalergy is descended from a Cretan family, whose name is famous in the annals of Candia. He was born in Russia, and was studying in Germany when the Greeks took up arms against the Turks. His elder brothers, Nicolas and Manolis, having resolved to join the cause of their countrymen, repaired to Marseilles, where, with the assistance of their uncle, a man of great wealth in Russia, they freighted a vessel, and purchased a small train of artillery, consisting of sixteen guns, and a considerable supply of muskets and ammunition. Demetrius, though then only fifteen years of age, could not be restrained from joining them, and the three brothers arrived in Greece together. The young Kalergy soon gave proofs of courage and military talents. His second brother, Manolis, was killed during the siege of Athens; but the eldest, Nicolas, a man who unites the accomplishments of a court to the sincerest feelings of patriotism, still resides in Greece, universally respected. During the Bavarian sway he took no part in political affairs; but he was elected a member of the national assembly, which has just terminated its labours in preparing the constitution.

Demetrius Kalergy was first entrusted with an independent command in 1824, when the Peloponnesian chiefs and primates, Kolokotroni, Londos, Notaras, Deliyani, Zaimi, and Sessini, endeavoured to divide the Morea into a number of small principalities, of which they expected to secure the revenues for themselves. In spite of Kalergy’s youth, he was ordered to take the field against the first corps of the rebels that had acted in open hostility to the existing government. With his usual promptitude and decision, he attacked Panos Kolokotroni, the son of the old Klepht, and Staïkos, a Moreote captain of some reputation, in the plain of Tripolitza, where they were posted for the despicable purpose of intercepting the trains of mules laden with merchandise for the supply of the shops of Tripolitza, then the great market of all the central parts of the Morea.

The affair was really brilliant. The rebels were encamped on a low hill, and, not expecting that Kalergy would depart from the usual practice of carrying on a long series of skirmishes, they had paid no attention to their position. The attack opened in the usual way by a fierce fire at a very long distance; but Kalergy, on perceiving the careless arrangements of his enemy, soon induced his troops to creep up pretty close to the Moreotes, when he suddenly jumped up, and shouted to his followers, “The shortest way is the best. Follow me!” and rushed forward. His whole band was within the hostile lines in an instant. The manœuvre was so unexpected, that few of the rebels fired; many were loading their muskets, and none had time to draw their swords or yatagans. About 170 were slain, and, if report may be trusted, one of the rebel chiefs was struck down by Kalergy, and the other taken prisoner after receiving a wound in personal combat with the young hero. The faction of the Moreote barons, as these greedy plunderers of the Greek shopkeepers would fain have been called, was dissolved by this unexpected victory. Many laid down their arms, and made peace with the government.

General Kalergy was afterwards present in the town of Navarin when it was besieged by Ibrahim Pasha, and marched out with his band when the place capitulated. This defeat, though he had only held a subordinate command, afflicted him greatly, and he looked round for some means of avenging his country’s loss on the Turks. He resolved at last to endeavour to make a diversion by recommencing the war in Crete; but without a strong fortress to secure the ammunition and supplies necessary for prosecuting a series of irregular attacks, it was evident that nothing important could be effected. In this difficulty, Kalergy determined to attack the impregnable island-fortress of Grabusa, as it was known that the strength of the place had induced the Turks to leave it with a very small garrison. Kalergy   having learned that the greater part of this garrison was absent during the day, disguised a few of his men in Turkish dresses, and appeared on the beach at the point from which the soldiers of the garrison crossed to this island Gibraltar. The commander of Grabusa ordered the boat to transport them over as usual, and the Greeks entered the fort before the mistake was discovered. The place was in vain attacked by all the forces of Mohammed Ali; the Greeks kept possession of it to the end of the war. The sagacity and courage displayed by Kalergy in this affair placed him in the rank of the ablest of the Greek chiefs.

When General Gordon (whose excellent history of the Greek revolution we recommend to our readersA) attempted to relieve Athens, then besieged by Kutayhi, (Reschid Pasha,) Kalergy and Makriyani commanded divisions of the troops which occupied the Piræus. Subsequently, when Lord Cochrane and General Church endeavoured to force the Turkish lines, Kalergy was one of the officers who commanded the advanced division. In the engagement which ensued, his adventures afford an illustration of the singular vicissitudes of Eastern warfare. The Greek troops landed at Cape Kolias during the night, and pushed forward to within a mile and a half of the Turkish lines, where they formed a slight intrenchment on some undulating hills. They threw up some ill-constructed tambouria, (as the redoubts used in Turkish warfare are termed,) and of these some remains are still visible. A ravine descending from the lower slopes of Hymettus ran in front of this position, deep enough to shelter the Turkish cavalry, and enable them to approach without exposing themselves to the Greek artillery. This movement of the Turks was distinctly seen from the Greek camp at the Piræus, and the approaching attack on the advanced posts of the army was waited for in breathless anxiety. The map of the plain of Athens is sufficiently familiar to most of our readers to enable then to picture to themselves the scene which ensued with perfect accuracy.

The Greek troops destined for the relief of Athens amounted to about 3000 men, and of these about 600 were posted far in advance of their companions, in three small redoubts. The main body drawn up in a long line remained inactive with the artillery, and a smaller corps as a rear-guard seemed destined to communicate with the fleet of Lord Cochrane at Cape Kolias. At the Piræus, about 700 men were scattered about in all the disorder of an Eastern encampment, without making the slightest attempt to distract the attention of the Turkish troops. The French General Gueheneuc and the Bavarian General Heideck, both witnessed the battle.

The Turkish cavalry, to the number of about 700, having formed in the ravine, rode slowly up towards the brow of the hill on which the tambouria of the Cretans, the Suliots, and the regular regiment were placed. As soon as their appearance on the crest of the ridge exposed them to the fire of the Greeks, they galloped forward. The fire of the Greeks, however, seemed almost without effect, yet the Turks turned and galloped down the hill into the shelter of the ravine. In a short time they repeated their attack with a determination, which showed that the preceding attempt had been only a feint to enable them to examine the ground. As they approached this time very near the intrenchments, the fire of the Greeks proved more effectual than on the former occasion, and several of the Delhis, horse and man, rolled on the ground. Again the Turks fled to conceal themselves in the ravine, and prepared for another attack by dividing their force into three divisions, one of which ascended and another descended the ravine, while the third prepared to renew the assault in the old direction. The vizier Kutayhi himself moved forward to encourage his troops, and it became evident that a desperate struggle would now be   made to carry the Greek position, where the few troops who held it were left unsupported.

The Turkish cavalry soon rushed on the Greeks, assailing their position in front and flanks; and, in spite of their fire, forced the horses over the low intrenchments into the midst of the enemy.B For the space of hardly three minutes pistol shots and sabre cuts fell so thick, that friends and foes were in equal danger. Of the Greeks engaged not one had turned to flee, and but few were taken alive. The loss of the Turks was, however, but trifling—about a dozen men and from fifteen to twenty horses.

The centre of the Greek army, on beholding the destruction of the advanced guard, showed little determination; it wavered for a minute, and then turned and fled towards the shore in utter confusion, abandoning all its artillery to the Turks. The Delhis soon overtook their flying enemies, and riding amongst them, coolly shot down and sabred those whose splendid arms and dresses excited their cupidity. The artillery itself was turned on the fugitives, who had left the ammunition undestroyed as well as the guns unspiked. But our concern with the battle of the 6th May 1827, is at present confined to following the fortunes of Kalergy. He was one of the prisoners. His leg had been broken by a rifle-ball as the Turks entered the tambouri of the Cretans, and as he received an additional sabre cut on the arm, he lay helpless on the ground, where his youthful appearance and splendid arms caught the eye of an Albanian bey, who ordered him to be secured and taken care of as his own prisoner.

On the morning after the battle, the prisoners were all brought out before the tent of Kutayhi, who was encamped at Patissia, very near the site of the house subsequently built by Sir Pulteney Malcolm. George Drakos, a Suliot chief, had killed himself during the night; and the Pasha, in consequence, ordered all the survivors to be beheaded, wishing, probably, to afford Europe a specimen of Ottoman economy and humanity, by thus saving the lives of these Greeks from themselves. Two hundred and fifty were executed, when Kalergy, unable to walk, was carried into the circle of Turkish officers witnessing the execution, on the back of a sturdy Albanian baker. Kutayhi calmly ordered his instant execution; but the prisoner having informed his captor that he would pay 100,000 piastres for his ransom; the Albanian bey stepped forward and maintained his right to his prisoner so stoutly, that the Pasha, whose army was in arrears, and whose military chest was empty, found himself compelled to yield. As a memento of their meeting, however, he ordered one of Kalergy’s ears to be cut off. The ransom was quickly paid, and Kalergy returned to Poros, where it was some time before he recovered from his wounds.

Capodistrias on his arrival in Greece named Kalergy his aide-de-camp, and as he was much attached to the president, he was entrusted with the command of the cavalry sent against Poros and Nisi, when those places took up arms against the arbitrary and tyrannical conduct of Capodistrias. We are not inclined to apologize for the disorders which the Greek cavalry then committed; they were unpardonable even during the excitement of a civil war.

The marriage of Kalergy was as romantic as the rest of his career. Two chiefs, both of the family of Notaras, (one of the few Greek families which can boast of territorial influence dating from the times of the Byzantine empire,) had involved the province of Corinth in civil war, in order to secure the hand of a young heiress. The lady, however, having escaped from the scene of action, conferred her hand on Kalergy, whose fame as a soldier far eclipsed that of the two rivals.

As soon as the Bavarians arrived in Greece, they commenced persecuting Kalergy. An unfounded charge of treason was brought against him; but he was honourably acquitted by a court-martial, of which our country-man,   General Gordon of Cairness, was the president; and from that period down to the publication of the order of the day, last September, he has been constantly an object of Bavarian hatred.

About twenty-four hours before the revolution of the 15th of September broke out, the court of Greece received some information concerning the extent and nature of the plot, and orders were given by King Otho to hold a council of his trusted advisers. The Bavarians Hess and Graff, and the Greeks Rizos, Privilegios, Dzinos, and John the son of Philip, (for one of the courtly councillors of the house of Wittelspach rejoices in this primitive cognomen,) met, and decided on the establishment of a court-martial to try and shoot every man taken in arms. Orders were immediately prepared for the arrest of upwards of forty persons.

A good deal has been said about the revolution as having been a mere military movement. This, however, is not a correct view of the matter, either with reference to the state of parties, or to the intensity of the national feeling at the time. Sir Robert Inglis most justly observed in Parliament—“That revolution in Greece had been prepared during years of intolerable despotism, and the soldiery merely shared in, and did not by any means lead, the proceedings of the great body of the nation.” The fact is, that a plot for seizing the king and sending him to Trieste, had been formed by the Philorthodox or Russian party, in the early part of 1843; but the party, from some distrust of its own strength, and from the increasing unpopularity of King Otho, was induced to admit a few of the most determined of the constitutionalists into the plot, without intending to entrust them with the whole of the plan. The rising was at last fixed for the month of September. This occurred in consequence of the universal outcry raised by the Greeks, on finding that the representations of Great Britain in favour of the long-promised constitution, and the warnings which Sir Robert Peel threw out on the discussion of Greek affairs on Mr Cochrane’s motion, were utterly neglected by King Otho. This indignation was reduced to despair when it was known that Mr Tricoupis, on his recall from London, had assured the king that the English cabinet was so determined to maintain the statu quo, that the constitutional party would meet with no countenance from England. Every party in Greece then prepared for action, and entered into negotiations, in which the opinions of the constitutionalists prevailed, because they were actively supported by the great body of the people.

In order to prevent the country from becoming a scene of anarchy, in case a civil war proved unavoidable, it was necessary to employ all the regular authorities who could be induced to join the national cause, in their actual functions, without any reference to party feelings. This was done; and the fact that it was so, proves the intenseness of the public feeling. The constitutional party decided that the recognition of Greece as a constitutional state, and the immediate convocation of a national assembly, were to be the demands made on King Otho. The Russian party allowed these two questions to be first mooted in the firm persuasion that the king would be induced by his own pride, his despotic principles, and the mistaken views of several of the foreign ministers at Athens, to refuse these demands; and, in that case, the throne would infallibly have been declared vacant.

About midnight, on the 14th of September, the gendarmes were ordered to surround the house of General Makriyani, an officer of irregulars on half-pay, and to arrest him on a charge of treason. On approaching the house they were warned off; but pressing forward they were fired on, and one gendarme was killed and one or two wounded. In consequence of the alarm given by the minister of war, for the purpose of supporting the arrests to be made, the garrison was all in readiness. In the mean time the greater part of the officers had been admitted into the secret, that a general movement of all Greece was to be made that night, and that their duty would be to maintain the strictest order and enforce the severest discipline.

Kalergy, therefore, as soon as he   was informed that the movement had been made to arrest Makriyani, assembled all the officers, and, in a few words, declared to them that the moment for saving their country from the Bavarian yoke had arrived; and that they must now, if they wished to be free, call on the king to adopt a constitutional system of government. The importance of this step, which Kalergy adopted with his usual decision, can only be understood when it is recollected, that there existed a strong party determined to avail itself of every opportunity of driving King Otho from the throne. Had Kalergy, therefore, delayed pledging the officers and the army to the constitution, or allowed them to march out of their barracks before making the constitution the rallying word of the revolution, there can be no doubt that the agents of the Russian and Philorthodox parties would have raised the cry of “Death to the Bavarians! down with the tyrant!” Kalergy, however, put the garrison in motion amidst shouts of Long live the constitution; and as the cavalry moved from their barracks, these shouts were echoed enthusiastically by the citizens who were waiting anxiously without.

As soon as Kalergy had taken the command he marched all the troops to the square before the palace. Two squadrons of cavalry, two battalions of infantry, a company of Greek irregulars, and a number of half-pay officers and pensioners, were soon drawn up under King Otho’s windows. His monstrous palace had begun to produce its effects. Strong patrols were detached to preserve order in the town, and to compel the gendarmes to retire to their quarters. Makriyani, on being relieved from his blockade, repaired to the square, collecting on the way as large a body of armed citizens as he was able.

The king had been waiting at one of the windows of the palace in great anxiety to witness the arrest of Makriyani; and on seeing the shots fired from the house, and the suspension of the attack by the gendarmes, he had dispatched a Bavarian aide-de-camp, named Steinsdorff, to order the artillery to the palace. The young and inexperienced Bavarian returned without the guns; but assured his Majesty that they would soon arrive. In the mean time, the whole garrison appeared in the square, and was ranged opposite the palace: the king, however, expected that the arrival of the artillery would change their disposition. In a short time, the guns came galloping up; but to the utter dismay of King Otho, they were ranged in battery against the palace, while the artillerymen, as soon as the manœuvre was executed, gave a loud shout of “long live the constitution.”

His Majesty, after a long period of profound silence, appeared at a window of the lower story of the palace, attended by the Bavarian captain, Hess—the most unpopular man in Greece, unless Dzinos, the agent in the celebrated cases of judicial torture, could dispute with him that “bad eminence.” One of the servants of the court called for General Kalergy in a loud voice; and when he approached the window the king asked—“What is the meaning of this disturbance? What am I to understand by this parade of the garrison?” To this Kalergy replied, in a loud and clear voice, “The people of Greece and the army desire that your Majesty will redeem the promise that the country should be governed constitutionally.” King Otho then said, “Retire to your quarters; I shall consult with my ministers, with the council of state, and the ambassadors of the three protecting powers, and inform you of my determination.” This appeared to the audience to be acting the absolute sovereign rather too strongly under the circumstances, and a slight movement of the officers, who overheard the king’s words, was conveyed like lightning to the troops, so that the king received a distinct reply from the whole army in a sudden clang of sabres and noise of arms. Kalergy, however, immediately replied in the same distinct tone in which he had before spoken—“Sire, neither the garrison of Athens, nor the people will quit this spot, until your Majesty’s decisions on the proposals of the council of state, which will be immediately laid before you, is known.” At this moment Captain Hess put himself forward beside the king, and said—“Colonel Kalergy; that is not the way in which it becomes you to   speak to his Majesty.” But to this ill-timed lesson in politeness Kalergy replied sharply—“Draw your head back, sir: you and such as you have brought the king and the country into their present unfortunate circumstances. You ought to be ashamed of your conduct.” The Bavarian hero at these words disappeared; and this was the last occasion in which this champion of Bavarianism appeared in a public character.

At this time, Count Metaxas, Lieutenant-General Sir Richard Church, and Major-General Londos, members of the council of state, who had been in the square with the troops, were engaged preparing the council for its share in the revolution. At the meeting which took place, Spiro Milios, the commandant of the military school, and an active member of the Russian party, was present as a representative of the army. It was evident that the council of state comprised three parties. One was willing to support King Otho and the actual system. This party included Kondouriotis, the president; Tricoupis, the late minister in London; and a German Greek named Theocharis. Another party was eager to drive King Otho from the throne, in order to proceed to the nomination of a regency preparatory to the choice of an orthodox prince. We are not sure that any individual is now anxious to identify his name with this party. The third party made the demand for a constitution their primary object; and as this party was led by Metaxas, Londos, Church, Palamidhis, and Mansolas, it was soon joined by the majority.

The meeting was long, and it is said that the conduct of the members was much more disorderly than that of the people and the troops in the square; but at last, a proclamation and an oath were drawn up, by which the council of state, the army, and the people, all pledged themselves to support the constitution. A committee consisting of Metaxas, Londos, and Palamidhis, was also charged to prepare an address to the king, recommending his majesty to convoke a national assembly, in order to prepare a constitution for the state; at the same time they invited his majesty to appoint new ministers, and in the list presented they of course took care to insert their own names. As soon as this business was terminated, the council dispatched a deputation to wait on his majesty, consisting of the president and five members, who were to obtain the king’s consent.

The conduct of King Otho on receiving this deputation was neither wise nor firm. He delayed returning any answer for two hours, and attempted to open a negotiation with the council of state, by means of one of the members of the camarilla. The delay excited some distrust even among the best disposed in the square, and the report was spread that the king was endeavouring to communicate with the corps diplomatique, in order to create a diversion. At this very time a train of carriages suddenly appeared at the gates of the palace, and the ministers of the three protecting powers—Sir Edmund Lyons, Mr Katakazy, and Mr Piscatory, accompanied by General Prokesch d’Osten, and Mr Brassier de St Simon, the representatives of Austria and Prussia—requested to be admitted to see the king. General Kalergy, however, declared that he had orders to refuse all entry to the palace, until his majesty had terminated his conference with the deputation of the council of state; and repeated, in the presence of the ministers of Austria and Prussia, the assurance he had given at an early hour of the morning to Sir Edmund Lyons, Mr Katakazy, and Mr Piscatory, that the greatest respect would be shown to the person of his majesty. Mr Katakazy, the doyen of the corps diplomatique, satisfied that any parade of foreign interference could only increase the difficulties of the king’s position, accepted the answer of Kalergy and began to withdraw. The representatives of the powers which had never protected Greece, deemed the moment favourable for a display of a little independent diplomacy, and accordingly the Prussian minister asked Kalergy in a tone, neither mild nor low, if he durst refuse to admit him to see his majesty. To this Kalergy, who was extremely anxious to avoid any dispute with the foreign ministers at such a moment, politely replied that he was compelled to refuse   even the minister of Prussia. Mr Brassier, however, returned to the charge aided by his Austrian colleague; but as the Greeks place all Germans in the category of Bavarians, they gave some manifestations of their dislike to any German interference, which could not be otherwise than displeasing to the Prussian, who addressed Kalergy in a very rough tone. His words were lost to the spectators, but they were supported by General Prokesch d’Osten with a good deal of gesticulation. The patience of Kalergy gave way under these repeated attacks, and he turned to Mr Brassier, saying—“Monsieur le ministre, you are generally unlucky in your advice, and I am afraid his majesty has heard too much of it lately.”

The thrust was a home one, and the Prussian minister, rather discomposed, addressed himself to Sir Edmund Lyons, who, while waiting till his carriage drew up, had been quietly contemplating the scene, and said—“Colonel Kalergy is insolent; but he only repeats what he has heard in the drawing-rooms of Athens.” Sir Edmund Lyons replied—“I do not see, Mr Brassier, how that makes your case better,” and withdrew to his carriage, leaving Austria and Prussia to battle out their dispute with Greece in the presence of the mob. The spectators considered the scene a very amusing one, for they laughed heartily as the corps diplomatique retired; but, if all the reports current in diplomatic circles be true, Mr Katakazy, the doyen of the Athenian diplomatists, was made to suffer severely for his prudent conduct; for it is said that his recall took place because he did not support with energy the foolish attempt of his enterprising colleagues. It is certain that any very violent support given to any feeling, in direct hostility to the national cause at the time, could hardly have failed to vacate the throne, or at least to push the people on to commit some disorders, of which the Russian court, and the friends of despotism at Vienna and Berlin, might have taken advantage.

The king, finding at last that there was no hope of his deriving any assistance from without, signed the ordinances appointing a new ministery, and convoking a national assembly. The troops, after having remained more than thirteen hours under arms, were marched back to their barracks, as if from a review; and every thing at Athens followed its usual course. Thus was a revolution effected in the form of government in Greece without any interruption in the civil government—without the tribunals’ ceasing to administer justice for a single day—without the shops’ remaining closed beyond the usual hours, or the mercantile affairs of the country undergoing the slightest suspension. Such a people must surely be fit for a constitution.

The national assembly has now met, and terminated its labours; and Greece is in possession of a constitution made by Greeks. In three months the first representative chamber will meet. It will consist of about 120 members. The senate, which is to consist of members named by the king for life, cannot exceed one-half the number of the representatives elected by the people. Faults may be found with some of the details of the constitution; but, on the whole, it must be regarded as a very favourable specimen of the political knowledge of the Greeks; and the manner in which the different articles were discussed, and the care with which every proposal and amendment were examined, gave all those who witnessed the debates a very high opinion of the legislative capacity of the people.

The form of the Greek government, as a constitutional monarchy, may now be considered as settled. We shall therefore proceed to examine the difficulties, of a social and political nature, which still obstruct the advancement of the nation, and render its prosperity problematical. Some of our statements may appear almost paradoxical to travellers, whose hasty glance at distant countries enables them to come to rather more positive conclusions than those who devote years to study the same subject. We shall, however, strive to expose our facts in such a way as to show that we state the plain truth, nothing but the truth, and, as far as our subject carries us, the whole truth.

That Greece has not hitherto improved, either in her wealth, population,   or civilization, as fast as the energy of her people led her friends to expect would be the case after she was freed from the Turks, is universally admitted. The great bar to improvement exists in an evil rooted in the present frame of social life, but fortunately one which good and just government would gradually remove. In Greece there is no clear and definite idea of the sacred right of property in land. The god Terminus is held in no respect. No Greek, from the highest to the lowest, understands the meaning of that absolute right of property “which,” as Blackstone says, “consists in the free use, enjoyment, and disposal by every Englishman of all his acquisitions, without control or diminution, save only by the laws of the land.”

The appropriation of Mr Finlay’s land by King Otho, without measurement, valuation, or payment, to make a garden for his palace—the formation of a great road leading to the French minister’s house, by the municipality of Athens, without indemnifying the owners of the land, though a road sufficiently good already existed—and the confiscation of half the estates purchased by foreigners from the Turks by Maurocordatos, when Minister of Finance under the Bavarian Regency, in a ministerial circular deciding on rights of property, are mere trifling examples of the universal spirit. When Maurocordatos wrote his memorable declaration, “that every spot where wild herbs, fit for the pasturage of cattle, grow, is national property, and that the Greek government recognises no individual property in the soil except the exclusive right of cultivation,” he only, in deference to the Bavarian policy of the time, which wished to copy Mohammed Ali’s administration in Egypt, caricatured a misconception of the right of property equally strong in every Greek, whether he be the oppressor or the oppressed. Even the late National Assembly has not thought it necessary to correct any of the invasions of private property by the preceding despotism. Individuals, almost ruined by the plunder of their land, have not even received the offer of an indemnity, though the justice of their claims is not denied.C

The origin of this national obtuseness of mind on a question of interest, is to be found in the system of taxing the land. A Greek really views land somewhat as English labourers view game. The owner of the soil is absolute proprietor only during those months in which he is engaged in the labours of preparing the land and sowing the seed. As soon as the harvest time arrives, he ceases to be master of his estate, and sinks into the condition of a serf of the revenue officer, or of the farmer of the land revenue. It is true, that the government tax only amounts to a tenth of the gross produce of the soil; but, in virtue of this right to a tenth, government assumes the entire direction of all the agricultural operations relating to the crops, and the cultivator’s nine-tenths (for it is really a misnomer to call him proprietor) become a mere adjunct of the government tenth.

Many of our readers, who are unacquainted with Eastern life, may suppose that we colour our picture too strongly. In order, therefore, to divest our statement of all ornament, we shall describe the whole of the events of an agricultural year. Our classic readers will then comprehend practically how the vulture could feast on the perpetually growing heart of Prometheus—why Tantalus tempted the gods by murdering Pelops—and they will see that the calamities of the Theban race are an allegorical representation of the inevitable fate which awaits a people groaning under the system of taxation now in force in Greece.

The tenths in Greece are usually farmed to speculators, and, as the collection is a matter of difficulty, extraordinary powers are conferred on the farmers; hence it happens, that the social position of the cultivators and the farmers is one of constant hostility. If the cultivator has it in his power, he cheats the farmer of the   revenue, and if the farmer is able to do so he cheats the cultivator. The result is, that probably not one individual in the Greek kingdom really pays the exact tenth of the produce of his land. A few of the most active rogues contrive to cheat the farmers of the revenue; but these gentlemen, in virtue of the great powers with which the law invests them, contrive to cheat the greater part of the proprietors. As soon as the grain is ripe, the cultivator is compelled to address himself to the tax-farmer for permission to cut his crop; but as the farmer must keep a very sharp look-out after his interest, he only grants such permissions as accord with the arrangements he may have established for watching the cultivators at the smallest possible expense to himself, making the over-ripeness of the crop of the majority a very secondary consideration. It happens, consequently, that in Greece two-thirds of the grain are not gathered until it is over-ripe, and the loss is consequently very great.

When the grain is cut, it must be carried to a certain number of authorized threshing-floors collected together, in order that the tax farmer may take every possible care to secure his tenth. To these threshing-floors the whole grain of a district must be transported from the fields in the straw, though the straw may be wanted as fodder for cattle at the very spot from which it is taken, and will require to be carried back a very great distance. An immense loss of grain and labour is sustained by this regulation; but it is a glorious season for the donkeys;—long trains of these animals, lively under their heavy loads of sheaves, may be seen galloping one after the other, each endeavouring to seize a mouthful from his neighbour. The roads are strewed with grain and the broken-hearted cultivators follow, cursing man and beast.

The grain is at last collected in immense stacks round the threshing-floors—a cultivator perched on the top of each stack, defending it from the attacks of man and beast; and a tax-gatherer, seated with his pipe cross-legged in the middle of the circle, is watching the manœuvres of the cultivators. No person who has not examined the subject with attention can imagine the scenes of fraud and violence which a Greek harvest produces. The grain is usually kept piled round the threshing-floors under various pretexts, for at least two months, unless the cultivator pay the farmer an additional sum, to facilitate the housing of his crops. Even in the vicinity of Athens, the operations of the wheat and barley harvest generally occupy the exclusive attention of the agricultural population for three months. The grain is trodden out by cattle; and a Greek who bought a winnowing machine at Athens, was not allowed to make use of it, as the farmers of the revenue contended that the introduction of such instruments would facilitate frauds.

The farmers of the tenths likewise increase the evils of this ruinous system, by throwing every difficulty in the way of the cultivators, in order to compel them to consent to pay for each facility they may require. We have known regular contracts entered into with the peasantry, by which they agreed to pay from 3 to 5 per cent more than the legal tenth. We believe no honest man ever paid less than from 12 to 13 per cent on his crop, even in the neighbourhood of the capital. It may be supposed that some redress can be obtained, in cases of gross oppression, by applying to the courts of law; but this is not the case. A special tribunal, consisting of administrative officers of the Crown, and municipal authorities, and from which lawyers have been always carefully excluded, is appointed to judge summarily all cases relating to the tenths. The infamous conduct of these administrative tribunals excited general discontent, and an article has been inserted in the constitution abolishing them, and sending all the pending cases to the ordinary courts of law. Government, however, defended them to the last, and even pressed for decisions down to the very hour in which King Otho took his oath to the constitution. There is here, however, some ground for consolation; for it is clear that the Greek ministers fear the ordinary administration of justice as being above their control.

It is needless to say, that under such laws the improvement of agriculture in Greece is impossible. No   green crops can be grown with profit at any distance from a large town. The tenth of garden produce and green crops being generally valued and paid for in money, the disputes concerning the valuation, and the impossibility of obtaining any redress, in case of injustice, have induced the cultivators to give up such cultivation. We have known proprietors pay half the value of a crop of potatoes as the value of the tenth; and in one case, on our asking the farmer of the tenths, who after all was not a bad fellow at heart, though he wished to make his farming of the revenues turn out a good speculation in his hands, what he would recommend a proprietor to do in order not to lose money by cultivating potatoes; he looked grave, and after a few moments’ thought, candidly replied—“Never to plant them as long as the present law remains in force!” Vineyards which have been planted with care, and cultivated for eight years, have been lately abandoned, as the high valuation of their produce renders them unprofitable. The only agriculture which can be pursued in Greece without loss, is that in which only the simplest and rudest methods of cultivation are followed. The land only yields a rent when it is in the immediate vicinity of a large market, or when it is of the richest quality; the employment of capital in improvements only opens new channels for the extortions of the farmers of the revenue. No money can be safely invested on mortgage in such a country, and no loans by the Three Allied powers to the Government, no national bank, no manufactory of beet-root sugar, no model farms, and no schools of agriculture can introduce prosperity into a country taxed in such a manner.

We do not intend to discuss any plan for ameliorating the condition of the Greeks; but we can easily point out what it is necessary for them to do before they can, by any possibility, better their condition. The system of selling the tenths must be abolished; for a government so inefficient as to be unable to collect them by its own officers, is incompetent to perform the functions for which it was created, and ought to be destroyed. The owners of the land must be rendered the real masters of their property. They must be allowed to reap their crops when they are ripe, and to thresh their grain when and where they please. Until this is the case, we can assure the Three Protecting Powers, they count without the people if they suppose that they have established a permanent monarchy in Greece. We do not hesitate to say that the royal dignity, even with the support of England and France, is not worth ten years’ purchase until this is accomplished.

Every traveller who visits Greece declaims against the number of coffee-houses throughout the country, and the hosts of idle people with which they are filled. But nothing else can be expected in a country where the system of agriculture keeps the cultivators idle for three months annually, and deprives the proprietor of all profit from his land. Under such circumstances the demand for labour becomes extremely irregular. Many of the lower classes turn brigands and plunder their neighbours; the educated and higher classes turn government employés and plunder the country. This evil has arrived at an alarming pitch; the Greek army contains almost as many officers as privates; the navy has officers enough to man a fleet twice as large as that which Greece possesses, for she has three admirals, a hundred and fifty captains, and two hundred and seventy commanders. It has been in vain pressed on every successive administration, that a list of the army, navy, and civil employés ought to be published, in order to put an end to the shameful system of jobbing which has always existed. No minister would, however, adopt a principle which would so effectually have put an end to his own arbitrary power of quartering his friends and relations on the public. The loans of the three powers might be doubled to-morrow, and it is evident that, unless all the population of Greece were made pensioners, no surplus would be found to employ for any public improvement.

Indeed the national revenues of the Greek kingdom, as of old those of Athens and Rome, seem to be considered the property of that body of   citizens who pursue no useful occupation, and possess no taxable property; while the unlucky proprietors are viewed as a species of serfs, existing to supply a revenue to the state. This political principle has been exemplified in a decree of the late national assembly, excluding every Greek or foreigner from public employment who happens not to be a born subject of the new kingdom, or who did not take part in the war against the Turks before the end of 1827, and perhaps even more strongly in a very unconstitutional private vote of a committee of the whole house, giving 800 drachmas to each member—this vote being in direct violation of one of the articles of the constitution, which requires that all grants of money should originate from the crown. We do not deny the necessity of allowing the deputies this small grant; many of them were poor, and their conduct had been disinterested; but we are bound to complain of the slightest infraction of constitutional principles by those who frame a constitution.

The length of this article compels us to leave a few observations we desire to make on the municipal government of the Greeks, and on the state of education, and of their judicial and ecclesiastical affairs, to another opportunity. The late debates in the House of Commons, and the able statement which Sir Robert Peel gave of the principles of our policy with regard to Greece, render it unnecessary for us to say one word on that subject. We can assure our readers that the policy of our present ministers has been applauded by every party in Greece, except the Philorthodox; and they, as they could find no fault, remained silent. We believe that no two governments ever acted more disinterestedly to a third than Great Britain end France have lately done to Greece, and that no ministers ever acted more fairly, in any international question, than Lord Aberdeen and M. Guizot have done on the subject of the Greek revolution; but for this very reason we feel inclined to warn our countrymen against the leaven of old principles, which still exists in the palace at Athens. Let us judge of the new government of Greece by its acts, and let Great Britain and France remember that they are not looked on without some suspicion.

Ἔνεστι γάρ πως τοῦτο τῇ τυραννίδι
Νόσημα τοῖς φίλοισι μὴ πεποιθέναι.

A 2 vols. 8vo. Edinburgh, 1832.

B The tambouria are always constructed with the ditch in the inside, in order that they may afford a better cover from artillery.

C One English sufferer has for several years vainly attacked the king for justice, even with the assistance of the English Minister in Greece and the Foreign Office at home.



Edinburgh: Printed by Ballantyne and Hughes, Paul’s Work.