The Project Gutenberg eBook of Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 61, No. 380, June, 1847

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Title: Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 61, No. 380, June, 1847

Author: Various

Release date: August 29, 2008 [eBook #26484]
Most recently updated: January 4, 2021

Language: English

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[Pg 653]



No. CCCLXXX. JUNE, 1847. Vol. LXI.

Transcriber's note: Minor typos have been corrected and footnotes moved to the end of the article. Table of contents has been created for the HTML version. The index for Volume 61 is included at the end of this issue.




The circumnavigation of the world is now a matter of ordinary occurrence to our bold mariners: and after a few years it will be a sort of summer excursion to our steamers. We shall have the requisitions of the Travellers' Club more stringent as the sphere of action grows wider; and no man will be eligible who has not paid a visit to Pekin, or sunned himself in Siam.

But a circuit of the globe on terra firma is, we believe, new. Sir George Simpson will have no competitor, that we have ever heard, to claim from him the honour of having first galloped right a-head—from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and from the Pacific to the British Channel. One or two slight divergencies of some thousand miles down the smooth and sunny bosom of the Pacific, are to be reckoned as mere episodes: but Sir George soon recovers his course, plunges in through the regions of the polar star; defies time, trouble, and Tartary; marches in the track of tribes, of which all but the names have expired; follows the glories of conquerors, whose bones have mingled five hundred years ago with the dust of the desert; gives a flying glance on one side towards the Wall of China, and on the other towards the Arctic Circle; still presses on, till he reaches the confines of the frozen civilisation of the Russian empire; and sweeps along, among bowing governors and prostrate serfs,—still but emerging from barbarism—until he does homage to the pomp of the Russian court, and finally lands in the soil of freedom, funds, and the income tax.

What the actual object of all this gyration may have been, is not revealed, nor, probably, revealable by a "Governor of the Hudson's Bay territories," who, having the fear of other governors before his eyes, dedicates his two handsome volumes to "The Directors of the Hudson's Bay Company;" but the late negotiations on Oregon, the Russian interest in the new empire rising on the shore of the Northern Pacific, the vigorous efforts of Russia to turn its Siberian world into a place of human habitancy, and the unexpected interest directed to those regions by the discovery of gold deposits which throw the old wealth of the Spanish main into the shade, might be sufficient motives for the curiosity of an individual of intelligence, and for the anxious inquiries of a great company, bordering on two mighty powers in North America, both of them more remarkable for the vigour of their ambition than for the reverence of their hunters and fishers for the jus gentium.

Those volumes, then, will supply a general and a very well conceived estimate of immense tracts of the globe, hitherto but little known to the English public. The view is clear, quick, and discriminative. The countries of which it gives us a new knowledge are probably destined to act with great power on our interests, some as the rivals of our commerce, some as the depôts of our manufactures, and some as the recipients of that overflow of population which Europe is now pouring out from all her fields on the open wilderness of the world.

[Pg 654]

This spread of emigration to the north is a curious instance of the reflux of the human tide; for, from the north evidently was Europe originally peopled. Japhet was a powerful propeller; and often as he has dwelt in the tents of Shem, he is likely to overwhelm the whole territory of the southern brother once more. The Turk, the Egyptian, the man of Asia Minor, the man of Thrace, will yet be but tribes in that army of the new Xerxes which, pouring from Moscow, and impelled from St Petersburg, will renew the invasions of Genghiz and Tamerlane, and try the civilized strength of the west against the wild courage and countless multitudes of Tartary. Into this strange, but important, and prospectively powerful country, we now follow the traveller. Embarking from Liverpool in the Caledonia, a vessel of 1300 tons and 450 horse power, he was amply prepared to face the perils of the most stormy of all oceans, the Atlantic. The run across lad the usual fortunes of all voyages, and within a week after their departure from terra firma they saw a whale, who saw them with rather more indifference, for he lay lounging on the surface until the steamer had nearly run over him. At last he dived down, and was seen no more. Next day, while there was so little wind, that all their light canvass was set, they saw the phenomenon of a ship under close-reefed topsails. This apparent timidity was laughed at by some of the passengers, but the more experienced guessed that the vessel had come out of a gale, of which they were likely to have a share before long, a conjecture which was soon verified.

On the morning of the 9th day, the captain, discovering that the barometer had fallen between two and three inches during the night, due preparations were of course made to meet the storm. It came on in the afternoon, a hurricane. Then followed the usual havock of boats and canvass, the surges making a clean breach over the deck; the passengers, of course, gave themselves up for lost, and even the crew are said to have been pretty nearly of the same opinion. However, the wind went down at last, the sea grew comparatively smooth, and in twenty-four hours more, they found themselves on the banks of Newfoundland. The writer thinks that it was fortunate for them that the storm had not caught them in the short swell of these shallow waters, as was probably the case of the President, whose melancholy fate so long excited, and still excites a feeling of surprise and sorrow in the public mind.

It was lost in this very storm. Next day came another of the sea wonders. The cry of land started them all from the dinner table; but the land happened to be an immense field of ice, which, with the inequalities of its surface and the effect of refraction, presented some appearance of a wooded country. On that night the cry of "Light a-head," while they were still several hundred miles from land, excited new astonishment. "All the knowing ones" clearly distinguished a magnificent revolver. The paddles were accordingly stopped to have a cast of the lead, but in another half hour it was ascertained that the revolver was a newly risen star.

At length land was really seen, and after a run of fourteen days, they cast anchor in the harbour of Halifax. But as Boston was their true destination they steered for it at once. Their progress had been rapid, for they entered Boston Bay in thirty-six hours from Halifax, a distance of 390 miles. Boston is more English looking than New York. The gently undulating shores of the bay, highly cultivated, bring to memory the green hills of England, and within the town the buildings and the inhabitants have a peculiarly English air.

As speed was an object, the party immediately left the town by the railway, passing through Lowell and reaching Nashua. This is one of the rapid growths of America. In 1819 this place was a village of but nineteen houses. It now contains 19,000 inhabitants, with churches, hotels, prisons, and banks. Here the party went off in two detachments, one in a sleigh with six horses, and the other rattled along in a coach-and-four. At the next stage the author exchanged the coach for a sleigh, a matter of no great importance to the world, but which may be mentioned as a caution against rash changes. For the first few miles the new conveyance went on merrily, and the passengers congratulated[Pg 655] themselves on their wisdom. We must now let him speak for himself.

"The sun, as the day advanced, kept thawing the snow, till at last, on coming to a deep drift, we were repeatedly obliged to get out, sometimes walking up to the knees, and sometimes helping to lift the vehicle out of the snow. However, at length we fairly stuck fast, in spite of all our hauling and pushing. The horses struggled and plunged to no purpose, excepting that the leaders, after breaking part of their tackle, galloped off over the hills and far away, leaving us to kick our heels in the slush, till they were brought back after a chase of several miles."

The road now passed through Vermont, the state of green mountains. The country appeared striking; and Montpelier, where they breakfasted, seems to be a very pretty place, looking more the residence of hereditary ease and luxury, than the capital of a republic of thrifty graziers. It is, in fact, an assemblage of villas; the wide streets run between rows of trees, and the houses, each in its own little garden, are shaded by verandas.

In that very pleasant little book, the "Miseries of Human Life," one of those small calamities is, the being called at the wrong hour to go off in the wrong coach from a Yorkshire inn. Time and the railroad have changed all this in England, but in America we have the primitive misery well described.

The author, after forty-two hours of hard jolting, goes to bed at one o'clock to obtain a little repose, leaving orders to be called at five in the morning. He is wrapt in the profoundest of all possible slumbers, when a peal of blows is heard at his door. "In spite, however, of laziness, and a cold morning to boot," he says, "I had completed the operations of washing and dressing by candlelight, having even donned hat and gloves, to join my companions, when the waiter entered my room with a grin. 'I guess,' said the rascal, 'I have put my foot in it. Are you the man that wanted to be called at two?' 'No,' was my reply. 'Then,' said he, 'I calculate I have fixed the wrong man, so you had better go to bed again.' Having delivered himself of this friendly advice, he went to awaken my neighbour, who had all this time been quietly enjoying the sleep that properly belonged to me. Instead of following the fellow's recommendation, I sat up for the rest of the night." Whether the author possessed a watch we cannot tell, but if he was master of that useful and not very rare article, he might have saved himself his premature trouble, and escaped shaving at midnight.

On crossing into the Canadian territory, he encounters one of those evidences of popular liberty which belong to rather the American than the English side. In the village of St John's, some of the party went a-head to the principal inn, and as it was late at night, and their knocking produced no effect, they appealed to what they regarded as the most accessible of the landlord's susceptibilities, his pocket, by saying that they were fourteen, more coming, with a whole host of drivers. This appeal was the most unlucky possible, for the landlord had another sensibility, the fear of being tarred and feathered, if not hanged. On the door being opened at last, the landlord was not to be found; his brother wandered about, the very ghost of despair. The establishment was searched upside and downside, inside and outside, in vain; and they began to think themselves the cause of some domestic tragedy; but it must have been a late perpetration, for on looking into his bed, they found the lair warm.

However, after a short time, mine host returned with a face all smiles. The mystery was then explained. The election had taken place during the day, and the landlord, having taken the part of the candidate who eventually succeeded, was threatened with vengeance by the losing party. The arrival of the travellers convinced him that his hour was come, and he had jumped out of bed and hidden himself in some inscrutable corner. But a good supper reconciled every thing.

The author crossed the ice to Montreal, and had a showy view of the metropolis of the Canadas. A curious observation is suggested by Montreal, on the different characters of the English and French population. In the days of Wolf and[Pg 656] Amherst, it was all French; but John Bull, with his spirit of activity and industry, has quietly become master of all the trading situations of the city, while the French have as quietly retreated, and spread themselves through the upper sections of it, to a great degree cut off from its commercial portions.

From Montreal the travel began. The heavy canoes were sent forward some days before, under the charge of some of the Company's officers, the light canoes waited for the author, with Colonel Oldfield, chief engineer in Canada, who was going up the country on a survey of the navigation, and the Earls of Mulgrave and Caledon, who were going to the Red River, buffalo-hunting.

All was now ready in form, and on the 4th of May the two canoes were floating on the Lactrine canal. The crews, thirteen to one vessel, and fourteen to the other, were partly Canadians, but principally Iroquois. Those voyageurs, as they are called, had each been supplied with a feather in his cap, in honour of the occasion, and evidently expected to produce a sensation on shore. But a north-wester blowing prevented the hoisting of their flags, which mulcted the pageant of much of its intended glory. These canoes are thirty-five feet in length, and five feet wide in the centre; drawing about eighteen inches water, and weighing between three and four hundred pounds; capitally fitted for a navigation among rocks, rapids, and portages; but they seem most uncomfortable in rough weather. The waves of the St Lawrence rolled like a sea, the gale was biting, and the snow drifted heavily in the faces of the party. In this luckless condition, we are not surprised at the intelligence, that at St Anne's Rapids, notwithstanding the authority of the poet, "they sang no evening hymn."

This style of travelling was not certainly much mingled with luxury. Next morning, after "toiling for six hours," they breakfasted, "with the wet ground for their table, and with rain in place of milk to cool their tea." On this day, while running close under the falls of the Rideau, they seem to have had a narrow escape from a finale to their voyage; their canoes being swept into the middle of the river, under an immense fall, fifty feet in height.

They now learned the art of bivouaching, and after a day of toiling through portages, reserving the severest of them, the Grand Calumet, for the renewed vigour of the morning, they made ready for the forest night. The description, brief as it is, is one among many which shows the artist eye.

"The tents were pitched in a small clump of pines, while round a blazing fire the passengers were collected, amid a medley of boxes, barrels, cloaks, and on the rock above the foaming rapids were lying the canoes; the men flitting about the fires as if they were enjoying a holiday, and watching a huge cauldron suspended above the fire. The whole with a background of dense woods and a lake."

Yet, startling as this "wooing of nature" in her rough moods may seem to the silk-and-velvet portion of the world, we doubt whether this wild life, with its desperate toil and its ground sleep, may not be the true charm of travel to saint, savage, or sage, when once fairly forced to the experiment. The blazing fire, the bed of leaves, the gay supper, made gayer still by incomparable appetite, and the sleep after all, in which the whole outward man remains imbedded, without the movement of a muscle and without a dream, until the morning awakes him up a new being, are fully worth all the inventions of art, to make us enjoy rest unearned by fatigue, and food without waiting for appetite. "The sleep of the weary man is sweet," said the ancient and wise king who slept among curtains of gold, and under roofs of cedar; the true way to taste that sleep is to spend a day, dragging canoes up Indian portages, and lie down with one's feet warmed by a pine blaze and one's back to the shelter of a forest.

But, as the time will assuredly come when this "life in the woods" will be no more, when huge inns will supersede the canopy of the skies, and down beds will make the memory of birch twigs and heather blossoms pass away, we give from authority the proceedings of an evening's rest, which the next generation will study[Pg 657] with somewhat of the feeling of reading Tacitus De Moribus Germanorum.

As the sun approached his setting, every eye in the canoes, as they pulled along, was speculating on some dry and tolerably open spot on the shore. That once found, all were on shore in an instant. Then the axe was heard ringing among the trees, to prepare for the fires, and make room for the tents. In ten minutes, the tents were pitched, the fires blazing in front of each, and the supper preparing in all its diversities. The beds were next made, consisting of an oil-cloth laid on the ground, with blankets and a pillow; occasionally aided by great-coats, à discretion. The crews, drawing the canoes on shore, first made an inspection of their hurts during the day; and having done this, the little vessels were turned into a shelter, and each man wrapping himself in his blanket defied the weather and the world.

But this state of happiness was never destined to last long. About one in the morning, the cry, of "Leve, leve," broke all slumbers. We must acknowledge that the hour seems premature, and that the most patient of travellers might have solicited a couple of hours more of "tired Nature's sweet restorer." But the discipline of the bivouac was Spartan. If the slumberer did not instantly start up, the tent was pulled down about him, and he found himself half-smothered in canvass. However, we must presume that this seldom happened, and, within half an hour, every thing would be packed, the canoes laden, and the paddles moving to some "merry old song." In this manner passed the day, six hours of rest, to eighteen of labour, a tremendous disproportion, even to the sturdy Englishman, or the active Irishman, but perfectly congenial to the sinews and spirit of the gay voyageur.

A few touches more give the complete picture of the day. About eight, a convenient site would be selected for breakfast. Three-quarters of an hour being the whole time allotted for unpacking and packing, boiling and frying, eating and drinking. "While the preliminaries were arranging, the hardier among us would wash and shave, each person carrying soap and towel in his pocket, and finding a mirror in the same sandy or rocky basin which held the water. About two in the afternoon, we put ashore for dinner, and as this meal needed no fire, or, at least, got none, it was not allowed to occupy more than twenty minutes, or half an hour."

We recommend the following considerations to the amateur boat clubs, and others, who plume themselves on their naval achievements between Putney and Vauxhall bridges. Let them take the work of a Canadian paddle-man to heart, and lower their plumage accordingly.

"The quality of the work, even more than the quantity, requires operatives of iron mould. In smooth water, the paddle is plied with twice the rapidity of the oar, taxing both arms and lungs to the utmost extent. Amid shallows, the canoe is literally dragged by the men, wading to their knees or their loins, while each poor fellow, after replacing his drier half in his seat, laughingly strikes the heavier of the wet from his legs over the gunwale, before he gives them an inside berth. In rapids, the towing line has to be hauled along over rocks and stumps, through swamps and thickets, excepting that when the ground is utterly impracticable, poles are substituted, and occasionally also the bushes on the shore."

This however is "plain sailing," to the Portages, where the tracks are of all imaginable kinds and degrees of badness, and the canoes and their cargoes are never carried across in less than two or three trips; the little vessels alone monopolizing, in the first turn, the more expert half of their respective crews. Of the baggage, each man has to carry at least two pieces, estimated at a hundred and eighty pounds weight, which he suspends in slings placed across his forehead, so that he may have his hands free, to clear his way among the branches and standing or fallen trunks. Besides all this, the voyageur performs the part of bridge, or jetty, on the arrival of the canoe at its place of rest, the gentlemen passengers being carried on shore on the backs of these good-humoured and sinewy fellows.[Pg 658]

For the benefit of the untravelled, we should say, that a Portage is the fragment of land-passage between the foot and head of a rapid, when the rush of the stream is too strong for the tow-rope.

At one of the halting-places on Lake Superior, a curious tale was told of the Indian's belief in a Providence, of which it had been the scene.

Three or four years before, a party of Salteaux, much pressed for hunger, were anxious to reach one of their fishing stations, an island about twenty miles from the shore. The spring had unluckily reached that point, when there was neither clear water, nor trustworthy ice. A council was being held, to consider the hard alternatives of drowning and starving, when an old man of influence thus spoke:

"You know, my friends, that the Great Spirit gave one of our squaws a child yesterday; now, he cannot have sent it into the world to take it away again directly. I should therefore recommend the carrying the child with us, as the pledge of safety."

We wish that we could have to record a successful issue to this anticipation. But the transit was too much for the metaphysics of the old Indian. They went on the treacherous ice, it gave way, and eight-and-twenty perished.

The Thunder Mountain on their route, struck them as "one of the most appalling objects" which they had seen, being a bleak rock twelve hundred feet high above the level of the lake, with a perpendicular face of its full height. The Indians say, that any one who can scale it, and "turn three times on the brink of its fearful wall, will live for ever." We presume, by dying first.

But the shores of this mighty lake, or rather fresh-water sea, which seemed destined to loneliness for ever, are now likely to hear the din of population and blaze with furnaces and factories. Its southern coasts are found to possess rich veins of copper and silver. Later inquiry has discovered on the northern shore "inexhaustible treasures of gold, silver, copper, and tin," and associations have been already formed to work them. Sir George Simpson even speaks of the future probability of their rivalling in point of wealth the Altai chain, and the Uralian mountains.

From Fort William, at the head of Lake Superior, the little expedition entered a river with a polysyllabic name, which leads farther on, to the "Far West." The banks were beautiful. When this country shall be peopled, it will be one of the resemblances of the primitive paradise.

It is all picturesque; the river finely diversified with rapids, and with one cataract which, though less in volume than Niagara, throws that far-famed fall into the background, in point of height and wildness of scenery. But we must leave description to the author's pen. "The river, during this day's march, passed through forests of elm, oak, birch, &c., being studded with isles not less fertile and lovely than its banks. And many a spot reminded us of the rich and quiet scenery of England. The paths of the numerous portages were spangled with roses, violets, and many other wild flowers—while the currant, the gooseberry, the raspberry, the plum, the cherry, and even the vine, were abundant. All this bounty of nature was imbued, as it were, with life, by the cheerful notes of a variety of birds, and by the restless flutter of butterflies of the brightest hues." He then makes the natural and graceful reflection—

"One cannot pass through this fair valley without feeling that it is destined to become, sooner or later, the happy home of civilised men, with their bleating flocks, and their lowing herds—with their schools and their churches—with their full garners, and their social hearths. At the time of our visit, the great obstacle in the way of so blessed a consummation was the hopeless wilderness to the eastward, which seemed to bar for ever the march of settlement and cultivation, but which will soon be an open road to the far west with all its riches. That wilderness, now that it is to yield up its long-hidden stores, bids fair to remove the impediments which hitherto it has itself presented. The mines of Lake Superior, besides establishing a continuity of route between the East and the West, will find their[Pg 659] nearest and cheapest supply of agricultural produce in the valley of the Kaministaquoia."

One of the especial hazards of the forest now encountered them. Passing down a narrow creek near Lac le Pluie, fire suddenly burst forth in the woods near them. The flames crackling and clambering up each tree, quickly rose above the forest; within a few minutes more the dry grass on the very margin of the waters, was in "a running blaze, and before they were clear of the danger, they were almost enveloped in clouds of smoke and ashes. These conflagrations, often caused by a wanderer's fire, or even by his pipe, desolate large tracts of country, leaving nothing but black and bare trunks, one of the most dismal scenes on which the eye can look. When once the fire gets into the thick turf of the primeval wilderness, it sets every thing at defiance. It has been known to smoulder for a whole winter under the deep snow."

Another Indian display quickly followed. After traversing the lake, they were hailed by the warriors of the Salteaux, a band of about a hundred, the fighting men of a tribe of five hundred. Their five chiefs presented a congratulatory address on their safe arrival, requesting an audience, which was appointed, at the rather undiplomatic hour of four next morning. But, while the Governor was slumbering, the Indians were preparing means of persuasion more effective, in their conceptions, than even the oratory on which they seem to pride themselves very highly—"while they were napping, the enemy were pelting away at them with their incantations."

In the centre of a conjuring tent—a structure of branches and bark, forty feet in length by ten in width—they kindled a fire; round the blaze stood the chiefs and "medicine men," while as many others as could find room were squatted against the walls. Then, to enlighten and convert the Governor, charms were muttered, rattles were shaken, and offerings were committed to the flames. After all these operations the silent spectators, at a given signal, started on their feet and marched round the magic circle, singing, whooping, and drumming in horrible discord. With occasional intervals, which were spent by the performers in taking fresh air, the exhibition continued during the whole night, so that when the appointed hour arrived they were still engaged in their observances. At length the two parties met in the open square of the fort. The Indians dressed in all their glory, a part of which consists in smearing their faces entirely out of sight with colours—the prevailing fashion being, forehead white, nose and cheeks red, mouth and chin black.

The Governor and his party of course made their best effort to meet all this magnificence. Lord Caledon and Lord Mulgrave exhibited in regimentals; the rest put on their dressing-gowns, which, being of showy patterns, were equally effective. Seated in the "hall of conference," the pipes being sent round, hands shaken, and all due ceremonial having been performed, the Indian orator commenced his harangue in the style with which we have now become familiar. Beginning with the creation, &c. &c., which Sir George cut short, and suddenly dropping down into the practical complaint, "that we had stopped their rum," though our predecessors had promised to furnish it "as long as the waters flowed down the rapids." "Now," said he, in allusion to our empty casks, "if I crack a nut, will water flow from it?"

The Governor replied, that the withdrawal of the rum was not to save expense but to benefit them. He then gave them his advice on temperance, and promised them a small quantity of rum every autumn. He also promised a present for their civility in bringing their packet of furs, for which they should receive payment besides. Then followed a general and final shaking of hands, and the Congress between the English and Chippaway nations broke up to their mutual satisfaction.

The Red River settlement, of which we heard so often during the quarrels between Lord Selkirk and the Company, will yet be a great colony; the soil is very fertile (one of the most important elements of colonisation,) its early tillage producing forty returns of wheat; and, even after twenty years of tillage, without manure, fallow, or green crop, yielding from[Pg 660] fifteen to twenty-five bushels an acre. The wheat is plump and heavy, and, besides, there are large quantities of other grain, with beef, mutton, pork, butter, cheese, and wool in abundance. This would be the true country for emigration from our impoverished islands, and will, of course, be crowded when conveyances shall become more manageable. A railroad across Canada must still be a rather Utopian conception, but it might be well worth the expense of making by government, even though it produced nothing for the next half-dozen years, for the multitudes whom it would carry through the heart of this superb country in the half-dozen years after, and for the wealth which they would pour into England in every year to come.

The settlement, however, meets, in its turn, the common chances of an American climate. In winter the cold is intense. The summer is short, and the rivers sometimes overflow and drown the crops. Still what are these things to the population, where food is plenty, the air healthy, and the ground cheap, fertile and untaxed. In fact, the difficulties, in such instances, are scarcely more than incitements to the ingenuity of man, to provide resources against them. The season of snow is a time of cheerfulness in every land of the north. In Denmark, Russia, and Canada, when the rivers close up, business is laid by for the next six months; and the time of dancing, driving, and feasting begins. Food is the great requisite; when that is found, every thing follows.

In addition to agriculture, or in place of it, the settlers, more particularly those of mixed origin, devote the summer, the autumn, and sometimes the winter also, to the hunting of the buffalo, bringing home vast quantities of pemmican, dried meat, grease, tongues, &c. for which the Company and voyaging business affords the best market.

The party now proceeded, still with their faces turned to the west, and marched for some days over an immense prairie, which seemed to them to have been once the bottom of a huge lake. A rather striking circumstance is, that nearly every height in this region has its romance of savage life. We give one of murder, for the benefit of the modern school of novelists.

Many summers ago, a party of Assinabaians fell on a party of Crees in the neighbourhood of the Beatte a Carcajar, a conspicuous knoll in this neighbourhood, and nearly destroyed them all. Among the assailants was the former wife of one of the Crees, who had been carried off from him, in an earlier foray, by her present lord and master. From whatever motive of domestic memory, this Amazon rushed into the thickest of the fight, for the evident purpose of killing the original husband. He, however, escaped; and while the victors were scalping his unfortunate companions, creeping stealthily along for a whole day under cover of the woods, he laid down at night in a hollow at the top of the Knoll. But his wife had never lost sight of him, and no sooner had he, in the exhaustion of hunger and fatigue, sunk into a sound sleep, than she sent an arrow into his brain. She then possessed herself of his scalp, and exhibited it as her prize to the victors. The title of the slain savage was the Wolverine, and the spot is still called the Wolverine's Knoll.

The Indians assert that the ghosts of the murderess and her victim are often to be seen struggling on the height.

Human nature, left to itself, is a fierce and frightful thing; and the stories of savage life are nearly all of the same calibre, and all exhibit a dreadful love of revenge. About twenty years ago, a large encampment of Black-feet and others, had been formed in those prairies for the purpose of hunting. The warriors, however, growing tired of their peaceful occupation, resolved to make an incursion into the lands of the Assinabaians. They left behind them the old men with the women and children. After a successful campaign, they turned their steps homewards, loaded with scalps and other spoils, and on reaching the top of the ridge that overlooked their camp, they gave note of their approach by the usual shouts of victory. But no shout answered, and on descending to their huts, they found the whole of the inmates slaughtered. The Assinabaians had been there to take their revenge.[Pg 661]

On beholding the dismal scene, the triumphant warriors cast away their spoils, arms, and clothing, and then putting on robes of leather, and smearing their heads with mud, they betook themselves to the hills for three days and nights, to howl and moan, and cut their flesh. It is observed, that this mode of expressing public grief, bears a striking resemblance to the customs of the Jews. The track towards Fort Vancouver exhibited a country, which may yet make a great figure in the American world,—immense valleys sheltered by mountain ridges, and containing beautiful lakes. In one instance, their tents were pitched in a valley of about five hundred acres enclosed by mountains on three sides, and a lake on the fourth. From the edge of the waters there arose a gentle descent of six or eight hundred feet covered with vines, and composed of the accumulated fragments of the heights above; and on the upper border of this slope there stood perpendicular walls of granite of three or four thousand feet high, while among those dizzy altitudes, the goats and sheep bounded in playful security. This defile had been the scene of an exploit. One of the Crees, whom they had met a few days before, had been tracked into the valley along with his wife and family by five warriors of a hostile tribe. On perceiving the odds against him, the man gave himself up for lost, observing to the woman, that as they could die but once, they had better die without resistance. The wife, however, said, that "as they had but one life to lose, they had the more reason to defend it," and, suiting the action to the word, the heroic wife brought the foremost of the enemy down to the ground by a bullet, while the husband disposed of two others by two arrows. The fourth warrior was rushing on the woman with uplifted tomahawk, when he stumbled and fell. She darted forward, and buried her knife in his heart. The sole surviving assailant now turned and fled, discharging, however, a bullet which wounded the man in the arm.

They had now reached that rocky range from which the eastern and western rivers of those mighty provinces take their common departure. Here they estimated the height of the pass to be seven or eight thousand feet above sea-level, while the peaks seemed to be nearly half that height above their heads.

Of course, the party often felt the torture of mosquitoes, but one valley was so pre-eminently infested with those tormentors, that man and beast alike preferred being nearly choked with smoke, in which they plunged, for the sake of escaping their stings. But we advert to this common plague of all forest travel, only for its legendary honours.

"The Canadians vented their curses against the old maid, who had the credit of having brought the scourge upon earth, by praying for something to fill up the leisure of her single blessedness." And if, as the author observes, "the tormentors would confine themselves to nunneries and monasteries, the world might see something more of the fitness of things in the matter."

At the close of August, the party reached Fort Vancouver, having crossed the Continent, by a route of five thousand miles, in twelve weeks' travelling.

They now made a visit to the Russian-American Company's Establishment of New Archangel. This exhibited considerable signs of commerce. In the harbour were five sailing vessels from 250 to 350 tons; besides a large bark in the offing in tow of a steamer, which brought advices from St Petersburgh down to the end of April. An officer came off conveying Governor Etholine's compliments and welcome. The party landed, and were received in the residence situated on the top of a rock. The Governor's dwelling consisted of a suite of apartments communicating, according to the Russian fashion, with each other, all the public, rooms being handsomely decorated and richly furnished. It commanded a view of the whole establishment, which was, in fact, a little village. About half way down the rock, two batteries frowned respectively over the land and the water. Behind the Bay arise stupendous piles of conical mountains with summits of everlasting snow. To seaward, Mount Edgecumbe, also in the form of a cone, rears its trunk-headed peak, still[Pg 662] remembered as the source of smoke and flame, lava and ashes, but now the repository of the snows of an age. Next day, the Governor, in full uniform, came in his gig to return the visit to Sir George on board his steamer. The party were invited on shore, where they were introduced to Madame Etholine, a pretty and lady-like woman, a native of Finland. They then visited the schools, in which there were twenty boys and as many girls; the boys were intended chiefly for the naval service, nor did religion seem to be neglected any more than education. The Greek Church had its bishop, fifteen priests, deacons, and followers, and the Lutherans had their clergyman. The ecclesiastics were all maintained by the Imperial Government. Such is Sitka, the principal depot of the Russian-American Company. It has various subordinate establishments. The operations of the Company are becoming more extensive, and at this period the returns of the trade amounted to about 25,000 skins of beavers, otters, foxes, &c.

Among the company at the Russian Governor's, was a half-breed native, who had been the leader of an expedition equipped some years ago, for the discovery of what would here be styled the North-East passage. The Russians reached Point Barrow shortly after the expedition under Mr Thomas Simpson had reached the same point from the opposite direction. The climate seems to be sufficiently trying, and during the four days at Sitka there was nearly one continued fall of rain. The weather was cold and squally, snow had fallen, and the channels were traversed by restless masses which had broken off from the glaciers. In short nothing could exceed the dreariness of the coast.

This shore, of which so much has been said and written during the late Oregon negociations, is described as the very scene for the steam-boat. Here are the Straits of Juan de Fuca; and here Admiral Fonte penetrated up the more northerly inlets. They are the very region made for the steam-boat, as in the case of a sailing vessel their dangers and delays would have been tripled and quadrupled. But steam has also a power almost superstitious on the minds of the natives; besides acting on their fears, it has in a great measure subdued their love of robbery and violence. It has given the savage a new sense of the superiority of his white brother.

A striking instance of this feeling is given. After the arrival of the emigrants from Red River, their guide, an Indian, took a short trip in the Beaver. When asked what he thought of her, "Don't ask me," was his reply. "I cannot speak; my friends will think that I tell lies when I let them know what I have seen. Indians are fools, and know nothing. I can see that the iron machinery makes the ship go, but I cannot see what makes the iron machinery itself go." This man, though intelligent, and partly civilized, was nevertheless so full of doubt and wonder that he would not leave the vessel till he had got a certificate to the effect that he had been on board of a ship which needed neither sails nor paddles,—any document in writing being regarded by the Indians as unquestionable. Fort Vancouver—which will probably be the head of a great colony, is about ninety miles from the sea, the Colombia in front of it, being a mile in width—contains houses, stores, magazines, &c. Outside the fort, the dwellings of the servants, &c. form a little village. The people of the establishment vary in number, according to the season of the year, from one hundred and thirty to more than two hundred. Divine service is regularly performed every Sunday in English to the Protestants. But at the time of this journal there was unfortunately no English clergyman connected with the establishment.

Sir George himself now visited California, the region which the Mexican war is bringing into prominent notice. The harbour of San Francisco is magnificent, the first view of the shore presented a level sward of about a mile in depth, backed by a ridge of grassy slopes, the whole pastured by numerous herds of cattle and horses, which, without a keeper or a fold, fattened whether their owners waked or slept.

The harbour displays a sheet of water of about thirty miles in length[Pg 663] by about twelve in breadth, sheltered from every wind by an amphitheatre of green hills. But this sheet of water forms only a part in the inland sea of San Francisco. Whaler's Harbour, at its own northern extremity, communicates by a strait of about two miles in width with the bay of San Pedro, which leads by means of a second strait into Fresh Water Bay, of nearly the same form and magnitude, and which forms the receptacle, of two great rivers, draining vast tracts of country to the south-east and north-east, which are navigable for inland craft, so that the harbour, besides its matchless qualities as a port of refuge on this surf-beaten coast, is the outlet of an immense, fair, and fertile region.

But the beauties of nature are useless when they fall into the hands of idlers and fools. Every thing in those fine countries seems to be boasting and beggary. Every thing has been long sinking into ruin, through mere indolence. The Californians once manufactured the fleeces of their sheep into cloth. They are now too lazy to weave or spin, too lazy even to clip and wash the raw material, and now the sheep have been literally destroyed to make more room for the horned cattle.

They once made the dairy an object of attention, now neither butter nor cheese is to be found in the province. They once produced in the Missions eighty thousand bushels of wheat and maize,—they were lately buying flour at Monterey at the rate of £6 a sack. Beef was once plentiful,—they were now buying salted salmon for the sea-store for one paltry vessel, which constituted the entire line-of-battle of the Californian navy.

The author justly observes, that this wicked abuse of the soil and consequent poverty of the people results wholly from "the objects of the colonisation." Thus the emigrants from England to the northern colonies looked to subsistence from the fruits of labour; ploughed, harrowed, and grew rich, and civilized. On the other hand the colonists of "New France" a name which comprehended the valleys of the St Lawrence and Mississippi, dwindled and pined away, partly because the golden dreams of the free trade carried them away from stationary pursuits, and partly because the government considered them rather as soldiers than settlers. In like manner Spanish America, with its Serras of silver, holding out to every adventurer the hope of earning his bread without the sweat of his brow, became the paradise of idlers.

In California the herds of cattle, and the sale of their hides and tallow, offer so easy a subsistence, that the population think of no other, and in consequence are poor, degenerate, and dwindling. Their whole education consists in bullock hunting. In this view, unjust and violent as may be the aggressions of the American arms, it is difficult to regret the transfer of the territory into any hands which will bring these fine countries into the general use of mankind, root out a race incapable of improvement, and fill the hills and valleys of this mighty province with corn and man.

At present the produce of a bullock in hide, tallow, and horns, is about five dollars, (the beef goes for nothing) of which the farmer's revenue is averaged at a dollar and a half. This often makes up a large income. General Vallego, who had about eight thousand head of cattle, must receive from this source about ten thousand dollars a-year. The former Missions, or Monkish revenues, must have been very large; that of San Jose possessing thirty thousand head of cattle, Santa Clara nearly half the number, and San Gabriel more than both together.

It must be acknowledged that the monks had made a handsome affair of holiness in the good old times. Previously to the Mexican revolution their "missions" amounted, in the upper province alone, to twenty-one, every one of course with its endowment on a showy scale. Every monk had an annual stipend of four hundred dollars. But this was mere pocket-money; they had "donations and bequests" from the living and from the dead, a most capacious source of opulence, and of an opulence continually growing, constituting what was termed the pious fund of California. Besides all these things, they had the cheap labour of eighteen thousand converts. But the drones were to be suddenly smoked out[Pg 664] of their hives. Mexico declared itself a republic; and, as the first act of a republic, in every part of the world, is to plunder every body, the property of the monks went in the natural way. The lands and beeves, the "donations and bequests were made a national property," in 1825. Still some show of moderation was exhibited, and the names and some of the offices of the missions were preserved. But, in 1836, the Californians took the whole affair into their own hands, threw off the Central Government, and were "free, independent," and beggared. The Missions were then "secularized" at their ease. The Mexican government was furious for a while, and threatened the Californians with all the thunders of its rage; but the vengeance ended in the simple condition, that California should still acknowledge the Mexican supremacy, taking her own way in all that had been done, was doing, and was to be done.

The travellers had now an opportunity of seeing the interior of a Californian mansion, the house of the chief proprietor in this quarter, General Vallego.

We must acknowledge that Sir George Simpson would have much improved his volumes by striking out the whole of this description. It is evident that he was received with civilities of every kind;—he was provided with horses and attendants;—he was taken to see all the remarkable features of the estate and the habits of its people; he was fêted, introduced to wife and daughters, sons-in-law and daughters-in-law, sung and danced for, and smiled on and talked with, as if he had been a prince; and yet his whole account of this hospitality throws it into the most repulsive light imaginable;—cold dinners, bad attendance, rude furniture, and so forth, form the staple of his conceptions; and if his book should ever reach General Vallego's hands, which it probably will, through the zeal of American republication, we can easily imagine that he will become cautious in his hospitality for the time to come. We, at least, shall not extend the vexation of this Spanish gentleman by quoting any part of this unfortunate bevue. We say this with regret. But this style of repaying generous hospitality cannot be too distinctly reproved, for the sake of all future travellers who may want, not merely hospitality, but protection.

The next subject of description is Monterey, which has lately assumed a peculiar interest, as one of the objects of the American invasion. The Bay of Monterey forms a segment of a circle with a chord of about eighteen miles. Monterey had always been the seat of government, though it consisted of but a few buildings. But, since the revolution of 1836, it has expanded into a population of about seven hundred souls. The town occupies a plain, bounded by a lofty ridge. The dwellings are the reverse of pompous, being all built of mud bricks. The houses are remarkable for a paucity of windows, glass being inordinately dear; even parchment almost unattainable, and the artists in window-making charging three dollars a-day!

But, to the Californians, perhaps this privation of light is not an evil. While it makes the rooms cooler, it cannot, by any possibility, interfere with the occupations of those who do nothing. The bed affords a curious contrast to the rest of the furniture. While the apartments exhibit a deal-table, badly made chairs, probably a Dutch clock, and an old looking-glass, the bed "challenges admiration by snowy white sheets, fringed with lace, a pile of soft pillows, covered with the finest linen or the richest satin, and a well-arranged drapery of costly and tasteful curtains." Still this bed is "but a whited sepulchre," with a wool mattress—"the impenetrable stronghold of millions of——." We leave the rest to the imagination.

The history of "Political Causes and Effects" would make a curious volume; and it would admirably display, at once the profound agency of Providence, and the shortsightedness of human policy. It would scarcely be supposed that the devastation of Europe, and the sack of Berlin, Vienna, and Moscow, found their origin in a Spanish treaty, on the banks of the Mississippi, half a century before.

The power of France in the interior of America, which had extended from Canada to Louisiana, and which formed a line of posts for its boundary[Pg 665] along this immense internal frontier, kept the British Colonies in a state of constant alarm; and, by consequence, in a state of continual dependence on England. But the English possession of Canada, in 1763, and the cession of Louisiana to Spain at the same period, as they lessened the alarms, loosened the allegiance of the British colonies. The next steps were more obvious. The war of the United States, in which France was an auxiliary, inflamed the French population with the hope of breaking down the strength of England and the aristocracy of France. But the expense of equipping the French allied force fell heavy on an exchequer already burthened by the showy extravagance of the Regent Orleans, and by the gross profligacies of Louis XV. To relieve the exchequer, the States General were summoned; and from that moment began the Revolution. The European war was the result of a republican government, and the conquest of the Continent the result of placing Napoleon on the throne of the empire. What further results may be still preparing are beyond our knowledge; but it can scarcely be conceived that the chain is yet finally broken.

But before we take leave of California, we must do it the justice to speak of San Barbara, which, as the author rather emphatically expresses it, is to Monterey "what the parlour is to the kitchen."

The bay is an unfavourable one, being exposed to the "worst winds of the worst season." But the town having been selected as the favourite retreat of the more respectable functionaries of the province, Santa Barbara exhibits the charms of aristocratic manners. The houses, externally, are superior to any others on the coast, and, internally, exhibit taste in their furniture and ornament. The ladies excite the author's pen into absolute rapture; their sparkling eyes and glossy hair, are, in themselves, sufficient to negative the idea of tameness or insipidity, while their sylph-like figures exhibit fresh graces at every step. This is supported by the more important qualities, of "being by far the more industrious half of the community, and performing their household duties with cheerfulness and pride."

The men are a handsome race, and the greatest dandies imaginable, completely modelled on the Andalusian Majo, and displaying the finest linen, the most embroidered pantaloons, and the most glittering jackets in the western world. Of course, it cannot be expected of any Spaniards that they should do much, and beaux so fine cannot be expected to do any thing. Accordingly, his day is spent in riding from house to house, on a horse as fine as himself, a living machine of trappings, and the nights in dancing, billiard-playing, and flirting.

In all countries where serious things are habitually turned into trifles, trifles become serious things. "The balls, in fact, seem more like a matter of business than any thing else that is done in California. For whole days beforehand, sweetmeats are laboriously prepared in the greatest variety, and from beginning to end of the festivities, which have been known to last several successive nights, so as to make the performers, after wearing out their pumps, trip it in sea-boots, both men and women displaying as much gravity as if attending the funeral of their friends."

A still more humanising portion of their tastes is their passion for music. The guitar is heard in every house. Father, mother, and child are all playing and singing; and, to the praise of their taste be it spoken, playing nothing but the fandangoes, seguidillas, and ballads of Spain; the truest, purest, and most touching of all music; well worth all the hammered harmonies of the German school, and all the long-winded and laborious bravuras of the Italian. The Spanish music is the most refined, and yet the most natural, in the world.

We are glad to see this experienced judge of men and things speaking of the Californians as "a happy people possessing the means of physical pleasure to the full," even though he qualifies the opinion by their "knowing no higher kind of enjoyment."

It is true, that the Englishman, who knows what intellectual enjoyment is, will not abandon that highest, though most toilsome, of all gratifications, for[Pg 666] inferior indulgences; but it would be a fortunate hour for the Englishman when he could get rid of some portion of the toil that wears away his life, in exchange for the lighthearted pleasures and simple occupations of foreign existence. Nor is there any man who less prefers the dogged round of his cheerless exertions, or who is more genuinely susceptible of essential enjoyment. We even think that the cultivated Englishman has a finer relish for enjoyment than the man of any other country. The caperings of the Frenchman, or the grimaces of the Italian, have but little connexion with the mind. All foreigners seem wretched when they have no physical excitement. There is not a more miserable object on earth, than a Frenchman wandering through the streets of London on a Sunday, when he can neither see the print shops in the day, nor go to the play at night. The German is heart-broken for the same reason, and shrouds himself and his sorrow in double clouds of smoke. The Italian would worship Diana of Ephesus, or the Great African Snake, if its pageantry, or puppet-show, would enable him to get through the day of closed shops and no opera! Yet, contemptible as this restless hunting after nothings is, it would be fortunate for us if we could qualify the severity and constancy of our national toil by some mixture of the lighter pursuits of the Continent.

The fertility of California is boundless; it produces every thing that human appetite can desire. In the Mission-garden of San Gabriel were produced grapes, oranges, lemons, olives, figs, bananas, plums, peaches, apples, pears, pomegranates, raspberries, strawberries, &c. &c., while in the adjoining Mission were found in addition, tobacco, the plantain, the cocoa-nut, the indigo plant, and the sugar cane.

But Nature is nothing, in this country, without a miracle; and the history of every village probably furnishes its legend. The Missions, however, may be presumed to be the peculiar favourites of Heaven.

"When Padre Pedro Cambon, and Padre Somera, were selecting a site for the Mission, escorted by ten soldiers, a multitude of Indians, armed, presented themselves, and setting up horrid yells, seemed determined to oppose its establishment. The fathers, fearing that war would ensue, took out a piece of cloth with the image of our Lady upon it, and held it up in view of the barbarians. This was no sooner done, than the whole were quiet, being subdued by the sight of this most precious image; and throwing on the ground their bows and arrows, their two captains came running to lay the beads, which they had round their necks, at the feet of the Sovereign Queen, in proof of their tender regard." We recommend the trial of this holy Cloth on General Taylor.

But there is no limit to the richness of this region. The valley of the Zulares, in the neighbourhood, would support millions of people. Its lakes and rivers all abound in fish, its forests have all kinds of trees, some of them growing to a size which, but for the force of testimony, would be incredible. One of these is stated by Humboldt as of one hundred and eighteen feet in girth. "But this is a walking-stick compared with another at Bodega, as described to Sir George by Governor Etholine, of Sitka." It is thirty-six Russian fathoms (seven feet each) in span, and seventy-five in height; so that, if tapered into a perfect cone, it would contain nearly twenty-two thousand tons of bark and timber. In addition, the valley contains immense herds of wild horses, in troops of several thousands each. What a country will this be, when it shall fall into the hands of an intelligent people!

The last of the five posts, San Diego, is, next to San Francisco, the best harbour in the province. Thus, Upper California contains, at its opposite extremities, two of the best harbours on the Pacific Ocean; each of them being enhanced in value by the distance of any others worthy of the name, San Francisco being nearly one thousand miles from Port Discovery in the north, and San Diego six hundred miles from the Bay of Magdalena in the south.

That in the hands of any vigorous possessors this country would form a most powerful kingdom, is beyond all question; and Sir George Simpson evidently thinks that it might easily[Pg 667] be acquired, and with a legitimate claim too, by England. But the still higher question is the policy of a perpetual increase of territory. England already has in America a larger extent of territory than she can people for five hundred years to come. But the possession of California, and perhaps of the whole extent of the Mexican provinces, is on the eve of decision; the American invasion has found no resistance that can deserve the name. The Mexicans fly in every quarter, and a few discharges of cannon put them to flight by thousands. At this moment the whole Mexican Republic, equal in size to half a dozen European States, appears to be crumbling into fragments. The rambling expeditions of the Americans are ravaging it in all directions with impunity, and armies which might have been long since annihilated by a mere guerilla war, have been suffered to march from city to city, with scarcely more resistance than a cattle-stealing skirmish. By the last intelligence, San Juan d' Ulloa has fallen, and Vera Cruz has capitulated after a siege of only three days and a half. The castle is the strongest fortification in the Western World—and, as Napoleon said of Malta, "It is lucky that it had somebody inside to open the gates for us:" the garrison of this fortress seems to have been placed there merely for the purpose of surrendering it. But, whatever may be the fate of men who had such a fortress to defend, and yet whose defence actually cost the assailants but seventeen killed! there can be but one feeling of commiseration for the unhappy inhabitants of Vera Cruz, on whom was rained, day and night, a shower of shot and shell amounting to more than seven thousand of those tremendous missiles. It is computed that the slaughter, and that slaughter chiefly of women and children, amounts to thousands. These are terrible things, even where they may be supposed the necessities of war. But here we can discover no necessity—Vera Cruz was no fortification, it was nearly an open town. We recollect no similar instance of a bombardment. In Europe, it has long been a rule of military morals, that no open city shall ever be bombarded. We believe it to be the boast of the first living soldier in the world—and we could have no more honourable one—that he never suffered a city to be bombarded; from the obvious fact, that the chief victims were the helpless inhabitants, while the soldiery are sheltered by the casemates and bomb-proofs.

At all events, we must regard the contest as decided. The Government has exhibited nothing more than a sullen resolution; and the people little more than the apathy of their own cattle; the troops have exhibited no evidence of discipline, and the only resource of the Finance has been in the wild projects of an empty Exchequer. Whether the United States will be the more prosperous for this conquest, is a question of time alone. Whether the facility of the conquest may not make the multitude frantic for general aggression,—whether the military men of the States may not obtain a popularity and assume a power which has been hitherto confined to civil life,—whether the attractions of military career may not turn the rising generation from the pursuits of trade and tillage, to the idle, or the ferocious life of the American campaigner,—and whether the pressure of public debt, the necessity for maintaining their half-savage conquests by an army, and the passion for territorial aggrandisement, may not urge them to a colonial war with England,—are only parts of the great problem which the next five-and-twenty years will compel the American Republic to solve.

At the same time, we cannot avoid looking upon the invasion of Mexico as a portion of that extraordinary and mysterious agency which is now shaking all the great stagnant districts of the world; which has already awaked Turkey in Europe and in Asia Minor; which has brought Egypt into civilised action; which has broken down the barbarism of the Algerines, and planted the French standard in place of the furies and profligacies of African Mahometanism. Deeply deprecating the guilt of those aggressions, and condemning the crimes by which they have been sustained, we cannot but regard changes so unexpected,[Pg 668] so powerful, and so simultaneous, as the operation of a higher power than man's, with objects altogether superior to the shortsightedness of man, and amply bearing the character of working good out of evil, which belongs to the history of Divine Providence in all the ages of the world.

There is one peculiarity in these volumes which we cannot sufficiently applaud, and that is, the thoroughly English spirit in which they are written. Without weak partiality, for the reasons are every where assigned; without narrow prejudice, for the facts are in all instances stated; and without derogating from the merits of other nations, the work is calculated to give a just conception of the value of England to the world.

On his return from the Sandwich Isles—an interesting portion of his travels, to which we have not now time to advert in detail—and preparing to start from the Russian post of New Archangel by a five months' journey through the Russian empire, he gives a glance at what he has done.

"I have," says he, "threaded my way round nearly half the globe, traversing about 220 degrees of longitude, and upwards of 100 of latitude, barely one fourth of this by the ocean. Notwithstanding all this, I have uniformly felt more at home, with the exception of my first sojourn at Sitka, than I should have felt in Calais. I have every where seen our race, under a great variety of circumstances, either actually or virtually invested with the attributes of sovereignty."

After a few words on the vigour of the English blood, as exhibited in the commerce, intelligence, and activity of the United States, he returns to the immediate possessions and prowess of England. "I have seen the English posts which stud the wilderness from the Canadian lakes to the Pacific Ocean. I have seen English adventurers with that innate power which makes every individual, whether Briton or American, a real representative of his country, monopolising the trade, and influencing the destinies of California. And lastly, I have seen the English merchants of a barbarian Archipelago, which promises, under their guidance, to become the centre of the traffic of the east and the west, of the new world and the old. In saying all this, I have seen less than half the grandeur of the English race. How insignificant in comparison are all the other nations of the earth, one nation alone excepted. Russia and Great Britain literally gird the globe where either continent has the greatest breadth, a fact which, taken in connexion with their early annals, can scarcely fail to be regarded as the work of a special Providence. After the fall of the Roman empire, a scanty and obscure people suddenly burst on the west and east, as the dominant race of the times; one swarm of the Normans making its way to England, while another was establishing its supremacy over the Sclavonians of the Borysthenes, the two being to meet in opposite directions at the end of a thousand years."

He regards the gigantic power of Russia as in an unconscious co-partnership with England in the grand cause of commerce and civilisation. He also makes the curious and true remark that, notwithstanding the astonishing successes of the Normans in Europe, they were never numerous enough to establish their language in any of the conquered countries. Their unparalleled successes, therefore, seem to express the idea that those feeble bands of warriors were strengthened every where to accomplish the purposes of Providence.

We now come to the overland journey to Siberia. On the 23d of July, they reached the port of Ochotsk, where, however, they were met by masses of floating ice. Here Sir George had the first intelligence from England, which brought to his English heart the glad tidings of the birth of a Prince of Wales. They found this settlement a collection of huts on a shingly beach. The population is about 800 souls. A more dreary scene can scarcely be conceived than the surrounding country. Not a tree, and even scarcely a green blade is to be seen within miles of the town. The climate is on a par with the soil. The summer consists of three months of damp and chilly weather, during great part of which the snow still covers the hills, and the ice[Pg 669] chokes the harbour, and this is succeeded by nine months of dreary winter. But when men find fault with such a climate as this, the fact is, that the fault is their own. Those climates were never intended for the residence of man; they were intended for the white bear, the seal, the whale, and the fur-bearing animals. To those inhabitants, they are perfectly adapted. If the rage of conquest, or the eagerness for gain, fixes human beings in the very empire of winter, they are intruders, and must suffer for their unsuitable choice of a locale.

The principal food of the inhabitants is fish. On fish they feed themselves; their dogs—which are equivalent to their carriage horses—their cattle, and their poultry, are also chiefly fed on fish. All other provisions are ruinously dear. Flour costs twenty-eight rubles the pood,—(a ruble is worth about a franc, the pood is thirty-six English pounds.) Beef is so dear as to be regarded as a treat, and wines and groceries have to pay a land carriage of seven thousand miles.

Here, too, the people drink tea in the style in which it was introduced in more primitive days into Europe. It is of the kind known as brick tea, being made up in cakes, and is consumed in great quantities by the lower orders in Siberia, being made into a thick soup, with the addition of butter and salt.

On the 27th of the month, they began their journey across Siberia. After leaving the shore, and boating the river Ochota, to an encampment where they were to meet their horses, hired at the rate of forty-five rubles a horse, on an agreement to be conveyed to Yakutsh in eighteen days, they struck into the country, which exhibited forests of pine, their progress being about four or five miles an hour. The Yakuti appear to be very industrious; young and old, male and female, being always occupied in some useful employment. When not engaged in travelling or farming, men and boys make saddles, harness, &c.; while the women and girls keep house, dress skins, prepare clothing, and attend to the dairy. They are also remarkably kind to strangers, for milk and cream, the best things they had to give, were freely offered in every village. This was the 10th of July, yet the snow was still partially lying on the ground. From day to day they met caravans of horses; and one day they were startled by the shouts of a party at the head of them. Their next sight was a herd of cattle running wildly in all directions, and the cause was seen in a huge she-bear and her cub moving off at a round trot. On this route, the bears are both fierce and numerous. The country had now become more fertile; there was no want of flowering plants, and the forests were enlivened by the warbling of birds, which, contrasted as it was with the deathlike silence of the American woods, was peculiarly grateful to the ear. In the course of the day, the vexatious incident occurred of meeting the courier, with the letters from England, which had been looked for so anxiously on the arrival of the travellers in Siberia; but the bags of course could not be opened on the road.

The presence of the Cossack, who attended the party, was of great importance in quickening the movements of the natives; but they seemed kind and good-natured, full of civility to the strangers, and not without some degree of education. The Yakuti have a singular mode of estimating distances. In Germany, a common measure of distance is the time that it takes to smoke a pipe. In this part of Siberia, they take as their unit the time necessary for boiling a kettle of a particular sort of food. They tell you, that such and such a place is so many kettles off, or half a kettle, or, as the case may be, only part of a kettle.

At last they arrive at the Lena. This is described as one of the grandest rivers in the world. At a distance of thirteen hundred versts from the sea, (three versts are equal to two miles,) it is from five to six miles wide. Its entire length is not less than four thousand versts. The word Lena implies lazy—a name justified by the circuitous flowing of its stream. At Yakutsk, the seat of the Governor, they were received with great civility in this capital of the province, latitude sixty-two north, and longitude one hundred and thirty east. The extreme temperature of summer and winter is almost beyond belief, the thermometer[Pg 670] having, risen in the shade to 106° of Fahrenheit, and in winter having fallen to 83° below zero—making a difference of 189°. In this district are the enormous deposits of mammoth bones. Spring after spring, the alluvial banks of the lakes and rivers crumbling under the thaw have given up their dead; and the islands opposite to the mouth of the Yana, and, as there was reason for believing, even the bed of the ocean itself, teems with those mysterious memorials of antiquity. The question is, how do those bones come there? Sir George, after giving the opinions of some of the professors of geology, conceives the most natural account of the phenomenon to be, that those animals or their bones were swept from the great Tartarian pasturages of Cobi, by the waters of the Deluge, towards the ocean. We must acknowledge that this has long been our own opinion. It must be remembered that the Scriptural account states the rising of the Deluge to have been gradual. The rain fell forty days and nights. All living things would of course make their way to the heights to escape the rising inundation of the valleys. The cattle thus grouped together in immense herds, (the buffalos in the prairies at the present day sometimes exceed five thousand in one pasturage,) thus gathered into one mass, would be finally submerged, and swept away in whatever irresistible current rushed over the spot on which they stood. The frost of the region, which penetrates the earth to the depth apparently of some hundred feet, would thenceforth preserve them from decay. The tusks form an article of considerable trade, the ivory selling from a shilling to one and ninepence a pound, according to the perfection of the tusks.

One of the travellers' especial wishes was, to have visited the town of Kiachta, the place of commerce between the Russians and the Chinese. But a note from the Governor mentioned that the Chinese had suddenly stopped all communication. But a few words may be given to a commerce so peculiar. By the treaty of Nertshinsk, a reciprocal liberty of traffic was stipulated; and accordingly caravans on the part of the Russian government, and individual traders, used to visit Pekin. But the Muscovites exhibited so much of the native habits in "drinking and roystering," that, after exhausting the patience of the Celestials during three-and-thirty years, they were wholly excluded. But a cessation of five years having taken place, the Russians in 1728 obtained a treaty, by which individuals were permitted to trade on the frontier; and Kiachta was built. But public caravans were permitted to go on to Pekin. At length, in 1762, Catherine fixed the grand emporium at Kiachta.

This town, standing on a beach of the same name, is within about half a furlong of the Chinese village of Maimatschin, (about the fiftieth parallel of latitude,) being one thousand miles from Pekin, and four thousand from Moscow. Such are the enormous distances through which the eagerness for money-making drives the children of men.

The materials of the Russian traffic are furs, woollens, cottons, linen, &c., with articles in tin, copper, iron, &c.—the whole amounting to about nineteen millions of rubles. The Chinese products are tea, silks, sugar-candy, &c.—nominally to the amount of seven millions of rubles, but probably rising to thrice the value. The chief time of the market is the winter. To the chief Russian merchants this is a species of monopoly, and a most thriving one, some of them being millionnaires, and living in the most sumptuous manner, the "merchant princes" of the wilderness!

We had some curiosity to know the condition of the exiles to Siberia from this intelligent eye-witness. But he gives little more than a glance to a subject on which the public mind of England is at present so much engaged. In Russia corporal punishment is much in use; but criminals are seldom put to death. They are marched off to Siberia for every kind of offence, from the highest political crime to petty larceny. The most heinous offenders are sent to the mines; those guilty of minor delinquencies are settled in villages, or on farms; and those guilty of having opinions different from those of the government—statesmen, authors, and soldiers—are[Pg 671] generally suffered to establish themselves in little knots, where they spread refinement through the country. The consequence is, that "all grades of society are decidedly more intelligent than the corresponding grades in any other part of the empire, and perhaps more so than in most parts of Europe."

Many of the exiles are now men of large income.—"The dwelling in which we breakfasted to-day," says the traveller, "was that of a person who had been sent to Siberia against his will. Finding that there was but one way of bettering his condition, he worked hard, and behaved well. He had now a comfortably furnished house and a well-cultivated farm, while a stout wife, and plenty of servants, bustled about the premises. His son had just arrived from St Petersburg, to visit his exiled father, and had the pleasure of seeing him amid all the comforts of life, reaping an abundant harvest, and with one hundred and forty persons in his pay!"

He adds, "In fact, for the reforming of the criminal, in addition to the punishment of the crime, Siberia is undoubtedly the best penitentiary in the world. When not bad enough for the mines, each exile is provided with an allotment of ground, a house, a horse, two cows, agricultural implements, and, for the first year, with provisions. For three years he pays no taxes whatever, and for the next ten, only half the full amount. To bring fear as well as hope to operate in his favour, he clearly understands, that his very first slip will send him from his home and family, to toil in the mines. Thus does the government bestow an almost paternal care on the less atrocious criminals."

Yet with this knowledge before the British Government,—for we must presume that they had not overlooked the condition of the Russian exiles; and with the still more impressive knowledge of the growth of our Australian colonies, and the improvement of the convicts; the new-fangled and most costly plan is now to be adopted of reforming our criminals by keeping them at home! Thus we are to save the national expenditure by building huge penitentiaries, which will cost millions of money, and to secure society from depredation, by annually pouring out from those prisons, as the time of their sentences expires, the whole crowd of villany to live on villany once more;—making the very streets a place of danger, and filling the country with hungry crime.

The only argument on the opposite side is, that the free settlers are offended by finding themselves in a population of convicts. But to this the obvious answer is, that the colonisation of Australia was originally intended as a school of reform—that the convicts have been to a great extent reformed, which they never would have been at home—that the convicts were in the colony first, and that the settlers going there, with their eyes open, have no reason to complain.

We then have a Notice on another subject, which is at present engrossing the speculations of all Europe, namely, the gold-country on the Yenissei. Krasnoyayk, the capital, stands in a plain in the centre of the district, where the mania of gold-washing broke out about fifteen years ago. Some individuals have been singularly lucky in their search. One person, after having laboured in vain for three years, and expending a million and a half of rubles, suddenly, in this very year, had hit upon a depot which gave him a hundred and fifty poods of gold—worth thirty-five thousand rubles each, or five millions and a half of rubles. Gold here measures every thing: a lady's charms are by weight, "a pood is a good girl, and two or three poods are twice or thrice as good as a wife." This province alone has, in this year, yielded five hundred poods of gold.

Ekaterineburg is the centre of the mining district of the Uralian mountains. The population amounts to about fourteen thousand, who are all connected with the mines. The town has an iron foundery, a mint for copper and silver coin, and various establishments for cutting marble, porphyry, and polishing precious stones. The neighbouring mountains appear to be nature's richest repository of minerals, yielding, in great abundance, diamonds, amethysts, topazes, &c.; gold, silver, iron, and platina. These inexhaustible treasures chiefly belong to Count Demidoff and M. Yakovleff.[Pg 672] The Count is said to receive half a million sterling a-year from this princely property.

Hurrying now towards England, with the anxiety which every one feels to reach home as the end of a long journey seems to be nigh, the traveller passed through Kazan, second in national honour to Moscow, but found it in ashes from a late fire. He then hurried on to Nishney-Novgorod, the place of the greatest fair in the world, where the traffic brings traders from the ends of the earth, and where the trade amounts to nineteen millions sterling a-year. He then traversed the property of General Sheremetieff, an estate of two days' journey, with a hundred thousand serfs—a comfortable race when under a good master, each head of a family having a farm, and paying its rent, part in produce and part in work. The people appear to be a gay race—singing every where; singing on the roads, singing at work, and singing at cutting up their cabbages for the national luxury of saurkraut.

At length was seen looming in the west, with all its steeples and domes, the queen of the wilderness, Moscow the Magnificent—the most frequently-burned of all cities, and, as Sir George observes, the most retaliatory on the burners—it having been burned to embers four times, and each time having seen the incendiary nation ruined. It must be admitted, however, that the revenge, however sure, was slow, for it seldom occurred in less than a couple of centuries!—Napoleon's fate being the only instance of promptitude on this point.

From Moscow to St Petersburg, a macadamised road of seven hundred versts conveyed the traveller to the northern city of the Czar, where, on the 8th of October, he terminated a journey from Ochotsk, of about seven thousand miles. In eight days from St Petersburg he reached Hamburg, and in five days more arrived in London, having rounded the globe in a period of nineteen months and twenty-six days!

We have given an abstract of this work with the more satisfaction, that it not merely supplies a certain knowledge of vast regions of which the European world knows little; but that it gives a favourable view of the condition, the habits, and the temper, of the multitudes of our fellow men, spread over those immense spaces of the globe. Personally, of course, a man of the official rank and individual intelligence of the writer, might expect the hospitality of the Russian employés. But he seems to have been met with general kindness—to have experienced no injury, no obstacle, and no extortion; and, on the whole, having exhibited the good sense which disregards the inevitable annoyances of all journeys in distant countries, to have escaped all the severer ones which an ill-tempered traveller naturally brings upon himself. But the feature of his volumes on which we place the still higher value, is the honesty of his English spirit. He knows the value of his country; he does justice to her principles; he gives the true view of her power; he vindicates her intentions; and without depreciating the merits of foreign nations, he pays a manly tribute to the truth, by doing deserved honour to his own.


[A] Narrative of an Overland Journey Round the World. By Sir George Simpson, Governor-in-Chief of the Hudson's Bay Company's Territories in North America.

[Pg 673]



Dear Archy,—The subjects about which I propose writing to you to-day are, delusions of a religious nature;—the idea of being possessed,—the grounds of the belief in witchcraft. With so much before me, I have no room to waste. So, of the first, first.

The powerful hold which the feeling of religion takes on our nature, at once attests the truth of the sentiment, and warns us to be on our guard against fanatical excesses. No subject can safely be permitted to have exclusive possession of our thoughts, least of all the most absorbing and exciting of any.

"So—it will make us mad."

It is evident that, with the majority, Providence has designed that worldly cares should largely and wholesomely employ the mind, and prevent inordinate craving after an indulgence in spiritual stimulation; while minds of the highest order are diverted, by the active duties of philanthropy, from any perilous excess of religious contemplation.

Under the influence of constant and concentrated religious thought, not only is the reason liable to give way—which is not our theme—but, alternatively, the nervous system is apt to fall into many a form of trance, the phenomena of which are mistaken by the ignorant for Divine visitation. The weakest frame sinks into an insensibility profound as death, in which he has visions of heaven and the angels. Another lies, in half-waking trance, rapt in celestial contemplation and beatitude; others are suddenly fixed in cataleptic rigidity; others, again, are dashed upon the ground in convulsions. The impressive effect of these seizures is heightened by their supervention in the midst of religious exercises, and by the contagious and sympathetic influence through which their spread is accelerated among the more excitable temperaments and weaker members of large congregations. What chance have ignorant people witnessing such attacks, or being themselves the subjects of them, of escaping the persuasion that they mark the immediate agency of the Holy Spirit? Or, to take ordinarily informed and sober-minded people,—what would they think at seeing mixed up with this hysteric disturbance, distinct proofs of extraordinary perceptive and anticipatory powers, such as occasionally manifest themselves as parts of trance, to the rational explanation of which they might not have the key?

In the preceding letter, I have already exemplified, by the case of Henry Engelbrecht, the occurrence of visions of hell and heaven during the deepest state of trance. No doubt the poor ascetic implicitly believed his whole life the reality of the scenes to which his imagination had transported him.

In a letter from the Earl of Shrewsbury to Ambrose Mark Phillips, Esq., published in 1841, a very interesting account is given of two young women who had lain for months or years in a state of religious beatitude. Their condition, when they were exhibited, appears to have been that of half-waking in trance; or, perhaps, a shade nearer the lightest form of trance-sleep. To increase the force of the scene, they appear to have exhibited some degree of trance-perceptive power. But, without this, the mere aspect of such persons is wonderfully imposing. If the pure spirit of Christianity finds a bright comment and illustration in the Madonnas and Cherubim of Raffaelle, it seems to shine out in still more truthful vividness from the brow of a young person rapt in religious ecstasy. The hands clasped in prayer,—the upturned eyes,—the expression of humble confidence and seraphic hope, (displayed, let me suggest, on a beautiful face,) constitute a picture of which, having witnessed it, I can never forget the force. Yet I knew it was only a trance. So one knows that village churches are built by common mechanics. Yet when we look over an extensive country, and[Pg 674] see the spire from its clump of trees rising over each hamlet, or over the distant city its minster tower,—the images find an approving harmony in our feelings, and seem to aid in establishing the genuineness and the truth of the sentiment and the faith which have reared such expressive symbols.

In the two cases mentioned in Lord Shrewsbury's pamphlet, it is, however, painful to observe that trick and artifice had been used to bend them to the service of Catholicism. The poor women bore on their hands and feet wounds, the supposed spontaneous eruption of delineations of the bleeding wounds of the crucifix, and, on the forehead, the bloody marks of the crown of thorns. To convict the imposture, the blood-stains from the wounds in the feet ran upwards towards the toes, to complete a facsimile of the original, though the poor girls were lying on their backs. The wounds, it is to be hoped, are inflicted and kept fresh and active by means employed when the victims are in the insensibility to pain, which commonly goes with trance.

To comprehend the effects of religious excitement operating on masses, we may inspect three pictures,—the revivals of modern times—the fanatical delusions of the Cevennes—the behaviour of the Convulsionnaires at the grave of the Abbé Paris.

"I have seen," says M. Le Roi Sunderland, himself a preacher, [Zion's Watchman, New York, Oct. 2, 1842,] "persons often 'lose their strength,' as it is called, at camp-meetings, and other places of great religious excitement; and not pious people alone, but those also who were not professors of religion. In the spring of 1824, while performing pastoral labour in Dennis, Massachusetts, I saw more than twenty people affected in this way. Two young men, of the name of Crowell, came one day to a prayer meeting. They were quite indifferent. I conversed with them freely, but they showed no signs of penitence. From the meeting they went to their shop, (they were shoemakers,) to finish some work before going to the meeting in the evening. On seating themselves they were both struck perfectly stiff. I was immediately sent for, and found them sitting paralysed [he means cataleptic] on their benches, with their work in their hands, unable to get up, or to move at all. I have seen scores of persons affected the same way. I have seen persons lie in this state forty-eight hours. At such times they are unable to converse, and are sometimes unconscious of what is passing round them. At the same time they say they are in a happy state of mind."

These persons, it is evident, were thrown in to one of the forms of trance through their minds being powerfully worked upon; with which cause the influence of mutual sympathy with what they saw around them, and perhaps some physical agency, co-operated.

The following extract from the same journal portrays another kind of nervous seizure, allied to the former, and produced by the same cause, as it was manifested at the great revival, some forty years ago, at Kentucky and Tennessee.

"The convulsions were commonly called 'the jerks.' A writer, (M'Neman,) quoted by Mr Power, (Essay on the Influence of the Imagination over the Nervous System,) gives this account of their course and progress:—

"'At first appearance these meetings, exhibited nothing to the spectator but a scene of confusion, that could scarcely be put into language. They were generally opened with a sermon, near the close of which there would be an unusual outcry, some bursting out into loud ejaculations of prayer, &c.

"'The rolling exercise consisted in being cast down in a violent manner, doubled with the head and feet together, or stretched in a prostrate, manner, turning swiftly over like a dog. Nothing in nature could better represent the jerks, than for one to goad another alternately on every side with a piece of red-hot iron. The exercise commonly began in the head, which would fly backwards and forwards, and from side to side, with a quick jolt, which the person would naturally labour to suppress, but in vain. He must necessarily go on as he was stimulated, whether with a violent dash on the ground, and bounce from place to place, like a foot-ball; or hopping round with head,[Pg 675] limbs, and trunk, twitching and jolting in every direction, as if they must inevitably fly asunder,' &c."

The following sketch is from Dow's Journal. "In the year 1805 he preached at Knoxville, Tennessee, before the governor, when some hundred and fifty persons, among whom were a number of Quakers, had the jerks."

"I have seen all denominations of religions exercised by the jerks, gentleman and lady, black and white, young and old, without exception. I passed a meeting-house, where I observed the undergrowth had been cut away for camp meetings, and from fifty to a hundred saplings were left, breast high, on purpose for the people who were jerked to hold by. I observed where they had held on, they had kicked up the earth, as a horse stamping flies."

Every one has heard of the extraordinary scenes which took place in the Cevennes at the close of the seventeenth century.

It was towards the end of the year 1688 a report was first heard, of a gift of prophecy which had shown itself among the persecuted followers of the Reformation, who, in the south of France, had betaken themselves to the mountains. The first instance was said to have occurred in the family of a glass-dealer, of the name of Du Serre, well known as the most zealous Calvinist of the neighbourhood, which was a solitary spot in Dauphiné, near Mount Peyra. In the enlarging circle of enthusiasts, Gabriel Astier and Isabella Vincent made themselves first conspicuous. Isabella, a girl of sixteen years of age, from Dauphiné, who was in the service of a peasant, and tended sheep, began in her sleep to preach and prophesy, and the Reformers came from far and near to hear her. An advocate, of the name of Gerlan, describes the following scene which he had witnessed. At his request she had admitted him, and a good many others, after nightfall, to a meeting at a chateau in the neighbourhood. She there disposed herself upon a bed, shut her eyes, and went to sleep; in her sleep she chanted in a low tone the Commandments and a psalm; after a short respite she began to preach in a louder voice, not in her own dialect, but in good French, which hitherto she had not used. The theme was an exhortation to obey God rather than man. Sometimes she spoke so quickly as to be hardly intelligible. At certain of her pauses, she stopped to collect herself. She accompanied her words with gesticulations. Gerlan found her pulse quiet, her arm not rigid, but relaxed, as natural. After an interval, her countenance put on a mocking expression, and she began anew her exhortation, which was now mixed with ironical reflections upon the Church of Rome. She then suddenly stopped, continuing asleep. It was in vain they stirred her. When her arms were lifted and let go, they dropped unconsciously. As several now went away, whom her silence rendered impatient, she said in a low tone, but just as if she was awake, "Why do you go away? Why do not you wait till I am ready?" And then she delivered another ironical discourse against the Catholic Church, which she closed with a prayer.

When Boucha, the intendant of the district, heard of the performances of Isabella Vincent, he had her brought before him. She replied to his interrogatories, that people had often told her that she preached in her sleep, but that she did not herself believe a word of it. As the slightness of her person made her appear younger than she really was, the intendant merely sent her to an hospital at Grenoble, where, notwithstanding that she was visited by persons of the Reformed persuasion, there was an end of her preaching,—she became a Catholic!

Gabriel Astier, who had been a young labourer, likewise from Dauphiné, went in the capacity of a preacher and prophet into the valley of Bressac, in the Vivarais. He had infected his family: his father, mother, elder brother, and sweetheart, followed his example, and took to prophesying. Gabriel, before he preached, used to fall into a kind of stupor in which he lay rigid. After delivering his sermon, he would dismiss his auditors with a kiss, and the words: "My brother, or my sister, I impart to you the Holy Ghost." Many believed that they had thus received the Holy Ghost from Astier, being taken with the same seizure. During the period of the[Pg 676] discourse, first one, then another, would fall down; some described themselves afterwards as having felt first a weakness and trembling through the whole frame, and an impulse to yawn and stretch their arms, then they fell convulsed and foaming at the mouth. Others carried the contagion home with them, and first experienced its effects, days, weeks, months afterwards. They believed—nor is it wonderful they did so—that they had received the Holy Ghost.

Not less curious were the seizures of the Convulsionnaires at the grave of the Abbé Paris, in the year 1727. These Jansenist visionaries used to collect in the church-yard of St Médard, round the grave of the deposed and deceased Deacon, and before long the reputation of the place for working miracles getting about, they fell in troops into convulsions.

Their state had more analogy to that of the Jerkers already described. But it was different. They required, to gratify an internal impulse or feeling, that the most violent blows should be inflicted upon them at the pit of the stomach. Carré de Montgeron mentions, that being himself an enthusiast in the matter, he had inflicted the blows required with an iron instrument, weighing from twenty to thirty pounds, with a round head. And as a convulsionary lady complained that he struck too lightly to relieve the feeling of depression at her stomach, he gave her sixty blows with all his force. It would not do, and she begged to have the instrument used by a tall, strong man, who stood by in the crowd. The spasmodic tension of her muscles must have been enormous; for she received one hundred blows, delivered with such force that the wall shook behind her. She thanked the man for his benevolent aid, and contemptuously censured De Montgeron for his weakness, or want of faith and timidity. It was, indeed, time for issuing the mandate, which, as wit read it, ran:

"De par le roi—Defense à Dieu,
De faire miracle en ce lieu."

Turn we now to another subject:—the possessed in the middle ages,—What was their physiological condition? What was really meant then by being possessed? I mean, what were the symptoms of the affection, and how are they properly to be explained? The inquiry will throw further light upon the true relations of other phenomena we have already looked at.

We have seen that Schwedenborg thought that he was in constant communication with the spiritual world; but felt convinced, and avowed, that though he saw his visitants without and around him, they reached him first inwardly, and communicated with his understanding; and thence consciously, and outwardly, with his senses. But it would be a misapplication of the term to say that he was possessed by these spirits.

We remember that Socrates had his demon; and it should be mentioned as a prominent feature in visions generally, that their subject soon identifies one particular imaginary being as his guide and informant, to whom he applies for what knowledge he wishes. In the most exalted states of trance-waking, the guide or demon is continually referred to with profound respect by the entranced person. Now, was Socrates, and are patients of the class I have alluded to, possessed? No! the meaning of the term is evidently not yet hit.

Then there are persons who permanently fancy themselves other beings than they are, and act as such.

In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, there prevailed in parts of Europe a seizure, which was called the wolf-sickness. Those affected with it held themselves to be wild beasts, and betook themselves to the forests. One of these, who was brought before De Lancre, at Bordeaux, in the beginning of the sixteenth century, was a young man of Besançon. He avowed himself to be huntsman of the forest lord, his invisible master. He believed, that through the power of his master, he had been transformed into a wolf; that he hunted in the forest as such, and that he was often accompanied by a bigger wolf, whom he suspected to be the master he served—with more details of the same kind. The persons thus affected were called Wehrwolves. They enjoyed in those days the alternative of being exorcised or executed.

Arnold relates in his history of[Pg 677] church and of heresy, how there was a young man in Königsberg, well educated, the natural son of a priest, who had the impression, that he was met near a crucifix in the wayside by seven angels, who revealed to him that he was to represent God the Father on earth, to drive all evil out of the world, &c. The poor fellow, after pondering upon this impression a long time, issued a circular commencing thus,—

"We, John Albrecht, Adelgreif, Syrdos, Amata, Kanemata, Kilkis, Mataldis, Schmalkilimundis, Sabrundis, Elioris, Overarch High-priest, and Emperor, Prince of Peace of the whole world, Overarch King of the Holy Kingdom of Heaven, Judge of the living and of the dead, God and Father, in whose divinity Christ will come on the last day to judge the world, Lord of all Lords, King of all Kings," &c.

He was thereupon thrown into prison at Königsberg, regarded as a most frightful heretic, and every means were used by the clergy to reclaim him. To all their entreaties, however, he listened only with a smile of pity, "that they should think of reclaiming God the Father." He was then put to the torture; and as what he endured made no alteration in his convictions, he was condemned to have his tongue torn out with red-hot tongs, to be cut in four quarters, and then burned under the gallows. He wept bitterly, not at his own fate, but that they should pronounce such a sentence on the Deity. The executioner was touched with pity, and entreated him to make a final recantation. But he persisted that he was God the Father, whether they pulled his tongue out by the roots or not; and so he was executed!

The Wehrwolves, and this poor creature, in what state were they? they were merely insane. Then we must look further.

Gmelin, in the first volume of his Contributions to Anthropology, narrates, that in the year 1789, a German lady, under his observation, had daily paroxysms, in which she believed herself to be, and acted the part of a French emigrant. She had been in distress of mind through the absence of a person she was attached to, and he was somehow implicated in the scenes of the French revolution. After an attack of fever and delirium, the complaint regulated itself, and took the form of a daily fit of trance-waking. When the time for the fit approached, she stopped in her conversation, and ceased to answer when spoken to; she then remained a few minutes sitting perfectly still, her eyes fixed on the carpet before her. Then, in evident uneasiness, she began to move her head backwards and forwards, to sigh, and to pass her fingers across her eye-brows. This lasted a minute, then she raised her eyes, looked once or twice around with timidity and embarrassment, then began to talk in French; when she would describe all the particulars of her escape from France, and, assuming the manner of a French woman, talk purer and better accented French than she had been known to be capable of talking before, correct her friends when they spoke incorrectly, but delicately and with a comment on the German rudeness of laughing at the bad pronunciation of strangers; and if led herself to speak or read German, she used a French accent, and spoke it ill; and the like.

Now, suppose this lady, instead of thus acting, when the paroxysms supervened, had cast herself on the ground, had uttered bad language and blasphemy, and had worn a sarcastic and malignant expression of countenance,—in striking contrast with her ordinary character and behaviour, and alternating with it,—and you have the picture and the reality of a person "possessed."

A person, "possessed," is one affected with the form of trance-waking called double consciousness, with the addition of being deranged when in the paroxysm, and then, out of the suggestions of her own fancy, or catching at the interpretation put on her conduct by others, believing herself tenanted by the fiend.

We may quite allowably heighten the above picture by supposing that the person in her trance, in addition to being mad, might have displayed some of the perceptive powers occasionally developed in trance; and so have evinced, in addition to her demoniacal ferocity, an "uncanny" knowledge of things and persons. To[Pg 678] be candid, Archy, time was, when I should myself have had my doubts in such a case.

We have by this time had intercourse enough with spirits and demons to prepare us for the final subject of witchcraft.

The superstition of witchcraft stretches back into remote antiquity, and has many roots. In Europe it is partly of Druidical origin. The Druidesses were part priestesses, part shrewd old ladies, who dealt in magic and medicine. They were called all-rune, all-knowing. There was some touch of classical superstition mingled in the stream which was flowing down to us;—so an edict of a council of Trêves, in the year 1310, has this injunction: "Nulla mulierum se nocturnis horis equitare cum Dianâ propitiatur; hæc enim dœmoniaca est illusio." But the main source from which we derived this superstition, is the East, and traditions and facts incorporated in our religion. There were only wanted the ferment of thought of the fifteenth century, the vigour, energy, ignorance, enthusiasm, and faith of those days, and the papal denunciation of witchcraft by the famous Bull of Innocent the VIII. in 1459, to give fury to the delusion. And from this time for three centuries, the flames, at which more than 100,000 victims perished, cast a lurid light over Europe.

One ceases to wonder at this ugly stain in the page of history, when one considers all things fairly.

The Enemy of mankind, bodily, with horns, hoofs, and tail, was believed to lurk round every corner, bent upon your spiritual, if not bodily harm. The witch and the sorcerer were not possessed by him against their will, but went out of their way to solicit his alliance, and to offer to forward his views for their own advantage, or to gratify their malignity. The cruel punishments for a crime so monstrous were mild, compared with the practice of our own penal code fifty or sixty years ago against second-class offences. And for the startling bigotry of the judges, which appears the most discreditable part of the matter, why, how could they alone be free from the prejudices of their age? Yet they did strange things.

At Lindheim, Horst reports, on one occasion six women were implicated in a charge of having disinterred the body of a child to make a witch-broth. As they happened to be innocent of the deed, they underwent the most cruel tortures before they would confess it. At length they saw their cheapest bargain was to admit the crime, and be simply burned alive and have it over. So they did so. But the husband of one of them procured an official examination of the grave; when the child's body was found in its coffin safe and sound. What said the Inquisitor? "This is indeed a proper piece of devil's work; no, no, I am not to be taken in by such a gross and obvious imposture. Luckily the women have already confessed the crime, and burned they must and shall be in honour of the Holy Trinity, which has commanded the extirpation of sorcerers and witches." The six women were burned alive accordingly.

It was hard upon them, because they were innocent. But the regular witches, as times went, hardly deserved any better fate—considering, I mean, their honest and straight-forward intentions of doing that which they believed to be the most desperate wrong achievable. Many there were who sought to be initiated in the black art. They were re-baptized with the support of responsible witch sponsors, abjured Christ, and entered to the best of their belief into a compact with the devil; and forthwith commenced a course of bad works, poisoning and bewitching men and cattle, and the like, or trying to do so.

One feature transpired in these details, that is merely pathetic, not horrifying or disgusting.

The little children of course talked witchcraft, and you may fancy, Archy, what charming gossip it must have made. Then the poor little things were sadly wrought on by the tales they told. And they fell into trances and had visions shaped by their heated fancies.

A little maid, of twelve years of age, used to fall into fits of sleep, and afterwards she told her parents, and the judge, how an old woman and her daughter, riding on a broom-stick, had come and taken her out with[Pg 679] them. The daughter sat foremost, the old woman behind, the little maid between them. They went away through the roof of the house, over the adjoining houses and the town gate, to a village some way off. There they went down a chimney of a cottage into a room, where sat a tall black man and twelve women. They eat and drank. The black man filled their glasses from a can, and gave each of the women a handful of gold. She herself had received none; but she had eaten and drank with them.

A list of persons burned in Salzburg for participation in witchcraft between the years 1627 and 1629 in an outbreak of this frenzy, which had its origin in an epidemic among the cattle, enumerates children of 14, 12, 11, 10, 9, years of age; which in some degree reconciles one to the fate of the fourteen canons, four gentlemen of the choir, two young men of rank, a fat old lady of rank, the wife of a burgomaster, a counsellor, the fattest burgess of Wartzburg, together with his wife, the handsomest woman in the city, and a midwife of the name of Schiekelte, with whom (according to an N.B. in the original report) the whole mischief originated. To amateurs of executions in those days the fatness of the victim was evidently a point of consideration, as is shown by the specifications of that quality in some of the victims in the above list. Were men devils then? By no means; there existed then as now upon earth, worth, honour, truth, benevolence, gentleness. But there were other ingredients, too, from which the times are not yet purged. A century ago people did not know—do they now?—that vindictive punishment is a crime; that the only allowable purpose of punishment is to prevent the recurrence of the offence; and that restraint, isolation, employment, instruction, are the extreme and only means towards that end which reason and humanity justify. Alas, for human nature! Some centuries hence, the first half of the nineteenth century will be charged with having manifested no admission of principle in advance of a period, the judicial crimes of which make the heart shudder. The old lady witches had, of course, much livelier ideas than the innocent children, on the subject of their intercourse with the devils.

At Mora, in Sweden, in 1669, of many who were put to the torture and executed, seventy-two women agreed in the following avowal, that they were in the habit of meeting at a place called Blocula. That on their calling out "Come forth!" the Devil used to appear to them in a gray coat, red breeches, gray stockings, with a red beard, and a peaked hat with party-coloured feathers on his head. He then enforced upon them, not without blows, that they must bring him, at nights, their own and other peoples' children, stolen for the purpose. They travel through the air to Blocula either on beasts or on spits, or broomsticks. When they have many children with them, they rig on an additional spar to lengthen the back of the goat or their broom-stick that the children may have room to sit. At Blocula they sign their name in blood and are baptized. The Devil is a humorous, pleasant gentleman; but his table is coarse enough, which makes the children often sick on their way home, the product being the so-called witch-butter found in the fields. When the Devil is larky, he solicits the witches to dance round him on their brooms, which he suddenly pulls from under them, and uses to beat them with till they are black and blue. He laughs at this joke till his sides shake again. Sometimes he is in a more gracious mood, and plays to them lovely airs upon the harp; and occasionally sons and daughters are born to the Devil, which take up their residence at Blocula.

I will add an outline of the history, furnished or corroborated by her voluntary confession, of a lady witch, nearly the last executed for this crime. She was, at the time of her death, seventy years of age, and had been many years sub-prioress of the convent of Unterzell, near Wartzburg.

Maria Renata took the veil at nineteen years of age, against her inclination, having previously been initiated in the mysteries of witchcraft, which she continued to practise for fifty years under the cloak of punctual attendance to discipline and pretended piety. She was long in the station of sub-prioress, and would, for her capacity,[Pg 680] have been promoted to the rank of prioress, had she not betrayed a certain discontent with the ecclesiastic life, a certain contrariety to her superiors, something half expressed only of inward dissatisfaction. Renata had not ventured to let any one about the convent into her confidence, and she remained free from suspicion, notwithstanding that, from time to time, some of the nuns, either from the herbs she mixed with their food, or through sympathy, had strange seizures, of which some died. Renata became at length extravagant and unguarded in her witch propensities, partly from long security, partly from desire of stronger excitement; made noises in the dormitory, and uttered shrieks in the garden; went at nights into the cells of the nuns to pinch and torment them, to assist her in which she kept a considerable supply of cats. The removal of the keys of the cells counteracted this annoyance; but a still more efficient means was a determined blow on the part of a nun, struck at the aggressor with the penitential scourge one night, on the morning following which Renata was observed to have a black eye and cut face. This event awakened suspicion against Renata. Then, one of the nuns, who was much esteemed, declared, believing herself upon her death-bed, that, "as she shortly expected to stand before her Maker, Renata was uncanny, that she had often at nights been visibly tormented by her, and that she warned her to desist from this course." General alarm arose, and apprehension of Renata's arts; and one of the nuns, who previously had had fits, now became possessed, and in the paroxysms told the wildest tales against Renata. It is only wonderful how the sub-prioress contrived to keep her ground many years against these suspicions and incriminations. She adroitly put aside the insinuations of the nun as imaginary or of calumnious intention, and treated witchcraft and possession of the Devil as things which enlightened people no longer believed in. As, however, five more of the nuns, either taking the infection from the first, or influenced by the arts of Renata, became possessed of devils, and unanimously attacked Renata, the superiors could no longer avoid making a serious investigation of the charges. Renata was confined in a cell alone, whereupon the six devils screeched in chorus at being deprived of their friend. She had begged to be allowed to take her papers with her; but this being refused, and thinking herself detected, she at once avowed to her confessor and the superiors, that she was a witch, had learned witchcraft out of the convent, and had bewitched the six nuns. They determined to keep the matter secret, and to attempt the conversion of Renata. And as the nuns still continued possessed, they despatched her to a remote convent. Here, under a show of outward piety, she still went on with her attempts to realise witchcraft, and the nuns remained possessed. It was decided at length to give Renata over to the civil power. She was accordingly condemned to be burned alive; but in mitigation of punishment her head was first struck off. Four of the possessed nuns gradually recovered with clerical assistance; the other two remained deranged. Renata was executed on the 21st January 1749.

Renata stated, in her voluntary confession, that she had often at night been carried bodily to witch-Sabbaths; in one of which she was first presented to the Prince of Darkness, when she abjured God and the Virgin at the same time. Her name, with the alteration of Maria into Emma, was written in a black book, and she herself was stamped on the back as the Devil's property, in return for which she received the promise of seventy years of life, and all she might wish for. She stated that she had often, at night, gone into the cellar of the chateau and drank the best wine; in the shape of a swine had walked on the convent walls; on the bridge had milked the cows as they passed over; and several times had mingled with the actors in the theatre in London.

A question unavoidably presents itself—How came witchcraft to be in so great a degree the province of women? There existed sorcerers, no doubt, but they were comparatively few. Persons of either sex and of all[Pg 681] ages indiscriminately interested themselves in the black art; but the professors and regular practitioners were almost exclusively women, and principally old women. The following seem to have been some of the causes. Women were confined to household toils; their minds had not adequate occupation: many young unmarried women, without duties, would lack objects of sufficient interest for their yearnings; many of the old ones, despised, ill treated probably, soured with the world, rendered spiteful and vindictive, took even more readily to a resource which roused and gave employment to their imaginations, and promised to gratify their wishes. It is evident, too, that the supposed sex of the Devil helped him here. The old women had an idea of making much of him, and of coaxing, and getting round the black gentleman. But beside all this, there lies in the physical temperament of the other sex a peculiar susceptibility of derangement of the nervous system, a predisposition to all the varieties of trance, with its prolific sources of mental illusion—all tending, it is to be observed, to advance the belief and enlarge the pretensions of witchcraft.

The form of trance which specially dominated in witchcraft was trance-sleep with visions. The graduates and candidates in the faculty sought to fall into trances, in the dreams of which they realised their waking aspirations. They entertained no doubt, however, that their visits to the Devil and their nocturnal exploits were genuine; and they seem to have wilfully shut their eyes to the possibility of their having never left their beds. For, with a skill that should have betrayed to them the truth, they were used to prepare a witch-broth to promote in some way their nightly expeditions. And this they composed not only of materials calculated to prick on the imagination, but of substantial narcotics, too—the medical effects of which they no doubt were acquainted with. They contemplated evidently producing a sort of stupor.

The professors of witchcraft had thus made the singular step of artificially producing a sort of trance, with the object of availing themselves of one of its attendant phenomena. The Thamans in Siberia do the like to this day to obtain the gift of prophecy. And it is more than probable that the Egyptian and Delphic priest habitually availed themselves of some analogous procedure. Modern mesmerism is in part an effort in the same direction.

Without at all comprehending the real character of the power called into play, mankind seems to have found out by a "mera palpatio," by instinctive experiment and lucky groping in the dark, that in the stupor of trance the mind occasionally stumbles upon odds and ends of strange knowledge and prescience. The phenomenon was never for an instant suspected of lying in the order of nature. It was construed, to suit the occasion and the times, either into divine inspiration or diabolic whisperings. But it was always supernatural. So the ignorant old lemon-seller in Zschokke's Selbstschau thought his "hidden wisdom" a mystical wonder; while the enlightened and accomplished narrator of their united stories, stands alone, in striking advance ever of his own day, when he unassumingly and diffidently puts forward his seer-gift as a simple contribution to psychical knowledge. And thus, my proposed task accomplished, my dear Archy, finally yours, &c.

Mac Davus.

[Pg 682]



Swend, king of all,
In Olaf's hall
Now sits in state on high;
Whilst up in heaven
Amidst the shriven
Sits Olaf's majesty.
For not in cell
Does our hero dwell,
But in realms of light for ever:
As a ransom'd saint
To heal our plaint,
Be glory to thee, gold-giver!
Of raptures there
He has won his share,
All cleansed from taint of sin;
For on earth prepared,
No toil he spared
That holy place to win.
That he hath won
Near God's dear Son
Fast by the holy river—
Oh, such as thine
May the end be mine;
Be glory to thee, gold-giver!
His sacred form
Unscathed by worm,
And clear as the hour he died,
Lies at this day
Where good men pray
At morn and at eventide.
His nails and his hair
Are fresh and fair,
With his yellow locks still growing;
His cheek as red,
And his flesh not dead,
Though the blood hath ceased from flowing.
If you watch by night,
In the dim twilight
You may hear a requiem singing;
And the people hear
Above his bier
A small bell clearly ringing.
And if ye wait
Until midnight late,
You may hear the great bell toll:
But none can tell
Who tolls that bell
If it sounds for Olaf's soul.
[Pg 683] With tapers clear,
Which Christ holds dear,
O'er the corpse so still reclining,
By day and night
Is the altar light
And the cross of the Saviour shining.
For our King did so,
And all men know
That washed from sin and shriven,
All free from taint,
A ransom'd saint,
He dwells with the saints in heaven.
And thousands come,
The deaf and the dumb,
To the tomb of our monarch here—
The sick and the blind
Of every kind
They throng to the holy bier.
With heads all bare
They breathe their prayer
As they kneel on the flinty ground:
God hears their sighs,
And the sick men rise
All whole, and healed, and sound.
Then to Olaf pray,
To spare thy day
From wrath, and wrong, and harm;
To save thy land
From the spoiler's hand,
And the fell invader's arm.
God's man is he,
To deal to thee
What is ask'd in a lowly spirit—
Let thy prayer not cease,
And wealth, and peace,
And a blessing thou shalt inherit.
For prayers are good,
If before the rood
Thy beads thou tellest praying;
If thou tellest on,
Forgetting none
Of the saints who with God are staying.

W. E. A.




The shadow of her face upon the wall
May take your memory to the perfect Greek;
But when you front her, you would call the cheek
Too full, sir, for your models, if withal
That bloom it wears could leave you critical,
And that smile reaching toward the rosy streak:—
For one who smiles so, has no need to speak,
To lead your thoughts along, as steed to stall!
[Pg 684] A smile that turns the sunny side o' the heart
On all the world, as if herself did win
By what she lavished on an open mart:—
Let no man call the liberal sweetness, sin,—
While friends may whisper, as they stand apart,
"Methinks there's still some warmer place within."


Her azure eyes, dark lashes hold in fee:
Her fair superfluous ringlets, without check,
Drop after one another down her neck;
As many to each cheek as you might see
Green leaves to a wild rose! This sign, outwardly,
And a like woman-covering seems to deck
Her inner nature! For she will not fleck
World's sunshine with a finger. Sympathy
Must call her in Love's name! and then, I know,
She rises up, and brightens, as she should,
And lights her smile for comfort, and is slow
In nothing of high-hearted fortitude.
To smell this flower, come near it; such can grow
In that sole garden where Christ's brow dropped blood.


The simple goatherd who treads places high,
Beholding there his shadow (it is wist)
Dilated to a giant's on the mist,
Esteems not his own stature larger by
The apparent image; but more patiently
Strikes his staff down beneath his clenching fist—
While the snow-mountains lift their amethyst
And sapphire crowns of splendour, far and nigh,
Into the air around him. Learn from hence
Meek morals, all ye poets that pursue
Your way still onward up to eminence!
Ye are not great, because creation drew
Large revelations round your earliest sense,
Nor bright, because God's glory shines for you.


The poet hath the child's sight in his breast,
And sees all new. What oftenest he has viewed,
He views with the first glory. Fair and good
Pall never on him, at the fairest, best,
But stand before him, holy, and undressed
In week-day false conventions; such as would
Drag other men down from the altitude
Of primal types, too early dispossessed.
Why, God would tire of all his heavens as soon
As thou, O childlike, godlike poet! did'st
Of daily and nightly sights of sun and moon!
And therefore hath He set thee in the midst
Where men may hear thy wonder's ceaseless tune,
And praise His world for ever as thou bidst.

[Pg 685]



----At half-past seven in the evening, we left Smyrna by the Scamandre, a French government steamer, and were soon gliding over a sea smooth as glass. The soft tints of the twilight spread gradually around us, and to a beautiful day there succeeded one of those marvellous nights, during which one cannot bring one's-self to the determination of retiring to rest.

The dawn of day surprised me on deck. In the morning we neared the land, which presented to our view a desert plain, covered with dwarf oak. This was the site of ancient Troy; we were coasting near those famous fields, ubi Troja fuit; that stream which was throwing itself before our eyes into the sea, was formerly called the "Simois;" those two hillocks which we saw upon the coast, were the tombs of Hector and Patroclus; that huge blue mountain which in the distance raised towards the sky its three peaks covered with snow, was Ida; and behind us, from the midst of the sparkling waves, rose the island of Tenedos. All conversation between the passengers from many nations had long since ceased, and I contemplated in silence that grim desert, which, at Eton, I had dreamed of as full of movement and sound, and that calm sea which I had so often figured to myself as covered with the ships of Agamemnon, of Ulysses, and of Achilles the

"Impiger, iracundus, inexorabilis, acer."

At mid-day we entered the Dardanelles, and several hours afterwards, we cast anchor between Sestos and Abydos, before a small white town, containing no remarkable objects. Sestos and Abydos, which it must be owned would not be by any means celebrated, were it not for the enterprises which cost Leander his life and Lord Byron an ague, are two hamlets, which, like the greater portion of Turkish villages, offer in no shape whatever what it is the fashion to term the Oriental type. They are composed of an assemblage of rose-coloured houses, whose large red roofs, seen through the verdure and flowers, call to one's mind the description of a Chinese village.

Upon its arrival, the Scamandre was immediately surrounded by a multitude of caicks filled with bearded Turks, veiled women, and various coloured bales. Upon deck rose a deafening Babel of voices,—the sailors swore, the women screamed, and the porters fought, until at length quiet was restored, and one hundred and eighty-six new Mussulman passengers came on board the steamer. Amid the caicks ranged along the sides of the vessel, was one much more richly freighted than the rest; the traveller to whom it belonged was a young Arab, who, standing on a pile of bales, domineered over his boatmen by several feet. His white garments set off to advantage his dark complexion; and a cloak of black wool, profusely embroidered with gold lace, drew upon him the eyes of all. I had seldom, if ever, beheld a head more beautiful or more expressive than that of the young man. His large black eyes were full of intelligence, and in his bearing was a natural nobility and pride. As long as the confusion, described above, continued, he directed his boatmen to keep at a distance, but when all were embarked, and the Scamandre was ready to start, he hailed the vessel, and having mounted the side-ladders, gave his hand to six veiled women in succession, whose long white dominos prevented the spectators from even guessing at their age or beauty. The young man, once on board, conducted his odalisques to a fore-cabin, placed a hideous negro at the door as sentinel, and returned immediately to the deck, where another negro presented him with a narguileh (Turkish water-pipe).

Nothing can less resemble our regular[Pg 686] fortifications than the fort of Gallipoli, (before which we soon after passed,) and the other castles of the Dardanelles, which ought to render Constantinople the most impregnable place in the world (from the sea.) The forts are large buildings of a dazzling white colour, perforated with port-holes, similar to those belonging to a ship of war, and mounted with old guns, the greater portion of which are without carriages, and served, ordinarily, by a single artillery-man, assisted in time of war by three or four peasants. In the present century, however, these batteries have shown their prowess, and against our own countrymen too. During the month of February 1807, the British government, justly irritated at the increasing influence that the French ambassador, Count Sebastiani, was obtaining at the Ottoman court, despatched Admiral Sir John Duckworth, in command of a squadron, with orders to bombard, if necessary, the Seraglio itself. Unfortunately, Sir John Duckworth's plan of acting was exactly contrary to what would have been our gallant Nelson's in the same position. After having passed without difficulty before the then disarmed castles of the Dardanelles, after having burned the Ottoman fleet off Gallipoli, while the crews were peaceably celebrating on shore the feast of Courban-Beiram, Sir John presented himself off Constantinople, and threatened to bombard that city, should the Sultan refuse to accept the conditions he offered, at the same time he allowed his Imperial Highness two days to consider the terms; Nelson would have allowed as many hours only. The folly of Admiral Duckworth's conduct fully shown in the sequel, for, at the conclusion of the forty-eight hours, the approaches to Stamboul and Galata were bristling—thanks to the delay accorded, and to the exertions of the French ambassador—with twelve hundred pieces of cannon; while, at the same time, orders having been sent to the castles of the Dardanelles to mount their batteries, the British squadron was hemmed in on all sides, as if by enchantment. The besieged now became the aggressors, and there soon remained to Admiral Duckworth no other resource than to weigh anchor and get away as fast as possible, which he accordingly did. The batteries of the Dardanelles were now, however, prepared for him. A most destructive fire was opened upon the ill-fated fleet: two corvettes were sunk off Gallipoli; the Admiral's flag-ship, the Royal George, lost her mainmast; a huge marble ball, weighing eight hundred pounds, swept away a quantity of hands from the lower deck of the Standard, while many officers and seamen wore severely wounded. It must be here observed, that the batteries of the Dardanelles owed much of the murderous effect of their cannonading to the skill of eight French engineer officers, whom Count Sebastiani, profiting by the delay accorded by Admiral Duckworth to the Sultan, had despatched to the castles.

These historical reminiscences did not prevent my thoughts occasionally reverting to the six odalisques, who formed the suite of the young Arab on board. Ever since their arrival, I had been reflecting that in all probability never would so excellent an opportunity offer itself of penetrating the secrets of a Mussulman harem, and of assuring myself of the vaunted beauty of the mysterious women of Asia. As soon as we were again in motion, I began to watch the black Argus to whose guard the fair houris were intrusted. For more than an hour I lurked without success about the fore-hatchway, for, faithful to his trust, the slave was lying at the threshold of the door that closed upon his young mistresses; and I was on the point of losing all patience, when I beheld him suddenly rise and mount rapidly on deck. He had no sooner disappeared than I glided into his place, and, having applied my eye to a large chink in the door, cast a most indiscreet glance into the cabin. In front of me two women were seated upon their heels, one of them had thrown aside her veil; and I was gazing in admiration upon a pale but beautiful face, set off by two immense black and brilliant eyes, when suddenly I heard behind me the sound of hurried steps. It was the negro returning to his post, who, on perceiving me, began to cry out most lustily. Having no desire to commence[Pg 687] a contest with him, I proceeded to mount the hatchway and gain the deck.

The exasperated slave, however, followed me, and hurrying to his master, proceeded to inform him of my escapade, pointing at the same time to me. Two old Turks leaped immediately to their feet with fury depicted on their features; and one of them placed his hand upon the hilt of his cangiar, and pronounced in a voice half-choked with passion the word "Ghiaour," (infidel): in answer to which, I politely told him, (as I was a good Turkish scholar,) to mind his own business, and that I was rather inclined to consider him the greater infidel of the two. He looked both surprised and vexed at this, but did not attempt to retort. As to the young Arab, he proved himself to be a man of sense; for, contenting himself with smiling at his infuriated attendant, he descended to the cabin of his odalisques, from whence he did not emerge during the remainder of our voyage. I did not again see him, and never knew who was the Mussulman, so handsome and at the same time so little fanatical.

The strait through which we had navigated all day, gradually widened as we advanced; the shores as they receded were covered with opal tints; the vessel began to roll, and we entered the sea of Marmora. At sunset the Mussulmans with whom the deck was crowded collected in groups, and devoutly said their evening prayer. Their countenances were wrapped in deep devotion, and they appeared to take no notice of the satirical smiles, which the strangeness of their attitudes called forth from several unreflecting travellers, who, by wanting in respect for the usages of the countries through which they were passing, lowered themselves immensely in the estimation of the inhabitants. The irritation excited by the ill-timed railleries of such foolish persons, is no doubt one of the chief causes of the hatred in which Christians are held in Turkey. Surely nothing could be less calculated to excite mockery, than the sight of the Mussulman travellers at their evening devotions; besides, be it had in mind, that upon this Christian vessel, scarcely a Christian perhaps was thinking of his God, while not a single Mahometan was to be seen unengaged in prayer, as the sun sunk below the horizon.

The following morning I was early upon deck. The sun had not yet risen, and the air was fresh and invigorating; while upon the white, heavy, oily sea, was a slight fog, which the breeze was dispersing in flakes. Around us a quantity of porpoises were either splashing in the midst of the waves or floating like buoys upon the surface. The most profound silence reigned upon the deck of the steamer. Wet with the night-dews, the half-slumbering seamen of the watch were seated in a circle near the funnel; while numberless Turks, rolled up in their yellow coverlets striped with red, were sleeping forward beneath the netting: the steersman at the wheel and the man on the look-out were alone really wide awake. Suddenly, I perceived dawning in the east a greenish light, which became yellow as it ascended in the heavens; the low and flat shore appeared like a black line upon this luminous background, and by degrees the sea resumed its azure tint. An hour afterwards we were within cannon-shot of the Seraglio; but, alas! a thick fog covered the city. Constantinople was invisible—and I was deploring the mischance, which was depriving me of a long-anticipated pleasure, when suddenly the sun shone forth brightly, and the fog acquired as if by enchantment a wonderful transparency. The curtain was, as it were, torn to bits, and from all quarters at once there appeared to my dazzled eyes forests of minarets with gilded peaks, thousands of cupolas blazing in the light, hills covered with many-coloured houses, surrounded by verdure; an immense succession of palaces with grotesque windows, blue-roofed mosques, groves of cypress-trees and sycamores, gardens full of flowers, a port filled as far as the eye could discern with ships, masts, and flags; in a word, the whole of that enchanted city, which resembles less an immense capital than an endless succession of lovely kiosks, built in a boundless park, having lakes for docks, mountains for background, forests for thickets, fleets for boats,—in fine, an incomparable spot, and at the same[Pg 688] time so grand and elegant, that it seems to have been designed by fairies, and executed by giants.

Several writers have compared the view of Constantinople to that of Naples. I cannot, however, agree with them. Any one can figure the latter capital, whilst, on the contrary, the City of the Sultan surpasses all that imagination can picture. Our enchantment, however, was of short duration: the vapours again became condensed, the view was gradually covered with a rosy haze, then became dim, and Constantinople disappeared from before us like a dream. The Scamandre, which had stopped for a few minutes, was again put in motion, and having rounded the Seraglio, cast anchor in the midst of the strait which separates Stamboul (the Turkish quarter) from Galata, (the European faubourg.) In a moment the deck of our vessel was one scene of confusion: the sailors were running to and fro, while the passengers were rushing one against another, vociferating after their baggage. Around the vessel there kept gliding two or three hundred black caicks, rowed by half-naked boatmen; and notwithstanding the orders to the contrary, a quantity of Maltese sailors, Turkish porters, and Levantine ciceroni came on board, and literally took us by storm, bawling out their offers of service, in almost every known language. Clouds of blue pigeons, and whitewinged albatros, flew about over our heads, uttering plaintive cries; add to these the stentorian voice of our French commander, the curiosity and impatience of the travellers demonstrated by their noisy exclamations, and one will have an idea of the spectacle offered by the deck of a steamer on its arrival at a Turkish port.

During the hauling of the vessel to the quay, I scarcely knew upon what to fix my eyes, attracted as they simultaneously were by a thousand different objects. Here was the Golden Horn with its numberless ships, the cypress-trees of Galata, and the seven hills of ancient Byzantium covered with mosques; there, the blue waves of the Propontis, and the glittering banks of Scutari. Giddy with enthusiasm, and intoxicated with admiration, I attempted, as our caick approached the landing-place, to be the first to leap upon the quay, when, just as I was in the act of springing, my foot slipped, and I fell headlong into a miry stream. Such was my entrance into Constantinople.

As soon as I gained footing, splashed with mud from head to foot, I remained a moment motionless, and almost petrified with astonishment. All was changed around me: the enchanted panorama had disappeared, and I found myself in a small filthy crossway, at the entrance of a labyrinth of narrow, damp, dark, muddy streets. The houses which surrounded me, built as they were of disjointed planks, had a miserable aspect; time and rain had diluted their primitive red colour into numberless nameless tints. One of those minarets which from afar appeared so slender and so beautiful, now that it was close to me proved to be merely a small column devoid of symmetry, while its covering of cracked plaster seemed on the point of falling to pieces. The Turkish promenaders whom from a distance I had taken for richly attired merchants, proved to be a set of miserable tatterdemalions with ragged turbans. Behind the porters who crowded to the landing-place, were butchers embowelling sheep in the open street; while the pavement was covered with bloody mire and smoking entrails, around which several score of hideous dogs, of a fallow colour, were growling and fighting. A fetid stench arose from the damp gutters, where neither air nor light have ever penetrated, where corruptions of all sorts amass, and where one is continually in danger of stepping upon a dead dog or rat. Such is without exaggeration the aspect of the greater part of the streets of Constantinople, and in particular those of Galata. This contrast between the misery of what surrounds you, and the incomparable beauty of the same spot when seen from a distance, has never yet been sufficiently remarked upon by travellers who seek to describe Constantinople. Perhaps they have been unwilling to cool the enthusiasm of their readers in dirtying with these hideous, but true details, their gold and silver-plated descriptions.[Pg 689]

Perfectly disenchanted by this sudden change of scene, I followed the bearer of my baggage up a street, which was steep, badly paved, and so narrow that three men could scarcely have walked along it abreast. On the right and left hand were disgusting little shops, or rather booths, filled with green fruit and vegetables. Having proceeded onwards, we rounded the tower of Galata, which, from a near view resembles a handsome dove-cote, and shortly afterwards arrived at Pera, and proceeded to take up our quarters at a kind of hotel, kept by one Giusepine Vitali, where I immediately went to bed and was soon afterwards fast asleep.

At ten o'clock, a.m., I was awakened by my fellow-travellers, and accompanied them to the caravanserai of the Turning Dervishes. A somewhat lengthened residence in the northern provinces of Persia, where a Turkish idiom is spoken, had given me a tolerable fluency in that language, and I was thus enabled to act as interpreter to my friends. The cicerone of the hotel conducted us to a circular building situated in the midst of a small garden, whither was hurrying a crowd composed of Greeks, Armenians, and Turks. Having arrived at the vestibule, we took off our boots and confided them to the care of a man who kept a sort of depôt for slippers, of which he hired out to each of us a pair. We then entered a large circular hall, lighted from above, in the centre of which was an oaken floor, waxed and polished with the greatest care, and protected by a balustrade. Around this arena were seated a number of spectators of all ages, country, and costumes, and exhaling a strong odour of garlic. The ceremony was commenced: for to the music of a barbarous orchestra, composed of small timbals and squeaking fifes, accompanying some nasal voices, about twenty tall, bearded young men, clad in long white robes, were waltzing gravely round an old man in a blue pelisse. These men carried on their heads a thick beaver cap, similar in form to a flower-pot turned upside down. Their white robes, made of a heavy kind of woollen stuff, were so constantly bulged out with the air that they seemed made of wood. With their arms extended in the form of a cross, the left hand being somewhat more elevated than the right, and their looks fixed upon the ceiling with a stupid stare, these Dervishes continued to turn rapidly round upon their naked feet with such regularity and impassibility that they seemed like automatons put into motion by machinery.

Suddenly the music ceased, upon which the Dervishes threw themselves simultaneously upon their knees, inclining their heads at the same time to the ground. For several minutes they remained motionless in this position, while some attendants threw a large black cloak over each, upon which they again stood up and ranged themselves in a line. Upon this the old man in the blue pelisse, who had hitherto sat motionless upon his heels, began a plaintive nasal chant, to which his subordinates responded in a roaring chorus; this finished, the crowd began to disperse, and we returned to our hotel.

Besides the Turning Dervishes, there are also at Constantinople the Howling Dervishes, who, instead of waltzing until they fall from giddiness, continue to utter the most frightful shrieks, until they fall upon the ground exhausted and foaming at the mouth. Historians have accorded different origins to these singular and absurd exercises; for my part, I am inclined to consider them as remnants of the furious dances taught by the ancient people of Asia to the Corybantes.

The day after my arrival I embarked for Stamboul, the Turkish quarter, in one of those long caicks which are as it were the hackney coaches of Constantinople. The least oscillation is sufficient to upset these light barks, which are impelled with inconceivable rapidity by two or three fine light-looking Arnaouts, dressed in silken shirts. In two minutes, having traversed the Golden Horn, passing through an immense crowd of boats of every form, and ships of every nation, we disembarked upon a landing-place even more dangerous than the caick, on account of its slipperiness and the chances thereby of falling headlong into a receptacle of filth and mud. The streets[Pg 690] of Stamboul are still more narrow, filthy, and fetid than those of Galata and Pera. Wooden hovels, badly constructed, and worse painted; a species of cages pierced with an infinite number of trellised windows, with one story projecting over the ground floor, flank on the right and on the left hand these passages, through which hurry a motley crowd with noiseless tread. The pavement, made of little stones placed in the dust, slip from under one's feet and expose one to continual falls. Upon the boards of the first shops one passes are piled heaps of large fish, whose scales glitter in the sun, in spite of the dust. Fawn-coloured dogs, in much greater numbers than at Galata, run between your legs—and wo to whosoever should disengage himself too energetically from these hideous brutes, which are protected by Mussulman bigotry! The habits of these animals, whose number amounts to above a hundred thousand, are exceedingly singular. They belong to no one, and have no habitation; they are born, they live and they die, in the open street; at every turn one may see a litter of puppies suckled by their mother. Upon what these quadrupeds feed it would be difficult to state. The Turkish government abandons to them the clearing of the streets, and the offal and every sort of filth, together with the dead bodies of their fellows, compose their apparently ordinary nourishment. At night they wander about in the burying grounds, howling in the most frightful manner. Whatever may be their means of existence, they multiply their species with the most surprising rapidity. Some years ago, the canine race had increased to such a degree at Constantinople that it became dangerous, when, to the pious horror of the Old Mussulmans, the Sultan Mahmood, among other reforms, caused twenty thousand of these animals to be, not poisoned, he would not have dared to so greatly offend against the prejudices of the inhabitants, but transported to the isles of Marmora. In a few days they had devoured every thing in the place of exile, after which, tormented by hunger, they made such a hideous row, and uttered such plaintive howls, that pity was taken upon them, and they were brought back in triumph to Constantinople. Fortunately hydrophobia is unknown in the Levant.

The bazars of Constantinople have been so often described that it would be useless to describe them at any length. I will merely observe, therefore, that though infinitely more considerable, they do not respond, any more than those of Smyrna, to the ideas of luxury and grandeur which untravelled Europeans are apt to conceive of them. The Turkish bazars have a miserable aspect; they are nothing more than an immense labyrinth of large vaulted galleries, clumsily built, and at all times damp in the extreme. Magnificent carpets, stuffs embroidered in gold and silver, and other objects, the richness of which contrasts most singularly with the nakedness of the walls, are hung out for display on cords stretched transversely. The counter is a flat board of wood, very slightly elevated above the ground, and which serves as a divan to the seller and a seat to the buyer. From this place, which is usually covered with a mat, the Mussulman gazes in silence upon the passing foreigner, whom he rarely deigns to address by the name of Effendi; while, on the contrary, the active and loquacious Armenian even leaves his shop to run after him with some tempting object in his hand, at the same time indiscriminately giving him the title of "Signore Capitan." In the bazars are an astonishing number of articles which are often very cheap, such as tissues of silk, dressing gowns, gold embroidery, and Persian carpets, perfumery, precious stones, pieces of amber, furs, sweetmeats, pipes, morocco leather, velvet slippers, silken scarfs and Cachemire shawls cover a space extending over several leagues. In the "Besestein," a large building separated from the other bazars, one meets with in quantities those old arms, so sought after by antiquaries, carbines ornamented with coral, magnificent yataghans worn by the Janissaries before their destruction, and the famous blades of Khorasan.

The commerce of Constantinople is closely allied with that of Smyrna; and many branches of trade, such as[Pg 691] silk and opium, being required to pay duties at the customhouse of the capital, the merchants buy them at Constantinople merely in order to pass them over to Smyrna, where they find a more advantageous market for them. In consequence, these goods are twice borne upon the registers of the Turkish customhouses, which, be it observed, are exceedingly badly kept. Wool forms the principal branch of trade at the Porte, which is abundantly furnished with that article from her nearest provinces, Roumelia, Thessaly, and Bulgaria, which, containing about five million inhabitants, feed about eight million sheep, the value of which may be estimated at about two hundred million piastres, (the Turkish piastre, is worth about 2-1/4d.) It would have been impossible for such an important object to have failed exciting the cupidity of a government constituted like that of the Ottoman empire; in consequence, in 1829, they attempted to make a monopoly of the wool-trade. Fortunately, the clamorous despair of the owners of the flocks, and some good advice, caused the Divan to recall the measure, which would in all probability not only have given a fatal blow to the wool-trade, but have entirely put an end to the feeding of flocks throughout Turkey. Instead, therefore, of monopolising this branch of commerce, the government saddled it with such an exorbitant duty, that the provinces definitively gained little by the change. The price of wool was more than quadrupled, and in 1833 there was sold for above 170 piastres the hundredweight what in 1816 cost but forty piastres. The abolition of the monopolies and the modification of the duties have given, since the last six or seven years, some facilities to this trade, without, however, entirely restoring it to its former state of prosperity. Partly destroyed by the severe blow it had received, and shackled by the avarice of the Pashas, it languishes, as indeed does every other branch of trade and industry in the empire.

Of Turkey, which men have rendered a country of misery and of famine, the Almighty seems to have intended to have made a land of promise. For agriculture, He has created immense plains, unequalled in fertility throughout the globe, and in the bowels of the mountains He has hidden incalculable treasures; and in return for all these gifts, these glorious gifts, what have the inhabitants done? they have left the land uncultivated, and the mountains unsearched. Mines of all sorts abound. Copper, (which is sold in secret only, and is a contraband article,) were its mines worked on a grand scale, would alone furnish a new element of commerce to Constantinople, and might help to draw it from its present state of torpor. But will the Turks ever dream of such a thing? Never! For like the dog in the fable, the Ottomans will neither profit themselves nor let others profit by what is in the territory. Too indolent to work out the natural riches of their soil, they are too jealous to permit others to do it for them. Besides, Europeans, by an ancient law which we have recently seen confirmed, having no right to possess land in Turkey, cannot undertake any agricultural or commercial speculation of any importance. In addition to this, the Turkish government itself is ignorant of most of the natural riches of its territory; for the inhabitants, well knowing the character of the men who have the management of affairs, take every possible precaution to conceal the existence of the mines, for fear they should be forced to work them without remuneration.

The provinces of the Danube have now yielded to Thrace and to Macedon the furnishing of the capital with corn. This important trade has been ruined, like every thing else, by the barbarous measures of a stupid ministry. In reserving to itself the supplying of the capital, the government does not allow the exportation of corn without special permission. Without doubt, the liberty of this trade would have given a new impulse to agriculture, and would have restored prosperity to several provinces; but that would not have been for the interest of those personages who had the power of giving permits, and who consequently made a traffic of the firmans. In 1828, a circumstance occurred which ought to have enlightened the government on this point. The Russians had intercepted[Pg 692] all communication with the capital, and in consequence a want of provisions occurred; for the ill-furnished public magazines afforded such damaged wheat only, that it could with great difficulty be baked into bad and unhealthy bread. To remedy this evil, an employé ventured to suggest that any one who could procure corn should be permitted to supply the capital. The situation of affairs was critical, for the people were beginning to murmur; and the suggestion was carried into effect. No sooner was the permission accorded, than a multitude of farmers and merchants hastened to pour grain into the market, and plenty soon reappeared. This was an excellent lesson to the government, but how did it profit thereby? First of all it reinstated the monopoly, and four years afterwards, in 1832, happening to require a million measures for its magazines, in order to make more sure of speedily procuring that quantity, it forbade the exportation of corn, inasmuch that to collect the required million of measures, it destroyed, in all probability, a hundred millions, and ruined about ten thousand cultivators. This barbarous system partly ended in 1838, but it will be long before its withering effects are effaced.

It is in the long corridors of the bazars that the commercial business of the country is carried on. An immense multitude, more curious to view than even the exposition of the different wares, congregates thither daily. Constantinople, notwithstanding its state of decline, is always the point of intersection between the eastern and western world. At this general rendezvous, whither Europe and Asia send their representatives, one may study the human species in almost every possible variety of type. English, Americans, Russians, Greeks, Italians, Germans, Persians, Circassians, Arabs, Koords, Austrians, Hungarians, Abyssinians, Tartars, French, &c. &c., hurry to and fro around the Turk, who smokes and dreams, calm and immovable amidst the active throng, which presents an inconceivable medley of silk pelisses, white bornous and black robes, surmounted by green turbans, red fezs, and beaver hats. Numbers of women, covered with white dominos, advance slowly and spectre-like through the crowd, which every now and then opens its ranks to give passage to some mounted Pasha, followed by his attendants on foot. Here and there may be seen asses loaded with bales, and at the further end of the galleries are caravans of camels. One's ears are deafened with the piercing cries of the sherbet-sellers, and the howling of the dogs; while quantities of pigeons coo over the heads of the motley crowd. Although, on taking a general view of this spectacle, there is little to admire, still one may select from it an infinite number of original scenes and pictures full of character. Here, for instance, an ambulating musician sings, or rather chants to an attentive audience one of those interminable ballads of which the Turks never tire; there, are half a dozen Greeks quarrelling and vociferating so energetically, that one would expect nothing less than that from words they would come to bloodshed; while, further on, a circle of friends are regaling themselves over a basket of green cucumbers. Talking of cucumbers, they almost entirely compose, in summer, the nourishment of the Turks. The Sultan Mahmood II. was excessively fond of this fruit, or rather vegetable, and cultivated it with his own hands in the Seraglio gardens. Having one day perceived that some of his cucumbers were missing, he sent for his head gardener, and informed him that, should such a circumstance occur again, he would order his head to be cut off. The next day three more cucumbers had been stolen, upon which the gardener, to save his own head, accused the pages of his highness of having committed the theft. These unhappy youths were immediately sent for, and having all declared themselves innocent, the enraged Sultan, in order to discover the culprit, commanded them one after another to be disembowelled. Nothing was found in the stomach or entrails of the first six victims, but the autopsy of the seventh proved him to have been the guilty one.

In the midst of the crowds in the Turkish capital, the women present a curious spectacle, wandering about as they do covered with white dominos,[Pg 693] or rather winding-sheets. The lot of this portion of the Mussulman population is much less unhappy than one would be led to expect. They certainly hold a secondary station in society, but, brought-up as they are in the most complete ignorance, they are unconscious of their degraded position, and know not that there is a better. They are, in general, treated very kindly by their husbands and masters, and do not undergo, as it is supposed, either capricious or brutal treatment. Although in Europe they still believe a Turk to be constantly surrounded by a multitude of odalisques, to whom, as it suits his fancy, he throws in turn his handkerchief, at Constantinople there are very few Osmanlees who have three or even two wives, and even these they lodge in separate mansions, in general far distant from each other. Almost all the Turks, with the exception of the very few above mentioned individuals, possess in general but one wife, to whom they are most faithful. The grand seignior alone is a Sultan in the full and voluptuous acceptation of the term. He is possessor of a magnificent palace, where no noise from without ever penetrates, and where immense riches have collected together all the wonders of luxury. Marble baths, lovely gardens bounded by a sparkling sea, and vaulted by an indigo sky, legions of slaves, who have no will but his, no law but his caprices; and in this Eden three or four hundred women chosen from out of the most beautiful in the universe; this is the world, this is the life of that man: and yet, although he be so young, all who know him say that the present Sultan is morose, sad, and splenetic.

On mounting, at sixteen, upon the throne of Turkey, Abdul Medjid announced it to be his intention to change nothing that his father Mahmood had established, and declared himself a partisan of the system of reform commenced by that sovereign. Notwithstanding the custom, rendered almost sacred by tradition, he renounced the turban and was crowned with the fez. Contrary to the usage of former Sultans, who on their accession put to death or closely imprisoned all their brothers, he allowed his brother Abdul Haziz not only his life, but full liberty.

The Hatti-sherif of Gulhanch, published on the 19th of November 1839, and which has been viewed in so many and different lights, proved at least the good intentions of this sovereign, called so young to support so weighty a burden. At various times he has manifested a desire for instruction, and has taken lessons in geography and in Italian; he has also travelled over a part of his empire.

It is usual at Constantinople for the Sultan to proceed every Friday (the Mussulman Sabbath) to pray in one of the mosques. The one chosen is named in the morning, and he proceeds thither on horseback or in his caick, according to the quarter in which it is situated. This weekly ceremony is almost the sole occasion on which foreigners can see his highness. During my stay at Constantinople, I had several opportunities of gazing upon the descendant of the Prophet. He is a young man, of slender frame, of grave physiognomy, and a most distingué appearance. A crowd of officers and eunuchs formed his suite, and all heads bowed low at his approach. Abdul Medjid, who was the twentieth-born child of his father Mahmood, was born at Constantinople on the 19th of April 1823. His black and stiff beard cause him to appear older than he is in reality. His eye is very brilliant, and his features regular. His face is somewhat marked with the smallpox; but this is not very apparent, as the young sultan, according to the custom of the harem, has an artificial complexion for days of ceremony. Naturally of a delicate frame, excesses have much enfeebled his constitution; his continual ill-health, his pallor, and his teeth already decayed, announce, that though so young in years, he is expiating the pleasures of a Sultan by a premature decrepitude. Abdul Medjid has several children, who are weak and sickly like their father, and the state of their health inspires constant anxiety.

Few sovereigns have been more diversely judged than Mahmood, the father of the present Sultan. Lauded to the skies by some, lowered to the dust by[Pg 694] others, he died before Europe was properly enlightened as to his intentions. Now that his work has undergone the ordeal of time, one can appreciate it at its real value. Ascending the throne at an epoch of anarchy and disorder, having at one and the same time to oppose the invasion of Russia, and to put down the rebellion of the Pashas, who were raising their pashalicks into sovereignties, Mahmood gave proofs, during several years, of a force of character almost inconceivable in a man enervated from his childhood by the pleasures of the harem. Unfortunately his intellect was unequal to his obstinacy: every abuse he put down gave rise to or made way for new abuses, which he could not foresee, and was unable to destroy. The established order of affairs, which he fought against, was a hydra, from which, for one head cut off, twenty sprang up. Far from augmenting his power, his greatest enterprises merely tended to enfeeble it. The repression of Ali the Pasha of Janina, cost Mahmood the kingdom of Greece; and had not the powers of Europe intervened, the war against Mehemet Ali would have cost him his throne. Even the destruction of the Janissaries, which was considered so great a cause of triumph by the Sultan, was it in reality so? It is surely permitted to doubt the circumstance. That powerful militia, scattered through the empire, was in some sort the focus of that spirit of fatalism, which had till then been the principal prop of the imperfect work of the Arabian impostor; to destroy it was to strike a death-blow to that society which breathed as it were in war alone. In overthrowing an obstacle which paralysed his power, Mahmood dug an abyss into which the Turkish empire must sooner or later fall; for the spirit of religious enthusiasm which he destroyed has been replaced by no other incentive.

The chief fault of Mahmood was the cutting down without thinking of sowing; for without properly understanding the extent of what he was doing, he too hastily cast from its old course, without placing it in a better, a dull stupid nation, to transform which required both time and patience. Above all, Mahmood was guided solely by the impulses of an indomitable pride, and seems to have much less considered the interests of his empire, than the satisfying of his own vanity. He hastened to change the aspect and surface of things, deluding himself into the idea that he had metamorphosed an Asiatic people into a European state. Hurried away by the desire of innovation, and at the same time cramped by the effects of a religion which resists all progress, striving in vain to make the precepts of the Koran compatible with civilisation, Mahmood moved during the whole of his reign within a fatal circle, and, dying of an ignoble malady, he left his empire tottering to its fall.

[Pg 695]



You desire, then, my dear Eusebius, to hear more of the Curate's difficulty. We left him, you remember, with Gratian, who took him by the arm, and walked off to see what his authority would do to quell the parochial disturbance. You have seen the general opinion upon the countenance Gratian would give to delinquents; you will not, therefore, augur very favourably of this expedition. Loving a little mischief, as you do, you will, perhaps, be not quite agreeably disappointed. Had Gratian trusted alone to his character, he would have failed; which shows that sometimes it is dangerous to have too good a one.

Not a parishioner but would have looked upon the patronage of Gratian to the Curate as resulting from the weakness—those who meant to turn it to compliment would say, the excessive kindness, of his nature. A little malice interposing, they were by no means disposed, if they loved Gratian, "to love his dog,"—in the light of which comparison they now looked upon the Curate. Gratian's sly wit, however, availed more than his authority. It seems they had not proceeded very far when they met Prateapace. The Curate having some business in another direction, left Gratian with the maiden-lady. You can imagine his first advances, complimenting her upon her fresh morning looks. Then taking her by the arm, as if for familiar support, transferring his stick to the other hand, and looking his cajolery inimitably, and with a low voice saying, "My dear Miss Lydia, what is all this story I hear that you charge the Curate with?" "Oh, no, not I!" interrupted the maiden; "it is you have done that. I only know that I heard you reprove him for his behaviour to some one or other, whom you seriously declared either must be or ought to be his wife." "My dear young lady," said Gratian, "that is now quite a mistake of yours:" he then, as he reports, told her what they had been reading, and that his remarks were upon the book, and the author of it, and had nothing to do with the Curate. To all which she nodded her head incredulously, and laughingly said, "Oh, you good, good-natured man; and pray who may that improper author be?" "Why," quoth Gratian, "Miss Lydia Prateapace wouldn't, I know, have me recommend her any improper author." "Oh, no, no!—I don't ask with any intention to read him, I assure you," she replied. Gratian went on, "Believe me, he is a very old author, a Roman." "A Roman indeed!" she quite vociferated—"one of those horrid Papists, I suppose! A Roman is he? Then the Curate—why should he read Papistical books, and learn such tricks from them?" It was in vain for Gratian to endeavour to explain. Miss Prateapace had but one notion of the Romans—that there never was one that had not kissed the Pope's toe. So here he very wisely took another tack, and drawing her a little aside, as if he would not have even the very hedges hear him, and with no little affected caution, looking about him, he said, in a half whisper—"Now let me, my dear young lady, tell you a bit of a secret. All this is an idle tale, and is just as I have told you; but this I tell you, that to my certain knowledge, the Curate's affections"—laying stress on the word affections—"are seriously engaged;" at which Miss Lydia stared, and looked the personification of curiosity. "Engaged is he, did you say?" "No, he is not engaged," said Gratian, "but I happen to know that his affections are—" "Then," quoth she, "I suppose he has declared as much to the object." "Ah—no!—there is the very point—you are quite mistaken—she has not the slightest suspicion of it." This was scarcely credible to the lady's notion of love-making, but the earnest manner of[Pg 696] Gratian was every thing. "No," said he; "he is a most exemplary conscientious young man, and so far avoids the making any show of his feelings, that he affects, I really believe, more indifference towards that lady than to any other. He tells me that he thinks it would not be honourable in his present circumstances and position to engage her affections; but he looks forward, as his prospects are fair." Miss Lydia was interested—pondered awhile, and then said, "You dear good man, do tell me who the lady is!" "No," replied Gratian, "I dare not betray a secret; but be assured, my dear Miss Lydia Prateapace, that if our Curate marries, he will make his choice not very far from this." "You don't say so!" cried she: "Really now, who can it be?" "I can only say one thing more," replied our fox Gratian, "and perhaps that is saying too much; but—" whispering in her ear—"of all the letters in the alphabet, her name begins with Lydia." Whereupon he made a start, put his finger upon his lips, as if he had in his hurry told the secret; and she started back a pace in another direction, looked in his face to see if he was in jest; finding there nothing but apparent simplicity, she looked a little confused, and evidently took the compliment and the hopes into her own bosom. When she could sufficiently collect her thoughts, she expressed her sorrow for any mischief she might have done, unintentionally; and added, that she would do all in her power to set all things right again. At this point the Curate returned: he addressed her somewhat distantly, which to her was a sign stronger than familiarity, upon the power of which she gave him her hand of encouragement. Gratian took care to leave well alone—let go her arm, and leaning upon the Curate's wished her good morning, with a gracious smile about his insidious mouth, to which he put his finger significantly as if entreating her silence upon the subject of their conversation. I have told you the particulars of this interview, Eusebius, as I could gather them from Gratian's narration; and he has a way of acting what he says, as if he had studied in that school where the first requisite for an orator is—action; the second—action; the third—action!

Our friend Gratian, Eusebius, made no matter of conscience of this fibbing—did not hesitate—wanted no "ductor dubitantium"—as he told it to us. He gave, it is true, his limb a smarter tapping; but it was no twinge of conscience that caused the movement of the stick, and there is nothing of the Franciscan about our friend. Did he say a word that was not perfect truth?

But what was the intention?—did he mean to deceive? But this is not a question to discuss with you. You will do more than acquit him. So I am answered, and silent. Gratian's answer was this. In his fabulous mood, he asked—"If you should see a lion, an open-mouthed lion of the veritable χασμ' οδοντων breed, traversing a wood, and he should accost you thus, 'Pray, sir, did you chance to see a man I am looking after go this way?' would you point out his lurking place, his path of escape? or would you not, if you knew he went to the right, direct the lion by all means to continue his pursuit on the left? Then, sir, which will your worshipful morality prefer, to be the accessary to the murder, or the principal in the deceit?"

I must not omit to tell you that a few days ago Gratian and the Curate spent a pleasant day with the Bishop, who was not a little amused at their narration of the circumstances that produced the singular parochial epistle, which his lordship had duly received. The Bishop's hospitality is well seasoned with conversational ease, and perfect agreeability, and has besides that

"Seu quid suavius elegantiusve est"

which our Catullus promises to his friend Fabullus. The Bishop, a ripe scholar, spoke much and critically of Catullus, and laid most stress upon the extreme suavity of his measures, especially in the "Acmen Septimius." There were present two archdeacons and a very agreeable classical physician. All had at one time or other, they acknowledged, translated "Vivamus, mea Lesbia, atque amemus." The physician said he had only satisfied himself with three lines, and yet he thought their only merit was the[Pg 697] being line for line. He repeated both the original and his translation:—

"Soles occidere et redire possunt:
Nobis, quum semel occidit brevis lux,
Nox est perpetua una dormienda.
"Suns die, but soon their light restore,
While we, when our brief day is o'er,
Sleep one long night to wake no more."

The Curate, with the jealousy of a rival translator, objected to "suns die," and thought "suns set" would be quite as well and a closer translation. The Physician assented. The Bishop smiled, and said, "suns die" was probably a professional lapsus. The Physician replied, that such would be a very unprofessional lapsus; and Gratian quoted the passage from Fielding, who says it is an unjust misrepresentation that "physicians are the friends of death," and instanced the two physicians who, in the case of the death of Captain Blifil, "dismissed the corpse with a single fee, but were not so disgusted with the living patient." At parting, the Bishop took the Curate most kindly by the hand, and recommended him by all means to cultivate the amiability of versification.

After this, Gratian and the Curate had much business in hand, and we did not meet for some time. Gratian stirred a little in this affair of the Curate's, and with effect. We did meet, however, and recommenced the


You now see us again in the library—time, after tea. Gratian enjoys his easy-chair; a small fire—for it is not cold—just musically whispers among the coals, comfort. Gratian says he has had a busy day of it, and, though not wearied, is in that happy state of repose to enjoy rest, and of excitement to enjoy social converse; and after a little, preliminary chat, asked if there was any thing lately from Catullus.

Aquilius.—Yes. He is returned from his unprofitable travel, and you seem to be in that state of sensitive quiescence, to feel with him the pleasures of home. He is now at his own villa, and thus welcomes, and acknowledges the welcome offered him by his beloved Sirmio.


My Sirmio, thou the very gem and eye
Of islands and peninsulas, that lie
In that two-fold dominion Neptune takes
Of the salt sea and sweet translucent lakes!
Oh! with what joy I visit thee again,
Scarce yet believing, how, left far behind,
The tedious Thynian and Bithynian plain,
I see thee, Sirmio, with this peaceful mind.
Oh, what a blessed thing is the sweet quiet,
When the tired heart lays down its load of care,
And after foreign toil and sickening riot,
Weary and worn, to feel at last we are
At our own home—and our own floor to tread,
And lie in peace on the long-wish'd-for bed!
This, this alone, repays all labours past.
Hail to thee, lovely Sirmio! gladly take
Thine own, own master home to thee at last:
And all ye sportive waters of my lake,
Laugh out your welcome to my cheerful voice,
And all that laughs at home, with me rejoice.

Gratian.—I well remember this singularly sweet, kind, affectionate address. It is the best version of "Home is home, be it ever so homely," I know. You have needlessly repeated own. Why not say, loved master?

Curate.—Don't you think the acquiescimus lecto would be better rendered "sink to rest?" I fancy the Latin expresses the sinking down of the wearied limbs, or rather, whole person, into the soft and deep feather bed.[Pg 698]

Aquilius.—I Set it down so, but altered it, thinking the "lie in peace" was in reality more quiescent than any thing expressing an act—as sinking is a process in transitu—the result, lying in peace. It has often been translated, among others, by Leigh Hunt, and that prince of translators, Elton—though I think I was not satisfied with his translation of the Sirmio—of the others I do not remember a word.

Curate.—Leigh Hunt overdid his work—there is more labour than ease in the line

"The loosened limbs o'er all the wished-for bed."

Not simple enough for Catullus; neither is this—a rather affected line—

"Laughs every dimple in the cheek of home."

Gratian.—No, that won't do—it is a conceit. One would imagine it borrowed or translated from some Italian poet.

Aquilius.—The "loosened limbs o'er all the wished-for bed," strikes me as rather of the ludicrous, and not unlike the description of himself by Berni in his fanciful palace, where he ordered a bed, adjoining that of the French cook's, which was to be large enough to swim in—"Come si fa nel mare."

Gratian.—Now then, Mr Curate, let us have your version.



All hail to thee, delightful Sirmio!
Of all peninsulas and isles the gem,
Which lake or sea in its fair breast doth show
With either Neptune's arms encircling them.
What joy to find that Thynia, and that plain
Bithynian gone, and see thee safe again!
Charming it is to rest from care and cumber,
When the mind throws its burden, and we come
Wearied with pains of foreign travel home,
And in the bed so longed for sink to slumber.
This pays for all the toil, this quiet after—
Joy, my sweet Sirmio, for thy master's sake,
Make merry, frolic wavelets of my lake—
Laugh on me, all ye stores of home-bred laughter.

Gratian.—I don't like "the mind throws its burden:" lays it down is better—there is more weariness in it. You must alter that expression, or we see the mind like the "iniquæ mentis ascellus," dropping back its ears, and throwing its not agreeable and easy-sitting rider. Why not—

"When the mind lays its burden down, to come?"

But I see you have both of you translated away from the Latin the Lydiæ undæ. How comes it so?

Aquilius.—The reasons given for the word meaning Lydian seem to be insufficient; because it is said the Benacus resembles the Lydian rivers Hermus and Pactolus in having gold; or because the Benacus was in the district of the Thusci, who came from the Lydians. I adopted a conjecture once thrown out—and I think it was by the most accomplished scholar, W. S. Landor, that Lydiæ is the adjective of the word Ludius—ludiæ undæ, or Lydiæ undæ, the same thing, for that ludius is, as the dictionary tells us, "a Lydis, qui erant optimi saltatores." If so, Lydiæ would mean the sportive, or "dancing waters of the lake."

Curate.—I took this hint from Aquilius, though I do not remember from whom the suggestion came. I would venture from the last line—

"Ridete quidquid est domi cachinnorum—"

a remark upon a passage, the celebrated expression in the Prometheus of Æschylus, the ανηριθμον γελασμα. Some call it "countless dimples." Now is it not possible Catullus may have thought of this, and as it were translated it by quidquid est cachinnorum? The question then would be, is it meant to speak to the ear or the eye? Is it of sound or vision? I am inclined[Pg 699] to think it is the sound, the communicative laughter of the many waves. "Dimple" is too little for the gigantic conception of Æschylus, but the laughter of the multitudinous ocean-waves is more after his genius. No one could translate cachinnus "a dimple." If, therefore, Catullus had in his mind the Greek passage, it shows his idea of the ανηριθμον γελασμα.

Gratian.—I have often admired how that can be very beautiful which is of uncertain meaning. Is it that either construction conveys distinct thought—clear idea? I confess, I prefer the sound. What comes next?

Curate.—Missing one or two, we take up his "Request to his friend Cæcilius to come to him to Verona"—who, it seems, was a native of that place, and fellow townsman, as well as most dear friend of Catullus.

Aquilius.—Both poets—both kind-hearted; in fact, "The two gentlemen of Verona."

Gratian.—Well, that is saying something for Latin poets. Let us have your version, Curate.



Papyrus, to Cæcilius tell
(A touching bard, my friend as well)
That to Verona he must come,
Where his Catullus is at home,
And new-built Comu's walls forsake,
And that sweet shore of Laris Lake.
A friend of mine and his has brought
To light some passages of thought,
Which he must hear. So if he will
Be thriving and improving still,
His speed will swallow up the distance,
Although with amorous resistance,
And both arms clinging round his neck,
That lovely maid his progress check,
With lips a thousand times that say
"Oh, do not, do not go away!"
I mean that maid who, Fame—not I—
Asserts for love of him would die;
For fire consumes her heart and head,
Since first the opening lines she read
Of Cybele the God's great queen.
Maid, learned as the Sapphic muse,
I cannot sympathy refuse;
For not amiss (the book I've seen)
Begins the tale, "The Mighty Queen."

Aquilius.—I protest against "so if he will be thriving and improving still." That is the Curate's interpolation. The fact is, he must have rhymed a passage from his last sermon; and it has somehow or other slipped into his Catullus.

Curate.—No authority! What, then, is meant by "Quare si sapiet?"

Aquilius.—Simply, if he would know the secret—the "cogitationes."

Gratian.—I am inclined to agree with you. Now, Aquilius, we will listen to your version.


Hasten, papyrus! greet you well
That tender poet, my sweet friend
Cæcilius—speedily I send,
As speedily my message tell:
That he should for Verona make
All haste—and quit his Larian Lake,
And Novum Comum—for I would
Some certain thoughts he understood
And purposes, that now possess
A friend of mine; and his no less.[Pg 700]
And if he takes me rightly, say
His coming will devour the way,
Though that fair girl should bid him stay,
And round his neck her arms should throw,
And cry, Oh, do not, do not go!—
That girl, who, if the truth be told,
E'en in her heart of hearts doth hold
And cherish such sweet love—since he
First read to her of Cybele,
"Great Queen of Dindymus" the tale
Begun. Oh, then she did inhale
The living breath of love, whose heat
Into her very life doth eat.
Thy passion I can well excuse,
Fair maid! more learn'd than the tenth muse,
The Lesbian maid—nor couldst thou fail
To find for love an ample plea,
In that so nobly open'd tale
Of the great Goddess Cybele.

Curate.—What's all this?—the "tenth muse!" where is she in the Latin?

Aquilius.Sapphicâ musâ, Doctor. That is Sappho, is it not? and pray was Sappho one of the nine muses? No; then of course she was the tenth—and was not she "the Lesbian maid?"

Curate.—Well, I admit it—you have vindicated your muse fairly, and I will not pronounce against her, though tempted by an apt quotation from the mouth of Bacchus, in the Frogs of Aristophanes.

"Αυτη ποθ' η Μουσ' ουκ ελεσβιαζεν ου."

For your muse is certainly a Lesbian; but you have omitted "misellæ," which shows that the passion was not returned.

Gratian.—I don't see that; for she throws her arms about his neck. But neither of you have well spoken the "millies euntem revocet," the calling him back after departure, and that is very good too. I see the note upon Sapphicâ Musâ, speaks of various interpretations to the passage; but adopts this—that the maiden loving Cæcilius has more sense (is that doctior? I doubt) than Sappho, who loved a youth too stupid ever to write a line; but this maid did not love till she had read the commencement of his poem. I don't see the necessity for thinking the passion hopeless either, because of the comparison with Sappho. Few Roman maidens took the Leucadian leap.

Curate.—It is very odd, and might first appear a mark of their good manners—that the Romans never mention "old maids." I fear there was another cause. I suppose the omission may be accounted for by the state of society, which was not favourable to their existence at all; for then a man could put away his wife at any moment, and for any plea, most women must have managed to get a husband for a long or a short time.

Aquilius.—The only ancient old maids were the Fates and Furies—of the latter, the burden of the song was—

"Oh no, we never mention them,
Their names are never heard!"

Gratian.—Come back to your duty: we are wandering, and leaving Catullus behind. What are we to have now?

Aquilius.—An attack upon one Egnatius, who, having white teeth, took care to show them upon all occasions. He was not, however, celebrated for his tooth-powder. He is a fair mark for the wit of our author. The arrow of his satire was occasionally keen enough and free to fly.


Egnatius's teeth are very white,
And therefore is he ever grinning:[Pg 701]
Let pleaders in the court excite
All hearts to weep—from the beginning
E'en to the end he laughs. The while
The mother on the funeral bier,
Sheds o'er her only son the tear,
Alone Egnatius seems to smile,
Then opes his mouth from ear to ear:
Where'er he is, whatever doing,
He laughs and grins. The thing in fact is
A tasteless, foolish, silly practice,
Egnatius, and well worth eschewing.
Spare all this risible exertion,
And were you Roman or Tiburtian,
Sabine, Lanuvian, fat Etruscan,
Or porcine Umbrian with rare show
Of tusks—columnar—order Tuscan:
Or born the other side the Po,}
(And my compatriot, therefore know,)}
Where folk are civilised I trow,}
And wash their teeth with water cleanly—
Pure water such as folk might quaff—
I would entreat you still—don't laugh.
You look so sillily, so meanly,
As if you were but witted half.
Yet being but a Celtiberian,
Holding the custom of your nation,
Using that lotion called Hesperian;
The more you grin, folk say, forsooth,
What pity 'tis the whitest tooth
Should have the foulest application!

Curate.—I did not translate—and our host will think one translation quite enough.

Gratian.—Go on then to the next. What are we to have?

Curate.—His address to his farm. Authors were happy in those days to have their landed estate. Horace always speaks of his with delight; so does Catullus, as we have seen, of his Sirmio. This farm was, it should seem, like Horace's, among the Sabine hills.


My farm! which those who wish to please
Thy master's heart, Tiburtian call;
But they who call thee Sabine, these
Respect his feelings not at all:
And wishing more to tease and fret,
Will wager thou art Sabine yet—
How well it pleased me to retreat
To thy suburban country-seat;
Where I sent summarily off
That plaguy pulmonary cough;
Which, half-deserved, my stomach gave
Just for a hint no more to crave
Luxurious living. I had hoped
With a good dinner to have coped
At Sextius' table; when he read
A poisonous speech might strike one dead,
All gall and venom, to refute
One Attius in a certain suit.
Since when, a cold cough and catarrh
Against my battered frame made war;[Pg 702]
Until I came in thee to settle,
And cured it with repose and nettle.
So, now I'm well, I thank thee, farm!
And that I got so little harm,
From such great fault. I may be pardon'd
If to this pitch my heart is harden'd:
To pray, when Sextius reads again
Things so abhorr'd of gods and men,
That that my cough and cold catarrh
Not mine but Sextius' health might mar—
Who never sends me invitation
But for such wretched recitation.

Gratian.—A charitable wish this of our good Catullus! But these heathens knew little of "do as you would be done by." One of the neatest wishes of this kind is in a Greek epigram. I can't remember word for word the Greek, so I give the translation:—"Castor and Pollux, who dwell in beauteous Lacedemon, by the sweet-flowing river Eurotas, if ever I wish evil to my friend, may it light upon me; but if ever he wishes evil to me, may he have twice as much."

Aquilius.—In a note on villæ, I see the derivation of that word given, quasi vehilla, because there the fruits of the farm were carried; so that the original idea of a villa was quite another thing from the modern suburban construction. Architects, when they call these suburban edifices villas, might as well remember how inappropriate is the term. But here you have my version of this address to his farm:—


My Farm, or Sabine or Tiburtian,
(What name I care not we confab in,
Though they who hold me in aversion,
Persist and wager you are Sabine,)
In your suburban sweet recesses
Of that vile cough I timely rid me,
Merited well, for those excesses
My stomach failed not to forbid me,
When I with Sextius was convivial,
Who feasting read me his invective,
Vilest, 'gainst Attius his rival,
All venom—and, alas! effective.
For surely 'twas that poison seized me,
A chill—a heat—a cough then shook me
E'en to my vitals—and so teazed me,
That to thy bosom I betook me.
Thanks, my good farm! my fault you pardon'd,
And not revenged. We've much to settle
On score of thanks: my chest you harden'd,
And healed with basil-root and nettle.
But from henceforth, if I such vicious
Invectives read, though Sextius pen 'em,
Who but invites me with malicious
Intent to kill me with their venom—
If e'er I yield to his endeavour,
Expose me to his scrip infectious—
I call down ague, cold, and fever,
Oh! fall ye not on me,—but Sextius.
[Pg 703]

Gratian.—I see the next is that one which has been not unfrequently translated and imitated. Is there not one by Cowley,—if I remember, much lengthened?

Aquilius.—It can scarcely be called a translation. The Latin measure is certainly here very sweet and tender.


Septimius, to his bosom pressing
His Acme, said, "I love thee, Acme—
All my life-long will love thee, Acme!
Nor day shall come to love thee less in.
Or should it come, like common lover,
In such poor love I love thee only;
May Libyan lion dun discover,
Or torrid India's beast attack me,
Wandering forlorn from thee, and lonely
On desert shore."—
He said: Love, as before,
Upon the left hand aptly sneezed.
The omen showed that he was pleased
To give his blessing.
Then gentle Acme, softly turning
Upon the breast of her Septimius,
And unto his her face upraising,
And looking in his eyes so burning,
As if inebriate with gazing;
With that her rich red mouth she kissed them,
And said,—"My love, dear, dear Septimius!
Oh, let us serve our master duly—
Our master Love, as now caressing;
For never yet have Love so blessed them
As now my thoughts he blesseth truly,
Even to my heart of hearts, Septimius,
The inmost core."
She said: and, as before,
Love on the left hand aptly sneezed.
The omen showed that he was pleased
To give his blessing.
They loved—were loved: this sweet beginning
Omen'd their future bright condition.
Offer all Asia to Septimius—
Add Britain—put in competition
With Acme—wretchedly abstemious
They'd call him of your gifts, Ambition.
The only province worth his winning
Is Acme: Acme's faithful bosom
Knows nought on earth but her Septimius.
Ripe was the fruit, as fair the blossom
Of this their mutual love, and glowing;
And all admired its freshness growing.
Was never pair so fond and loving!
And Venus' self looked on approving.

Curate.—Are you correct in your translation "Love, as before?" Is it not that, as before he sneezed on the left, now he sneezes on the right hand,—was unfavourable—is now propitious?

Gratian.—I see in the note that the passage bears either construction. There is also authority given; for what to us is the left hand, to the gods is the right. Now, Curate, for your Acme and Septimius.[Pg 704]



Acme to Septimius' breast,
Darling of his heart, was prest—
"Acme mine!" then said the youth,
"If I love thee not in truth,
If I shall not love thee ever
As a lover doated never,
May I in some lonely place,
Scorch'd by Ind's or Libya's sun,
Meet a lion's tawny face;
All defenceless, one to one."—
Love, who heard it in his flight,
To the truth his witness bore,
Sneezing quickly to the right—
(To the left he sneezed before.)
Acme then her head reflecting,
Kiss'd her sweet youth's ebriate eyes,
With her rosy lips connecting
Looks that glistened with replies.
"Thus, my life, my Septimillus!
Serve we Love, our only master:
One warm love-flood seems to thrill us,
Throbs it not in me the faster?"—
Love, who heard it in his flight,
To the truth his witness bore,
Sneezing quickly to the right—
(To the left he sneezed before.)
Thus with omens all-approving,
Each and both are loved and loving.
Poor Septimius with his Acme,
Cares not to whose lot may fall
Syria's glory—wealthy province!—
Or both Britains great and small.
Acme, faithful and unfeigning,
Gives, creates, enjoys all pleasure,
With her dear Septimius reigning.—
Oh! was ever earthly treasure
Greater to man's lot pertaining?
Blessed pair!—thus, without measure,
Venus' choicest gifts attaining.

Gratian.—You have a little run riot, good Master Curate; and run out of your rhyming course too, I see—for you don't mean "province" to rhyme to "Acme."—I see the next is, On Approach of Spring—with that beautiful line, "Jam ver egelidos refert tepores." I wish to see how you would have translated that refreshing and cool warmth of expression—almost a contradiction in terms—the season when we inhale the heavenly air with the chill off—like hot tea thrown into a glass of spring-cold water, and drank off immediately.

Aquilius.—I gave it up in despair, and the Curate too has omitted it. There are two other perhaps untranslatable lines in this short piece:—

"Jam mens prætrepidans avet vagari;
Jam læti studio pedes vigescunt."

After two other little pieces, we come to a few lines to no less a personage than Marcus Tullius Cicero, who had probably in some cause gratuitously assisted the poet with his eloquence; for to sue in formâ poetæ, was, perhaps, pretty much the same as in formâ pauperis. It seems that "omnium patronus" was a flattering title on other occasions, and by other persons bestowed upon Cicero, as well as by our poet here. One would[Pg 705] almost think the orator had served the poet an ill turn, and that this superlative praise was but irony; for he not only calls Tullius the most eloquent of men, but as much the best of patrons, as he, Catullus, is the worst of poets. This surely must be a mock humility. Is it a satire in disguise, and meaning the reverse? After this, follows a little piece to his friend Cornellus Licinius Calvus, with whom he had passed a pleasant and too exciting day—but let him tell his own story. Shall I repeat?


My dear Licinius, yesterday
We sported in our pleasant way;
Tablets in hand—and at our leisure,
In verse as various as the measure,
Scribbling between our wine and laughter.
But when we parted, mark the after
Vexation;—conquered, and hard hit
By your all-overpowering wit,
I could not eat—nor yet would Sleep
His softly-soothing fingers keep
Upon my weary lids: all night}
I toss'd, I turned from left to right}
Impatient for the morning light,}
That I might talk with you, and be
Again in your society.
But when my limbs, as 'twere half dead,
Were lying on my restless bed,
I made these lines—which, my good friend,
That you may know my pains, I send.
Now, though so free, so bold to dare,
So apt to scoff—good sir, beware
Lest with the eye of your disdain
You view these lines, my vow, my pain.
Beware of Nemesis, beware!—
For Vengeance, should I cry aloud—
She hears—and punishes the proud.

Gratian.—Those last lines are very grave: are they not too much so for the intended play of this mock anger? Let us have your version, Master Curate.

Curate.—I am sure you think one version quite enough. I did not translate it; and believe we must now turn over many pages, and then I have little more to offer.

Gratian.—(Turning over the leaves of Catullus.) Here I see is that beautiful passage in his "Carmen Nuptiale."

"Ut flos in septis secretus nascitur hortis."

Aquilius.—Which did not escape the tasteful, though bold Ariosto. I have made a weak attempt to translate the passage; and as it stands in the middle of a long piece, I have taken it out as a sonnet. I will read it:—


As in enclosure of chaste garden ground,
The floweret grows—where nor unseemly tread
Of flocks or ploughshares bruise its tender head—
There soft airs soothe it with their gentle sound;
Suns give it strength, and nurturing showers abound,
And raise its tall stem from its sheltered bed;
And many a youth and maiden, passion-led,
With longing eyes admiring walk around:[Pg 706]
Pluck'd from the stem that its pure grace supplied,
Nor youths nor maidens love it as before.
So the sweet maiden, in the queenly pride
Of her chaste beauty, many hearts adore;
But that her virgin charter laid aside,
Who lov'd, who cherish'd, cherish, love no more.

Curate.—I remember Ariosto's translation—for translation it is; and though you know it, I will repeat it, and, by Gratian's favour, let it pass for my version. For once, borrowed plumes,—and I shall not be the worse bird—though birds of richer plumage have no song.

"La verginella è simile alla rosa,
Chi'n bel giardin su la nativa spina,
Mentre sola, e sicura si riposa,
Ne gregge, ne pastor sele avvicina;
L'aura soave, e l'alba rugidosa
L'acqua, la terra al suo favor s'inch a:
Giovani vaghi, e donne innamorate,
Amano averne e seni, e tempre ornate.
Ma non si tosto dal materno stelo,
Remossa viene, e dal suo ceppo verde,
Che, quanto avea dagli uomini, e dal cielo,
Favor, grazia, ebellezza, tutto perde."

Gratian.—Let us examine the alterations made by one genius, in transferring to his own language the ideas of another genius of another country. Catullus says "the floweret,"—flosculus: Ariosto particularises the rose,—the bel giardin, "the beautiful garden," stands for septis in hortis, the enclosed. Then he has given the idea of secretus, which is certainly "separated," "set apart," by the words sola e sicura, "alone and safe"—is it so good? but he gives that a grace, a beauty, the original perhaps has not, riposa—the floweret enjoys its secret repose. The cutting down the flower by the plough was unnecessary, after telling us of the enclosure; we scarcely like to be brought suddenly into the ploughed field. Here Ariosto is better—"nor shepherd nor flock come near it." That enough confirms the idea of its being fenced off, and they wander in their idleness, or, but for the fence, might have reached it; the plough and the team are a heavy apparatus, and would be a most unexpected intrusion,—so I like the Italian here better. Then, su la nativa spina is good: you see the beautiful creature on its native stem or thorn. Then for the enumeration of the airs, the sun, and the shower, the Italian, in his beautiful language, softens the very air, and gives it a sweetness, l'aura soave, and ushers in "the dewy morn:" then, expanding to the glory of the full reverence of nature to this emblem of purity, he makes all bend and bow before it, as before the very queen of the earth. Here he surpasses his original. Then he gives you the object of the wishes of the youths and maidens, the multi pueri multæ optaveræ puellæ. They desire to place it in their bosoms or round their temples: and is not the lovingness of the youths and maidens a good addition? The giovani vaghi e donne innamorate. Both are admirable—but I incline to Ariosto.

Aquilius.—And do you think the Latin poet the original? You forget how little originality the Latin authors can claim. This of Catullus is a translation—a free one, it is true—of perhaps a still more beautiful passage in Euripides. Reach the book: you will find it in that very singular play the Hippolytus. Ay, here it is. He offers the garland to the virgin goddess Artemis—(line 73)

"Σοι τονδε πλεκτον στεφανον εξ ακηρατου
Λειμωνος ω δεσποινα, κοσμησας φερω,
Ενθ'ουτε τοιμην αξιοι φερβειν βοτα
Ουτ' ηλθε ρω σιδηρος αλλ' ακηρατον
Μελισσα λειμων' ηρινον διερχεται
Αιδως δε ποταμιαισι κηπευει δροσοις.
Ὁσοις διδακτον μηδεν, αλλ' εν τη φυσει
Το σωφρονειν ειληχεν ες τα πανθ' ὁμως,
Τουτος δρεπεσθαι τοις κακοισι, δ' ου θεμις."
[Pg 707]

"I bring thee, O mistress, this woven crown, beautifully made up of flowers of the pure untouched meadow—where never shepherd thinks it fitting to feed his flock, nor the sickle comes; but the bee ever passes over the pure meadow breathing of spring, and modesty waters it as a garden with the river-dews. To them who have, untaught, in their nature the gift of chastity, to these only it is at all times an allowed sanctity to cut these flowers, but not to the evil-minded."

You cannot doubt that the passage in Catullus is taken from the Greek—which is of a higher sentiment in the conclusion, and is enriched beyond the Latin by the bee, and above all by the personification of Modesty tending and watering the garden, or rather these especial flowers, with the river-dews.

Curate.—How far more pure is the sentiment, and more quiet the imagery, in the Greek! The Greeks were the great originators of glorious thought and beautiful diction.

Gratian.—Let us now to Catullus. What have we next?

Aquilius.—Here is a tender little piece, to his friend Ortalus. I see it has an omission: this edition does not supply it; I only take what I see. It seems Ortalus had requested him to send him his translation from Callimachus, the "Coma Berenices," which for some time, through grief for the death of his brother, he had failed to do. He now sends the poem.


Though care, that unto me sore grief hath brought,
Calls me from converse with the sacred Nine,
Nor can my heart incline
To bring to any end inspired thought;—
(For now the wave of the Lethæan lake,
How recent hath it bathed in Death's dark vale
A brother's feet so pale;
And I can only sorrow for his sake.
The Trojan land on the Rhœtean shore
Hath hidden him for ever from these eyes,—
And I with glad surprise,
And brother's love, shall welcome thee no more.
Loved more than life, dear brother! what can I
But love thee still, and mourn for thee full long
In a funereal song,
In secret to assuage my grief thereby?
As amid many boughs all leaf-array'd
The Danlian bird, the nightingale, out-poured,
When Itys she deplored,
Her mellow sorrows in the thickest shade:)
Yet, Ortalus, 'mid tears that flow so fast,
The work of your Battiades I send,
Lest you should deem, dear friend,
Your wishes to the winds are idly cast,
And from my mind escaped, all unaware,
As falls the fruit, love's furtive gift, unbid,
In virgin bosom hid,
When she, forgetful of its lying there,
Would suddenly arise, and run to greet
The coming of her mother, from her vest
And her now loosen'd breast,
The shameless apple rolls before her feet.
And she, poor maid! abashed, and in the hush
Of shame, before her mother cannot speak,
While all her virgin cheek
Betrays her secret in the conscious blush.
[Pg 708]

Curate.—It is very tender—the last image is delicately beautiful. I did not translate it.

Gratian.—Pretty as the passage of the maiden's disaster in dropping the lover's gift—and that, too, be it observed, in the hurry of her tenderness, which increases the beauty, or rather accomplishes it—yet is it not abrupt in a piece where there is the expression of so much grief? Catullus was an affectionate man, more especially affectionate brother; on other occasions, if I remember rightly, he deplores this brother's loss. Now, Master Curate, what do you offer us?

Curate.—Not now a verse translation, but an observation on a little piece of raillery, in which Catullus quizzes one Arrius for his aspirating; and, I mean it not as a pun, exasperating, though it should seem that his friends were not a little exasperated at his bad pronunciation. Do we inherit from the Romans this, our (Cockneyism, I was going to say, but it is too general to allow of such a limit,) vulgarity of speech? "Where," says Catullus, "Arrius meant to say commoda, he uttered it as chommoda, and hinsidias for insidias, and never thought he spoke remarkably well unless he laid great stress upon the aspirate, calling it with emphasis hinsidias. I believe his mother, his uncle, his maternal grandfather and grandmother all spoke in the same way. When the man went into Syria, all ears had a little rest, and heard those words pronounced without this emphatic aspirate, and began to entertain no fears respecting the use of the words; when on a sudden they hear—that after Arrius had gone thither, the Ionian seas were no longer Ionian, but Hionian." This is curious. As the Romans had possession here more than four hundred years, did they leave us this legacy?

Aquilius—I will, then, give you versions of the two which immediately follow.


I love and hate. You ask me how 'tis so.
Small is the reason which I have to show:
I feel it to my cost—'tis all I know.

Then follows a compliment, by comparison, to his Lesbia.


Many think Quintia beautiful: she's tall,
And fair, and straight. I know, I grant it all,
When each particular beauty I recall;
But I deny—when these are uncombined
To form a whole of beauty—and I find
So large a person with so small a mind.
But Lesbia's perfect person is all soul,
Compact in beauty—as if grace she stole
From all the rest, and made herself one perfect whole.

Curate.—This is compliment enough as far as comparison goes—but he pays her a much greater shortly after: for he loves her in their greatest quarrels.


"Lesbia mi dicit semper male."
Lesbia's always speaking ill
Of me—her tongue is never still:
Yet may I die, but 'gainst her will,
She loves me, spite of her detraction.
Why think I so? Because I blame
Her ways, abuse her just the same:
Yet howsoe'er I name her name,
I still love Lesbia to distraction.
[Pg 709]

Gratian.—Perhaps the constancy was more to the credit of Lesbia than Catullus. Now then, Aquilius.



Lesbia speaketh ill of me
Ever—nought it moves me:
Say she what she will of me,
Yet I know she loves me.
Why? Because in words of hate,
I am far before her;
Yet no jot of love abate,
Rather I adore her.

Curate.—I don't like "I am far before her." We say, "I am not behind" in hate or love—I doubt "before."

Aquilius.—Easily mended—thus then,—

Why? Because in words of hate
I go far beyond her,
Yet no jot of love abate—
But still grow the fonder.

Gratian.—Probatum est.

Aquilius.—The Curate is too quick upon me. We must go back: he has left out "De Inconstantia Feminei Amoris."

Curate.—True. Here is my version. Not being a happy subject, I passed over it.


My pretty she will none but me
For husband, though were Jove, her wooer.
So tells she me: but what a she
Says to her lover and pursuer,
Might well be written on the wind,
Or stream that leaves no track behind.

Aquilius.—I object to "pretty she," for mulier. I think, however, that mulier here is a word of contempt. I make it out thus:


She says—the woman says—she none would wed
But me, though Jove came suitor to her bed;
She says—but, oh! what woman says—so fair,
And smooth to doting man, is writ on air,
And on the running stream that changeth every where.

Aquilius.—We have seen much of our friend Catullus as a loving poet, let us end by showing him to have been a good hater. The following is no bad specimen of his powers in this line:—


If you, Cominius, old, defiled
With every vice, contemn'd, and hoary,
From your vile life were once exiled,
Your carcass beasts would mar—grim, wild.
Vultures that tongue, defamatory
Of all the gentle, good, and mild;
And with those eyes, that all detest,
Pluck'd from their hateful sockets gory,
Crows cram their maws, or feed their nest,
And hungry wolves devour the rest!

It was now time, Eusebius, to conclude for the night, and, indeed, to put our Catullus upon his shelf again. Before separating, we reminded Gratian that he was the arbiter, and must make his award. "I remember well,"[Pg 710] said he; "and you, Aquilius, made, I think, this my baculus the staff of office. A good umpire might, not very improperly, give the stick to you both, breaking it equally, "secundum artem baculinam." But it is a good, useful staff to me; we have had some rubs together, and I won't part with it. True, it has not unfrequently rubbed my pigs' backs, and shall again. But the pig Aquilius has made his acquaintance with, has grunted out all his happy days; and, to do him all honour, I have sacrificed him upon this occasion, to appease the manes of the Latin poet in his anger at your bad translations. But for yourselves, I have still something to award. My pig has two cheeks—there is one for each, and you shall have them put before you at breakfast to-morrow morning; and thus, I think, you will agree with me that I have duly countenanced you both. And I hope my pig will have both sharpened your appetites and your wit, 'sus Minervam.' Good-night!

'To-morrow to fresh fields and turnips new.'"


I here send you, Eusebius, the last of our Horæ Catullianæ, which has been lying by a week or more. This little delay enables me to wind up the Curate's affair to your satisfaction. Our friend Gratian gave verbally the Bishop's reply to Mathew Miffins, who, seeing himself deserted by his principal witness and informer, Prateapace, was not sorry to veer round with the weather-cock, and was obsequiously civil. It was characteristic of our friend Gratian, that he should settle it as he did with that huckster. Going through, as it is called, the main street, I saw him engaged with Miffins, in his shop, and went in. He was talking somewhat familiarly with the man—of all subjects, on what do you suppose?—on fishing. Gratian had been a great fisherman in his day, as his rheumatic pains can now testify. As he afterwards told me, fearing he might have given the Bishop's message rather sharply, and not liking to pain the man, he turned off the subject, and talked of fishing, to which he knew Miffins was addicted; and so it ended by Gratian's obtaining his good-will for ever, for he sent him some choice hackles. Prateapace and Gadabout have returned to the church, whereupon the Rev. the cow-doctor has stirred up the wrath of the chapel by a very strong discourse upon backsliding. A poor woman spoke of it as very affecting, adding, "Some loves 'sons of consolation,' but I loves 'sons of thunder.'" Doubtless there was lightning too; and there is of that vivid kind which bewilders and leaves all darker than before. The Curate has found bouquets in the vestry and the desk, and has been in danger of becoming "a popular."

A subscription has actually been set on foot, by Nicholas Sandwell, at the instigation, it is said, of certain ladies, and even encouraged by Miffins, to purchase a coffee-pot and tea-spoons for the Curate; but an event a few days ago has put an end to the affair, and given rather a new turn to the parochial feelings. This event is of such moment, that I ought, perhaps, to have told you of it at first—but I should have spoiled my romance, my novel—and what is any writing without a tale in it worth now-a-days? The Curate, then, is actually married—even since the termination of the Horæ Catullianæ.

Miss Lydia, ("alas, false man!" sighed some one,) of the family at Ashford, is the happy bride. The Curate had unexpectedly come into a very decent independence; and is, and will be for ever after, according to the usual receipt, happy.

Since this event, the bouquets have ceased to be laid in the vestry and the desk. Lydia Prateapace has been heard to say she should not wonder if all was true after all, and affects to be glad, for propriety's sake, that they are married. Gadabout runs every where repeating what Prateapace said; and Brazenstare looks audacious indifference, and once stared in the Curate's face and asked him how many Misses Lydia there might be of his acquaintance. My dear Eusebius,

"So goes the world, and such the Play of Life.
This loves to make, and t'other mends a strife;
Old fools write rhymes—the Curate takes a wife."

Yours ever, Aquilius.

[Pg 711]


Rarely, in these days of profuse and unscrupulous scribbling, do we find an author giving the essence, not a dilution, of his wit, learning, and imagination, dispensing his mental stores with frugal caution, instead of lavishing them with reckless prodigality. Such a one, when met with, should be made much of, as a model for sinners in a contrary sense, and as a bird of precious plumage. Of that feather is Monsieur Prosper Mérimée. He plays with literature, rather than professes it; it is his recreation, not his trade; at long intervals and for a brief space, he turns from more serious pursuits to coquet with the Muse, not frankly to embrace her. Willing though she be, he will not take her for a lawful spouse and constant companion, but courts her par amours. The offspring of these moments of dalliance are buxom and debonair, of various but comely aspect. In two-and-twenty years he has written less than the average annual produce of many of his literary countrymen. In several paths of literature, he has essayed his steps and made good a footing; in not one has he continuously persevered, but, although cheered by applause, has quickly struck into another track, which, in its turn, has been capriciously deserted. His "Studies of Roman history" give him an honourable claim to the title of historian; his "Notes of Archæological Rambles" are greatly esteemed; he has written plays; and his prose fictions, whether middle-age romance or novel of modern society, rank with the best of their class. He began his career with a mystification. His first work greatly puzzled the critics. It professed to be a translation of certain comedies, written by a Spanish actress, whose fictitious biography was prefixed and signed by Joseph L'Estrange, officer in the Swiss regiment of Watteville. This imaginary personage had made acquaintance with Clara Gazul in garrison at Gibraltar. Nothing was neglected that might perfect the delusion and give success to the cheat; fragments of old Spanish authors were prefixed to each play, showing familiarity with the literature of the country; the style, tone, and allusions were thoroughly Spanish; and, through the French dress, the Castilian idiom seemed here and there to peep forth, confirming the notion of a translation. Clara was an Andalusian, half gipsy, half Moor, skilled in guitars and castanets, saynetes and boleros. L'Estrange makes her narrate her own origin.

"'I was born,' she told us, 'under an orange-tree, by the roadside, not far from Motril, in the kingdom of Granada. My mother was a fortune-teller, and I followed her, or was carried on her back, till the age of five years. Then she took me to the house of a canon of Granada, the licentiate Gil Vargas, who received us with every sign of joy. Salute your uncle, said my mother. I saluted him. She embraced me, and departed. I have never seen her since.' And to stop our questions, Doña Clara took her guitar and sang the gipsy song, Cuando me pariò mi madre, la gitana."

Biography and comedies were so skillfully got up, the deception was so well combined, that the reviewers were put entirely on a wrong scent. Two years later, M. Mérimée was guilty of another harmless literary swindle, entitled La Guzla, a selection of Illyrian poems, said to be collected in Bosnia, Dalmatia, &c., but whose real origin could be traced no further than to his own imagination. Although the name was a manifest anagram of Gazul, the public were gulled. The deceit was first unmasked in Germany, we believe, by Goethe, to whom the secret had been betrayed. Thenceforward the young author was content to publish under his own name works of which he certainly had no reason to be ashamed. One of the earliest of these was, "La Jacquerie"—a sort of long melodrama, or series of scenes, illustrating feudal aggressions and cruelties in France,[Pg 712] and the consequent peasant revolts of the fourteenth century. It shows much historical research and care in collection of materials, is rich in references to the barbarous customs and strange manners of the times, and, like the "Chronicle of Charles IX.," another historical work of M. Mérimée's, has, we suspect, been found very useful by more recent fabricators of romances.

Educated for the bar, but not practising his profession, M. Mérimée was one of the rising men of talent whom the July revolution pushed forward. After being chef de cabinet of the Minister of the Interior, Count d'Argout, he held several appointments under government, amongst others, that of Inspector of Historical Monuments, an office he still retains. In 1844 he was elected to a chair in the French Academy, vacant by the death of the accomplished Charles Nodier. He has busied himself much with archæological researches, and the published results of his travels in the west of France, Provence, Corsica, &c., are most learned and valuable. In the intervals of his antiquarian investigations and administrative labours, he has thrown off a number of tales and sketches, most of which first saw the light in leading French periodicals, and have since been collected and republished. They are all remarkable for grace of style and tact in management of subject. One of the longest, "Colomba," a tale of Corsican life, is better known in England than its author's name. It has been translated with accuracy and spirit, and lately has been further brought before the public, on the boards of a minor theatre, distorted into a very indifferent melodrama. The Corsican Vendetta has been taken as the basis of more than one romantic story, but, handled by M. Mérimée, it has acquired new and fascinating interest; and he has enriched his little romance with a profusion of those small traits and artistical touches which exhibit the character and peculiarities of a people better than folios of dry description. "La Double Méprise," another of his longer tales, is a clever novelette of Parisian life. According to English notions its subject is slippery, its main incident, and some of its minor details, improbable and unpleasant, although so neatly managed that one is less startled when reading them than shocked on after-reflection. It certainly requires skilful management to give an air of probability to such a scene as is detailed in chapter five. A French gentleman, a man of fortune and family, mixing in good society, is anxious for an appointment at court, and to obtain it he reckons much on the influence and good word of a certain Duke of H——. There is a benefit night at the Opera, and the young wife of the aspirant to court honours has a box. Between the acts her husband, who has unwillingly accompanied her, rambles about the house, and discovers the Duke in an inconvenient corner, where he can see nothing. His grace is not alone, but in the society of his kept-mistress. To propitiate his patron, the unscrupulous husband introduces him and his companion into the box of his unsuspecting wife! The sequel may be imagined; the stare and titter of acquaintances, the supercilious gratitude of the Duke, the astonishment of the lady at the singular tone of the pretty and elegantly dressed woman with whom she is thus unexpectedly brought in contact, and whose want of usage bespeaks, as she imagines, the newly arrived provincial. All this, which might pass muster in a novel depicting the manners and morals of the Regency, is rather violent in one of our day; but yet, so cleverly are the angles of improbability draped and softened down, the reader perseveres. The plot is very slight; the tale scarcely depends on it, but is what the French call a tableau de mœurs, with less pretensions to the regular progress and catastrophe of a novel, than to be a mirror of everyday scenes and actors on the bustling stage of Paris life. The characters are well drawn, the dialogues witty and dramatic, the book abounds in sly hits and smart satire; but its bitterness of tone injured its popularity, and, unlike its author's other tales, it met little success. The opening chapter is a picture of a lively Parisian ménage, such as many doubtless exist; a striking example of a mariage de convenance, or mis-match.

"Six years had elapsed since the[Pg 713] marriage of Julie de Chaverny, and five years and six months, or thereabouts, since she had discovered that it was impossible for her to love her husband, and very difficult to esteem him. He was not a bad man, neither could he be called stupid, nor even silly; she had once thought him agreeable; now she found him intolerably wearisome. To her every thing about him was repulsive and unpleasant. His most trifling actions, his way of eating, of taking coffee, of talking, gave her umbrage and irritated her nerves. Except at table, the pair scarcely saw or spoke to each other; but they dined together several times a-week, and that sufficed to keep up the sort of hatred Julie entertained towards her husband.

"As to Chaverny, he was rather a handsome man, a little too corpulent for his time of life, with a fresh complexion, full-blooded, and by no means subject to those vague uneasinesses which sometimes torment persons of more intellectual organisation. Piously convinced that his wife's sentiments towards him were those of tender friendship, the conviction caused him neither pleasure nor pain. Had he known Julie's feelings to be of an opposite nature, it would have made little difference to his happiness. He had served several years in a cavalry regiment, when he inherited a considerable fortune, became disgusted with garrison life, resigned his commission, and took a wife. It seems difficult to explain the marriage of two persons who had not an idea in common. On the one hand, a number of those officious friends and relations, who, as Phrosine says, would marry the republic of Venice to the Grand Turk, had taken much pains to arrange it: on the other, Chaverny was of good family; before his marriage he was not too fat; he was gay and cheerful, and what is called a good fellow. Julie was glad to see him at her mother's house, because he made her laugh with anecdotes of his regiment, droll enough, if not always in the best taste. She found him amiable, because he danced with her at every ball, and was always ready with excellent reasons to persuade her mother to remain late at theatre or party, or at the Bois de Boulogne. Finally, she thought him a hero, because he had fought two or three creditable duels. But what completed his triumph, was the description of a certain carriage, to be built after a plan of his own, and in which he was to drive Julie, as soon as she consented to become Madame de Chaverny.

"A few months of married life, and Chaverny's good qualities had lost much of their merit. He no longer danced with his wife—that of course. His funny stories had long been thrice told. He complained that balls lasted too late; at the theatre he yawned; the custom of dressing for the evening he found an insufferable bore. Laziness was his bane; had he endeavoured to please, perhaps he would have succeeded, but the least exertion or restraint was torture to him, as to most fat persons. He found it irksome to go into society, because there the manner of one's reception depends on the efforts one makes to please. A rude joviality suited him better than refined amusements; to distinguish himself amongst persons of a similar taste to his own, he had only to talk and laugh louder than his companions—and that he did without trouble, for his lungs were remarkably vigorous. He also prided himself on drinking more champagne than most men could support, and on leaping his horse over a four-foot wall in true sporting style. To these various accomplishments he was indebted for the friendship and esteem of the indefinable class of beings known as 'young men,' who swarm upon our boulevards towards eight in the evening. Shooting parties, country excursions, races, bachelors' dinners and suppers, were his favourite pastimes. Twenty times a-day he declared himself the happiest of mortals; and when Julie heard the declaration, she cast her eyes to heaven, and her little mouth assumed an expression of indescribable contempt."

We turn to another of M. Mérimée's books, in our opinion his best, an historical romance, entitled 1572, a "Chronicle of the Reign of Charles the Ninth." "In history," says the author in his preface, "I care only for the anecdotes, and prefer those in which I fancy I discover a true picture of the manners and characters[Pg 714] of a particular period. This is not a very elevated taste; but I own, to my shame, that I would willingly give the whole of Thucydides for an authentic memoir of Aspasia, or of one of Pericles' slaves. Memoirs, the familiar gossip of an author with his reader, alone supply those individual portraits that amuse and interest me. It is not from Mezerai, but from Montlue, Brantôme, D'Aubigné, Tavannes, La Noue, &c., that one forms a just idea of the French of the sixteenth century. From the style of those contemporary authors, we learn as much as from the substance of their narratives. In L'Estoile, for instance, I read the following concise note. 'The demoiselle de Chateau-neuf, one of the king's mignonnes, before he went to Poland, having espoused, par amourettes, the Florentine Antinotti, officer of the galleys at Marseilles, and detecting him in an intrigue, slew him stoutly with her own hand.' By the help of this anecdote, and of similar ones, which abound in Brantôme, I make up a character in my head, and resuscitate a lady of Henry the Third's court." The "Chronicle" is the result of much reading and combination of the kind here referred to; and M. Mérimée has even been accused of adhering too closely to reality, to the detriment of the poetical character of his romance. He does not make his heroes and heroines sufficiently perfect, or his villains sufficiently atrocious, to suit the palate of some critics, but depicts them as he finds evidence of their having existed—their virtues obscured by the coarse manners and loose morality, their crimes palliated by the religious antipathies and stormy political passions of a semi-civilised age. He declines judging the men of the sixteenth century according to the ideas of the nineteenth. And, with regard to minor matters, he does not, like some of his contemporaries, place in the mouth of a Huguenot leader, or a Guisarde countess, the tame and dainty phrase appropriate enough in that of an equerry, or lady of the bed-chamber at the court of the Citizen King. Eschewing conventionality, and following his own judgment, and the guidance of the old chroniclers, in whose quaint records he delights, he has written one of the best existing French historical romances.

It would have been easy for a less able writer than M. Mérimée to have extended the "Chronique" to thrice its present length. It is not a complete romance, but a desultory sketch of the events and manners of the time, with a few imaginary personages introduced. Novel readers who require a regular denoûment will be disappointed at its conclusion. There is not even a hint of a wedding from the first page to the last; and the only lady who plays a prominent part in the story, a certain countess Diane de Turgis, is little better than she should be. And yet, if we follow M. Mérimée's rule, and judge her according to the ideas and morals of the age she flourished in, she was rather an amiable and proper sort of person. True, she sets her lovers by the ears, and feels gratified when they cut each other's throats: she even challenges a court dame, who has taken the precedence of her, to an encounter with sword and dagger, en chemise, according to the prevailing mode amongst the raffinés, or professed duellists of the time; and she writes seductive billets-doux in Spanish, and gives wicked little suppers to the handsome cavalier on whom her affections are set. But, on the other hand, she goes to mass, and confesses, and does her best to save her Huguenot lover's body and soul, and obtain the remission of her own sins by converting him from his heresy. So that, as times went in the year 1572, she was to be reckoned amongst the righteous. The handsome heretic, in whose present safety and future salvation she takes so strong an interest, is one Bernard de Mergy, who has come to Paris to take service with the great chief of his co-religionists, Admiral Coligny. His brother, George de Mergy, has deserted the creed of Calvin, and is consequently in high favour at the Louvre, but under the ban of his father, a stern old Huguenot officer, who will not hear the name of his renegade son. Bernard, whilst regretting his brother's apostasy, does not deem it necessary to shun his society. On the road he has been cajoled or robbed of his ready cash by[Pg 715] a pretty gipsy girl, and his good horse has been stolen by one of the hordes of German lanzknechts, whom the recent civil war had brought to France. He reaches Paris with an empty purse, and is not sorry to meet his brother, who welcomes him kindly, and supplies his wants, but refuses to recant, and attempts to justify his backsliding. In the course of his defence he gives an insight into the prevalent corruption of the time, and shows how the private vices of great political leaders often marred the fortunes of their party.

"'You were still at school,' said De Mergy, 'learning Latin and Greek, when I first donned the cuirass, girded the Huguenot's white scarf, and took share in our civil wars. Your little Prince of Condé, who has led his party into so many errors, looked after your affairs when his intrigues left him time. A lady loved me; the prince asked me to resign her to him; I refused, and he became my mortal enemy. From that hour he lost no opportunity of mortifying me.

Ce petit prince si joli
Qui toujours baise sa mignonne,

held me up to the fanatics of the party as a monster of libertinism and irreligion. I had only one mistress; and as to the irreligion,—I let others do as they like, why attack me?'

"'I thought the prince incapable of such baseness,' said Bernard.

"'He is dead,' replied his brother, 'and you have deified him. 'Tis the way of the world. He had great qualities; he died like a brave man, and I have forgiven him. But then he was powerful, and on the part of a poor gentleman like myself, it was guilt to resist him. All the preachers and hypocrites of the army set upon me, but I cared as little for their abuse as for their sermons. At last one of the prince's gentlemen, to curry favour with his master, called me libertine, before all our captains. I struck him: we fought—and he was killed. At that time there were a dozen duels a day in the army, and no notice taken. In my favour an exception was made; I was fixed upon by the prince to serve as an example. The entreaties of the other leaders, including the Admiral, procured my pardon. But the prince's rancour was not yet appeased. At the fight of Jazeneuil, I commanded a company: I had been foremost in the skirmish; my cuirass battered and broken by bullets, my left arm pierced by a lance, showed that I had not spared myself. I had only twenty men left, and a battalion of the king's Swiss guards advanced against us. The Prince of Condé ordered me to charge them; I asked for two companies of reitres, and—he called me coward.'

"Mergy rose and approached his brother with an expression of strong interest. The Captain continued—his eyes flashing with anger at the recollection of the insult:—

"'He called me coward before all those popinjays in gilt armour who afterwards abandoned him on the battle-field of Jarnac. I resolved to die, and rushed upon the Swiss—vowing, if I escaped with life, never again to draw sword for that unjust prince. Grievously wounded, thrown from my horse, one of the Duke of Anjou's gentlemen, Béville—the mad fellow whom we dined with to-day—saved my life, and presented me to the duke. He treated me well. I was eager for vengeance. They urged me to take service under my benefactor, the Duke of Anjou; they quoted the line—

Omne solum forti patria est, ut piscibus æquor.

I was indignant to see the Protestants summoning foreigners to their assistance. But why disguise the real motive that actuated me? I thirsted for revenge, and became a Catholic, in hopes of meeting the Prince of Condé in fair fight, and killing him. A coward forestalled me, and the manner of the prince's death almost made me forget my hatred. I saw his bloody corpse abandoned to the insults of the soldiery; I rescued it from their hands, and covered it with my cloak. I was pledged to the Catholics; I commanded a squadron of their cavalry; I could not leave them. I have happily been able to render some service to my former party; I have done my best to soften the fury of religious animosities, and have been fortunate enough to save several of my friends.'[Pg 716]

"'Oliver de Basseville tells every body he owes you his life.'

"'Behold me then a Catholic,' continued George, in a calmer voice. 'The religion is as good as another: and then it is an easy and pleasant one. See yonder pretty Madonna: 'tis the portrait of an Italian courtesan; but the bigots praise my piety when I cross myself before it. My word for it, I get on vastly better with Rome than Geneva. By making trifling sacrifices to the opinions of the canaille, I live as I like. I must go to mass—very good! I go there and stare at the pretty women. I must have a confessor—parbleu! I have one, a jolly Franciscan and ex-dragoon, who for a crown-piece gives me a ticket of confession, and delivers my billets-doux to his pretty penitents into the bargain. Mort de ma vie! Vive la messe!'

"Mergy could not restrain a smile.

"'There is my breviary,' continued the Captain, throwing his brother a richly-bound book, fastened with silver clasps, and enclosed in a velvet case. 'Such a missal as that is well worth your prayer-books.'

"Mergy read on the back of the volume, Heures de la Cour.

"'The binding is handsome,' he said, disdainfully returning the book.

"The Captain smiled, and opening it again handed it to him. Mergy then read upon the first page: La vie très-horrifique du grand Gargantua, père de Pantagruel: composée par M. Alcofribas, abstracteur de Quintessena."

Thus, in a single page, does M. Mérimée place before us a picture of the times, with their mixture of fanaticism and irreligion, their shameless political profligacy and private immorality. Bernard de Mergy cannot prevail with his brother to return to the conventicle: so he accompanies him to mass—not to pray, but hoping to obtain a glimpse of Madame de Turgis, whom he has already seen masked in the street, and whose graceful form and high reputation for beauty have made strong impression on the imagination of this novice in court gallantries. On entering the sacristy, they find the preacher, a jolly monk, surrounded by a dozen young rakes, with whom he bandies jokes more witty than wise.

"'Ah,' cried Béville, 'here is the Captain! Come, George, give us a text. Father Lubin has promised to preach on any one we propose.'

"'Yes,' said the monk; 'but make haste. Mort de ma vie! I ought to be in the pulpit already.'

"'Peste! Father Lubin, you swear like the king,' cried the Captain.

"I bet he would not swear in his sermon,' said Béville.

"'Why not, if the fancy took me?' stoutly retorted the Franciscan.

"'Ten pistoles you do not.'

"'Ten pistoles? Done.'

"'Béville,' cried the Captain, 'I go halves in your wager.'

"'No, no!' replied his friend, 'I will not share the reverend's money; and if he wins, by my faith! I shall not regret mine. An oath in pulpit is well worth ten pistoles.'

"'They are already won,' said Father Lubin; 'I begin my sermon with three oaths. Ah! Messieurs les Gentilhommes, because you have rapier on hip, and plume in hat, you would monopolise the talent of swearing. We will see.'

"He left the sacristy, and in an instant was in his pulpit. There was silence in the church. The preacher scanned the crowded congregation as though seeking his bettor; and when he discovered him leaning against a column exactly opposite the pulpit, he knit his brows, put his arms akimbo, and in an angry tone thus began:

"'My dear Brethren,

"'Par la vertu!—par la mort!—par le sang!'

"A murmur of surprise and indignation interrupted the preacher, or, it were more correctly said, filled up the pause he intentionally left.

"—— 'de Dieu,' continued the Franciscan, in a devout nasal whine, 'we are saved and delivered from punishment.'

"'A general burst of laughter interrupted him a second time. Béville took his purse from his girdle, and shook it at the preacher, as an admission that he had lost."

The sermon that follows is in character with its commencement. Whilst awaiting its conclusion, Bernard de Mergy in vain seeks the Countess de Turgis; it is only when leaving the church that his brother[Pg 717] points her out to him. She is escorted by a young man, of slight figure and effeminate mien, dressed with studied negligence. This is the terrible Count de Comminges, the duellist of the day, the chief of those raffinés who fought on every pretext, and often on no pretext at all. He had had nearly a hundred duels, and a challenge from him was held equivalent to a ticket for the hospital, if not to sentence of death. "Comminges once summoned a man to the Pré-aux-Clercs, then the classic duelling-ground. They stripped off their doublets, and drew their swords. 'Are you not Berny of Auvergne?' inquired Comminges. 'Certainly not,' replied his antagonist; 'my name is Villequier, and I am from Normandy.' 'So much the worse,' quoth Comminges, 'I took you for another man; but since I have challenged you, we must fight.' They fought accordingly, and the unlucky Norman was killed." Since the death of a Monsieur de Lannoy, slain at the siege of Orleans, Madame de Turgis is without a lover. Comminges aspires to the vacant post; his attentions are rather tolerated than encouraged; but he seems determined that if he does not succeed, nobody else shall, for he has constituted himself her constant attendant, and a wholesome dread of his formidable rapier keeps off rivals. He has sworn to kill all who present themselves.

By the interest of Coligny, whom Charles the Ninth affects to favour whilst he plots his death, Bernard de Mergy receives a commission in the army preparing for a campaign in Flanders. He goes to court to thank the king, and the following scene passes.

"The court was at the Château de Madrid. The queen-mother, surrounded by her ladies, waited in her apartment for the king to come to breakfast. The king, followed by the princes, slowly traversed the gallery, in which were assembled the nobles and gentlemen who were to accompany him to the chase. With an absent air he listened to the remarks of his courtiers, and made abrupt replies. When he passed before the two brothers, the Captain bent his knee, and presented the newly-made officer. Mergy bowed profoundly, and thanked his majesty for the favour shown him before he had earned it.

"'Ha! it is you of whom my father the Admiral spoke! You are Captain George's brother?'

"'Yes, sire.'

"'Catholic or Protestant?'

"'Sire, I am a Protestant.'

"'I ask from idle curiosity. The devil take me if I care of what religion are those who serve me well.'

"And having uttered these memorable words, the king entered the queen's apartments. A few moments later, a swarm of ladies spread themselves over the gallery, as if sent to enable the gentlemen to wait with patience. I shall speak but of one of the beauties of that court, where they so greatly abounded; of the Countess de Turgis, who plays an important part in this history. She wore an elegant riding-dress, and had not yet put on her mask. Her complexion, of dazzling but uniform whiteness, contrasted with her jet-black hair; her well-arched eye-brows, slightly joining, gave a proud expression to her physiognomy, without diminishing its graceful beauty. At first, the sole expression of her blue eye seemed one of disdainful haughtiness; but when animated in conversation, their pupils, dilated like those of a cat, seemed to emit sparks, and few men, even of the most audacious, could long sustain their magical power.

"'The Countess de Turgis—how lovely she looks!' murmured the courtiers, pressing forward to see her better. Mergy, close to whom she passed, was so struck by her beauty, that he forgot to make way till her large silken sleeves rustled against his doublet. She remarked his emotion without displeasure, and for a moment deigned to fix her magnificent eyes on those of the young Protestant, who felt his cheek glow under her gaze. The Countess smiled and passed on, letting one of her gloves fall before our hero, who, still motionless and fascinated, neglected to pick it up. Instantly a fair-haired youth, (it was no other than Comminges,) who stood behind Mergy, pushed him rudely in passing before him, seized the glove, kissed it respectfully, and presented it to Madame de Turgis.[Pg 718] Without thanking him, the lady turned towards Mergy with a look of crushing contempt; and, observing Captain George at his side, 'Captain,' said she, very loud, 'where does that great clown spring from? He must be some Huguenot, judging from his courtesy.'

"The laughter of the bystanders completed the embarrassment of the unlucky Bernard.

"'He is my brother, madam,' was George's quiet reply; 'he has been three days at Paris, and, by my honour! he is not more awkward than Lannoy was, before you undertook his education.'

"The Countess coloured slightly. 'An unkind jest, Captain,' she said: 'Speak not ill of the dead. Give me your hand; I have a message to you from a lady whom you have offended.'

"The Captain respectfully took her hand, and led her to the recess of a distant window. Before she reached it, she once more turned her head to look at Mergy.

"Still dazzled by the apparition of the beautiful Countess, whom he longed to look at, but dared not, Mergy felt a gentle tap upon his shoulder. He turned and beheld the Baron de Vaudreuil, who drew him aside, to speak to him, as he said, without fear of interruption.

"'My dear fellow,' the Baron began, 'you are a stranger at court, and are probably not yet acquainted with its customs?'

"Mergy looked at him with astonishment.

"'Your brother is engaged, and not able to advise you; if agreeable to you I will replace him. You have been gravely insulted; and seeing you in this pensive attitude, I doubt not you meditate revenge.'

"'Revenge?—on whom?' cried Mergy, reddening to the very white of his eyes.

"'Were you not just now rudely pushed aside by little Comminges? The whole court witnessed the affront, and expect you to notice it suitably.'

"'But,' said Mergy, 'in so crowded a room as this an accidental push is nothing very extraordinary.'

"'M. de Mergy, I have not the honour to be intimate with you: but your brother is my particular friend, and he will tell you that I practise as much as possible the divine precept of forgiveness of injuries. I do not wish to embark you in a bad quarrel, but at the same time it is my duty to tell you that Comminges did not push you accidentally. He pushed you, because he wished to insult you; and if he had not pushed you, you would still be insulted; for, by picking up Madame de Turgis's glove, he usurped your right. The glove was at your feet, ergo it was for you alone to raise and return it. And you have but to look around; you will see Comminges telling the story and laughing at you.'

"Mergy turned about. Comminges was surrounded by five or six young men, to whom he laughingly narrated something which they listened to with curious interest. Nothing proved that his conduct was under discussion; but at the words of his charitable counsellor, Mergy felt his heart swell with fury.

"'I will speak to him after the hunt,' he said, 'and he shall tell me—'

"'Oh! never put off a good resolution; besides, you offend Heaven much less in challenging your adversary immediately after the offence than in doing it when you have had time to reflect. In a moment of irritation, which is but a venial offence, you agree to fight; and if you afterwards fulfil your agreement, it is only to avoid committing a far greater sin, that of breaking your word. But, I forget that you are a Protestant. Nevertheless, arrange a meeting with him at once. I will bring you together.'

"'I trust he will not refuse to make a fitting apology.'

"'Undeceive yourself, comrade. Comminges never yet said, I was wrong. But he is a man of strict honour, and will give you every satisfaction.'

"Mergy made an effort to suppress his emotion and assume an indifferent air.

"'Since I have been insulted,' he said, 'I must have satisfaction. And whatever kind may be necessary, I shall know how to insist upon it.'

"'Well spoken, my brave friend; your boldness pleases me, for you of[Pg 719] course know that Comminges is one of our best swordsmen. Par ma foi! he handles his blade right cunningly. He took lessons at Rome, of Brambilla, and Petit-Jean will fence with him no longer.' And whilst speaking, Vaudreuil attentively watched the countenance of Mergy, who was pale, but from anger at the offence offered him rather than from apprehension of its consequences.

"'I would willingly be your second in this affair, but I take the sacrament to-morrow, and, moreover, I am engaged to M. de Rheincy, and cannot draw sword against any but him.'[B]

"'I thank you, sir. If necessary, my brother will second me.'

"'The Captain is perfectly at home in these affairs. Meanwhile, I will bring Comminges to speak with you.'

"Mergy bowed, and turning to the wall, did his best to compose his countenance and arrange what he should say. There is a certain grace in giving a challenge, which habit alone bestows. It was our hero's first affair, and he was a little embarrassed; he was less afraid of a sword-thrust than of saying something unbecoming a gentleman. He had just succeeded in composing a firm and polite sentence, when Baron de Vaudreuil, taking him by the arm, drove it out of his head.

"'You desire to speak to me, sir?' said Comminges, hat in hand, and bowing with an impertinent politeness, which brought an angry flush upon Mergy's countenance.

"'I hold myself insulted by your behaviour,' the young Protestant instantly replied, 'and I desire satisfaction.'

"Vaudreuil nodded approvingly; Comminges drew himself up, and placing his hand on his hip, the prescribed posture in such circumstances, replied with much gravity:

"'You constitute yourself demander, sir, and, as defendant, I have the choice of arms.'

"'Name those you prefer.'"

Comminges reflected for an instant. "'The estoc,' he at last said, 'is a good weapon, but it makes ugly wounds; and at our age,' he added, with a smile, 'one is not anxious to appear before one's mistress with a scarred countenance. The rapier makes a small hole, but it is enough.' And he again smiled, as he said, 'I choose rapier and dagger.'

"'Very good,' said Mergy, and he took a step to depart.

"'One moment!' cried Vaudreuil; 'you forget the place of meeting.'

"'The Court uses the Pré-aux-Clercs,' said Comminges; 'and if the gentleman has no particular preference—— '

"'The Pré-aux-Clercs—be it so.'

"'As to the time, I shall not be up before eight o'clock, for reasons of my own—you understand—I do not sleep at home to-night, and cannot be at the Pré before nine.'

"'Let nine be the hour.'

"Just then Mergy perceived the Countess de Turgis, who had left the Captain in conversation with another lady. As may be supposed, at sight of the lovely cause of this ugly affair, our hero threw into his countenance an additional amount of gravity and feigned indifference.

"'Of late,' said Vaudreuil, 'it is the fashion to fight in crimson drawers. If you have none, I will send you a pair. They look clean, and do not show blood. And now,' continued the Baron, who appeared quite in his element, 'nothing remains but to fix upon your seconds and thirds.'

"'The gentleman is a new comer at Court' said Comminges, 'and perhaps might have difficulty in finding a third. Out of consideration for him I will content myself with a second.'

"With some difficulty, Mergy contracted his lips into a smile.

"'Impossible to be more courteous,' said the Baron. 'It is really a pleasure to deal with so accommodating a cavalier as M. de Comminges.'

"'You will require a rapier of the same length as mine,' resumed Comminges; 'I can recommend you Laurent, at the Golden Sun, Rue de la Féronnerie; he is the best armourer in Paris. Tell him you come from me, and he will treat you well.' Having thus spoken, he turned upon his heel, and rejoined the group he had lately left.[Pg 720]

"'I congratulate you, M. Bernard,' said Vaudreuil; 'you have acquitted yourself admirably. Exceedingly well, indeed. Comminges is not accustomed to hear himself spoken to in that fashion. He is feared like fire, especially since he killed Canillac; for as to St Michel, whom he killed a couple of months ago, he did not get much credit by that. St Michel was not particularly skilful, whilst Canillac, had already slain five or six antagonists, without receiving a scratch. He had studied at Naples under Borelli, and it was said that Lansac had bequeathed him the secret thrust with which he did so much harm. To be sure,' continued the Baron, as if to himself, 'Canillac had pillaged the church at Auxerre, and trampled on the consecrated wafers: no wonder he was punished.'

"Mergy, although far from amused by this conversation, thought himself bound to continue it, lest a suspicion offensive to his courage should occur to Vaudreuil.

"'Fortunately,' he replied, 'I have pillaged no church, and never touched a consecrated wafer in my life; so I have a risk the less to run.'

"'Another caution. When you cross swords with Comminges, beware of one of his feints, which cost Captain Tomaso his life. He cried out that the point of his sword was broken. Tomaso instantly guarded his head, expecting a cut; but Comminges's sword was perfect enough, for it entered, to within a foot of the hilt, Tomaso's breast, which he had exposed, not anticipating a thrust. But you fight with rapiers, and there is less danger.'

"'I will do my best.'

"'Ah! one thing more. Choose a dagger with a strong basket-hilt; it is very useful to parry. I owe this scar on my left hand to having gone out one day without a poniard. Young Tallard and myself had a quarrel, and for want of a dagger, I nearly lost my hand.'

"'And was he wounded?' inquired Mergy.

"'I killed him, thanks to a vow I made to St Maurice, my patron. Have some linen and lint about you, it can do no harm. One is not always killed outright. You will do well also to have your sword placed on the altar during mass. But you are a Protestant. Yet another word. Do not make it a point of honour not to retreat; on the contrary, keep him moving; he is short-winded; exhaust his breath, and, when you find your opportunity, one good thrust in the breast and your man is down.'

"There is no saying how long the Baron would have continued his valuable advice, had not a great sounding of horns announced that the King was about to take horse. The door of the apartment opened; and his Majesty and the Queen-mother made their appearance, equipped for the chase. Captain George, who had just left his lady, joined his brother, and clapped him joyously on the shoulder.

"'By the mass!' he cried, 'thou art a lucky rogue! Only see this youngster, with his cat's mustache; he has but to show himself, and all the ladies are mad after him. The handsome Countess has been talking about you for the last quarter of an hour. Come, good courage! During the hunt, keep by her stirrup, and be as gallant as you can. But what the devil's the matter with you? Are you ill? You make as long a face as a preacher at the stake. Morbleu! cheer up, man!'

"'I have no great fancy to hunt to-day,' said Bernard; 'and I would rather—'

"'If you do not hunt,' whispered Vaudreuil, 'Comminges will think you are afraid.'

"'I am ready,' said Mergy, passing his hand across his burning brow, and resolved to wait till after the hunt to inform his brother of his adventure. 'What disgrace,' thought he, 'if Madame de Turgis suspected me of fear; if she supposed that the idea of an approaching duel prevented my enjoying the chase.'

"During the hunt, Bernard swerves not from the side of the Countess, who accords him various marks of favour, and finally dismisses Comminges, who has also escorted her, and has a tête-a-tête ride with her new admirer. She well knows that a duel is in the wind, and dreads it, for Mergy's sake. Hopeless of his escape with life from[Pg 721] the projected combat, she tries at least to save his soul, and makes a bold attempt at his conversion. But on that head he is deaf even to her voice. Baffled, she essays a compromise.

"'You heretics have no faith in relics?' said Madame de Turgis.

"Bernard smiled.

"'And you think yourselves defiled by touching them?' she continued. 'You would not carry one, as we Roman Catholics are wont to do?'

"'We hold the custom useless, to say the least.'

"'Listen. A cousin of mine once attached a relic to his hound's neck, and at twelve paces fired at the dog an arquebuse charged with slugs.'

"'And the dog was killed?'

"'Not touched.'

"'Wonderful! I would fain possess such a relic.'

"'Indeed!—and you would carry it?'

"'Undoubtedly—since the relic saved the dog, it would of course—But stay, is it quite certain that a heretic is as good as a Catholic's dog?'

"Without listening to him, Madame de Turgis hastily unbuttoned the top of her closely fitting habit, and took from her bosom a little gold box, very flat, suspended by a black ribbon. 'Here,' she said,—'you promised to wear it. You shall return it me one day.'

"'Certainly. If I am able.'

"'But you will take care of it? No sacrilege! You will take the greatest care of it!'

"'I have received it from you, madam.'

"She gave him the relic, and he hung it round his neck.

"'A Catholic would have thanked the hand that bestowed the holy talisman.'

"Mergy seized her hand, and tried to raise it to his lips.

"'No, no! it is too late.'

"'Say not so! Remember, I may never again have such fortune.'

"'Take off my glove,' said the lady. Whilst obeying, Mergy thought he felt a slight pressure. He imprinted a burning kiss on the white and beautiful hand."

"Frank and free were the dames of the ninth Charles's court. Faithless in the virtues of the relic, feverishly excited by the novelty of his situation, and by the preference the Countess has shown him, which has given life a tenfold value in his eyes, Mergy passes an agitated and sleepless night. When the Louvre clock strikes eight, his brother enters his apartment, bringing the necessary weapons, and vainly endeavouring to conceal his sadness and anxiety. Bernard examines the sword and dagger, the manufacture of the famous Luno of Toledo.

"'With such good arms,' he said, 'I shall surely be able to defend myself.' Then showing the relic given him by Madame de Turgis, and which he wore concealed in his bosom, 'Here too,' he added with a smile, 'is a talisman better than coat of mail against a sword-thrust.'

"'Whence have you the bauble?'

"'Guess.' And the vanity of appearing favoured by the fair, made him for a moment forget both Comminges and the duelling sword that lay naked before him.

"'I would wager that crazy Countess gave it you! May the devil confound her and her box!'

"'It is a relic for protection in to-day's encounter.'

"'She had better have worn her gloves, instead of parading her fine white fingers.'

"'God preserve me,' cried Mergy, blushing deeply, 'from believing in Papist relics. But if I fall to-day, I would have her know that I died with this upon my heart.'

"'Folly!' cried the Captain, shrugging his shoulders.

"'Here is a letter for my mother,' said Mergy, his voice slightly tremulous. George took it without a word, and approaching the table, opened a small Bible, and seemed busy reading whilst his brother completed his toilet. On the first page that offered itself to his eyes, he read these words in his mother's handwriting; '1st May 1549, my son Bernard was born. Lord, conduct him in thy ways! Lord, shield him from all harm!' George bit his lip violently, and threw down the book. Bernard observed the gesture, and imagining that some impious thought had come into his brother's head, he gravely took up the Bible, put it in an embroidered case, and[Pg 722] locked it in a drawer, with every mark of great respect.

"'It is my mother's Bible,' he said.

"The Captain paced the apartment, but made no reply."

According to the established rule in such cases—a rule laid down for the especial behoof, benefit, and accommodation of romance writers—the hero of a hundred duels falls by the maiden sword of the tyro, who escapes with a slight wound. So signal a triumph makes the reputation of Mergy. His wound healed, and all danger of persecution by the powerful family of Comminges at an end, he reappears at court, and finds that he has in some sort inherited the respect and consideration formerly shown to his defunct rival. The politeness of the raffinés is as overpowering as their envy is ill concealed; and, as to the ladies, in those days the character of a successful duellist was a sure passport to their favour. The raw provincial, so lately unheeded, has but to throw his handkerchief, now that he has dabbled it in blood. But the only one of these sanguinary sultanas on whom Mergy bestows a thought, is not to be found. In vain does he seek, in the crowd of beauties who court his gaze, the pale cheek, blue eyes, and raven hair of Madame de Turgis. Soon after the duel, she had left Paris for one of her country seats, a departure attributed by the charitable to grief at the death of Comminges. Mergy knows better. Whilst laid up with his wound, and concealed in the house of an old woman, half doctress, half sorceress, he detected a masked lady, whom he recognised as De Turgis, performing for his cure, with the assistance of the witch, certain mysterious incantations. They had procured Comminges's sword, and rubbed it with scorpion oil, "the sovereign'st thing on earth" to heal the wound the weapon had inflicted. And there was also a melting of a wax figure, intended as a love charm; and from all that passed, Bernard could not doubt that the Countess had set her affections on him. So he waits patiently, and one morning, whilst his brother is reading the "Vie très-horrifique de Pantagruel," and he himself is taking a guitar lesson from the Signor Uberto Vinibella, a wrinkled duenna brings him a scented note, closed with a gold thread, and a large green seal, bearing a Cupid with finger on lips, and the Spanish word, Callad, enjoining silence.

The best picture of the massacre of St Bartholomew we have read in a book of fiction, is given by M. Mérimée, in small compass and without unnecessary horrors. Less than an hour before its commencement, the Countess informs her lover of the fate reserved for him and all of his faith. She urges and implores him to abjure his heresy; he steadfastly refuses—and she, her love redoubled by his courageous constancy, conceals him from the assassins. In the disguise of a monk, he escapes from Paris, and makes his way to La Rochelle, the last stronghold of the persecuted Protestants. On the road, he falls in with another refugee, the lanzknecht Captain Dietrich Hornstein, similarly disguised and bound to the same place. There is an excellent scene at a country inn, where four ruffians, their hands reeking with Protestant blood, compel the false Franciscans to baptise a pair of pullets by the names of carp and perch, that they may not sin by eating fowl on Friday. Mergy at last loses patience, and breaks a bottle over one of their heads; and a fight ensues, in which the bandits are worsted. The two Huguenots reach La Rochelle, which is soon afterwards besieged by the king's troops. In a sortie, Bernard forms an ambuscade, into which his brother unfortunately falls, and receives a mortal wound. Taken into La Rochelle, he is laid upon a bed to die; and, refusing the spiritual assistance of Catholic priest and Protestant minister, he accelerates his death by a draught from Hornstein's wine flask, and strives to comfort Bernard, who is frantic with remorse.

"He again closed his eyes, but soon re-opened them and said to Mergy: 'Madame de Turgis bade me assure you of her love.' He smiled gently. These were his last words. In a quarter of an hour he died, without appearing to suffer much. A few minutes later Béville expired in the arms of the monk, who afterwards declared that he had distinctly heard in the air the cries of joy of the angels who received the soul of the penitent,[Pg 723] whilst subterraneous demons responded with a yell of triumph as they bore away the spiritual part of Captain George."

"It is to be seen in any history of France, how La Noue left La Rochelle, disgusted with civil wars and tormented by his conscience, which reproached him for bearing arms against his king; how the Catholic army was compelled to raise the siege, and how the fourth peace was made, soon followed by the death of Charles IX.

"Did Mergy console himself? Did Diana take another lover? I leave it to the decision of the reader, who thus will end the romance to his own liking."

By his countrymen, M. Mérimée's short tales are the most esteemed of his writings. He produces them at intervals much too long to please the editor and readers of the periodical in which they have for some time appeared,—the able and excellent Revue des Deux Mondes. Once in eighteen months, or two years, he throws a few pages to the public, which, like a starved hound to whom a scanty meal is tossed, snaps eagerly at the gift whilst growling at the niggardliness of the giver: and the publisher of the Revue knows that he may safely print an extra thousand copies of a number containing a novel by Prosper Mérimée. Now and then, M. Mérimée comes out with a criticism of a foreign book. His last was a review of "Grote's Greece," and he has also written a paper on "Borrow's Spanish Rambles." A man of great erudition and extensive travel, he is thoroughly master of many languages, and, in writing about foreign countries and people, steers clear of the absurd blunders into which some of his contemporaries, of respectable talents and attainments, not unfrequently fall. His English officer and lady in Colomba are excellent; very different from the absurd caricatures of Englishmen one is accustomed to see in French novels. He is equally truthful in his Spanish characters. A great lover of things Spanish, he has frequently visited, and still visits, the Peninsula. In 1831 he published, in the Revue de Paris, three charming letters from Madrid. The action of most of his tales passes in Spain or Corsica, or the South of France, although he now and then dashes at Parisian society. With this he has unquestionably had ample opportunity to become acquainted, for he is a welcome guest in the best circles of the French capital. Still we must hope there is some flaw in the glasses through which he has observed the gay world of Paris. The "Vase Etrusque" is one of his sketches of modern French life, in the style of the "Double Méprise," but better. It is a most amusing and spirited tale, but unnecessarily immoral. Had the heroine been virtuous, the interest of the story would in no way have suffered, so far as we can see; and that which attaches to her, as a charming and unhappy woman, would have been augmented. This opinion, however, would be scoffed at on the other side of the Channel, and set down as a piece of English prudery. And perhaps, instead of grumbling at M. Mérimée for making the Countess Mathilde the mistress of Saint Clair—which nothing compelled him to do—we ought thankfully to acknowledge his moderation in contenting himself with a quiet intrigue between unmarried persons, instead of favouring us with a flagrant case of adultery, as in the "Double Méprise," or initiating us into the very profane mysteries of operatic figurantes, as in "Arsène Guillot." Even in France, where he is so greatly and justly admired, this last tale was severely censured, as bringing before the public eye phases of society that ill bear the light. Fidelity to life in his scenes and characters is a high quality in an author, and one possessed in a high degree by M. Mérimée; but he has been sometimes too bold and cynical in the choice and treatment of his subjects. "La Partie de Tric-trac," and "L'Enlèvement de la Redoute," are amongst his happiest efforts. Both are especially remarkable for their terse and vigorous style. We have been prodigal of extracts from "Charles IX."—for it is a great favourite of ours—and, although well known and much esteemed by all habitual readers of French novels, it is hitherto, we believe, untranslated into English. But we shall still make room for[Pg 724]


"I rejoined the regiment on the evening of the 4th September. I found the colonel at the bivouac. At first he received me rather roughly; but after reading General B's. letter of recommendation, he changed his manner, and spoke a few obliging words. He presented me to my captain, who had just returned from a reconnoissance. This captain, whom I had little opportunity to become acquainted with, was a tall dark man, of hard and repulsive physiognomy. He had been a private soldier, and had won his cross and his epaulets on the battle-field. His voice, hoarse and weak, contrasted strangely with his gigantic stature. They told me he was indebted for this singular voice to a bullet that had passed completely through his body at Jena.

"On hearing that I came from the school at Fontainbleau, he made a wry face, and said, 'My lieutenant died yesterday.'—I understood that he meant to say, 'You are to replace him, and you are not able.' A sharp word rose to my lips, but I repressed it.

"The moon rose behind the redoubt of Cheverino, situate at twice cannon-shot from our bivouac. She was large and red, as is common at her rising; but that night she seemed to me of extraordinary size. For an instant the black outline of the redoubt stood out against the moon's brilliant disc, resembling the cone of a volcano at the moment of an eruption.

"An old soldier who stood near me, noticed the colour of the moon. 'She is very red,' he said; ''tis a sign that yon famous redoubt will cost us dear.' I was always superstitious, and this augury, just at that moment, affected me. I lay down, but could not sleep; I got up and walked for some time, gazing at the immense line of fires covering the heights beyond the village of Cheverino.

"When I deemed my blood sufficient cooled by the fresh night air, I returned to the fire, wrapped myself carefully in my cloak, and shut my eyes, hoping not to re-open them till daylight. But sleep shunned me. Insensibly my thoughts took a gloomy turn. I said to myself, that I had not one friend amongst the hundred thousand men covering that plain. If I were wounded, I should be in an hospital, carelessly treated by ignorant surgeons. All that I had heard of surgical operations returned to my memory. My heart beat violently; and mechanically I arranged, as a species of cuirass, the handkerchief and portfolio that I carried in the breast of my uniform. I was overwhelmed by fatigue, and continually fell into a doze, but as often as I did so, some sinister idea awoke me with a start. Fatigue, however, at last got the upper hand, and I was fast asleep when the reveillé sounded. We formed up, the roll was called, then arms were piled, and according to all appearance the day was to pass quietly.

"Towards three o'clock an aid-de-camp arrived with an order. We resumed our arms; our skirmishers spread themselves over the plain; we followed slowly; and in twenty minutes we saw the Russian pickets withdraw to the redoubt. A battery of artillery took post on our right hand, another on our left, but both considerably in advance. They opened a vigorous fire upon the enemy, who replied with energy, and soon the redoubt of Cheverino disappeared behind a cloud of smoke.

"Our regiment was almost protected from the Russian fire by a ridge. Their bullets, which seldom came in our direction—for they preferred aiming them at the artillery—passed over our heads, or at most sent earth and pebbles in our faces.

"When we had received the order to advance, my captain looked at me with an attention which made me pass my hand two or three times over my young mustache, in the most cavalier manner I could assume. I felt no fear, save that of being thought to feel it. These harmless cannon-balls contributed to maintain me in my heroic calmness. My vanity told me that I ran a real danger, since I was under fire of a battery. I was enchanted to feel myself so much at my[Pg 725] ease, and I thought with what pleasure I should narrate the capture of the redoubt of Cheverino in the drawing-room of Madame de B——, Rue de Provence.

"The colonel passed along the front of our company and spoke to me. 'Well!' he said, 'you will see sharp work for your first affair.'

"I smiled most martially, and brushed my coat-sleeve, on which a ball, fallen about thirty paces from me, had sent a little dust.

"It seems the Russians perceived how small was the effect of their round shot, for they replaced them by shells, which could reach us better in the hollow where we were posted. A tolerably large fragment of one of these knocked off my shako and killed a mail beside me.

"'I congratulate you,' said the captain, as I picked up my shako. 'You are safe for to-day.' I knew the military superstition which holds the maxim Non bis in idem to be as applicable on a battle-field as in a court of justice. I proudly replaced my shako on my head. 'An unceremonious way of making people bow,' said I, as gaily as I could. Under the circumstances, this poor joke appeared excellent. 'I congratulate you,' repeated the captain; 'you will not be hit again, and to-night you will command a company, for I feel that my turn is coming. Every time I have been wounded, the officer near me has received a spent ball, and,' he added in a low voice, and almost ashamed, 'all their names began with a P.'

"I affected to laugh at such superstitions. Many would have done as I did—many would have been struck, as I was, by these prophetic words. As a raw recruit I understood that I must keep my feelings to myself, and always appear coldly intrepid.

"After half an hour the Russian fire sensibly slackened; then we emerged from our cover to march against the redoubt. Our regiment was composed of three battalions. The second was charged to take the redoubt in flank on the side of the gorge; the two others were to deliver the assault. I was in the third battalion.

"On appearing from behind the sort of ridge that had protected us, we were received by several volleys of musketry, which did little harm in our ranks. The whistling of the bullets surprised me: I turned my head several times, thus incurring the jokes of my comrades, to whom the noise was more familiar. 'All things considered,' said I to myself, 'a battle is not such a terrible thing.'

"We advanced at storming pace, preceded by skirmishers. Suddenly the Russians gave three hurras, very distinct ones, and then remained silent, and without firing. 'I don't like that silence,' said my captain. 'It bodes us little good.' I thought our soldiers rather too noisy, and I could not help internally comparing the tumultuous clamour with the imposing stillness of the enemy.

"We rapidly attained the foot of the redoubt: the palisades had been broken, and the earth ploughed by our cannonade. With shouts of 'Vive l'Empereur!' louder than might have been expected from fellows who had already shouted so much, our soldiers dashed over the ruins.

"I looked up, and never shall I forget the spectacle I beheld. The great mass of smoke had arisen, and hung suspended like a canopy twenty feet above the redoubt. Through a gray mist were seen the Russian grenadiers, erect behind their half-demolished parapet, with levelled arms, and motionless as statues. I think I still see each individual soldier, his left eye riveted on us, the right one hidden by his musket. In an embrasure, a few feet from us, stood a man with a lighted fuse in his hand.

"I shuddered, and thought my last hour was come. 'The dance is going to begin,' cried my captain. Good-night.' They were the last words I heard him utter.

"The roll of drums resounded in the redoubt. I saw the musket muzzles sink. I shut my eyes, and heard a frightful noise, followed by cries and groans. I opened my eyes surprised to find myself still alive. The redoubt was again enveloped in smoke. Dead and wounded men lay all around me. My captain was stretched at my feet; his head had been smashed by a cannon-ball, and I was covered with his blood and brains. Of the whole company, only six men and myself were on their legs.[Pg 726]

"A moment of stupefaction followed this carnage. Then the colonel, putting his hat on the point of his sword, ascended the parapet, crying 'Vive l'Empereur!' He was instantly followed by all the survivors. I have no clear recollection of what then occurred. We entered the redoubt, I know not how. They fought hand to hand in the middle of a smoke so dense that they could not see each other. I believe I fought too, for my sabre was all bloody. At last I heard a shout of victory, and, the smoke diminishing, I saw the redoubt completely covered with blood and dead bodies. About two hundred men in French uniform stood in a group, without military order, some loading their muskets, others wiping their bayonets. Eleven Russian prisoners were with them.

"Our colonel lay bleeding on a broken tumbril. Several soldiers were attending to him, as I drew near—'Where is the senior captain?' said he to a sergeant. The sergeant shrugged his shoulders in a most expressive manlier. 'And the senior lieutenant?' 'Here is Monsieur, who joined yesterday,' replied the sergeant, in a perfectly calm tone. The colonel smiled bitterly. 'You command in chief, sir,' he said to me; 'make haste to fortify the gorge of the redoubt with those carts, for the enemy is in force; but General C. will send you a support.'—'Colonel,' said I, 'you are badly wounded.'—'Foutre, mon cher, but the redoubt is taken.'"

"Carmen," M. Mérimée's latest production, appeared a few months since in the Revue des Deux Mondes, which appears to have got the monopoly of his pen, as it has of many of the cleverest pens in France. "Carmen" is a graceful and animated sketch, in style as brilliant as anything by the same author—in the character of its incidents less strikingly original than some of his other tales. It is a story of Spanish life, not in cities and palaces, in court or camp, but in the barranca and the forest, the gipsy suburb of Seville, the woodland bivouac and smuggler's lair. Carmen is a gipsy, a sort of Spanish Esmeralda, but without the good qualities of Hugo's charming creation. She has no Djali; she is fickle and mercenary, the companion of robbers, the instigator of murder. She inveigles a young soldier from his duty, leads him into crime, deceives and betrays him, and finally meets her death at his hand. M. Mérimée has been much in Spain, and—unlike some of his countrymen, who apparently go thither with the sole view of spying out the nakedness of the land and making odious comparisons, and who, in their excess of patriotic egotism, prefer Versailles to the Alhambra, and the Bal Mabille to a village fandango—he has a vivid perception of the picturesque and characteristic, of the couleur locale, to use the French term, whether in men or manners, scenery or costume, and he embodies his impressions in pointed and sparkling phrase. As an antiquarian and linguist, he unites qualities precious for the due appreciation of Spain. Well-versed in the Castilian, he also displays a familiarity with the Cantabrian tongue—that strange and difficult Vascuense which the Evil One himself, according to a provincial proverb, spent seven years of fruitless labour in endeavouring to acquire. And he patters Romani, the mysterious jargon of the gitanos, in a style no way inferior—so far as we can discover—to Bible Borrow himself. That gentleman, by the bye, when next he goes a missionarying, would find M. Mérimée an invaluable auxiliary, and the joint narrative of their adventures would doubtless be in the highest degree curious. The grave earnestness of the Briton would contrast curiously with the lively half-scoffing tone of the witty and learned Frenchman. Indeed, there would be danger of persons of such opposite character falling out upon the road, and fighting a mortal duel, with the king of the gipsies for bottle-holder. The proverbial jealousy between persons of the same trade might prove another motive of strife. Both are dealers in the romantic. And "Carmen," related as the personal experience of the author during an archæological tour in Andalusia the autumn of 1830, is as graphic and fascinating as any chapters of the great tract-monger's remarkable wanderings.


[B] It was a rule with the raffinés not to commence a new quarrel so long as there was an old one to terminate.

[Pg 727]



Having disposed of two grand categories of mistakes and absurdities in house-building, viz., lightness of structure and badness of material, we shall now address ourselves more particularly to the defects of Arrangement and Form, or, as an architect might term it, to the discussion of Plan and Elevation. The former task was ungrateful enough; for therein we had to attack the cupidity and meanness, and the desire for show and spurious display, which is the besetting sin of every Englishman who pays poor-rates; but, the present undertaking is hardly less hopeless, for we have to appeal to the intelligence, not only of architects and builders, but also of those who commission them.

Now, there is nothing drier and more unprofitable under the sun, nothing more nearly approaching to a state of addle, than a builder's brains. Your regular builders (and, indeed, not a few of your architects) are the sorriest animals twaddling about on two legs; mere vivified bags of sawdust, or lumps of lath and plaster, galvanised for a while, and forming themselves into strange, uncouth, unreasonable shapes. A mere "builder" has not two ideas in his head; he has only one; he can draw only one "specification," as he calls it, under different forms; he can make only one plan; he has one set of cornices always in his eye; one peculiar style of panel; one special cut of a chimney. You may trace him all through a town, or across a county, if his fame extends so far; a dull repetition of the same notion characterises all his works. He served his apprenticeship to old Plumbline, in Brick Lane; got up the Carpenter's Vade-Mecum by heart; had a little smattering of drawing from Daub the painter, and then set up in business for himself. As for Mr Triangle the architect, who built the grand town-hall here, the other-day, in the newest style of Egyptian architecture, and copied two mummies for door-posts, and who is now putting up the pretty little Gothic church for the Diocesan Church-and-Chapel-Building and Pew-Extension Society, with an east window from York, and a spire from Salisbury, and a west front from Lincoln—why, he is the veriest stick of a designer that ever applied a T-square to a stretching-board. He has studied Wilkins's Vitruvius, it is true, and he has looked all through Hunt's Tudor Architecture, but his imagination is as poor as when he began them; he has never in his life seen one of the good buildings he is pirating from, barring St Paul's and Westminster Abbey; he knows nothing finer than Regent Street and Pall-Mall, and yet he pretends to be a modern Palladio. It will not do, all this sham and parade of knowledge; we want a new generation, both of architects and builders, before we shall see any thing good arising in the way of houses—but as this new progeny is not likely to spring up within a few days, nor even years, we may as well buckle to the task of criticism at once, and find out faults, which we shall leave others to mend.

And, to lay the foundation of criticism in such matters once more and for ever, let us again assert that good common-sense, and a plain straight-forward perception of what is really useful, and suited to the wants of climate and locality, are worth all the other parts of any architect's education. These are the great qualities, without which he will take up his rulers and pencils in vain; without them, his ambitious façades and intricate plans will all come to nothing, except dust and rubbish. He may draw and colour like Barry himself; but unless he has some spark of the genius that animated old Inigo and Sir Christopher, some little inkling of William of Wickham's spirit within him, some sound knowledge of the fitness and the requirements of things, he had better throw down his instruments,[Pg 728] and give it up as a bad job; he'll only "damn himself to lasting shame."

A moderate degree of science, an ordinarily correct eye, so as to tell which is straightest, the letter I or the letter S, and a good share of plain common-sense—these are the real qualifications of all architects, builders, and constructors whatsoever.

One other erroneous idea requires to be upset; the notion that our modern houses, merely because they are recent, are better built and more convenient than ancient ones. If there be one thing more certain than another in the matter, it is this, that a gentleman's house built in 1700, is far handsomer, stronger, and more convenient, than one built in 1800; and not only so, but if it had had fair play given it, would still outlive the newer one, and give it fifty years to boot;—and also that another house built in 1600, is stronger than the one raised in 1700, and has still an equal chance of survivorship; but that any veteran mansion which once witnessed the year 1500, is worth all the other three put together—not only for design and durability, but also for comfort and real elegance. Pick out a bit of walling or roofing some four or five centuries old, and it would take a modern erection of five times the same solidity to stand the same test of ages.

Let it not be supposed that our ancestors dwelt in rooms smaller, or darker, or smokier, than those we now cram ourselves into. Nothing at all of the kind; they knew what ease was, better than we do. They had glorious bay-windows, and warm chimney-corners, and well-hung buttery hatches, and good solid old oak tables, and ponderous chairs: had their windows and doors been only a little more air-tight, their comforts could not have been increased.

First of all, then, with regard to the plans best suited for the country residences of the nobility and gentry of England—of that high-minded and highly gifted aristocracy, which is the peculiar ornament of this island,—of that solid honest squirearchy, which shall be the sheet-anchor of the nation, after all our commercial gents, with their ephemeral prosperity, shall have disappeared from the surface of the land, and have been forgotten,—the plan of a house best suited for the "Fine old English Gentleman;" and we really do not care to waste our time in considering the convenience and the taste of any that do not rank with this class of men. It is absurd for any of the worthy members of that truly noble and generous class of men, to try to erect reminiscences of Italy, or any other southern clime, amid their own "tall ancestral groves" at home, here in old England. They have every right in the world to inhabit the palaces of Italy, which many a needy owner is glad to find them tenanting; they cannot but admire the noble proportions, the solid construction, the magnificent decorations, which meet their eyes on every side, whether at Genoa, at Verona, at Venice, at Florence, or at Rome. But it by no means follows, that what looks so beautiful, and is so truly elegant and suitable on the Lake of Como, will preserve the same qualities when erected on the banks of Windermere; those lovely villas that overlook the Val d'Arno, and where one could be content to spend the rest of one's days, with Petrarch and Boccacio, and Dante, and Michael Angelo, and Raffaelle, will not bear transplanting either to Richmond or Malvern. The climate and the sky and the earth of Tuscany and Piedmont, are not those of Gloucestershire and Warwickshire; what may be very harmonious in form and colour when contrasted with the objects of that country which produced it, may have the most disagreeable effect, and be excessively inconvenient, in another region with which it has no relation. Not that the proportions of style and the execution of detail may not be reproduced in England, if sufficient taste and money be applied,—but that all surrounding things are out of harmony with the very idea and existence of the building. The vegetable world is different: the external and internal qualities of the soil jar with the presence of the foreign-looking mansion. An English garden is not, nor can be, an Italian one; an English terrace can never be made to look like an Italian one; those[Pg 729] very effects of light and shade on which the architect counted when he made his plans and elevations, are not to be attained under an English sky. The house, however closely it may be taken from the last Palazzo its noble owner lived in, will only be a poor-looking copy after all; and he will wonder, as he paces through its corridors and halls, or views it from every point of the compass on the outside, what can be the cause of such a failure of his hopes? He hoped for and expected an impossibility; he thought to raise up a little Italy in the midst of his Saxon park. Could the experiment end in any thing else than a failure?

Every climate and every country has its own peculiarities, which the inhabitants are found to consult, and which all architects will do well to observe closely before they lay down their plans. The general arrangement, the plan of a house, will depend upon this class of external circumstances more than on any other; while the architectural effect and design of the elevation will have an intimate relation to the physical appearance of the region, to the ideas, the pursuits, and the history of its people.

Thus it was with the ancient Greeks and Romans, as we find their domestic life revealed to us at Pompeii. In that delicious climate of Campania, where the sun shines with a whitening and ever unclouded splendour, and where winter's frosts may be said to be unknown, the great thing wanted was shady coolness, privacy, and the absence of all that might fatigue. Hence, in the arrangement of the Pompeian villas, windows were comparatively unknown: the rooms were lighted from above; the aperture for the light was open to the sky; whatever air could be procured was precious. Colonnades and dark passages were first-rate appendages of a fashionable man's habitation. His sleeping apartment was a dark recess impervious to the sun's rays, lighted only by the artificial glare of lamps, placed on those elegant candelabra, which must be admired as models of fitness and beauty as long as imitative art shall exist. He had not a staircase in all his house, or he would not have if he could help it. The fatigue of lifting the foot in that hot climate was a point of importance, and he carefully avoided it. The house was a regular frigidarium. It answered the end proposed. It was commodious, it was elegant—and it was therefore highly suitable to the people and the place. But it does not therefore follow that it ought to be imitated in a northern clime, nor indeed in any latitude, we would rather say in any country, except Italy itself. Few parts of France and Germany would admit of such erections—some portions of Spain and Greece might. In Greece, indeed, the houses are much after the same plan, but in Spain only portions of the south-eastern coast would allow of such a style of building being considered at all habitable.

Place, then, a Pompeian villa at Highgate or Hampstead—build up an Atrium with an Impluvium, add to it a Caldarium if you please, and a Viridarium, too,—and omne quod exit in um: but you will not thereby produce a good dwelling-house; far from it, you will have a show-box fit for Cockneys to come and gape at: but nothing else.

Now, if we would only follow the same rule of common sense that the Greek or Roman architect did on the shores of the Parthenopœan Gulf, we should arrive at results, different indeed, but equally congruous to our wants, equally correct and harmonious in idea. What is it that we want in this foggy, damp, and cloudy climate of ours, nine days out of every ten? Do we want to have a spacious colonnade and a portico to keep off every ray of a sun only too genial, only too scorching? Is the heavens so bright with his radiance that we should endeavour to escape from his beams? Are we living in an atmosphere of such high temperature that if we could now and then take off our own skins for a few minutes, we should be only too glad to do so? As far as our own individual sensations are concerned, we would that things were so; but we know from unpleasant experience that they are far otherwise.

We believe that every rational householder will agree with us, that the first thing to be guarded against in this country is cold, next[Pg 730] wet, and thirdly darkness. A man who can really prove that he possesses a thoroughly warm, dry, and well-lighted house, may write himself down as a rerum dominus at once: a favoured mortal, one of Jove's right-hand men, and a pet of all the gods. He is even in imminent danger of some dreadful calamity falling upon him, inasmuch as no one ever attains to such unheard-of prosperity without being visited by some reverse of fortune. He is at the top of the fickle goddess's wheel, and the least impulse given to one of its many spokes must send him down the slippery road of trouble. Nevertheless, though difficult to attain, these three points are the main ones to be aimed at by every English builder and architect; let him only keep them as the stars by which he steers his course, and he will come to a result satisfactory in the end.

One other point is of importance to be attended to as a fundamental one, and indeed as one of superstruction too. From the peculiarly changeable nature of our climate, and from the provision that has to be made for thoroughly warming a house, there is always a danger of the ventilation and the drainage being neglected. Not one architect in a hundred ever allows such "insignificant" points as these to disturb his reveries. All that he is concerned in is his elevation, and his neatly executed details; but whether the inhabitants are stifled in their beds with hot foul air, or are stunk out of their rooms by the effluvia of drains, are to him mere bagatelles. No trifles these, to those who have to live in the house; no matter of insignificance to those who have an objection to the too frequent visits of their medical attendant.

In the first place, then, a gentleman's country house (we are adverting here to country residences alone—to those in the metropolitan haunts of men we shall return hereafter) should be thoroughly warm. Now, of course a man may make a fire-place as big as Soyer's great range at Crockford's—poor dear Crocky's, before it was reformed—and he may burn a sack of coals at a time in it; and he may have one of these in each apartment and lobby of his house—and a pretty warm berth he will then have of it; but it would be no thanks to his architect that he should thus be forced to encourage his purveyor of the best Wallsend. No: either let him see that the walls are of a good substantial thickness—none of the thin, hollow, badly set, sham walls of the general run of builders; but made either of solid blocks of good ashlar stone, with well-rammed rubble between, and this rubble again laid in an all-penetrating bed of properly sanded mortar with plenty of lime in it, and laid on hot, piping, steaming hot, if possible—and the joints of the stones well closed with cement or putty; or else let the walls be made of the real red brick, the clay two years old or more, well laid in English bond, and every brick in its own proper and distinct bed of mortar, as carefully made as before, and the joints cemented into the bargain. Nor let any stone wall be less than thirty-six, nor any brick wall than thirty inches thick; whereas, if the house exceeds two stories in height, some additional inches may yet be added to the thickness of the lower walls. These walls shall be proof against all cold, and, if they be not made of limestone, against wet also.

"But all this is horridly expensive! why, a house built after this fashion would cost three times the amount of any one now erected upon the usual specifications!" Of course it would. Materials and labour are not to be had gratuitously; but then, if the house costs three times as much, it will be worth three times more than what it would otherwise fetch, and it will last more than three times as long. "But what is the use of building for posterity? what does it matter whether the house is a good one in the time of the next possessor but six? Why not 'run up' a building that will have a handsome appearance in the present, my own life-time, and if my descendant wishes for a better one and a warmer one, why let him build another for himself? Add to which it will grow so dreadfully old-fashioned in fifty years hence, that it is a hundred to one if it is not voted a nuisance, and pulled down as an eyesore to the estate." Such is the reasoning commonly used when any architect more[Pg 731] honest, more scientific, and more truly economical in his regard for his employer's means, ventures to recommend the building of a mansion upon principles, and with dimensions, which can alone fully satisfy the exigencies of his art. We take leave, however, to observe, that such ought not to be the reasoning of an English nobleman or gentleman. In the first place, what is really erected in a proper and legitimate style of architecture, be it classical or mediæval, can never become "old-fashioned" or ugly. Is Hampton Court old-fashioned and ugly? is Audley End so? are Burghleigh and Hatfield so? If they are, go and build better. Is Windsor Castle so? yes, a large portion of it is, for its architecture is not very correct; and though it has been erected only so few years, in another fifty the reigning sovereign—if there be a sovereign in England in those days—will pull down most of it, and consider it as sham and as trumpery as the Pavilion has at length been found out to have been all along. True; if you build houses in a false and affected and unreal style of architecture, they are ugly from the very beginning; and they will become as old-fashioned as old Buckingham House or Strawberry Hill itself, perhaps in the life-time of him who owns them; or else, like Fonthill, they will crumble about your ears, and remain as monuments of your folly rather than of your taste. But go and build as Thorpe, or Inigo Jones, or Wren used to build. Or even, if you will travel abroad for your models, take Palladio himself for your guide, or Phillbert Delorme, or Ducerceau, or Mansard; and your erections shall stand for centuries, and become each year more and more harmoniously beautiful.

Next, your house should be dry; do not, then, go and build it with a slightly-framed low-pitched roof, nor place it in that part of your grounds which would be very suitable for an artificial lake, but not for your mansion. Do not be afraid of a high roof; but let it tower up boldly into the air; let there be, as the French architects of old used to term it most expressively, a good "forest" of timber in its framing; cover it with lead, if you can—if not, with flag-stones, or else, if these be too dear, with extra thick slates in as large slabs as can be conveniently worked, and as may be suitable to the framing,—least of all with tiles.

"But, good Lord! what ideas you have got of expense! Why, sir, do you know that such a house would cost a great deal of money! and besides this, I am almost certain that in ancient Rome, the houses had quite flat roofs, and even in Italy, at the present day, the palaces have remarkably low-pitched roofs!" Rome and Italy go to the —— Antipodes! Did you not stipulate that the house should be dry? do you think that the old Italians ever saw a good shower of rain in all their lives? did they? "Nocte pluit totâ," is all very well in the poet's fugitive inscription; but did they ever see a six-weeks' rain, such as we have every autumn and spring, and generally in June and July, to say nothing of January and February, in Devonshire? My dear sir, if you wish to lie dry in your bed, and all your family, too, to the seventh generation, downwards, make your roof suited to the quantity of rain that falls; pitch up its sides not less steeply than forty-five degrees, and do not be afraid if it rises to sixty, and so gives you the true mediæval proportion of the equilateral triangle. Do you consider it ugly? Then we will ornament it; and we will make the chimney-stalks rise with some degree of majesty, into an important feature of the architectural physiognomy of the building. Are you grumbling at the expense, as you did just now about that of the walls? What then! are you a Manchester manufacturer, some dirty cotton-spinner? have you no faith in the future? have you no regard for the dignity and comfort of your family? are you, too, bitten with the demoralising commercial spirit of the age? are you all for self and the present? have you no obligations towards your ancestors? and are you unwilling to leave a name to be talked of by your posterity? Why, to be sure it may tighten you up for five or six years; but then do not stop quite so long in London: make your season there rather shorter, and do not go so often to Newmarket, and keep away from[Pg 732] White's or Boodle's, and do not be so mad as to throw away any more of those paltry thousands in contesting the county. Let the Parliament and the country take care of themselves; they can very well spare an occasional debater like yourself; the "glorious constitution" of old England will take no harm even if you do not assist in concocting the hum-bug that is every year added to its heterogeneous mixture. Lay out your money at home, drain your land, build a downright good house for yourself; do not forget your poor tenants, set them a good example, and let us put a proper roof on Hambledown Hall.

Providing, however, that the worthy squire actually consents to pull out a few more hundreds, for the sake of having walls of proper thickness and roofs of right pitch, it does not quite follow that his ground-floor rooms will be dry, unless the mansion is well vaulted underneath, and well drained, to boot. We have known more than one ancient manor-house, built in a low dead flat, with a river running by, and the joists of the ground floor resting on the soil, and, yet the whole habitation as dry as a bone; but still more numerous are the goodly edifices which we have witnessed, built on slopes, and even hills, where not a spoonful of water, you would say, could possibly lodge, and yet their walls outside all green with damp, and within mildew, and discoloured loose-hanging paper, telling the tale of the demon of damp. When you are seriously bent on building a good house, put plenty of money under ground; dig deep for foundations, lay them better and stronger even than your super-structure; vault every thing under the lower rooms—ay, vault them, either in solid stone or brick, and drain and counter drain, and explore every crick and cranny of your sub-soil; and get rid of your land springs; and do not let the water from any neighbouring hill percolate through your garden, nor rise into a pleasing jet-d'eau right under the floor of your principal dining-room. If you can, and if you do not mind the "old-fashioned" look of the thing, dig a good deep fosse all round your garden, and line it with masonry; and have a couple of bridges over it; you may then not only effectually carry off all intruding visits of the watery sprites, but you may keep off hares from your flower-beds, two-legged cats from your larder, and sentimental "cousins" from your maids. You may thus, indeed, make your hall or mansion into a little fortified place, with fosse and counter-scarp, and covered way, and glacis; or at any rate, you may put a plain English haw-haw ditch and fence all round the sacred enclosure; and depend upon it that you will find the good effects of this extra expense in the anti-rheumatic tendencies of your habitation.

And now for the plan of your mansion, for the Ground Plan—the main part of the business, that, on the proper proportioning and arranging of which the success of your edificative experiment entirely depends. Here take the old stale maxim into immediate and constant use, "Cut your coat according to your cloth;" and, if you are a man of only £2000 a-year, do not build a house on a plan that will require £10,000 at least of annual income to keep the window-shutters open. Nor, seeing that you are living in the country, attempt to cramp yourself for room, and build a great tall staring house, such as would pass muster in a city, but is exceedingly out of place in a park. As a matter of domestic æsthetics, do not think of giving yourself, and still less any of your guests, the trouble of mounting up more than one set of stairs to go to bed, but keep your reception and principal rooms on the ground floor, and your private rooms, with all the bed-chambers, on the floor above. Since, however, you have determined on going to the expense of a proper roof, do not suppose that we are such bad architectural advisers as to recommend that the roof should be useless. No; here let the female servants and the children of the family, perhaps, too, a stray bachelor friend or two, find their lodging; and above all, if you are a family man, if you have any of those tender yearnings after posterity, which we hope you have, introduce into the roof a feature which we will remind you of[Pg 733] by and by, and for which, if we could only persuade people that such a very old and useful idea were a new one, and our own, we would certainly take out a patent.

There should, then, be only two stories in a gentleman's country residence, and a dormer or mansard story if we may so term it, in the roof;—we will not be so vulgar as to call it a garret,—nor yet so classical as to resort to the appellation of an attic. If, therefore, you require a large house, take plenty of ground, and lay out all your rooms en suite. Let all the offices, whence any noise or smell can arise, be perfectly detached from the dwelling part of the mansion:—such as the kitchens, sculleries, laundries, &c. They should all be collected into a court with the coach-houses and stables on the outside, and the whole range of the domestic offices on the other. Never allow a kitchen to be placed under the same roof as your dining-room or drawing-room: cut it off completely from the corps de logis, and let it only communicate by a passage;—so shall you avoid all chance of those anticipatory smells, the odour of which is sufficient to spoil your appetite for the best dressed dinner in the world. If you would have any use for the vault under your house, keep all your cellar stores, and all your "dry goods" there;—it will be a test of your house being well-built if they do not show any effects of damp after a few months' stowage below the level of the soil, yet in aere pleno. We do not mean to say that we would put one of our best and newest saddles, nor our favourite set of harness, in one of the lower vaults, to judge of the dampness of the house; but depend upon it, a pair or two of old shoes form excellent hygrometers; and you may detect the "dew-point" upon them with wonderful accuracy.

"But only look at how you are increasing the cost of the house by thus stretching out the house, and really wasting the space and ground!"—What! still harping on the same string—that eternal purse-string!—still at the gold and the notes? If you go on at this rate, my good sir, you will never do any thing notable in the house-line. Take a lesson from Louis XIV. when he built Versailles;—that sovereign had at least this one good quality,—he had a supreme contempt for money;—it cost him a great deal no doubt, but it is "Versailles," nec pluribus impar;—why, it is a quarter of a mile long, and there is, or rather was, room in it to have lodged all the crowned heads of Europe, courts, ministers, guards, and all. Never stint yourself for space; the ground you build on is your own; it is only the extra brick and mortar;—the number of windows is not increased by stretching the plan out, the internal fittings are not an atom more expensive. Be at ease for once in your life, and cast about widely for room.

And now, dear sir, if you can but once remove this prejudice of cost from your mind, you may set at defiance all those twaddling architects who come to you with their theories of the "smallest spaces of support," and who would fain persuade you that, because it is scientific to build many rooms with few materials, therefore you ought to dwell in a house erected on such principles,—and that they ought to build it for you. You may send them all to the right-about with their one-sided contracted notions: is the house to be built for your sake or for theirs? who is going to inherit it—you or they? who is to find out all the comforts and discomforts of the mansion—the owner or the architect?—If you, then keep to your two stories and to the old English method of building your house round one or more courts. Go upon the old palatial, baronial, or collegiate plan; no matter what may be the style of architecture you adopt, this plan will be found suitable to any. The advantages of it are as follows: first of all, it gives you the opportunity of having your rooms all en suite, and yet not crowded together; next, it is more sociable for the inmates of a large country mansion to have the windows of their apartments looking partly inwards, as it were to the centre of the house, and partly outwards to the surrounding scenery: and thirdly, it requires and it gives the opportunity of having that most admirable and most useful appendage of any large mansion,—a cloister, or covered gallery, running round the[Pg 734] whole interior of the court, either projecting from the plane of the walls—and, if so, becoming highly ornamental; or else formed within the walls, and, if so, giving an unusual degree of warmth and ventilation. In this damp and uncertain climate of ours, just consider how many days there are in the course of the year, when the ladies and the children of a family cannot stir out of doors, not even into the gardens; and then think of what a comfort it would be to have a dry and airy and elegant promenade and place of exercise within their own walls. Then the children may scamper about, if it be, a proper cloister external to the house, and make that joyous noise which is so essential to their health, without any fear of annoying even the most nervous of mammas. Within an instant they may all be under her own personal inspection, and yet they may have their perfect freedom. Here may the ladies of the family walk for hours on a wet day, and enjoy themselves without trouble, and with the facility of being at home again in a minute. If the court is well laid out as a flowery parterre, and the green-house is made to contribute its proper supply of plants to the cloister, it becomes converted into a kind of conservatory, and forms of itself an artificial or winter garden. Both a cloister, and an internal corridor with windows opening into the former, may very appropriately be constructed together, and then the accommodation of this plan is complete.

Whoever has lived in a cloistered and court-built house will know the convenient and comfortable feature we would here point out:—it is especially suited to the climate of England, and to the domestic habits of English families; it is one of the most ornamental features a house can possess; it gives great facilities to the waiting of the servants; it makes the house warm rather than cold; and it adds greatly to the comfort of the whole. As for the additional cost—let the cost be——! have we not entered our caveat against all such shabby pleas? Take this along with you, good sir,—do the thing well, or don't do it at all.

[Pg 735]


Ten days ago, when snowed up by winter, recurrent for the third time this season, I could not compel myself to the recollection of my Adalian experiences. Now that I am sitting with window thrown wide open, and with fire raked out, the spirit of the scene encourages memories of my visit to that very hot emporium of Caramania.

We had been kept on the Smyrna station till we pretty well knew it under every changing phase of season. Through the rigour of winter we had been brought now to the very flagrance of the dog-star, to the time when human nature can pretend no opposition to the mood of the lordly sun. Even late in the autumn, these clear skies afford so little interruption to the tide of sunbeams, that one is not quite exempt from risk of coup de soleil. Indeed this is perhaps the very time when the untutored stranger is particularly exposed to this danger. It is the only time of the year when travelling can be pursued as a serious occupation; or when one of the pale-faced Occidentals can venture forth sub dio at mid-day, without positive madness. During the months that, on the admission of the indigenous, do duty as summer, the state of things is so evidently beyond a joke, that no idea of trifling therewith enters into the most unsophisticated mind. Life is reduced to something very like a resignation of the sturdy substance of the day, and a diligent employment of the two fag-ends. The intervening hours must be slept away, or read away, or somehow employed without the requisition of corporeal activity. And, considering that these are the hours during which musquitoes vex not, and lesser tormentors of the rampant kind are inactive, it is no slight boon to have such an interval, during some part of which you may sleep in peace. As for the night, you may use it for eating ices, or strolling on the Marina, or pulling out on the phosphorescent waters of the bay; but unless you be very fresh, you will hardly think of using that as the time for turning in. And thus are rendered grateful those slumbers which are induced by the prevailing spirit of noon. Of course, under such conditions of existence, there is no great probability that much risk will be encountered by any one gifted with the ordinary instinct of self-preservation. Should any one be foolhardy enough to dare for himself the experiment, he would scarcely find a surridgi to furnish animals, or a guide willing to pilot him. And should he even make a start of it, am I not the very man to know what a lesson he would get in the course of the first six hours of his march; and to predict that he would, should any brains be then remaining to him, turn back on the strength of that same sample? It is only a very young, and somewhat foolish person, who would be at all likely to be found in this predicament. The dissuasion of the indigenous is so earnest, and so without exception, that, considering their knowledge of the facts, a prudent stranger must perceive in them the substance of reason. The Asiatics, perhaps, carry a little too far the dread of exposure to the atmospheric influences of summer; for they are careful to shut out even the cool breezes of night, and dread the odour of freshness that a shower calls forth from the earth. This delightful exhalation they affirm to be the producer of fever. But indeed we may concede to them the entertaining of some whimsies on this subject, as being the necessary contingencies on their fatal experiences of marsh malaria.

Happy we Englishmen and Scotsmen, who know not what this malaria means! The worst story on the subject that I remember was a personal adventure of my friend Beard. The scene of this adventure is a little out of the way of Adalia, but it may serve to illustrate the style of thing prevailing generally in this direction any where within hail of a marsh. Beard was engaged in that (to those who[Pg 736] like it) delightful, but occasionally perilous duty of surveying. This involves the being sent away in the boats for weeks at a stretch, during which time you go groping along the coast, or threading out-of-the-way channels between islands. It is easy to conceive that with fine weather, and healthy shores, this must be a welcome duty to a young officer, full of zeal, and unaccustomed to command. But sometimes the course will lie along deadly shores, past which you must creep, and snatch hydrographical facts from the teeth of death. Beard, poor fellow—and yet, considering that he lives to tell the tale, we should rather congratulate than pity—Beard was in command of a party of seven. Any one who knows the service, knows that an officer accustomed to command a particular boat, if he be a good fellow, acquires a strong fellow-feeling for and with his men. This is but human nature, seeing that they are subject to frequent and long isolations from the rest of the ship's company. I have felt this influence strongly myself, and am persuaded that a sailor is never so amiable a being as when away from his ship and from civilisation, on some scrambling boat-expedition. He then puts off altogether that selfishness of bearing which it often suits his humour while on board to affect. Beard was one who entered fully into the spirit of these expeditions; indeed he might have led one to suppose that he would willingly have agreed to pass his life in a boat. On this particular occasion they were coasting along Thessaly—those shores so beautiful to look at, but of which the beauty, when the mists of night descend upon them, reek with the breath of death. They proceeded cautiously; and as their labours were protracted into new days and weeks, and none of their little band had been stricken, they began to hope, and perhaps to believe themselves seasoned and safe. The time for them to rejoin the ship at last arrived, and not a man had been ill. One man did indeed complain in the morning, but he laid in his oar, and they hoped would soon be better. Presently another was forced to claim the same exemption, and another. In short, they reached the ship with great difficulty, and as by miracle, and not one of the party could mount the side. They were all hoisted in, and in a few hours the only man of the party who lived was my friend. In the pretty island of Sciathos is a tomb, wherein sleep the whole party save that one. I have stood by this, and read in the sad story of its inscription a sufficient warning on the subject of marsh malaria. Once or twice I have come in its way, but never willingly, and happily always without calamitous result. Once only I have slept within its problematical range, and that was off that pestiferous bit of coast near Epidaurus, and I fancy at a season when the marshes had not their steam up.

We had among us a lesson, but not of this melancholy character, on the absurdity of attempting to brave the daylight heat of summer. It is so natural for an Englishman to look upon the mere natives of any place to which he may come in his travels, as cheats and ignoramuses, that we, as a matter of course, and most complacently, admitted the natives en masse and every where to that rating. In the course of our vagaries we stumbled on the pretty island of Mytilene, in the very piping hours of summer. Very cool and pleasant did it look to us shipmen, hanging down its umbrageous olive groves nearly to the water's edge—and very pleasant should we have found it to be, had we been content to defer our landing till the authorised hour of eventide. But besides that the place looked so inviting, we felt bound to give way to a little enthusiasm at this approach to the birthplace of the lady who gave Horace the model of

"Jam satis terris nivis atque diræ" &c.

so nothing could hold us in from immediate disembarkation, and a cross country ride. We went right across from one harbour to another—for it has two, which between them nearly bisect the island. But so frightful was the heat, that nothing but youth and English blood exempted us from the penalty of fever. Some of the party were very nearly knocked up mid-way; and we should scarcely any of us have managed to get back to the ship as we did, had it not been our fortune[Pg 737] to meet a resting-place in the village of Loutri. Such attempts as this are the causes of the sad casualties that we occasionally find happening to Eastern travellers. How many have paid with their lives the penalty of an unseasonable journey in Syria, especially on the coast between Beyrout and Jerusalem. Only choose well your time, and you may proceed in perfect security, so far as the dangers of nature are concerned. Any attempt at forcing a journey is a folly; and a folly of which the correction will come with the first experiment, if it leave to the person any future opportunity of sublunary conduct.

But no one should mention Mytilene without saving a word or two in praise of its beauty. All shrivelled up as we were by the heat—for we were almost past the sudatory stage—we drank in some refreshment from the scenery. Port Olivet has quite the appearance of a lake, and it is only when quite at the spot that you perceive the real nature of the locality. The hills around are finely shaded; and the masses of olive-trees assumed, in the then lurid glare of sky and water, that shadowy appearance that we used to see in Turner's pictures. They are very famous for the production of a fine oil from their olives, which is the staple commodity of the island, and of which they export considerable quantities. By all accounts, nature, unassisted, may claim the praise of this produce, for they are said to be careless manufacturers. We went into one or two of the εργαστηρια to witness the process of compression, but could not take it upon our veracity to utter an opinion anent them. At least they seem in a fair way to improve their wares; for the new consular agent of France (whom, by the way, we took to his Barataria) is especially knowing in this line, and hopes to produce, in a short time, oil that shall be equal to that of France or Lucca.

After all this talk about the impossibility of travelling in the summer, it augurs ill for our account of Adalia, to say that it was the very heat and rage of summer when we landed there. But as we were not volunteers on the occasion, we did not choose our own season. Like the fifty thousand Cossacks who marched off to the East Indies, not because they liked it, but because they were sent, we were saved all the trouble of deliberation; and once arrived at the spot, we were sufficiently old stagers to adapt ourselves to the ways and means of the place. I remember that we were delighted at the start: catching at the prospect of change, as at the hope of improvement. Certainly things were bad enough with us in Smyrna bay at that time. The pitch was boiling in the seams, the water was hissing along-side; the sky seemed an entire sun, so truly were the fiery rays rendered back from every part of the glowing concave. The sea-breeze, one's only solace under such circumstances, was continually forgetting to come. In spite of the common profession, that without the sea-breeze it would be impossible to live hereaway, we continued to pant through days of breezeless existence. At this time it was that I arrived at the conclusion which is now established in the code of my economics, that the endurance at Calcutta or Port Royal is a joke compared with what one has to undergo in these milder latitudes. The dweller in Anatolia has no such range of Fahrenheit to alarm him into defensive measures, and thus he falls comparatively unprepared into the conflict with the dog-days. Your Bengalee mounts defences of tattees and punkahs that cool down a hot wind, or whistle air into presence in a trice. Whereas in this part of the world, as the Sirocco blows, so it must steal into your room, parching your face, and covering you all over with a clammy stickiness, through which you may distinctly feel the subdolent shudder of incipient ague. When he has darkened his room, and spread cool mats on the floor, the poor Smyrniot has nothing farther that he can do. And if such be the case of those who dwell within the mansions of Ismir, who have at least thick walls between them and the sun, what is likely to be the state of those disgraziatos, who people the busy town of ships in the bay?—the rash men

"—digitos a morte remotos
Quatuor aut septem."

Custom, they say, may bring a man to any thing, as it did M. Chabert to[Pg 738] the power of living in an oven; to which achievement, by the way, I should not wonder if the first step had been the passing of a hot summer on board ship in harbour. You may any day see, at some of our gigantic iron-works, custom bringing men to such a pass, that they can endure to stand before a fire that would be the death and cooking of an ox. And so I suppose it was by force of custom that we were able to undergo a style of thing that ought to have been the stewing of any ordinary flesh and blood. But it was a stupid and languid life that we were leading, scarcely venturing on deck even beneath the awning, and not dreaming of shore except quite in the evening. Sometimes a morning's interest would be excited by some story of plague in the Lazaretto, and a proposed adjournment of the ship to Vourlah, to be out of harm's way; and such speculations, though not exactly pleasurable, were at least anti-stagnative in character. In any thing like decent weather it is not bad fun to get down to Vourlah for a time, and to fly from the gaieties of the metropolis to the pleasures of the chasse at Rabbit Island. It must ever be soothing to a spirit that has not quite forgotten "the humanities," to walk upon the turf which witnessed the infant gambols of Anaxagoras; and besides that, the locality is pretty, and worthy of being visited on its own account. The town is at the distance of some miles from the Scala, which last is the grand watering-place for the ships on this station. Some few years ago, when the two fleets, French and English, were here, an extempore town was devised on the beach, for the benefit of the thousand and one hangers-on who are always found in such neighbourhoods. This was a stretch of luxury on their part; for generally these nautical suttlers need no other shelter than that of the boat which contains their wares. They are always ready for a start, and glad to be allowed to follow almost any whither in the wake of a ship. I should think they might be rated amongst the most honest of their compatriots, as they certainly may amongst the most hard-working and courageous.

But no such luck had been ours, as to be assigned so pleasant an adjournment. The longest cruise we had any of us managed to steal, was perhaps in one of the cutters, as far as what we Englishmen persist in calling St James's castle—a strange name for Turks to give a place, and which, in fact, we have devisedly corrupted from their word sandjeak.

At last, one happy day—happy in its result, not in the complexion it bore at its opening—we positively did receive orders for a start, and this is the way it came about: The representative of sultanic dignity at the somewhat retired watering-place of Adalia, was a man prone, like the greater number of his countrymen, to judge of things altogether in the concrete. The idea of power could by him be deduced only from present violence; and without some such sensible manifestations, it became to him like one of Fichte's "objects," i.e. all moonshine. With regard to foreign powers, they existed for him, and influenced his government, only so far as they sent occasionally a ship of war with its suggestive influence of a frowning broadside to look in his way. They have no very distinct idea, these gentlemen, of geography, nor of political science; all thus are sadly out in their estimation of the relative importance of places. To them the seat of their government is the world; or at least the place in it of importance second to Constantinople. If they be passed over in the distribution of our corps de demonstration, they are apt to ascribe the omission to a want of power on our part. Now, with all their excellencies, it call hardly be denied that they are sadly apt to presume on any want of power in a neighbour. So it happens that the unfortunate consuls who are stowed away in the obscurer establishments, are apt to suffer from their caprice. Should it so happen that the particular flag over whose interests the consul is appointed inspector, should not have been displayed in the neighbourhood lately by any ship of war, the short memory of a pasha is in danger of forgetting that nation's claim to respect; for any thing that he knows, it may have been revolutionised or sunk by an earthquake,—at least he cannot bear the trouble of imagining any[Pg 739] other reason for the non-appearance of its executive ministers, than the obvious one of its having no ships to send. Thus, in matters of precedence, consuls are apt sometimes to get snubbed—a point on which, of all others, they are tender: or in matters of justice, their clients will find themselves ousted, in spite of the proverbial integrity of the Turkish judges. Perhaps the readiest way of stumbling on a grievance, is the kind of thing that gave rise to our visit, where some of the populace presume on your want of protection, and commit some aggression on your rights as a man and a brother. This being referred to the authorities, will be apt to be viewed by them in the light of that consideration which they happen to be lending at that moment to your nation. Poor fellows! we must not be hard upon them; nor will we doubt the sound foundation of the panegyrics which many travellers have pronounced on their honesty. They are honest, no doubt, so far as they understand the doctrine of the thing; but the fact is, they do not seem to understand the subject in the abstract. They have no idea of judging a foreigner's cause, without reference to considerations of his nationality and personal importance; and to pronounce readily a decision in favour of one against whom should lie the preponderance in these particulars, would be to them an absurdity. We have had occasion lately to be struck with the tone in which certain writers have spoken on the subject of Mussulman morals. The first notability about such accounts is, that they are very different from the reports of their predecessors—of such an accurate man as Burkhardt for instance; and the second notability, so far as most of us are concerned, is, that they are contrary to the general consent of travellers. That there are excellent men, and honest among them, is a fact; and it is a fact, that in general matters of bargaining, you may trust to them. But when the idea of probity is carried out, so far as to imply a view of things comparatively disparaging to Christian morals, it mounts to an anti-climax, and falls over into the province of nonsense. The Koran has provided them with much ethical guidance, of which individual Turks, of any pretence to religion, must be in some degree observant. But it is not true that the history of such cases, in their administration of justice, as might have occurred in the court of the old πολεμαρχος, will allow us to conclude that they are in possession of a rule coercing them to be just and brotherlike towards the unprotected stranger, abstractly and for justice's sake. Now, with us you may find many individual rogues, but never a roguish court, nor tolerated roguish public body. And of this difference between us Christians and them Turks, it will not be difficult for any one to supply the reason, who will give himself the trouble to think about it.

But as I was saying, at Adalia,—the town I mean, not the province,—lived, with the authority of local governor, a personage styled a Caimacan. This is a person inferior to a regular pasha, having in fact a sort of acting rank. One remembers this style and title well, because it puts us in mind of the nicest thing eatable that the Levant affords—Caimac, which is something very like Devonshire cream, only better. This Caimacan, being a sort of great man's great man, is apt not to bear his honours meekly. At the precise time of which I speak, the Sultan was raising considerable levies in different parts of his dominions, for the benefit of good order among the Albanians. Near Adalia was a military rendezvous for the forces raised in that neighbourhood, and the command pro tempore of the new levies was assigned to the Caimacan. So that the poor man was labouring under an accession of dignity.

At Adalia also lived a certain Ionian—from the Seven Islands, friend, not from Asia—who had been led thither by a speculation in the soap trade. To judge by the evident want of the article, would have been to pronounce a most favourable opinion as to the probable result of such speculation. In fact the man succeeded only too well; he boiled so successfully, and sold so cheaply, that all the native competitors were beaten out of the field. The true believers were, of course, indignant at this conduct[Pg 740] of an infidel and a stranger; and as they could not weather on him in the fair way of trade, they determined to try if they could not "choke his luff" by a practical expedient. Paying him a visit one day, they spoiled his stock in trade, broke his gear, gave him a good thrashing, and told him to take that as a gentle hint of what they would do if he did not behave himself for the future. The poor fellow appealed to the Caimacan for satisfaction for the injury done, and for security against future violence. From this person he received no assistance, and was left to fight it out as he best could against his opponents.

Those dear Ionians! creditable fellow-countrymen are they for us, and profitable. No people assert more unflinchingly their privilege of national relationship with ourselves, and thus do we get the credit of all the rows which they may kick up throughout the Mediterranean. It is highly amusing to see the style in which they will declare themselves to be Englishmen, not merely as allies and protected for the time being, but with the implication of a claim to identity of race. A son of Ithaca or Zante will talk as if he were a true Saxon. Certainly, the Turks seem to make little distinction between the races. That the men are under British protection, is for them sufficient reason for esteeming them to be Englishmen. Sometimes their classification of races shows an amusing ignorance of, and indifference to the whole set of national distinctions among Franks. I remember that all who attended the services of the British chaplaincy at Smyrna, were called English, though among them were many who could speak scarcely a word of the language; and so all who went to the dissenting meeting-house (for they have one there) were called Americans.

Our poor soap-boiler being reduced to extremity, having lost his goods, and being afraid to make a fresh start of it, betook himself for assistance to the English vice-consul. The office was at that time filled by a very efficient person—one, moreover, who had for many years resided in the country, and understood well the language and national genius. But it so happened that just then a long time had elapsed since any of our men-of-war had paid a visit to the road-stead and consular dignity was in a condition of proportional depreciation. The consul, however, as in duty bound, paid his visit of remonstrance, and laid before the great man the wrong done within his jurisdiction; whereupon the Caimacan behaved like any thing but a gentleman, and, far from promising to remedy the ill done, gave him to understand that he did not care sixpence for soap-boiler or consul either. Mr —— had sufficient knowledge of the people to know that this declaration of opinion was strictly true, and that the only plan to correct it, would be to prove himself able to summon an armed force to his assistance. Till they saw this, nothing would be able to persuade the Adalians that he was not either deserted by his country, or that his country had not lost the power to assist him.

And thus it was that Mr —— wrote to his chief at Smyrna a description of the ticklish state of circumstances, and explained that unless English commercial interests at Adalia were to be suffered to go altogether to the wall, some strong preservative must be sent thither in the shape of a stout ship, with a goodly array of long thirty-twos. And so was it that word came to the good ship Falcon, which thereupon spread forth her wings, or, in plain language, hoisted her topsails, and set forth on her conciliatory expedition. Besides that we were delighted to get away in any direction from the stagnation of Smyrna—a stagnation affecting air, sea, and society,—it was a recommendation of the cruise in this particular direction that none of us had ever been there before. There is little reason why in a general way it should be visited from one year's end to another,—I mean in the way of business, at least the business of those who have to distribute their attention throughout these seas for the interests of general pacification. The place, as we afterwards found, is not without commerce; but there are no merchants of our nation except the vice-consul. The advantages of this place as a trading station, more especially[Pg 741] as being a station where he would find no competitors, had induced him to settle here. And the prestige lent by the consular name, afforded sufficient inducement for the undertaking of an office, which, if it be not very lucrative, at any rate involves the responsibility of no very serious duties. Though now and then a man in office may forget himself, yet in the long run a consul is sure to be treated with deference, and to reap considerable commercial advantages from his position. Be it understood, that here there are other merchants,—but the indigenous, chiefly Turco-Greek. Besides a single gentleman who acted as assistant to the vice-consul in his various duties, we did not find a Frank resident. We heard, indeed, that there was also an Austrian, but we did not see him, so I suppose that he could hardly have been of much consequence.

The weather at first beguiled us with symptoms of a change for the cooler, and lent to our sails some pleasant breezes as we passed out of the Gulf of Smyrna. As we sped onward, things became even better, and especially delighted us with their aspect off Rhodes. It is a singular fact, well known to those who know the locality, that the day scarcely occurs in the year when this island is afflicted with a calm. For some reason it so happens that, pass when you will, you are pretty sure to find a stiff breeze blowing. One of the points of the island, which thrusts out into the sea a long and low promontory, shows that the natives here know how to turn this physical provision to good effect. This point is in the most curious way studded with windmills, and from this its garniture has received its name in our geography. These poor machines rarely know an hour's quiet, but continually throw about their long arms in what, from a little distance, seems to be a mere confusion of material. Past this exquisitely beautiful island, of whose strand the recollection is fraught with associations of unfeverish existence, we sped rapidly before the breeze, which almost made us regret the land we were leaving. Truly should we have regretted it, had we but known the breezeless condition on which we were about to enter! For some four-and-twenty hours before we arrived at our port, the weather changed eminently for the worse. The feathery vanes stirred not, and the canvass flapped against the mast, as the old girl rolled lumpingly in the swell. She was a dear old ship as ever floated, but like all other things sublunary, animate, or inanimate, was not without her faults. Of these the worst, nay, the only one to speak of, was the habit of rolling about most viciously whenever she had a chance. The sun poured upon us such a flood of heat, that awnings became a joke. Things were so thoroughly heated during the day, that the night scarcely afforded sufficient hours to cool them down, for a fresh start next morning. We began almost to question whether we had not changed bad for worse; and very soon made up our minds that without any mistake we had. We arrived at this conclusion, as the port of our destination hove in sight. It was towards evening that we crept in to our anchorage, through an atmosphere scarcely sufficiently alive to give us motion, and so almost glowing that it seemed to burn us as we passed. The place was wrapped in breathless stillness: no boats came forth to try a market with us, or to gratify their curiosity; and no sounds issued from the shore, which might have been deemed almost unhaunted of men.

When daylight revealed the features of the place, we perceived the pretensions of Adalia in the way of the picturesque to be of a high order. Neither was there wanting matter of admiration even in the night, though we were suffering too much discomfort to be easily pleased by mere pictures. The shore, in its way, afforded an unusual spectacle. The town stands on high ground, and on both sides the line of coast is formed by lofty cliffs, stretching far away into the distance. What of the beauties of these depended on the light of day for development, were reserved for our edification on the morrow. But the good people had ornamented their country just then in a fashion more appropriate to embellish the night than the day. Enormous fires were blazing on the cliffs, which skirted the bay up which we were advancing,—if[Pg 742] we may apply so familiar a word to the conflagrations that met our sight. The most active spirit of incendiarism had been afloat, for entire woods were seen in a state of burning. We never discovered whether this destruction was by accident, or of set purpose: if it were done by way of obtaining charcoal, the price of that article one would think must have fallen in the market. But as these fires blazed away in the clear dry air of the night, they lit up the bay, and almost threw upon the waters the dark shadow of our masts and yards. At first, when at some distance, we had been disposed to account for the lurid appearance of the heavens, by supposing that distance and refraction had effected a cheat upon our senses. When we came nearer, the only thing we could suppose was, that the whole country, was in the course of destruction. It is hard to say whether the distance at which we anchored from the shore was not too great to allow of the production on us of any sensible effect from these fires: that we had any misgiving on the subject may serve to show that they were enormous. I know that at the time we made up our minds, that to their agency was to be attributed some portion at least of the heat that oppressed us. The wind came off in gusts of overpowering heat; not with that tepid influence that grumblers sometimes denounce as a hot wind, but with the full sense of having come from a baker's oven. At least we had a grand sight for our pains, and therefrom reaped some consolation as we clustered panting on the deck.

I remember to have seen something in this way before, though on a smaller scale, and that was in the island of Eubœa. Once in my life, I had a very near view of the recent scene of such a conflagration in one of the smaller Greek islands. It was in taking, according to our custom, a ramble right across the land, that we came on no less a collection of embers than the debris of an entire forest, which lay smouldering at our feet. I know that, having commenced from curiosity the work of picking our way through the ashes, we found the undertaking more arduous than we quite fancied, and that our trowsers and shoes would afterwards have fetched but little in Monmouth-street. The Greeks, it is understood, light up their bonfires, partly by way of amusing themselves, and partly by way of hinting displeasure at things in general. Of course, it is quite obvious, that any party who wish to prove a minister's rule to be calamitous, assists their argument by increasing the sum of calamity.

But night with its miseries at length was passed. During its course, the thermometer did not get below 90°. What it reached in the daytime it boots not to record—and signifies less, because when the sun is above us, we bargain for a hot day in summer. But oh! those nights, when by every precedent we should have had cooling dews, and refreshing air!

However, the sun rose, and the people on shore rose too. There was no tumultuous rushing forth in boats to have a look at the new comers, as there is so apt to be on the arrival of a man-of-war. A quiet little dingy would steal out, manned by three or four mongrel-looking Greeks, and row round us at a respectful distance. The fact is, that the people had got scent of the reason of our coming: and as a reclamation of right is by them supposed to be incompatible with any thing but an angry mood, they were afraid to approach us. The town itself we perceived to be a most ill-conditioned looking place. Harbour there is none—at least none available in a breeze from seaward. A heavy sea sets right in, and must strand any thing found anchored here. We were afterwards told, that in the bad weather of the winter before our coming, the sea had washed some vessels right up into the town. This want of a harbour is the most serious drawback to the commerce of Adalia. It is, in every respect except this, adapted to serve as the general emporium of the interior. Even at present, notwithstanding its disadvantages, a good deal of business is done here: but ships can never lie before the town in peace, nor commence loading and unloading, with the confidence that they shall be able to get through their work without having first to slip cable and be off. But the town must be in other hands before so arduous[Pg 743] a work is likely to be undertaken.

A most unserviceable rumble of a fort mounted guard over the town, in a position little likely to be of use in repelling an attack by sea. Perhaps it might have been available as a maintainer of good order in the town, should the spirit of insubordination haply spring up therein: but we could hardly have credited the walls as possessed of sufficient stability to stand the shock of a report. We saw the artillery-men, busy as bees, at their guns—evidently standing by to return the salute which we were expected to give. But this would have been far too civil treatment for them, while matter of dispute between us remained. We maintained a dignified silence.

It was not long before Mr —— found his way off to us, and put us up to the actual state of affairs. It seemed that little Pedlington was in an uproar. The whole of the Adalian public were in a state of lively commotion. Of course, as they had bullied loudly, they were abject in concession. Those more immediately concerned in the outrage on the soap-boiler, would have infallibly absconded, had not the strong arm of the law laid an embargo upon them, and laid them by as scapegoats in the first instance. The prevailing opinion about us was, that we should certainly blow the town about their ears, but that still all must be essayed to conciliate us. The Caimacan himself, the great man who had given rise to the remonstrance on our part, had taken himself off, and left his deputy in command. This was professedly to look after some troops that he was recruiting in the neighbourhood, but we gave him the credit of practising a dodge to get out of the way of an awkward business. A striking peculiarity of the business was, that no doubt seemed any longer to be maintained as to the issue of the negotiation. The question of right and wrong was no longer considered as being open; but the verdict was already presumed to be given against those whom we challenged as offenders.

It was thought advisable to pay some attention to appearances on the occasion of our interview with the governor. No suit prospers with them, in a general way, unless backed by good personal appearance. For this reason we mustered a strong party of officers, in imposing costume; and by way of evincing our determination, proceeded with as little delay as possible to the divan. The usual motley group of starers gathered round us at the landing, and escorted us up the rugged street to the palais de justice. They all seemed to be affected with the spirit of fear, except our partisans, who were in a state of exultation from the like cause. Two individuals in particular were amusingly and palpably possessed with the spirit of triumph, and they were the two attendants of the vice-consul. These men were worthy of notice on other accounts, but singularly remarkable in respect of the effectual manner in which they seemed to have divested themselves of national prejudices. They were enthusiastic fellows, who had not merely let out their services to the representative of England, but seemed fairly to have made over to him the allegiance of heart and head; retaining no sympathy with their own countrymen. Thus did they seem to rejoice eminently in our coming, and the consequent humbling of the local authorities. They were two strapping fellows—as janissaries, to be any thing worth, should always be—and marshalled us the way in grand style.

The unhappy rabble seemed to be suffering the pangs of most cruel privation when the cortège arrived at the residence of justice, and they found themselves left in the lurch at the threshold. In such mood you see a London mob flattening their noses against the panes of a chemist's window, or hanging outside of a replete magistrate's office. One comfort is, that the economy of a Turkish menage perfectly admits of the establishment of a line of scouts, even from the very presence-chamber: so that earliest intelligence may be conveyed to the gentlemen without. Mr —— gave us by the way a few hints as to etiquette, and engaged to prompt us as occasion might demand. I have said already that he was perfectly up to conversation in the native language and might have well played the part of interpreter. One might might have supposed that this would[Pg 744] have been taken by the people rather as a compliment; and that it would have been considered creditable to a foreign agent to have acquired a knowledge of the vernacular of the people with whom he had constantly to treat. But the contrary is the fact. To speak for one's self is far too simple a mode of conducting business: and he who would preserve his dignity in any consideration, must retain the services of a dragoman. To conduct an important interview without the intervention of this functionary would convey to the Turks an idea of slovenly negligence. A good thing is it when the agent, commercial or diplomatic, possesses sufficient knowledge of the language to enable him to check the version of the interpreter, who otherwise is apt to take liberties with his text. However, we were in this case quite safe: first, in the assurance of Mr —— that he would risk his life on his dragoman's veracity; and next, because it was clear that no word could pass which was not likely to be reinterpreted to us.

We marched into the room, and made our salaams-some of us inconsiderable ones very truculently, for we were very irate; and on all such occasions a man's indignation rises in exact proportion to the degree in which he has nothing to say to the matter. The deputy Caimacan was sitting on a divan at the top of the room, and rose politely as we entered. There were too many of us to find room in the divan, so we were scattered about as best we could light on places. The main difficulty was to get a place that looked clean enough to sit upon; for a dirtier palace I never saw, nor a more, beggarly. One cannot say whether the head governor had taken all his traps with him when he went a-soldiering; but if what we saw really was his establishment, it is likely enough that he had gone away to avoid exposing his poverty.

"Hosh Gueldin," said the Turk; "you are welcome."

And now was to be seen a fine contrast between Oriental apathy and British energy. The Turk sank back on his seat, as if disengaged from all care, and not quite up to the trouble of entertaining his morning visitors. The English Captain sat bolt upright, "at attention," and opened the business of the séance at once.

"Tell the Governor—"

"Stop a moment," said Mr ——, "that's not the way to begin."

"What is the way then?"

"First, you must smoke a pipe—there's one coming this way. You would shock all their notions of propriety by entering abruptly on business. We must have first a little talk about things in general."

Just then the Governor roused up, and addressed to the Captain, through the dragoman, some observation on the weather or the crops. Then came a servant with a chibouque and coffee: and the head negotiators were soon co-operatively engaged.

And no bad way of beginning business either; especially in cases where there may be a little awkward rust to rub off. The only objection to the amusement in this case was, that it was not general—pipes being afforded only to the heads of departments. This was a style of treatment so different from all our experience, that it left me more fully persuaded than ever that the Caimacan had walked off with his goods and chattels, not forgetting his pipes.

This fumatory process proceeded for some time, almost in silence. It afforded the several parties opportunity to settle the speeches they intended to make, and certainly must have been useful in the way of allaying the angry passions of their several minds. We, who had none of the business on our consciences, and had come merely to make up the show, employed this interval in taking cognizance of the localities. The household appointments were sadly inferior to those we had been accustomed to see; and especially must this condemnation fall on the servants, who were a most dirty, ill-conditioned set. They stood clustered about the doorway in groups, looking furtively at us, and whispering counsel.

"Halloo!" said Mr ——, "they have determined to be prepared for contingencies. There are the culprits, I see, in waiting for the bastinado, if such should be your demand."

And there, sure enough, they had the poor fellows just outside, waiting to be scourged for the propitiating of[Pg 745] our wrath. Evidently they were little aware that the affair had changed altogether its complexion; and that the culpability had in our eyes been transferred from the original rioters to the protectors of the riot.

When, eventually, the signal was given for commencing business, it was a fine thing to see how beautifully submissive the deputy had become. He began by declaring that he could not arrange the matter, but must refer it to his chief, and wanted much to put off the discussion till that functionary should arrive. On this it was hinted to him, that it would have been polite and proper had that gentleman remained in the way to settle the row, which had occurred by his own fault, but that we could not await his return. Either must they undertake at once to make full reparation for the wounded dignity of the Consul, and for the injurious treatment of the Ionian, or they would see what they should see. It needed little pressing on our part to break down the feint which had been set up by way of opposition. The deputy soon declared that all should be as we wished. He still stuck to his declaration, that the actual settlement of the business was beyond his province, and that he must wait for the sanction of his commanding officer. But meanwhile he took upon himself to declare the terms on which things might be considered virtually settled; and they were, that we were to have everything our own way. This result was obtained by us without recourse had to any thing like bullying; and we were able, in this instance, to behave in a more civilised manner, because we were backed by so much real authority, and show of present power. But little doubt is there, that, however unfavourable the inference with respect to Turkish sense and honesty, the mode most commonly to be recommended in dealings with them, is by in terrorem proceeding. They cannot understand the co-ordinate existence, of power and moderation. Very good fun will sometimes be enacted by the knowing for the cowing of a pasha; and in almost any case the only fear of échouance is where there may exist too much modesty. But only bully hard, and you are tolerably sure to gain your point. It is by no means necessary that your arguments should carry the cogent force of soundness. Appearances are what weigh chiefly with those whose habits of thinking do not dispose them to discuss argument. One sharp-witted fellow that I knew brought to successful issue a decisive experiment on the readiness of pashas to be taken in by mere sound. He went into the vice-regal presence, attended by a dragoman whom he had previously instructed in the subject-matter to be propounded—some question of redress for grievance. It was necessary that he should say something on the occasion, and afford the appearance of telling the dragoman what to say: but as this person already knew his lesson, it was not necessary that what he said should be to him intelligible. Nothing occurred to him as likely to be more effective in delivery than the celebrated speech of Norval about the Grampian hills; which accordingly he recited with due emphasis, standing up to give the better effect to the scene. The end desired was fully attained. The pasha opened wide eyes, as the actor grew excited, and was visibly affected by the assumption of towering passion. He soon began to try to pacify him, and beg him to be easy. "Inshalla! all should be as he wished." The upshot of our argument with the deputy Caimacan was, that he would send immediately to his chief, for a confirmation of the pacification between us, and that meanwhile we were to amuse ourselves as well as we could. But for all we saw, amusement was one of the good things not easily to be had at Adalia. It is so deeply retired in uncivilisation, and so wanting withal in the excitements of energetic barbarism, that human life is there tamed down to the most passionless condition. It was, too, notwithstanding the season, a time of unusual commercial enterprise just then. It was the year of the murrain in Egypt, which destroyed so enormous a proportion of their cattle; and Mehemet Ali was sending in all directions to purchase horses, asses, and kine. A large corvette of his came in while we were there, on this service. She had landed her guns, and was filling her deck with livestock. There was also a deal of business going on just[Pg 746] then in the timber line. But little evidence of this brisk state of the markets was given by the people. A good many visitors certainly came off to see us; but that was rather a reason why we should have accused the populace of idleness. We were struck with the appearance of many of the old fellows who honoured us with visits. They retained, without exception, the orthodox dress and beard of the old school. Among them were a great number of the green turbans, which mark the sacred person of the "Hadji." Such a clustering of these distinguished characters made us fancy at first that Adalia itself must be invested with the idea of some peculiar sanctity. But we found that these gentlemen were merely en route, tarrying at Adalia, a great point of embarkation, for opportunity to pursue their journey. The place is in one of the great high roads to the Hedjaz: and of the swarms who pass through it every year, many pilgrims have not sufficient funds to defray the expense of travelling either way. It then becomes a work of charity for the more opulent of the faithful to speed them on the journey. But that they depend on such means of travelling is reason sufficient to account for long in their line of locomotion, and for their congregating here in considerable numbers. Of all places likely to maintain the constant infection of plague, this must be one of the first: for notoriously among no people is the disease so rife as among the pilgrims.

The worthy consul did his best to embellish the days of our sojourn with pleasurable episodes. Society there was not likely to be any; but yet such as, for want of better, they had, he undertook to show us. He really seemed very much obliged to us for our opportune visit, and said that it would be the making of him. It certainly did seem to be quite necessary to the maintaining of the dignity of his office. One invitation we had from a merchant of the place, a man whom they described as being very rich and of great influence; and a plan was laid for our having a picnic in the country. There is a place in the neighbourhood of the town which has been prepared expressly for the use of those who make rural excursions. A thick grove of trees keeps off the sun, and soft turf lends a seat to the revellers. We could make out the top of the trees from the anchorage, for the country is of an elevated character, hanging out on lofty cliffs the different features of its panorama. The effect produced by this arrangement of the scenery is highly beautiful. It has in profusion one element of the beautiful, and that is the feature of cascade. There is in one point a congress of waterfalls, whereat may be counted no less than nine separate streams, which pour down their abundance from the cliffs into the sea. The good consul and his satellites bore us pretty constant company; and of great service they were in preserving order among the motley crew that constantly thronged our decks. We did not like to qualify the good report we had so far gained and maintained, by any exhibition of harshness towards the mob. But the sturdy janissary of Mr —— thought nothing of laying his stick across a fellow's shoulders, by way of reminder to behave himself. I must say that many of them deserved it, and for their sakes can but hope that they profited by the attention.

Mr —— had two men in attendance upon him, without whom he never stirred abroad. They were brothers, but filled situations of different rank. One was dragoman, a post of which the occupation entitled him to the consideration of a gentleman; the other was merely henchman or janissary, of which dignity the allocation is in the kitchen. I remember that it pained me to see one brother walk in to dinner, while the other poor fellow had to keep guard without. But they seemed well used to the enforcement of the distinction, and to find therein nothing of invidiousness. Fine fellows were they both, and highly lauded by their master. There is surely something extraordinary in these instances, where men are brought to devote themselves implicitly to a foreign service, in the heart of their country, and amid the full play of national prejudices. That they really are faithful followers, is I believe beyond doubt; and that sometimes[Pg 747] under trying circumstances. With these two individuals especially, we had so much intercourse, that we were enabled to see how admiration for the English entered into the main current of their feelings. It so happened that we had come here to the very place where that early victim to the zeal of travel, Mr Daniels, had shortly before met his doom. While following in the track of Mr Fellowes, he caught the fatal Xanthian fever; and after many relapses died here. That these men were very kind and attentive to him may be argument only of their humanity. But there was something in the emotion with which they spoke of him, that betokened a sense of fellowship, beyond what men of such differing creeds are apt to feel for a travelling stranger. They spoke of sitting up with him at night, giving him his medicine, and weeping for him, when there remained no room for active solicitude. The idea of dying amidst strangers in a foreign land, with no familiar face at the bed-side, is a desolation whose thought cannot pass over the spirit without beclouding its sunniness. And yet we may rely upon it, that amongst those most affectionately tended and most generously wept, have been they who have met their last hour under such circumstances. Human hearts all vibrate in harmony to one chord: in the good this sympathy is ready; in the bad it is dulled; but never while life and hope remain, can the silver chord be said to be cut. And so it is, that the same image of the forlorn, which, as affecting any that we love, appeals at once to the deep wells of compassion, will cause the same feeling of compassion to thrill with the remotest stragglers of the family of Adam. It is not a matter of reasoning, but an instinct. There is in the sight of helpless suffering a power to disarm human ferocity. And if that be the gentlest death-pillow that is breathed upon by the prayer and lighted by the eye of family love, depend upon it that far from the ungentlest is that, whose presence has brought to rude and rough natures the putting off of their roughness, and the recognising of the sweet faculty of compassion. Happy is that desolation, even in the last hour, which can awaken the heaven-like eagerness to be to the dying one a minister from his far-off home! A man might be happy so to die, that he might light up so much of heaven within a human breast.

Both these attachés of the consulate were men of note. The dragoman had been captain of a troop of cavalry in the service of Mehemet Ali, and on some quarrel with his commanding officer had left the service and kingdom. He was a person of polished manners, and some education, and thus enabled to produce agreeably in conversation the results of his experience of many lands and people. He rather astonished us with the extent to which he carried jeune France principles, that seem so entirely incompatible with the holding of Mahomedanism. But wonderful it is to see how the French spirit circulates in the most apathetic societies, seeming to find in them a latent vitality suited to its purpose. The manners of a Mussulman are so stereotyped, and his subjects of conversation so provided for by law, that it seemed quite an anomaly to see this Turk drinking wine after dinner, and talking like a man of the world. It would not seem that such an effect on the personal character is the invariable result of educating a Turk in Paris, though such an effect is exactly what we might expect. I have met a native of Constantinople, who had brought back with him from France only the language and the personal deportment, retaining withal the anti-reforming spirit of his orthodox brethren. But this spirit of resistance to innovation is fast fading away; and as innovation once begun here must lead to revolution, it is not difficult to foresee that a few more years only shall have passed, when the character of the Turk will have become historical, and the scenes that at present embellish their corner of the world, will have to be sought for in the descriptions of pen and pencil. Whether the influence emanate from the throne, or whether the court be following the popular metropolitan movement, it is difficult to say. But among them is assuredly at work the spirit of change, that must shortly carry away the mouldering edifice of their present institutions. This is[Pg 748] something too vetust to abide the shock of any agitation. Let us hope that their changes may be successively biassed towards the better: may they acquire the urbanity of our great masters in elegance, without their profligacy; and if they reject Mahomedanism, may it be to receive in exchange something better than mere infidelity.

The brother of the ci-devant captain was a quiet, unassuming fellow, who wanted language to communicate with us freely. Nevertheless he managed to interest us much, with an account of the sufferings and trials of his youth. They were by birth Moreote Turks; and in the revolution of that country, when first the Greeks arose against their Turkish masters, (for really one must particularise in talking of Greek revolutions,) they had suffered the loss of all their protecting kindred, and hardly, children as they were, by some kindly intervention, been themselves saved. It is a sad thing, but a truth, that in this exterminating war, the cold-blooded massacreing was not all on one side. The horror and hatred of these deeds have, with their infamy, rested chiefly on the Turks, because theirs was the power to exceed in enormity; but the black veil of guilt rests on both sides of the strife. Still, however blameable the Greeks may be, for the cruelty committed on occasion, they were far from having power to work the enormous destruction of harmless life, whose memory still weighs on the Turkish power, and whose record is still extant in the evidence of ruined and dispeopled cities. But a short time before coming to Adalia, we had visited the island of Scio—that island which once was the garden of the Levant, and the storehouse of her riches. Even now, the great majority of the Greek merchants who are so prosperous a body in London, are Sciotes; and in those days they had pretty well all the commerce of the Levant in their hands. They delighted themselves in adorning their beautiful island with the artifices which money can command to the decorating of nature. At present a mass of ruins defaces that lovely spot. One is disposed to wonder that the Turks have never been at the pains to clear away the wreck of the town, if only for the sake of removing the monument of their cruelty. Mere selfish motives might induce them to be at that pains, and to restore this island to its former fitness for the habitations of the rich. At present it is one wide ruin; noble streets are there, with the shells of their houses remaining, as they were left in the day of massacre and pillage. The few inhabitants are stowed away in the one or two odd rooms of the old mansions that remain; being now reduced to such poverty that they have had neither spirit nor money to build for themselves; and probably finding it more congenial to the present spirit of their fortunes to roost among the bats and owls, rather than in trim streets. One occurrence gave us much pleasure, because it gave the lie to a story which has many abettors. It is said that when the garrison in the fortress, and the fleet before the town, were promoting the havoc, the English consul, from some punctilio on the subject of neutrality, refused shelter to the miserables who fled to his threshold. One old woman, in the story of her sufferings, gave us a full contradiction to this most incredible tradition. She had invited us into her dwelling to look at her wares, in the shape of conserves and purses—a strange combination, but nevertheless the articles by the sale of which they eke out their living. We were fully consoled for the trouble of passing over and through the debris of some half-dozen houses which lay between us and her domicile. It came out that she herself had been saved by flying to the English consulate. It was a comfort to hear this—and to hear it in a way that involved the fact of an indefinite number of refugees having found the same shelter. Many rejoice to say that the French consul was the only efficient protector in that day of horror; and of these times, though so recent, it is not easy always to get such correct information as may sustain a contradiction of popular report.

In a country of such limited resources in the way of amusement, it was not very easy for our zealous friends to cater for us, during the long days that we had to await the answer from the Caimacan. Riding was out of the question, and there were no[Pg 749] antiquities within reach. Thus were we cut off from the two great resources of men in our position. But they played their part of entertainers hospitably and well. They told us long stories of the courts, and of what was to be seen in actual service in the camp of the Egyptian viceroy. Above all, they did us good by showing how thoroughly happy the whole party had been rendered by our coming. We were only afraid that they might become a little too bumptious on the strength of it, and be after giving us another job. But they did more than simply bear us company; they bore us to the cool grove, which I have said we could descry from the deck of our ship, there to be introduced to certain worthies, and to make kef in their company. Nothing to my mind comes up to an al fresco entertainment—in proper season and country, be it understood; for an English gipsy party is a very different affair.

Our host conceived it to be a duty incumbent on him to develop, on this occasion, the full power of the resources of Adalia. We should have been far better satisfied if he had contented himself with doing things in a smaller way; but he was bent on magnificence. It was quite treat enough to lie on the soft turf, with the thick shade above, and to allow the hours to pass away as they led on evening. But he had been at the trouble to retain a band of musicians for our sakes. Such a set they were!—surpassing, in discordant prowess, the worst street musicians among our beggar melodists. It is quite surprising that invention has so long slumbered with these native artistes. With Musard concerts and Wilhelm music-meetings all around them, it is wonderful that they do not catch the note of something better than their villanous mandolins and single-noted pipes. Does any one need to be told what a mandolin is? It is something very different, let me assure him, from the ideal instrument of Moore's Melodies. Not even the lovely maidens that Moore paints could render tolerable a performance upon it; whereas it is made to resound by some especially ugly fellow, whose rascality of appearance, is relieved by no touch of the poetic. I did once hear a Turco-Greek lady perform, and on a more civilised instrument—a lady of high reputation as a performer on the guitar and a vocalist. And seldom has the spirit of romantic preparation received a more sudden chill than did mine on that occasion. Nothing could be more outrageously absurd than the whole thing was—accompaniment and song. I never afterwards was solicitous to hear an Oriental's musical performance; and am quite satisfied, that in them dwells no musical faculty, creative or perceptive: or that at least it is in a dormant state.

These musicians began with a symphony on the full band—mandolins leading, drums doing bass, and the whole lot of ugly fellows screeching forth what might have been esteemed air or accompaniment, as the case might be. That a sorry musical effect was produced will surprise no one who considers the build of the most musical of their instruments. The mandolin is by way of being a guitar, or banjo—only in a very small way indeed. Nothing has been added to the idea since first Mercury stumbled on the original testudo—indeed, I should guess that the dried sinews of a tortoise would give out a far purer sound than the jingling wires with which the mandolin is mounted. I have sometimes stood at the door of a café, or, to give it the real name καφενειον, and listened in wonder to the strains of some minstrel holding forth within. The wonder was, not that the man should play egregiously ill, but that the effect of good music should be produced by his evil playing. The people were evidently excited to sorrow when the attempt was at a mournful strain, and to ardour when the lilt took a loftier flight. To me who stood by, the difference of intention on the part of the performer was hardly discernible; indeed to be recognised only by the occasional catching of some familiar word in the burden of the song. The same observation may apply to the current Greek poetry. There can be no mistake in the conclusion, that it produces the effect of real poetry on the people, urging them in the direction whither works the imagination of the poet. But men of taste have come to, and can come to, but one decision on[Pg 750] the judgment of Romaic poetasters. The spirit of poetry has died out of, and is become extinct from the genius of their tongue. It is but the enthusiasm of by-gone days, the inkling of Attic glory, that lingers about the circumstances of their modern productions, and cheats men with the mere similarity of idiom. Poetry is of universal application, and were the pretensions of the modern Greek genuine, his productions would touch the hearts of the poetic of other lands.

These fellows who entertained us on this occasion, struck a good deal of enthusiasm out of their jingle,—enthusiasm to themselves, be it remarked, and not to us. I saw them grow sad in face, while the strain proceeded at a slow pace, and the voce di canto degenerated into a more lugubrious howl than ever. By these tokens, I judged them to be singing some tale of sorrow, and so it seemed they were. The gentleman who performed for us the part of Chorus, gave us to wit, that they were lamenting the fall of Algiers, and imprecating maledictions on the head of the French. This they evidently considered a delicate and appropriate attention to us as Englishmen. I was only surprised to find they entered so far into the family distinctions of the Franks. There was some heart, too, in the manner in which they gesticulated and declaimed; and I have little doubt but that they were in earnest—especially if any of these happened to have friends or relations down that way, who had been roused out of house and home by the Gallic Avatar. When they were tired with singing, or perhaps presumed that they had therewith tired us, they took to playing the fool. Not merely in a general sense, in which they may be said to have been so engaged all along; but with heavy effort, and under the express direction of a professional master of the ceremonies. The Adalian jester was a tall ugly fellow, who had considerable power of comic expression in his face, but whose forte lay in a cap of fantastic device. It was made of the skin of some animal, whose genus I will not venture to guess; and had been contrived in such fashion that the tail hung over the top, and whisked about at the caprice of the wearer. This was a never-failing source of amusement to the performer himself, as well as to the native bystanders. As he bobbed his head up and down, and ran after this tail, the people burst into peals of laughter. They were quite taken up with the exhibition, except when they stole a moment now and then for a peep to see how the Frank visitors were amused with their wit. Besides this, the jester had a number of practical jokes, such as coming quietly along-side of some unsuspecting person, and catching hold of his leg, barking loudly the while, so as to make him think that some dog had bitten him. But this part of the performance was decidedly coarse, and did not improve our idea of the civilisation of the place. A good deal of sketching was going on in the course of this day; and the visages of some of these musicians, and especially of the jester, and of a blind old choragus, have been handed down to the posterity of our affectionate friends. We had a visit this day of a gentler kind. A Greek lady, the owner of considerable landed property in the place, came with her youthful daughter to interchange civilities with us. She was a plain, almost ugly old woman; but, like nine out of ten of all women extant, was of kind and feminine disposition. Moreover, like the rest of the ladies, she was very fond of talking; but, on this particular occasion, unhappily could speak no single word that would convey meaning to us. Still it was not to be expected that she could hold her tongue; so she squatted down by us, and talked, perhaps all the faster because she had the conversation all to herself. Her daughter was a young lady, whom by appearance in England, you would call somewhere in her teens; but, hereaway they are so precocious that one is constantly deceived in guessing their age. She would have been pretty if she had been clean; and was abundantly and expensively ornamented. Sometimes we hear it figuratively said of a domestic coquette, that she carries all her property on her back. These Greeks must be well off, if it may not sometimes be so said with propriety of them. They have a plan of advertising a young lady's assets, in a manner that must be[Pg 751] most satisfactory to fortune-hunters, and prevent the mistakes that with us constantly foil the best-laid plans. They turn a girl's fortune into money, and hang it—it, the fortune proper—the ποιον and the ποσον—about her neck. They do not buy jewels worth so many hundreds or tens—but transpierce the actual coin, and of them compose a necklace of whose value there can be no doubt, and whose fashion is not very variable. This may be called a fair and above-board way of doing things. The swain, as he sits by the beloved object, may amuse himself by counting the number of precious links in the chain that is drawing him into matrimony, and debate within himself, on sure data, the question whether or no he shall yield to the gentle influence. There would not have been much doubt about the monetary recommendations of this young lady, for she was abundantly gilt, as became the daughter of one reputed so rich as the old lady. Poor girls! It makes one sad to look upon them, brought up with so little idea of what is girlish and beautiful; to see them ignorant yet sophisticated, bejeweled and unwashed. This poor child was decked out in the most absurd manner, and sat for admiration most palpably. She also sat for something else, which was her picture. This was taken by several of the party, so much to the satisfaction of mother and daughter, that the old lady insisted on taking her turn as model. We invariably found them pleased with the productions of our art in these cases, and satisfied of the correctness of the likeness. The only objections they would occasionally make, would refer to the pretermission of some such thing as a tassel in the cap. The fidelity of the likeness they took implicitly on trust.

I have said we could not talk to this old lady, Greek though she was, furnished though some of us were with the language of her compatriots. The deficiency was on her part—not on ours. She could not speak one single word of her own language. And so it is, that of all the Greeks of Adalia, not one can converse in the language of their fathers. Separated from their countrymen, they have become almost a distinct race; and, losing that language of which they have no practice, have learnt to use as their own the vernacular of the land in which they are immigrants of such antique standing. They talk Turkish—live almost like Turks; and by their religion only are distinguished from their neighbours. For religious purposes they use their own language: and, by consequence, understand no single word of the ritual or lessons. This is certainly a singular national position—impossible, except from religious prevention. It is just the reverse of what may be seen elsewhere: for instance, in the mountains of Thessaly you find a colony of Germans, who, though completely shut in by the people of the land, and holding intercourse with none other, remain foreigners and Germans, resisting the tendency to amalgamation. So in Sicily you find the Piana della Grecia, where the original Greek colonists have kept their language and customs in their integrity. But where else, save in this one spot, will you find people who, after having imbibed the influences of the country to the extent of adoption of its language, have been able to resist amalgamation with its denizens in every respect?

By the bye, these people have opened a sort of royal road to the acquisition of the Turkish language. The orthography of this language is a most vexed and perplexed affair. Those who have made the attempt to master its difficulties may say something in its vituperation; but the practice of many of those who are well acquainted therewith, says a great deal more. These Greeks, for instance, though they have adopted this language as their own, and have been accustomed in no other to lisp to their nurses, have altogether discarded the orthography. They speak as do the natives, but write in their own character; accommodating the flexible capabilities of their alphabet to the purposes of Turkish orthoepy. Thus have you the means of reading Turkish in a familiar character, which also has the advantage of presenting your words in a definite form. The real Turkish alphabet is any thing but definite; at least to one within any decent term of years of his commencing the study. This is a mode of[Pg 752] teaching which I have known to be insisted on by at least one good master: though of course the man of any ambition would regard this byway to knowledge as merely a step preliminary in the course.

This was not the only party at which we assisted during our visit. A rich Greek merchant invited us to enjoy the coolness of evening in his gardens. It was duly impressed on our minds by the gentleman of the place that this old fellow was worth his weight in gold. They did say that his name was good for £150,000—a long figure, certainly, to meet in such a place. He was a quiet-looking, unpretending person, with very much the air of a moneyed man. The hope that we had formed of seeing a display of the youth and fashion of Adalia was disappointed. It was by all express relaxation of the law of etiquette that we had the opportunity of seeing even the one or two ladies belonging to the family. Greeks, in their own country, though exceedingly jealous, and apt to build up alarms on the slightest foundation, are yet by no means chary in showing their women. In-doors and out, you will meet them, both old and young; and perfectly unconstrained and companionable you will find them. But here the case is far otherwise. They have acquired so much of Mussulman notions, that they do not allow their women to mix in society. This is the general rule: more pliant to occasion than the law of the Turks, which never yields. And not only here is there a strong feeling on this subject: the same prejudice prevails widely in the Turco-Greek islands. For instance, in Mytilene, on occasion of taking that long excursion which I have already mentioned, we observed that all the women we met were old and ugly. From this observed fact we drew conclusions unfavourable to the general appearance and presentability of the Mytilenian ladies. But subsequently we found the reason of the phenomenon to be, that the young and pretty girls were kept within doors, and the old ones alone allowed the privilege of walking forth—a difference of condition that might almost induce the girls of Mytilene to wish for age and wrinkles.

They did not, at Adalia, use us quite so ill as to withhold their ladies from the entertainment. The mother was there and a daughter—a young lady with the romantic name of Dúdù. With such a name as this she ought to have been very pretty, and certainly she did not fall far short of such condition. It was clearly to be perceived that she was unaccustomed to mix in general society, and that the company of strange men disturbed her. But she was not ungraceful either in manner or dress, or in her evident desire to please. The place of our reception was in the central court, which the best kind of houses preserve—a contrivance which gives to each of the four sides on which the building is disposed, the advantages of a pure and thorough current of air. Here we sat drinking sherbet, and, of course, smoking the unfailing chibouque. The lady mother was painfully anxious to talk to us, and pretty Miss Dúdù was seriously bent on listening; but we could not manage to execute a colloquy. All the civil things imaginable were expressed to us by gesture, and the young lady came out strong in the presentation of bouquets. One fortunate man received from her an orange, the only one remaining at that time in the garden; this we persuaded ourselves must, in their symbolical language, imply a declaration of some soft interest. Miss Dúdù would not have been such a very bad parti, being, as she was, the sole heritress of her father's thousands. However, she was, we understood, engaged already to a youth, who was obeying the cruel law prevalent in this place, which compels the accepted swain to absent himself from his inamorata for a long probation. I think the time was said to be a year; during which no communication must pass between the parties. Should the first overtures of a suitor be rejected, it is a settled matter of etiquette, that he never again is to see or speak to the young lady. This must be likely, we would think, to render a man cautious in proposing: but certainly it must tend to lessen the number of eventual old maids, by rendering the young ladies also chary of saying No, when they mean Yes. On[Pg 753] the whole, we can scarcely admire their matrimonial tactics. We found that we were among a family of Hádjis. Miss Dúdù was a Hadji, and so were her father and mother. In their case the place of pilgrimage is Jerusalem, a visit to which confers on them the respectable title of Hadji for life. This old gentleman had made a pious use of some of his money, by promoting the cause of pilgrimage among his less opulent brethren. The desire to tread the holy soil is common to them all; not only to the religious. These have their motives; but so also have the disorderly and wicked, who think that a world of cheating and ill-living is covered over by the wholesome cloak of pilgrimage. There are also certain less considerable places of pilgrimage, invested with considerable sanctity, though inferior in character to the one great rendezvous of the religious. Health to body seems often the expected result of visits to these secondary places, to which recourse will frequently be had when medical aid has failed to be available. Dúdù's father had made himself highly popular by chartering a vessel, and conveying, for charity's sake, as many devotees as chose to go on one of these minor expeditions. The island of Cyprus has a convent of peculiar sanctity, a visit to which is highly esteemed as an antidote to bodily ills. He gave a great number the opportunity of testing the truth of the tradition.

It was not bad fun, after all, tarrying a few days in Adalia: only, by choice, we would hardly choose that particular season for the excursion. What between the Consul's gardens, and the old Greek, and the little bit of business we had upon our hands, we managed to get through the time pleasantly enough. We saw that we had here a good specimen of the variety of life commonly described as deadly-lively. Were it not that they have such a lot of strangers constantly passing through the place, they might seem to be in danger of a moralanchylosis—of falling into a state of mind so rusty, as to be incapable of direction to any object, save such as lay before them, in the way of immediate physical requirement. The few days that we remained there did not afford time enough for the disease to make much head with us. Indeed, for us it was a variety of experience, sufficiently stirring for the time, to mark the ways of a people so deeply buried in imperturbability and incuriosity.

I think we were not sorry when at last the messenger returned from the Caimacan, and we found we were in condition to leave the place. The Consul was set on his legs again, and the English name in better odour than ever. The attachés of the consulate had taken care that our visit should fail in no degree of its wholesome influence, for want of their good word; and I fancy that the town's people thought themselves rather well off that we left their town standing. We left, too, with the full reputation for merciful dealing; as we had spared the poor soap-rioters the infliction of the bastinado.

And so we sped on our way to Rhodes.[Pg 754]


We were much puzzled, a few weeks since, by a tantalising and unintelligible paragraph, pertinaciously reiterated in the London newspapers. Its brevity equalled its mystery; it consisted but of five words, the first and last in imposing majuscules. Thus it ran:—

"OMOO, by the author of TYPEE."

With Trinculo we exclaimed, "What have we here? a man or a fish? dead or alive?" Who or what were Typee and Omoo? Were things or creatures thus designated? Did they exist on the earth, or in the air, or in the waters under the earth; were they spiritual or material, vegetable or mineral, brute or human? Were they newly-discovered planets, nicknamed whilst awaiting baptism, or strange fossils, contemporaries of the Megatherium, or Magyar dissyllables from Dr Bowring's vocabulary? Perchance they were a pair of new singers for the Garden, or a fresh brace of beasts for the legitimate drama at Drury. Omoo might be the heavy elephant; Typee the light-comedy camel. Did danger lurk in the enigmatical words? Were they obscure intimations of treasonable designs, Swing advertisements, or masonic signs? Was the palace at Westminster in peril? had an agent of sure of Barbarossa Joinville undermined the Trafalgar column? Were they conspirators' watchwords, lovers' letters, signals concerted between the robbers of Rogers's bank? We tried them anagrammatically, but in vain: there was nought to be made of Omoo; shake it as we would, the O's came uppermost; and by reversing Typee we obtained but a pitiful result. At last a bright gleam broke through the mist of conjecture. Omoo was a book. The outlandish title that had perplexed us was intended to perplex; it was a bait thrown out to that wide-mouthed fish, the public; a specimen of what is theatrically styled gag. Having but an indifferent opinion of books ushered into existence by such charlatanical manœuvres, we thought no more of Omoo, until, musing the other day over our matutinal hyson, the volume itself was laid before us, and we suddenly found ourselves in the entertaining society of Marquesan Melville, the phœnix of modern voyagers, sprung, it would seem, from the mingled ashes of Captain Cook and Robin Crusoe.

Those who have read M. Herman Melville's former work will remember, those who have not are informed by the introduction to the present one, that the author, an educated American, whom circumstances had shipped as a common sailor on board a South-Seaman, was left by his vessel on the island of Nukuheva, one of the Marquesan group. Here he remained some months, until taken off by a Sydney whaler, short-handed, and glad to catch him. At this point of his adventures he commences Omoo. The title is borrowed from the dialect of the Marquesas, and signifies a rover: the book is excellent, quite first-rate, the "clear grit," as Mr Melville's countrymen would say. Its chief fault, almost its only one, interferes little with the pleasure of reading it, will escape many, and is hardly worth insisting upon. Omoo is of the order composite, a skilfully concocted Robinsonade, where fictitious incident is ingeniously blended with genuine information. Doubtless its author has visited the countries he describes, but not in the capacity he states. He is no Munchausen; there is nothing improbable in his adventures, save their occurrence to himself, and that he should have been a man before the mast on board South-Sea traders, or whalers, or on any ship or ships whatever. His speech betrayeth him. His voyages and wanderings commenced, according to his own account,[Pg 755] at least as far back as the year 1838; for aught we know they are not yet at an end. On leaving Tahiti in 1843, he made sail for Japan, and the very book before us may have been scribbled on the greasy deck of a whaler, whilst floating amidst the coral reefs of the wide Pacific. True that in his preface, and in the month of January of the present year, Mr Melville hails from New York; but in such matters we really place little dependence upon him. From his narrative we gather that this literary and gentlemanly common-sailor is quite a young man. His life, therefore, since he emerged from boyhood, has been spent in a ship's forecastle, amongst the wildest and most ignorant class of mariners. Yet his tone is refined and well-bred; he writes like one accustomed to good European society, who has read books and collected stores of information, other than could be perused or gathered in the places and amongst the rude associates he describes. These inconsistencies are glaring, and can hardly be explained. A wild freak or unfortunate act of folly, or a boyish thirst for adventure, sometimes drives lads of education to try life before the mast, but when suited for better things they seldom persevere; and Mr Melville does not seem to us the manner of man to rest long contented with the coarse company and humble lot of merchant seamen. Other discrepancies strike us in his book and character. The train of suspicion once lighted, the flame runs rapidly along. Our misgivings begin with the title-page. "Lovel or Belville," says the Laird of Monkbarns, "are just the names which youngsters are apt to assume on such occasions." And Herman Melville sounds to us vastly like the harmonious and carefully selected appellation of an imaginary hero of romance. Separately the names are not uncommon; we can urge no valid reason against their junction, and yet in this instance they fall suspiciously on our ear. We are similarly impressed by the dedication. Of the existence of Uncle Gansevoort, of Gansevoort, Saratoga County, we are wholly incredulous. We shall commission our New York correspondents to inquire as to the reality of Mr Melville's avuncular relative, and, until certified of his corporality, shall set down the gentleman with the Dutch patronymic as a member of an imaginary clan.

Although glad to escape from Nukuheva, where he had been held in a sort of honourable captivity, Typee—the alias bestowed upon the rover by his new shipmates, after the valley whence they rescued him—was but indifferently pleased with the vessel on which he left it, and whose articles he signed as a seaman for one cruise. The Julia was of a beautiful model, and on or before a wind she sailed like a witch; but that was all that could be said in her praise. She was rotten to the core, incommodious, and ill-provided, badly manned, and worse commanded. American-built, she dated from the Short war, had served as a privateer, been taken by the British, passed through many vicissitudes, and was in no condition for a long cruise in the Pacific. So mouldering was her fabric, that the reckless sailors, when seated in the forecastle, dug their knives into the dank boards between them and eternity as easily as into the moist sides of some old pollard oak. She was much dilapidated and rapidly becoming more so; for Black Baltimore, the ship's cook, when in want of firewood, did not scruple to hack splinters from the bits and beams. Lugubrious indeed was the aspect of the forecastle. Landsmen, whose ideas of a sailor's sleeping-place are taken from the snow-white hammocks and exquisitely clean berth-deck of a man of war, or from the rough, but substantial comfort of a well-appointed merchantman, can form no conception of the surpassing and countless abominations of a South-Sea whaler. The "Little Jule," as her crew affectionately styled her, was a craft of two hundred tons or thereabouts; she had sailed with thirty-two hands, whom desertion had reduced to twenty, but these were too many for the cramped and putrid nook in which they slept, ate, and smoked, and alternately desponded or were jovial, as sickness and discomfort, or a Saturday night's bottle and hopes of better luck, got the upper hand. Want of room, however, was one of[Pg 756] the least grievances of which the Julia's crew complained. It was a mere trifle, not worth the naming. They could have submitted to close stowage had the dunnage been decent. But instead of swinging in cosy hammocks, they slept in bunks or wretched pigeon-holes, on fragments of sails, unclean rags, blanket-shreds, and the like. Such unenviable accommodations ought hardly to have been disputed with their luckless possessors, who nevertheless were not allowed to occupy in peace their broken-down bunks and scanty bedding. Two races of creatures, time out of mind the curse of old ships in warm latitudes, infested the Julia's forecastle, resisting all efforts to dislodge or exterminate them, sometimes even getting the upper hand, dispossessing the tortured mariners, and driving them on deck in terror and despair. The sick only, hapless martyrs unable to leave their cribs, lay passive, if not resigned, and were trampled under foot by their ferocious and unfragrant foes. These were rats and cockroaches. Typee—we use the name he bore during his Julian tribulations—records a singular phenomenon in the nocturnal habits of the last-named vermin. "Every night they had a jubilee. The first symptom was an unusual clustering and humming amongst the swarms lining the beams overhead, and the inside of the sleeping-places. This was succeeded by a prodigious coming and going on the part of those living out of sight. Presently they all came forth; the larger sort racing over the chests and planks; winged monsters darting to and fro in the air; and the small fry buzzing in heaps almost in a state of fusion. On the first alarm, all who were able darted on deck; while some of the sick, who were too feeble, lay perfectly quiet, the distracted vermin running over them at pleasure. The performance lasted some ten minutes." Persons there are, weak enough to view with loathing and aversion certain sable insects that stray at night in kitchen or in pantry, and barbarous enough to circumvent and destroy the odoriferous coleopteræ by artful devices of glass traps and scarlet wafers. Such persons will probably form their ideas of Typee's cockroaches from their own domestic opportunities of observation. That were unjust to the crew of the Julia, and would give no adequate idea of their sufferings. As a purring tabby to a roaring jaguar, so is a British black-beetle to a cock-roach of the Southern Seas. We back our assertion by a quotation from our lamented friend Captain Cringle, who in his especially graphic and attractive style thus hits off the peculiarities of this graceful insect. "When full grown," saith Thomas, "it is a large dingy brown-coloured beetle, about two inches long, with six legs, and two feelers as long as its body. It has a strong anti-hysterical flavour, something between rotten cheese and asafœtida, and seldom stirs abroad when the sun is up, but lies concealed in the most obscure and obscene crevices it can creep into; so that, when it is seen, its wings and body are thickly covered with dust and dirt of various shades, which any culprit who chances to fall asleep with his mouth open, is sure to reap the benefit of, as it has a great propensity to walk into it, partly for the sake of the crumbs adhering to the masticators, and also, apparently, with a scientific desire to inspect, by accurate admeasurement with the aforesaid antennæ, the state and condition of the whole potato-trap." A description worthy of Buffon. Such were the delicate monsters, the savoury sexipedes, with whom Typee and his comrades had to wage incessant war. They were worse even than the rats, which were certainly bad enough. "Tame as Trenck's mouse, they stood in their holes, peering at you like old grandfathers in a doorway;" watching for their prey, and disputing with the sailors the weevil-biscuit, rancid pork, and horse-beef, composing the Julia's stores; or smothering themselves, the luscious vermin, in molasses, which thereby acquired a rich wood-cock flavour, whose cause became manifest when the treacle-jar ran low, greatly to the disgust and consternation of the biped consumers. There were no delicate feeders on board, but this saccharine essence of rat was too much even for the unscrupulous stomachs of South-Sea whalers. A queer set they were on board that Sydney barque. Paper[Pg 757] Jack, the captain, was a feeble Cockney, of meek spirit and puny frame, who glided about the vessel in a nankeen jacket and canvass pumps, a laughing-stock to his crew. The real command devolved upon the chief mate, John Jermin—a good sailor and brave fellow, but violent, and given to drink. The junior mate had deserted; of the four harpooners only one was left, a fierce barbarian of a New Zealander—an excellent mariner, whose stock of English was limited to nautical phrases and a frightful power of oath, but who, in spite of his cannibal origin, ranked as a sort of officer, in virtue of his harpoon, and took command of the ship when mate and captain were absent. What a capital story, by the bye, Typee tells us of one of this Bembo's whaling exploits! New Zealanders are brave and bloodthirsty, and excellent harpooners, and they act up to the South-Seaman's war-cry, "A dead whale or a stove boat!" There is a world of wild romance and thrilling adventure in the occasional glimpses of the whale fishery afforded us in Omoo; a strange picturesqueness and piratical mystery about the lawless class of seamen engaged in it. Such a portrait gallery as Typee makes out of the Julia's crew, beginning with Chips and Bungs, the carpenter and cooper, the "Cods," or leaders of the forecastle, and descending until he arrives at poor Rope Yarn, or Ropey, as he was called, a stunted journeyman baker from Holborn, the most helpless and forlorn of all land-lubbers, the butt and drudge of the ship's company! A Dane, a Portuguese, a Finlander, a savage from Hivarhoo, sundry English, Irish, and Americans, a daring Yankee beach-comber, called Salem, and Sydney Ben, a runaway ticket-of-leave-man, made up a crew much too weak to do any good in the whaling way. But the best fellow on board, and by far the most remarkable, was a disciple of Esculapius, known as Doctor Long-Ghost. Jermin is a good portrait; so is Captain Guy; but Long-Ghost is a jewel of a boy, a complete original, hit off with uncommon felicity. Nothing is told us of his early life. Typee takes him up on board the Julia, shakes hands with him in the last page of the book, and informs us that he has never since seen or heard of him. So we become acquainted with but a small section of the doctor's life; his subsequent adventures are unknown, and, save a chance hint or two, his previous career is a mystery, unfathomable as the Tahitian coast, where, within a biscuit's toss of the coral shore, soundings there are none. Now and then he would obscurely refer to days more palmy and prosperous than those spent on board the Julia. But however great the contrast between his former fortunes and his then lowly position, he exhibited much calm philosophy and cheerful resignation. He was even merry and facetious, a practical wag of the very first order, and as such a great favourite with the whole ship's company, the captain excepted. He had arrived at Sydney in an emigrant ship, had expended his resources, and entered as doctor on board the Julia. All British whalers are bound to carry a medico, who is treated as a gentleman, so long as he behaves as such, and has nothing to do but to drug the men and play drafts with the captain. At first Long-Ghost and Captain Guy hit it off very well; until, in an unlucky hour, a dispute about politics destroyed their harmonious association. The captain got a thrashing; the mutinous doctor was put in confinement and on bread and water, ran away from the ship, was pursued, captured, and again imprisoned. Released at last, he resigned his office, refused to do duty, and went forward amongst the men. This was more magnanimous than wise. Long-Ghost was a sort of medical Tom Coffin, a raw-boned giant, upwards of two yards high, one of those men to whom the between-decks of a small craft is a residence little less afflicting than one of Cardinal Balue's iron cages. And to one who "had certainly, at some time or other, spent money, drunk Burgundy, and associated with gentlemen," the Julia's forecastle must have contained a host of disagreeables, irrespective of rats and cockroaches, of its low roof, evil odours, damp timbers, and dungeon-like aspect. The captain's table, if[Pg 758] less luxurious than that of a royal yacht or New York liner, surely offered something better than the biscuits, hard as gun-flints and thoroughly honeycombed, and the shot-soup, "great round peas polishing themselves like pebbles by rolling about in tepid water," on which the restive man of medicine was fain to exercise his grinders during his abode forward. As regarded society, he lost little by relinquishing that of Guy the Cockney, since he obtained in exchange the intimacy of Melville the Yankee, who, to judge from his book, must be exceeding good company, and to whom he was a great resource. The doctor was a man of learning and accomplishments, who had made the most of his time whilst the sun shone on his side the hedge, and had rolled his ungainly carcass over half the world. "He quoted Virgil, and talked of Hobbes of Malmsbury, besides repeating poetry by the canto, especially Hudibras. In the easiest way imaginable, he could refer to an amour he had in Palermo, his lion-hunting before breakfast among the Caffres, and the quality of the coffee to be drunk in Muscat." Strangely must such reminiscences have sounded in a whaler's forecastle, with Dunks the Dane, Finland Van, and Wymontoo the Savage, for auditors.

The Julia had hitherto had little luck in her cruise, and could scarcely hope for better in the state in which Typee found her. Besides the losses by desertion, her crew was weakened by disease. Several of the men lay sick in their berths, wholly unfit for duty. The captain himself was ill, and all would have derived benefit from a short sojourn in port; but this could not be thought of. The discipline of the ship was bad, and the sailors, desperate and unruly fellows, discontented, as well they might be, with their wretched provisions and uncomfortable state, were not to be trusted on or near shore. Three-fourths of them, had they once set foot on dry land, would have absconded, taken refuge in the woods or amongst the savages, and have submitted to any amount of tattoo, paint, and nose-ringing, rather than return to the ship. Already, at St Christina, one of the Marquesas, a large party had made their escape in two of the four whale-boats, scuttling the third, and cutting the tackles of the fourth nearly through, so that when Bembo jumped in to clear it away, man and boat went souse into the water. By the assistance of a French corvette, and by bribing the king of the country with a musket and ammunition, the fugitives were captured. But it was more than probable that they and others would renew the attempt should opportunity offer; so there was no alternative but to keep the sea, and hope for better days and for the convalescence of the invalids. Two of these died. Neither Bible nor Prayer-book were on board the godless craft, and like dogs, without form of Christian burial, the dead were launched into the deep. The situation of the survivors inspired with considerable uneasiness the few amongst them capable of reflection. The captain was ignorant of navigation; it was the mate who, from the commencement of the voyage, had kept the ship's reckoning, and kept it all to himself. He had only to get washed overboard in a gale, or to walk over in a drunken fit, to leave his shipmates in a fix of the most unpleasant description, ignorant of latitude, longitude, and of everything else necessary to be known to guide the vessel on her course. And as to the sperm whales, which Jermin had promised them in such abundance that they would only have to strike and take, not a single fin showed itself. At last the captain was reported dying, and the mate took counsel with Long-Ghost, Typee, and others of the crew. He would gladly have continued the cruise, but his wish was overruled, and the whaler's stern was turned towards the Society Islands.

The first glimpse of the peaks of Tahiti was hailed with transport by the Julia's weary mariners. They had got a notion that if the captain left the ship, their articles were no longer binding, and they should be free to follow his example. And, at any rate, the sickness on board and the shaky condition of the barque, guaranteed them, as they thought, long and blissful leisure amongst the waving palm-groves and soft-eyed Neuhas of Polynesia. Their arrival in sight of Papeetee, the Tahitian[Pg 759] capital, was welcomed by the boom of cannon. The frigate Reine Blanche, at whose fore flew the flag of Admiral Du Petit Thouars, thus celebrated the compulsory treaty, concluded that morning, by which the island was ceded to the French.

Captain Guy and his baggage were now set on shore, and it was soon apparent to his men that whilst he nursed himself in the pure climate and pleasant shades of Tahiti, they were to put to sea under the mate's orders, and after a certain time to touch again at the island, and take off their commander. The vessel was not even allowed to go into port, although needing repairs, and in fact unseaworthy; and as to healing the sick, selfish Paper Jack thought only of solacing his own infirmities. The fury of the ill-fed, reckless, discontented crew, on discovering the project of their superiors, passed all bounds. Chips and Bungs volunteered to head a mutiny, and a round-robin was drawn up and signed. But when Wilson, an old acquaintance of Guy's, and acting consul in the absence of missionary Pritchard, came on board, the gallant cooper, who derived much of his courage from the grog-kid, was cowed and craven. The grievances brought forward, amongst others that of the salt-horse, (a horse's hoof with the shoe on, so swore the cook, had been found in the pickle,) were treated as trifles and pooh-poohed by the functionary, "a minute gentleman with a viciously pugged nose, and a decidedly thin pair of legs." But if Bungs allowed himself to be brow-beaten, so did not his comrades. Yankee Salem flourished a bowie-knife, and such alarming demonstrations were made, that the counsellor, as the sailors persisted in calling the consul, thought it wise to beat a retreat. Jermin now tried his hand, holding out brilliant prospects of a rich cargo of sperm oil, and a pocket-full of dollars for every man on his return to Sydney. The mutineers were proof alike against menace and blandishment, and, at the secret instigation of Long Ghost and Typee, resolutely refused to do duty. The consul, who had promised to return, did not show; and at last the mate, having now but a few invalids and landsmen to work the ship and keep her off shore, was compelled to enter the harbour. The Julia came to an anchor within cable's length of the French frigate, on board which consul Wilson repaired to obtain assistance. The Reine Blanche was to sail in a few days for Valparaiso, and the mutineers expected to go with her and be delivered up to a British man-of-war. Undismayed by this prospect, they continued stanch in their contumacy, and presently an armed cutter, "painted a 'pirate black,' its crew a dark, grim-looking set, and the officers uncommonly fierce-looking little Frenchmen," conveyed them on board the frigate, where they were duly handcuffed, and secured by the ankle to a great iron bar bolted down to the berth-deck.

Touching the proceedings on board the French man-of-war, its imperfect discipline, and the strange, un-nautical way of carrying on the duty, Typee is jocular and satirical. American though he be—and, but for occasional slight yankeeisms in his style, we might have doubted even that fact—he has evidently much more sympathy with his cousin John Bull than with his country's old allies, the French, whom he freely admits to be a clever and gallant nation, whilst he broadly hints that their valour is not likely to be displayed to advantage on the water. He finds too much of the military style about their marine institutions. Sailors should be fighting men, but not soldiers or musket-carriers, as they all are in turn in the French navy. He laughs at or objects to every thing; the mustaches of the officers, the system of punishment, the sour wine that replaces rum and water, the soup instead of junk, the pitiful little rolls baked on board, and distributed in lieu of hard biscuit. And whilst praising the build of their ships—the only thing about them he does praise—he ejaculates a hope, which sounds like a doubt, that they will not some day fall into the hands of the people across the Channel. "In case of war," he says, "what a fluttering of French ensigns there would be! for the Frenchman makes but an indifferent seaman, and though for the most part he fights well enough, somehow or[Pg 760] other, he seldom fights well enough to beat:"—at sea, be it understood. We are rather at a loss to comprehend the familiarity shown by Typee with the internal arrangements and architecture of the Reine Blanche. His time on board was passed in fetters; at nightfall on the fifth day he left the ship. How, we are curious to know, did he become acquainted with the minute details of "the crack craft in the French navy," with the disposition of her guns and decks, the complicated machinery by which certain exceedingly simple things were done, and even with the rich hangings, mirrors, and mahogany of the commodore's cabin? Surely the ragged and disreputable mutineer of the Julia, whose foot had scarcely touched the gangway, when he was hurried into confinement below, could have had scanty opportunity for such observations: unless, indeed, Herman Melville, or Typee, or the Rover, or by whatever other alias he be known, instead of creeping in at the hawse-holes, was welcomed on the quarter-deck and admitted to the gun-room, or to the commodore's cabin, an honoured guest in broad-cloth, not a despised merchant seaman in canvass frock and hat of tarpaulin. We shall not dwell on these small inconsistencies and oversights in an amusing book. We prefer accompanying the Julia's crew to Tahiti, where they were put on shore contrary to their expectations, and not altogether to their satisfaction, since they had anticipated a rapid run to Valparaiso, the fag-end of a cruise in an English man-of-war, and a speedy discharge at Portsmouth. Paper Jack and Consul Wilson had other designs, and still hoped to reclaim them to their duty on board the crazy Julia. On their stubborn refusal, they were given in charge to a fat, good-humoured, old Tahitian, called Captain Bob, who, at the head of an escort of natives, conveyed them up the country to a sort of shed, known as the Calabooza Beretanee or English jail, used as a prison for refractory sailors. This commences Typee's shore-going adventures, not less pleasant and original than his sea-faring ones; although it is with some regret that we lose sight of the vermin-haunted barque, on whose board such strange and exciting scenes occurred.

Throughout the book, however, fun and incident abound, and we are consoled for our separation from poor little Jule, by the curious insight we obtain into the manners, morals, and condition of the gentle savages, on whom an attempted civilisation has brought far more curses than blessings.

"How pleasant were the songs of Toobonai,"

how gladsome and grateful the rustle of leaves and tinkle of rills, and silver-toned voices of Tahitian maidens, to the rough seamen who had so long been "cabined, cribbed, confined," in the Julia's filthy forecastle! Not that they were allowed free range of the Eden of the South Seas. On board the Reine Blanche their ankles had been manacled to an iron bar; in the Calabooza, (from the Spanish calabozo, a dungeon,) they were placed in rude wooden stocks twenty feet long, constructed for the particular benefit of refractory mariners. There they lay, merry men all of a row, fed upon taro (Indian turnip) and bread-fruit, and covered up at night with one huge counterpane of brown tappa, the native cloth. It was owing to no friendly indulgence on the part of Guy and the consul, that their diet was so agreeable and salutary. Every morning Ropey came grinning into the prison, with a bucket full of the old worm-eaten biscuit from the Julia. It was a huge treat to the unfortunate Cockney, thus to be instrumental in the annoyance of his former persecutors; and lucky for him that their limbo'd legs prevented their rewarding his visible exultation otherwise than by a shower of maledictions. They swore to starve rather than consume the maggoty provender. Luckily the natives had it in very different estimation. They did not mind maggots, and held British biscuit to be a piquant and delicious delicacy. So in exchange for their allotted ration, the mutineers obtained a small quantity of vegetable food, and an unlimited supply of oranges, thanks to which refreshing regimen the sick were speedily restored to health. And after a few days of stocks and submission, jolly old Captain Bob, who spoke sailor's English, and obstinately[Pg 761] claimed intimacy with Captain Cook,—whose visit to the island had occurred some years before his birth—relaxed his severity, and allowed the captives their freedom during the day. They profited of this permission to forage a little, in a quiet way; assisting at pig-killings, and dropping in at dinner-time upon the wealthier of their neighbours. Tahitian hospitality is boundless, and the more praiseworthy that the island, although so fertile, produces but a scanty amount of edibles. Bread-fruit is the chief resource; fish, a very important one, the chief dependence of many of the poorer natives. There is little industry amongst them, and on the spontaneous produce of the soil the shipping make heavy demands. Polynesian indolence is proverbial. Very light labour would enable the Tahitians to roll in riches, at least according to their own estimate of the value of money and of the luxuries it procures. The sugar-cane is indigenous to the island, and of remarkably fine quality; cotton is of ready growth; but the fine existing plantations "are owned and worked by whites, who would rather pay a drunken sailor eighteen or twenty Spanish dollars a month, than hire a sober native for his fish and taro." Wholly without energy, the Tahitians saunter away their lives in a state of drowsy indolence, aiming only at the avoidance of trouble, and the sensual enjoyment of the moment. The race rapidly diminishes. "In 1777, Captain Cook estimated the population of Tahiti at about two hundred thousand. By a regular census taken some four or five years ago, it was found to be only nine thousand!" Diseases of various kinds, entirely of European introduction, and chiefly the result of drunkenness and debauchery, account for this frightful decrease, which must result in the extinction of the aborigines.

"The palm-tree shall grow,
The coral shall spread,
But man shall cease."

So runs an old Tahitian prophecy, soon to be realised. And if Pomaree, who is under forty years of age, proves a long-lived sovereign, she may chance to find herself a queen without subjects. Concerning her majesty and her court, Typee is diffuse and diverting. This is an age of queens, and although her dominions be of the smallest, her people few and feeble, and her prerogative wofully clipped, she of Tahiti has made some noise in the world, and attracted a fair share of public attention. At one time, indeed, she was almost as much thought of and talked about as her more civilised and puissant European sisters. In France, La Reine Pomarée was looked upon as a far more interesting personage than Spanish Isabel or Portuguese Maria; and extraordinary notions were formed as to the appearance, habits, and attributes of her dusky majesty. Distance favoured delusion, and French imagination ran riot in conjecture, until the reports of the valiant Thonars, and his squadron of protection, dissipated the enchantment, and reduced Pomaree to her true character, that of a lazy, dirty, licentious, Polynesian savage, who walks about barefoot, drinks spirits, and hen-pecks her husband. Her real name is Aimata, but she assumed, on ascending the throne, the royal patronymic by which she is best known. There were Cæsars in Rome, there are Pomarees in Tahiti. The name was originally assumed by the great Otoo, (to be read of in Captain Cook,) who united the whole island under one crown. It descended to his son, and then to his grandson, who came to the throne an infant, and, dying young, was succeeded by her present majesty, Pomaree Vahinee I., the first female Pomaree. This lady has been twice married. Her first husband was a king's son, but the union was ill assorted, a divorce obtained, and she took up with one Tanee, a chief from the neighbouring island of Imeco. She leads him a dog's life, and he consoles himself by getting drunk. In that state, he now and then violently breaks out, contemns the royal authority, thrashes his wife, and smashes the crockery. Captain Bob gave Typee an account of a burst of this sort, which occurred about seven years ago. Stimulated by the seditious advice of his boon companions, and under the influence of an unusually large dose of strong waters, the turbulent king-consort forgot the respect due to his[Pg 762] wife and sovereign, mounted his horse, and ran full tilt at the royal cavalcade, out for their afternoon ride in the park. One maid of honour was floored, the rest fled in terror, save and except Pomaree, who stood her ground like a man, and apostrophised her insubordinate spouse in the choicest Tahitian Billingsgate. For once her eloquence failed of effect. Dragged from her horse, her personal charms were deteriorated by a severe thumping on the face. This done, Othello-Tanee attempted to strangle her, and was in a fair way to succeed, when her loving subjects came to her rescue. So heinous a crime could not be overlooked, and Tanee, was banished to his native island; but after a short time he declared his penitence, made amende honorable, and was restored to favour. He does not very often venture to thwart the will of his royal wife, much less to raise his hand against her sacred person, but submits with exemplary patience to her caprices and abuse, and even to the manual admonitions she not unfrequently bestows upon him.

Upon the whole, life, at the Calabooza was not very disagreeable. The prisoners, now only nominally so, had little to complain of, except occasional short commons, arising not from unwillingness, but from disability, on the part of the kind-hearted natives, to satisfy the cravings of the hungry whalers, whose appetites were remarkable, especially that of lanky Doctor Long Ghost. The doctor was a stickler for quality as well as quantity; the memory of his claret and beccafico days still clung to him, like the scent of the roses to Tom Moore's broken gallipot: he was curious in condiments, and whilst devouring, grumbled at the unseasoned viands of Tahiti. Cayenne and Harvey abounded not in those latitudes, but pepper and salt were on board the Julia, and the doctor prevailed on Rope Yarn to bring him a supply. "This he placed in a small leather wallet, a monkey bag (so called by sailors) usually worn as a purse about the neck. 'In my poor opinion,' said Long Ghost, as he tucked the wallet out of sight, 'it behoves a stranger in Tahiti to have his knife in readiness, and his castor slung.'" And thus equipped, the doctor and his brethren in captivity rambled over the verdant slopes and through the cool groves of Tahiti, bathed in the mountain streams, and luxuriated in orange orchards, where "the trees formed a dense shade, spreading overhead a dark, rustling vault, groined with boughs, and studded here and there with the ripened spheres, like gilded balls." Then they had plenty of society; native visitors flocked to see them, and Doctor Johnson, a resident English physician, was constant in his attendance, knowing that the Consul must pay his bill. Three French priests also called upon them, one of whom proved to be no Frenchman, but a portly, handsome, good-humoured Irishman, well known and much disliked by the Polynesian protestant missionaries. A strong attempt was made by Guy and Wilson to get the men to do duty. A schooner was about to sail for Sydney, and they were threatened to be sent thither for trial. They still refused to hand rope or break biscuit on board the Julia. Long Ghost made some cutting remarks on the captain; and the sailors, who had been taken down to the Consul's office for examination, began to bully, and talked of carrying off Consul and Captain to bear them company in the Calabooza. The same ill success attended subsequent attempts, until Captain Guy was compelled to look out for another crew, which he obtained with difficulty, and by a considerable advance of hard dollars. And at last, "It was Sunday in Tahiti, and a glorious morning, when Captain Bob, waddling into the Calabooza, startled us by announcing, 'Ah, my boy—shippee you, harree—maky sail!' in other words, the Julia was off," and had taken her stores of old biscuit with her: so the next morning the inmates of the Calabooza were without rations. The Consul would supply none, and it was pretty evident that he rather desired the departure of the obstinate seamen from that part of the island. The whole of his proceedings with regard to them had served but to render him ridiculous, and he wished them out of his neighbourhood; but the ex-prisoners found themselves pretty comfortable, and preferred remaining. They were better off than they had[Pg 763] for some time been, for Jermin—not such a bad fellow, after all—had sent them their chests ashore; and these, besides supplying them with sundry necessaries, gave them immense importance in Tahitian eyes. They had been kindly treated before, but now they were courted and flattered, like younger sons in marching regiments, who suddenly step into the family acres. The natives crowded round them, eager to swear eternal friendship, according to an old Polynesian custom, once universal in the islands, but that has fallen into considerable disuse, except when something is to be gained by its observance. A gentleman of the name of Kooloo fixed his affections upon Typee—or rather upon his goods and chattels; for when he had wheedled him out of a regatta shirt, and other small pieces of finery, he transferred his affections to a newly-arrived sailor, whose chest was better lined, and who bestowed on him a love-token, in the shape of a heavy pea-jacket. In this garment, closely buttoned up, Kooloo took morning promenades, with the tropical sun glaring down upon him. He frequently met his former friend, but passed him with a careless "How d'ye do?" which presently dwindled into a nod. "In one week's time," says poor Typee, "he gave me the cut direct, and lounged by without even nodding. He must have taken me for part of the landscape."

After a while the contents of the chests, and even the chests themselves—esteemed by the Tahitians most valuable pieces of furniture—were given or bartered away, and, as the Consul still refused them rations, the sailors knew not how to live. The natives helped them as much as they could, but their larders were scantily furnished, and they grew tired of feeding fifteen hungry idlers. So at last the latter made a morning call upon the Consul, who, being unwilling to withdraw, and equally so to press, charges which he knew would not be sustained, refused to have any thing to say to them. Thereupon some of the party, strong in principle and resolution, and seeing how grievous an annoyance their presence was to their enemy, Wilson, swore to abide near him and never to leave him. Others, less obstinate or more impatient of a change, resolved to decamp from the Calabooza. The first to depart were Typee and Long Ghost. They had received intelligence of a new plantation in Imeco, recently formed by foreigners, who wanted white labourers, and were expected at Papeetee to seek them. With these men they took service under the names of Peter and Paul, at wages of fifteen silver dollars a month; and, after an affecting separation from their shipmates—whose respectable character may be judged of by the fact, that one of them picked Long Ghost's pocket in the very act of embracing him,—they sailed away for Imeco, and arrived without accident in the valley of Martair, where the plantation was situate. The chapters recording their stay here are amongst the very best in the book, full of rich, quiet fun. Typee gives a capital description of his employers. They were two in number, both "whole-souled fellows; one was a tall robust Yankee, born in the backwoods of Maine, sallow, and with a long face; the other, a short little Cockney who had first clapped his eyes on the Monument." Zeke the Yankee, had christened his comrade "Shorty;" and Shorty looked up to him with respect, and yielded to him in most things. Both showed themselves well disposed towards their new labourers, whom they at once discovered to be superior to their station. And they soon found their society so agreeable, that they were willing to keep them to do little more than nominal work. As to making them efficient farm servants, they quickly gave up that idea. As a sailor, Typee had little fancy for husbandry; and the doctor found his long back terribly in his way when requested to dig potatoes and root up stumps, under a sun which, as Shorty said, "was hot enough to melt the nose hoff a brass monkey." Long Ghost very soon gave in; the extraction of a single tree-root settled him; he pleaded illness, and retired to his hammock, but was considerably vexed when he heard the Yankee propose a bullock hunting expedition, in which, as a sick man, he could not decently take part. This was only the prologue to his annoyances. Musquitoes, unknown in[Pg 764] Tahiti, abound in Imeeo. They were brought there, according to a native tradition, by one Nathan Coleman, of Nantucket, who, in revenge for some fancied grievance, towed a rotten water-cask ashore, and left it in a neglected taro patch, where the ground was moist and warm. Musquitoes were the result. "When tormented by them, I found much relief in coupling the word Coleman with another of one syllable, and pronouncing them together energetically." The musquito chapter is very amusing, showing the various comical and ingenious manœuvres of the friends to avoid their tormentors, and obtain a night's sleep. At last they entered a fishing canoe, paddled some distance from shore, and dropped the native anchor, a stone secured to a rope. They were awakened in the morning by the motion of their boat. Zeke was wading in the shallow water, and towing them from a reef towards which they had drifted. "The water-sprites had rolled our stone out of its noose, and we had floated away." This was a narrow escape, but nevertheless they stuck to their floating bedstead as the only possible sleeping place. A day's successful hunting, followed by a famous supper and jollification under a banian-tree, put the doctor in good humour, and he made himself vastly agreeable. The natives beheld his waggish pranks with infinite admiration, and Zeke looked upon him with particular favour; so much so, that when upon the following morning an order came from a ship at Papeetee, for a supply of potatoes, he almost hesitated to tell funny Peter to assist in digging them up. But the emergency pressed, and the work must be done. So Peter and Paul were set to unearth the vegetables. This was no very cruel task, for "the rich tawny soil seemed specially adapted to the crop; the great yellow murphies rolling out of the hills like eggs from a nest." But when they were dug up, they had to be carried to the beach; and to this part of the business the lazy adventurers had a special dislike, although Zeke kindly provided them, to lighten their toil, with what he called the barrel machine—a sort of rural sedan, in which the servants carried their loads with comparative ease, whilst their employers sweated under shouldered hampers. But no alleviation could reconcile the sailor and the physician to this novel and unpleasant labour, and the potato-digging was the last piece of work, deserving the name, that either of them did. A few days afterwards they gave their masters warning, greatly to the vexation of Zeke, although he received the notice—with true Yankee imperturbability. He proposed that Long Ghost, who, after the hunt, had shown, considerable culinary skill, should assume the office of cook, and that Paul-Typee should only work when it suited him, which would not have been very often. The offer was friendly and favourable, but it was refused. A hospitable invitation to remain as guests as long as was convenient to them, was likewise rejected, and, bent upon a ramble, the restless adventurers left the vale of Martair. Even greater inducements would probably have been insufficient to keep them there. They had been so long on the rove, that change of scene had become essential to their happiness. The doctor, especially, was anxious to be off to Tamai, an inland village on the borders of a lake, where the fruits were the finest, and the women the most beautiful and unsophisticated in all the Society Islands. Epicurean Long Ghost had set his mind upon visiting this terrestrial paradise, and thither his steady chum willingly accompanied him. It was a day's journey on foot, allowing time for dinner and siesta; and the path lay through wood and ravine, unpeopled save by wild cattle. About noon they reached the heart of the island, thus pleasantly described. "It was a green, cool hollow among the mountains, into which we at last descended with a bound. The place was gushing with a hundred springs, and shaded over with great solemn trees, on whose mossy boles the moisture stood in beads." There is something delightfully hydropathic in these lines; they cool one like a shower-bath. He is a prime fellow, this common sailor Melville, at such scraps of description, terse and true, placing the scene before us in ten words. In long yarns he indulges not, but of such happy touches as the above, we could[Pg 765] quote a score. We have not room, either for them, or for an account of the valley of Tamai, its hospitable inhabitants, and its heathenish dances, performed in secret, and in dread of the missionaries, by whom such saturnalia are forbidden. The place was altogether so pleasant, that the doctor and his friend entertained serious thoughts of settling there, or at least of making a long stay, when one morning they were put to flight by the arrival of strangers, said to be missionaries, with whom, vagrants as they were, they had no wish to fall in. So they returned to their friend Zeke, nursing new and ambitious projects. They had no intention of remaining with the good-hearted Yankee, but merely paid him a flying visit, and that with an interested motive. What they wanted of him was this. Although feeling themselves gentlemen every inch, they were not always able to convince the world of their respectability. So they resolved to have a passport, and pitched upon Zeke to manufacture it, he being well known and much respected in Imeeo. Zeke was gratified by the compliment, and set to work with a rooster's quill, and a piece of dirty paper. "Evidently he was not accustomed to composition; for his literary throes were so violent, that the doctor suggested that some sort of a Cæsarian operation might be necessary. The precious paper was at last finished; and a great curiosity it was. We were much diverted with his reasons for not dating it. 'In this here damned climate,' he observed, 'a feller can't keep the run of the months, no how; 'cause there's no seasons, no summer and winter to go by. One's etarnally thinking it's always July, it's so pesky hot.' A passport provided, we cast about for some means of getting to Taloo."

The decline of the Tahitian monarchy—the degradation of the regal house of Pomaree, is painful to contemplate. The queen still wears a crown—a tinsel one, received as a present from her sister-sovereign of England,—she has also a court and a palace, such as they are; but her power is little more than nominal, her exchequer seldom otherwise than empty. Typee draws a touching contrast between times past and present. "'I'm a greater man than King George,' said the incorrigible young Otoo, to the first missionaries; 'he rides on a horse and I on a man.' Such was the case. He travelled post through his dominions on the shoulders of his subjects, and relays of immortal beings were provided in all the valleys. But, alas! how times have changed! how transient human greatness! Some years since, Pomaree Vahinee I., granddaughter of the proud Otoo, went into the laundry business, publicly soliciting, by her agents, the washing of the linen belonging to officers of ships touching in her harbours." Into the court of this washerwoman-queen, Typee and Long Ghost were exceedingly anxious to penetrate. Vague ideas of favour and preferment haunted their brains. During their Polynesian cruise, they had seen many instances of rapid advancement; vagabond foreigners, of all nations, domesticated in the families of chiefs and kings, and sometimes married to their daughters and sharing their power. At one of the Tonga islands, a scamp of a Welshman officiated as cupbearer to the king of the cannibals. The monarch of the Sandwich islands has three foreigners about his court—a Negro to beat the drum, a wooden-legged Portuguese to play the fiddle, and Mordecai, a juggler, to amuse his majesty with cups and balls and sleight of hand. On the Marquesan island of Hivarhoo, they had found an English sailor who had attained to the highest dignity in the country. He had deserted from a merchant ship, and at once set up, on his own hook, as an independent sovereign, without dominions, but by disposition most belligerent. A musket and a store of cartridges were his whole possessions; but in a land where war was rife, carried on with the primitive weapons of spear and javelin, they were sufficiently important to make a native prince covet his alliance. His first battle was a decisive victory, a perfect Waterloo, and he became the Wellington of Hivarhoo, receiving, as reward for his distinguished services, the hand of a princess, and a splendid dowry of hogs, mats, and other produce. To conform to the prejudices of his new family, he allowed himself to be tattooed,[Pg 766] tabooed, and otherwise paganized, becoming as big a savage as any in the island. A blue shark adorned his forehead; a broad bar, of the same colour, traversed his face. The tabooing was a less ornamental but more decidedly useful formality, for by it his person was declared sacred and inviolable. Typee and his medical friend had a strong prejudice against cerulean sharks and the like embellishments; but if these could be dispensed with, they felt no disinclination to form part of Pomaree's household. They had not quite made up their minds what office would best suit them, but their circumstances were unprosperous, and they resolved not to be particular. They understood that the queen was mustering around her all the foreigners she could recruit, to make head against the French. She was then at Taloo, a village on the coast of Imeeo, and thither the two adventurers betook themselves, hoping to be at once elevated to important posts at court; but quite resigned, in case of disappointment, to work as day-labourers in a sugar-plantation, or go to sea in a whaler, then in the harbour for wood and water. Disgusted with their desultory, hand-to-mouth existence, they yearned after respectability and a prime-ministership. To their sanguine anticipations, both of these seemed easy of attainment. Long Ghost, indeed, who, amongst his various accomplishments, was a very Orpheus upon the violin, insisted strongly upon the probability of his becoming a Tahitian Rizzio. But a necessary preliminary to the realisation of these day-dreams, was a presentation at court, and that was difficult to obtain. Once before Queen Pomaree, they doubted not but she, with Napoleonic sagacity, would discern their merits, and forthwith make Typee her admiral, and Long Ghost inspector-general of hospitals. But they lacked an introduction. The proper course, according to the practice of travelling nobodies, desirous of intruding their plebeianism into a foreign court, would have been to apply to their ambassadors. Unfortunately Deputy-Consul Wilson, the only person at hand of a diplomatic character, was by no means disposed to act as master of the ceremonies to the insurgents of the Julia. And their costume, it must be confessed, scarcely qualified them to appear at levee or drawing-room. A short time previously, their ragged and variegated garb had given them much the look of a brace of Polynesian Robert Macaires. Typee had made himself a new frock out of two old ones, a blue and a red, the irregular mingling of the colours producing a pleasing parrot-like effect; a tattered shirt of printed calico was twisted round his head, turban-fashion, the sleeves dangling behind, and bullock's-hide sandals protected his feet. The doctor was still more fantastical in his attire. He sported a roora, a garment similar to the South American poncho, a sort of mantle or blanket, with a hole in the centre, through which the head passes. This simple article of apparel, which in the doctor's case was of coarse brown tappa, fell in folds around his angular carcass, and in conjunction with a broad-brimmed hat of Panama grass, gave him the aspect of a decayed grandee. Thus clad, the two friends arrived in the neighbourhood of the royal residence, and there were fortunate enough to fall in with Mrs Po-Po, a benevolent Tahitian matron, who provided them with clean frocks and trousers, such as sailors wear, and in all respects was as good as a mother to them. Her husband, Jeremiah Po-Po, a man of substance and consideration, made them welcome in his house, fed and fostered them, without hope of fee or recompense. A little of this generous hospitality was owing to the hypocrisy of that villain, Long Ghost, who, finding his entertainers devoutly disposed, muttered a "Grace before Meat" over the succulent little porkers, baked à la façon de Barbarie in the ground, upon which their kind-hearted Amphitrion regaled them. But neither clean canvass, nor simulated piety, sufficed to draw upon the ambitious schemers the favourable notice of Queen Pomaree. Accustomed to sailors, she held them cheap. A uniform, though but the moth-eaten undress of a militia ensign, would have been a powerful auxiliary to their projects of aggrandisement. Like some others of her sex, Pomaree loves a soldier's coat, and maintained in more prosperous[Pg 767] days a formidable regiment of body-guards, in pasteboard shakos, and without breeches.

To go to court, however, Typee and his comrade were fully resolved; and they were not very scrupulous as to the manner of their introduction. They made up to a Marquesan gentleman of herculean proportions, whose office it was to take the princes of the blood an airing in his arms. Typee, who spoke his language, and had been at his native village, soon ingratiated himself with Marbonna, who introduced them to one of the queen's chamberlains. Bribery and corruption now came into play: a plug of tobacco, proved an excellent passport to within the royal precincts, but then Marbonna was suddenly called away, and the intruders found themselves abandoned to their fate amongst the ladies of the court, amiable and affable damsels, whom a little "soft sawder" induced to conduct them into the queen's own drawing room. Here were collected numerous costly articles of European manufacture, sent as presents to Pomaree. Writing-desks, cut glass and beautiful china, valuable engravings, and gilt candelabras, arms and instruments of all kinds, lay scratched and broken, musty and rusting amongst greasy calabashes, old matting, paddles, fish-spears, and rubbish of all kinds. It was supper-time; and presently the queen came out of her private boudoir, attired in a blue silk gown and rich shawls, but without shoes or stockings. She lay down upon a mat, and fed herself with her fingers. Presumptuous Long Ghost, unabashed before royalty, was for immediately introducing himself and friend; but the attendants opposed this forward proceeding, and, in doing so, made such a fuss that the queen looked up from her calabash of fish, perceived the strangers, and ordered them out. Such was the first and last interview between Typee the mariner and Pomaree the queen.

"Disappointed in going to court, we determined upon going to sea." The Leviathan, an American whaler, lay in harbour, and Typee shipped on board her. Long Ghost would have done the same, but the Yankee captain disliked the cut of his jib, swore he was a "Sidney bird," and would have nought to say to him. So Typee divided his advance of wages with the medical spectre—drank with him a parting bottle of wine, surreptitiously purchased from a pilfering member of Pomaree's household—and sailed on a whaling cruise to the coast of Japan. We look forward with confidence and interest to an account of what there befel him.


[C] Omoo; A Narrative of Adventures in the South Seas. By Herman Melville. London: 1847.

[Pg 768]



A few plain words on this subject may not be unacceptable to the popular reader at the present time.

We are fond of what is agreeable to the eye as well as pleasant to the taste, and therefore we love to have our bread made of the whitest and finest of the wheat. Attaching superior excellence to what thus pleases the eye, we call the good Scotch bannock an inferior food, and the wholesome black bread of the north of Europe a disgusting article of diet. When our experience and knowledge are local and confined, our opinions necessarily partake of a similar character.

In regard to the different qualities of wheaten flour, our judgments are not so severe. All things which pertain to this aristocratic grain—this staff of English life—like the liveries and horses of a great man—are treated with a certain degree of respect. Still, they are only the appendages of the noble seed, and the more thoroughly they are got rid of, the better the kernel is supposed to become.

In many of our old-fashioned families, indeed, the practice still lingers of baking bread from the whole meal of wheat for common use in the kitchen or hall, and for occasional consumption on the master's table. An enthusiastic physician also now and then rouses himself, and does battle with the national organs of taste on behalf of the darker bread, and the browner flour—and dyspeptic old gentlemen or mammas who have over-pampered their sickly darlings, listen to his fervid warnings, and the star of the brown loaf is for a month or two in the ascendant.

But gradually the warning sound is lost to the alarmed ear, and the pulses of the commoved air waft it on to mingle with the thousand other long-quenched voices which people the distant realms of space, and form together that unutterable harmony which, by consent of the poets, is named the music of the spheres.

There are times, however, when good men, though aware of this passing tendency of human efforts, and of the thankless impotency of a struggle against the public voice—that vox populi which wise men (so-called) have pronounced to be also vox Dei—will nevertheless return to what they believe to be a useful though unvalued labour. The present is one in which any thing which can be said in favour of the less-valued parts of our imperial grain, will be more readily listened to than at any other period in the life-time of the existing generation; and being listened to, may be productive of the greatest national good.

I propose, therefore, to show, in an intelligible manner, that whole meal flour is really more nourishing, as well as more wholesome, than fine white flour as food for man.

The solid parts of the human body consist, principally, of three several portions: the fat, the muscle, and the bone. These three substances are liable to constant waste in the living body, and therefore must be constantly renewed from the food that we eat. The vegetable food we consume contains these three substances almost ready formed. The plant is the brick-maker. The animal voluntarily introduces these bricks into its stomach, and then involuntarily—through the operation of the mysterious machinery within—picks out these bricks, transports them to the different parts of the body, and builds them into their appropriate places. As the miller at his mill throws into the hopper the unground grain, and forthwith, by the involuntary movements of the machinery, receives in his several sacks the fine flour, the seconds, the middlings, the pollard, and the bran; so in the human body, by a still more refined separation, the fat is extracted[Pg 769] and deposited here, the muscular matter there, and the bony material in a third locality, where it can not only be stored up, but where its presence is actually at the moment necessary.

Again, the fluid parts of the body contain the same substances in a liquid form, on their way to or from the several parts of the body in which they are required. They include also a portion of salt or saline matter which is dissolved in them, as we dissolve common salt in our soup, or Epsom salts in the pleasant draughts with which our doctors delight to vex us. This saline matter is also obtained from the food.

Now, it is self-evident, that that food must be the most nourishing which supplies all these ingredients of the body most abundantly on the whole, or in proportions most suited to the actual wants of the individual animal to which it is given.

How stands the question, then, in regard to this point between the brown bread and the white—the fine flour, and the whole meal of wheat?

The grain of wheat consists of two parts, with which the miller is familiar—the inner grain and the skin that covers it. The inner grain gives the pure wheat flour; the skin, when separated, forms the bran. The miller cannot entirely peel off the skin from his grain, and thus some of it is unavoidably ground up with his flour. By sifting, he separates it more or less completely: his seconds, middlings, &c., owing their colour to the proportion of brown bran that has passed through the sieve along with the flour. The whole meal, as it is called, of which the so-named brown household bread is made, consists of the entire grain ground up together—used as it comes from the mill-stones unsifted, and therefore containing all the bran.

The first white flour, therefore, may be said to contain no bran, while the whole meal contains all that grew naturally upon the grain.

What is the composition of these two portions of the seed? How much do they respectively contain of the several constituents of the animal body? How much of each is contained also in the whole grain?

1. The fat. Of this ingredient a thousand pounds of the

Whole graincontain28lbs.
Fine Flour,"20"

So that the bran is much richer in fat than the interior part of the grain, and the whole grain ground together (whole meal) richer than the finer part of the flour in the proportion of nearly one half.

2. The muscular matter. I have had no opportunity as yet of ascertaining the relative proportions of this ingredient in the bran and fine flour of the same sample of grain. Numerous experiments, however, have been made in my laboratory, to determine these proportions in the fine flour and whole seed of several varieties of grain. The general result of these is, that the whole grain uniformly contains a larger quantity, weight for weight, than the fine flour extracted from it does. The particular results in the case of wheat and Indian corn were as follows:—A thousand pounds of the whole grain and of the fine flour contained of muscular matter respectively,—

Whole grain.Fine Flour.
Wheat,156 lbs.130 lbs.
Indian Corn,140110

Of the material out of which the animal muscle is to be formed, the whole meal or grain of wheat contains one-fifth more than the finest flour does. For maintaining muscular strength, therefore, it must be more valuable in an equal proportion.

3. Bone material and Saline matter.—Of these mineral constituents, as they may be called, of the animal body, a thousand pounds of bran, whole meal and fine flour, contain respectively,—

Whole meal,170"
Fine flour,60"

So that in regard to this important part of our food, necessary to all living animals, but especially to the young who are growing, and to the mother who is giving milk—the whole meal is three times more nourishing than the fine flour.

Our case is now made out. Weight for weight, the whole grain or meal is[Pg 770] more rich in all these three essential elements of a nutritive food, than the fine flour of wheat. By those whose only desire is to sustain their health and strength by the food they eat, ought not the whole meal to be preferred? To children who are rapidly growing, the browner the bread they eat, the more abundant the supply of the materials from which their increasing bones and muscles are to be produced. To the milk-giving mother, the same food, and for a similar reason, is the most appropriate.

A glance at their mutual relations in regard to the three substances, presented in one view, will show this more clearly. A thousand pounds of each contain of the three several ingredients the following proportions.

Whole meal.Fine flour.
Muscular matter,156 lbs.130 lbs.
Bone material,170 "60 "
Fat,28 "20 "
Total in each,354210

Taking the three ingredients, therefore, together, the whole meal is one-half more valuable for fulfilling all the purposes of nutrition than the fine flour—and especially it is so in regard to the feeding of the young, the pregnant, and those who undergo much bodily fatigue.

It will not be denied that it is for a wise purpose that the Deity has so intimately associated, in the grain, the several substances which are necessary for the complete nutrition of animal bodies. The above considerations show how unwise we are in attempting to undo this natural collocation of materials. To please the eye and the palate, we sift out a less generally nutritive food,—and, to make up for what we have removed, experience teaches us to have recourse to animal food of various descriptions.

It is interesting to remark, even in apparently trivial things, how all nature is full of compensating processes. We give our servants household bread, while we live on the finest of the wheat ourselves. The mistress eats that which pleases the eye more, the maid what sustains and nourishes the body better.

But the whole meal is more wholesome, as well as more nutritive. It is on account of its superior wholesomeness that those who are experienced in medicine usually recommend it to our attention. Experience in the laws of digestion brings us back to the simple admixture found in the natural seed. It is not an accidental thing that the proportions in which the ingredients of a truly sustaining food take their places in the seeds on which we live, should be best fitted at once to promote the health of the sedentary scholar, and to reinvigorate the strength of the active man when exhausted by bodily labour.

Some may say that the preceding observations are merely theoretical; and may demand the support of actual trial, before they will concede that the selection of the most nourishing and wholesome diet is hereafter to be regulated by the results of chemical analysis. The demand is reasonable in itself, and the so-called deductions of theory are entitled only to the rank of probable conjectures, till they have been tested by exact and repeated trials.

But such in this case have been made; and our theoretical considerations come in only to confirm the results of previous experiments—to explain why these results should have been obtained, and to extend and enforce the practical lessons which the results themselves appeared to inculcate.

Thus, from the experiments of Majendie and others, it was known that animals which in a few weeks died if fed only upon fine flour, lived long upon whole meal bread. The reason appears from our analytical investigations. The whole meal contains in large quantity the three forms of matter by which the several parts of the body are sustained, or successively renewed. We may feed a man long upon bread and water only, but unless we wish to kill him also, we must have the apparent cruelty to restrict him to the coarser kinds of bread. The charity which should supply him with fine white loaves instead, would in effect kill him by a lingering starvation.

Again, the pork-grower who buys bran from the miller, wonders at the remarkable feeding and fattening effect which this apparently woody and useless material has upon[Pg 771] his animals. The surprise ceases, however, and the practice is encouraged, and extended to other creatures, when the researches of the laboratory explain to him what the food itself contains, and what his growing animal requires.

Economy as well as comfort follow from an exact acquaintance with the wants of our bodies in their several conditions, and with the composition of the various articles of diet which are at our command. In the present condition of the country, this economy has become a vital question. It is a kind of Christian duty in every one to practise it as far as his means and his knowledge enable him.

Perhaps the amount of the economy which would follow the use of whole meal instead of fine flour, may not strike every one who reads the above observations. The saving arises from two sources.

First, The amount of husk, separated by the miller from the wheat which he grinds, and which is not sold for human use, varies very much. I think we do not over-estimate it, when we consider it as forming one-eighth of the whole. On this supposition, eight pounds of wheat yield seven of flour consumed by man, and one of pollard and bran which are given to animals—chiefly to poultry and pigs. If the whole meal be used, however, eight pounds of flour will be obtained, or eight people will be fed by the same weight of grain which only fed seven before.

Again, we have seen that the whole meal is more nutritious—so that this coarser flour will go farther than an equal weight of the fine. The numbers at which we arrived, from the results of analysis, show that, taking all the three sustaining elements of the food into consideration, the coarse is one-half more nutritive than the fine. Leaving a wide margin for the influence of circumstances, let us suppose it only one-eighth more nutritive, and we shall have now nine people nourished equally by the same weight of grain, which, when eaten as fine flour, would support only seven. The wheat of the country, in other words, would in this form go one-fourth farther than at present.

But some one may remark, if all this good is to come from the mere use of the bran, why not recommend it to be withheld from the pigs, and consume it by man in some way alone? This would involve no change in the practice of our millers, and little in the habits and bread of the great mass of the population.

But such a course, if possible, would not bring us to the economical end we wish to attain. Suppose it could be made palatable and eaten by man, little comparative saving would be effected.

First, because, when eaten alone, the fine flour will not go so far as when mixed with a certain proportion of bran: that is to say,—a given weight of fine flour will produce an increased nutritive effect when mixed with the bran: greater than is due to the constituents of the bran taken alone. The mixture of the two in reality increases the virtues of both. Again, if eaten alone, bran would prove too difficult, and therefore slow of digestion in most stomachs. Much would thus pass, unexhausted of its nutritive matter, through the alimentary canal, as whole oats often do through that of horses, and thus a considerable waste would ensue.

And further, supposing all to be dissolved in the stomach, there would still, of necessity, be a waste of material, since the bran actually contains a larger proportion of bone material and saline matter compared with its other ingredients, than the body, in its natural healthy state, can make use of. All this excess must, therefore, be rejected by the body, and, as nutritive matter, for the time be wasted.

Lastly, it is doubtful if bran alone contains enough of starch, or of any substitute for it, to meet the other demands of the human system. I have not spoken of the use of the starch of the grain in the preceding observations, because, as both whole meal and fine flour contain a sufficient quantity of it to supply the wants of the living animal, it was unnecessary to the main object of this paper. But with bran the case is different. It is doubtful if the purposes of the starch could be fully, and with sufficient speed, fulfilled by the ingredients which, in the bran, take the place of starch in the flour. The cellular fibre[Pg 772] or woody matter, of which it contains a considerable proportion, is too slowly soluble in the stomachs of ordinary men. While, therefore, much of it would pass through the body undigested, it would require to be eaten in far larger proportions than its composition indicates, if the body was to be supported, and thus a further waste would be incurred.

On the whole, therefore, we come back to the whole meal, as the most economical as well as the most nutritive and wholesome form in which the grain of wheat can be consumed. The Deity has done far better for us, by the natural mixtures to be found in the whole seed, than we can do for ourselves. The materials, both in form and in proportion, are adjusted in each seed, as wheat, in a way more suitable to us than any which, with our present knowledge, we appear able to devise.

A word to our Scottish readers, before we conclude. We do not recommend to you even the whole meal of wheat as a substitute for your oatmeal or your oaten-cake. The oat is more nutritive even than the whole grain of wheat, taken weight for weight. For the growing boy, for the hard-working man, and for the portly matron, oatmeal contains the materials of the most hearty nourishment. This it owes in part to its peculiar chemical composition, and in part to its being, as it is used in Scotland, a kind of whole meal. The finely sifted oatmeal of Yorkshire and Lancashire is not so agreeable to a Scottish taste, and, I believe, is not so nutritious, as the rounder and coarser meal of the more northern counties.

While, therefore, the whole meal of wheat is superior to the fine flour, in economy, in nutritive power, and in wholesomeness, and therefore should be preferred by those who must live upon wheat,—in all these respects the oat has still the advantage, and therefore ought religiously to be adhered to. You owe it to the experience of your forefathers, for a thousand years, not to forsake it.

Lurham, 19th May, 1847.

[Pg 773]


Abdul Medjid, the Sultan, 693.

Adalia, sketches of, 737.

Addington, Henry, see Sidmouth.

Addington, Hiley, 475.

Adelaide, Madame, 2, 7, 8, 12.

Adventures of the Connaught Rangers, review of, 457.

Aidan, Bishop, 84.

Albemarle, Lord, 201.

Albert, Madame, 186.

Ambrosio, General, 174.

America, origin of the struggle with, 207.

America, how they manage matters in, 492.

America, North, 653.

Ancient and Modern Ballad Poetry, 622.

Anglo-Saxons, Lappenberg's History of the, reviewed, 79.

Angouleme, the Duc d', 5, 6.

Appert, B. Dix ans à la Cour du Roi Louis Philippe, review of, 1.

Aquilius, Letter from, to Eusebius, 374
—second, 501
—third, 695.

Arabs in Batavia, the, 321.

Archangel, New, settlement of, 661.

Armenians of Smyrna, the, 238.

Arnal, a French actor, 185.

Arnault, M., 15.

Arthur, King, 81.

Assessed Taxes, inequalities of, 248.

Aumale, Duc d', 17.

Badajos, capture of, 468.

Ballad Poetry, ancient and modern, 622.

Balzac, M. de, 16, works of, 591.

Banditti of Spain, the, 356.

Batavia, city of, 320.

Baths of Mont Dor, the, 448
—the company at, 451
—the forest, 454.

Belgrade, siege and battle of, 36.

Belisarius,—was he blind? 606.

Benedict Biscop, 87.

Bernard, Charles de, notices of the works of, 589.

Berri, Duchesse de, 530.

Blackwall, ode to, 59.

Blucher, sketches of, 76.

Bolingbroke, Lord, 204.

Bonabat, village of, 241.

Bouffé, Marie, 189.

Boufflers, Marshal, 35, 36.

Boujah, village of, 241.

Bread, on the nutritive qualities of, by Professor Johnston, 768.

Browning, Elizabeth Barrett, sonnets by:
—Life, 555
—Love, ib.
—Heaven and Earth, 556
—The Prospect, ib.
—Two Sketches, 683
—The Mountaineer and the Poet, 684
—the Poet, ib.

Brunet, an actor, 187.

Bruhl, Count, 209.

Bunzelwitz, camp and battle of, 43.

Buonaparte, Joseph, as King of Naples, 168.

Burgos, the retreat from, 471.

Burke, notices of, 483, 484, 487.

Busaco, battle of, 460.

Canning, Peel's conduct towards, 97.

California, sketches of, 662.

Caravan Bridge of Smyrna, the, 239.

Carbonari of Naples, the, 173.

Cardinal's voyage, the, 430.

Carlyle's Cromwell, review of, 392.

Caroline, Queen of Naples, 164, 167.

Catherine of Russia, intimacy of, with Voltaire, 537.

Catholic question, Peel's conduct on the, 97.

Catullus, translations from, No. I., 374
—No. II., 501
—No. III., 695.

Cave of the Regicides, the, and how three of them fared in New England, 333.

Championet, General, capture of Naples by, 163.

Chapelle, an actor, 185.

Charles X., accession of, 6.

[Pg 774]Charles de Bernard, works of, 589.

Chateauroux, the Duchess of, 206, 530.

Chatham, Lord, 474, 475.

Cheri, Rose, 191.

Chesterfield, Lord, character of, by Walpole, 198.

Chinese in Batavia, the, 321.

Church rate, inequality of the, 250.

Ciudad Rodrigo, capture of, 467.

Claqueurs of Paris, the, 183.

Collier's book of Roxburghe ballads, review of, 622.

Connaught Rangers, sketches of the, 457.

Constantine Kanaris, epitaph of, 644.

Constantinople, and the declining state of the Ottoman empire, 685.

Corn law, Peel's conduct regarding the, 99.

Court of Louis Philippe, sketches of the, 1.

Cromwell, Carlyle's life of, reviewed, 392.

Cunnersdorf, battle of, 42.

Cunningham's poems and songs, review of, 622.

Dardanelles, the, 686.

Daun, Marshal, 40, 42.

Dejazet the actress, 189.

Delta, Scottish Melodies by:
—Eric's Dirge, 91
—The Stormy Sea, ib.
—The Maid of Ulva, 645
—Lament for Macrimmon, ib.

Direct Taxation, on, 243
—true principles of, 258.

Divining Rod, the, 368.

Dixwell, John, the Regicide, 338.

Doche, Madame, 187.

Doddington, Bubb, 201, 202, 210.

Doré, a French robber, sketches of, 4.

Dubois, the Abbé, 530.

Duckworth, Sir John, forcing of the Dardanelles by, 686.

Dumas, General, 168.

Dumas, M. de, and his works, 16, 590, 591.

Durham, Lord, 15, 16.

Dutch, cruelties of the, in Java, 327.

Early Taken, the, 230.

Egmont, Lord, 197.

Ekaterineburg, town of, 671.

England, uniform triumphs of, over France, 48.

Epigrams, 361.

Epitaphs, 57, 61.

Epitaph of Constantine Kanaris, the, 644.

Eric's dirge, by Delta, 91.

Erith, village of, 423.

Erskine, Lord, 488.

Eugene, Marlborough, Frederick, Napoleon, and Wellington, 34.

Eusebius, letters to—Horæ Catullianæ, 374, 501, 695.

Famine, lessons from the, 515.

Ferdinand, king of Naples, 163, 164, 167.

Ferguson of Pitfour, anecdotes of, 488.

Fighting Eighty-eighth, the, 457.

Flour, on the various kinds of, and their nutritive qualities, 768.

Fontenoy, battle of, 535.

Ford's gatherings from Spain, review of, 350.

Fossa del Maritimo, prison of, 167.

Fox, anecdotes of, 488.

France, the modern court of, 1.

France, uniform triumphs of England over, 48.

France, Walpole's picture of, 206.

France, letter on, 547.

Frederick the Great, sketch of the career of, and comparison of him with Marlborough and others, 37
—his intimacy with Voltaire, 537.

Frederick, prince of Wales, death of, and his character, 200.

Free trade in connexion with taxation, 243.

French players and playhouses, 177.

Fuentes d' Onore, battle of, 462.

Galata, sketches of, 688.

General Mack: a Christmas carol, 92.

George II., Walpole's reign of, reviewed, 194.

George III., anecdotes of, 490.

Georges, characteristics of the reigns of the, 211.

Ghosts, letters on, 440, 541.

Gneisenau, General, 77.

Goffe the Regicide, 333.

Gold district of Siberia, the, 671.

Grand Opera at Paris, the, 180, 182.

Grattan's Adventures of the Connaught Rangers, review of, 457.

Greeks of Adalia, the, 750.

Grey, Lord, first appearance of, 479.

Guilleminot, Count, 6.

Gutch's Robin Hood, review of, 622.

Gymnase Dramatique at Paris, the, 190.

Hastings, Warren, trial of, 478, 487.

Heaven and Earth, a Sonnet, 556.

Heptarchy, the, 79.

Hervey's Theatres of Paris, review of, 177.

Highway Rates, inequalities of, 249.

Hohenfriedberg, battle of, 39.

Hohenkirchen, battle of, 42.

Horæ Catullianæ, No. I., 374
—No. II., 501
—No. III., 695.

Horn, Count de, execution of, 534.

How they manage matters in the model republic, 492.

How to build a house and live in it,—No. III., 727.

Hughes' Overland Journey to Lisbon, review of, 350.

Hymn of King Olaf the Saint, the, altered from the Icelandic, 682.

Imeeo, residence on island of, 763.

Income Tax, inequalities of the, 253.

Indian Life, anecdotes of, 658, 659, 660.

Indirect Taxes, probable abandonment of, in Great Britain, 244, 245.

Ireland, state of, under George II., 205
—necessity of Poor Law for, 247
—unjust exemption from taxation enjoyed by, 256.

Isle of Dogs, the, 50
[Pg 775]—tradition regarding, 52.

Italian History, modern, 162.

Java, sketches of, 318.

Joinville, Prince de, 17.

Johnston, Professor, on the nutritive qualities of the Bread now in use, 768.

Jones, Neville, 205.

Jutland 130 years since, from the Danish
—I., the Deer Rider, 286
—II., Ansbjerg, 289
—III., the Nisse, 292
—IV., the Elopement, 297
—V., the Horse Garden, 303.

Kawashes of Turkey, the, 235.

Khan of Magnesia, the, 309.

Khans of Turkey, the, 236.

Kiachta, town of, 670.

Kolin, battle of, 41.

Krasnoyayk, town of, 671.

Lafayette, sketches of, 5.

Lament for Macrimmon, by Delta, 645.

Land, injustice of the freedom of, from legacy duty, 246.

Land Tax, injustice of the, 248.

Landsheck, battle of, 42.

Lappenberg's Anglo-Saxons, review of, 79.

Latest from the Peninsula, 350.

Law of Lauriston, 533, 534.

Lays and Legends of the Thames, No. II., 49
—the Isle of Dogs, 50
—the Song of the Mail Coachman, 51
—the Presentation, 55
—Epitaphs, 57, 61
—Ode to Blackwall, 59
—the Poet's Auction, 62
—No. III., 423
—the Vision, 424
—the Arsenal, 426
—True Love, 428
—the Cardinals' voyage, 430.

Legacy duty, inequality of the, 246.

Lemaitre, the Marquis, 166.

Lemaitre, Frederick, 188.

Lena, the river, 669.

Lessons from the Famine, 515.

Letters on the Truths contained in Popular Superstitions,
—No. I., the Divining Rod, 368
—II., Vampyrism, 432
—III., Spirits, Goblins, Ghosts, 440
—IV., Real Ghosts and Second Sight, 541
—V., Trance and Sleep-waking, 547
—VI., Religious Delusions, the Possessed, Witchcraft, 673.

Lettres de Cachet, profligate use of, in France, 538.

Levasseur the actor, 192.

Leuthen, battle of, 41.

Life, a sonnet, 555.

Lord Sidmouth's Life and Times, 473.

Louis XV., sketches of, by Walpole, 206.

Louis XV., De Tocqueville's Memoirs of, reviewed, 525.

Louis Philippe, sketches of the court of, 1
—his elevation, 8
—and personal habits, 9.

Love, a sonnet, 555.

Lowositz, battle of, 40.

Macdonald, General, administration of Naples by, 164.

Mack, General, a Christmas carol, 92.

Mack, General, at Naples, 163.

Magnesia, a ride to, stage first, 231
—II. 305.

Mahmood, the Sultan, 694.

Maid of Ulva, the, by Delta, 645.

Maida, battle of, 168.

Mail Coachman, song of the, 51.

Maison Dorée at Paris, the, 177.

Mammone, a Neapolitan bandit, 164.

Mammoth deposits of Siberia, the, 670.

Maria Theresa, accession of, and war against, 38.

Marie Amelie, Queen of Louis Philippe, 7, 8, 11.

Marlborough, comparison of, with Eugene, &c., 34.

Marriage Bill, the Scotch, 646.

Marsin, Marshal, 35.

Massillon, 532.

Mazarine, Cardinal, French Opera originated by, 180.

Melville's Omoo, review of, 754.

Mérimée, Prosper, notices of the works of, 695.

Merkatz, Lieutenant, 67, 68.

Mexican War, the, 667.

Mildred, a tale, Chap. IV., 18
—Chap. V., 23
—Chap. VI., 28
—Chap. VII., 213
—Chap. VIII., 217
—Chap. IX., 222.

Minden, battle of, 42.

Minerals of Lake Superior, the, 658.

Mississippi Scheme, the, 533.

Modern Italian History, 162.

Mollwitz, battle of, 38.

Mont Dor, baths of, 448.

Montebello, Duchess of, 5.

Monterey, town of, 664.

Montreal, town of, 655.

Motherwell's Poems, review of, 622.

Mountaineer and Poet, the, a sonnet, 684.

Muleteers of Spain, the, 352, 354.

Murat, sketches of, 166, 167
—as King of Naples, 170
—death of, 175, 176.

Murray, a Jacobite, sketches of, 196.

Music, Turkish, 749.

Mytilene, Island of, 736.

Naples, sketch of the recent history of, 162.

Napoleon, comparison of Frederick the Great with, 34, 45.

Nashua, town of, 654.

Nemours, the Duc de, 17.

New Archangel, settlement of, 661.

New Sentimental Journey, a
—the Baths of Mont Dor, 448
—the Company, 451
—the Forest, 454.

Newcastle, the Duke of, character of, by Walpole, 202.

New England, Residence of three of the Regicides in, 333.

Newhaven, grave of the Regicides at, 334.

North America, Siberia, and Russia, 653.

Nugent, Lord, Walpole's character of, 197.

Oatmeal, superiority of, to wheat, 772.

Ochotsk, town of, 668.

[Pg 776]Oglou, Pasha, 235.

Olaf the Saint, the Hymn of, altered from the Icelandic, 682.

Omoo, review of, 754.

Orleans, Dowager Duchess of, Anecdote of, 11.

Orleans, the Regent, 530.

Opera Comique at Paris, the, 180.

Oswald, Prince, 84.

Ottoman Empire, present state of the, 685.

Overland Journey round the Globe, Simpson's, review of, 653.

Pacific Rovings, 754.

Pano di Grajo, a Neapolitan leader, 165, 169.

Palais Royal, the, 191.

Paris, Sketches of Society in, 13.

Passaruang, town of, 332.

Pauperism and its treatment, 261.

Peel, Sir Robert, reflections on the career of, 93.

Pelham, Lord, 204, 206.

Pellew's Life of Sidmouth, review of, 473.

Peninsula, latest from the, 350.

Pépé, General, review of the memoirs of, 162.

Pépé, Florestano, 172.

Personal character, importance of, to a statesman, 93.

Peterwardin, battle of, 36.

Picton and the Connaught Rangers, 457.

Pitt, first appearance of, 476
—notices of, 483, 484.

Poacher, the, or Jutland 130 years since, from the Danish.
—I. The Deer Rider, 286.
—II. Ansbjerg, 289.
—III. The Nisse, 292.
—IV. The Elopement, 297.
—V. The Horse Garden, 303.

Poet, the, a Sonnet, 684.

Poet's Auction, the, 62.

—Eric's Dirge, by Delta, 91
—the Stormy Sea, by the same, ib.
—General Mack, 92
—the Early Taken, 230
—To the Stethoscope, 361
—Epigrams, 367
—Four Sonnets, namely, Life, Love, Heaven and Earth, the Prospect, by E. B. Browning, 555
—Epitaph of Constantine Kanaris, 644
—The Maid of Ulva, by Delta, 645
—The Lament of Macrimmon, by the same, ib.
—The Hymn of King Olaf the Saint, 682
—Four Sonnets, by Elizabeth B. Browning, 683.

Police Rates, inequalities of, 250.

Polynesia, sketches of, 754.

Pomaree, Queen, 761, 766.

Pompadour, Madame de, 206.

Poor, treatment of the, 262.

Poors'-rate, inequality of the, 247.

Popular Superstitions, Letters on the truths contained in, No. I. The Divining
Rod, 368
—II. Vampyrism, 432
—III. Spirits, Goblins, Ghosts, 440
—IV. Real Ghosts and Second-sight, 541
—V. Trance and Sleep-waking, 547
—VI. Religious Delusions: the Possessed: Witchcraft, 673.

Portuguese troops, character of the, 464.

Possession, Demoniacal, letter on, 673.

Premier, reflections: suggested by the career of the late, 93.

Prospect, the, a Sonnet, 556.

Prosper Mérimée, notices of the works of, 695.

Prussian Military Memoirs, 65.

Rahden, Baron von, wanderings of an old soldier, reviewed, 65.

Railways in Spain, 352.

Raval the Actor, 193.

Red River Settlement, the, 659.

Reflections suggested by the career of the late Premier, 93.

Regicides, cave of the, and how three of them fared in New England, 333.

Regnier, defeat of, at Maida, 168.

Reichenbach, Count, 68.

Reign of George II., the, 194.

Religious Delusions, letter on, 673.

Ride to Magnesia, a
—stage I. 231
—II. 305.

Robinson, Sir Thomas, 209.

Rosama, a tale of Madrid, 557.

Rosbach, battle of, 41.

Royal Arsenal, the, 426.

Ruffo, Cardinal, 164.

Russia, sketches of, 668.

Salamanca, battle of, 470.

Samson, the executioner of Paris, 15.

Sanchez, Julian, a Spanish Guerilla leader, 463.

San Francisco, harbour of, 662.

Santa Barbara, town of, 665.

Saxe, Marshal, 535.

Saxony, conquest of, by Frederick the Great, 40.

Scio, Island of, 748.

Scotch Marriage Bill, the, 646.

Scotland, new poor law for, 247.

Scottish Melodies, by Delta, Eric's Dirge, 91
—The Stormy Sea, ib.
—The Maid of Ulva, 645
—Lament for Macrimmon, ib.

Secker, Archbishop, character of, 198.

Second-sight, letter on, 541.

Selberg's Java, review of, 318.

Sentimental Journey, a, see New.

Sheldon's Border Minstrelsy, review of, 622.

Sheridan, speech of, on the Begum question, 478
—notices of, 488.

Siberia, sketches of, 668.

Sidmouth, Lord, life and times of, 473.

Simpson's Overland Journey Round the World, review of, 653.

Sitka, Settlement of, 661.

Sleep-waking, letter on, 547.

Smith, John William, memoir of, by Samuel Warren, 129.

Smyrna, city of, 231, 233, 735.

Soor, battle of, 39.

[Pg 777]Spain, sketches of modern, 350.

Spirits, Goblins, Ghosts, letter on, 440.

Stamboul, sketches of, 689.

Stamp Duties, inequalities of, 250.

Stethoscope, to the, 361.

Stewart, Sir John, 169.

Storming of the Redoubt, the, 724.

Stormy Sea, the, by Delta, 91.

Sue, Engene, 591.

Superior, Lake, the minerals of, 658.

Surabaya, town of, 324.

Tahiti, sketches of, 758.

Taxation, direct, 243,
true principles of, 258.

Thames, Lays and Legends of the, see Lays.

Theatres of Paris, the, 177.

Theatre des Variétés, the, 187.

Thill, Colonel, 77.

Thorpe's translation of Lappenberg's Anglo-Saxons, review of, 79, 80.

Tiger Hunting in Java, 326.

Tocqueville's History of the reign of Louis XV., review of, 525.

Torgau, battle of, 43.

Treatment of Pauperism, on the, 261.

True Love, 428.

Turin, battle of, 35.

Turkey, present state of, 685.

Turkish Manners, sketches of, 231.

Turkish Watering Place, a, 735.

Turning Dervishes, the, 689.

Two Sketches, by E. B. Browning, 683.

United States, war of the, with Mexico, 667.

Ural mountains, mines of the, 671.

Vallego, General, 663.

Valona, town of, 231.

Vampyrism, letter on, 432.

Vaudeville at Paris, the, 184, 185.

Vestris, the Dancer, 181.

Vidocq, the Thief-taker, 15.

Villeroi, Marshal, 35.

Visible and Tangible, the, a metaphysical fragment, 580.

Vision, the, 424.

Voltaire, sketches of, 536, 537.

Walpole's reign of George II., review of, 194.

Walpole, Sir Robert, notices of, 197, 203, 204.

Warren, Samuel, memoir of the late John William Smith by, 129.

Watermen of London, the, 262.

Wellington, comparison of Marlborough with, 34
—Sketches of, by Von Rahden, 75, 76.

Whalley the Regicide, 333.

Wheat, on the nutritive qualities of, and the various kinds of flour from it, 768.

Wilberforce, anecdotes of, 480.

Wilfrith, Bishop, 88.

Witchcraft, letter on, 673.

Yakutsh, province of, 669.

Yonge, Sir William, 191.

Zenta, battle of, 35.

Zorndorf, battle of, 42.

Zulares, valley of, 666.


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