The Project Gutenberg eBook of Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Vol. 2, No. 8, January, 1851

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Title: Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Vol. 2, No. 8, January, 1851

Author: Various

Release date: March 1, 2010 [eBook #31455]
Most recently updated: January 6, 2021

Language: English

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Being the youngest of all his children, I had not the privilege of knowing my father in his best and most joyous years, nor of remembering Greta Hall when the happiness of its circle was unbroken. Much labor and anxiety, and many sorrows, had passed over him; and although his natural buoyancy of spirit had not departed, it was greatly subdued, and I chiefly remember its gradual diminution from year to year.

In appearance he was certainly a very striking looking person, and in early days he had by many been considered almost the beau idéal of a poet. Mr. Cottle describes him at the age of twenty-two as "tall, dignified, possessing great suavity of manners, an eye piercing, a countenance full of genius, kindliness, and intelligence;" and he continues, "I had read so much of poetry, and sympathized so much with poets in all their eccentricities and vicissitudes, that to see before me the realization of a character which in the abstract so much absorbed my regards, gave me a degree of satisfaction which it would be difficult to express." Eighteen years later Lord Byron calls him a prepossessing looking person, and, with his usual admixture of satire, says, "To have his head and shoulders I would almost have written his Sapphics;" and elsewhere he speaks of his appearance as "Epic," an expression which may be either a sneer or a compliment.

His forehead was very broad; his height was five feet eleven inches; his complexion rather dark, the eyebrows large and arched, the eye well shaped and dark brown, the mouth somewhat prominent, muscular, and very variously expressive, the chin small in proportion to the upper features of his face. He always, while in Keswick, wore a cap in his walks, and[146] partly from habit, partly from the make of his head and shoulders, we never thought he looked well or like himself in a hat. He was of a very spare frame, but of great activity, and not showing any appearance of a weak constitution.

My father's countenance, like his character, seems to have softened down from a certain wildness of expression to a more sober and thoughtful cast; and many thought him a handsomer man in age than in youth; his eye retaining always its brilliancy, and his countenance its play of expression.

The reader will remember his Republican independency when an under-graduate at Oxford, in rebelling against the supremacy of the college barber. Though he did not continue to let his hair hang down on his shoulders according to the whim of his youthful days, yet he always wore a greater quantity than is usual; and once, on his arrival in town, Chantrey's first greetings to him were accompanied with an injunction to go and get his hair cut. When I first remember it, it was turning from a rich brown to the steel shade, whence it rapidly became almost snowy white, losing none of its remarkable thickness, and clustering in abundant curls over his massive brow.

For the following remarks on his general bearing and habits of conversation I am indebted to a friend:

"The characteristics of his manner, as of his appearance, were lightness and strength, an easy and happy composure as the accustomed mood, with much mobility at the same time, so that he could be readily excited into any degree of animation in discourse, speaking, if the subject moved him much, with extraordinary fire and force, though always in light, laconic sentences. When so moved, the fingers of his right hand often rested against his mouth, and quivered through nervous susceptibility. But, excitable as he was in conversation, he was never angry or irritable; nor can there be any greater mistake concerning him than that into which some persons have fallen, when they have inferred, from the fiery vehemence with which he could give utterance to moral anger in verse or prose, that he was personally ill-tempered or irascible. He was, in truth, a man whom it was hardly possible to quarrel with or offend personally and face to face; and in his writings, even on public subjects in which his feelings were strongly engaged, he will be observed to have always dealt tenderly with those whom he had once seen and spoken to, unless, indeed, personally and grossly assailed by them. He said of himself that he was tolerant of persons, though intolerant of opinions. But in oral intercourse the toleration of persons was so much the stronger, that the intolerance of opinions was not to be perceived; and, indeed, it was only in regard to opinions of a pernicious moral tendency that it was ever felt.

"He was averse from argumentation, and would commonly quit a subject when it was passing into that shape, with a quiet and good-humored indication of the view in which he rested. He talked most and with most interest about books and about public affairs; less, indeed hardly at all, about the characters and qualities of men in private life. In the society of strangers or of acquaintances, he seemed to take more interest in the subjects spoken of than in the persons present, his manner being that of natural courtesy and general benevolence without distinction of individuals. Had there been some tincture of social vanity in him, perhaps he would have been brought into closer relations with those whom he met in society; but, though invariably kind and careful of their feelings, he was indifferent to the manner in which they regarded him, or (as the phrase is) to his effect in society; and they might, perhaps, be conscious that the kindness they received was what flowed naturally and inevitably to all, that they had nothing to give in return which was of value to him, and that no individual relations were established.

"In conversation with intimate friends he would sometimes express, half humorously, a cordial commendation of some production of his own, knowing that with them he could afford it, and that to those who knew him well it was well known that there was no vanity in him. But such commendations, though light and humorous, were perfectly sincere; for he both possessed and cherished the power of finding enjoyment and satisfaction wherever it was to be found—in his own books, in the books of his friends, and in all books whatsoever that were not morally tainted or absolutely barren."

His course of life was the most regular and simple possible. When it is said that breakfast was at nine, after a little reading,[2] dinner at four, tea at six, supper at half-past nine, and the intervals filled up with reading or writing, except that he regularly walked between two and four, and took a short sleep before tea, the outline of his day during those long seasons when he was in full work will have been given. After[147] supper, when the business of the day seemed to be over, though he generally took a book, he remained with his family, and was open to enter into conversation, to amuse and to be amused. It was on such times that the most pleasant fireside chattings, and the most interesting stories came forth; and, indeed, it was at such a time (though long before my day) that The Doctor was originated, as may be seen by the beginning of that work and the Preface to the new edition. Notwithstanding that the very mention of "my glass of punch," the one, temperate, never exceeded glass of punch, may be a stumbling-block to some of my readers, I am constrained, by the very love of the perfect picture which the first lines of The Doctor convey of the conclusion of his evening, to transcribe them in this place. It was written but for a few, otherwise The Doctor would have been no secret at all; but those few who knew him in his home will see his very look while they re-peruse it, and will recall the well-known sound:

"I was in the fourth night of the story of the Doctor and his horse, and had broken it off, not, like Scheherazade, because it was time to get up, but because it was time to go to bed. It was at thirty-five minutes after ten o'clock on the 20th of July, in the year of our Lord 1813. I finished my glass of punch, tinkled the spoon against its side, as if making music to my own meditations, and having fixed my eyes upon the Bhow Begum, who was sitting opposite to me at the head of her own table, I said, 'It ought to be written in a book.'"

This scene took place at the table of the Bhow Begum,[3] but it may easily be transferred to his ordinary room, where he sat after supper in one corner, with the fire on his left hand and a small table on his right, looking on at his family circle in front of him.

I have said before, as indeed his own letters have abundantly shown, that he was a most thoroughly domestic man, in that his whole pleasure and happiness was centred in his home; but yet, from the course of his pursuits, his family necessarily saw but little of him. He could not, however he might wish it, join the summer evening walk, or make one of the circle round the winter hearth, or even spare time for conversation after the family meals (except during the brief space I have just been speaking of). Every day, every hour had its allotted employment; always were there engagements to publishers imperatively requiring punctual fulfillment; always the current expenses of a large household to take anxious thoughts for: he had no crops growing while he was idle. "My ways," he used to say, "are as broad as the king's high road, and my means lie in an ink-stand."

Yet, notwithstanding the value which every moment of his time thus necessarily bore, unlike most literary men, he was never ruffled in the slightest degree by the interruptions of his family, even on the most trivial occasions; the book or the pen was ever laid down with a smile, and he was ready to answer any question, or to enter with youthful readiness into any temporary topic of amusement or interest.

In earlier years he spoke of himself as ill calculated for general society, from a habit of uttering single significant sentences, which, from being delivered without any qualifying clauses, bore more meaning upon their surface than he intended, and through which his real opinions and feelings were often misunderstood. This habit, as far as my own observation went, though it was sometimes apparent, he had materially checked in later life, and in large parties he was usually inclined to be silent, rarely joining in general conversation. But he was very different when with only one or two companions; and to those strangers, who came to him with letters of introduction, he was both extremely courteous in manner, and frank and pleasant in conversation, and to his intimates no one could have been more wholly unreserved, more disposed to give and receive pleasure, or more ready to pour forth his vast stores of information upon almost every subject.

I might go on here, and enter more at length into details of his personal character, but the task is too difficult a one, and is perhaps, after all, better left unattempted. A most intimate and highly-valued friend of my father's, whom I wished to have supplied me with some passages on these points, remarks very justly, that "any portraiture of him, by the pen as by the pencil, will fall so far short both of the truth and the ideal which the readers of his poetry and his letters will have formed for themselves, that they would be worse than superfluous." And, indeed, perhaps I have already said too much. I can not, however, resist quoting here some lines by the friend above alluded to, which describe admirably in brief my father's whole character:

"Two friends
Lent me a further light, whose equal hate
On all unwholesome sentiment attends,
Nor whom may genius charm where heart infirm attends.
"In all things else contrarious were these two:
The one a man upon whose laureled brow
Gray hairs were growing! glory ever new
Shall circle him in after years as now;
For spent detraction may not disavow
The world of knowledge with the wit combined,
The elastic force no burden e'er could bow,
The various talents and the single mind,
Which give him moral power and mastery o'er mankind.
"His sixty summers—what are they in truth?
By Providence peculiarly blest,
With him the strong hilarity of youth
Abides, despite gray hairs, a constant guest,
His sun has veered a point toward the west,
But light as dawn his heart is glowing yet—
That heart the simplest, gentlest, kindliest, best,
Where truth and manly tenderness are met
With faith and heavenward hope, the suns that never set."[4]

What further I will venture to say relates chiefly to the external[148] circumstances of his life at Keswick.

His greatest relaxation was in a mountain excursion or a pic-nic by the side of one of the lakes, tarns, or streams; and these parties, of which he was the life and soul, will long live in the recollections of those who shared them. An excellent pedestrian (thinking little of a walk of twenty-five miles when upward of sixty), he usually headed the "infantry" on these occasions, looking on those gentlemen as idle mortals who indulged in the luxury of a mountain pony; feeling very differently in the bracing air of Cumberland to what he did in Spain in 1800, when he delighted in being "gloriously lazy," in "sitting sideways upon an ass," and having even a boy to "propel" the burro.

Upon first coming down to the Lakes he rather undervalued the pleasures of an al-fresco repast, preferring chairs and tables to the greensward of the mountains, or the moss-grown masses of rock by the lake shore; but these were probably the impressions of a cold, wet summer, and having soon learned thoroughly to appreciate these pleasures, he had his various chosen places which he thought it a sort of duty annually to revisit. Of these I will name a few, as giving them, perhaps, an added interest to some future tourists. The summit of Skiddaw he regularly visited, often three or four times in a summer, but the view thence was not one he greatly admired. Sea-Fell and Helvellyn he ranked much higher, but on account of their distance did not often reach. Saddleback and Causey Pike, two mountains rarely ascended by tourists, were great favorites with him, and were the summits most frequently chosen for a grand expedition; and the two tarns upon Saddleback, Threlkeld and Bowscale tarns, were among the spots he thought most remarkable for grand and lonely beauty. This, too, was ground rendered more than commonly interesting, by having been the scenes of the childhood and early life of Clifford the Shepherd Lord. The rocky streams of Borrowdale, high up beyond Stonethwaite and Seathwaite, were also places often visited, especially one beautiful spot, where the river makes a sharp bend at the foot of Eagle Crag. The pass of Honistar Crag, leading from Buttermere to Borrowdale, furnished a longer excursion, which was occasionally taken with a sort of rustic pomp in the rough market carts of the country, before the cars which are now so generally used had become common, or been permitted by their owners to travel that worst of all roads. Occasionally there were grand meetings with Mr. Wordsworth, and his family and friends, at Leatheswater (or Thirlmere), a point about half way between Keswick and Rydal; and here as many as fifty persons have sometimes met together from both sides of the country. These were days of great enjoyment, not to be forgotten.


There was also an infinite variety of long walks, of which he could take advantage when opportunity served, without the preparation and trouble of a preconcerted expedition: several of these are alluded to in his Colloquies. The circuit formed by passing behind Barrow and Lodore to the vale of Watenlath, placed up high among the hills, with its own[149] little lake and village, and the rugged path leading thence down to Borrowdale, was one of the walks he most admired. The beautiful vale of St. Johns, with its "Castle Rock" and picturesquely placed little church, was another favorite walk; and there were a number of springs of unusual copiousness situated near what had been apparently a deserted, and now ruined village, where he used to take luncheon. The rocky bed of the little stream at the foot of Causey Pike was a spot he loved to rest at; and the deep pools of the stream that flows down the adjoining valley of New Lands—

"Whose pure and chrysolite waters
Flow o'er a schistose bed,"

formed one of his favorite resorts for bathing.

Yet these excursions, although for a few years he still continued to enjoy them, began in later life to wear to him something of a melancholy aspect. So many friends were dead who had formerly shared them, and his own domestic losses were but too vividly called to mind with the remembrance of former days of enjoyment, the very grandeur of the scenery around many of the chosen places, and the unchanging features of the "everlasting hills," brought back forcibly sad memories, and these parties became in time so painful that it was with difficulty he could be prevailed upon to join in them.

He concealed, indeed, as the reader has seen, beneath a reserved manner, a most acutely sensitive mind, and a warmth and kindliness of feeling which was only understood by few, indeed, perhaps, not thoroughly by any. He said, speaking of the death of his uncle, Mr. Hill, that one of the sources of consolation to him was the thought that perhaps the departed might then be conscious how truly he had loved and honored him; and I believe the depth of his affection and the warmth of his friendship was known to none but himself. On one particular point I remember his often regretting his constitutional bashfulness and reserve; and that was, because, added to his retired life and the nature of his pursuits, it prevented him from knowing any thing of the persons among whom he lived. Long as he had resided at Keswick, I do not think there were twenty persons in the lower class whom he knew by sight; and though this was in some measure owing to a slight degree of short-sightedness, which, contrary to what is usual, came on in later life, yet I have heard him often lament it as not being what he thought right; and after slightly returning the salutation of some passer by, he would again mechanically lift his cap as he heard some well-known name in reply to his inquiries, and look back with regret that the greeting had not been more cordial. With those persons who were occasionally employed about the house he was most familiarly friendly, and these regarded him with a degree of affectionate reverence that could not be surpassed.

It may perhaps be expected by some readers that a more accurate account of my father's income should be given than has yet appeared; but this is not an easy matter, from its extreme variableness, and this it was that constituted a continual source of uneasiness both to others and to himself, rarely as he acknowledged it. A common error has been to speak of him as one to whom literature has been a mine of wealth. That his political opponents should do this is not so strange; but even Charles Lamb, who, if he had thought a little, would hardly have written so rashly, says, in a letter to Bernard Barton, recently published, that "Southey has made a fortune by book drudgery." What sort of a "fortune" that was which never once permitted him to have one year's income beforehand, and compelled him almost always to forestall the profit of his new works, the reader may imagine.

His only certain source of income[5] was his pension, from which he received £145, and the Laureateship, which was £90: the larger portion of these two sums, however, went to the payment of his life-insurance, so that not more than £100 could be calculated upon as available, and the Quarterly Review was therefore for many years his chief means of support. He received latterly £100 for an article, and commonly furnished one for each number. What more was needful had to be made up by his other works, which as they were always published upon the terms of the publisher taking the risk and sharing the profits, produced him but little, considering the length of time they were often in preparation, and as he was constantly adding new purchases to his library, but little was to be reckoned upon this account. For the Peninsular War he received £1000, but the copyright remained the property of the publisher.

With regard to his mode of life, although it was as simple and inexpensive as possible, his expenditure was with difficulty kept within his income, though he had indeed a most faithful helpmate, who combined with a wise and careful economy a liberality equal to his own in any case of distress. One reason for this difficulty was, that considerable sums were, not now and then, but regularly, drawn from him by his less successful relatives.

The house which for so many years was his residence at Keswick, though well situated both for convenience and for beauty of prospect, was unattractive in external appearance, and to most families would have been an undesirable residence. Having originally been two houses, afterward thrown together, it consisted of a good many small rooms, connected by long passages, all of which with great ingenuity he made available for holding books, with which indeed the house was lined from top to bottom. His own sitting-room, which was the largest in the house, was filled with the handsomest of them, arranged with much taste, according to his own fashion, with due regard to size, color, and condition; and he used to contemplate these, his carefully accumulated and much prized treasures, with even more pleasure and pride than the[150] greatest connoisseur his finest specimens of the old masters: and justly, for they were both the necessaries and the luxuries of life to him; both the very instruments whereby he won, hardly enough, his daily bread, and the source of all his pleasures and recreations—the pride of his eyes and the joy of his heart.

His Spanish and Portuguese collection, which at one time was one of the best, if not itself the best to be found in the possession of any private individual, was the most highly-prized portion of his library. It had been commenced by his uncle, Mr. Hill, long prior to my father's first visit to Lisbon; and having originated in the love Mr. Hill himself had for the literature of those countries, it was carried forward with more ardor when he found that his nephew's taste and abilities were likely to turn it to good account. It comprised a considerable number of manuscripts, some of them copied by Mr. Hill from rare MSS. in private and convent libraries.

Many of these old books being in vellum or parchment bindings, he had taken much pains to render them ornamental portions of the furniture of his shelves. His brother Thomas was skillful in calligraphy; and by his assistance their backs were painted with some bright color, and upon it the title placed lengthwise in large gold letters of the old English type. Any one who had visited his library will remember the tastefully-arranged pyramids of these curious-looking books.

Another fancy of his was to have all those books of lesser value, which had become ragged and dirty, covered, or rather bound, in colored cotton prints, for the sake of making them clean and respectable in their appearance, it being impossible to afford the cost of having so many put into better bindings.

Of this task his daughters, aided by any female friends who might be staying with them, were the performers; and not fewer than from 1200 to 1400 volumes were so bound by them at different times, filling completely one room, which he designated as the Cottonian library. With this work he was much interested and amused, as the ladies would often suit the pattern to the contents, clothing a Quaker work or a book of sermons in sober drab, poetry in some flowery design, and sometimes contriving a sly piece of satire at the contents of some well-known author by their choice of its covering. One considerable convenience attended this eccentric mode of binding—the book became as well known by its dress as by its contents, and much more easily found.

With respect to his mode of acquiring and arranging the contents of a book, it was somewhat peculiar. He was as rapid a reader as could be conceived, having the power of perceiving by a glance down the page whether it contained any thing which he was likely to make use of—a slip of paper lay on his desk, and was used as a marker, and with a slight penciled S he would note the passage, put a reference on the paper, with some brief note of the subject, which he could transfer to his note-book, and in the course of a few hours he had classified and arranged every thing in the work which it was likely he would ever want. It was thus, with a remarkable memory (not so much for the facts or passages themselves, but for their existence and the authors that contained them), and with this kind of index, both to it and them, that he had at hand a command of materials for whatever subject he was employed upon, which has been truly said to be "unequaled."

Many of the choicest passages he would transcribe himself at odds and ends of times, or employ one of his family to transcribe for him; and these are the extracts which form his "Commonplace Book," recently published; but those of less importance he had thus within reach in case he wished to avail himself of them. The quickness with which this was done was very remarkable. I have often known him receive a parcel of books one afternoon, and the next have found his mark throughout perhaps two or three different volumes; yet, if a work took his attention particularly, he was not rapid in its perusal; and on some authors, such as the Old Divines, he "fed," as he expressed it, slowly and carefully, dwelling on the page and taking in its contents deeply and deliberately—like an epicure with his "wine searching the subtle flavor."

His library at his death consisted of about 14,000 volumes; probably the largest number of books ever collected by a person of such limited means. Among these he found most of the materials for all he did, and almost all he wished to do; and though sometimes he lamented that his collection was not a larger one, it is probable that it was more to his advantage that it was in some degree limited. As it was, he collected an infinitely greater quantity of materials for every subject he was employed upon than ever he made use of, and his published Notes give some idea, though an inadequate one, of the vast stores he thus accumulated.

On this subject he writes to his cousin, Herbert Hill, at that time one of the librarians of the "Bodleian:"—"When I was at the British Museum the other day, walking through the rooms with Carey, I felt that to have lived in that library, or in such a one, would have rendered me perfectly useless, even if it had not made me mad. The sight of such countless volumes made me feel how impossible it would be to pursue any subject through all the investigations into which it would lead me, and that therefore I should either lose myself in the vain pursuit, or give up in despair, and read for the future with no other object than that of immediate gratification. This was an additional reason for being thankful for my own lot, aware as I am that I am always tempted to pursue a train of inquiry too far."

The reader need not be told that the sorrows and anxieties of the last few years of my father's life had produced, as might be expected, a very injurious effect upon his constitution, both as to body and mind.[151] Acutely sensitive by nature, deep and strong in his affections, and highly predisposed to nervous disease, he had felt the sad affliction which had darkened his latter years far more keenly than any ordinary observer would have supposed, or than even appears in his letters. He had, indeed, then, as he expressed himself in his letter declining the Baronetcy, been "shaken at the root;" and while we must not forget the more than forty years of incessant mental application which he had passed through, it was this stroke of calamity which most probably greatly hastened the coming of the evil day, if it was not altogether the cause of it, and which rapidly brought on that overclouding of the intellect which soon unequivocally manifested itself.

This, indeed, in its first approaches, had been so gradual as to have almost escaped notice; and it was not until after the sad truth was fully ascertained, that indications of failure (some of which I have already alluded to) which had appeared some time previously, were called to mind. A loss of memory on certain points, a lessening acuteness of the perceptive faculties, an occasional irritability (wholly unknown in him before); a confusion of time, place, and person; the losing his way in well-known places—all were remembered as having taken place, when the melancholy fact had become too evident that the powers of his mind were irreparably weakened.

On his way home in the year 1839, he passed a few days in London, and then his friends plainly saw, what, from the altered manner of the very few and brief letters he had latterly written, they had already feared, that he had so failed as to have lost much of the vigor and activity of his faculties. The impressions of one of his most intimate friends, as conveyed at the time by letter, may fitly be quoted here. "I have just come home from a visit which affected me deeply.... It was to Southey, who arrived in town to-day from Hampshire with his wife.... He is (I fear) much altered. The animation and peculiar clearness of his mind quite gone, except a gleam or two now and then. What he said was much in the spirit of his former mind as far as the matter and meaning went, but the tone of strength and elasticity was wanting. The appearance was that of a placid languor, sometimes approaching to torpor, but not otherwise than cheerful. He is thin and shrunk in person, and that extraordinary face of his has no longer the fire and strength it used to have, though the singular cast of the features, and the habitual expressions, make it still a most remarkable phenomenon. Upon the whole, I came, away with a troubled heart." ... After a brief account of the great trials of my father's late years, the writer continues: "He has been living since his marriage in Hampshire, where he has not had the aid of his old habits and accustomed books to methodize his mind. All this considered, I think we may hope that a year or two of quiet living at his own home may restore him. His easy, cheerful temperament will be greatly in his favor. You must help me to hope this, for I could not bear to think of the decay of that great mind and noble nature—at least not of its premature decay. Pray that this may be averted, as I have this night."[6]

On the following day the same friend writes: "I think I am a little relieved about Southey to-day. I have seen him three times in the course of the day, and on each occasion he was so easy and cheerful that I should have said his manner and conversation did not differ, in the most part, from what it would have been in former days, if he had happened to be very tired. I say for the most part only, though, for there was once an obvious confusion of ideas. He lost himself for a moment; he was conscious of it, and an expression passed over his countenance which was exceedingly touching—an expression of pain and also of resignation. I am glad to learn from his brother that he is aware of his altered condition, and speaks of it openly. This gives a better aspect to the case than if he could believe that nothing was the matter with him. Another favorable circumstance is, that he will deal with himself wisely and patiently. The charm of his manner is perhaps even enhanced at present (at least when one knows the circumstances), by the gentleness and patience which pervade it. His mind is beautiful even in its debility."

Much of my father's failure in its early stages was at first ascribed by those anxiously watching him, to repeated attacks of the influenza—at that time a prevailing epidemic—from which he had suffered greatly, and to which he attributed his own feelings of weakness; but alas! the weakness he felt was as much mental as bodily (though he had certainly declined much in bodily strength), and after his return home it gradually increased upon him. The uncertain step—the confused manner—the eye once so keen and so intelligent, now either wandering restlessly or fixed as it were in blank contemplation—all showed that the over-wrought mind was worn out.

One of the plainest signs of this was the cessation of his accustomed labors; but while doing nothing (with him how plain a proof that nothing could be done), he would frequently anticipate a coming period of his usual industry. His mind, while any spark of its reasoning powers remained, was busy with its old day-dreams—the History of Portugal—the History of the Monastic Orders—the Doctor—all were soon to be taken in hand in earnest—all completed, and new works added to these.

For a considerable time after he had ceased to compose, he took pleasure in reading, and the habit continued after the power of comprehension was gone. His dearly-prized books, indeed, were a pleasure to him almost to the end, and he would walk slowly round his library looking at them, and taking them down mechanically.

In the earlier stages of his disorder (if the term may be fitly applied[152] to a case which was not a perversion of the faculties, but their decay) he could still converse at times with much of his old liveliness and energy. When the mind was, as it were, set going upon some familiar subject, for a little time you could not perceive much failure; but if the thread was broken, if it was a conversation in which new topics were started, or if any argument was commenced, his powers failed him at once, and a painful sense of this seemed to come over him for the moment. His recollection first failed as to recent events, and his thoughts appeared chiefly to dwell upon those long past, and as his mind grew weaker, these recollections seemed to recede still farther back. Names he could rarely remember, and more than once, when trying to recall one which he felt he ought to know, I have seen him press his hand upon his brow and sadly exclaim, "Memory! memory! where art thou gone?"

But this failure altogether was so gradual, and at the same time so complete, that I am inclined to hope and believe there was not on the whole much painful consciousness of it; and certainly for more than a year preceding his death, he passed his time as in a dream, with little, if any knowledge of what went on around him.

One circumstance connected with the latter years of his life deserves to be noticed as very singular. His hair, which previously was almost snowy white, grew perceptibly darker, and I think, if any thing, increased in thickness and a disposition to curl.

But it is time I drew a vail over these latter scenes. They are too painful to dwell on.

"A noble mind in sad decay,
When baffled hope has died away,
And life becomes one long distress
In pitiable helplessness.
Methinks 'tis like a ship on shore,
That once defied the Atlantic's roar,
And gallantly through gale and storm
Hath ventured her majestic form;
But now in stranded ruin laid,
By winds and dashing seas decayed,
Forgetful of her ocean reign,
Must crumble into earth again."[7]

In some cases of this kind, toward the end, some glimmering of reason re-appears, but this must be when the mind is obscured or upset, not, as in this case, apparently worn out. The body gradually grew weaker, and disorders appeared which the state of the patient rendered it almost impossible to treat properly; and, after a short attack of fever, the scene closed on the 21st of March, 1843, and a second time had we cause to feel deeply thankful, when the change from life to death, or more truly from death to life, took place.

It was a dark and stormy morning when he was borne to his last resting-place, at the western end of the beautiful church-yard of Crosthwaite. There lies his dear son Herbert—there his daughters Emma and Isabel—there Edith, his faithful helpmate of forty years. But few besides his own family and immediate neighbors followed his remains. His only intimate friend within reach, Mr. Wordsworth, crossed the hills that wild morning to be present.

Soon after my father's death, various steps were taken with a view to erecting monuments to his memory; and considerable sums were quickly subscribed for that purpose, the list including the names of many persons, not only strangers to him personally, but also strongly opposed to him in political opinion. The result was that three memorials were erected. The first and principal one, a full length recumbent figure, was executed by Lough, and placed in Crosthwaite church, and is certainly an excellent likeness, as well as a most beautiful work of art. The original intention and agreement was, that it should be in Caen stone, but the sculptor, with characteristic liberality, executed it in white marble, at a considerable sacrifice.


The following lines, by Mr. Wordsworth, are inscribed upon the base:

"Ye vales and hills, whose beauty hither drew
The poet's steps, and fixed him here; on you
His eyes have closed; and ye loved books, no more
Shall Southey feed upon your precious lore,
To works that ne'er shall forfeit their renown
Adding immortal labors of his own—
Whether he traced historic truth with zeal
For the state's guidance or the church's weal,
Or fancy disciplined by curious art
Informed his pen, or wisdom of the heart,
Or judgments sanctioned in the patriot's mind
By reverence for the rights of all mankind.
Wide were his aims, yet in no human breast
Could private feelings meet in holier rest.
His joys—his griefs—have vanished like a cloud
From Skiddaw's top; but he to Heaven was vowed
Through a life long and pure, and steadfast faith
Calmed in his soul the fear of change and death."


[1] From an unpublished chapter of the Life and Correspondence of Robert Southey, now in press by Harper and Brothers.

[2] During the several years that he was partially employed upon the Life of Dr. Bell, he devoted two hours before breakfast to it in the summer, and as much time as there was daylight for, during the winter months, that it might not interfere with the usual occupations of the day. In all this time, however, he made but little progress in it; partly from the nature of the materials, partly from the want of sufficient interest in the subject.

[3] Miss Barker, the Senhora of earlier days, who was living at that time in a house close to Greta Hall.

[4] Notes to Philip Van Artevelde, by Henry Taylor.

[5] I speak of a period prior to his receiving his last pension, which was granted in 1835.

[6] August 24, 1839.

[7] Robert Montgomery. The fourth line is altered from the original.




Jane Louisa Henrietta Campan was born at Paris, 1752. She was the daughter of M. Genet, first clerk in the office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs. He was fond of literature, and communicated a taste for it to his daughter, who early displayed considerable talents. She acquired a knowledge of foreign languages, particularly the Italian and English, and was distinguished for her skill in reading and recitation. These acquisitions procured for her the place of reader to the French princesses, daughters of Louis XV. On the marriage of Marie-Antoinette to the Dauphin, afterward Louis XVI., Mademoiselle Genet was attached to her suite, and continued, for twenty years, to occupy a situation about her person.

Her general intelligence and talent for observation, enabled Madame Campan, in the course of her service, to collect the materials for her "Memoirs of the Private Life of the Queen of France," first published in Paris, and translated and printed in London, 1823, in two volumes. This work is not only interesting for the information it affords, but is also very creditable to the literary talents of the authoress. Soon after the appointment at court, Mademoiselle Genet was married to M. Campan, son of the Secretary of the queen's closet. When Marie-Antoinette was made a prisoner, Madame Campan begged to be permitted to accompany her royal mistress, and share her imprisonment, which was refused. Madame Campan was with the queen at the storming of the Tuilleries, on the 10th of August, when she narrowly escaped with her life: and, under the rule of Robespierre, she came near being sent to the guillotine. After the fall of that tyrant, she retired to the country, and opened a private seminary for young ladies, which she conducted with great success. Josephine Beauharnais sent her daughter, Hortense, to the seminary of Madame Campan. She had also the sisters of the emperor under her care. In 1806, Napoleon founded the school of Ecouen, for the daughters and sisters of the officers of the Legion of Honor, and appointed Madame Campan to superintend it. This institution was suppressed at the restoration of the Bourbons, and Madame Campan retired to Nantes, where she partly prepared her "Memoirs," and other works. She died in 1822, aged seventy. After her decease, her "Private Journal" was published; also, "Familiar Letters to her Friends," and a work, which she considered her most important one, entitled "Thoughts on Education." We will give extracts from these works.

From the "Private Journal."


At the time when Mesmer made so much noise in Paris with his magnetism, M. Campan, my husband, was his partisan, like almost every person who moved in high life. To be magnetized was then a fashion; nay, it was more, it was absolutely a rage. In the drawing-rooms, nothing was talked of but the brilliant discovery. There was to be no more dying; people's heads were turned, and their imaginations heated in the highest degree. To accomplish this object, it was necessary to bewilder the understanding; and Mesmer, with his singular language, produced that effect. To put a stop to the fit of public insanity was the grand difficulty; and it was proposed to have the secret purchased by the court. Mesmer fixed his claims at a very extravagant rate. However, he was offered fifty thousand crowns. By a singular chance, I was one day led into the midst of the somnambulists. Such was the enthusiasm of the spectators, that, in most of them, I could observe a wild rolling of the eye, and a convulsed movement of the countenance. A stranger might have fancied himself amidst the unfortunate patients of Charenton. Surprised and shocked at seeing so many people almost in a state of delirium, I withdrew, full of reflections on the scene which I had just witnessed.

It happened that about this time my husband was attacked with a pulmonary disorder, and he desired that he might be conveyed to Mesmer's house. Being introduced into the apartment occupied by M. Campan, I asked the worker of miracles what treatment he proposed to adopt; he very coolly replied, that to ensure a speedy and perfect cure, it would be necessary to lay in the bed of the invalid, at his left side, one of three things, namely, a young woman of brown complexion; a black hen; or an empty bottle.

"Sir," said I, "if the choice be a matter of indifference, pray try the empty bottle."

M. Campan's side grew worse; he experienced a difficulty of breathing and a pain in his chest. All magnetic remedies that were employed produced no effect. Perceiving his failure, Mesmer took advantage of the[154] periods of my absence to bleed and blister the patient. I was not informed of what had been done until after M. Campan's recovery. Mesmer was asked for a certificate, to prove that the patient had been cured by means of magnetism only; and he gave it. Here was a trait of enthusiasm! Truth was no longer respected. When I next presented myself to the queen (Marie-Antoinette), their majesties asked what I thought of Mesmer's discovery. I informed them of what had taken place, earnestly expressing my indignation at the conduct of the barefaced quack. It was immediately determined to have nothing more to do with him.


The emperor inquired into the most minute particulars respecting the establishment at Ecouen; and I felt great pleasure in answering his questions. I recollect having dwelt on several points which appeared to me very important, and which were in their spirit hostile to aristocratical principles. For example, I informed his majesty that the daughters of distinguished and wealthy individuals, and those of the humble and obscure, were indiscriminately mingled together in the establishment. If, said I, I were to observe the least pretension on account of the rank or fortune of parents, I should immediately put an end to it. The most perfect equality is preserved; distinction is awarded only to merit and industry. The pupils are obliged to cut and make all their own clothes. They are taught to clean and mend lace; and two at a time, they by turns, three times a week, cook and distribute victuals to the poor of the village. The young ladies who have been brought up in my boarding-school are thoroughly acquainted with every thing relating to household business; and they are grateful to me for having made it a part of their education. In my conversations with them, I have always taught them that on domestic management depends the preservation or dissipation of their fortunes. I impress on their minds the necessity of regulating with attention the most trifling daily expenses; but at the same time I recommend them to avoid making domestic details the subject of conversation in the drawing-room, for that is a most decided mark of ill-breeding. It is proper that all should know how to do and to direct; but it is only for ill-educated women to talk about their carriages, servants, washing, and cooking.

These are the reasons, sire, why my pupils are generally superior to those brought up in other establishments. All is conducted on the most simple plan; the young ladies are taught every thing of which they can possibly stand in need; and they are consequently as much at their ease in the brilliant circles of fashion, as in the most humble condition of life. Fortune confers rank, but education teaches how to support it properly.

From the "Letters," &c.


You are now, my dear Henry, removed from my fond care and instruction; and young as you are, you have entered upon the vast theatre of the world. Some years hence, when time shall have matured your ideas, and enabled you to take a clear, retrospective view of your steps in life, you will be able to enter into my feelings, and to judge of the anxiety which at this moment agitates my heart.

When first a beloved child, releasing itself from its nurse's arms, ventures its little tottering steps on the soft carpet, or the smoothest grass-plot, the poor mother scarcely breathes; she imagines that these first efforts of nature are attended with every danger to the object most dear to her. Fond mother, calm your anxious fears! Your infant son can, at the worst, only receive a slight hurt, which, under your tender care, will speedily be healed. Reserve your alarms, your heart-beatings, your prayers to Providence, for the moment when your son enters upon the scene of the world to select a character, which, if sustained with dignity, judgment, and feeling, will render him universally esteemed and approved; or to degrade himself by filling one of those low, contemptible parts, fit only for the vilest actors in the drama of life. Tremble at the moment when your child has to choose between the rugged road of industry and integrity, leading straight to honor and happiness; and the smooth and flowery path which descends, through indolence and pleasure, to the gulf of vice and misery. It is then that the voice of a parent, or of some faithful friend, must direct the right course....

Surrounded as you doubtless are, by thoughtless and trifling companions, let your mother be the rallying point of your mind and heart; the confidant of all your plans....

Learn to know the value of money. This is a most essential point. The want of economy leads to the decay of powerful empires, as well as private families. Louis XVI. perished on the scaffold for a deficit of fifty millions. There would have been no debt, no assemblies of the people, no revolution, no loss of the sovereign authority, no tragical death, but for this fatal deficit. States are ruined through the mismanagement of millions, and private persons become bankrupts and end their lives in misery through the mismanagement of crowns worth six livres. It is very important, my dear son, that I lay down to you these first principles of right conduct, and impress upon your mind the necessity of adhering to them. Render me an account of the expenditure of your money, not viewing me in the light of a rigid preceptress, but as a friend who wishes to accustom you to the habit of accounting to yourself....

Let me impress upon you the importance of attentive application to business; for that affords certain consolation, and is a security against lassitude, and the vices which idleness creates....

Be cautious how you form connections; and hesitate not to break them off[155] on the first proposition to adopt any course which your affectionate mother warns you to avoid, as fatal to your real happiness, and to the attainment of that respect and esteem which it should be your ambition to enjoy....

Never neglect to appropriate a certain portion of your time to useful reading; and do not imagine that even half an hour a day, devoted to that object, will be unprofitable. The best way of arranging and employing one's time is by calculation; and I have often reflected that half an hour's reading every day, will be one hundred and eighty hours' reading in the course of the year. Great fortunes are amassed by little savings; and poverty as well as ignorance are occasioned by the extravagant waste of money and time....

My affection for you, my dear Henry, is still as actively alive as when, in your infancy, I removed, patiently, every little stone from a certain space in my garden, lest, when you first ran alone, you might fall and hurt your face on the pebbles. But the snares now spread beneath your steps are far more dangerous. They are strengthened by seductive appearances, and the ardor of youth would hurry you forward to the allurement; but that my watchful care, and the confidence you repose in me, serve to counteract the influence of this twofold power. Your bark is gliding near a rapid current; but your mother stands on the shore, and with her eyes fixed on her dear navigator, anxiously exclaims, in the moment of danger, "Reef your sails; mind your helm." Oh! may you never forget, or cease to be guided by these warnings, which come from my inmost heart.


[8] From Mrs. Hale's Female Biography, now in the press of Harper & Brothers.



If fortune with a smiling face
Strew roses on our way,
When shall we stoop to pick them up?
To-day, my love, to-day.
But should she frown with face of care,
And talk of coming sorrow,
When shall we grieve, if grieve we must?
To-morrow, love, to-morrow.
If those who've wrong'd us own their fault,
And kindly pity pray,
When shall we listen, and forgive?
To-day, my love, to-day.
But if stern Justice urge rebuke,
And warmth from Memory borrow,
When shall we chide, if chide we dare?
To-morrow, love, to-morrow.
If those to whom we owe a debt
Are harmed unless we pay,
When shall we struggle to be just?
To-day, my love, to-day.
But if our debtor fail our hope,
And plead his ruin thorough,
When shall we weigh his breach of faith?
To-morrow, love, to-morrow.
If love estranged should once again
Her genial smile display,
When shall we kiss her proffered lips?
To-day, my love, to-day.
But if she would indulge regret,
Or dwell with bygone sorrow,
When shall we weep, if weep we must?
To-morrow, love, to-morrow.
For virtuous acts and harmless joys
The minutes will not stay;
We've always time to welcome them,
To-day, my love, to-day.
But care, resentment, angry words,
And unavailing sorrow,
Come far too soon, if they appear
To-morrow, love, to-morrow.



Bona Lombardi, was born in 1417, in Sacco, a little village in Vattellina. Her parents were obscure peasants, of whom we have but little information. The father, Gabriel Lombardi, a private soldier, died while she was an infant; and her mother not surviving him long, the little girl was left to the charge of an aunt, a hard-working countrywoman, and an uncle, an humble curate.

Bona, in her simple peasant station, exhibited intelligence, decision of character, and personal beauty, which raised her to a certain consideration in the estimation of her companions; and the neighborhood boasted of the beauty of Bona when an incident occurred which was to raise her to a most unexpected rank. In the war between the Duke of Milan and the Venetians, the latter had been routed and driven from Vattellina. Piccinino, the Milanese general, upon departing to follow up[156] his advantages, left Captain Brunoro, a Parmesan gentleman, to maintain a camp in Morbegno, as a central position, to maintain the conquered country. One day, after a hunting party, he stopped to repose himself, in a grove where many of the peasants were assembled for some rustic festival; he was greatly struck with the loveliness of a girl of about fifteen. Upon entering into conversation with her, he was surprised at the ingenuity and spirited tone of her replies. Speaking of the adventure on his return home, every body told him that Bona Lombardi had acknowledged claims to admiration.

Brunoro, remaining through the summer in that district, found many opportunities of seeing the fair peasant; becoming acquainted with her worth and character, he at last determined to make her the companion of his life; their marriage was not declared at first, but, to prevent a separation, however temporary, Bona was induced to put on the dress of an officer. Her husband delighted in teaching her horsemanship, together with all military exercises. She accompanied him in battle, fought by his side, and, regardless of her own safety, seemed to be merely an added arm to shield and assist Brunoro. As was usual in those times, among the condottieri, Brunoro adopted different lords, and fought sometimes in parties to which, at others, he was opposed. In these vicissitudes, he incurred the anger of the King of Naples, who, seizing him by means of an ambuscade, plunged him into a dungeon, where he would probably have finished his days, but for the untiring and well-planned efforts of his wife. To effect his release, she spared no means; supplications, threats, money, all were employed, and, at last, with good success. She had the happiness of recovering her husband.

Bona was not only gifted with the feminine qualities of domestic affection and a well-balanced intellect; in the hottest battles, her bravery and power of managing her troops were quite remarkable; of these feats there are many instances recorded. We will mention but one. In the course of the Milanese war, the Venetians had been, on one occasion, signally discomfited in an attack upon the Castle of Povoze, in Brescia. Brunoro himself was taken prisoner, and carried into the castle. Bona arrived with a little band of fresh soldiers; she rallied the routed forces, inspired them with new courage, led them on herself, took the castle, and liberated her husband, with the other prisoners. She was, however, destined to lose her husband without possibility of recovering him; he died in 1468. When this intrepid heroine, victor in battles, and, rising above all adversity, was bowed by a sorrow resulting from affection, she declared she could not survive Brunoro. She caused a tomb to be made, in which their remains could be united; and, after seeing the work completed, she gradually sank into a languid state, which terminated in her death.


[9] From Mrs. Hale's Female Biography.

Thomas De Quincey Thomas De Quincey



SEPTEMBER 21, 1850.

To the Editor of Hogg's "Instructor."

My Dear Sir—I am much obliged to you for communicating to us (that is, to my daughters and myself) the engraved portrait, enlarged from the daguerreotype original. The engraver, at least, seems to have done his part ably. As to one of the earlier artists concerned, viz., the sun of July, I suppose it is not allowable to complain of him, else my daughters are inclined to upbraid him with having made the mouth too long. But, of old, it was held audacity to suspect the sun's veracity: "Solem quis dicere falsum audeat!" And I remember that, half a century ago, the "Sun" newspaper in London, used to fight under sanction of that motto. But it was at length discovered by the learned, that Sun junior, viz., the newspaper, did sometimes indulge in fibbing. The ancient prejudice about the solar truth broke down, therefore, in that instance; and who knows but Sun senior may be detected, now that our optical glasses are so much improved, in similar practices? in which case he may have only been "keeping his hand in" when operating upon that one feature of the mouth. The rest of the portrait, we all agree, does credit to his talents, showing that he is still wide-awake, and not at all the superannuated old artist that some speculators in philosophy had dreamed of his becoming.

As an accompaniment to this portrait, your wish is that I should furnish a few brief chronological memoranda of my own life. That would be hard for me to do, and, when done, might not be very interesting for others[157] to read. Nothing makes such dreary and monotonous reading as the old hackneyed roll-call, chronologically arrayed, of inevitable facts in a man's life. One is so certain of the man's having been born, and also of his having died, that it is dismal to lie under the necessity of reading it. That the man began by being a boy—that he went to school—and that, by intense application to his studies, "which he took to be his portion in this life," he rose to distinction as a robber of orchards, seems so probable, upon the whole, that I am willing to accept it as a postulate. That he married—that, in fullness of time, he was hanged, or (being a humble, unambitious man) that he was content with deserving it—these little circumstances are so naturally to be looked for, as sown broadcast up and down the great fields of biography, that any one life becomes, in this respect, but the echo of thousands. Chronologic successions of events and dates, such as these, which, belonging to the race, illustrate nothing in the individual, are as wearisome as they are useless.

A better plan will be—to detach some single chapter from the experiences of childhood, which is likely to offer, at least, this kind of value—either that it will record some of the deep impressions under which my childish sensibilities expanded, and the ideas which at that time brooded continually over my mind, or else will expose the traits of character that slumbered in those around me. This plan will have the advantage of not being liable to the suspicion of vanity or egotism; for I beg the reader to understand distinctly, that I do not offer this sketch as deriving any part of what interest it may have from myself, as the person concerned in it. If the particular experience selected is really interesting, in virtue of its own circumstances, then it matters not to whom it happened. Suppose that a man should record a perilous journey, it will be no fair inference that he records it as a journey performed by himself. Most sincerely he may be able to say, that he records it not for that relation to himself, but in spite of that relation. The incidents, being absolutely independent, in their power to amuse, of all personal reference, must be equally interesting [he will say] whether they occurred to A or to B. That is my case. Let the reader abstract from me as a person that by accident, or in some partial sense, may have been previously known to himself. Let him read the sketch as belonging to one who wishes to be profoundly anonymous. I offer it not as owing any thing to its connection with a particular individual, but as likely to be amusing separately for itself; and if I make any mistake in that, it is not a mistake of vanity exaggerating the consequence of what relates to my own childhood, but a simple mistake of the judgment as to the power of amusement that may attach to a particular succession of reminiscences.

Excuse the imperfect development which in some places of the sketch may have been given to my meaning. I suffer from a most afflicting derangement of the nervous system, which at times makes it difficult for me to write at all, and always makes me impatient, in a degree not easily understood, of recasting what may seem insufficiently, or even incoherently, expressed.—Believe me, ever yours,

Thomas De Quincey.


About the close of my sixth year, suddenly the first chapter of my life came to a violent termination; that chapter which, and which only, in the hour of death, or even within the gates of recovered Paradise, could merit a remembrance. "It is finished," was the secret misgiving of my heart, for the heart even of infancy is as apprehensive as that of maturest wisdom, in relation to any capital wound inflicted on the happiness; "it is finished, and life is exhausted." How? Could it be exhausted so soon? Had I read Milton, had I seen Rome, had I heard Mozart? No. The "Paradise Lost" was yet unread, the Coliseum and St. Peter's were unseen, the melodies of Don Giovanni were yet silent for me. Raptures there might be in arrear. But raptures are modes of troubled pleasure; the peace, the rest, the lulls, the central security, which belong to love, that is past all understanding, those could return no more. Such a love, so unfathomable, subsisting between myself and my eldest sister, under the circumstances of our difference in age (she being above eight years of age, I under six), and of our affinities in nature, together with the sudden foundering of all this blind happiness, I have described elsewhere.[10] I shall not here repeat any part of the narrative. But one extract from the closing sections of the paper I shall make; in order to describe the depth to which a child's heart may be plowed up by one over-mastering storm of grief, and as a proof that grief, in some of its fluctuations, is not uniformly a depressing passion—but also by possibility has its own separate aspirations, and at times is full of cloudy grandeur. The point of time is during the months that immediately succeeded to my sister's funeral.

"The awful stillness of summer noons, when no winds were abroad—the appealing silence of gray or misty afternoons—these were to me, in that state of mind, fascinations, as of witchcraft. Into the woods, or the desert air, I gazed as if some comfort lay in them. I wearied the heavens with my inquest of beseeching looks. I tormented the blue depths with obstinate scrutiny, sweeping them with my eyes, and searching them forever, after one angelic face, that might perhaps have permission to reveal itself for a moment. The faculty of shaping images in the distance, out of slight elements, and grouping them after the yearnings of the heart, grew upon me at this time. And I recall at the present[158] moment one instance of that sort, which may show how merely shadows, or a gleam of brightness, or nothing at all, could furnish a sufficient basis for this creative faculty. On Sunday mornings I was always taken to church. It was a church on the old and natural model of England, having aisles, galleries, organ, all things ancient and venerable, and the proportions majestic. Here, while the congregation knelt through the long Litany, as often as we came to that passage, so beautiful among the many that are so, where God is supplicated on behalf of 'all sick persons and young children,' and that He 'would show His pity upon all prisoners and captives', I wept in secret; and, raising my streaming eyes to the windows of the galleries, saw, on days when the sun was shining, a spectacle as affecting as ever prophet can have beheld. The margins of the windows were rich in storied glass; through the deep purples and crimsons streamed the golden light; emblazonries of heavenly illumination mingling with the earthly emblazonries of what is grandest in man. There were the apostles that had trampled upon earth, and the glories of earth, out of celestial love to man. There were the martyrs that had borne witness to the truth through flames, through torments, and through armies of fierce, insulting faces. There were the saints that, under intolerable pangs, had glorified God by meek submission to his will. And all the time, while this tumult of sublime memorials held on as the deep chords of some accompaniment in the bass, I saw through the wide central field of the window, where the glass was uncolored, white fleecy clouds sailing over the azure depths of the sky; were it but a fragment or a hint of such a cloud, immediately, under the flash of my sorrow-haunted eye, it grew and shaped itself into a vision of beds with white lawny curtains; and in the beds lay sick children, dying children, that were tossing in anguish, and weeping clamorously for death. God, for some mysterious reason, could not suddenly release them from their pain; but He suffered the beds, as it seemed, to rise slowly through the clouds; slowly the beds ascended into the chambers of the air; slowly, also, his arms descended from the heavens, in order that He and His young children whom in Judea, once and forever, He had blessed, though they must pass slowly through the dreadful chasm of separation, might yet meet the sooner. These visions were self-sustained. These visions needed not that any sound should speak to me, or music mould my feelings. The hint from the Litany, the fragment from the clouds, the pictures on the storied windows were sufficient. But not the less the blare of the tumultuous organ wrought its own separate creations. And often-times in anthems, when the mighty instrument threw its vast columns of sound, fierce, yet melodious, over the voices of the choir—high in arches when it rose, seeming to surmount and over-ride the strife of the vocal parts, and gathering by strong coercion the total storm of music into unity—sometimes I also seemed to rise and to walk triumphantly upon those clouds, which so recently I had looked up to as mementoes of prostrate sorrow. Yes; sometimes, under the transfigurations of music, I felt of grief itself, as a fiery chariot for mounting victoriously above the causes of grief."

The next (which was the second) chapter of my childish experience, formed that sort of fierce and fantastic contradiction to the first, which might seem to move in obedience to some incarnate principle of malicious pantomime. A spirit of love, and a spirit of rest, as if breathing from St. John the Evangelist, had seemed to mould the harmonies of that earliest stage in my childhood which had just vanished; but now, on the other hand, some wicked Harlequin Mephistopheles was apparently commissioned to vex my eyes and plague my heart, through the next succession of two or three years: a worm was at the roots of life. Yet, in this, perhaps, there lurked a harsh beneficence. If, because the great vision of love had vanished, idiocy and the torpor of despondency were really creeping stealthily over my faculties, and strangling their energies, what better change for me than the necessity (else how miserable!) of fighting, wrangling, struggling, without pause, or promise of pause, from day to day, or even from year to year? "If," as my good angel might have said to me, "thou art moving on a line of utter ruin, from mere palsy of one great vital force, and if that loss is past all restoration, then kindle a new supplementary life by such means as are now possible—by the agitations, for instance, of strife and conflict"—yes, possible, on the wide stage of the world, and for people who should be free agents enough to make enemies, in case they failed to find them; but for a child, not seven years old, to whom his medical advisers should prescribe a course of hatred, or continued hostilities, by way of tonics, in what quarter was he to look out for such luxuries? Who would condescend to officiate as enemy to a child! And yet, as regarded my own particular case, had I breathed out any such querulous demand, that same Harlequin Mephistopheles might have whispered in reply, "Never you trouble yourself about that. Do you furnish the patience that can swallow cheerfully a long course of kicking, and I'll find those that shall furnish the kicks." In fact, at this very moment, when all chance of quarrel, or opening for prolonged enmity, seemed the remotest of chimeras, mischief was already in the wind; and suddenly there was let loose upon me such a storm of belligerent fury as might, under good management, have yielded a life-annuity of feuds.

I had at that time an elder brother, in fact, the eldest of us all, and at least five years senior to myself. He, by original temperament, was a boy of fiery nature, ten times more active than I was inert, loving the element of feuds and stormy conflict more (if that were possible) than I detested it; and these constitutional tendencies had in him been nursed[159] by the training of a public school. This accident in his life was indeed the cause of our now meeting as strangers. Singular, indeed, it seems, but, in fact, had arisen naturally enough, that both this eldest of my brothers, and my father, should be absolute strangers to me in my seventh year; so that, in the case of meeting either, I should not have known him, nor he me. In my father's case, this arose from the accident of his having lived abroad for a space that, measured against my life, was a very long one. First, he lived in Portugal, at Lisbon; and at Cintra; next in Madeira; then in the West Indies; sometimes in Jamaica, sometimes in St. Kitts, courting the supposed benefit of hot climates in his complaint of pulmonary consumption; and at last, when all had proved unavailing, he was coming home to die among his family, in his thirty-ninth year. My mother had gone to wait his arrival at the port (Southampton, probably), to which the West India packet should bring him; and among the deepest recollections which I connect with that period, is one derived from the night of his arrival at Greenhay. It was a summer evening of unusual solemnity. The servants, and four of us children—six then survived—were gathered for hours, on the lawn before the house, listening for the sound of wheels. Sunset came—nine, ten, eleven o'clock, and nearly another hour had passed—without a warning sound; for Greenhay, being so solitary a house, formed a terminus ad quem, beyond which was nothing but a cluster of cottages, composing the little hamlet of Greenhill; so that any sound of wheels, heard in the winding lane which then connected us with the Rusholme road, carried with it, of necessity, a warning summons to prepare for visitors at Greenhay. No such summons had yet reached us; it was nearly midnight; and, for the last time, it was determined that we should move in a body out of the grounds, on the chance of meeting the traveling party, if, at so late an hour, it could yet be expected to arrive. In fact, to our general surprise, we met it almost immediately, but coming at so slow a pace, that the fall of the horses' feet was not audible until we were close upon them. I mention the case for the sake of the undying impressions which connected themselves with the circumstances. The first notice of the approach was the sudden emerging of horses' heads from the deep gloom of the shady lane; the next was the mass of white pillows against which the dying patient was reclining. The hearse-like pace at which the carriage moved recalled the overwhelming spectacle of the funeral which had so lately formed part in the most memorable event of my life. But these elements of awe, that might at any rate have struck forcibly upon the mind of a child, were for me, in my condition of morbid nervousness, raised into abiding grandeur by the antecedent experiences of that particular summer night. The listening for hours to the sounds from horses' hoofs upon distant roads, rising and falling, caught and lost, upon the gentle undulation of such light, fitful airs as might be stirring—the peculiar solemnity of the hours succeeding to sunset—the gorgeousness of the dying day—the gorgeousness which, by description, so well I knew of those West Indian islands from which my father was returning—the knowledge that he returned only to die—the almighty pomp in which this great idea of Death appareled itself to my young suffering heart—the corresponding pomp in which the antagonistic idea, not less mysterious, of life, rose, as if on wings, to the heavens, amidst tropic glories and floral pageantries, that seemed even more solemn and more pathetic than, the vapory plumes and trophies of mortality—all this chorus of restless images, or of suggestive thoughts, gave to my father's return, which else had been fitted only to interpose a transitory illumination or red-letter day in the calendar of a child, the shadowy power of an ineffaceable agency among my dreams. This, indeed, was the one sole memorial which restores my father's image to me as a personal reality. Otherwise, he would have been for me a bare nominis umbra. He languished, indeed, for weeks upon a sofa; and, during that interval, it happened naturally, from my meditative habits and corresponding repose of manners, that I was a privileged visitor to him during his waking hours. I was also present at his bed-side in the closing hour of his life, which exhaled quietly, amidst snatches of delirious conversation with some imaginary visitors. From this brief childish experience of his nature and disposition, the chief conclusion which I drew tended to this—that he was the most benignant person whom I had met, or was likely to meet, in life. What I have since heard from others, who knew him well, tallied with my own childish impression. His life had been too busy to allow him much time for regular study; but he loved literature with a passionate love; had formed a large and well-selected library; had himself published a book, which I have read, and which really is not a bad one; and carried his reverence for distinguished authors to such a height, that (according to the report, of several among his friends) had either Dr. Johnson, or Cowper, the poet—the two contemporary authors whom most he reverenced—happened to visit Greenhay, he might have been tempted to express his homage through the Pagan fashion of raising altars and burning incense, or of sacrificing, if not an ox, yet, at least, a baron of beef. The latter mode of idolatry Dr. Sam, would have approved, provided always that the nidor were irreproachable, and that the condiments of mustard, horse-radish, &c., more Anglico, were placed on the altar; but as to Cowper, who was in the habit of tracing Captain Cooke's death at Owyhee to the fact that the misjudging captain had once suffered himself to be worshiped at one of the Society Islands, in all consistency, he must have fled from such a house with sacred horror. Why I have at all gone back to this little parenthesis in my childhood is, from the singularity[160] that I should remember my father at all, only because I had received all my impressions about him into the very centre of my preconceptions about certain grand objects—about the Tropics, about summer evenings, and about some mysterious glory of the grave. It seems metaphysical to say so, but yet it is true that I knew him, speaking scholastically, through à priori ideas—I remember him transcendenter—and, were it not for the midsummer night's dream which glorified his return, to me he would have remained forever that absolute stranger, which, according to the prosaic interpretation of the case, he really was.

My brother was a stranger from causes quite as little to be foreseen, but seeming quite as natural after they had really occurred. In an early stage of his career, he had been found wholly unmanageable. His genius for mischief amounted to inspiration; it was a divine afflatus which drove him in that direction; and such was his capacity for riding in whirlwinds and directing storms, that he made it his trade to create them, as νεφεληγερἑτα Ζεὑς a cloud-compelling Jove, in order that he might direct them. For this, and other reasons, he had been sent to the grammar school of Louth, in Lincolnshire—one of those many old classic institutions which form the peculiar[11] glory of England. To box, and to box under the severest restraint of honorable laws, was in those days a mere necessity of school-boy life at public schools; and hence the superior manliness, generosity, and self-control, of those generally who benefited by such discipline—so systematically hostile to all meanness, pusillanimity, or indirectness. Cowper, in his poem on that subject, is far from doing justice to our great public schools. Himself disqualified, by delicacy of temperament, for reaping the benefits from such a warfare, and having suffered too much in his own Westminster experience, he could not judge them from an impartial station; but I, though ill enough adapted to an atmosphere so stormy, yet, having tried both classes of schools, public and private, am compelled in mere conscience to give my vote (and, if I had a thousand votes, to give all my votes) for the former.

Fresh from such a training as this, and at a time when his additional five or six years availed nearly to make his age the double of mine, my brother very naturally despised me; and, from his exceeding frankness, he took no pains to conceal that he did. Why should he? Who was it that could have a right to feel aggrieved by his contempt? Who, if not myself? But it happened, on the contrary, that I had a perfect craze for being despised. I doated on being despised; and considered contempt the sincerest a sort of luxury, that I was in continual fear of losing. I lived in a panic, lest I should be suspected of shamming contemptibility. But I did not sham it. I trusted that I was really entitled to contempt; and, for this, I had some metaphysical-looking reasons, which there may be occasion to explain further on. At present, it is sufficient to give a colorable rationality to my craze, if I say, that the slightest approach to any favorable construction of my intellectual pretensions, any, the least, shadow of esteem expressed for some thought or some logical distinction that I might incautiously have dropped, alarmed me beyond measure, because it pledged me in a manner with the hearer to support this first attempt by a second, by a third, by a fourth—Oh, heavens! there is no saying how far the horrid man might go in his unreasonable demands upon me. I groaned under the weight of his expectations; and, if I laid but the first round of such a staircase, why, then, I saw in vision a vast Jacob's ladder towering upward to the clouds, mile after mile, league after league; the consequence of which would be, that I should be expected to run up and down this ladder, like any fatigue party of Irish hodmen, carrying hods of mortar and bricks to the top of any Babel which my wretched admirer might choose to build. But I put a stop to this villainy. I nipped the abominable system of extortion in the very bud, by refusing to take the first step. The man could have no pretense, you know, for expecting me to climb the third or fourth round, when I had seemed quite unequal to the first. Professing the most absolute bankruptcy from the very beginning, giving the man no sort of hope that I would pay even one farthing in the pound, I never could be made miserable, or kept in hot water, by unknown responsibilities, or by endless anxieties about some bill being presented, which the monster might pretend for one moment that I had indorsed, or in some way had sanctioned his expecting that I would pay.

Still, with all this passion for being despised, which was so essential to my peace of mind, I found at times an altitude—a starry altitude—in the station of contempt for me assumed by my brother that nettled me. Sometimes, indeed, the mere necessities of dispute carried me, before I was aware of my own imprudence, so far up the stair-case of Babel, that my brother was shaken for a moment in the infinity of his contempt: and, before long, when my superiority in some bookish accomplishments displayed itself, by results that could not be entirely dissembled, mere foolish human nature forced me on rare occasions into some trifle of exultation at these retributory triumphs. But more often I was disposed to grieve over them. They tended to shake that solid foundation of utter despicableness upon which I relied so much for my freedom from anxiety; and, therefore, upon the whole, it was satisfactory to my mind that my brother's opinion of me, after any little transient oscillation,[161] gravitated determinately back toward that settled contempt which had been the result of his original inquest. The pillars of Hercules, upon which rested the vast edifice of his scorn, were these two—1st, my physics; he denounced me for effeminacy: 2d, he assumed, and even postulated as a datum, which I myself could never have the face to refuse, my general idiocy. Physically, therefore, and intellectually, he looked upon me as below notice; but, morally, he assured me that he would give me a written character of the very best description, whenever I chose to apply for it. "You're honest," he said; "you're willing, though lazy; you would pull, if you had the strength of a flea; and, though a monstrous coward, you don't run away." My own demurs to these harsh judgments were not many. The idiocy I confessed; because, though positive that I was not uniformly an idiot, I felt inclined to think that, in a majority of cases, I really was; and there were more reasons for thinking so than the reader is yet aware of. But, as to the effeminacy, I denied it in toto, and with good reason, as will be seen. Neither did my brother pretend to have any experimental proofs of it. The ground he went upon was a mere à priori one, viz., that I had always been tied to the apron-string of women or girls; which amounted at most to this: that, by training and the natural tendency of circumstances, I ought to be effeminate—that is, there was reason to expect beforehand that I should be so; but, then, the more merit in me, if, in spite of such general presumptions, I really were not. In fact, my brother soon learned better than any body, and by a daily experience, how entirely he might depend upon me for carrying out the most audacious of his own warlike plans; such plans, it is true, that I abominated; but that made no difference in the fidelity with which I tried to fulfill them.

This eldest brother of mine, to pass from my own character to his, was in all respects a remarkable boy. Haughty he was, aspiring, immeasurably active; fertile in resources as Robinson Crusoe; but also full of quarrel as it is possible to imagine; and, in default of any other opponent, he would have fastened a quarrel upon his own shadow for presuming to run before him when going westward in the morning, whereas, in all reason, a shadow, like a dutiful child, ought to keep deferentially in the rear of that majestic substance which is the author of its existence. Books he detested, one and all, excepting only those which he happened to write himself. And they were not a few. On all subjects known to man, from the Thirty-nine Articles of our English Church, down to pyrotechnics, legerdemain, magic, both black and white, thaumaturgy, and necromancy, he favored the world (which world was the nursery where I, on his first coming home, lived among my sisters) with his select opinions. On this last subject especially—of necromancy—he was very great; witness his profound work, though but a fragment, and, unfortunately, long since departed to the bosom of Cinderella, entitled, "How to raise a ghost; and when you've got him down, how to keep him down." To which work he assured us, that some most learned and enormous man, whose name was six feet long, had promised him an appendix; which appendix treated of the Red Sea and Solomon's signet-ring; with forms of mittimus for ghosts that might be mutinous; and probably a riot act, for any émeute among ghosts inclined to raise barricades; since he often thrilled our young hearts by supposing the case (not at all unlikely, he affirmed), that a federation, a solemn league and conspiracy, might take place among the infinite generations of ghosts against the single generation of men at any one time composing the garrison of earth. The Roman phrase for expressing that a man had died, viz., "Abiit ad plures" (He has gone over to the majority), my brother explained to us; and we easily comprehended that any one generation of the living human race, even if combined, and acting in concert, must be in a frightful minority, by comparison with all the incalculable generations that had trod this earth before us. The Parliament of living men, Lords and Commons united, what a miserable array against the Upper and Lower House composing the Parliament of ghosts. Perhaps the Pre-Adamites would constitute one wing in such a ghostly army. My brother, dying in his sixteenth year, was far enough from seeing or foreseeing Waterloo; else he might have illustrated this dreadful duel of the living human race with its ghostly predecessors, by the awful apparition which, at three o'clock in the afternoon, on the 18th of June, 1815, the mighty contest at Waterloo must have assumed to eyes that watched over the trembling interests of man. The English army, about that time in the great agony of its strife, was thrown into squares; and under that arrangement, which condensed and contracted its apparent numbers within a few black geometrical diagrams, how frightfully narrow—how spectral did its slender lines appear at a distance, to any philosophic spectators that knew the amount of human interests confided to that army, and the hopes for Christendom that even then were trembling in the balance! Such a disproportion, it seems, might exist, in the case of a ghostly war between the harvest of possible results and the slender band of reapers that were to gather it in. And there was even a worse peril than any analogous one that has been proved to exist at Waterloo. A British surgeon, indeed, in a work of two octavo volumes, has endeavored to show that a conspiracy was traced at Waterloo, between two or three foreign regiments, for kindling a panic in the heat of the battle, by flight, and by a sustained blowing-up of tumbrils, with the miserable purpose of shaking the British firmness. But the evidences are not clear; whereas my brother insisted that the presence of sham men, distributed extensively among the human race, and meditating treason against us all, had been[162] demonstrated to the satisfaction of all true philosophers. Who were these shams and make-believe men? They were, in fact, people that had been dead for centuries, but that, for reasons best known to themselves, had returned to this upper earth, walked about among us, and were undistinguishable, except by the most learned of necromancers, from authentic men of flesh and blood. I mention this for the sake of illustrating the fact, that the same crazes are everlastingly revolving upon men. Two years ago, during the carnival of universal anarchy equally among doers and thinkers, a closely-printed pamphlet was published with this title: "A New Revelation, or the Communion of the Incarnate Dead with the Unconscious Living. Important Fact, without trifling Fiction, by Him." I have not the pleasure of knowing Him; but certainly I must concede to Him, that he writes like a man of education, and also like a man of extreme sobriety, upon his extravagant theme. He is angry with Swedenborg, as might be expected, for his "absurdities;" but, as to him, there is no chance that he should commit any absurdity, because (p. 6) "he has met with some who have acknowledged the fact of their having come from the dead"—habes confitentem reum. Few, however, are endowed with so much candor; and, in particular, for the honor of literature, it grieves me to find, by p. 10, that the largest number of these shams, and perhaps the most uncandid, are to be looked for among "publishers and printers," of whom, it seems, "the great majority" are mere forgeries; a very few speak frankly about the matter, and say they don't care who knows it, which, to my thinking, is impudence; but by far the larger section doggedly deny it, and call a policeman, if you persist in charging them with being shams. Some differences there are between my brother and Him, but in the great outline of their views, they coincide.

This hypothesis, however, like a thousand others, when it happened that they engaged no durable sympathy from his nursery audience, he did not pursue. For some time, he turned his thoughts to philosophy, and read lectures to us every night upon some branch or other of physics. This undertaking arose upon some one of us envying or admiring flies for their power of walking upon the ceiling. "Pooh!" he said, "they are impostors; they pretend to do it, but they can't do it as it ought to be done. Ah! you should see me standing upright on the ceiling, with my head downward, for half-an-hour together, and meditating profoundly." My second sister remarked, that we should all be very glad to see him in that position. "If that's the case," he replied, "it's very well that all is ready, except as to one single strap." Being an excellent skater, he had first imagined that, if held up until he had started, by taking a bold sweep ahead, he might then keep himself in position through the continued impetus of skating. But this he found not to answer, because, as he observed, "the friction was too retarding from the plaster of Paris, but the ease would be very different if the ceiling were coated with ice." As it was not, he changed his plan. The true secret, he said, was this: he would consider himself in the light of a humming-top: he would make an apparatus (and he made it) for having himself launched, like a top, upon the ceiling, and regularly spun. Then the vertiginous motion of the human top would overpower the force of gravitation. He should, of course, spin upon his own axis, and sleep upon his axis—perhaps he might even dream upon it; and he laughed at "those scoundrels, the flies," that never improved in their pretended art, nor made any thing of it. The principle was now discovered; "and, of course," he said, "if a man can keep it up for five minutes, what's to hinder him from going on for five months?" "Certainly," my sister replied, whose skepticism, in fact, had not settled upon the five months, but altogether upon the five minutes. The apparatus for spinning him, however, would not work: a fact which was evidently owing to the stupidity of the gardener. On reconsidering the subject, he announced, to the disappointment of some among us, that, although the physical discovery was now complete, he saw a moral difficulty. It was not a humming-top that was required, but a peg-top; and this, in order to keep up the vertigo at full stretch, without which to a certainty, gravitation would prove too much for him, needed to be whipped incessantly. Now, that was what a gentleman ought not to tolerate: to be scourged unintermittingly on the legs by any grub of a gardener, unless it were Father Adam himself, was a thing that he could not bring his mind to endure. However, as some compensation, he proposed to improve the art of flying, which was, as every body must acknowledge, in a condition quite disgraceful to civilized society. As he had made many a fire balloon, and had succeeded in some attempts at bringing down cats by parachutes, it was not very difficult to fly downward from moderate elevations. But, as he was reproached by my sister for never flying back again, which, how ever, was a far different thing, and not even attempted by the philosopher in "Rassel as" (for

Revocare gradum et superas evadere ad auras,
Hic labor, hoc opus est),

he refused, under such poor encouragement, to try his winged parachutes any more, either "aloft or alow," till he had thoroughly studied Bishop Wilkins[12] on the art of translating right reverend gentlemen to the moon; and, in the mean time, he resumed his general[163] lectures on physics. From these, however, he was speedily driven, or one might say shelled out, by a concerted assault of my sister's. He had been in the habit of lowering the pitch of his lectures with ostentatious condescension to the presumed level of our poor understandings. This superciliousness annoyed my sister; and, accordingly, with the help of two young female visitors, and my next younger brother—in subsequent times a little middy on board many a ship of H.M., and the most predestined rebel upon earth against all assumptions, small or great, of superiority—she arranged a mutiny, that had the unexpected effect of suddenly extinguishing the lectures forever. He had happened to say, what was no unusual thing with him, that he flattered himself he had made the point under discussion tolerably clear; "clear," he added, bowing round the half-circle of us, the audience, "to the meanest of capacities;" and then he repeated, sonorously, "clear to the most excruciatingly mean of capacities." Upon which a voice, a female one, but whose I had not time to distinguish, retorted: "No, you haven't; it's as dark as sin;" and then, without a moment's interval, a second voice exclaimed, "Dark as night;" then came my young brother's insurrectionary yell, "Dark as midnight;" then another female voice chimed in melodiously, "Dark as pitch;" and so the peal continued to come round like a catch, the whole being so well concerted, and the rolling fire so well sustained, that it was impossible to make head against it; while the abruptness of the interruption gave to it the protecting character of an oral "round robin," it being impossible to challenge any one in particular as the ring-leader. Burke's phrase of "the swinish multitude," applied to mobs, was then in every body's mouth; and, accordingly, after my brother had recovered from his first astonishment at this insurrection, he made us several sweeping bows that looked very much like tentative rehearsals of a sweeping fusillade, and then addressed us in a very brief speech, of which we could distinguish the words pearls and swinish multitude, but uttered in a very low key, perhaps out of regard to the two young strangers. We all laughed in chorus at this parting salute: my brother himself condescended at last to join us; but there ended the course of lectures on natural philosophy.

As it was impossible, however, that he should remain quiet, he announced to us, that for the rest of his life he meant to dedicate himself to the intense cultivation of the tragic drama. He got to work instantly; and very soon he had composed the first act of his "Sultan Selim;" but, in defiance of the metre, he soon changed the title to "Sultan Amurath," considering that a much fiercer name, more bewhiskered and beturbaned. It was no part of his intention that we should sit lolling on chairs like ladies and gentlemen that had paid opera prices for private boxes. He expected every one of us, he said, to pull an oar. We were to act the tragedy. But, in fact, we had many oars to pull. There were so many characters, that each of us took four, at the least, and the future middy had six. He, this wicked little middy,[13] caused the greatest affliction to Sultan Amurath, forcing him to order the amputation of his head six several times (that is, once in every one of his six parts), during the first act. In reality, the sultan, though a decent man, was too bloody. What by the bowstring, and what by the scimetar, he had so thinned the population with which he commenced business, that scarcely any of the characters remained alive at the end of act the first. Sultan Amurath found himself in an awkward situation. Large arrears of work remained, and hardly any body to do it but the sultan himself. In composing act the second, the author had to proceed like Deucalion and Pyrrha, and to create an entirely new generation. Apparently, this young generation, that ought to have been so good, took no warning by what had happened to their ancestors in act the first; one must conclude that they were quite as wicked, since the poor sultan had found himself reduced to order them all for execution in the course of this act the second. To the brazen age had succeeded an iron age; and the prospects were becoming sadder and sadder, as the tragedy advanced. But here the author began to hesitate. He felt it hard to resist the instinct of carnage. And was it right to do so? Which of the felons, whom he had cut off prematurely, could pretend that a court of appeal would have reversed his sentence? But the consequences were dreadful. A new set of characters in every act, brought with it the necessity of a new plot: for people could not succeed to the arrears of old actions, or inherit ancient motives, like a landed estate. Five crops, in fact, must be taken off the ground in each separate tragedy, amounting, in short, to five tragedies involved in one.

Such, according to the rapid sketch which at this moment my memory furnishes, was the brother, who now first laid open to me the gates of war. The occasion was this, he had resented, with a shower of stones, an affront offered to us by an individual boy, belonging to a cotton-factory; for more than two years afterward, this became the teterrima causa of a skirmish, or a battle, as often as we passed the factory; and, unfortunately, that was twice a day on every day except[164] Sunday. Our situation in respect to the enemy was as follows: Greenhay, a country-house newly built by my father, at that time was a clear mile from the outskirts of Manchester; but, in after years, Manchester, throwing out the tentacula of its vast expansions, absolutely enveloped Greenhay; and, for any thing I know, the grounds and gardens which then insulated the house, may have long disappeared. Being a modest mansion, which (including hot walls, offices, and gardener's house) had cost only six thousand pounds, I do not know how it should have risen to the distinction of giving name to a region of that great town; however, it has done so;[14] and, at this time, therefore, after changes so great, it will be difficult for the habitué of that region to understand how my brother and myself could have a solitary road to traverse between Greenhay and Princess-street, then the termination, on that side of Manchester. But so it was. Oxford-street, like its namesake in London, was then called the Oxford-road; and, during the currency of our acquaintance with it, arose the first three houses in its neighborhood; of which the third was built for the Rev. S. H., one of our guardians, for whom his friends had also built the church of St. Peters's—not a bowshot from the house. At present, however, he resided in Salford, nearly two miles from Greenhay; and to him we went over daily, for the benefit of his classical instructions. One sole cotton-factory had then risen along the line of Oxford-street; and this was close to a bridge, which also was a new creation; for, previously, all passengers to Manchester went round by Garrat. This factory became the officina gentium to us, from which swarmed forth those Goths and Vandals, that continually threatened our steps; and this bridge became the eternal arena of combat, we taking good care to be on the right side of the bridge for retreat, i.e., on the town side, or the country side, according as we were going out in the morning, or returning in the afternoon. Stones were the implements of warfare; and by continual practice we became expert in throwing them.

The origin of the feud it is scarcely requisite to rehearse, since the particular accident which began it was not the true efficient cause of our long warfare, but (as logicians express it) simply the occasion. The cause lay in our aristocratic dress: as children of an opulent family, where all provisions were liberal, and all appointments elegant, we were uniformly well-dressed, and, in particular, we wore trowsers (at that time unheard of, except in maritime places) and Hessian boots—a crime that could not be forgiven in the Lancashire of that day, because it expressed the double offense of being aristocratic, and being outlandish. We were aristocrats, and it was in vain to deny it; could we deny our boots? while our antagonists, if not absolutely sans culottes, were slovenly and forlorn in their dress, often unwashed, with hair totally neglected, and always covered with flakes of cotton. Jacobins they were, not by any sympathy with the French Jacobinism, that then desolated western Europe; for, on the contrary, they detested every thing French, and answered with brotherly signals to the cry of "Church and king," or, "King and constitution." But, for all that, as they were perfectly independent, getting very high wages, and in a mode of industry that was then taking vast strides ahead, they contrived to reconcile this patriotic anti-Jacobinism with a personal Jacobinism of that sort which is native to the heart of man, who is by natural impulse (and not without a root of nobility) impatient of inequality, and submits to it only through a sense of its necessity, or a long experience of its benefits.

It was on an early day of our new tyrocinium, or, perhaps, on the very first, that, as we passed the bridge, a boy happening to issue from the factory,[15] sang out to us, derisively—"Holloa, bucks!" In this the reader may fail to perceive any atrocious insult commensurate to the long war which followed. But the reader is wrong. The word "dandies," which was what the villain meant, had not then been born, so that he could not have called us by that name, unless through the spirit of prophecy. Buck was the nearest word at hand in his Manchester vocabulary; he gave all he could, and let us dream the rest. But, in the next moment, he discovered our boots, and he completed his crime by saluting us as "Boots! boots!" My brother made a dead stop, surveyed him with intense disdain, and bade him draw near, that he might "give his flesh to the fowls of the air." The boy declined to accept this liberal invitation, and conveyed his answer by a most contemptuous and plebeian gesture, upon which my brother drove him in with a shower of stones.

During this inaugural flourish of hostilities, I, for my part, remained inactive, and, therefore, apparently neutral. But this was the last time that I did so: for the moment, I was taken by surprise. To be called a buck by one that had it in his choice to have called me a coward, a thief, or a murderer, struck me as a most pardonable offense; and, as to boots, that rested upon a flagrant fact that could not be denied, so that at first I was green enough to regard the boy as very considerate and indulgent. But my brother soon rectified my views or, if any doubts remained, he impressed me, at least, with a sense of my paramount duty to himself, which was threefold. First, it seems, I owed military allegiance to him, as my commander-in-chief, whenever we "took the field;" secondly, by the law of nations, I being a cadet of my house,[165] owed suit and service to him who was its head; and he assured me, that twice in a year, on my birthday, and on his, he had a right, strictly speaking, to make me lie down, and to set his foot upon my neck; lastly, by a law not so rigorous, but valid among gentlemen—viz., "by the comity of nations," it seems I owed eternal deference to one so much older than myself, so much wiser, stronger, braver, more beautiful, and more swift of foot. Something like all this in tendency I had already believed, though I had not so minutely investigated the modes and grounds of my duty. As a Pariah, which, by natural temperament I was, and by awful dedication to despondency, I felt resting upon me always too deep and gloomy a sense of obscure duties, that I never should be able to fulfill—a burden which I could not carry, and which yet I did not know how to throw off. Glad, therefore, I was to find the whole tremendous weight of obligations—the law and the prophets—all crowded into this one brief command—"Thou shalt obey thy brother as God's vicar upon earth." For now, if, by any future stone leveled at him who had called me "a buck," I should chance to draw blood—perhaps I might not have committed so serious a trespass on any rights which he could plead: but, if I had (for, on this subject my convictions were still cloudy), at any rate, the duty I might have violated in regard to this general brother, in right of Adam, was canceled when it came into collision with my paramount duty to this liege brother of my own individual house.

From this day, therefore, I obeyed all my brother's military commands with the utmost docility; and happy it made me that every sort of distraction, or question, or opening for demur, was swallowed up in the unity of this one papal principle, discovered by my brother, viz., that all rights of casuistry were transferred from me to himself. His was the judgment—his was the responsibility; and to me belonged only the sublime duty of unconditional faith in him. That faith I realized. It is true, that he taxed me at times, in his reports of particular fights, with "horrible cowardice," and even with "a cowardice that seemed inexplicable, except on the supposition of treachery." But this was only a façon de parler with him: the idea of secret perfidy, that was constantly moving under-ground, gave an interest to the progress of the war, which else tended to the monotonous. It was a dramatic artifice for sustaining the interest, where the incidents might be too slightly diversified. But that he did not believe his own charges was clear, because he never repeated them in his "General History of the Campaigns," which was a resumé, or digest, of his daily reports.

We fought every day; and, generally speaking, twice every day; and the result was pretty uniform, viz., that my brother and I terminated the battle by insisting upon our undoubted right to run away. Magna Charta, I should fancy, secures that great right to every man; else surely it is sadly defective. But out of this catastrophe to most of our skirmishes, and to all our pitched battles except one, grew a standing schism between my brother and me. My unlimited obedience had respect to action, but not to opinion. Loyalty to my brother did not rest upon hypocrisy: because I was faithful, it did not follow that I must be false in relation to his capricious opinions. And these opinions sometimes took the shape of acts. Twice, at the least, in every week, but sometimes every night, my brother insisted on singing "Te Deum" for supposed victories which he had won; and he insisted also on my bearing a part in these "Te Deums." Now, as I knew of no such victories, but resolutely asserted the truth—viz., that we ran away—a slight jar was thus given to the else triumphal effect of these musical ovations. Once having uttered my protest, however, willingly I gave my aid to the chanting; for I loved unspeakably the grand and varied system of chanting in the Romish and English churches. And, looking back at this day to the ineffable benefits which I derived from the church of my childhood, I account among the very greatest those which reached me through the various chants connected with the "O, Jubilate," the "Magnificat," the "Te Deum," the "Benedicite," &c. Through these chants it was that the sorrow which laid waste my infancy, and the devotion which nature had made a necessity of my being, were profoundly interfused: the sorrow gave reality and depth to the devotion; the devotion gave grandeur and idealization to the sorrow. Neither was my love for chanting altogether without knowledge. A son of my reverend guardian, much older than myself, who possessed a singular faculty of producing a sort of organ accompaniment with one half of his mouth, while he sang with the other half, had given me some instructions in the art of chanting: and, as to my brother, he, the hundred-handed Briareus, could do all things; of course, therefore, he could chant. He could chant: he had a right to chant: he had a right, perhaps, to chant "Te Deum." For if he ran away every day of his life, what then? Sometimes the enemy mustered in over-powering numbers—seventy, or even ninety strong. Now, if there is a time for every thing in this world, surely that was the time for running away. But in the mean time I must pause, reserving what has to follow for another occasion.


[10] Elsewhere, viz., in the introductory part of the "Suspiria de Profundis," published in "Blackwood," during the early part of the year 1845. The work is yet unfinished as regards the publication.

[11] "Peculiar." viz., as endowed foundations, to which those resort who are rich and pay, and those also who, being poor, can not pay, or can not pay so much. This most honorable distinction among the services of England from ancient times to the interests of education—a service absolutely unapproached by any one nation of Christendom—is among the foremost cases of that remarkable class which make England, while often the most aristocratic, yet also, for many noble purposes, the most democratic of lands.

[12] "Bishop Wilkins:" Dr. W., Bishop of Chester, in the reign of Charles II., notoriously wrote a book on the possibility of a voyage to the moon, which, in a bishop, would be called a translation to the moon; and, perhaps, it was his name that suggested the "Adventures of Peter Wilkins." It is unfair, however, to mention him in connection with that only one of his works which announces an extravagant purpose. He was really a scientific man, and already in the time of Cromwell (about 1657), had projected that Royal Society of London, which was afterward realized and presided over by Isaac Barrow and Isaac Newton. He was also a learned man, but still with a vein of romance about him, as may be seen in his most elaborate work—"The Essay toward a Philosophic or Universal Language."

[13] "Middy:" I call him so, simply to avoid confusion, and by way of anticipation; else he was too young at this time to serve in the navy. Afterward, he did so for many years, and saw every variety of service in every class of ships belonging to our navy. At one time, when yet a boy, he was captured by pirates, and compelled to sail with them; and the end of his adventurous career was, that for many a year he has been lying at the bottom of the Atlantic.

[14] "Greenheys" with a slight variation in the spelling, is the name given to that district, of which Greenhay formed the original nucleus. Probably, it was the solitary situation of the house which (failing any other grounds of denomination) raised it to this privilege.

[15] "Factory:" such was the designation technically at that time. At present, I believe that a building of that class would be called a "mill."

[From Dickens's Household Words.]


Let the reader accompany us half-a-dozen miles out of town. We pass through Camberwell, through Peckham, and Peckham Rye, and we presently find ourselves in a district that looks uncommonly like "the country," considering how short a time it is since we left the "old smoke" behind us. We alight and walk onward, and certainly, if the sight of green[166] fields, and cows, and hedges, and farm-yards, denote the country, we are undoubtedly in some region of the kind.

We pass down a winding road, between high hedges of bush and trees, then climb over a gate into a field; cross it, and then over another gate into a field, from which we commence a gradual ascent, field after field, till finally the green slope leads us to a considerable height. We are on the top of Friern Hill.

It is a bright sunny morning in September, and we behold to perfection the most complete panorama that can be found in the suburban vicinities of London. Step down with us to yonder hedge, a little below the spot where we have been standing. We approach the hedge—we get over a gate, and we suddenly find ourselves on the upper part of an enormous green sloping pasturage, covered all over with cows. The red cow, the white cow, the brown cow, the brindled cow, the colley cow, the dappled cow, the streaked cow, the spotted cow, the liver-and-white cow, the strawberry cow, the mulberry cow, the chestnut cow, the gray speckled cow, the clouded cow, the black cow,—the short-horned cow, the long-horned cow, the up-curling horn, the down-curling horn, the straight-horned cow, and the cow with the crumpled horn—all are here—between two and three hundred—spread all over the broad, downward sloping pasture, feeding, ruminating, standing, lying, gazing with mild earnestness, reclining in characteristic thoughtfulness, sleeping, or wandering hither and thither. A soft gleam of golden sunshine spreads over the pasture, and falls upon many of the cows with a lovely, picturesque effect.

And what cows they are, as we approach and pass among them! Studies for a Morland, a Gainsborough, a Constable. We had never before thought there were any such cows out of their pictures. That they were highly useful, amiable, estimable creatures, who continually, at the best, appeared to be mumbling grass in a recumbent position, and composing a sonnet, we never doubted; but that they were ever likely to be admired for their beauty, especially when beheld, as many as these were, from a disadvantageous point of view, as to their position, we never for a moment suspected. Such, however, is the case. We have lived to see beauty in the form of a cow—a natural, modern, milch cow, and no descendant from any Ovidian metamorphosis.

We will now descend this broad and populous slope, and pay a visit to Friern Manor Dairy Farm, to which all these acres—some two hundred and fifty—belong, together with all these "horned beauties." We find them all very docile, and undisturbed by our presence, though their looks evidently denote that they recognize a stranger. But those who are reclining do not rise, and none of them decline to be caressed by the hand, or seem indifferent to the compliments addressed to them. In passing through the cows we were specially presented to the cow queen, or "master cow," as she is called. This lady has been recognized during twelve years as the sovereign ruler over all the rest. No one, however large, disputes her supremacy. She is a short-horned, short-legged cow, looking at first sight rather small, but on closer examination you will find that she is sturdily and solidly built, though graceful withal. "She is very sweet-tempered," observed the head keeper, "but when a new-comer doubts about who is the master, her eye becomes dreadful. Don't signify how big the other cow is—she must give in to the master cow. It's not her size, nor strength, bless you, it's her spirit. As soon as the question is once settled, she's as mild as a lamb again. Gives us eighteen quarts of milk a day."

We were surprised to hear of so great a quantity, but this was something abated by a consideration of the rich, varied, and abundant supply of food afforded to these cows, besides the air, attendance, and other favorable circumstances. For their food they have mangold-wurtzel, both the long red and the orange globe sorts, parsnips, turnips, and kohl-rabi (Jewish cabbage), a curious kind of green turnip, with cabbage leaves sprouting out of the top all round, like the feathery arms of the Prince of Wales. Of this last mentioned vegetable the cows often eat greedily; and sometimes endeavoring to bolt too large a piece, it sticks in their throats and threatens strangulation. On these occasions, one of the watchful keepers rushes to the rescue with a thing called a pro bang (in fact a cow's throat ramrod), with which he rams down the obstructive morsel. But, besides these articles of food, there is the unlimited eating of grass in the pastures, so that the yield of a large quantity of milk seems only a matter of course, though we were not prepared to hear of its averaging from twelve to eighteen and twenty quarts of milk a day, from each of these two or three hundred cows. Four-and-twenty quarts a day is not an unusual occurrence from some of the cows; and one of them, we were assured by several of the keepers, once yielded the enormous quantity of twenty-eight quarts a day during six or seven weeks. The poor cow, however, suffered for this munificence, for she was taken very ill with a fever, and her life was given over by the doctor. Mr. Wright, the proprietor, told us that he sat up two nights with her himself, he had such a respect for the cow; and in the morning of the second night after she was given over, when the butcher came for her, he couldn't find it in his heart to let him have her. "No, butcher," said he, "she's been a good friend to me, and I'll let her die a quiet, natural death." She hung her head, and her horns felt very cold, and so she lay for some time longer; but he nursed her, and was rewarded, for she recovered; and there she stands—the strawberry Durham short-horn—and yields him again from sixteen to eighteen quarts of milk a day.

Reverting to the "master cow," we inquired whether her supremacy in the[167] case of newcomers was established "mesmerically" by a glance—or how? The eye, we were assured, had a great deal to do with it. The stranger cow read it, and trembled. But, sometimes, there was a contest; and a cow-fight, with such fresh strong creatures as these—all used to their full liberty, and able to run or leap well, was a serious affair. If no keeper was at hand to separate them, and the fight got serious, so that one of them fell wounded, it was a chance but the whole herd would surround the fallen cow, and kill her. This was not out of wickedness, but something in the whole affair that put them beside themselves, and they couldn't bear the horrid sight, and so tried to get rid of their feelings, as well as the unfortunate object, by this wild violence. The effect was the same if the herd did not witness the fight, but came suddenly to the discovery of blood that had been spilled. They would stare at it, and glare at it, and snuff down at it, and sniff up at it, and prowl round it—and get more and more excited, till, at last, the whole herd would begin to rush about the field bellowing and mad, and make nothing at last of leaping clean over hedges, fences, and five-barred gates. But, strange to say—if the blood they found had not been spilt by violence, but only from some cause which the "horned beauties" understood, such as a sister or aunt having been bled by the doctor—then no effect of the sort occurred. They took no notice of it.

We found that besides beauty, cows possessed some imagination, and were, moreover, very susceptible. The above excitement and mad panic sometimes occurs as the effect of other causes.

Once some boys brought a great kite into the field, with a pantomime face painted upon it; and directly this began to rise over the field, and the cows looked up at it, and saw the great glass eyes of the face looking down at them—then, oh! oh! what a bellowing! and away they rushed over each other, quite frantic. On another occasion, some experimental gentlemen of science, brought a fire-balloon near the pasturage one night after dark. It rose. Up started all the cows in a panic, and round and round they rushed, till, finally, the whole herd made a charge at one of the high fences—tore down and overleaped every thing—burst into the lanes—and made their way into the high-road, and seemed to intend to leave their owners for some state of existence where fire-balloons and horrid men of science were alike unknown.

Instead of proceeding directly down the sloping fields toward the Dairy Farm, we made a detour of about half a mile, and passed through a field well inclosed, in which were about a dozen cows, attended by one man, who sat beneath a tree. This was the Quarantine ground. All newly-purchased cows, however healthy they may appear, are first placed in this field during four or five weeks, and the man who milks or attends upon them is not permitted to touch, nor, indeed, to come near, any of the cows in the great pasture. Such is the susceptibility of a cow to the least contamination, that if one who had any slight disease were admitted among the herd, in a very short time the whole of them would be affected. When the proprietor has been to purchase fresh stock, and been much among strange cows, especially at Smithfield, he invariably changes all his clothes, and, generally takes a bath, before he ventures among his own herd.

From what has already been seen, the reader will not be astonished on his arrival with us at the Dairy Farm, to find every arrangement in accordance with the fine condition of the cows, and the enviable (to all other cows) circumstances in which they live. The cow-sheds are divided into fifty stalls, each; and the appearance presented reminded one of the neatness and order of cavalry stables. Each stall is marked with a number; a corresponding number is marked on one horn of the cow to whom it belongs; and, in winter time, or any inclement season (for they all sleep out in fine weather) each cow deliberately finds out, and walks into her own stall. No. 173 once got into the stall of No. 15; but, in a few minutes, No. 15 arrived, and "showed her the difference." In winter, when the cows are kept very much in-doors, they are all regularly groomed with currycombs. By the side of one of these sheds there is a cottage where the keepers live—milkers and attendants—each with little iron bedsteads, all in orderly soldier fashion, the foreman's wife acting as the housekeeper.

These men lead a comfortable life, but they work hard. The first "milking" begins at eleven o'clock at night; and the second, at half past one in the morning. It takes a long time, for each cow insists upon being milked in her own pail—i.e., a pail to herself, containing no milk of any other cow—or, if she sees it, she is very likely to kick it over. She will not allow of any mixture. In this there would seem a strange instinct, accordant with her extreme susceptibility to contamination.

The milk is all passed through several strainers, and then placed in great tin cans, barred across the top, and sealed. They are deposited in a van, which starts from the Farm about three in the morning, and arrives at the dairy, in Farringdon-street, between three and four. The seals are then carefully examined, and taken off by a clerk. In come the carriers, commonly called "milkmen," all wearing the badge of Friern Farm Dairy; their tin pails are filled, fastened at top, and sealed as before, and away they go on their early rounds, to be in time for the early-breakfast people. The late-breakfasts are provided by a second set of men.

Such are the facts we have ascertained with regard to one of the largest of the great dairy farms near London.



Aeronautics, or the art of sailing in the air, is of very modern date; if, indeed, we are warranted to say that the art has yet been acquired, for we have only got a machine or apparatus capable of sustaining some hundreds of pounds in the air, the means of guiding and propelling it having yet to be discovered. The attention and admiration of men would doubtless be attracted from the beginning to the ease, grace, and velocity with which the feathered race soar aloft, and wing their way in the upper regions; but there is no reason to believe that any of the nations of antiquity—not even Greece and Rome, with all their progress in science and art—ever made the smallest advances toward a discovery of a method of flying, or of aerial navigation.

Archytas of Tarentum, a celebrated Pythagorean philosopher, who flourished about four hundred years before the Christian era, is indeed said to have constructed a wooden flying pigeon; but, from the imperfect accounts transmitted to us of its machinery, there is every probability that its flight was one of the many deceptions of the magic art which the ancients so well understood and so expertly practiced. The attention of man was much earlier, as well as more earnestly and successfully turned to the art of navigating lakes, rivers, and seas. To gratify his curiosity, or to better his condition, he was prompted to emigrate, or to pass from one place to another, and thus he would tax his ingenuity to discover the means by which he might be enabled to accomplish his journey. To make the atmosphere the medium of transit, would, in the early stages of society, hardly strike the mind at all, or, if it did, it would only strike it as a physical impossibility. Nature has not supplied man with wings, as it has done the fowls of heaven, and to find a locomotive means of transportation through the air was in the infancy of all science absolutely hopeless. But advantage would be early taken of the buoyant property of water, particularly of the sea, which must have been known to mankind from the creation. The canoe and the raft would be first constructed, and, in the course of time, experience would teach men to build vessels of a larger size, to fix the rudder to the stern, to erect the mast, and unfurl the sails. Thus would the art of navigating the ocean advance from step to step, while the art navigating the air remained a mystery, practiced, it may be, by flying demons, and flying witches, and the like ethereal beings of a dark mythology, but an achievement to which ordinary mortals could make no pretensions.

Our object in this paper is to give a concise history of aeronautics, commencing at that period when something like an approach was made to the principles upon which the art could be reduced to practice.

The person who is entitled to the honor of the discovery of the main principle of aeronautics—atmospheric buoyancy—is Roger Bacon, an English monk of the thirteenth century. This eminent man, whose uncommon genius was, in that superstitious and ignorant age, ascribed to his intercourse with the devil, was aware that the air is a material of some consistency, capable, like the ocean, of bearing vessels on its surface; and, in one of his works, he particularly describes the construction of a machine by which he believed it was possible to navigate the air. It is a large, thin, hollow globe of copper, or other suitable metal, which he proposes to fill with "ethereal air or liquid fire," and then to launch from some elevated point into the atmosphere, when he supposes it will float on its surface, like a vessel on the water. He afterward says, "There may be made some flying instrument, so that a man, sitting in the middle of the instrument, and turning some mechanism, may put in motion some artificial wings, which may beat the air like a flying bird." But, though Bacon knew the buoyancy of the atmosphere, he was very imperfectly acquainted with its properties. His idea seems to have been, that the boundaries of the atmosphere are at no great height, and that the aerial vessel, in order to its being borne up, must be placed on the surface of the air, just as a ship, in order to its being supported, must be placed on the surface of the water. And, whatever may be meant by his "ethereal air and liquid fire," there is no evidence that he, or any one living in that age, had any knowledge of the various and distinct gases. Bacon merely reasoned and theorized on the subject; he never attempted to realize these flying projects by actual experiment.

It was not till the year 1782 that the art of aerial navigation was discovered, and the merit of the discovery is due to two brothers, wealthy paper manufacturers, at Annonay, not far from Lyons—Stephen and Joseph Montgolfier. This discovery they did not arrive at from any scientific reasoning founded on the elasticity and weight of the atmosphere, for, though attached to the study of mathematics and chemistry, they do not appear to have particularly turned their attention to aerostatics; but, from observing how clouds and smoke rise and float in the atmosphere, it occurred to Stephen, the younger of the two, that a light paper bag, filled with cloud or smoke, would, from the natural tendency of these substances to ascend, be carried by their force in an upward direction.

About the middle of November, 1782, they made their first experiment in their own chamber at Avignon, with a light paper bag of an oblong shape, which they inflated, by applying burning paper to an orifice in the lower part of the bag, and in a few minutes they had the satisfaction of seeing it ascend to the ceiling of the chamber. Constructing a paper bag of larger dimensions, they made a similar experiment in the open air, with equal success, and, the bag being of a spherical shape, they gave it the name of balloon, from its resemblance to a large, round,[169] short-necked, chemical vessel so called. Finding, from repeated trials, that the larger the balloon the more successful was the experiment, they proceeded to construct one of linen lined with paper, 35 feet in diameter; and, on the 25th of April, 1783, after being filled with rarified air, it rapidly rose to the height of 1000 feet, and fell to the ground at the distance of three-quarters of a mile from the spot where it ascended. Encouraged by this success, the Montgolfiers came to the resolution of making a public experiment with this last constructed balloon at Annonay, on the 5th of June following. It was inflated with heated air, by the lower orifice being placed over a pit or well, in which were burned chopped straw and wool. Two men were sufficient to fill it; but, when fully inflated, eight men were required to prevent it from ascending. On being released from its fastenings, it rose majestically to the height of six or seven thousand feet, and made its descent at the distance of a mile and a half from the point of its departure.

This novel experiment, which forms an important epoch in the history of the art of aeronautics, attracted universal attention, and Stephen Montgolfier, having soon after arrived in Paris, was requested by the Royal Academy of Sciences, whose sittings, immediately on his arrival, he had been invited to attend, to repeat the experiment at their expense. He gladly availed himself of their proposal, and speedily got prepared a large balloon of an elliptical shape, 72 feet high, and 41 feet in diameter. It was finished in a style of great magnificence, and elegantly decorated on the outer surface with beautiful and appropriate designs. When completed, it weighed 1000 pounds. As a preliminary experiment, it raised eight men from the ground, and, on the 12th of September, 1783, it ascended, in the presence of the Royal Academy, with a load of from 400 to 500 pounds; but, in consequence of an injury it received in rising from a violent gust of wind, it did not present the same interesting spectacle as the public experiment previously made, and, upon its descent, it was found to be so seriously damaged, as to be unfit for future experiments. A new one of nearly the same dimensions was, therefore, ordered to be made, to which was added a basket of wicker-work, for the accommodation of a sheep, a cock, and a duck, which were intended as passengers. It was inflated, in the presence of the king and royal family, at Versailles, and, when loosened from its moorings, it rose, with the three animals we have named—the first living creatures who ever ascended in an aerial machine—to the height of about 1500 feet, an accident similar to what befell the other preventing it from attaining a higher elevation. It, however, descended safely with the animals, at the distance of 10,000 feet from the place of its ascent.

Hazardous as it might be, it was now fully demonstrated, that it was quite practicable for man to ascend in the atmosphere, and individuals were soon found sufficiently daring to make the experiment. Another balloon was constructed, 74 feet high, and 48 feet in diameter, and M. Pilatre de Rozier, superintendent of the royal museum, and the Marquis de Arlandes, volunteered to make an aerial voyage. At the bottom, it had an opening of about 15 feet in diameter, around which was a gallery of wicker-work, three feet broad, with a balustrade all around the outer edge, of the same material, three feet high; and, to enable the aeronauts to increase or diminish at pleasure the rarified state of the air within, it was provided with an iron brazier, intended for a fire, which could easily be regulated as necessity required. On the 21st of November, in the same year, the adventurers having taken their places on opposite sides of the gallery, the balloon rose majestically in the sight of an immense multitude of spectators, who witnessed its upward course with mingled sentiments of fear and admiration. The whole machine, with fuel and passengers, weighed 1600 pounds. It rose to the height of at least 3000 feet, and remained in the air from 20 to 25 minutes, visible all the time to the inhabitants of Paris and its environs. At several times it was in imminent danger of taking fire, and the marquis, in terror for his life, would have made a precipitate descent, which, in all probability, would have ended fatally, but M. Pilatre de Rozier, who displayed great coolness and intrepidity, deliberately extinguished the fire with a sponge of water he had provided for the emergency, by which they were enabled to remain in the atmosphere some time longer. They raised and lowered themselves frequently during their excursion, by regulating the fire in the brazier, and finally landed in safety five miles distant from the place where they started, after having sailed over a great portion of Paris. This is the first authentic instance in which man succeeded in putting into practical operation the art of traveling in the air, which had hitherto baffled his ingenuity, though turned to the subject for two thousand years. The news of the novel and adventurous feat rapidly spread over the whole civilized world, and aerial ascents in balloons constructed on the same principle were made in other cities of France, in Italy, and in the United States of America.

The two Montgolfiers soon obtained a high and wide-spread reputation; and the Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences of Paris voted a gold medal to Stephen, the younger brother. It was to heated or rarified air that these balloons owed their ascending power; but the Montgolfiers, in the paper in which they communicated their discovery to the Royal Academy, erroneously attributed the ascending power, not to the rarified air in the balloon, but to a peculiar gas they supposed to be evolved by the combustion of chopped straw and wool mixed together, to which the name of Montgolfiers' gas was given, it being believed for a time, even by the members of the Academy, that a new kind of gas, different from[170] hydrogen, and lighter than common air, had been discovered.

Hydrogen gas, or, as it was also called, inflammable air, whose specific gravity was first discovered in 1766, by Henry Cavendish, though the gas itself had been known long before to coal-miners, from its fatal effects, was, from its being the lightest gas known, early taken advantage of for inflating balloons. It indeed occurred to the ingenious Dr. Black of Edinburgh, as soon as he read Mr. Cavendish's paper, which appeared in the Philosophical Transactions for 1766, that if a sufficiently thin and light bladder were filled with this gas, the bladder would necessarily ascend in the atmosphere, as it would form a mass lighter than the same bulk of atmospheric air. Not long after, it suggested itself to Tiberius Cavallo, an Italian philosopher, when he first began to study the subject of air, that it was possible to construct a vessel which, when filled with hydrogen gas, would ascend in the atmosphere. In 1782, he actually attempted to perform the experiment, though the only success he had was to let soap balls, filled with that gas, ascend by themselves rapidly in the air, which, says he, were perhaps the first sort of inflammable air balloons ever made; and he read an account of his experiments to the Royal Society at their public meeting on June 20, 1782. But, during the later part of the year 1783, two gentlemen in the city of Philadelphia actually tested the value of hydrogen gas as a means of inflating balloons. The French Academy, guided by the suggestion of Dr. Black, and the experiments of Cavallo, also concluded to make the experiment of raising a balloon inflated with the same gas. To defray the expense of the undertaking, a subscription was opened, and so great was the enthusiasm excited by the design among people of all ranks and classes, that the requisite sum was speedily subscribed for. A silken bag from lute-string silk, about thirteen feet in diameter, and of a globular shape, was constructed by the Messrs. Roberts, under the superintendence of M. Charles, professor of experimental philosophy; and, to render the bag impervious to the gas—a very essential object in balloon manufacture—it was covered with a varnish composed of gum elastic dissolved in spirits of turpentine. It had but one aperture, like the neck of a bottle, into which was fastened the stop-cock for the convenience of introducing and stopping-off the gas. It was constructed and inflated near the Place of Victories, in August, 1783, and after being inflated, which was then no easy task, occupying several days, it was removed on the morning of the 27th of that month, before daylight, to the Camp of Mars (two miles distant), the place appointed for its ascent. About five o'clock in the afternoon, it was released from its fastenings, and rose, in the presence of some hundred thousands of applauding spectators, to a height upward of 3000 feet; and, after remaining in the atmosphere for three-quarters of an hour, descended in a field near Gonesse, a village about fifteen miles distant from the Camp of Mars. This marks another important era in the history of aeronautics. The hydrogen-gas balloon, in the first place, is attended with less risk than the Montgolfiers' balloon, which requires the dangerous presence of a fire to preserve the air in a sufficiently rarified state; and, in the second place, it has a much greater ascending power than rarified air balloons of the same size, in consequence of its superior lightness.

M. Charles and the two Messrs. Roberts now resolved to undertake an aerial excursion in a balloon of this description. With this view, the Messrs. Roberts formed one of silk, varnished with gum elastic, of a spherical shape, 27 feet in diameter, with a car suspended from it by several cords, which were fastened to a net drawn over the upper part of the balloon. To prevent the danger which might arise from the expansion of the gas under a diminished pressure of the atmosphere in the higher regions, the balloon was furnished with a valve, to permit the free discharge of gas, as occasion might require. The hydrogen gas with which it was filled was 5¼ lighter than common air, and the filling lasted several days. On December 17, 1783, M. Charles and one of the Roberts made their ascent from the garden of the Tuilleries, and rose to the height of 6000 feet. After a voyage of an hour and three-quarters, they descended at Nesle, a distance of 27 miles from the place of their departure. On their descent, M. Roberts having left the car, which lightened the vessel about 130 pounds, M. Charles reascended, and in twenty minutes mounted with great rapidity to the height of 9000 feet. When he left the earth, the thermometer stood at 47 degrees, but, in the space of ten minutes, it fell 21 degrees. On making this great and sudden transition into an atmosphere so intensely cold, he felt as if his blood had been freezing, and experienced a severe pain in the right ear and jaw. He passed through different currents of air, and, in the higher regions, the expansion of the gas was so great, that the balloon must have burst, had he not speedily opened the valve, and allowed part of the gas to escape. After having risen to the height of 10,500 feet, he descended, about three miles from the place where M. Roberts stepped out of the car.

Jean Pierre Blanchard, a Frenchman, who had long exerted his ingenuity, but with little success, in attempting to perfect a mechanical contrivance by which he might be enabled to fly, was the next to prepare a balloon upon the hydrogen-gas principle. It was 27 feet in diameter. He ascended from Paris, March 2d, 1784, accompanied by a Benedictine friar. After rising to the height of 15 feet, the balloon was precipitated to the ground with a violent shock, which so frightened the friar, that he would not again leave terra firma. M. Blanchard re-ascended alone, and, in his ascent, he passed through various currents of air, as aeronauts generally do. He rose to the height of 9600 feet, where he suffered from extreme cold, and was oppressed with[171] drowsiness. As a means of directing his course, he had attached to the car an apparatus consisting of a rudder and two wings, but found that they had little or no controlling power over the balloon. He continued his voyage for an hour and a quarter, when he descended in safety.

During the course of the year subsequent to the Montgolfiers' discovery, several experiments on the ascending power of balloons had been made in England; but the first person who there ventured on an aerial voyage was Vincent Lunardi, an Italian, who ascended from London, September 21, 1784. In the succeeding year, he gratified the inhabitants of Glasgow and Edinburgh with the spectacle of an aerial excursion, which they had never witnessed before.

The first aerial voyage across the sea was made by M. Blanchard, in company with Dr. Jeffries, an American physician, who was then residing in England. On the 7th January, 1785, a beautiful frosty winter day, they ascended about one o'clock from the cliff of Dover, with the design of crossing the Channel between England and France, a distance of about twenty-three miles, and, at great personal risk, accomplished their purpose in two hours and a half. The balloon at first rose slowly and majestically in the air, but it soon began to descend, and, before they had crossed the Channel, they were obliged to reduce the weight, by throwing out all their ballast, several books, their apparatus, cords, grapples, bottles, and were even proceeding to cast their clothes into the sea, when the balloon, which had then nearly reached the French coast, began to ascend, and rose to a considerable height, relieving them from the necessity of dispensing with much of their apparel. They landed in safety at the edge of the forest of Guiennes, not far beyond Calais, and were treated by the magistrates of that town with the utmost kindness and hospitality. M. Blanchard had the honor of being presented with 12,000 livres by the King of France. Emboldened by this daring feat, Pilatre de Rozier, already mentioned, and M. Romain, prepared to pay back the compliment of M. Blanchard and Dr. Jeffries, by crossing the Channel from France to England. To avoid the difficulty of keeping up the balloon, which had perplexed and endangered Blanchard and his companion during nearly their whole course, Rozier had recourse to the expedient of placing underneath the hydrogen balloon a fire balloon of smaller dimensions, which was intended to regulate the rising and falling of the whole machine. This promised to unite the advantages of both kinds of balloons, but it unhappily terminated in the melancholy death of the two adventurers. They ascended from Boulogne, on the 15th of June, 1785, but scarcely had a quarter of an hour elapsed from the time of their ascent, when, at the height of 3000 feet, the whole machine was discovered to be in flames. Its scattered fragments, with the mangled bodies of the unfortunate aeronauts, who were probably killed by the explosion of the hydrogen gas, were found near the sea-shore, about four miles from Boulogne. This was the first fatal accident which took place in balloon navigation, though several hundred ascensions had by this time been made.

In the early practice of aerial voyages, the chief danger apprehended was from accidental and rapid descents. To countervail this danger, and enable the adventurer, in cases of alarm, to desert his balloon, and descend to the ground uninjured, Blanchard invented the parachute, or guard for falling, as the word signifies in French, an apparatus very much resembling an umbrella, but of much larger dimensions. The design is to break the fall; and, to effect this, it is necessary that the parachute present a surface sufficiently large to experience from the air such resistance as will cause it to descend with a velocity not exceeding that with which a person can fall to the ground unhurt. During an aerial excursion which Blanchard took from Lisle in August, 1785, when he traversed a distance of not less than 300 miles, he dropped a parachute with a basket fastened to it, containing a dog, from a great elevation, and it fell gently through the air, letting down the animal to the ground in safety. The practice and management of the parachute were subsequently carried much farther by other aeronauts, and particularly by M. Garnerin, an ingenious and spirited Frenchman, who, during the course of his numerous ascents, repeatedly descended from the region of the clouds with that very slender machine. On one occasion, however, he suffered considerable injury in his descent. The stays of the parachute having unfortunately given way, its proper balance was disturbed, and, on reaching the ground, it struck against it with such violence, as to throw him on his face, by which he received some severe cuts. To let down a man of ordinary size from any height, a parachute of a hemispherical form, twenty-five feet in diameter, is required. But although the construction of a parachute is very simple, and the resistance it will meet with from the air in its descent, its size and load being given, can be exactly determined on scientific principles, few have ventured to try it; which may be owing partly to ignorance, or inattention to the scientific principles by which it is governed, and partly to a growing opinion among aeronauts, that it is unnecessary, the balloon itself, in case of its bursting, forming a parachute; as Mr. Wise, the celebrated American aeronaut, experienced on two different occasions, as he narrates in his interesting work on Aeronautics, lately published at Philadelphia—a work to which we have been mainly indebted in drawing up this article.

In the early part of the French revolutionary war, the savants of France, ambitious of bringing to the aid of the Republic all the resources of science, strongly recommended the introduction of balloons, as an effectual means of reconnoitring the armies of their enemies. From the advantages it seemed to promise, the recommendation was instantly[172] acted on by the government, which established an aeronautic school at Meudon, near Paris. The management of the institution, which was conducted with systematic precision, and concealed with the utmost care from the allied powers, was committed to the most eminent philosophers of Paris. Gyton Morveau, a celebrated French chemist, and M. Contel, superintended the operations. Fifty military students were admitted for training. A practicing balloon of thirty-two feet in diameter was constructed, of the most durable materials, and inflated with hydrogen gas. It was kept constantly full, so as to be at all times ready for exercise; and, to make it stationary at any given altitude, it was attached to windlass machinery. Balloons were speedily prepared by M. Contel for the different branches of the French army; the Entreprenant for the army of the north, the Celeste for that of the Sambre and Meuse, the Hercule for that of Rhine and Moselle, and the Intrepide for the memorable army of Egypt. The victory which the French achieved over the Austrians, on the plains of Fleurus, in June, 1794, is ascribed to the observations made by two of their aeronauts. Immediately before the battle, M. Contel and an adjutant-general ascended twice in the war-balloon Entreprenant, to reconnoitre the Austrian army, and though, during their second aerial reconnaissance they were discovered by the enemy, who sent up after them a brisk cannonade, they quickly rose above the reach of danger, and, on descending, communicated such information to their general, as enabled him to gain a speedy and decisive victory over the Austrians.

The balloon was also at an early period taken advantage of for making scientific experiments in the elevated regions of the atmosphere. With the view of ascertaining the force of magnetic attraction, and of examining the electrical properties and constitution of the atmosphere at great elevations, two young, enthusiastic French philosophers, MM. Biot and Gay Lussac, proposed to make an ascent. These gentlemen, who had studied together at the Polytechnic School of Paris, and the latter of whom had especially devoted himself to the study of chemistry, and its application to the arts, while both were deeply versed in mathematical science, were well qualified for the undertaking; and they were warmly patronized by the government, which immediately placed at their command the Intrepide, that had returned with the French army from Egypt to Paris, after the capitulation of Cairo. M. Contel, who had constructed the balloon, was ordered to refit it, under their direction, at the public expense. Having furnished themselves with the philosophical instruments necessary for their experiments—with barometers, thermometers, hygrometers, compasses, dipping needles, metallic wires, an electrophorus, a voltaic pile, and with some frogs, insects, and birds—they ascended, at ten o'clock, on the morning of August 23, 1804, from the garden of the Repository of Models. On rising 6500 English feet, they commenced their observations. The magnetic needle was attracted as usual by iron, but it was impossible for them at this time to determine with accuracy its rate of oscillation, owing to a slow rotary motion with which the balloon was affected. The voltaic pile exhibited all its ordinary effects, giving its peculiar copperas taste, exciting the nervous system, and causing the decomposition of water. At the elevation of 8600 feet, the animals which they carried with them appeared to suffer from the rarity of the air. The philosophers had their pulses much accelerated, but they experienced no difficulty in breathing, nor any inconvenience whatever. Their highest elevation was 13,000 feet; and the result of their experiments at this distance from the earth was, that the force of magnetic attraction had not sensibly diminished, and that there is an increase of electricity in the higher regions of the atmosphere.

In compliance with the request of several philosophers of Paris, who were anxious that the same observations should be repeated at the greatest height that could be reached, Gay Lussac alone made a second ascent, on the morning of September 15, 1804, from the garden of the Repository of Models, and rose, by a gradual ascent, to a great elevation. He continued to take observations at short intervals of the state of the barometer, the thermometer, and the hygrometer, of which he has given a tabular view, but he unfortunately neglected to mark the time at which they were made—a point of material importance, for the results would of course be modified by the progress of the day; and it would have added to their value, had these observations been compared with similar ones made at the same time at the observatory. During the ascent of the balloon, the hygrometer was variable, but obviously marked an increase of dryness; the thermometer indicated a decrease in the heat of the atmosphere, but the decrease is not uniform, the ratio being higher in the elevated regions than in the lower, which are heated from the earth; and it was found, by not fewer than fifteen trials at different altitudes, that the oscillations of a finely-suspended needle varied very little from its oscillations on the surface of the earth. At the height of 21,460 feet. Lussac admitted the air into one of his exhausted flasks, and at the height of 21,790 feet, he filled the other. He continued to rise, till he was 22,912 feet above Paris, or 23,040 feet—that is upward of four miles and a quarter—above the level of the sea, the utmost limit of his ascent, an elevation not much below the summit of Nevado de Sorato, the highest mountain of America, and the loftiest peak of the Himalaya in Asia, the highest mountains in the world, and far above that to which any mortal had ever soared before. One can not but admire the intrepid coolness with which Lussac performed his experiments at this enormous elevation, conducting his operations with the same composure and precision as if he had been seated in his[173] own parlor in Paris. Though warmly clad, he now began to suffer from the excessive cold, his pulse was quickened, he was oppressed by difficulty in breathing, and his throat became parched, from inhaling the dry, attenuated air—for the air was now more than twice as thin as ordinary, the barometer having sunk to 12‧95 inches—so that he could hardly swallow a morsel of bread. He alighted safely, at a quarter before four o'clock afternoon, near the hamlet of St. Gourgan, about sixteen miles from Rouen. On reaching Paris, he hastened to the laboratory of the Polytechnic School, to analyze the air he had brought down in his flasks from the higher regions; and, by a very delicate analysis, it was found to contain exactly the same proportions as the air on the surface of the earth, every 1000 parts holding 215 of oxygen, confirming the identity of the atmosphere in all situations. The ascents of these two philosophers are memorable, as the first which were made for purely scientific purposes.

[From the Dublin University Magazine.]


(Continued from Vol. I. Page 797.)



Our voyage was very uneventful, but not without anxiety, since, to avoid the English cruisers and the Channel-fleet, we were obliged to hold a southerly course for several days, making a great circuit before we could venture to bear up for the place of our destination. The weather alternated between light winds and a dead calm, which usually came on every day at noon, and lasted till about sunset. As to me, there was an unceasing novelty in every thing about a ship; her mechanism, her discipline, her progress, furnished abundant occupation for all my thoughts, and I never wearied of acquiring knowledge of a theme so deeply interesting. My intercourse with the naval officers, too, impressed me strongly in their favor, in comparison with their comrades of the land service. In the former case, all was zeal, activity, and watchfulness. The look-out never slumbered at his post; and an unceasing anxiety to promote the success of the expedition, manifested itself in all their words and actions. This, of course, was all to be expected in the discharge of the duties peculiarly their own; but I also looked for something which should denote preparation and forethought in the others; yet nothing of the kind was to be seen. The expedition was never discussed even as table-talk; and for any thing that fell from the party in conversation, it would have been impossible to say if our destination were China or Ireland. Not a book nor a map, not a pamphlet nor a paper that bore upon the country whose destinies were about to be committed to us, ever appeared on the tables. A vague and listless doubt how long the voyage might last, was the extent of interest any one condescended to exhibit; but as to what was to follow after—what new chapter of events should open when this first had closed, none vouchsafed to inquire.

Even to this hour I am puzzled whether to attribute this strange conduct to the careless levity of national character, or to a studied and well "got up" affectation. In all probability both influences were at work; while a third, not less powerful, assisted them—this was the gross ignorance and shameless falsehood of many of the Irish leaders of the expedition, whose boastful and absurd histories ended by disgusting every one. To listen to them, Ireland was not only unanimous in her desire for separation, but England was perfectly powerless to prevent it, and the only difficulty was, to determine the future fortune of the liberated land, when once her freedom had been proclaimed. Among the projects discussed at the time, I well remember one, which was often gravely talked over, and the utter absurdity of which certainly struck none among us. This was no less than the intention of demanding the West India Islands from England, as an indemnity for the past woes and bygone misgovernment of Ireland. If this seem barely credible now, I can only repeat my faithful assurance of the fact, and I believe that some of the memoirs of the time will confirm my assertion.

The French officers listened to these and similar speculations with utter indifference; probably to many of them the geographical question was a difficulty that stopped any further inquiry, while others felt no further interest than what a campaign promised. All the enthusiastic narratives, then, of high rewards and splendid trophies that awaited us, fell upon inattentive ears, and at last the word Ireland ceased to be heard among us. Play of various kinds occupied us when not engaged on duty. There was little discipline maintained on board, and none of that strictness which is the habitual rule of a ship-of-war. The lights were suffered to burn during the greater part of the night in the cabins; gambling went on usually till daybreak; and the quarter-deck, that most reverential of spots to every sailor-mind, was often covered by lounging groups, who smoked, chatted, or played at chess, in all the cool apathy of men indifferent to its claim for respect.

Now and then, the appearance of a strange sail afar off, or some dim object in the horizon, would create a momentary degree of excitement and anxiety; but when the "look-out" from the mast-head had proclaimed her a "schooner from Brest," or a "Spanish fruit-vessel," the sense of danger passed away at once, and none ever reverted to the subject of a peril then suggested.

With General Humbert I usually passed the greater part of each forenoon, a distinction, I must confess, I owed to my skill as a chess-player, a[174] game of which he was particularly fond, and in which I had attained no small proficiency. I was too young and too unpracticed in the world to make my skill subordinate to my chief's, and beat him at every game with as little compunction as though he were only my equal, till, at last, vexed at his want of success, and tired of a contest that offered no vicissitude of fortune, he would frequently cease playing, to chat over the events of the time, and the chances of the expedition.

It was with no slight mixture of surprise and dismay, that I now detected his utter despair of all success, and that he regarded the whole as a complete forlorn-hope. He had merely taken the command to involve the French Government in the cause, and so to compromise the national character that all retreat would be impossible. "We shall be all cut to pieces, or taken prisoners the day after we land," was his constant exclamation, "and then, but not till then, will they think seriously in France of a suitable expedition." There was no heroism, still less was there any affectation of recklessness, in this avowal. By nature, he was a rough, easy, good-tempered fellow, who liked his profession less for its rewards, than for its changeful scenes and moving incidents—his one predominating feeling being that France should give rule to the whole world, and the principles of her Revolution be every where pre-eminent. To promote this consummation, the loss of an army was of little moment. Let the cause but triumph in the end, and the cost was not worth fretting about.

Next to this sentiment was his hatred of England, and all that was English. Treachery, falsehood, pride, avarice, grasping covetousness, and unscrupulous aggression, were the characteristics by which he described the nation; and he made the little knowledge he had gleaned from newspapers and intercourse, so subservient to this theory, that I was an easy convert to his opinion; so that, ere long, my compassion for the wrongs of Ireland was associated with the most profound hatred of her oppressors.

To be sure, I should have liked the notion, that we ourselves were to have some more active share in the liberation of Irishmen than the mere act of heralding another and more successful expedition; but even in this thought there was romantic self-devotion, not unpleasing to the mind of a boy; but, after all, I was the only one who felt it.

The first sight of land to one on sea is always an event of uncommon interest; but how greatly increased is the feeling, when that land is to be the scene of a perilous exploit—the cradle of his ambition, or perhaps his grave! All my speculations about the expedition—all my day-dreams of success, or my anxious hours of dark forebodings—never brought the matter so palpably before me, as the dim outline of a distant headland, which, I was told, was part of the Irish coast.

This was on the 8th of August, but on the following day we stood farther out to sea again and saw no more of it. The three succeeding ones we continued to beat up slowly to the north'ard, against a head wind and a heavy sea; but on the evening of the 21st the sun went down in mellow splendor, and a light air from the south springing up, the sailors pronounced a most favorable change of weather, a prophecy that a starry night and a calm sea soon confirmed.

The morning of the 22d broke splendidly—a gentle breeze from the sou'west slightly curled the blue waves, and filled the canvas of the three frigates, as in close order they sailed along under the tall cliffs of Ireland. We were about three miles from the shore, on which now every telescope and glass was eagerly directed. As the light and fleeting clouds of early morning passed away, we could descry the outlines of the bold coast, indented with many a bay and creek, while rocky promontories and grassy slopes succeeded each other in endless variety of contrast. Towns, or even villages, we could see none—a few small wretched-looking hovels were dotted over the hills, and here and there a thin wreath of blue smoke bespoke habitation, but, save these signs, there was an air of loneliness and solitude which increased the solemn feelings of the scene.

All these objects of interest, however, soon gave way before another, to the contemplation of which every eye was turned. This was a small fishing-boat, which, with a low mast and ragged piece of canvas was seen standing boldly out for us; a red handkerchief was fastened to a stick in the stern, as if for a signal, and on our shortening sail, to admit of her overtaking us, the ensign was lowered, as though in acknowledgment of our meaning.

The boat was soon alongside, and we now perceived that her crew consisted of a man and a boy, the former of whom, a powerfully-built, loose fellow, of about five-and-forty, dressed in a light-blue frieze jacket and trowsers, adroitly caught at the cast of rope thrown out to him, and having made fast his skiff, clambered up the ship's side at once, gayly, as though he were an old friend coming to welcome us.

"Is he a pilot?" asked the officer of the watch, addressing one of the Irish officers.

"No; he's only a fisherman, but he knows the coast perfectly, and says there is deep water within twenty fathoms of the shore."

An animated conversation in Irish now ensued between the peasant and Captain Madgett, during which a wondering and somewhat impatient group stood around, speedily increased by the presence of General Humbert himself and his staff.

"He tells me, general," said Madgett, "that we are in the Bay of Killala, a good and safe anchorage, and, during the southerly winds, the best on all the coast."

"What news has he from the shore?" asked Humbert, sharply, as if the care of the ship was a very secondary consideration.

"They have been expecting us with the greatest impatience, general; he[175] says the most intense anxiety for our coming is abroad."

"What of the people themselves? Where are the national forces? Have they any head quarters near this? Eh, what says he? What is that? Why does he laugh?" asked Humbert, in impatient rapidity, as he watched the changes in the peasant's face.

"He was laughing at the strange sound of a foreign language, so odd and singular to his ears," said Madgett; but for all his readiness, a slight flushing of the cheek showed that he was ill at ease.

"Well, but what of the Irish forces? Where are they?"

For some minutes the dialogue continued in an animated strain between the two; the vehement tone and gestures of each bespeaking what sounded at least like altercation; and Madgett at last turned half angrily away, saying, "The fellow is too ignorant; he actually knows nothing of what is passing before his eyes."

"Is there no one else on board can speak this 'baragouinage,'" cried Humbert in anger.

"Yes, general, I can interrogate him," cried a young lad named Conolly, who had only joined us the day before we sailed.

And now as the youth addressed the fisherman in a few rapid sentences, the other answered as quickly, making a gesture with his hands that implied grief, or even despair.

"We can interpret that for ourselves," broke in Humbert; "he is telling you that the game is up."

"Exactly so, general; he says that the insurrection has been completely put down, that the Irish forces are scattered or disbanded, and all the leaders taken."

"The fellow is just as likely to be an English spy," said Madgett, in a whisper; but Humbert's gesture of impatience showed how little trust he reposed in the allegation.

"Ask him what English troops are quartered in this part of the country," said the general.

"A few militia, and two squadrons of dragoons," was the prompt reply.

"No artillery?"


"Is there any rumor of our coming abroad, or have the frigates been seen?" asked Humbert.

"They were seen last night from the church steeple of Killala, general," said Conolly, translating, "but believed to be English."

"Come; that is the best news he has brought us yet," said Humbert, laughing; "we shall at least surprise them a little. Ask him what men of rank or consequence live in the neighborhood, and how are they affected toward the expedition?"

A few words, and a low, dry laugh, made all the peasant's reply.

"Eh, what says he?" asked Humbert.

"He says, sir, that, except a Protestant bishop, there's nothing of the rank of gentry here."

"I suppose we need scarcely expect his blessing on our efforts," said Humbert, with a hearty laugh. "What is he saying now?—what is he looking at?"

"He says we are now in the very best anchorage of the bay," said Conolly, "and that on the whole coast there's not a safer spot."

A brief consultation now took place between the general and the naval officers, and in a few seconds the word was given to take in all sail, and anchor.

"I wish I could speak to that honest fellow myself," said Humbert, as he stood watching the fisherman, who with a peasant's curiosity had now approached the mast, and was passing his fingers across the blades of the cutlasses, as they stood in the sword rack.

"Sharp enough for the English, eh?" cried Humbert, in French, but with a gesture that seemed at once intelligible. A dry nod of the head gave assent to the remark.

"If I understand him aright," said Humbert, in a half whisper to Conolly, "we are as little expected by our friends as by our enemies; and that there is little or no force in arms among the Irish."

"There are plenty ready to fight, he says, sir, but none accustomed to discipline."

A gesture, half contemptuous, was all Humbert's reply, and he now turned away and walked the deck alone and in silence. Meanwhile the bustle and movements of the crew continued, and soon the great ships, stripped of their white sails, lay tranquilly at anchor in a sea without a ripple.

"A boat is coming out from the shore, general," whispered the lieutenant on duty.

"Ask the fisherman if he knows it."

Conolly drew the peasant's attention to the object, and the man, after looking steadily for a few seconds, became terribly agitated.

"What is it, man—can't you tell who it is?" asked Conolly.

But although so composed before, so ready with all his replies, he seemed now totally unmanned—his frank and easy features being struck with the signs of palpable terror. At last, and with an effort that bespoke all his fears, he muttered—"'Tis the king's boat is coming, and 'tis the collector's on board of her!"

"Is that all?" cried Conolly, laughing, as he translated the reply to the general.

"Won't you say that I'm a prisoner, sir; won't you tell them that you took me?" said the fisherman, in an accent of fervent entreaty, for already his mind anticipated the casualty of a failure, and what might betide him afterward; but no one now had any care for him or his fortunes—all was in preparation to conceal the national character of the ships. The marines were ordered below, and all others whose uniforms might betray their country, while the English colors floated from every mast-head.

General Humbert, with Serazin and two others, remained on the poop-deck, where they continued to walk, apparently devoid of any peculiar interest[176] or anxiety in the scene. Madgett alone betrayed agitation at this moment: his pale face was paler than ever, and there seemed to me a kind of studious care in the way he covered himself up with his cloak, so that not a vestige of his uniform could be seen.

The boat now came close under our lee, and Conolly being ordered to challenge her in English, the collector, standing up in the stern, touched his hat, and announced his rank. The gangway-ladder was immediately lowered, and three gentlemen ascended the ship's side and walked aft to the poop. I was standing near the bulwark at the time, watching the scene with intense interest. As General Humbert stood a little in advance of the rest, the collector, probably taking him for the captain, addressed him with some courteous expression of welcome, and was proceeding to speak of the weather, when the general gently stopped him by asking if he spoke French.

I shall never forget the terror of face that question evoked. At first, looking at his two companions, the collector turned his eyes to the gaff, where the English flag was flying; but still unable to utter a word, he stood like one entranced.

"You have been asked if you can speak French, sir?" said Conolly, at a sign from the general.

"No—very little—very badly—not at all; but isn't this—am I not on board of—"

"Can none of them speak French?" said Humbert, shortly.

"Yes, sir," said a young man on the collector's right; "I can make myself intelligible in that language, although no great proficient."

"Who are you, monsieur?—are you a civilian?" asked Humbert.

"Yes, sir. I am the son of the Bishop of Killala, and this young gentleman is my brother."

"What is the amount of the force in this neighborhood?"

"You will pardon me, sir," said the youth, "if I ask, first, who it is puts this question, and under what circumstances I am expected to answer it?"

"All frank and open, sir," said Humbert, good-humoredly. "I'm the General Humbert, commanding the advanced guard for the liberation of Ireland—so much for your first question. As to your second one, I believe that if you have any concern for yourself, or those belonging to you, you will find that nothing will serve your interest so much as truth and plain dealing."

"Fortunately, then, for me," said the youth, laughing, "I can not betray my king's cause, for I know nothing, nothing whatever, about the movement of troops. I seldom go ten miles from home, and have not been even at Ballina since last winter."

"Why so cautious about your information, then, sir," broke in Serazin, roughly, "since you have none to give?"

"Because I had some to receive, sir; and was curious to know where I was standing," said the young man, boldly.

While these few sentences were being interchanged, Madgett had learned from the collector, that, except a few companies of militia and fencibles, the country was totally unprovided with troops, but he also picked up, that the people were so crest-fallen and subdued in courage from the late failure of the rebellion, that it was very doubtful whether our coming would arouse them to another effort. This information, particularly the latter part of it, Madgett imparted to Humbert at once, and I thought by his manner, and the eagerness with which he spoke, that he seemed to use all his powers to dissuade the general from a landing; at least I overheard him more than once say, "Had we been further north, sir—"

Humbert quickly stopped him by the words:

"And what prevents us, when we have landed, sir, in extending our line north'ard? the winds can not surely master us, when we have our feet on the sward. Enough of all this; let these gentlemen be placed in security, and none have access to them without my orders. Make signal for the commanding officers to come on board here. We've had too much of speculation; a little action now will be more profitable."

"So, we are prisoners, it seems!" said the young man who spoke French, as he moved away with the others, who, far more depressed in spirit, hung their heads in silence, as they descended between-decks.

Scarcely was the signal for a council of war seen from the mast-head, when the different boats might be descried stretching across the bay with speed. And now all were assembled in General Humbert's cabin, whose rank and station in the service, entitled them to the honor of being consulted.

To such of us as held inferior grade, the time passed tediously enough as we paced the deck, now turning from the aspect of the silent, and, seemingly, uninhabited cliffs along shore, to listen if no sign betokened the breaking up of the council; nor were we without serious fears that the expedition would be abandoned altogether. This suspicion originated with the Irish themselves, who, however confident of success, and boastful of their country's resources before we sailed, now made no scruple of averring that every thing was the exact reverse of what they had stated: for, that the people were dispirited, the national forces disbanded, neither arms, money, nor organization any where—in fact, that a more hopeless scheme could not be thought of than the attempt, and that its result could not fail to be defeat and ruin to all concerned.

Shall I own that the bleak and lonely aspect of the hills along shore, the dreary character of the landscape, the almost death-like stillness of the scene, aided these gloomy impressions, and made it seem as if we were about to try our fortune on some desolate spot, without one look of[177] encouragement, or one word of welcome to greet us. The sight of even an enemy's force would have been a relief to this solitude—the stir and movement of a rival army would have given spirit to our daring, and nerved our courage, but there was something inexpressibly sad in this unbroken monotony.

A few tried to jest upon the idea of liberating a land that had no inhabitants—the emancipation of a country without people; but even French flippancy failed to be witty on a theme so linked with all our hopes and fears, and, at last, a dreary silence fell upon all, and we walked the deck without speaking, waiting and watching for the result of that deliberation, which already had lasted above four mortal hours.

Twice was the young man who spoke French summoned to the cabin, but, from the briefness of his stay, apparently with little profit; and now the day began to wane, and the tall cliffs threw their lengthened shadows over the still waters of the bay, and yet nothing was resolved on. To the quiet and respectful silence of expectation, now succeeded a low and half subdued muttering of discontent; groups of five or six together were seen along the deck, talking with eagerness and animation, and it was easy to see that whatever prudential or cautious reasons dictated to the leaders, their arguments found little sympathy with the soldiers of the expedition. I almost began to fear that if a determination to abandon the exploit were come to, a mutiny might break out, when my attention was drawn off by an order to accompany Colonel Charost on shore to "reconnoitre." This, at least, looked like business, and I jumped into the small boat with alacrity.

With the speed of four oars stoutly plied, we skimmed along the calm surface, and soon saw ourselves close in to the shore. Some little time was spent in looking for a good place to land; for, although not the slightest air of wind was blowing, the long swell of the Atlantic broke upon the rocks with a noise like thunder. At last, we shot into a little creek with a shelving gravelly beach, and completely concealed by the tall rocks on every side; and now we sprang out, and stood upon Irish ground!



From the little creek where we landed, a small zig-zag path led up the sides of the cliff, the track by which the peasants carried the sea-weed, which they gathered for manure, and up this we now slowly wended our way. Stopping for some time to gaze at the ample bay beneath us, the tall-masted frigates floating so majestically on its glassy surface—it was a scene of tranquil and picturesque beauty, with which it would have been almost impossible to associate the idea of war and invasion. In the lazy bunting that hung listlessly from peak and mast-head—in the cheerful voices of the sailors, heard afar off in the stillness—in the measured plash of the sea itself, and the fearless daring of the sea-gulls, as they soared slowly above our heads—there seemed something so suggestive of peace and tranquillity, it struck us as profanation to disturb it.

As we gained the top and looked around us, our astonishment became even greater. A long succession of low hills, covered with tall ferns or heath, stretched away on every side; not a house, nor a hovel, nor a living thing to be seen. Had the country been one uninhabited since the creation, it could not have presented an aspect of more thorough desolation! No road-track, nor even a foot-path, led through the dreary waste before us, on which, to all seeming, the foot of man had never fallen. And, as we stood for some moments, uncertain which way to turn, a sense of the ridiculous suddenly burst upon the party, and we all broke into a hearty roar of laughter.

"I little thought," cried Charost, "that I should ever emulate 'La Perouse,' but it strikes me that I am destined to become a great discoverer."

"How so, colonel?" asked his aid-de-camp.

"Why, it is quite clear, that this same island is uninhabited; and, if it be all like this, I own I'm scarcely surprised at it."

"Still, there must be a town not far off, and the residence of that bishop we heard of this morning."

A half incredulous shrug of the shoulders was all his reply, as he sauntered along with his hands behind his back, apparently lost in thought; while we, as if instinctively partaking of his gloom, followed him in total silence.

"Do you know, gentlemen, what I'm thinking of?" said he, stopping suddenly, and facing about. "My notion is, that the best thing to do here, would be to plant our tri-color, proclaim the land a colony of France, and take to our boats again."

This speech delivered with an air of great gravity, imposed upon us for an instant; but the moment after, the speaker breaking into a hearty laugh, we all joined him, as much amused by the strangeness of our situation, as by any thing in his remark.

"We never could bring our guns through a soil like this, colonel," said the aid-de-camp, as he struck his heel into the soft and clayey surface.

"If we could ever land them at all!" muttered he, half aloud; then added, "But for what object should we? Believe me, gentlemen, if we are to have a campaign here, bows and arrows are the true weapons."

"Ah! what do I see yonder?" cried the aid-de-camp; "are not those sheep feeding in that little glen?"

"Yes," cried I, "and a man herding them, too. See, the fellow has caught sight of us, and he's off as fast as his legs can carry him." And so was it, the man had no sooner seen us than he sprung to his feet, and[178] hurried down the mountain at full speed.

Our first impulse was to follow and give him chase, and even without a word, we all started off in pursuit; but we soon saw how fruitless would be the attempt, for, even independent of the start he had got of us, the peasant's speed was more than the double of our own.

"No matter," said the colonel, "if we have lost the shepherd, we have, at least, gained the sheep, and so I recommend you to secure a mutton for dinner to-morrow."

With this piece of advice, down the hill he darted, as hard as he could. Briolle, the aid-de-camp, and myself following at our best pace. We were reckoning without our host, however, for the animals, after one stupid stare at us, set off in a scamper that soon showed their mountain breeding, keeping all together like a pack of hounds, and, really, not very inferior in the speed they displayed.

A little gorge led between the hills, and through this they rushed madly, and with a clatter like a charge of cavalry. Excited by the chase, and emulous each to outrun the other, the colonel threw off his chako, and Briolle his sword, in the ardor of pursuit. We now gained on them rapidly, and though, from a winding in the glen, they had momentarily got out of sight, we knew that we were close upon them. I was about thirty paces in advance of my comrades, when, on turning an angle of the gorge, I found myself directly in front of a group of mud hovels, in front of which were standing about a dozen ragged, miserable looking men, armed with pitchforks and scythes, while in the rear stood the sheep, blown and panting from the chase.

I came to a dead stop; and although I would have given worlds to have had my comrades at my side, I never once looked back to see if they were coming; but, putting a bold face on the matter, called out the only few words I knew of Irish, "Go de ma ha tu."

The peasants looked at each other; and whether it was my accent, my impudence, or my strange dress and appearance, or all together, I can not say, but, after a few seconds' pause, they burst out into a roar of laughter, in the midst of which my two comrades came up.

"We saw the sheep feeding on the hills, yonder," said I, recovering self-possession, "and guessed that by giving them chase, they'd lead us to some inhabited spot. What is this place called?"

"Shindrennin," said a man who seemed to be the chief of the party; "and, if I might make so bould, who are you, yourselves?"

"French officers; this is my colonel," said I, pointing to Charost, who was wiping his forehead and face after his late exertion.

The information, far from producing the electric effect of pleasure I had anticipated, was received with a coldness, almost amounting to fear, and they spoke eagerly together for some minutes in Irish.

"Our allies evidently don't like the look of us," said Charost, laughing; "and if the truth must be told, I own the disappointment is mutual."

"'Tis too late you come sir," said the peasant, addressing the colonel, while he removed his hat, and assumed an air of respectful deference. "'Tis all over with poor Ireland, this time."

"Tell him," said Charost, to whom I translated the speech, "that it's never too late to assert a good cause: that we have got arms for twenty thousand, if they have but hands and hearts to use them. Tell him that a French army is now lying in that bay yonder, ready and able to accomplish the independence of Ireland."

I delivered my speech as pompously as it was briefed to me; and, although I was listened to in silence, and respectfully, it was plain my words carried little or no conviction with them. Not caring to waste more of our time in such discourse, I now inquired about the country—in what directions lay the high roads, and the relative situations of the towns of Killala, Castlebar, and Ballina, the only places of comparative importance in the neighborhood. I next asked about the landing-places, and learned that a small fishing-harbor existed, not more than half a mile from the spot where we had landed, from which a little country road lay to the village of Palmerstown. As to the means of transporting baggage, guns, and ammunition, there were few horses to be had, but with money we might get all we wanted; indeed, the peasants constantly referred to this means of success, even to asking "what the French would give a man that was to join them?" If I did not translate the demand with fidelity to my colonel, it was really that a sense of shame prevented me. My whole heart was in the cause; and I could not endure the thought of its being degraded in this way. It was growing duskish, and the colonel proposed that the peasant should show us the way to the fishing-harbor he spoke of, while some other of the party might go round to our boat, and direct them to follow us thither. The arrangement was soon made, and we all sauntered down toward the shore, chatting over the state of the country, and the chances of a successful rising. From the specimen before me, I was not disposed to be over sanguine about the peasantry. The man was evidently disaffected toward England. He bore her neither good-will nor love; but his fears were greater than all else. He had never heard of any thing but failure in all attempts against her; and he could not believe in any other result. Even the aid and alliance of France inspired no other feeling than distrust; for he said more than once, "Sure, what can harm yez? Haven't ye yer ships, beyant, to take yez away, if things goes bad?"

I was heartily glad that Colonel Charost knew so little English, that the greater part of the peasant's conversation was unintelligible to him, since, from the first, he had always spoken of the expedition in[179] terms of disparagement; and certainly what we were now to hear was not of a nature to controvert the prediction.

In our ignorance as to the habits and modes of thought of the people, we were much surprised at the greater interest the peasant betrayed when asking us about France and her prospects, than when the conversation concerned his own country. It appeared as though, in the one case, distance gave grandeur and dimensions to all his conceptions, while familiarity with home scenes and native politics had robbed them of all their illusions. He knew well that there were plenty of hardships, abundance of evils, to deplore in Ireland; rents were high, taxes and tithes oppressive, agents were severe, bailiffs were cruel; social wrongs he could discuss for hours, but of political woes, the only one we could be expected to relieve or care for, he really knew nothing. "'Tis true," he repeated, "that what my honor said was all right, Ireland was badly treated," and so on; "liberty was an elegant thing if a body had it," and such like; but there ended his patriotism.

Accustomed for many a day to the habits of a people where all were politicians, where the rights of man, and the grand principles of equality and self-government were everlastingly under discussion, I was, I confess it, sorely disappointed at this worse than apathy.

"Will they fight?—ask him that," said Charost, to whom I had been conveying a rather rose-colored version of my friend's talk.

"Oh, be gorra! we'll fight sure enough!" said he, with a half-dogged scowl beneath his brows.

"What number of them may we reckon on in the neighborhood?" repeated the colonel.

"'Tis mighty hard to say; many of the boys was gone over to England for the harvest; some were away to the counties inland, others were working on the roads; but if they knew, sure they'd be soon back again."

"Might they calculate on a thousand stout, effective men?" asked Charost.

"Ay, twenty, if they were at home," said the peasant, less a liar by intention than from the vague and careless disregard of truth, so common in all their own intercourse with each other.

I must own that the degree of credit we reposed in the worthy man's information was considerably influenced by the state of facts before us, inasmuch as that the "elegant, fine harbor" he had so gloriously described—"the beautiful road"—"the neat little quay" to land upon, and the other advantages of the spot, all turned out to be most grievous disappointments. That the people were not of our own mind on these matters, was plain enough from the looks of astonishment our discontent provoked; and now a lively discussion ensued on the relative merits of various bays, creeks, and inlets along the coast, each of which, with some unpronounceable name or other, was seen to have a special advocate in its favor, till at last the colonel lost all patience, and jumping into the boat, ordered the men to push off for the frigate.

Evidently out of temper at the non-success of his "reconnaissance," and as little pleased with the country as the people, Charost did not speak a word as we rowed back to the ship. Our failure, as it happened, was of little moment, for another party, under the guidance of Madgett, had already discovered a good landing-place at the bottom of the Bay of Rathfran, and arrangements were already in progress to disembark the troops at day-break. We also found that, during our absence, some of the "chiefs" had come off from shore, one of whom, named Neal Kerrigan, was destined to attain considerable celebrity in the rebel army. He was a talkative, vulgar, presumptuous fellow, who, without any knowledge or experience whatever, took upon him to discuss military measures and strategy with all the assurance of an old commander.

Singularly enough, Humbert suffered this man to influence him in a great degree, and yielded opinion to him on points even where his own judgment was directly opposed to the advice he gave.

If Kerrigan's language and bearing were directly the reverse of soldierlike, his tawdry uniform of green and gold, with massive epaulets and a profusion of lace, were no less absurd in our eyes, accustomed as we were to the almost puritan plainness of military costume. His rank, too, seemed as undefined as his information; for while he called himself "General," his companions as often addressed him by the title of "Captain." Upon some points his counsels, indeed, alarmed and astonished us.

"It was of no use whatever," he said, "to attempt to discipline the peasantry, or reduce them to any thing like habits of military obedience. Were the effort to be made, it would prove a total failure; for they would either grow disgusted with the restraint, and desert altogether, or so infect the other troops with their own habits of disorder, that the whole force would become a mere rabble. Arm them well, let them have plenty of ammunition, and free liberty to use it in their own way and their own time, and we should soon see that they would prove a greater terror to the English than double the number of trained and disciplined troops."

In some respects this view was a correct one; but whether it was a wise counsel to have followed, subsequent events gave us ample cause to doubt.

Kerrigan, however, had a specious, reckless, go-ahead way with him that suited well the tone and temper of Humbert's mind. He never looked too far into consequences, but trusted that the eventualities of the morrow would always suggest the best course for the day after; and this alone was so akin to our own general's mode of proceeding, that he speedily won his confidence.

The last evening on board was spent merrily on all sides. In the general[180] cabin, where the staff and all the "Chefs de brigade" were assembled, gay songs, and toasts, and speeches succeeded each other till nigh morning. The printed proclamations, meant for circulation among the people, were read out, with droll commentaries; and all imaginable quizzing and jesting went on about the new government to be established in Ireland, and the various offices to be bestowed upon each. Had the whole expedition been a joke, the tone of levity could not have been greater. Not a thought was bestowed, not a word wasted upon any of the graver incidents that might ensue. All were, if not hopeful and sanguine, utterly reckless, and thoroughly indifferent to the future.



I will not weary my reader with an account of our debarkation, less remarkable as it was for the "pomp and circumstance of war" than for incidents and accidents the most absurd and ridiculous—the miserable boats of the peasantry, the still more wretched cattle employed to drag our artillery and train wagons, involving us in innumerable misfortunes and mischances. Never were the heroic illusions of war more thoroughly dissipated than by the scenes which accompanied our landing! Boats and baggage-wagons upset; here, a wild, half savage-looking fellow swimming after a cocked hat—there, a group of ragged wretches scraping sea-weed from a dripping officer of the staff; noise, uproar, and confusion every where; smart aid-de-camps mounted on donkeys; trim field-pieces "horsed" by a promiscuous assemblage of men, women, cows, ponies, and asses. Crowds of idle country-people thronging the little quay and obstructing the passages, gazed upon the whole with eyes of wonderment and surprise, but evidently enjoying all the drollery of the scene with higher relish than they felt interested in its object or success. This trait in them soon attracted all our notice, for they laughed at every thing; not a caisson tumbled into the sea, not a donkey brought his rider to the ground, but one general shout shook the entire assemblage.

If want and privation had impressed themselves by every external sign on this singular people, they seemed to possess inexhaustible resources of good humor and good spirits within. No impatience or rudeness on our part could irritate them; and even to the wildest and least civilized looking fellow around, there was a kind of native courtesy and kindliness that could not fail to strike us.

A vague notion prevailed that we were their "friends;" and although many of them did not clearly comprehend why we had come, or what was the origin of the warm attachment between us, they were too lazy and too indifferent to trouble their heads about the matter. They were satisfied that there would be a "shindy" somewhere, and somebody's bones would get broken, and even that much was a pleasant and reassuring consideration; while others of keener mould reveled in plans of private vengeance against this landlord or that agent—small debts of hatred to be paid off in the day of general reckoning!

From the first moment nothing could exceed the tone of fraternal feeling between our soldiers and the people. Without any means of communicating their thoughts by speech, they seemed to acquire an instinctive knowledge of each other in an instant. If the peasant was poor, there was no limit to his liberality in the little he had. He dug up his half-ripe potatoes, he unroofed his cabin to furnish straw for litter, he gave up his only beast, and was ready to kill his cow, if asked, to welcome us. Much of this was from the native, warm, and impulsive generosity of their nature, and much, doubtless, had its origin in the bright hopes of future recompense inspired by the eloquent appeals of Neal Kerrigan, who, mounted on an old white mare, rode about on every side, addressing the people in Irish, and calling upon them to give all aid and assistance to "the expedition."

The difficulty of the landing was much increased by the small space of level ground which intervened between the cliffs and the sea, and of which now the thickening crowd filled every spot. This and the miserable means of conveyance for our baggage, delayed us greatly, so that, with a comparatively small force, it was late in the afternoon before we had all reached the shore.

We had none of us eaten since morning, and were not sorry, as we crowned the heights, to hear the drums beat for "cooking." In an inconceivably short time fires blazed along the hills, around which, in motley groups, stood soldiers and peasantry mingled together, while the work of cooking and eating went briskly on, amid hearty laughter and all the merriment that mutual mistakes and misconceptions occasioned. It was a new thing for French soldiers to bivouac in a friendly country, and find themselves the welcome guests of a foreign people; and certainly the honors of hospitality, however limited the means, could not have been performed with more of courtesy or good-will. Paddy gave his "all," with a generosity that might have shamed many a richer donor.

While the events I have mentioned were going forward, and a considerable crowd of fishermen and peasants had gathered about us, still it was remarkable that, except immediately on the coast itself, no suspicion of our arrival had joined currency, and even the country people who lived a mile from the shore were ignorant of who we were. The few who, from distant heights and headlands, had seen the ships, mistook them for English, and as all those who were out with fish or vegetables to sell were detained by the frigates, any direct information about us was impossible. So far, therefore, all might be said to have gone most favorably with us. We had safely escaped the often-menaced dangers of[181] the channel fleet; we had gained a secure and well-sheltered harbor; and we had landed our force not only without opposition, but in perfect secrecy. There were, I will not deny, certain little counterbalancing circumstances on the other side of the account, not exactly so satisfactory. The patriot forces upon which we had calculated had no existence. There were neither money, nor stores, nor means of conveyance to be had; even accurate information as to the strength and position of the English was unattainable; and as to generals and leaders, the effective staff had but a most sorry representative in the person of Neal Kerrigan. This man's influence over our general increased with every hour, and one of the first orders issued after our landing contained his appointment as an extra aid-de-camp on General Humbert's staff.

In one capacity Neal was most useful. All the available sources of pillage for a wide circuit of country he knew by heart, and it was plain, from the accurate character of his information, varying, as it did, from the chattels of the rich landed proprietor to the cocks and hens of the cottier, that he had taken great pains to master his subject. At his suggestion it was decided that we should march that evening on Killala, where little, or, more likely, no resistance would be met with, and General Humbert should take up his quarters in the "Castle," as the palace of the bishop was styled. There, he said, we should not only find ample accommodation for the staff, but good stabling, well filled, and plenty of forage, while the bishop himself might be a most useful hostage to have in our keeping. From thence, too, as a place of some note, general orders and proclamations would issue, with a kind of notoriety and importance necessary at the outset of an undertaking like ours; and truly never was an expedition more loaded with this species of missive than ours—whole cart-loads of printed papers, decrees, placards, and such like, followed us. If our object had been to drive out the English by big type and a flaming letter-press, we could not have gone more vigorously to work. Fifty thousand broad-sheet announcements of Irish independence were backed by as many proud declarations of victory, some dated from Limerick, Cashel, or Dublin itself.

Here, a great placard gave the details of the new Provincial Government of Western Ireland, with the name of the "Prefect" a blank. There was another, containing the police regulations for the "arrondissements" of Connaught, "et ses dependances." Every imaginable step of conquest and occupation was anticipated and provided for in these wise and considerate protocols, from the "enthusiastic welcome of the French on the western coast," to the hour of "General Humbert's triumphal entry into Dublin." Nor was it prose alone, but even poetry, did service in our cause. Songs, not, I own, conspicuous for great metrical beauty, commemorated our battles and our bravery; so that we entered upon the campaign as deeply pledged to victory as any force I ever heard or read of in history.

Neal, who was, I believe, originally a schoolmaster, had great confidence in this arsenal of "black and white;" and soon persuaded General Humbert that a bold face and a loud tongue would do more in Ireland than in any country under heaven; and indeed, if his own career might be called a success, the theory deserved some consideration. A great part of our afternoon was then spent in distributing these documents to the people, not one in a hundred of whom could read, but who treasured the placards with a reverence nothing diminished by their ignorance. Emissaries, too, were appointed to post them up in conspicuous places through the country, on the doors of the chapels, at the smiths' forges, at cross-roads, every where, in short, where they might attract notice. The most important and business-like of all these, however, was one headed "ARMS!—ARMS!" and which went on to say that no man who wished to lift his hand for old Ireland need do so without a weapon; and that a general distribution of guns, swords, and bayonets would take place at noon the following day at the palace of Killala.

Serazin, and, I believe, Madgett, were strongly opposed to this indiscriminate arming of the people; but Neal's counsels were now in the ascendant, and Humbert gave an implicit confidence to all he suggested.

It was four o'clock in the evening when the word to march was given, and our gallant little force began its advance movement. Still attached to Colonel Charost's staff, and being, as chasseurs, in the advance, I had a good opportunity of seeing the line of march from an eminence about half a mile in front. Grander and more imposing displays I have indeed often witnessed. As a great military "spectacle" it could not, of course, be compared with those mighty armies I had seen deploying through the defiles of the Black Forest, or spreading like a sea over the wide plain of Germany, but in purely picturesque effect, this scene surpassed all I had ever beheld at the time, nor do I think, that, in after life, I can recall one more striking.

The winding road, which led over hill and valley, now disappearing, now emerging, with the undulations of the soil, was covered by troops marching in a firm compact order; the grenadiers in front, after which came the artillery, and then the regiments of the line. Watching the dark column, occasionally saluting it as it went with a cheer, stood thousands of country people on every hill-top and eminence, while far away, in the distance, the frigates lay at anchor in the bay, the guns at intervals thundering out a solemn "boom" of welcome and encouragement to their comrades.

There was something so heroic in the notion of that little band of warriors throwing themselves fearlessly into a strange land, to contest[182] its claim for liberty with one of the most powerful nations of the world; there was a character of daring intrepidity in this bold advance, they knew not whither, nor against what force, that gave the whole an air of glorious chivalry.

I must own that distance lent its wonted illusion to the scene, and proximity, like its twin-brother, familiarity, destroyed much of the "prestige" my fancy had conjured up. The line of march, so imposing when seen from afar, was neither regular nor well kept. The peasantry were permitted to mingle with the troops; ponies, mules, and asses, loaded with camp-kettles and cooking vessels, were to be met with every where. The baggage-wagons were crowded with officers, and "sous-officiers," who, disappointed in obtaining horses, were too indolent to walk. Even the gun-carriages, and the guns themselves, were similarly loaded, while at the head of the infantry column, in an old rickety gig, the ancient mail conveyance between Ballina and the coast, came General Humbert, Neal Kerrigan capering at his side on the old gray, whose flanks were now tastefully covered by the tri-colored ensign of one of the boats as a saddle-cloth.

This nearer and less enchanting prospect of my gallant comrades I was enabled to obtain, on being dispatched to the rear by Colonel Charost, to say that we were now within less than a mile of the town of Killala, its venerable steeple, and the tall chimneys of the palace, being easily seen above the low hills in front. Neal Kerrigan passed me, as I rode back with my message, galloping to the front with all the speed he could muster; but while I was talking to the general he came back to say that the beating of drums could be heard from the town, and that by the rapid movements here and there of people, it was evident the defense was being prepared. There was a look-out, too, from the steeple, that showed our approach was already known. The general was not slow in adopting his measures, and the word was given for quick march, the artillery to deploy right and left of the road, two companies of grenadiers forming on the flanks. "As for you, sir," said Humbert to me, "take that horse," pointing to a mountain pony, fastened behind the gig, "ride forward to the town and make a reconnaissance. You are to report to me," cried he, as I rode away, and was soon out of hearing.

Quitting the road, I took a foot-track across the fields, and which the pony seemed to know well, and after a sharp canter reached a small, poor suburb of the town, if a few straggling wretched cabins can deserve the name; a group of countrymen stood in the middle of the road, about fifty yards in front of me; and while I was deliberating whether to advance or retire, a joyous cry of "Hurra for the French!" decided me, and I touched my cap in salute, and rode forward.

Other groups saluted me with a similar cheer as I went on; and now windows were flung open, and glad cries and shouts of welcome rang out from every side. These signs were too encouraging to turn my back upon, so I dashed forward through a narrow street in front, and soon found myself in a kind of square or "Place," the doors and windows of which were all closed, and not a human being to be seen any where. As I hesitated what next to do, I saw a soldier in a red coat rapidly turn the corner. "What do you want here, you spy?" he cried out in a loud voice, and at the same instant his bullet rang past my ear with a whistle. I drove in the spurs at once, and just as he had gained a doorway I clove his head open with my sabre—he fell dead on the spot before me. Wheeling my horse round, I now rode back as I had come, at full speed, the same welcome cries accompanying me as before.

Short as had been my absence, it was sufficient to have brought the advanced guard close up with the town, and just as I emerged from the little suburb, a quick, sharp firing, drew my attention toward the left of the wall, and there I saw our fellows advancing at a trot, while about twenty red-coats were in full flight before them, the wild cries of the country people following them as they went.

I had but time to see thus much, and to remark that two or three English prisoners were taken, when the general came up. He had now abandoned the gig, and was mounted on a large, powerful, black horse, which I afterward learned was one of the bishop's. My tidings were soon told, and, indeed, but indifferently attended to, for it was evident enough that the place was our own.

"This way, general—follow me," cried Kerrigan. "If the light-companies will take the road down to the 'Acres,' they'll catch the yeomen as they retreat by that way, and we have the town our own."

The counsel was speedily adopted; and although the dropping fire, here and there, showed that some slight resistance was still being made, it was plain enough that all real opposition was impossible.

"Forward!" was now the word; and the "chasseurs," with their muskets "in sling," advanced at a trot up the main street. At a little distance the grenadiers followed, and, debouching into the square, were received by an ill-directed volley from a few of the militia, who took to their heels after they fired. Three or four red-coats were killed, but the remainder made their escape through the church-yard, and gaining the open country, scattered and fled as best they could.

Humbert, who had seen war on a very different scale, could not help laughing at the absurdity of the skirmish, and was greatly amused with the want of all discipline and "accord" exhibited by the English troops.

"I foresee, gentlemen," said he, jocularly, "that we may have abundance of success, but gain very little glory, in the same campaign. Now for a[183] blessing upon our labors—where shall we find our friend, the bishop?"

"This way, general," cried Neal, leading down a narrow street, at the end of which stood a high wall, with an iron gate. This was locked, and some efforts at barricading it showed the intention of a defense; but a few strokes of a pioneer's hammer smashed the lock, and we entered a kind of pleasure-ground, neatly and trimly kept. We had not advanced many paces when the bishop, followed by a great number of his clergy—for it happened to be the period of his annual visitation—came forward to meet us.

Humbert dismounted, and removing his chapeau, saluted the dignitary with a most finished courtesy. I could see, too, by his gesture, that he presented General Serazin, the second in command; and, in fact, all his motions were those of a well-bred guest at the moment of being received by his host. Nor was the bishop, on his side, wanting either in ease or dignity; his manner, not without the appearance of deep sorrow, was yet that of a polished gentleman doing the honors of his house to a number of strangers.

As I drew nearer I could hear that the bishop spoke French fluently, but with a strong foreign accent. This facility, however, enabled him to converse with ease on every subject, and to hold intercourse directly with our general, a matter of no small moment to either party. It is probable that the other clergy did not possess this gift, for assuredly their manner toward us, inferiors of the staff, was neither gracious nor conciliating, and as for myself, the few efforts I made to express, in English, my admiration for the coast scenery, or the picturesque beauty of the neighborhood, were met in any rather than a spirit of politeness.

The generals accompanied the bishop into the castle, leaving myself and three or four others on the outside. Colonel Charost soon made his appearance, and a guard was stationed at the entrance gate, with a strong picket in the garden. Two sentries were placed at the hall-door, and the words "Quartier Général" written up over the portico. A small garden pavilion was appropriated to the colonel's use, and made the office of the adjutant-general, and in less than half an hour after our arrival eight sous-officiers were hard at work, under the trees, writing away at billets, contribution orders, and forage rations; while I, from my supposed fluency in English, was engaged in carrying messages to and from the staff to the various shopkeepers and tradesmen of the town, numbers of whom now flocked around us with expressions of welcome and rejoicing. (To be continued.)

[From Dickens's Household Words.]


Several years ago Count Pisani, a Sicilian nobleman, while on a tour through Europe, directed his attention to the condition of the receptacles for lunatics in some of the principal continental cities. Deeply impressed by the injudicious and often cruel treatment to which the unhappy inmates of those establishments were subject, he determined on returning, to convert his beautiful villa near Palermo into a Lunatic Asylum, which received the name of the Casa dei Matti; and withdrawing to a more humble place of abode, he devoted his fortune and energies to the purpose of carrying out his philanthropic scheme.

Count Pisani himself offered to conduct me over the establishment. After a short walk we arrived in front of a spacious mansion, the exterior aspect of which presented nothing differing from that of a handsome private residence. The windows, it is true, were grated; but the gratings were so ingeniously contrived that had not my attention been particularly directed to them, I should not have discovered their existence. Some represented vine leaves, tendrils, or bunches of grapes; others were fashioned like the long leaves and blue flowers of the convolvulus. Foliage, fruit, and flowers were all painted in natural colors, and it was only from a very near point of view that the artifice could be detected.

The gate was opened by a man, who, instead of carrying a huge stick or a bunch of keys (the usual insignia of the porter of a mad house), had a fine nosegay stuck in the breast of his coat, and in one hand he held a flute, on which he had apparently been playing when interrupted by our summons at the gate.

We entered the building, and were proceeding along the corridor on the ground-floor, when we met a man whom I took to be a servant or messenger of the establishment, as he was carrying some bundles of fire-wood. On perceiving us, he laid down his burden, and advancing to Count Pisani, respectfully kissed his hand. The count inquired why he was not in the garden enjoying the fresh air and amusing himself with his companions. "Because," replied the man, "winter is fast coming, and I have no time to lose. I shall have enough to do to bring down all the wood from the loft, and stow it away in the cellar." The count commended his forethought, and the man, taking up his fagots, bowed, and went his way.

This man, the count informed me, was the owner of large estates in Castelveleruno; but owing to a natural inactivity of mind, and the absence of any exciting or useful occupation, he sank into a state of mental torpor, which terminated in insanity. When he was brought to the Casa dei Matti, Count Pisani drew him aside, under the pretense of having a most important communication to make to him. The count informed him that he had been changed at nurse, that he was not the rightful owner of the wealth he had heretofore enjoyed; and that the fact having become known, he was dispossessed of his wealth, and must therefore work for his maintenance. The madman believed the tale, but showed no disposition to rouse himself from the state of indolence which had been[184] the primary cause of his mental aberration. He folded his arms, and sat down, doubtless expecting that in due time a servant would enter as usual to inform him that dinner was ready. But in this he was deceived.

Dinner hour arrived, and no servant appeared. He waited patiently for some time; but at length the pangs of hunger roused him from his listlessness, and he began to call out loudly for something to eat. No one answered him; and he passed the whole night in knocking on the walls of his apartment, and ordering his servants to bring him his dinner.

About nine o'clock next morning, one of the keepers entered the apartment of the new patient, who, starting up with more energy than he usually manifested, imperiously ordered his breakfast to be prepared. The keeper offered to go into the town to purchase something for his breakfast, if he would give him the money to pay for it. The hungry man eagerly thrust his hands into his pocket, and to his dismay, having discovered that he had no money, he implored the keeper to go and procure him some breakfast on credit.

"Credit!" exclaimed the keeper, who had received the requisite instructions from Count Pisani. "Credit, indeed! No doubt you might easily have obtained credit to any amount, when you were living at Castelveleruno, and every one believed you to be the rightful lord of those fine domains. But now that the truth has come out, who do you think will give credit to a pauper?"

The lunatic immediately recollected what Count Pisani had told him respecting his altered position in life, and the necessity of working for his daily bread. He remained for a few moments as if absorbed in profound reflection; then, turning to the keeper, he asked whether he would point out to him some mode by which he could earn a little money to save himself from starvation.

The keeper replied that if he would help him to carry up to the loft the fagots of firewood which were in the cellar, he would willingly pay him for his work. The proposal was readily accepted; and after carrying up twelve loads of wood, the laborer received his hire, consisting of a little money just sufficient to purchase a loaf of bread, which he devoured with a keener appetite than he ever remembered to have felt throughout the whole previous course of his life.

He then set to work to earn his dinner as he had earned his breakfast; but instead of twelve, he carried up thirty-six loads of wood. For this he was paid three times as much as he had received in the morning, and his dinner was proportionably better and more abundant than his breakfast.

Thenceforward the business proceeded with the most undeviating regularity; and the patient at last conceived such a liking for his occupation, that when all the wood had been carried from the cellar to the loft, he began of his own voluntary accord to carry it down from the loft to the cellar, and vice versâ.

When I saw this lunatic, he had been employed in this manner for about a year. The morbid character of his madness had completely disappeared, and his bodily health, previously bad, was now re-established. Count Pisani informed me that he intended soon to try the experiment of telling him that there was some reason to doubt the accuracy of the statements which had caused him to lose the property he once enjoyed; and that he (the count) was in quest of certain papers which might, perhaps, prove after all, that he was no changeling, but the rightful heir to the estates of which he had been deprived. "But," added the count, when he told me this, "however complete this man's recovery may at any time seem to be, I will not allow him to quit this place unless he gives me a solemn promise that he will every day, wheresoever he may be, carry twelve loads of wood from the cellar to the garret, and twelve loads down from the garret to the cellar. On that condition alone, shall I feel any security against the risk of his relapse. Want of occupation is well known to be one of the most frequent causes of insanity."

Each patient had a separate apartment, and several of these little rooms were furnished and decorated in the most capricious style, according to the claims of their occupants. One, who believed himself to be the son of the Emperor of China, had his walls hung with silk banners, on which were painted dragons and serpents, while all sorts of ornaments cut out in gold paper, lay scattered about the room. This lunatic was good-tempered and cheerful, and Count Pisani had devised a scheme which he hoped might have some effect in mitigating the delusions under which he labored. He proposed to print a copy of a newspaper, and to insert in it a paragraph announcing that the Emperor of China had been dethroned, and had renounced the sovereignty on the part of his son and his descendants. Another patient, whose hallucination consisted in believing himself to be dead, had his room hung with black crape, and his bed constructed in the form of a bier. Whenever he arose from his bed, he was either wrapped in a winding sheet, or in some sort of drapery which he conceived to be the proper costume for a ghost. This appeared to me to be a very desperate case, and I asked Count Pisani whether he thought there was any chance of curing the victim of so extraordinary a delusion. The count shook his head doubtfully, and observed that his only hope rested on a scheme he meant shortly to try; which was to endeavor to persuade the lunatic that the day of judgment had arrived.

As we were quitting this chamber, we heard a loud roaring in another patient's apartment near at hand. The count asked me whether I had any wish to see how he managed raving madmen? "None whatever," I replied, "unless you guarantee my personal safety!" He assured me there was[185] nothing to fear, and, taking a key from the hand of one of the keepers, he led the way into a padded chamber. In one corner of the room was a bed, and stretched upon it lay a man, wearing a strait-waistcoat, which confined his arms to his sides, and fastened him by the middle of his body to the bed. I was informed that a quarter of an hour previously, this man had been seized with such a frightful fit of raving mania that the keepers were obliged to have recourse to restraint, very rarely resorted to in that establishment. He appeared to be about thirty years of age, was exceedingly handsome; he had fine dark eyes, and features of the antique mould, with the figure of a Hercules. On hearing the door open, he roared out in a voice of thunder, uttering threats and imprecations; but, on looking round, his eyes met those of the count, and his anger softened down into expressions of grief and lamentation. Count Pisani approached the bed, and, in a mild tone of voice, asked the patient what he had been doing to render it necessary to place him under such restraint. "They have taken away my Angelica," replied the maniac; "they have torn her from me, and I am resolved to be avenged on Medora!" The unfortunate man imagined himself to be Orlando Furioso, and, as may readily be supposed, his madness was of the wildest and most extravagant character.

Count Pisani endeavored to soothe his violence by assuring him that Angelica had been carried off by force, and that she would doubtless seize the first opportunity of escaping from the hands of her captors and rejoining her lover. This assurance, repeated earnestly but gently, speedily had the effect of calming the fury of the maniac, who, after a little time, requested that the count would unfasten his strait-waistcoat. This Count Pisani agreed to do, on condition of the patient pledging his word of honor that he would not profit by his liberty to make any attempt to pursue Angelica. This sympathy for imaginary misfortune had a good effect. The patient did not attempt to quit his bed, but merely raised himself up. He had been a year in the establishment, and, notwithstanding the deep grief into which his fancied misfortunes plunged him, he had never been known to shed tears. Count Pisani had several times endeavored to make him weep, but without success. He proposed soon to try the experiment of announcing to him the death of Angelica. He intended to dress up a figure in funeral garments, and to prevail on the heart-broken Orlando to be present at the interment. This scene, it was expected, would have the effect of drawing tears from the eyes of the sufferer; and if so, Count Pisani declared he should not despair of his recovery.

In an apartment facing that of Orlando Furioso, there was another man raving mad. When we entered his room he was swinging in a hammock, in which he was fastened down, for biting his keeper. Through the gratings of his window he could perceive his comrades strolling about and amusing themselves in the garden. He wished to be among them, but was not allowed to go, because, on a recent occasion, he had made a very violent attack on a poor harmless creature, suffering from melancholy madness. The offender was in consequence condemned to be tied down in his hammock, which is the secondary punishment resorted to in the establishment. The first and most severe penalty being imprisonment; and the third the strait-waistcoat. "What is the matter?" said Count Pisani. "What have you been doing to-day?" The lunatic looked at the count, and then began whining, like a peevish child. "They will not let me go out to play," said he, looking out of the window, where several of his companions were enjoying the air in the garden. "I am tired of lying here;" and he began rocking himself impatiently in his hammock. "Well, I doubt not it is wearisome," said the count; "suppose I release you;" and, with those words, he unfastened the ligatures.

The lunatic joyfully leapt out of his hammock, exclaiming, "Now I may go into the garden!" "Stay," said the count; "suppose before you go you dance the Tarantella." "Oh, yes!" exclaimed the lunatic, in a tone which showed that he received the proposal as the greatest possible indulgence; "I shall be delighted to dance the Tarantella." "Go and fetch Teresa and Gaetano," said the count to one of the keepers; then turning to me, he said, "Teresa is also one of our violent patients, and she sometimes gives us a great deal of trouble. Gaetano was a teacher of the guitar, and some time ago he became deranged. He is the minstrel of our establishment." In a few minutes, Teresa, a pretty looking young woman about twenty years of age, was conducted into the room by two men, who held her by the arms, while she struggled to escape, and endeavored to strike them. Gaetano, with his guitar slung round his neck, followed gravely, but without being held, for his madness was of a perfectly harmless kind.

No sooner did Teresa perceive Count Pisani, than, by a violent effort disengaging herself from the keepers, she flew to him, and, drawing him aside into a corner of the room, she began to tell him a long story about some ill-treatment to which she alleged she had been subjected. "I know it; I have heard of it," said the count; "and, therefore, I think it just to make you some amends. For this reason I have sent for you that you may dance the Tarantella." Teresa was delighted at hearing this, and immediately took her place in front of her intended partner. "Now, Gaetano, presto! presto!" said the count, and the musician struck up the air of the Tarantella in very spirited style.

I have frequently witnessed the magical effect which this air never fails to produce on the Sicilians; but I never could conceive any thing like the change it wrought upon these two lunatics. The musician began[186] to play the air in the time in which it is usually performed; but the dancers urged him to play it more and more quickly, till at length the measure became indescribably rapid. The dancers marked the tune with the most perfect precision by snapping their fingers. After keeping up this rapid movement with surprising energy for a quarter of an hour, they began to show some symptoms of fatigue. The man was the first to give in, and, overcome by the exertion, he threw himself on a bench which stood on one side of the room. Teresa, however, kept up a very animated pas seul for several minutes after the loss of her partner; but at length she also found herself compelled to stop. The man was placed on his bed, and the woman was conducted to her apartment. Both were so completely overcome by the violence of their exertions, that Count Pisani observed he would answer for their remaining quiet for twenty-four hours to come. As to the guitarist, he was allowed to go into the garden to play to his companions.

I was next conducted into a large hall, in which the patients walk and amuse themselves, when wet weather prevents them from going out. This place was adorned with a profusion of flowers, growing in pots and vases, and the walls were covered with fresco paintings, representing humorous subjects. The hall contained embroidery frames, spinning-wheels, and even weavers' looms; all presented traces of the work on which the lunatics had been engaged. Having passed through the great hall, I was conducted to the garden, which was tastefully laid out, shaded by large spreading trees and watered by fresh fountains. I was informed that, during the hours allotted to recreation, most of the patients may be seen wandering about the garden separately, and without holding any communication one with another, each following the bent of his or her own particular humor, some noisy and others silent. One of the most decided characteristics of madness is the desire of solitude. It seldom happens that two lunatics enter into conversation with each other; or, if they do so, each merely gives utterance to his own train of thought, without any regard to what is said by his interlocutor. It is different when they converse with the strangers who occasionally visit them. They then attend to any observations addressed to them, and not unfrequently make very rational and shrewd replies.

The first patient we met on entering the garden, was a young man apparently about six or eight-and-twenty years of age. Before he lost his senses, he was one of the most distinguished advocates in Catania. One evening, at the theatre, he got involved in some dispute with a Neapolitan, who, instead of quietly putting into his pocket the card which Lucca (as I shall call him) slipped into his hand, went out and made a complaint to the guard. This guard was composed of Neapolitan soldiers, one of whom gladly availing himself of the opportunity of exercising authority over a Sicilian, seized him by the collar, whereupon Lucca struck his assailant. The other soldiers came to the aid of their comrade, and a violent struggle ensued, in the course of which Lucca received a blow on the head which felled him on the ground. He was conveyed to prison in a state of insensibility and placed in a cell, where he was left for the night. Next morning, when it was intended to conduct him before the judge for examination, he was found to be perfectly insane.

This young man's madness had taken a very poetic turn. Sometimes he fancied himself to be Tasso; at another time Shakspeare or Chateaubriand. At the time of my visit to the asylum, he was deeply impressed with the delusion of imagining himself to be Dante. When we approached him, he was pacing up and down an alley in the garden, pleasantly shaded by trees. He held in one hand a pencil, and in the other some slips of paper, and he was busily engaged in composing the thirty-third Canto of his Inferno. At intervals he rubbed his forehead, as if to collect his scattered thoughts, and then he would note down some lines of the poem.

Profiting by a pause, during which he seemed to emerge from his profound abstraction, I stepped up to him, saying, "I understand, sir, that I have the honor of addressing myself to Dante."

"That is my name," replied Lucca. "What have you to say to me?"

"To assure you how much pleasure I shall feel in making your acquaintance. I proceeded to Florence, in the hope of finding you there, but you had left that city."

"Then," said Lucca, with that sharp, quick sort of utterance often observable in insane persons, "then, it seems, you were not aware of my having been driven from Florence, and that they charged me with having stolen the money of the Republic? Dante accused of robbery, forsooth! I slung my sword at my side, and having collected the first seven Cantos of my poem, I departed."

This strange hallucination excited my interest, and, pursuing the conversation, I said, "I hoped to have overtaken you between Fettre and Montefeltro."

"Oh! I staid only a very short time there," said he. "Why did you not go to Ravenna?"

"I did go there, and found only your tomb!"

"But I was not in it," observed he. "Do you know how I escaped?"

I replied in the negative.

"I have discovered a mode of restoring one's life."

"Is it a secret?"

"No; I will tell it you. When I feel that I am dying, I order a grave to be dug—a very deep grave. You are aware that in the centre of the earth there is an immense lake full of red water—and—and—"

Count Pisani, who had overheard the latter part of this conversation, here suddenly interrupted Lucca, saying, "Signor Dante, these people are[187] very anxious to have a dance. Will you indulge them by playing a quadrille?"

He then hurriedly dispatched one of the attendants for a violin, on which instrument he informed me, Lucca was a masterly performer.

The violin being brought, the count handed it to Lucca who began to tune it. Meanwhile, the count, drawing me aside, said, "I interrupted your conversation, just now, somewhat abruptly; because I observed that Lucca was beginning to wander into some of his metaphysical delusions, and I never allow him to talk on such subjects. These metaphysical lunatics are always very difficult to cure.

"But yonder comes one who will never be cured!" pursued the count, shaking his head, sorrowfully, while he directed my notice to a young female who was advancing from another part of the garden, attended by a female servant or nurse. By this time the dancers had begun to range themselves in their places, and the young lady's attendant was drawing her forward, with the view of inducing her to take part in the quadrille.

The young lady, whose dress and general elegance of appearance seemed to denote that she was a person of superior rank, was disinclined to dance; and as the attendant persisted in urging her forward, she struggled to escape, and at length fell into a paroxysm of grief.

"Let her alone! Let her alone!" said Count Pisani to the attendant. "It is useless to contend with her. Poor girl! I fear she will never endure, to see dancing, or to hear music, without this violent agitation. Come hither, Costanza," said he, beckoning kindly to her. "Tell me what is the matter?"

"Oh, Albano! Albano!" shrieked the poor maniac. "They are going to kill Albano!"

And then, overcome by her emotion, she sank, exhausted, into the arms of her attendant, who carried her away.

Meanwhile, the sound of the violin had drawn together, from various parts of the garden, a number of patients, male and female, and the quadrille was formed. Among the most conspicuous figures in the group were the son of the Emperor of China, and the man who believed himself to be dead. The former wore on his head a splendid crown, made of gilt paper; and the latter, who was enveloped in a white sheet, stalked about with the grave and solemn air which he conceived to be common to a ghost. A melancholy madman, who evidently shared in the festivity with reluctance and regret, and who was, from time to time, urged on by his keepers, and a woman, who fancied herself to be Saint Catharine, and was subject to strange fits of ecstasy and improvisation, were also conspicuous among the dancers. Lucca, who played the violin with extraordinary spirit, every now and then marked the time by stamping his foot on the ground, while, in a stentorian voice, he called out the figures, to which, however, the dancers paid not the slightest attention. The scene was indescribable, it was like one of those fantastic visions which are sometimes conjured up in a dream.

As we were passing through the court-yard, on our way out, I espied Costanza, the young lady who had so determinedly refused to join in the dance. She was now kneeling down on the edge of a fountain, and intently gazing on her own countenance, which was reflected from the limpid water as from a mirror.

I asked the count what had caused the insanity of this interesting patient. "Alas!" replied he, "it is a melancholy story of romantic vendetta, which might almost figure in a work of fiction." Costanza's husband had been murdered on her bridal day by a rival.

When Costanza was first brought to the establishment, her madness was of a very violent character; but, by degrees it had softened down into a placid melancholy. Nevertheless, her case was one which admitted of no hope.

Some time after my visit to Palermo, I met Lucca in Paris. He was then, to all appearance, perfectly himself. He conversed very rationally, and even appeared to recollect having seen and conversed with me before. I inquired after poor Costanza; but he shook his head sorrowfully. The count's prediction was fully verified. Lucca had recovered his senses: but Costanza was still an inmate of the Casa dei Matti.


This is an answer given in some of the States of America when a gentleman has decamped from his wife, from his creditors, or from any other responsibility which he finds it troublesome to meet or to support. Among the curious instances of the application of this phrase is an adventure which happened to myself.

It is the boast of the bloods of the town of Rackinsack, in Arkansas, that they are born with skins like alligators, and with strength like bears. They work hard, and they play hard. Gaming is the recreation most indulged in, and the gaming-houses of the western part of Arkansas have branded it with an unenviable notoriety.

One dark summer night, I lounged, as a mere spectator, the different rooms, watching the various games of hazard that were being played. Some of the players seemed to have set their very souls upon the stakes; their eyes were bloodshot, and fixed, from beneath their wrinkled brows, on the table, as if their everlasting weal or woe depended there upon the turning of the dice; while others—the finished blacklegs—assumed an indifferent and careless look, though a kind of sardonic smile playing round their lips, but too plainly revealed a sort of habitual desperation. Three of the players looked the very counterparts of each other, not only in face, but expression; both the physical and moral likeness was indeed striking. The other player was a young man, a stranger, whom they call a "green one," in this and many other parts of the world. His eyes, his nose, his whole physiognomy, seemed to project,[188] and to be capable of growing even still longer.

"Fifty dollars more," he exclaimed, with a deep-drawn breath, as he threw down the stake.

Each of his opponents turned up his cards coolly and confidently; but the long-visaged hero laid his stake before them, and, to the astonishment of the three professionals, won.

"Hurrah! the luck has turned, and I crow!" he cried out in an ecstasy, and pocketed the cash.

The worthy trio smiled at this, and recommenced play. The green young man displayed a broad but silent grin at his good fortune, and often took out his money to count it over, and see if each piece was good.

"Here are a hundred dollars more," cried the sylvan youth, "and I crow."

"I take them," said one of the trio. The youth won again, and "crowed" louder this time than he did the first.

On went the game; stakes were lost and won. Gradually the rouleaus of the "crower" dwindled down to a three or four of dollars, or so. It was clear that the gentlemen in black had been luring him on by that best of decoys, success at first.

"Let me see something for my money. Here's a stake of two dollars, and I crow!" But he spoke now in a very faint treble indeed, and looked penitently at the cards.

Again the cards were shuffled, cut, and dealt, and the "plucked pigeon" staked his last dollar upon them.

"The last button on Gabe's coat, and I cr—cr—; no, I'll be hamstrung if I do!"

He lost this too, and, with as deep a curse as I ever heard, he rose from the green board.

The apartment was very spacious, and on the ground floor. There was only this one gaming table in it, and not many lookers-on besides myself. Thinking the gaming was over, I turned to go out, but found the door locked, and the key gone. There was evidently something in the wind. At all events, I reflected, in ease of need, the windows are not very far to the ground. I returned, and saw the winners dividing the spoil, and the poor shorn "greenhorn," leaning over the back of their chairs, staring intently at the money.

The notes were deliberately spread out one after another. Those which the loser had staked were new, fresh from the press, he said, and they were sorted into a heap distinct from the rest. They were two-dollar, three-dollar, and five-dollar notes, from the Indiana Bank, and the Bank of Columbus, in Ohio.

"I say, Ned, I don't think these notes are good," said one of the winners, and examined them.

"I wish they were'nt, and I'd crow," cried out the loser, very chop-fallen, at his elbow.

This simple speech lulled the suspicions of the counter, and he resumed his counting. At last, as he took up the last note, and eying it keenly, he exclaimed, in a most emphatic manner, "I'll be hanged if they are genuine! They are forged!"

"No, they ain't!" replied the loser, quite as emphatically.

A very opprobrious epithet was now hurled at the latter. He, without more ado, knocked down the speaker at a blow, capsized the table, which put out the lights, and, in the next instant, darted out of the window, while a bullet, fired from a pistol, cracked the pane of glass over his head. He had leaped into the small court-yard, with a wooden paling round it. The winners dashed toward the door, but found that the "green one" had secured it.

When the three worthies were convinced that the door would not yield to their efforts, and when they heard their "victim" galloping away, they gave a laugh at the trick played them, and returned to the table.

"Strike a light, Bill, and let's pick up what notes have fallen. I have nearly the whole lot in my pocket."

The light soon made its appearance.

"What! None on the floor? Capital; I think I must have them all in my pocket, then:" saying which, he drew out the notes, and laid them on the table.

"Fire and Furies! These are the forged notes! The rascal has whipped up the other heap!"

While all this was going on, I stepped toward the window, but had not stood there long, before I heard the clanking hoofs of a horse beyond the paling, and a shout wafted into the room—"Sloped for Texas!"

The worst part of the story remains to be told: it was my horse on which the rogue was now galloping off.

[From Chambers's Edinburgh Journal.]


It is an axiom among travelers, that the Bay of Naples is the most beautiful place in the whole world. Every one who beholds it repeats the same statement with unvarying uniformity; and if any quaint person were to make a contrary assertion, he would not be argued with, but laughed down. I dislike paradoxes, and therefore shall subscribe to the general opinion, although I never saw a scene so dismal as when I first entered the bay. Dismal, but grand! We had left Civita Vecchia the day before, steaming through a restless, nasty sea, in the midst of as filthy a fog as ever defiled the surface of the Mediterranean during the merry month of May. Sometimes we could see nothing but the dirty-looking short waves; but now and then a dim streak of Roman territory, or two or three ghost-like islands, rewarded the efforts of our winking eyes. The night was boisterous, if not tempestuous; but when morning came the wind had abated, though without driving away the mist, and the sea rolled still in a turbulent and uncivil way.

The Maria Christina was undoubtedly the worst steamer it has ever been[189] my lot to voyage in. There seemed to be not a well hung piece in her whole composition; so that, in addition to the usual sea-sounds, there was a perpetual slamming of doors and creaking of timbers. The villainous little craft appeared to be in constant hesitation whether it would go to pieces or not; and I believe has since taken that freak into its head. The captain, as seamanlike a fellow as ever crossed my eyes, kept up our confidence, however, even in the most ugly moments; although it could not be denied that our expedition was something like a visit to the northern seas in a Margate boat.

We crawled on at the rate of some three or four knots an hour, until, after passing San Stefano, we began to distinguish dimly the base of Ischia; for the summit was plunged in a mass of black clouds. Then a doubtful outline of rocks struggled through the vapor to the left; and at length we got into the pass, guessed at the form of the promontory, obtained a vague glimpse of Procida, and fairly entered the famous bay. All the elements of its beauty showed faintly through a moving vapor that thickened aloft into driving clouds. Capri looked like a cone of dark mist lingering to the south: the island we had passed dimmed away in our rear. Bays and creeks innumerable ran in, to the left, between a strange mixture of rocks and vegetation. This was all we could see at first; but the lower half of Vesuvius soon showed itself; and presently the curtain of mist was drawn hastily aside, just to give us a glimpse, as it were, of the giant peak, faintly penciled against the leaden sky, into which its wreath of smoke faded away, and of the reaper of Castel à Mare, and the craggy promontory of Sorrento. Then all was covered again; and a thin driving shower filled the air. Not a single gleam of sunshine gilded the scene; but I once distinguished the orb, "shorn of its beams," poised over the depths of the bay.

First impressions are every thing. Whenever I try to recall the all-famous site, it always begins by presenting itself under this aspect—not without its grandeur, it is true—but far inferior to the bright and sunny scenes I witnessed, when, proceeding farther under more favorable auspices, I made acquaintance with the coasts of Calabria, and the immortal Straits of Messina. With a little patience, however, I can figure to myself the Bay of Naples in all the loveliness which it afterward displayed; and when the operation is complete, the contrast becomes interesting.

I shall say nothing about the castles of St. Elmo and Del Ovo; nor of the useless fuss about granting pratique; nor of an attempt made to entrap us into smuggling by a worthy who had some silks to land; nor of the annoyances of the custom-house. It is not my intention to take the bread out of the mouths of the tourists. These are their legitimate topics. I have to relate a little incident which does not happen to every one who visits Naples; and I can not therefore be accused of trespassing upon any body's ground. What I say about scenery and manners must merely be considered as a setting to the diamond. I am willing to concede superiority in this respect to any one who may claim it.

We lodged in the Hôtel de la Belle Venise, situated half-way up a steep street—name not mentioned in my journal—leading from the lower end of the Strada Toledo. We were bent on traveling cheaply, and did not think four carlines a day too dear for a room. This hint is not intended as information to any who may follow in our footsteps; but it illustrates our character and position, and explains why in the course of our wanderings we were always meeting with strange adventures. A man may travel from Dan to Beersheba in first-class carriages of railways, coupés of diligences, saloons of steamers; he may put up at the best hotels, and hire the cleverest guides, and he will see nothing, learn nothing, feel nothing, but what has been seen, learned, and felt by his predecessors. But we defy even the shyest Englishman to undertake the tour of Europe on economical principles, unless he be positively determined to keep his eyes and heart as close shut as his pocket, without bringing back something to remember to the end of his days—something to make his eyes grow dim when he meditates on it, his lips tremble when he speaks of it, his hand falter when he writes of it. For in this system of traveling he is forced, while in a mood of mind highly susceptible of impressions, into contact with all sorts of characters and incidents; and if he has a spark of nature in him, it must be struck out.

We dined the first evening at the Trattoria dell' Errole, and took an ice at the Caffé di Europa. But our heads were in a disagreeable whirl, and we enjoyed nothing. We missed the creaking and the groaning of the Maria Christina; for which the rumbling of a few carriages, and the buzz of voices on the promenade, seemed—such is the force of habit—an insignificant compensation. Lines of well-lit shops, crowds of well-dressed people, balconies filled with ladies, colonnades of churches, and facades of palaces, danced dimly before our eyes, instead of the accustomed cordages, the naked masts, the smutty sail, the breast-high bulwarks, and that horrid squat funnel, with its cascade of black smoke tinged, as it rolled forth, with a dull red glow. When I retired to rest, I caught myself holding on to the bed as I prepared to get into it; and I dreamed of nothing all night but of trampling of feet overhead, whistling of wind through rigging, shifting of the anchor-chain, and all sorts of abominable noises. These physical reminiscences, however, disappeared next day, and I was prepared to enjoy Naples.

I did enjoy it; and I hope all my readers may live to enjoy it too. I know this is wishing a tremendously long life to some of them; but such a wish will offend nobody. During one of my strolls—this time I was alone—I came to the foot of that vast flight of steps shaded by trees[190] which leads up toward the castle of St. Elmo. It was just past mid-day; and I suppose every body was beginning the siesta; for not a single living soul could I see in any direction. I sat down on one of the steps, under the shadow of a huge elm, and looked upward toward the sky along the broken avenue of trees that led aloft. There was something singularly beautiful to me in the scene. The trees here and there met, and huddled their heads together, and threw down a thick black shadow: beyond was a bright patch of sunshine; and then some thinly-sprinkled branches bent across, and fluttered their green and gold leaves between me and the patch of blue sky that glanced at the top, seeming to be the only destination of this lofty staircase.

I was gazing upward, as if in expectation, but in reality admiring this curious effect, when a small dark form intercepted my view of the sky. I had almost imagined myself at the foot of Jacob's ladder; but the spell was at once broken, and I was about to rise and go away, when the singular motions of the person who had disturbed me drew my attention. It was evidently a girl with naked feet, but neat garments; her head was laden with flowers; and she skipped down with all the lightness of the gazelle for some space; then came to a halt, possibly on seeing a stranger; then continued her progress—now showing brightly in the sun, now dimly in the shade, until she came, and, after a sidelong glance at me, sat down on the opposite end of the same step, where there was no protection from the heat. I now noticed that she carried a basket in her hand, from which she produced a variety of objects, evidently manufactured from lava. These she arranged by her side, and examined with care, every now and then casting an impatient look toward me. There was a wildness in her eye, and a quaintness in her whole demeanor that pleased me, especially as her features were almost without a fault. So I remained where I was, studying her movements; and the idea suddenly struck me that I was occupying her usual place, and that shyness prevented her from coming nearer. So I arose and went a little higher up, when she at once crossed over, I thought, with a grateful smile. A little while afterward she called to me, and asked if I would buy some of her curiosities.

There was evidently no sordid motive in this; for when I came near, she made no allusion to a bargain, but said I had chosen a place where there was not sufficient shade. I asked her a few questions about the lava, but got only vague answers. What conversation passed was a random kind of talk about the difference of Italy and foreign countries. It was evident that in the girl's eyes "Napoli"—which she pronounced with magnificent emphasis—was the only place in the world worth admiring. She had seen no other. The people, however, were bad—very bad. I thought, upon this observation, that something like a story was coming; but the throat and face of the girl only darkened with a rush of blood, and she grew utterly silent. Suddenly she arranged her lava hastily in her basket, started up, leaving a piece which I had been holding in my hand, and had not paid for, and ran away down the street. I naturally ran after her to pay for what I had bought; but she turned round with flushed cheek and flashing eyes; and while I was indulging in the hope of being able to explain my intentions, I felt a blow on my breast from a stone lanched with no weak hand; and before I had time to recover from my surprise, the girl had disappeared.

A curious termination to an interview which I had begun to persuade myself had something of a romantic character! I rubbed my thorax, tried to laugh at the little slut's vivacity, but could not get rid of the uneasy annoyance peculiar to misunderstood people. Perhaps I had been taken for a robber—perhaps something I had said in my broken Italian had been thought insulting. I grew quite morose; thought of nothing else all the afternoon; was set down as an ill-tempered fellow at dinner; and on retiring to bed, could not help perpetually stating this question—"Why should that pretty girl, toward whom my heart had expanded, have left me in so abrupt a manner; and on my endeavoring to restore her property, have made a target of me?" All night, as I slept, I felt as if a hot coal were lying on my breast; and the place, indeed, was black and blue in the morning.

An excursion had been proposed to Vesuvius, and we started at three in the afternoon—myself, four Americans, with Mr. Jenkins and his wife—all crowded into what, I believe, is called a corricolo. The sea, along the brink of which we went, was still stormy, and the waves washed with a slushing noise up into the very street. The drive was beautiful to Portici, the white houses and vine-wreathed porticoes of which I noticed with pleasure. At Portici, after some wrangling in the house of the guide, we were transferred to horses and donkeys; and off we went, first up a hot lane between stone walls, and then along a fine paved road. The party was merry, and not unpicturesque, but out of character with the scene. Not one of us was subdued by the tranquil beauty of the little landscapes, the bright green nooks that opened here and there. Our temperaments were still too northern. We were not yet soothed down by the sunny sky and balmy air of Italy; and got stared at in consequence with contemptuous curiosity by the languid peasants in the fields.

At length a zig-zag road commenced, and up we went, turning round ever and anon to view the expanding bay, softened down into apparent calm by distance. Green gullies and ravines of lava began to be intermingled; but tranquil observation was soon interrupted by tremendous gusts of wind that came roaring down the sides of the mountain, and enveloped us in whirlwinds of dust, sometimes mingled with pebbles, at every turn of[191] the road. It was hard work to get on; and we were glad enough to reach the Hermitage and Observatory, where we tossed off a glass of Lachryma Christi to restore us.

The rest of the road was along a narrow ridge leading to the foot of the great black cone. On either side were gullies of green, and beyond great red fields of lava. It was not remarkably safe riding, and by no means commodious. Sometimes one's nose touched the horse's or ass's neck; sometimes the back of one's head was whisked by the tail. It was a sort of rocking-horse motion. But we arrived safe at the dismounting-place; and, I must confess, looked rather dismayed at the desperately steep cone up which we were bound to scramble. But in traveling, "on, on," is the word; so on we went, stumbling up through the triturated and block lava, as if Fame, or something else equally valuable, had been at the summit. Mrs. Jenkins was in an open palanquin, borne by eight men, who grunted, staggered, crawled up or slid back, shouted, laughed, and belabored one another with their climbing-poles, while the undaunted lady sat as coolly as in her drawing-room at home, making observations on the scenery, which we could scarcely hear, and were too breathless to answer.

In about an hour we neared the summit, and got under a vast canopy of sulphurous smoke, which, blown by the furious wind, rolled grim and black over the serrated edge, stretched its impenetrable mass between us and the sky, and then swooped down toward the bay, and dispersed in a vast mist. Most parts of the plain, too, were covered with a low ground-fog. It was a grand sight as we paused and looked back before the last effort. The whole sweep of the bay was visible from Sorrento to Baia, together with the islands, scattered like giant sentinels at the mouth; but all looked strange and fantastic through the sulphurous vapor. The sun was setting in a bath of blood and gold, just behind a straight line of ebony clouds with a sharp rim, like a wall of black marble. The white houses on the slopes of Castel à Mare were already looking ghastly in the twilight.

Our temples throbbed with fatigue; but the guide cried "Forward," and we soon came to the most disagreeable part of the business. The smoke was forced by the wind in a kind of cascade some fifty yards down the declivity, and as soon as we got into it an awful sense of suffocation came on. The guide swore, and some of us talked of retreating. But the majority were for persevering; and, panting and coughing, we dashed upward, reached the summit, got into the midst of a fearful torrent of black smoke, like that which is vomited by a steamer's funnel, and staggered giddily about seeking which way to go. At this moment a slight form glanced toward us, said a few words to the guide, and presently we were running to the left along black and dizzy precipices, until suddenly we emerged from the volcanic vapor, and were in full view at the same time of the plain and the sea, and of all the wonders of Vesuvius.

The girl whose acquaintance I had made in so strange a manner had come to the assistance of the guide, and told him what direction to take in order soonest to escape from the smoke. I spoke to her; but although she recognized me, I think, she did not, or would not remember our former interview. The idea suggested itself that she was touched in her intellect, so I made no farther allusion to the subject. It was evident the guide knew her, and had confidence in her. He asked her advice about the path which it would be advisable to follow; and obeyed her directions implicitly. "Who is that?" I whispered. "It is Ghita, the Volcano-girl," he replied in English, before repeating the Italian name, which might be translated, the "Daughter of the Volcano." I had no time for further inquiries. We were once more in motion, and had enough to do to keep our footing on the rough lava in the teeth of as furious a blast as ever I remember encountering. It would have been dangerous to stand even near a precipice.

It was a marvelous scene that vast black valley with its lake of fire at the bottom—its cone of fire on one hand. The discharges were constant, and had something appalling in their sound. We were almost too much excited for observation. Now we looked at the cone of green and gold that sank and rose, faded and brightened, smoked or flamed; then at the seething lake; then at the strong mountains of lava; then at the burning fissures that yawned around. There were yet some remnants of day—a gloomy twilight at least revealed the jagged rim of the valley. Down we went—down, down to the very edge of the boiling caldron of melted lava, that rolled its huge waves toward the black shore, waves whose foam and spray were fire and flame! An eruption evidently was preparing; and soon indeed took place. We missed the sight; but what we now saw was grand enough. A troop of heavy black clouds was hurrying athwart the sky, showing the stars ever and anon between "like a swarm of golden bees." The wind roared and bellowed among the lava-gullies, while the cone discharged its blocks of burning lava, or its showers of red sparks, with a boom like that of a park of artillery.

A thousand travelers may witness and describe the scene, but it can never be hackneyed or vulgar. The volcano-girl, evidently familiar with every changing aspect, crept to my side, as I stood apart wrapt in silent admiration and wonder, and I caught her examining the expression of my face as it was revealed by the dismal glare of the burning lake. "E bellissima!" she whispered in a husky voice, pressing close to my side, and trembling like a leaf, not with present fear, but manifestly in memory of some dreadful event. We were friends from that moment, and[192] she constituted herself my especial guide, running before me to choose the surest paths, giving me her delicate little hand, and showing, in fact, all possible willingness to make up our little quarrel, if she retained any remembrance of it.

We returned toward the cone, and approached within dangerous proximity to it. The volcano-girl often pulled my arm to induce me to keep back; but when she saw I was determined to look down into the horrid flaming gulf of fire that yawned near the cone, she followed me, murmuring a low pensive song. On reaching the edge, which was uncertain and trembling, I halted and gazed; and while the guide and my companions shouted to me to come back, enjoyed a moment of fearful joy. I was standing on the brink of a vast chasm of fire, in which no flame was, but only a dreadful glow, that thickened by distance into substance. The wind shrieked around, the volcano roared above, the tremendous cloud of black smoke swayed and wavered as it rolled, beaten down by the wind to the outer edge of the crater, like a vast snake, or, when the blast for a moment ceased, towered aloft like an evil genius, and dispersed amid the clouds.

"Come back! come back!" cried Ghita, as the smoky pile of cinders trembled beneath us, and we both, panic-stricken, rushed to a surer footing, while the point we had occupied slided into the gulf of fire! I never shall forget that moment. The very memory of it makes my hair stand on end, and a cold perspiration burst out over my whole body. The girl clasped my hand convulsively as we ran, and when we stood again on the hot solid lava, uttered a low, "Dio grazia!" All this was unlike folly, and, together with our companionship in danger, heightened the interest I felt in my wild-looking, beautiful guide.

We all returned toward the edge of the crater, and collected in a lava-cave to light torches for our journey back. Here we met two or three men armed with guns, who professed to be guards, and might have been brigands. One of them spoke rather roughly to the volcano-girl, who took refuge by my side, and would not quit it. We started again by the light of great flaring torches, and soon began the descent down a dusty decline. It was a strange, rapid piece of work. The whole party ran, rushed, tumbled, slid, rolled down in one confused crowd, the torches glaring, flakes of burning pitch scattering here and there, the palanquin bobbing up and down, the mountain sloping up to the clouds behind, and down into darkness before. We descended this time into the old crater—a great plain of dust and pumice-stone. All was gloomy around; but the lights of Naples and Portici could be distinguished in the distance.

Our horses and donkeys were waiting for us where we had left them; and we rode rapidly back via the Hermitage, but over the plain of lava, instead of by the zig-zag road, toward Portici. Ghita ran all the way by my side, but rarely spoke, except to tell me when we approached a steep declivity. I should have felt jealous had she attended to any one else; but was quite angry at hearing her jestingly spoken of as "my conquest." A single vulgar remark sometimes throws cold water on the most delicate sentiment.

At Portici she left us. The guides were paid, and every body forgot the volcano-girl who had been of such signal service to us. I looked for her, and saw her standing in the court-yard with the back of her little hand to her mouth in a pensive attitude. "Ghita," said I, approaching, "I must give you something"—she started slightly—"that you may buy a remembrance with it of our visit to the volcano." In such a form, the present—I did not write the amount down among my disbursements—was accepted frankly and freely. The poor girl was evidently in a state of great emotion: a few kind words from me had struck upon a chord ever ready to vibrate; the truth is, she sobbed, and could not answer. But when the tongue falters, and the lip trembles in the South, there is an eloquent substitute for language. She took my hand, and kissed it fervently, and a shower of warm tear-drops fell upon it. "Ghita," I murmured, trying to be firm, but bending over her with the tenderest affection—I can not help it; I have an instinctive love for the sorrowful—"Ghita, you are unhappy? Can I do any thing for you?" "No," was her answer, as she again pressed my hand, and, gliding away, disappeared like a shadow in the street.

We were at Naples an hour after midnight; but I found it impossible to sleep. I could think of nothing save the story of the volcano-girl; for the substance of her story was evident—the material details alone were wanting. I afterward learned the whole truth. A volume might be filled with them: a line will be sufficient. She had been betrothed to a young man, a guide, who had perished during a visit to the volcano: she had gone mad in consequence—of a gentle, harmless madness in general; but as a few brutal people insulted her, she was sometimes suspicious of strangers. She gained her living by selling ornaments of polished lava, or by guiding travelers. This was all; but it was enough. I have kept a place in my memory for Ghita, whose acquaintance I cultivated on other occasions. I saw her once among the ruins of Pompeii, where she greeted me with a friendly nod, but without referring at all to our previous meetings—I mean in words; for at parting she gave me a handful of wild-flowers, and then ran away without waiting for a recompense.


Perhaps there is no better guarantee of peace and progress to this country than the freedom of the Press. Opinion is King of England and Victoria is Queen. Every phase of opinion speaks through some book or journal and is repeated widely in proportion to the hold it takes upon[193] the public. Government is the representative of whatever opinions prevail; if it prove too perverse it falls—ministers change, without a revolution. Then too, when every man's tongue is free, we are accustomed to hear all manner of wild suggestions. Fresh paint does not soon dazzle us; we are like children lavishly supplied with toys, who receive new gifts tranquilly enough.

Is King Opinion an honest ruler? Yes. For the English people speak unreservedly their thoughts on public matters, and are open, though it be with honorable slowness, to all new convictions. We must add, however, as a drawback, that the uneducated class amounts to a distressing number in this country in proportion to the whole. It forms, as long as it is ignorant, a source of profit to designing speculators. Nonsense is put into the mouths of men who mean no evil, but who sincerely desire their own improvement. Truth is murdered, and her dress is worn by knaves who burlesque sympathy with working-men for selfish purposes. The poor man's sincere advocate, at last, can not speak truth without incurring the suspicion of some treasonable purpose against honesty or common sense. The very language necessary to be used in advocating just rights sometimes becomes as a pure stream befouled by those who have misused it.

Therefore, in England, the uneducated classes arrive slowly at the privileges which they must acquire. They are impeded by false friends; but, even false friends are not able to delude them beyond a certain point. Among us, for example, even the most ignorant well know that there is no field for a vulgar revolution against such a monarch as Opinion makes. Arguments must be used for barricades, and we must knock our neighbors on the head with facts; we must fire newspaper articles instead of cannon-balls, and use colloquial banter for our small shot. In all disputes an English citizen has, for his last and sole appeal, Opinion; as a citizen of Rome had Cæsar.

The Government which puts its hand upon a nation's mouth and thinks to stifle what it has to say, will be inevitably kicked and bitten. The nation will, some day, get liberty and make amends for every minute of restraint with lusty shouting. Among the continental states which suffered from the Revolutions of 1848, were some in which the people had less of social evil to complain of than we have in England; but they were fretted by political restrictions, by a system of espial which tabooed all conversation upon public matters before any stranger, and they were glad enough to get their tongues at liberty. Adam, the old traditions say, was made of eight pounds: a pound of earth, his flesh; a pound of fire, his blood; a pound of cloud, his instability; a pound of grace (how that was weighed the legend saith not); his stature; a pound of blossom, his eyes; a pound of dew, his sweat; a pound of salt, his tears; and, finally, a pound of wind, his breath. Now Governments which don't allow each man his pound of wind, get themselves, sooner or later, into certain trouble; for, when the wind does come at last (which it is sure to do), it comes in a storm.

The freedom and the power of Opinion in England, have given an importance to the press which is attached to it, as a direct agent in producing social reforms, in no other European country. The journalist lays every day a mass of facts before all people capable of thought; the adult, who has learnt only to write and read, acquires his remaining education—often not despicable in amount—from his weekly paper. Jeremy Bentham, speaking of those old superstitious rites by which it was intended to exorcise evil spirits, says very truly, "In our days, and in our country, the same object is obtained, and beyond comparison more effectually, by so cheap an instrument as a common newspaper. Before this talisman, not only devils but ghosts, vampires, witches, and all their kindred tribes, are driven out of the land, never to return again! The touch of Holy Water is not so intolerable to them as the bare smell of Printer's Ink."

What can a man learn by skimming the newspapers and journals of the day? Why, in the northern seas there floats a very little film of oil, where whales or seals have been. So thin a film, no bird could separate from any wave, yet there are birds who become grossly fat on no other nourishment. The storm petrel, or, in the Faroese phrase, Mother Carey's chicken, skims the surface of the troubled water, till the feathers of its breast are charged with oil; and then feeds heartily on the provision so collected. A vast number of her Majesty's subjects dart over the debater and the discussor of the newspaper, like storm petrels, and thrive upon what skimmings they retain.

Since the press in England has been actually free (and many of us can remember when it was not so), one fact has become every year more prominent amidst the din of parties. We have begun to see that, however much we are convinced of any one thing, those are not all and always fools who think the opposite. We get a strong suspicion of our individual fallibility, new facts come out, and display old opinions in an unexpected light. We respect our opponents, when they deserve respect, and on the whole are teachable.

Of course, our views in politics are often guided by our sense of private interest, but there is nothing very wonderful in that; nature intends man to cry out, when a shoe pinches him. But, there is now abroad, concerning social questions, a desire to hear all that can be said about them; to tolerate, if not to respect, conclusions that oppose our own; a readiness to seek for the right course and a desire to follow it.—Household Words.



She is my only girl:
I ask'd for her as some most precious thing,
For all unfinish'd was Love's jewel'd ring,
Till set with this soft pearl;
The shade that Time brought forth I could not see;
How pure, how perfect seem'd the gift to me!
Oh, many a soft old tune
I used to sing unto that deaden'd ear,
And suffer'd not the lightest footstep near,
Lest she might wake too soon;
And hush'd her brothers' laughter while she lay—
Ah, needless care! I might have let them play!
'Twas long ere I believ'd
That this one daughter might not speak to me;
Waited and watched God knows how patiently!
How willingly deceived:
Vain Love was long the untiring nurse of Faith,
And tended Hope until it starved to death.
Oh! if she could but hear
For one short hour, till I her tongue might teach
To call me mother, in the broken speech
That thrills the mother's ear!
Alas! those seal'd lips never may be stirr'd
To the deep music of that lovely word.
My heart it sorely tries
To see her kneel, with such a reverent air,
Beside her brothers at their evening prayer:
Or lift those earnest eyes
To watch our lips, as though our words she knew—
Then moves her own, as she were speaking too.
I've watch'd her looking up
To the bright wonder of a sunset sky,
With such a depth of meaning in her eye,
That I could almost hope
The struggling soul would burst its binding cords,
And the long pent-up thoughts flow forth in words.
The song of bird and bee,
The chorus of the breezes, streams, and groves,
All the grand music to which Nature moves,
Are wasted melody
To her; the world of sound a tuneless void;
While even Silence hath its charm destroyed.
Her face is very fair;
Her blue eye beautiful; of finest mould
The soft white brow, o'er which, in waves of gold,
Ripples her shining hair.
Alas! this lovely temple closed must be,
For He who made it keeps the master-key.
Wills He the mind within
Should from earth's Babel-clamor be kept free,
E'en that His still small voice and step might be
Heard at its inner shrine,
Through that deep hush of soul, with clearer thrill?
Then should I grieve?—O murmuring heart be still!
She seems to have a sense
Of quiet gladness in her noiseless play.
She hath a pleasant smile, a gentle way,
Whose voiceless eloquence
Touches all hearts, though I had once the fear
That even her father would not care for her.
Thank God it is not so!
And when his sons are playing merrily,
She comes and leans her head upon his knee.
Oh! at such times I know—
By his full eye and tones subdued and mild—
How his heart yearns over his silent child.
Not of all gifts bereft,
Even now. How could I say she did not speak?
What real language lights her eye and cheek,
And renders thanks to Him who left
Unto her soul yet open avenues
For joy to enter, and for love to use.
And God in love doth give
To her defect a beauty of its own.
And we a deeper tenderness have known
Through that for which we grieve.
Yet shall the seal be melted from her ear,
Yea, and my voice shall fill it—but not here.
When that new sense is given,
What rapture will its first experience be,
That never woke to meaner melody,
Than the rich songs of heaven—
To hear the full-toned anthem swelling round,
While angels teach the ecstasies of sound!


There are some peculiarities about railway traveling which we do not remember to have seen noticed, however commonplace the mode of transit itself may have become. There is a singular optical illusion, for instance, in going through a tunnel, which nearly every one must have observed, and yet which nobody, so far as we can learn, has thought it worth while to explain: no sooner have you plunged into complete darkness, and the great brassy monster at the head of the train is tearing and wheezing, and panting away with you through the gloom, at the rate possibly of twenty miles to the hour, than, if you happen to fix your eye on the faintly illuminated brickwork which you are so rapidly dashing past, the apparent movement of the engine will be in a reverse direction to the real; and the general effect will be that of retrogression at a furious pace, instead of the progression which is taking place in reality. This is altogether different from the trite illustration of the astronomical lecturer, who reminds us of the apparent movement of the shore when observed from the deck of a[195] steamboat; for in this case it is the damp side of the tunnel that appears to be stationary, and the framework of the window through which the prospect is presented that seems to be receding; of course, the uniformity of the objects visible, and the faint light in which they are beheld, materially assist this ocular deception; but the hint thus thrown out may serve as a convenient peg on which passengers may hang a theory of their own, and thus beguile the tedium of their journey in default of more exciting topics of discussion.

Not but that the observant eye may find ample scope for employment in the ever-changing variety of landscape, which even on the least picturesque lines will be found constantly coming into view. The most ordinary objects have then a fresh interest imparted to them. You catch a distant glimpse perhaps of a haystack on the brow of an eminence miles away before you. As you proceed, a farm-house, with its out-buildings and granaries to follow, marches right out of the haystack, and takes up its position at the side. Then the angles all change as the line of vision is altered. The farm-house expands, shuts up again, turns itself completely round, a window winks at you for an instant under one of the gables, and then disappears; presently the farm-house itself vanishes, and a rough, half-shaved corn-field, with sturdy sheaves of wheat staggering about its back, comes running up out of a coppice to overtake the farm. Then, as we hear the pulse of the engine throbbing quicker and quicker, and the telegraph posts seem to have started off into a frantic gallopade along the line, we plunge into a plantation. Long vistas of straggling trees—and leaf-strewn pathways winding in among them—give way to scattered clumps of firs and tangled masses of fern and brushwood, while broken fences come dancing up between, and then shrink down again behind rising knolls covered with a sudden growth of gorse and heather. A pit yawns into a pond; the pond squeezes itself longways into a thin ditch, which turns off sharply at a corner, and leaves a dreamy-looking cow occupying its place. Then a gate flies out of a thicket; a man leaning over with folded arms grows out of the gate, which spins round into a lodge, and then strides off altogether; while the trees slink away after it, and a momentary glimpse is caught of a fine mansion perched upon rising ground at the back, and which has become suddenly disentangled from the woods surrounding it. You have hardly time to hazard a guess concerning the architecture, before a sloping bank comes sliding in between, and you find yourself in a deep cutting, with the soft snowy steam curling up the sides in ample folds, and rolling its billows of white vapor over the bright green grass, that seems all the fresher for the welcome moisture. Then comes the open country again—a purple outline of distant hills, with a cloud or two resting lazily upon them; a long-drawn shriek from the valve-whistle, a few moments of slackened speed, and a gradual panoramic movement of sheds, hoardings, cattle-trucks, and piled-up packages, and we emerge upon a station, with a bustling company of anxious passengers ranged along the platform eager for our arrival.

To us, at least, familiarity with the many phases of railroad traveling has not engendered the proverbial consequence. The refreshment station at Wolverton is always impressed upon our mind as a perpetual marvel. To witness those well-stocked tables, one moment displaying the prodigal richness of a lord mayor's feast, and the next to behold this scene of gastronomical fertility laid bare, as the simoom of a hundred voracious appetites sweeps across the tempting viands, and leaves all blank behind it, is a theme of exhaustless wonderment. We involuntarily think of the 182,500 Banbury cakes that are here annually consumed by pastry-loving passengers, and of the 70,080 bottles of stout that are uncorked every year to quench the thirst of these fleeting customers. We look with a proper veneration upon every one of the eighty-five pigs here maintained, and who, after being from their birth most kindly treated and most luxuriously fed, are annually promoted by seniority, one after another, into an indefinite number of pork pies, the vacancies caused by the retirement of these veterans being constantly supplied by the acquisition of fresh recruits. The returns of the railway company show that upward of seven millions of passengers are annually draughted through Wolverton on their way northward. Making a fair deduction for those who, from lack of means or inclination, do not avail themselves of the good things here provided, there is yet a startling number of customers to be supplied. Fancy the three million mouths that, on the lowest average, annually demand at these tables the satisfaction of their appetite, craving at one time their accustomed sustenance in one vast aggregate of hunger. It is like having to undertake the feeding of the entire population of London. The mouth of Gargantua is but a faint type of even one day's voracity; and all this is devoured in a spot which hardly twenty years ago was unmarked upon the map, a mere streak of pasture-land on the banks of the Grand Junction canal. Surely this is not one of the least astonishing feats wrought by railway magic.


Levasseur and his confederates[16] sailed for the penal settlements in the ill-fated convict-ship, the Amphytrion, the total wreck of which on the coast of France, and consequent drowning of the crew and prisoners, excited so painful a sensation in England. A feeling of regret for the untimely fate of Le Breton, whom I regarded rather as a weak dupe than a purposed rascal, passed over my mind as I read the[196] announcement in the newspapers; but newer events had almost jostled the incidents connected with his name from my remembrance, when a terrible adventure vividly recalled them, and taught me how fierce and untamable are the instincts of hate and revenge in a certain class of minds.

A robbery of plate had been committed in Portman-square, with an ingenuity and boldness which left no doubt that it had been effected by clever and practiced hands. The detective officers first employed having failed to discover the offenders, the threads of the imperfect and broken clew were placed in my hands, to see if my somewhat renowned dexterity, or luck, as many of my brother officers preferred calling it, would enable me to piece them out to a satisfactory conclusion. By the description obtained of a man who had been seen lurking about the house a few days previous to the burglary, it had been concluded by my predecessors in the investigation that one Martin, a fellow with half-a-dozen aliases, and a well-known traveler on the road to the hulks, was concerned in the affair; and by their advice a reward of fifty pounds had been offered for his apprehension and conviction. I prosecuted the inquiry with my usual energy and watchfulness, without alighting upon any new fact or intimation of importance. I could not discover that a single article of the missing property had been either pawned or offered for sale, and little doubt remained that the crucible had fatally diminished the chances of detection. The only hope was, that an increased reward might induce one of the gang to betray his confederates; and as the property was of large value, this was done, and one hundred guineas was promised for the required information. I had been to the printer's to order the placards announcing the increased recompense; and after indulging in a long gossip with the foreman of the establishment, whom I knew well, was passing at about a quarter past ten o'clock through Ryder's-court, Newport-market, where a tall man met and passed me swiftly, holding a handkerchief to his face. There was nothing remarkable in that, as the weather was bitterly cold and sleety; and I walked unheedingly on. I was just in the act of passing out of the court toward Leicester-square, when swift steps sounded suddenly behind me. I instinctively turned; and as I did so, received a violent blow on the left shoulder—intended, I doubted not, for the nape of my neck—from the tall individual who had passed me a minute previously. As he still held the handkerchief to his face, I did not catch even a momentary glance at his features, and he ran off with surprising speed. The blow, sudden, jarring, and inflicted with a sharp instrument—by a strong knife or a dagger—caused a sensation of faintness; and before I recovered from it all chance of successful pursuit was at an end. The wound, which was not at all serious, I had dressed at a chemist's shop in the Haymarket; and as proclaiming the attack would do nothing toward detecting the perpetrator of it, I said little about it to any one, and managed to conceal it entirely from my wife, to whom it would have suggested a thousand painful apprehensions whenever I happened to be unexpectedly detained from home. The brief glimpse I had of the balked assassin afforded no reasonable indication of his identity. To be sure he ran at an amazing and unusual pace, but this was a qualification possessed by so many of the light-legged as well as lightfingered gentry of my professional acquaintance, that it could not justify even a random suspicion; and I determined to forget the unpleasant incident as soon as possible.

The third evening after this occurrence I was again passing along Leicester-square at a somewhat late hour, but this time with all my eyes about me. Snow, which the wind blew sharply in one's face, was falling fast, and the cold was intense. Except myself, and a tallish, snow-wreathed figure—a woman apparently—not a living being was to be seen. This figure, which was standing still at the further side of the square, appeared to be awaiting me, and as I drew near it, threw back the hood of a cloak, and to my great surprise disclosed the features of a Madame Jaubert. This lady, some years before, had carried on, not very far from the spot where she now stood, a respectable millinery business. She was a widow with one child, a daughter of about seven years of age. Marie-Louise, as she was named, was one unfortunate day sent to Coventry-street on an errand with some money in her hand, and never returned. The inquiries set on foot proved utterly without effect: not the slightest intelligence of the fate of the child was obtained—and the grief and distraction of the bereaved mother resulted in temporary insanity. She was confined in a lunatic asylum for seven or eight months, and when pronounced convalescent, found herself homeless, and almost penniless, in the world. This sad story I had heard from one of the keepers of the asylum during her sojourn there. It was a subject she herself never, I was aware, touched upon; and she had no reason to suspect that I was in the slightest degree informed of this melancholy passage in her life. She, why, I know not, changed her name from that of Duquesne to the one she now bore—Jaubert; and for the last two or three years had supported a precarious existence by plausible begging-letters addressed to persons of credulous benevolence; for which offense she had frequently visited the police courts at the instance of the secretary of the Mendicity Society, and it was there I had consequently made her acquaintance.

"Madame Jaubert!" I exclaimed, with unfeigned surprise, "why, what on earth can you be waiting here for on such a night as this?"

"To see you!" was her curt reply.

"To see me! Depend upon it, then, you are knocking at the wrong door for not the first time in your life. The very little faith I ever had in[197] professional widows, with twelve small children, all down in the measles, has long since vanished, and—"

"Nay," she interrupted—she spoke English, by the way, like a native—"I'm not such a fool as to be trying the whimpering dodge upon you. It is a matter of business. You want to find Jem Martin?"

"Ay, truly; but what can you know of him? Surely you are not yet fallen so low as to be the associate or accomplice of burglars?"

"Neither yet, nor likely to be so," replied the woman; "still I could tell you where to place your hands on James Martin, if I were but sure of the reward."

"There can be no doubt about that," I answered.

"Then follow me, and before ten minutes are past, you will have secured your man."

I did so—cautiously, suspiciously; for my adventure three evenings before, had rendered me unusually circumspect and watchful. She led the way to the most crowded quarter of St. Giles's, and when she had reached the entrance of a dark blind alley, called Hine's-court, turned into it, and beckoned me to follow.

"Nay, nay, Madame Jaubert," I exclaimed, "that won't do. You mean fairly, I dare say; but I don't enter that respectable alley alone at this time of night."

She stopped, silent and embarrassed. Presently she said, with a sneer, "You are afraid, I suppose?"

"Yes, I am."

"What is to be done, then?" she added, after a few moments' consideration. "He is alone, I assure you."

"That is possible; still I do not enter that cul-de-sac to-night unaccompanied save by you."

"You suspect me of some evil design, Mr. Waters?" said the woman, with an accent of reproach. "I thought you might, and yet nothing can be further from the truth. My sole object is to obtain the reward, and escape from this life of misery and degradation to my own country, and, if possible, begin the world respectably again. Why should you doubt me?"

"How came you acquainted with this robber's haunts?"

"The explanation is easy, but this is not the time for it. Stay—can't you get assistance?"

"Easily—in less than ten minutes; and, if you are here when I return, and your information proves correct, I will ask pardon for my suspicions."

"Be it so," she said, joyfully; "and be quick, for this weather is terrible."

Ten minutes had not passed when I returned with half-a-dozen officers, and found Madame Jaubert still at her post. We followed her up the court, caught Martin sure enough asleep upon a wretched pallet of straw in one of the alley hovels, and walked him off, terribly scared and surprised, to the nearest station-house, where he passed the remainder of the night. The next day Martin proved an alibi of the distinctest, most undeniable kind. He had been an inmate of Clerkenwell prison for the last three months, with the exception of just six days previous to our capture of him; and he was, of course, at once discharged. The reward was payable only upon conviction of the offender, and the disappointment of poor Madame Jaubert was extreme. She wept bitterly at the thought of being compelled to continue her present disreputable mode of life, when a thousand francs—a sum she believed Martin's capture would have assured her—besides sufficient for her traveling expenses and decent outfit, would, she said, purchase a partnership in a small but respectable millinery shop in Paris. "Well," I remarked to her, "there is no reason for despair. You have not only proved your sincerity and good faith, but that you possess a knowledge—how acquired you best know—of the haunts and hiding-places of burglars. The reward, as you may have seen by the new placards, has been doubled; and I have a strong opinion, from something that has reached me this morning, that if you could light upon one Armstrong, alias Rowden, it would be as certainly yours as if already in your pocket."

"Armstrong—Rowden!" repeated the woman, with anxious simplicity; "I never heard either of these names. What sort of a person is he?"

I described him minutely; but Madame Jaubert appeared to entertain little or no hope of discovering his whereabout; and, ultimately, went away in a very disconsolate mood, after, however, arranging to meet me the next evening.

I met her as agreed. She could obtain, she said, no intelligence of any reliable worth; and she pressed me for further particulars. Was Armstrong a drinking, a gaming, or a play-going man? I told her all I knew of his habits, and a gleam of hope glanced across her face as one or two indications were mentioned. I was to see her again on the morrow. It came; she was as far off as ever; and I advised her to waste no further time in the pursuit, but to at once endeavor to regain a position of respectability by the exercise of industry in the trade or business in which she was reputedly well skilled. Madame Jaubert laughed scornfully; and a gleam, it seemed to me, of her never entirely subdued insanity shot out from her deep-set, flashing eyes. It was finally settled, that I should meet her once more, at the same place, at about eight o'clock the next evening.

I arrived somewhat late at the appointed rendezvous, and found Madame Jaubert in a state of manifest excitement and impatience. She had, she was pretty sure, discovered Armstrong, and knew that he was at that moment in a house in Greek-street, Soho.

"Greek-street, Soho! Is he alone?"

"Yes; with the exception of a woman who is minding the premises, and of whom he is an acquaintance under another name. You will be able to[198] secure him without the least risk or difficulty, but not an instant must be lost."

Madame Jaubert perceived my half-hesitation. "Surely," she exclaimed, "you are not afraid of one man! It's useless affecting to suspect me after what has occurred."

"True," I replied. "Lead on."

The house at which we stopped in Greek-street, appeared to be an empty one, from the printed bills in the windows announcing it to be let or sold. Madame Jaubert knocked in a peculiar manner at the door, which was presently opened by a woman. "Is Mr. Brown still within?" Madame Jaubert asked, in a low voice.

"Yes: what do you want with him?"

"I have brought a gentleman who will most likely be a purchaser of some of the goods he has to dispose of."

"Walk in, then, if you please," was the answer. We did so; and found ourselves, as the door closed, in pitch darkness. "This way," said the woman; "you shall have a light in half a minute."

"Let me guide you," said Madame Jaubert, as I groped onward by the wall, and at the same time seizing my right hand. Instantly as she did so, I heard a rustle just behind me—two quick and violent blows descended on the back of my head, there was a flash before my eyes, a suppressed shout of exultation rang in my ears, and I fell insensible to the ground.

It was some time, on partially recovering my senses, before I could realize either what had occurred or the situation in which I found myself. Gradually, however, the incidents attending the artfully-prepared treachery of Madame Jaubert grew into distinctness, and I pretty well comprehended my present position. I was lying at the bottom of a cart, blindfolded, gagged, handcuffed, and covered over by what, from their smell, seemed to be empty corn sacks. The vehicle, was moving at a pretty rapid rate, and judging from the roar and tumult without, through one of the busiest thoroughfares of London. It was Saturday evening; and I thought, from the character of the noises, and the tone of a clock just chiming ten, that we were in Tottenham-court-road. I endeavored to rise, but found, as I might have expected, that it was impossible to do so; my captors having secured me to the floor of the cart by strong cords. There was nothing for it, therefore, but patience and resignation; words easily pronounced, but difficult, under such circumstances, to realize in practice. My thoughts, doubtless in consequence of the blows I had received, soon became hurried and incoherent. A tumultuous throng of images swept confusedly past, of which the most constant and frequent were the faces of my wife and youngest child, whom I had kissed in his sleep just previous to leaving home. Madame Jaubert and James Martin were also there; and ever and anon the menacing countenance of Levasseur stooped over me with a hideous expression, and I felt as if clutched in the fiery grasp of a demon. I have no doubt that the voice which sounded in my ear at the moment I was felled to the ground must have suggested the idea of the Swiss—faintly and imperfectly as I caught it. This tumult of brain only gradually subsided as the discordant uproar of the streets—which no doubt added to the excitement I was suffering under by suggesting the exasperating nearness of abundant help which could not be appealed to—died gradually away into a silence only broken by the rumble of the cart-wheels, and the subdued talk of the driver and his companions, of whom there appeared to be two or three. At length the cart stopped, I heard a door unlocked and thrown open, and a few moments afterward I was dragged from under the corn-sacks, carried up three flights of stairs, and dropped brutally upon the floor till a light could be procured. Directly one was brought, I was raised to my feet, placed upright against a wooden partition, and staples having been driven into the paneling, securely fastened in that position, with cords passed through them, and round my armpits. This effected, an authoritative voice—the now distinct recognition of which thrilled me with dismay—ordered that I should be unblinded. It was done; and when my eyes became somewhat accustomed to the suddenly dazzling light and glare, I saw Levasseur and the clerk Dubarle standing directly in front of me, their faces kindled into flame by fiendish triumph and delight. The report that they had been drowned was then a mistake, and they had incurred the peril of returning to this country for the purpose of avenging themselves upon me; and how could it be doubted that an opportunity, achieved at such fearful risk, would be effectually, remorselessly used? A pang of mortal terror shot through me, and then I strove to awaken in my heart a stern endurance, and resolute contempt of death, with, I may now confess, very indifferent success. The woman Jaubert was, I also saw, present; and a man, whom I afterward ascertained to be Martin, was standing near the doorway, with his back toward me. These two, at a brief intimation from Levasseur, went down stairs; and then the fierce exultation of the two escaped convicts—of Levasseur especially—broke forth with wolfish rage and ferocity. "Ha—ha—ha!" shouted the Swiss, at the same time striking me over the face with his open hand, "you find, then, that others can plot as well as you can—dog, traitor, scoundrel that you are! 'Au revoir—alors!' was it, eh? Well, here we are, and I wish you joy of the meeting. Ha—ha! How dismal the rascal looks, Dubarle!"—(Again the coward struck me)—"He is hardly grateful to me, it seems, for having kept my word. I always do, my fine fellow," he added with a savage chuckle; "and never neglect to pay my debts of honor. Yours especially," he continued, drawing a pistol from his pocket, "shall be prompt payment, and with interest too, scélérat!" He held the muzzle of the pistol to within a[199] yard of my forehead, and placed his finger on the trigger. I instinctively closed my eyes, and tasted in that fearful moment the full bitterness of death; but my hour was not yet come. Instead of the flash and report which I expected would herald me into eternity, a taunting laugh from Levasseur at the terror he excited rang through the room.

"Come—come," said Dubarle, over whose face a gleam of commiseration, almost of repentance, had once or twice passed; "you will alarm that fellow down stairs with your noise. We must, you know, wait till he is gone, and he appears to be in no hurry. In the meantime let us have a game of piquet for the first shot at the traitor's carcase."

"Excellent—capital!" shouted Levasseur with savage glee. "A game of piquet; the stake your life, Waters! A glorious game! and mind you see fair-play. In the mean time here's your health, and better luck next time, if you should chance to live to see it." He swallowed a draught of wine which Dubarle, after helping himself, had poured out for him; and then approaching me, with the silver cup he had drained in his hand, said, "Look at the crest! Do you recognize it—fool, idiot that you are!"

I did so readily enough: it was a portion of the plunder carried off from Portman-square.

"Come," again interposed Dubarle, "let us have our game."

The play began, and—But I will dwell no longer upon this terrible passage in my police experience. Frequently even now the incidents of that night revisit me in dreams, and I awake with a start and cry of terror. In addition to the mental torture I endured, I was suffering under an agonizing thirst, caused by the fever of my blood, and the pressure of the absorbing gag, which still remained in my mouth. It was wonderful I did not lose my senses. At last the game was over; the Swiss won, and sprang to his feet with the roar of a wild beast.

At this moment Madame Jaubert entered the apartment somewhat hastily. "This man below," she said, "is getting insolent. He has taken it into his tipsy head that you mean to kill your prisoner, and he won't, he says, be involved in a murder, which would be sure to be found out. I told him he was talking absurdly; but he is still not satisfied, so you had better go down and speak to him yourself."

I afterward found, it may be as well to mention here, that Madame Jaubert and Martin had been induced to assist in entrapping me, in order that I might be out of the way when a friend of Levasseur's, who had been committed to Newgate on a serious charge, came to be tried, I being the chief witness against him; and they were both assured that I had nothing more serious to apprehend than a few days' detention. In addition to a considerable money-present, Levasseur had, moreover, promised Madame Jaubert to pay her expenses to Paris, and assist in placing her in business there.

Levasseur muttered a savage imprecation on hearing the woman's message, and then said, "Come with me, Dubarle; if we can not convince the fellow, we can at least silence him! Marie Duquesne, you will remain here."

As soon as they were gone, the woman eyed me with a compassionate expression, and approaching close to me, said in a low voice, "Do not be alarmed at their tricks and menaces. After Thursday you will be sure to be released."

I shook my head, and as distinctly as I could made a gesture with my fettered arms toward the table on which the wine was standing. She understood me. "If," said she, "you will promise not to call out, I will relieve you of the gag."

I eagerly nodded compliance. The gag was removed, and she held a cup of wine to my fevered lips. It was a draught from the waters of paradise, and hope, energy, life, were renewed within me as I drank.

"You are deceived," I said, in a guarded voice, the instant my burning thirst was satisfied. "They intend to murder me, and you will be involved as an accomplice."

"Nonsense," she replied. "They have been frightening you, that's all."

"I again repeat you are deceived. Release me from these fetters and cords, give me but a chance of at least selling my life as dearly as I can, and the money you told me you stood in need of shall be yours."

"Hark!" she exclaimed. "They are coming!"

"Bring down a couple of bottles of wine," said Levasseur, from the bottom of the stairs. Madame Jaubert obeyed the order and in a few minutes returned.

I renewed my supplications to be released, and was of course extremely liberal of promises.

"It is vain talking," said the woman. "I do not believe they will harm you; but even if it were as you say, it is too late now to retrace my steps. You can not escape. That fool below is already three parts intoxicated: they are both armed, and would hesitate at nothing if they but suspected treachery."

It was vain to urge her. She grew sullen and menacing; and was insisting that the gag should be replaced in my mouth, when a thought struck me.

"Levasseur called you Marie Duquesne just now; but surely your name is Jaubert—is it not?"

"Do not trouble yourself about my name," she replied; "that is my affair, not yours."

"Because if you are the Marie Duquesne who once kept a shop in Cranbourne-alley, and lost a child called Marie-Louise, I could tell you something."

A wild light broke from her dark eyes, and a suppressed scream from her lips. "I am that Marie Duquesne!" she said, in a voice tremulous with emotion.

"Then I have to inform you that the child so long supposed to be lost I[200] discovered nearly three weeks ago."

The woman fairly leapt toward me, clasped me fiercely by the arms, and peering in my face with eyes on fire with insane excitement, hissed out, "You lie—you lie, you dog! You are striving to deceive me! She is in heaven: the angels told me so long since."

I do not know, by the way, whether the falsehood I was endeavoring to palm off upon the woman was strictly justifiable or not; but I am fain to believe that there are few moralists that would not, under the circumstances, have acted pretty much as I did.

"If your child was lost when going on an errand to Coventry-street, and her name is Marie-Louise Duquesne, I tell you she is found. How should I otherwise have become acquainted with these particulars?"

"True—true," she muttered: "how else should he know? Where is she?" added the woman, in tones of agonized entreaty, as she sank down and clasped my knees. "Tell me —tell me, as you hope for life or mercy, where I may find my child?"

"Release me, give me a chance of escape, and to-morrow your child shall be in your arms. Refuse, and the secret dies with me."

She sprang quickly to her feet, unclasped the handcuffs, snatched a knife from the table, and cut the cords which bound me with eager haste. "Another draught of wine," she said, still in the same hurried, almost insane manner. "You have work to do! Now, while I secure the door, do you rub and chafe your stiffened joints." The door was soon fastened, and then she assisted in restoring the circulation to my partially benumbed limbs. This was at last accomplished, and Marie Duquesne drew me toward a window, which she softly opened. "It is useless," she whispered, "to attempt a struggle with the men below. You must descend by this," and she placed her hand upon a lead water-pipe, which reached from the roof to within a few feet of the ground.

"And you," I said; "how are you to escape?"

"I will tell you. Do you hasten on toward Hampstead, from which we are distant in a northerly direction about a mile. There is a house at about half the distance. Procure help, and return as quickly as possible. The doorfastenings will resist some time, even should your flight be discovered. You will not fail me?"

"Be assured I will not." The descent was a difficult and somewhat perilous one, but it was safely accomplished, and I set off at the top of my speed toward Hampstead.

I had gone perhaps a quarter of a mile, when the distant sound of a horse's feet, coming at a slow trot toward me, caught my ear. I paused, to make sure I was not deceived, and as I did so, a wild scream from the direction I had left, followed by another and another, broke upon the stillness of the night. The scoundrels had no doubt discovered my escape, and were about to wreak their vengeance upon the unfortunate creature in their power. The trot of the horse which I had heard was, simultaneously with the breaking out of those wild outcries, increased to a rapid gallop. "Hallo!" exclaimed the horseman, as he came swiftly up. "Do you know where these screams come from?" It was the horse-patrol who thus providentially came up! I briefly stated that the life of a woman was at the mercy of two escaped convicts. "Then for God's sake jump up behind me!" exclaimed the patrol. "We shall be there in a couple of minutes." I did so: the horse—a powerful animal, and not entirely unused to carry double—started off, as if it comprehended the necessity for speed, and in a very brief space of time we were at the door of the house from which I had so lately escaped. Marie Duquesne, with her body half out of the window, was still wildly screaming as we rushed into the room below. There was no one there, and we swiftly ascended the stairs, at the top of which we could hear Levasseur and Dubarle thundering at the door, which they had unexpectedly found fastened, and hurling a storm of imprecations at the woman within, the noise of which enabled us to approach them pretty nearly before we were heard or perceived. Martin saw us first, and his sudden exclamation alarmed the others. Dubarle and Martin made a desperate rush to pass us, by which I was momently thrown on one side against the wall; and very fortunately, as the bullet leveled at me from a pistol Levasseur held in his hand would probably have finished me. Martin escaped, which I was not very sorry for; but the patrol pinned Dubarle safely, and I griped Levasseur with a strength and ferocity against which he was powerless as an infant. Our victory was complete; and two hours afterward, the recaptured convicts were safely lodged in a station-house.

I caused Madame Duquesne to be as gently undeceived the next morning as possible with respect to her child; but the reaction and disappointment proved too much for her wavering intellect. She relapsed into positive insanity, and was placed in Bedlam, where she remained two years. At the end of that period she was pronounced convalescent. A sufficient sum of money was raised by myself and others, not only to send her to Paris, but to enable her to set up as a milliner in a small but respectable way. As lately as last May, when I saw her there, she was in health both of mind and body, and doing comfortably.

With the concurrence of the police authorities, very little was said publicly respecting my entrapment. It might perhaps have excited a monomania among liberated convicts—colored and exaggerated as every incident would have been for the amusement of the public—to attempt similar exploits. I was also anxious to conceal the peril I had encountered from my wife; and it was not till I had left the police force that she was informed of it. Levasseur and Dubarle were convicted[201] of returning from transportation before the term for which they had been sentenced had expired, and were this time sent across the seas for life. The reporters of the morning papers, or rather the reporter for the "Times," "Herald," "Chronicle," "Post," and "Advertiser," gave precisely the same account, even to the misspelling of Levasseur's name, dismissing the brief trial in the following paragraph, under the head of "Old Bailey Sessions:"—"Alphonse Dubarle (24), and Sebastian Levasson (49), were identified as unlawfully-returned convicts, and sentenced to transportation for life. The prisoners, it was understood, were connected with the late plate-robbery in Portman-square; but as a conviction could not have increased their punishment, the indictment was not pressed."

Levasseur, I had almost forgotten to state, admitted that it was he who wounded me in Ryder's-court, Leicester-square.


[16] See New Monthly Magazine for November.


For well nigh thirty-four years the public curiosity has been excited by the knowledge that there existed in MS. an unfinished poem of very high pretensions, and extraordinary magnitude, from the pen of the late—is he to be the last?—poet-laureate of Britain. At the tidings, Lord Jeffrey made himself very merry, and sought for a powerful calculus to compute the supposed magnitude of the poem. De Quincey, on the other hand, had read it, and both in his writings and conversation, was in the habit of alluding to, quoting, and panegyrizing it as more than equal to Wordsworth's other achievements. All of it that is publishable, or shall ever be published, now lies before us; and we approach it with curiously-mingled emotions—mingled, because although a fragment, it is so vast, and in parts so finished, and because it may be regarded as at once an early production of his genius, and its latest legacy to the world. It seems a large fossil relic—imperfect and magnificent—newly dug up, and with the fresh earth and the old dim subsoil meeting and mingling around it.

The "Prelude" is the first regular versified autobiography we remember in our language. Passages, indeed, and parts of the lives of celebrated men, have been at times represented in verse, but in general a vail of fiction has been dropped over the real facts, as in the case of Don Juan; and in all the revelation made has resembled rather an escapade or a partial confession than a systematic and slowly-consolidated life. The mere circumstances, too, of life have been more regarded than the inner current of life itself. We class the 'Prelude' at once with Sartor Resartus—although the latter wants the poetic form—as the two most interesting and faithful records of the individual experience of men of genius which exist.

And yet, how different the two men, and the two sets of experience. Sartor resembles the unfilled and yawning crescent moon, Wordsworth the rounded harvest orb: Sartor's cry is, "Give, give!" Wordsworth's "I have found it, I have found it!" Sartor can not, amid a universe of work, find a task fit for him to do, and yet can much less be utterly idle; while to Wordsworth, basking in the sun, or loitering near an evening stream, is sufficient and satisfactory work. To Sartor, Nature is a divine tormentor—her works at once inspire and agonize him; Wordsworth loves her with the passion of a perpetual honeymoon. Both are intensely self-conscious; but Sartor's is the consciousness of disease, Wordsworth's of high health standing before a mirror. Both have a "demon," but Sartor's is exceedingly fierce, dwelling among the tombs—Wordsworth's a mild eremite, loving the rocks and the woods. Sartor's experience has been frightfully peculiar, and Wordsworth's peculiarly felicitous. Both have passed through the valley of the shadow of death; but the one has found it as Christian found it, dark and noisy—the other has passed it with Faithful, by daylight. Sartor is more of a representative man than Wordsworth, for many have had part at least of his sad experiences, whereas Wordsworth's soul dwells apart: his joys and sorrows, his virtues and his sins, are alike his own, and he can circulate his being as soon as them. Sartor is a brother man in fury and fever—Wordsworth seems a cherub, almost chillingly pure, and whose very warmth is borrowed from another sun than ours. We love and fear Sartor with almost equal intensity—Wordsworth we respect and wonder at with a great admiration.

Compare their different biographies. Sartor's is brief and abrupt as a confession; the author seems hurrying away from the memory of his woe—Wordsworth lingers over his past self, like a lover over the history of his courtship. Sartor is a reminiscence of Prometheus—the "Prelude" an account of the education of Pan. The agonies of Sartor are connected chiefly with his own individual history, shadowing that of innumerable individuals besides—those of Wordsworth with the fate of nations, and the world at large. Sartor craves, but can not find a creed—belief seems to flow in Wordsworth's blood; to see is to believe with him. The lives of both are fragments, but Sartor seems to shut his so abruptly, because he dare not disclose all his struggles; and Wordsworth, because he dares not reveal all his peculiar and incommunicable joys. To use Sartor's own words, applied to the poet before as, we may inscribe upon Wordsworth's grave, "Here lies a man who did what he intended;" while over Sartor's, disappointed ages may say, "Here lies a man whose intentions were noble, and his powers gigantic, but who from lack of proper correspondence between them did little or nothing, said much, but only told the world his own sad story."


The points of resemblance between Milton and Wordsworth are numerous—both were proud in spirit, and pure in life—both were intensely self-conscious—both essayed the loftiest things in[202] poetry—both looked with considerable contempt on their contemporaries, and appealed to the coming age—both preferred fame to reputation—both during their life-time met with obloquy, which crushed them not—both combined intellect with imagination, in equal proportions—both were persevering and elaborate artists, as well as inspired men—both were unwieldy in their treatment of commonplace subjects. Neither possessed a particle of humor; nor much, if any, genuine wit. Both were friends of liberty and of religion—their genius was "baptized with the Holy Ghost and with fire."

But there were differences and disparities as manifold. Milton was a scholar of the first magnitude; Wordsworth no more than respectable in point of learning; Milton may be called a glorious book-worm; Wordsworth an insect feeding on trees; Milton was London born and London bred; Wordsworth from the provinces; Milton had a world more sympathy with chivalry and arms—with the power and the glory of this earth—with human and female beauty—with man and with woman, than Wordsworth. Wordsworth loved inanimate nature better than Milton, or at least, he was more intimately conversant with her features; and has depicted them with more minute accuracy, and careful finish. Milton's love for liberty was a wiser and firmer passion, and underwent little change; Wordsworth's veered and fluctuated; Milton's creed was more definite and fixed than Wordsworth's, and, perhaps, lay nearer to his heart; Wordsworth shaded away into a vague mistiness, in which the Cross at times was lost; Milton had more devotion in his absence from church than Wordsworth in his presence there; Wordsworth was an "idler in the land;" Milton an incessant and heroic struggler.

As writers, while Wordsworth attains to lofty heights, with an appearance of effort; Milton is great inevitably, and inhales with pleasure the proud and rare atmosphere of the sublime; Wordsworth comes up to the great—Milton descends on it; Wordsworth has little ratiocinative, or rhetorical power; Milton discovers much of both—besides being able to grind his adversaries to powder by the hoof of invective, or to toss them into the air on the tusks of a terrible scorn; Wordsworth has produced many sublime lines, but no character approaching the sublime; Milton has reared up Satan to the sky—the most magnificent structure in the intellectual world; Wordsworth's philosophic vein is more subtle, and Milton's more masculine and strong; Wordsworth has written much in the shape of poetry that is despicably mean; mistaking it all the while for the excellent; Milton trifles seldom, and knows full well when he is trifling; Wordsworth has sometimes entangled himself with a poetic system; Milton no more than Samson will permit withes, however green, or a cart-rope, however new, to imprison his giant arms; Wordsworth has borrowed nothing, but timidly and jealously saved himself from theft by flight; Milton has maintained his originality, even while he borrows—he has dared to snatch the Urim and Thummim from the high-priest's breast, and inserted them among his own native ornaments, where they shine in keeping—unbedimming and unbedimmed; Wordsworth's prose is but a feeble counterpoise to his poetry; whereas Milton's were itself sufficient to perpetuate his name; Wordsworth's sonnets are, perhaps, equal to Milton's, some of his "Minor Poems" may approach "Lycidas," and "Il Penseroso," but where a whole like "Paradise Lost?"

Thus while Wordsworth has left a name, the memory of a character and many works, which shall illustrate the age when he lived, and exalt him, on the whole, above all Britain's bards of that period, Milton is identified with the glory, not of an age, but of all ages; with the progress of liberty in the world—with the truth and grandeur of the Christian faith and with the honor and dignity of the human species itself. Wordsworth burns like the bright star Arcturus, outshining the fainter orbs of the constellation to which it belongs. Milton is one of those solitary oceans of flame, which seem to own but a dim and far-off relationship to aught else but the Great Being, who called them into existence. So truly did the one appreciate the other when he sung

"Thy soul was like a star, and dwelt apart."


A rat! a rat! dead for a ducat.—Hamlet.

There is nothing like being in earnest when one begins a good work. So, evidently, thinks the author of a blue-covered pamphlet just issued, with a title page headed by three words and nine notes of exclamation—Rat!!! Rat!!! Rat!!! The object of the writer is no less than to alarm the whole nation by showing what we lose every year by the animals against whom he has made such a dead set. Not content with dilating on this fact in the body of his work, he puts what he calls "a startling fact," upon the blue wrapper. "One pair of rats," he says, "with their progeny, will produce in three years no less a number than six hundred and forty-six thousand eight hundred and eight rats! which will consume, day by day, as much food as sixty-four thousand six hundred and eighty men; leaving eight rats to starve." This, it must be admitted, is startling enough, but any one who has a cellar, or a corn-bin, will be inclined to believe almost any tale, however strong, or to applaud any abuse, however severe, which may be heaped upon that convicted thief, Rat. Midnight burglaries, undetected by the new police, sink into insignificance compared with the ravages of rats of the London sewers, which steal and destroy more in one week, than the value of all the robberies of plate that blaze away in the newspapers from year's end to year's end. And yet the plunderers go on almost unmolested. They are too knowing for traps, and arsenic seems to be more fatal to human, than[203] to quadrupedal victims. The French journals, the other day, described a grand battue in the sewers of Paris, when thousands of rats were captured and killed, and we heard of large sums cleared by the sale of their skins—for these thieves go about like swell mobsmen—very well clad. But the example of our French brethren was not imitated in the modern Babylon. We neither spill blood on barricades above ground, nor in sewers beneath it. So Mr. Rat still carries on his plunder with impunity, to the great horror and indignation of good housewives in general, and of the writer we have just referred to in particular. Protection is with him no explanation of national distress. He says it is all owing to rats: "The farmers have been eaten out of house and home; bread kept up to a starvation price, to the misery, poverty, and crime of our manufacturing and agricultural population. Men seldom think of rats, because they seldom see them; but are they less destructive because they carry on their ravages in the dark? Certainly not."

In another place he declares "there is not a farmer in the British dominions but would, if he at present had all the rats have deprived him of within the last ten years, this moment declare himself a wealthy man." If the real truth could be found out, it would be a safe speculation to back the statements of the rat-hater against the statistics of the Protectionists.

The question then suggests itself, what should be done to save this waste—to stop the plunder—to banish the thieves? and we turn to the little blue book for information. The naturalists are said to give a very clear notion of what the rat is, but what he does they describe very imperfectly. Rats are modest creatures; they live and labor in the dark; they shun the approach of man. Go into a barn or granary, where hundreds are living, and you shall not see one; go to a rick that may be one living mass within (a thing very common, adds our writer), and there shall not be one visible; or dive into a cellar, that may be perfectly infested with them, rats you shall not see, so much as a tip of a tail, unless it be that of a stray one "popping across for a more safe retreat." As men seldom see them, they seldom think of them. "But this I say," goes on our author, "that if rats could by any means be made to live on the surface of the earth, instead of holes and corners, and feed and run about the streets and fields in the open day, like dogs and sheep, the whole nation would be horror-stricken, and, ultimately, there would not be a man, woman, or child able to brandish a stick, but would have a dog, stick, or gun for their destruction wherever they met with them. And are we to suppose, because they carry on their ravages in the dark, that they are less destructive? Certainly not; and my object in making this appeal to the nation, and supplying it with calculations from the most experienced individuals and naturalists, is for the purpose of rousing it up to one universal warfare against these midnight marauders and common enemies of mankind, insomuch as they devour the food, to the starvation of our fellow-creatures." He does not altogether ignore the argument of the friends of the rat—for even the rat has found friends among naturalists, ready to argue in his favor, and in print, too—that these vermin destroy, in the sewers, much matter that would otherwise give out poisonous gases. Sewer rats, he admits, are not the very worst of the race, but even they should be slain wherever they may be caught. But the rats of the cellar, the warehouse, the barn, the rick-yard, the granary, and the corn-field, are the grand destroyers against whom war to the terrier, the trap, and the ferret is proclaimed.

Do not let any reader suppose that the Ratsbane, put forth in the guise of a blue pamphlet, is a mere tasteless dose of useful knowledge on the rat genus. It is no such thing. The author gives a passage or two of politics, and then a page or so of rats. He is an honest hater, such as Dr. Johnson would have admired; nor is his hatred confined to four-legged adversaries. He evidently dislikes Communists and Socialists, as sincerely as he does rats. "Communism, Socialism, and Ratism," he says, "are terms synonymous;" but this is not the part of his book we have to deal with, so let us pass on from what he hates to what he admires. "Now," he says, "for the prolific disposition of rats;" and here takes an opportunity of saying the best word he can for his friends, the rat-catchers—the rat-killers—the Napoleons of the vermin war—the exterminators of the catchable rats—the Nimrods of the hunting-grounds to be found in sewers and cellars, and under barn floors. The passage looks very like an advertisement; but since it is characteristic, and as the statements are curious, and really not without importance, they shall be here quoted:

"Now for their prolific disposition! In this respect I have been most ably assisted by the renowned James Shaw, of rat-killing celebrity, landlord of the Blue Anchor Tavern, Bunhill-row, St. Luke's, and of whom I can not speak too highly, for the civil, straightforward, and animated way in which he communicated every information I desired. Curiosity prompted me to make inquiries respecting him, and I find him to be a man universally respected for his manly bearing and refined sentiments of honor, consequently, a man whose testimony can be relied upon. I have also been supplied with similar information from Mr. Sabin, of rat-killing renown, residing in Broad-street, St. Giles's. These men destroy between eight and nine thousand each annually, averaging seventeen thousand between them. We will now proceed with the calculations. In the first place, my informants tell me that rats will have six, seven, and eight nests of young in the year, and that for three and four years together; secondly, that they will have from twelve to twenty-three at a litter, and that the young ones will breed at three[204] months old; thirdly, that there are more females than males, at an average of about ten to six. Now, I propose to lay down my calculations at something less than one half. In the first place, I say four litters in the year, beginning and ending with a litter, so making thirteen litters in three years; secondly, to have eight young ones at a birth, half male, and half female; thirdly, the young ones to have a litter at six months old. At this calculation, I will take one pair of rats; and, at the expiration of three years, what do you suppose will be the amount of living rats? Why, no less a number than SIX HUNDRED AND FORTY-SIX THOUSAND EIGHT HUNDRED AND EIGHT! Mr. Shaw's little dog 'Tiny,' under six pounds weight, has destroyed TWO THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED AND TWENTY-FIVE pairs of rats, which, had they been permitted to live, would, at the same calculation, and in the same time, have produced ONE THOUSAND SIX HUNDRED AND THIRTY-THREE MILLIONS, ONE HUNDRED AND NINETY THOUSAND, TWO HUNDRED, living rats! And the rats destroyed by Messrs. Shaw and Sabin in two years, amounting to SEVENTEEN THOUSAND pairs, would, had they been permitted to live, have produced, at the above calculation, and in the same time, no less a number than TEN THOUSAND NINE HUNDRED AND NINETY-FIVE MILLIONS, SEVEN HUNDRED AND THIRTY-SIX THOUSAND, living rats! Now, let us calculate the amount of human food that they would destroy. In the first place, my informants tell me, that six rats will consume day by day, as much food as a man; secondly, that the thing has been tested, and that the estimate given was, that eight rats would consume more than an ordinary man. Now, I—to place the thing beyond the smallest shadow of a doubt—will set down ten rats to eat as much as a man, not a child; nor will I say any thing about what rats waste. And what shall we find to be the alarming result? Why, that, the first pair of rats, with their three years' progeny, would consume in the night more food than SIXTY-FOUR THOUSAND SIX HUNDRED AND EIGHTY men the year round, and leaving eight rats to spare! And the rats destroyed by the little wonder 'Tiny,' had they been permitted to live, would, at the same calculation, with their three years' progeny, have consumed as much food as ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY THREE MILLIONS, THREE HUNDRED AND NINETEEN THOUSAND AND TWENTY men: above two-thirds of the population of Europe!!"

Here we come to the great glory of our author's thoughts. After its master, the rat-catcher of "manly bearing and refined sentiments of honor," "Tiny" is his true hero. Eclipse might lord it at Epsom or Newmarket; Tom Thumb might trot to renown at sixteen miles an hour, but what was that compared with the triumphs of Tiny? the killer of rats who might have had a family capable of eating (if they had found it) as much victuals or more than one hundred and sixty millions of men? Our writer proposes a solid gold collar testimonial for the "good" dog Tiny, to be raised by public subscription. But that would be a paltry return for such great services. Tiny's renown lifts him above such mercenary rewards.

More wonders are in store:

"Now for the vermin destroyed by Messrs. Shaw and Sabin. Taken at the same calculation, with their three years' progeny—can you believe it?—they would consume more food than the whole population of the earth. Yes, if Omnipotence would raise up ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY-NINE MILLIONS FIVE HUNDRED AND SEVENTY-THREE THOUSAND SIX HUNDRED more people, these rats would consume as much food as they all!! You may wonder, but I will prove it to you."

A calculation—like that which has made Tiny immortal—is given, and then the reflection, succeeds, "Is it not a most appalling thing to think that there are at the present time in the British empire, thousands, nay millions, in a state of starvation, while rats are consuming that which would place them and their families in a state of affluence and comfort? I ask this simple question" (emphatically continues our Rat Hater), "Has not Parliament, ere now, been summoned upon matters of far less importance to the Empire? I think it has."

A fine opening this for an oratorical patriot, whose themes are worn out. An agitation for protection against rats would inevitably secure the hearty support of the agricultural interest.

Enough has surely been said to show the great importance of rats, but it would be wrong to leave the little book which has suggested this article, without gleaning from it a few rat-catching statistics, and without pointing out the moral of the whole, by giving the writer's proposition for relieving us from the scourge he describes. It seems that one rat-catcher has frequently from one thousand five hundred to two thousand rats in his cages at one time—it is not stated, but we suppose—ready to be killed by "Tiny." It is averred that these are all brought up from the country—all "fair barn rats"—and that "it would not pay to breed them"—a question probably open to doubt. The natural enemies of the rat are thus mustered, the ferret, polecat, stoat, weasel, cat, dog, and man. The ferret's powers of destruction are estimated very lightly; the polecats are very rare, prefer game when it can be had, and do little against the rat; the weasel also prefers a chicken or a duckling "to fighting with a rat for a meal." Hence the farmers destroy them, and they do little against the rats. Cats, as a rule, prefer hearth-rugs; and traps, unless quite new, and consequently sweet and free from the smell of rats, are useless. No! There is nothing in Nature capable of saving the nation from rats, but "Tinies."

"I do not know of any quadruped equal to a well-bred London terrier for sagacity, courage fidelity, color, symmetry, general beauty, and economy: in a word, he seems in every respect formed by nature for man's[205] companion and protector."

With a fine burst of eloquence, the author asks,

"Are rats a calamity to be deplored, or are they not? The voices of religion and patriotism cry, with stentorian lungs, 'Yes!' the voice of philanthropy cries, 'Down with them! down with every barrier, and annihilate them!' the fainting stomachs of thousands of our starving fellow-creatures at home and in the sister country, with the agonized bowels of their withered offspring writhing beneath the ruthless fangs of hunger, shriek forth, with horrid yells, for their extermination!!"

Our friend then takes a higher flight, and discusses, with equal fervor and more notes of admiration, the question whether—on theological grounds—man has a right to kill these creatures, even though they be rats. But he soars into such altitudes of rhetorical theology, that we dare not follow him. He dismisses, in the same paragraph, several remedies for rats, with a brevity almost savoring of contempt; gliding gracefully from theology to arsenic and other poisons, he returns, with a gush of enthusiasm, to his old refrain, "Tiny."

The breed of small terriers of the Tiny breed must be increased. "I do not mean," he says, "the little pigmy dwarf terrier; they are tantamount to useless, even where they are well-bred, not having strength enough for hunting. A dog, to be of sound service, ought to be from six to sixteen pounds weight; I would not recommend them over that, as they become too large and unwieldy for the purpose, and too expensive keeping: besides, little dogs will kill mice as well as rats, and that is a great recommendation. I would also recommend, above all others, the London rat-killing terrier; he is as hard as steel, courageous as a lion, and as handsome as a racehorse: the village dogs, on the other hand, are, generally speaking, too large, too coarse, and too soft. You ought to be as particular about breeding terriers as they are with racehorses."

The writer suggests the abolition of the duty upon rat-catching terriers of the "Tiny" family; that associations should be encouraged in the rural parts of England for the promotion of rat-catching in all its branches; that the bodies of the vermin be sold for manure; and lastly, that rewards be given to the greatest killers.

Literature has, from first to last, been strengthened by recruits from nearly every class; but till now we know of no volunteer who has enlisted under her banner from the ranks of rat-catching. We know not if the publication that has afforded a text for this article will effectually augment the exterminators of the rat-tribe; but this is certain, that, rat-killer though its writer be, he has produced between forty and fifty pages, in which, though there may be much comical exaggeration, there are, nevertheless, many curious facts and suggestions for abating one of the greatest animal nuisances that have infested our homes and fields, since the days when an English king levied tribute of wolves' heads upon our brethren of Wales.




Of a hundred travelers who spend a night at Trê-Madoc, in North Wales, there is not one, perhaps, who goes to the neighboring village of Pen-Morfa. The new town, built by Mr. Maddocks, Shelley's friend, has taken away all the importance of the ancient village—formerly, as its name imports, "the head of the marsh;" that marsh which Mr. Maddocks drained and dyked, and reclaimed from the Traeth Mawr, till Pen-Morfa, against the walls of whose cottages the winter tides lashed in former days, has come to stand high and dry, three miles from the sea, on a disused road to Caernarvon. I do not think there has been a new cottage built in Pen-Morfa this hundred years; and many an old one has dates in some obscure corner which tell of the fifteenth century. The joists of timber, where they meet overhead, are blackened with the smoke of centuries. There is one large room, round which the beds are built like cupboards, with wooden doors to open and shut; somewhat in the old Scotch fashion, I imagine: and below the bed (at least, in one instance I can testify that this was the case, and I was told it was not uncommon), is a great wide wooden drawer, which contained the oat-cake baked for some months' consumption by the family. They call the promontory of Llyn (the point at the end of Caernarvonshire), Welsh Wales; I think they might call Pen-Morfa a Welsh Welsh village; it is so national in its ways, and buildings, and inhabitants, and so different from the towns and hamlets into which the English throng in summer. How these said inhabitants of Pen-Morfa ever are distinguished by their names, I, uninitiated, can not tell. I only know for a fact, that in a family there with which I am acquainted, the eldest son's name is John Jones, because his father's was John Thomas; that the second son is called David Williams, because his grandfather was William Wynn, and that the girls are called indiscriminately by the names of Thomas and Jones. I have heard some of the Welsh chuckle over the way in which they have baffled the barristers at Caernarvon Assizes, denying the name under which they had been subpœnaed to give evidence, if they were unwilling witnesses. I could tell you of a great deal which is peculiar and wild in these true Welsh people, who are what I suppose we English were a century ago; but I must hasten on to my tale.

I have received great, true, beautiful kindness from one of the members of the family of whom I just now spoke as living at Pen-Morfa; and when I found that they wished me to drink tea with them, I gladly did so, though my friend was the only one in the house, who could speak English[206] at all fluently. After tea, I went with them to see some of their friends; and it was then I saw the interiors of the houses of which I have spoken. It was an autumn evening; we left mellow sunset-light in the open air when we entered the houses, in which all seemed dark save in the ruddy sphere of the firelight, for the windows were very small, and deep set in the thick walls. Here were an old couple, who welcomed me in Welsh, and brought forth milk and oat-cake with patriarchal hospitality. Sons and daughters had married away from them; they lived alone; he was blind, or nearly so; and they sat one on each side of the fire, so old and so still (till we went in and broke the silence), that they seemed to be listening for Death. At another house, lived a woman stern and severe-looking. She was busy hiving a swarm of bees, alone and unassisted. I do not think my companion would have chosen to speak to her, but seeing her out in her hill-side garden, she made some inquiry in Welsh, which was answered in the most mournful tone I ever heard in my life; a voice of which the freshness and "timbre" had been choked up by tears long years ago. I asked who she was. I dare say the story is common enough, but the sight of the woman, and her few words had impressed me. She had been the beauty of Pen-Morfa; had been in service; had been taken to London by the family whom she served; had come down in a year or so, back to Pen-Morfa; her beauty gone into that sad, wild, despairing look which I saw; and she about to become a mother. Her father had died during her absence, and left her a very little money; and after her child was born she took the little cottage where I saw her, and made a scanty living by the produce of her bees. She associated with no one. One event had made her savage and distrustful to her kind. She kept so much aloof that it was some time before it became known that her child was deformed, and had lost the use of its lower limbs. Poor thing! when I saw the mother, it had been for fifteen years bedridden; but go past when you would, in the night, you saw a light burning; it was often that of the watching mother, solitary and friendless, soothing the moaning child; or you might hear her crooning some old Welsh air, in hopes to still the pain with the loud, monotonous music. Her sorrow was so dignified, and her mute endurance and her patient love won her such respect, that the neighbors would fain have been friends; but she kept alone and solitary. This is a most true story. I hope that woman and her child are dead now, and their souls above.

Another story which I heard of these old primitive dwellings I mean to tell at somewhat greater length:

There are rocks high above Pen-Morfa; they are the same that hang over Trê-Madoc, but near Pen-Morfa they sweep away, and are lost in the plain. Every where they are beautiful. The great sharp ledges which would otherwise look hard and cold, are adorned with the brightest-colored moss, and the golden lichen. Close to, you see the scarlet leaves of the crane's-bill, and the tufts of purple heather, which fill up every cleft and cranny; but in the distance you see only the general effect of infinite richness of color, broken here and there by great masses of ivy. At the foot of these rocks come a rich verdant meadow or two; and then you are at Pen-Morfa. The village well is sharp down under the rocks. There are one or two large, sloping pieces of stone in that last field, on the road leading to the well, which are always slippery; slippery in the summer's heat, almost as much as in the frost of winter, when some little glassy stream that runs over them is turned into a thin sheet of ice. Many, many years back—a lifetime ago—there lived in Pen-Morfa a widow and her daughter. Very little is required in those out-of-the-way Welsh villages. The wants of the people are very simple. Shelter, fire, a little oat-cake and buttermilk, and garden produce; perhaps some pork and bacon from the pig in winter; clothing, which is principally of home manufacture, and of the most enduring kind: these take very little money to purchase, especially in a district into which the large capitalists have not yet come, to buy up two or three acres of the peasants; and nearly every man about Pen-Morfa owned, at the time of which I speak, his dwelling and some land besides.

Eleanor Gwynn inherited the cottage (by the road-side, on the left hand as you go from Trê-Madoc to Pen-Morfa), in which she and her husband had lived all their married life, and a small garden sloping southward, in which her bees lingered before winging their way to the more distant heather. She took rank among her neighbors as the possessor of a moderate independence—not rich, and not poor. But the young men of Pen-Morfa thought her very rich in the possession of a most lovely daughter. Most of us know how very pretty Welsh women are; but from all accounts, Nest Gwynn (Nest, or Nesta, is the Welsh for Agnes) was more regularly beautiful than any one for miles around. The Welsh are still fond of triads, and "as beautiful as a summer's morning at sun-rise, as a white sea-gull on the green sea-wave, and as Nest Gwynn," is yet a saying in that district. Nest knew she was beautiful, and delighted in it. Her mother sometimes checked her in her happy pride, and sometimes reminded her that beauty was a great gift of God (for the Welsh are a very pious people), but when she began her little homily, Nest came dancing to her, and knelt down before her and put her face up to be kissed, and so with a sweet interruption she stopped her mother's lips. Her high spirits made some few shake their heads, and some called her a flirt and a coquette; for she could not help trying to please all, both old and young, both men and women. A very little from Nest sufficed for this; a sweet glittering smile, a word of kindness, a merry glance, or a little sympathy, all these pleased and attracted; she was like the[207] fairy-gifted child, and dropped inestimable gifts. But some, who had interpreted her smiles and kind words rather as their wishes led them than as they were really warranted, found that the beautiful, beaming Nest could be decided and saucy enough, and so they revenged themselves by calling her a flirt. Her mother heard it and sighed; but Nest only laughed.

It was her work to fetch water for the day's use from the well I told you about. Old people say it was the prettiest sight in the world to see her come stepping lightly and gingerly over the stones, with the pail of water balanced on her head; she was too adroit to need to steady it with her hand. They say, now that they can afford to be charitable and speak the truth, that in all her changes to other people, there never was a better daughter to a widowed mother than Nest. There is a picturesque old farm-house under Moel Gwynn, on the road from Trê-Madoc to Criccaeth, called by some Welsh name which I now forget; but its meaning in English is "The End of Time;" a strange, boding, ominous name. Perhaps the builder meant his work to endure till the end of time. I do not know; but there the old house stands, and will stand for many a year. When Nest was young, it belonged to one Edward Williams; his mother was dead, and people said he was on the look-out for a wife. They told Nest so, but she tossed her head and reddened, and said she thought he might look long before he got one; so it was not strange that one morning when she went to the well, one autumn morning when the dew lay heavy upon the grass, and the thrushes were busy among the mountain-ash berries, Edward Williams happened to be there on his way to the coursing match near, and somehow his grayhounds threw her pail of water over in their romping play, and she was very long in filling it again; and when she came home she threw her arms round her mother's neck, and in a passion of joyous tears told her that Edward Williams of The End of Time, had asked her to marry him, and that she had said "Yes."

Eleanor Gwynn shed her tears too; but they fell quietly when she was alone. She was thankful Nest had found a protector—one suitable in age and apparent character, and above her in fortune; but she knew she should miss her sweet daughter in a thousand household ways; miss her in the evenings by the fire-side; miss her when at night she wakened up with a start from a dream of her youth, and saw her fair face lying calm in the moonlight, pillowed by her side. Then she forgot her dream, and blessed her child, and slept again. But who could be so selfish as to be sad when Nest was so supremely happy? She danced and sang more than ever; and then sat silent, and smiled to herself: if spoken to, she started and came back to the present with a scarlet blush, which told what she had been thinking of.

That was a sunny, happy, enchanted autumn. But the winter was nigh at hand; and with it came sorrow. One fine frosty morning, Nest went out with her lover—she to the well, he to some farming business, which was to be transacted at the little inn of Pen-Morfa. He was late for his appointment; so he left her at the entrance of the village, and hastened to the inn; and she, in her best cloak and new hat (put on against her mother's advice; but they were a recent purchase, and very becoming), went through the Dol Mawr, radiant with love and happiness. One who lived until lately, met her going down toward the well, that morning; and said he turned round to look after her, she seemed unusually lovely. He wondered at the time at her wearing her Sunday clothes; for the pretty, hooded blue-cloth cloak is kept among the Welsh women as a church and market garment, and not commonly used even on the coldest days of winter for such household errands as fetching water from the well. However, as he said, "It was not possible to look in her face, and 'fault' any thing she wore." Down the sloping-stones the girl went blithely with her pail. She filled it at the well; and then she took off her hat, tied the strings together, and slung it over her arm; she lifted the heavy pail and balanced it on her head. But alas! in going up the smooth, slippery, treacherous rock, the encumbrance of her cloak—it might be such a trifle as her slung hat—something at any rate, took away her evenness of poise; the freshet had frozen on the slanting stone, and was one coat of ice; poor Nest fell, and put out her hip. No more flushing rosy color on that sweet face—no more look of beaming innocent happiness;—instead, there was deadly pallor, and filmy eyes, over which dark shades seemed to chase each other as the shoots of agony grew more and more intense. She screamed once or twice; but the exertion (involuntary, and forced out of her by excessive pain) overcame her, and she fainted. A child coming an hour or so afterward on the same errand, saw her lying there, ice-glued to the stone, and thought she was dead. It flew crying back.

"Nest Gwynn is dead! Nest Gwynn is dead!" and, crazy with fear, it did not stop until it had hid its head in its mother's lap. The village was alarmed, and all who were able went in haste toward the well. Poor Nest had often thought she was dying in that dreary hour; had taken fainting for death, and struggled against it; and prayed that God would keep her alive till she could see her lover's face once more; and when she did see it, white with terror, bending over her, she gave a feeble smile and let herself faint away into unconsciousness.

Many a month she lay on her bed unable to move. Sometimes she was delirious, sometimes worn-out into the deepest depression. Through all, her mother watched her with tenderest care. The neighbors would come and offer help. They would bring presents of country dainties; and I do not suppose that there was a better dinner than ordinary cooked in any household in Pen-Morfa parish, but a portion of it was sent to Eleanor[208] Gwynn, if not for her sick daughter, to try and tempt her herself to eat and be strengthened; for to no one would she delegate the duty of watching over her child. Edward Williams was for a long time most assiduous in his inquiries and attentions; but by-and-by (ah! you see the dark fate of poor Nest now), he slackened, so little at first that Eleanor blamed herself for her jealousy on her daughter's behalf, and chid her suspicious heart. But as spring ripened into summer, and Nest was still bedridden, Edward's coolness was visible to more than the poor mother. The neighbors would have spoken to her about it, but she shrunk from the subject as if they were probing a wound. "At any rate," thought she, "Nest shall be strong before she is told about it. I will tell lies—I shall be forgiven—but I must save my child; and when she is stronger perhaps I may be able to comfort her. Oh! I wish she would not speak to him so tenderly and trustfully, when she is delirious. I could curse him when she does." And then Nest would call for her mother, and Eleanor would go, and invent some strange story about the summonses Edward had had to Caernarvon assizes, or to Harlech cattle market. But at last she was driven to her wits' end; it was three weeks since he had even stopped at the door to inquire, and Eleanor, mad with anxiety about her child, who was silently pining off to death for want of tidings of her lover, put on her cloak, when she had lulled her daughter to sleep one fine June evening, and set off to "The End of Time." The great plain which stretches out like an amphitheatre, in the half-circle of hills formed by the ranges of Moel Gwynn and the Trê-Madoc Rocks were all golden-green in the mellow light of sunset. To Eleanor it might have been black with winter frost, she never noticed outward thing till she reached The End of Time; and there, in the little farm-yard, she was brought to a sense of her present hour and errand by seeing Edward. He was examining some hay, newly stacked; the air was scented by its fragrance, and by the lingering sweetness of the breath of the cows. When Edward turned round at the footstep and saw Eleanor, he colored and looked confused; however, he came forward to meet her in a cordial manner enough.

"It's a fine evening," said he. "How is Nest? But, indeed, you're being here is a sign she is better. Won't you come in and sit down?" He spoke hurriedly, as if affecting a welcome which he did not feel.

"Thank you. I'll just take this milking-stool and sit down here. The open air is like balm after being shut up so long."

"It is a long time," he replied, "more than five months."

Mrs. Gwynn was trembling at heart. She felt an anger which she did not wish to show; for, if by any manifestations of temper or resentment she lessened or broke the waning thread of attachment which bound him to her daughter, she felt she should never forgive herself. She kept inwardly saying, "Patience, patience! he may be true and love her yet;" but her indignant convictions gave her words the lie.

"It's a long time, Edward Williams, since you've been near us to ask after Nest;" said she. "She may be better, or she may be worse, for aught you know." She looked up at him, reproachfully, but spoke in a gentle quiet tone.

"I—you see the hay has been a long piece of work. The weather has been fractious—and a master's eye is needed. Besides," said he, as if he had found the reason for which he sought to account for his absence, "I have heard of her from Rowland Jones. I was at the surgery for some horse-medicine—he told me about her:" and a shade came over his face, as he remembered what the doctor had said. Did he think that shade would escape the mother's eye?

"You saw Rowland Jones! Oh, man-alive, tell me what he said of my girl! He'll say nothing to me, but just hems and haws the more I pray him. But you will tell me. You must tell me." She stood up and spoke in a tone of command, which his feeling of independence, weakened just then by an accusing conscience, did not enable him to resist. He strove to evade the question, however.

"It was an unlucky day that ever she went to the well!"

"Tell me what the doctor said of my child," repeated Mrs. Gwynn. "Will she live, or will she die?" He did not dare to disobey the imperious tone in which this question was put.

"Oh, she will live, don't be afraid. The doctor said she would live." He did not mean to lay any particular emphasis on the word "live," but somehow he did, and she, whose every nerve vibrated with anxiety, caught the word.

"She will live!" repeated she. "But there is something behind. Tell me, for I will know. If you won't say, I'll go to Rowland Jones to-night and make him tell me what he has said to you."

There had passed something in this conversation between himself and the doctor, which Edward did not wish to have known; and Mrs. Gwynn's threat had the desired effect. But he looked vexed and irritated.

"You have such impatient ways with you, Mrs. Gwynn," he remonstrated.

"I am a mother asking news of my sick child," said she. "Go on. What did he say? She'll live—" as if giving the clew.

"She'll live, he has no doubt of that. But he thinks—now don't clench your hands so—I can't tell you if you look in that way; you are enough to frighten a man."

"I'm not speaking," said she in a low husky tone. "Never mind my looks: she'll live—"

"But she'll be a cripple for life. There! you would have it out," said he, sulkily.

"A cripple for life," repeated she, slowly. "And I'm one-and-twenty years older than she is!" She sighed heavily.

"And, as we're about it, I'll just tell you what is in my mind," said[209] he, hurried and confused. "I've a deal of cattle; and the farm makes heavy work, as much as an able, healthy woman can do. So you see—" He stopped, wishing her to understand his meaning without words. But she would not. She fixed her dark eyes on him, as if reading his soul, till he flinched under her gaze.

"Well," said she, at length, "say on. Remember I've a deal of work in me yet, and what strength is mine is my daughter's."

"You're very good. But, altogether, you must be aware, Nest will never be the same as she was."

"And you've not yet sworn in the face of God to take her for better, for worse; and, as she is worse"—she looked in his face, caught her breath, and went on—"as she is worse, why, you cast her off, not being church-tied to her. Though her body may be crippled, her poor heart is the same—alas!—and full of love for you. Edward, you don't mean to break it off because of our sorrows. You're only trying me, I know," said she, as if begging him to assure her that her fears were false. "But, you see, I'm a foolish woman—a poor foolish woman—and ready to take fright at a few words." She smiled up in his face; but it was a forced, doubting smile, and his face still retained its sullen, dogged aspect.

"Nay, Mrs. Gwynn," said he, "you spoke truth at first. Your own good sense told you Nest would never be fit to be any man's wife—unless, indeed, she could catch Mr. Griffiths of Tynwntyrybwlch; he might keep her a carriage, may be." Edward really did not mean to be unfeeling; but he was obtuse, and wished to carry off his embarrassment by a kind of friendly joke, which he had no idea would sting the poor mother as it did. He was startled at her manner.

"Put it in words like a man. Whatever you mean by my child, say it for yourself, and don't speak as if my good sense had told me any thing. I stand here, doubting my own thoughts, cursing my own fears. Don't be a coward. I ask you whether you and Nest are troth-plight?"

"I am not a coward. Since you ask me, I answer, Nest and I were troth-plight; but we are not. I can not—no one would expect me to wed a cripple. It's your own doing I've told you now; I had made up my mind, but I should have waited a bit before telling you."

"Very well," said she, and she turned to go away; but her wrath bust the flood-gates, and swept away discretion and forethought. She moved and stood in the gateway. Her lips parted, but no sound came; with an hysterical motion she threw her arms suddenly up to heaven, as if bringing down lightning toward the gray old house to which she pointed as they fell, and then she spoke:

"The widow's child is unfriended. As surely as the Saviour brought the son of a widow from death to life, for her tears and cries, so surely will God and His angels watch over my Nest, and avenge her cruel wrongs." She turned away, weeping, and wringing her hands.

Edward went in-doors; he had no more desire to reckon his stores; he sat by the fire, looking gloomily at the red ashes. He might have been there half an hour or more, when some one knocked at the door. He would not speak. He wanted no one's company. Another knock, sharp and loud. He did not speak. Then the visitor opened the door; and, to his surprise—almost to his affright—Eleanor Gwynn came in.

"I knew you were here. I knew you could not go out into the clear, holy night, as if nothing had happened. Oh! did I curse you? If I did, I beg you to forgive me; and I will try and ask the Almighty to bless you, if you will but have a little mercy—a very little. It will kill my Nest if she knows the truth now—she is so very weak. Why, she can not feed herself, she is so low and feeble. You would not wish to kill her, I think, Edward!" She looked at him as if expecting an answer; but he did not speak. She went down on her knees on the flags by him.

"You will give me a little time, Edward, to get her strong, won't you, now? I ask it on my bended knees! Perhaps, if I promise never to curse you again, you will come sometimes to see her, till she is well enough to know how all is over, and her heart's hopes crushed. Only say you'll come for a month, or so, as if you still loved her—the poor cripple—forlorn of the world. I'll get her strong, and not tax you long." Her tears fell too fast for her to go on.

"Get up, Mrs. Gwynn," Edward said. "Don't kneel to me. I have no objection to come and see Nest, now and then, so that all is clear between you and me. Poor thing! I'm sorry, as it happens, she's so taken up with the thought of me."

"It was likely, was not it? and you to have been her husband before this time, if—Oh, miserable me! to let my child go and dim her bright life! But you'll forgive me, and come sometimes, just for a little quarter of an hour, once or twice a week. Perhaps she'll be asleep sometimes when you call, and then, you know, you need not come in. If she were not so ill, I'd never ask you."

So low and humble was the poor widow brought, through her exceeding love for her daughter.


Nest revived during the warm summer weather. Edward came to see her, and staid the allotted quarter of an hour; but he dared not look her in the face. She was indeed a cripple: one leg was much shorter than the other, and she halted on a crutch. Her face, formerly so brilliant in color, was wan and pale with suffering: the bright roses were gone, never to return. Her large eyes were sunk deep down in their hollow, cavernous sockets: but the light was in them still, when Edward came. Her mother dreaded her returning strength—dreaded, yet desired it; for[210] the heavy burden of her secret was most oppressive at times, and she thought Edward was beginning to weary of his enforced attentions. One October evening she told her the truth. She even compelled her rebellious heart to take the cold, reasoning side of the question; and she told her child that her disabled frame was a disqualification for ever becoming a farmer's wife. She spoke hardly, because her inner agony and sympathy was such, she dared not trust herself to express the feelings that were rending her. But Nest turned away from cold reason; she revolted from her mother; she revolted from the world. She bound her sorrow tight up in her breast, to corrode and fester there.

Night after night, her mother heard her cries and moans—more pitiful, by far, than those wrung from her by bodily pain a year before; and, night after night, if her mother spoke to soothe, she proudly denied the existence of any pain but what was physical, and consequent upon her accident.

"If she would but open her sore heart to me—to me, her mother," Eleanor wailed forth in prayer to God, "I would be content. Once it was enough to have my Nest all my own. Then came love, and I knew it would never be as before; and then I thought the grief I felt, when Edward spoke to me, was as sharp a sorrow as could be; but this present grief, Oh Lord, my God, is worst of all; and Thou only, Thou canst help!"

When Nest grew as strong as she was ever likely to be on earth, she was anxious to have as much labor as she could bear. She would not allow her mother to spare her any thing. Hard work—bodily fatigue—she seemed to crave. She was glad when she was stunned by exhaustion into a dull insensibility of feeling. She was almost fierce when her mother, in those first months of convalescence, performed the household tasks which had formerly been hers; but she shrank from going out of doors. Her mother thought that she was unwilling to expose her changed appearance to the neighbors' remarks; but Nest was not afraid of that: she was afraid of their pity, as being one deserted and cast off. If Eleanor gave way before her daughter's imperiousness, and sat by while Nest "tore" about her work with the vehemence of a bitter heart, Eleanor could have cried, but she durst not; tears, or any mark of commiseration, irritated the crippled girl so much, she even drew away from caresses. Every thing was to go on as it had been before she had known Edward; and so it did, outwardly; but they trod carefully, as if the ground on which they moved was hollow—deceptive. There was no more careless ease; every word was guarded, and every action planned. It was a dreary life to both. Once, Eleanor brought in a little baby, a neighbor's child, to try and tempt Nest out of herself, by her old love of children. Nest's pale face flushed as she saw the innocent child in her mother's arms; and, for a moment, she made as if she would have taken it; but then, she turned away, and hid her face behind her apron, and murmured, "I shall never have a child to lie in my breast, and call me mother!" In a minute she arose, with compressed and tightened lips, and went about her household works, without her noticing the cooing baby again, till Mrs. Gwynn, heart-sick at the failure of her little plan, took it back to its parents.

One day the news ran through Pen-Morfa that Edward Williams was about to be married. Eleanor had long expected this intelligence. It came upon her like no new thing; but it was the filling-up of her cup of woe. She could not tell Nest. She sat listlessly in the house, and dreaded that each neighbor who came in would speak about the village news. At last, some one did. Nest looked round from her employment, and talked of the event with a kind of cheerful curiosity as to the particulars, which made her informant go away, and tell others that Nest had quite left off caring for Edward Williams. But when the door was shut, and Eleanor and she were left alone, Nest came and stood before her weeping mother like a stern accuser.

"Mother, why did not you let me die? Why did you keep me alive for this?" Eleanor could not speak, but she put her arms out toward her girl. Nest turned away, and Eleanor cried aloud in her soreness of spirit. Nest came again.

"Mother, I was wrong. You did your best. I don't know how it is I am so hard and cold. I wish I had died when I was a girl, and had a feeling heart."

"Don't speak so, my child. God has afflicted you sore, and your hardness of heart is but for a time. Wait a little. Don't reproach yourself, my poor Nest. I understand your ways. I don't mind them, love. The feeling heart will come back to you in time. Any ways, don't think you're grieving me, because, love, that may sting you when I'm gone; and I'm not grieved, my darling. Most times we're very cheerful, I think."

After this, mother and child were drawn more together. But Eleanor had received her death from these sorrowful, hurrying events. She did not conceal the truth from herself; nor did she pray to live, as some months ago she had done, for her child's sake; she had found out that she had no power to console the poor wounded heart. It seemed to her as if her prayers had been of no avail; and then she blamed herself for this thought.

There are many Methodist preachers in this part of Wales. There was a certain old man, named David Hughes, who was held in peculiar reverence because he had known the great John Wesley. He had been captain of a Caernarvon slate-vessel; he had traded in the Mediterranean, and had seen strange sights. In those early days (to use his own expression) he had lived without God in the world; but he went to mock John Wesley, and was converted to the white-haired patriarch, and remained to pray.[211] Afterward he became one of the earnest, self-denying, much-abused band of itinerant preachers, who went forth under Wesley's direction to spread abroad a more earnest and practical spirit of religion. His rambles and travels were of use to him. They extended his knowledge of the circumstances in which men are sometimes placed, and enlarged his sympathy with the tried and tempted. His sympathy, combined with the thoughtful experience of four-score years, made him cognizant of many of the strange secrets of humanity; and when younger preachers upbraided the hard hearts they met with, and despaired of the sinners, he "suffered long and was kind."

When Eleanor Gwynn lay low on her death-bed, David Hughes came to Pen-Morfa. He knew her history, and sought her out. To him she imparted the feelings I have described.

"I have lost my faith, David. The tempter has come, and I have yielded. I doubt if my prayers have been heard. Day and night have I prayed that I might comfort my child in her great sorrow; but God has not heard me. She has turned away from me, and refused my poor love. I wish to die now; but I have lost my faith, and have no more pleasure in the thought of going to God. What must I do, David?"

She hung upon his answer; and it was long in coming.

"I am weary of earth," said she, mournfully, "and can I find rest in death even, leaving my child desolate and broken-hearted?"

"Eleanor," said David, "where you go, all things will be made clear; and you will learn to thank God for the end of what now seems grievous and heavy to be borne. Do you think your agony has been greater than the awful agony in the Garden—or your prayers more earnest than that which He prayed in that hour when the great drops of blood ran down his face like sweat? We know that God heard Him, although no answer came to Him through the dread silence of that night. God's times are not our times. I have lived eighty-and-one years, and never yet have I known an earnest prayer fall to the ground unheeded. In an unknown way, and when no one looked for it, may be, the answer came; a fuller, more satisfying answer than heart could conceive of, although it might be different to what was expected. Sister, you are going where in His light you will see light; you will learn there that in very faithfulness He has afflicted you!"

"Go on—you strengthen me," said she.

After David Hughes left that day, Eleanor was calm as one already dead, and past mortal strife. Nest was awed by the change. No more passionate weeping—no more sorrow in the voice; though it was low and weak, it sounded with a sweet composure. Her last look was a smile; her last word a blessing.

Nest, tearless, streeked the poor worn body. She laid a plate with salt upon it on the breast, and lighted candles for the head and feet. It was an old Welsh custom; but when David Hughes came in, the sight carried him back to the time when he had seen the chapels in some old Catholic cathedral. Nest sat gazing on the dead with dry, hot eyes.

"She is dead," said David, solemnly, "she died in Christ. Let us bless God, my child. He giveth and He taketh away!"

"She is dead," said Nest, "my mother is dead. No one loves me now."

She spoke as if she were thinking aloud, for she did not look at David, or ask him to be seated.

"No one loves you now? No human creature, you mean. You are not yet fit to be spoken to concerning God's infinite love. I, like you, will speak of love for human creatures. I tell you, if no one loves you, it is time for you to begin to love." He spoke almost severely (if David Hughes ever did); for, to tell the truth, he was repelled by her hard rejection of her mother's tenderness, about which the neighbors had told him.

"Begin to love!" said she, her eyes flashing. "Have I not loved? Old man, you are dim and worn-out. You do not remember what love is." She spoke with a scornful kind of pitying endurance. "I will tell you how I have loved, by telling you the change it has wrought in me. I was once the beautiful Nest Gwynn; I am now a cripple, a poor, wan-faced cripple, old before my time. That is a change; at least people think so." She paused, and then spoke lower. "I tell you, David Hughes, that outward change is as nothing compared to the change in my nature caused by the love I have felt—and have had rejected. I was gentle once, and if you spoke a tender word, my heart came toward you as natural as a little child goes to its mammy. I never spoke roughly, even to the dumb creatures, for I had a kind feeling for all. Of late (since I loved, old man), I have been cruel in my thoughts to every one. I have turned away from tenderness with bitter indifference. Listen!" she spoke in a hoarse whisper. "I will own it. I have spoken hardly to her," pointing toward the corpse. "Her who was ever patient, and full of love for me. She did not know," she muttered, "she is gone to the grave without knowing how I loved her—I had such strange, mad, stubborn pride in me."

"Come back, mother! Come back," said she, crying wildly to the still, solemn corpse; "come back as a spirit or a ghost—only come back, that I may tell you how I have loved you."

But the dead never come back.

The passionate adjuration ended in tears—the first she had shed. When they ceased, or were absorbed into long quivering sobs, David knelt down. Nest did not kneel, but bowed her head. He prayed, while his own tears fell fast. He rose up. They were both calm.

"Nest," said he, "your love has been the love of youth; passionate, wild, natural to youth. Henceforward you must love like Christ; without thought of self, or wish for return. You must take the sick and the[212] weary to your heart and love them. That love will lift you up above the storms of the world into God's own peace. The very vehemence of your nature proves that you are capable of this. I do not pity you. You do not require pity. You are powerful enough to trample down your own sorrows into a blessing for others; and to others you will be a blessing; I see it before you; I see in it the answer to your mother's prayer."

The old man's dim eyes glittered as if they saw a vision; the fire-light sprang up and glinted on his long white hair. Nest was awed as if she saw a prophet, and a prophet he was to her.

When next David Hughes came to Pen-Morfa, he asked about Nest Gwynn, with a hovering doubt as to the answer. The inn-folk told him she was living still in the cottage, which was now her own.

"But would you believe it, David," said Mrs. Thomas, "she has gone and taken Mary Williams to live with her? You remember Mary Williams, I'm sure."

No! David Hughes remembered no Mary Williams at Pen-Morfa.

"You must have seen her, for I know you've called at Thomas Griffiths's where the parish boarded her?"

"You don't mean the half-witted woman—the poor crazy creature!"

"But I do!" said Mrs. Thomas.

"I have seen her sure enough, but I never thought of learning her name. And Nest Gwynn has taken her to live with her."

"Yes! I thought I should surprise you. She might have had many a decent girl for companion. My own niece, her that is an orphan, would have gone and been thankful. Besides, Mary Williams is a regular savage at times; John Griffiths says there were days when he used to beat her till she howled again, and yet she would not do as he told her. Nay, once, he says, if he had not seen her eyes glare like a wild beast, from under the shadow of the table where she had taken shelter, and got pretty quickly out of her way, she would have flown upon him and throttled him. He gave Nest fair warning of what she must expect, and he thinks some day she will be found murdered."

David Hughes thought awhile. "How came Nest to take her to live with her?" asked he.

"Well! Folk say John Griffiths did not give her enough to eat. Half-wits, they tell me, take more to feed them than others, and Eleanor Gwynn had given her oat-cake and porridge a time or two, and most likely spoken kindly to her (you know Eleanor spoke kind to all), so some months ago, when John Griffiths had been beating her, and keeping her without food to try and tame her, she ran away and came to Nest's cottage in the dead of night, all shivering and starved, for she did not know Eleanor was dead, and thought to meet with kindness from her. I've no doubt and Nest remembered how her mother used to feed and comfort the poor idiot, and made her some gruel, and wrapped her up by the fire. And in the morning when John Griffiths came in search of Mary, he found her with Nest, and Mary wailed so piteously at the sight of him, that Nest went to the parish officers and offered to take her to board with her for the same money they gave to him. John says he was right glad to be off his bargain."

David Hughes knew there was a kind of remorse which sought relief in the performance of the most difficult and repugnant tasks. He thought he could understand how, in her bitter repentance for her conduct toward her mother, Nest had taken in the first helpless creature that came seeking shelter in her name. It was not what he would have chosen, but he knew it was God that had sent the poor wandering idiot there.

He went to see Nest the next morning. As he drew near the cottage—it was summer time, and the doors and windows were all open—he heard an angry, passionate kind of sound that was scarcely human. That sound prevented his approach from being heard; and standing at the threshold, he saw poor Mary Williams pacing backward and forward in some wild mood. Nest, cripple as she was, was walking with her, speaking low, soothing words, till the pace was slackened, and time and breathing was given to put her arm around the crazy woman's neck, and soothe her by this tender caress into the quiet luxury of tears; tears which give the hot brain relief. Then David Hughes came in. His first words, as he took off his hat, standing on the lintel, were—"The peace of God be upon this house." Neither he nor Nest recurred to the past; though solemn recollections filled their minds. Before he went, all three knelt and prayed; for, as Nest told him, some mysterious influence of peace came over the poor half-wit's mind when she heard the holy words of prayer; and often when she felt a paroxysm coming on, she would kneel and repeat a homily rapidly over, as if it were a charm to scare away the Demon in possession; sometimes, indeed, the control over herself requisite for this effort was enough to dispel the fluttering burst. When David rose up to go, he drew Nest to the door.

"You are not afraid, my child?" asked he.

"No," she replied. "She is often very good and quiet. When she is not, I can bear it."

"I shall see your face on earth no more;" said he. "God bless you!" He went on his way. Not many weeks after, David Hughes was borne to his grave.

The doors of Nest's heart were opened—opened wide by the love she grew to feel for crazy Mary, so helpless, so friendless, so dependent upon her. Mary loved her back again, as a dumb animal loves its blind master. It was happiness enough to be near her. In general she was only too glad to do what she was bidden by Nest. But there were times when Mary was overpowered by the glooms and fancies of her poor disordered brain.[213] Fearful times! No one knew how fearful. On those days, Nest warned the little children who loved to come and play around her, that they must not visit the house. The signal was a piece of white linen hung out of a side window. On those days the sorrowful and sick waited in vain for the sound of Nest's lame approach. But what she had to endure was only known to God, for she never complained. If she had given up the charge of Mary, or if the neighbors had risen, out of love and care for her life, to compel such a step, she knew not what hard curses and blows—what starvation and misery, would await the poor creature.

She told of Mary's docility, and her affection, and her innocent little sayings; but she never told the details of the occasional days of wild disorder, and driving insanity.

Nest grew old before her time, in consequence of her accident. She knew that she was as old at fifty as many are at seventy. She knew it partly by the vividness with which the remembrance of the days of her youth came back to her mind, while the events of yesterday were dim and forgotten. She dreamt of her girlhood and youth. In sleep she was once more the beautiful Nest Gwynn, the admired of all beholders, the light-hearted girl, beloved by her mother. Little circumstances connected with those early days, forgotten since the very time when they occurred, came back to her mind in her waking hours. She had a sear on the palm of her left hand, occasioned by the fall of a branch of a tree, when she was a child; it had not pained her since the first two days after the accident; but now it began to hurt her slightly; and clear in her ears was the crackling sound of the treacherous, rending wood; distinct before her rose the presence of her mother tenderly binding up the wound. With these remembrances came a longing desire to see the beautiful fatal well, once more before her death. She had never gone so far since the day when, by her fall there, she lost love, and hope, and her bright, glad youth. She yearned to look upon its waters once again. This desire waxed as her life waned. She told it to poor crazy Mary.

"Mary!" said she, "I want to go to the Rock Well. If you will help me, I can manage it. There used to be many a stone in the Dol Mawr on which I could sit and rest. We will go to-morrow morning before folks are astir."

Mary answered briskly, "Up, up! To the Rock Well! Mary will go. Mary will go." All day long she kept muttering to herself, "Mary will go."

Nest had the happiest dream that night. Her mother stood beside her—not in the flesh, but in the bright glory of a blessed spirit. And Nest was no longer young—neither was she old—"they reckon not by days, nor years where she was gone to dwell;" and her mother stretched out her arms to her with a calm, glad look of welcome. She awoke; the woodlark was singing in the near copse—the little birds were astir, and rustling in their leafy nests. Nest arose, and called Mary. The two set out through the quiet lane. They went along slowly and silently. With many a pause they crossed the broad Dol Mawr; and carefully descended the sloping stones, on which no trace remained of the hundreds of feet that had passed over them since Nest was last there. The clear water sparkled and quivered in the early sun-light, the shadows of the birch-leaves were stirred on the ground; the ferns—Nest could have believed that they were the very same ferns which she had seen thirty years before, hung wet and dripping where the water overflowed—a thrush chanted matins from a holly bush near—and the running stream made a low, soft, sweet accompaniment. All was the same; Nature was as fresh and young as ever. It might have been yesterday that Edward Williams had overtaken her, and told her his love—the thought of his words—his handsome looks—(he was a gray, hard-featured man by this time), and then she recalled the fatal wintry morning when joy and youth had fled; and as she remembered that faintness of pain, a new, a real faintness—no echo of the memory—came over her. She leant her back against a rock, without a moan or sigh, and died! She found immortality by the well side, instead of her fragile, perishing youth. She was so calm and placid that Mary (who had been dipping her fingers in the well, to see the waters drop off in the gleaming sun-light), thought she was asleep, and for some time continued her amusement in silence. At last she turned, and said,

"Mary is tired. Mary wants to go home." Nest did not speak, though the idiot repeated her plaintive words. She stood and looked till a strange terror came over her—a terror too mysterious to be borne.

"Mistress, wake! Mistress, wake!" she said, wildly, shaking the form.

But Nest did not awake. And the first person who came to the well that morning found crazy Mary sitting, awe-struck, by the poor dead Nest. They had to get the poor creature away by force, before they could remove the body.

Mary is in Trê-Madoc workhouse; they treat her pretty kindly, and in general she is good and tractable. Occasionally the old paroxysms come on; and for a time she is unmanageable. But some one thought of speaking to her about Nest. She stood arrested at the name; and since then, it is astonishing to see what efforts she makes to curb her insanity; and when the dread time is past, she creeps up to the matron, and says, "Mary has tried to be good. Will God let her go to Nest now?"



Move with the multitude in the common walks of life, and you will be unnoticed in the throng; but break from them, pursue a different path,[214] and every eye, perhaps with reproach, will be turned toward you. What is the rule to be observed in general conduct? Conform to every innocent custom as our social nature requires, but refuse compliance with whatever is inconsistent with propriety, decency, and the moral duties; and dare to be singular in honor and virtue.

In conversation, truth does not require you to utter all your thoughts, yet it forbids you to speak in opposition to them. To open the mind to unreserved communication, is imbecility; to cover it with a vail, to dissever its internal workings from its external manifestations, is dissimulation and falsehood. The concordance of the thoughts, words, and deeds, is the essence of truth, and the ornament of character.

A man who has an opportunity to ruin a rival, with whom he is at enmity, without public dishonor, and yet generously forbears, nay, converts the opportunity into a disinterested benefit, evinces a noble instance of virtuous magnanimity. He conquers his own enmity, the most glorious of all conquests, and overcomes the enmity of a rival by the most heroic and praiseworthy mode of retaliation.

As to an evil report of a neighbor, the opinion of the frivolous is lightly regarded, the calumny of the known slanderer is discredited by all who venerate truth, and the character of the known liar is a sufficient antidote to falsehood. A respectable man, in his good name, offers a guarantee for his veracity; and, impressed with the benevolent affections and the love of justice, he is scrupulous to believe an evil report, and still more so to repeat it.

As a rill from a fountain increases as it flows, rises into a stream, swells into a river, so symbolically are the origin and course of a good name. At first, its beginning is small: it takes its rise from home, its natural source, extends to the neighborhood, stretches through the community, and finally takes a range proportioned to the qualities by which it is supported—its talents, virtue, and usefulness, the surest basis of an honorable reputation.

The relatives and kindred of a young man, by a natural process, communicate his amiable and opening character to a wider circle than that of home. His associates and friends extend the circle, and thus it widens till its circumference embraces a portion more or less of society, and his character places him in the class of respectable men. With good principles and conduct, neither envy nor malice can intercept the result of this progressive series; without good principles and conduct, no art or dissimulation can realize the noblest aim of a social being—a well-founded reputation.

A person commits an error, and he has sufficient address to conceal it, or sufficient ingenuity to palliate it, but he does neither; instead of availing himself of concealment and palliation, with the candor of a great mind, he confesses his error, and makes all the apology or atonement which the occasion requires. None has a title to true honor but he who can say with moral elevation, when truth demands the acknowledgment, I have done wrong.

The events of life are not fortunate or calamitous so much in themselves, as they are in their effect on our feelings. An event which is met by one with equanimity or indifference, will fret another with vexation, or overwhelm him with sorrow. Misfortunes encountered with a composed and firm resolution, almost cease to be evils; it is, therefore, less our wisdom to endeavor to control external events, than to regulate the habitual temper of our minds to endurance and resignation.

The emotions of the mind are displayed in the movements of the body, the expression of the features and the tones of the voice. It is more difficult to disguise the tones of the voice, than any other external manifestation of internal feeling. The changing accents of the voice of those with whom we have long lived in intimate intercourse, in the communication of sentiment, are less equivocal and more impressive than even language itself.

The vocal sounds of speech, expressive of thought and feeling, are too much neglected by us in our individual and personal education. Could we analyze the opinion which we form of people on a first acquaintance, we should certainly find that it is greatly influenced by the tones of the voice. Study, then, agreeable sounds of speech, but seek not rules to guide you from etiquette—from artificial politeness; descend into the heart, there cherish the kind and moral sympathies, and speech will be modulated by the sincere and endearing tone of benevolence.

With your commiseration for distress, join firmness of mind. Interest yourself in general happiness, feel for all that is human, but suffer not your peace to be disturbed by what is beyond the sphere of your influence, and beyond your power to remedy.

A medical man has all the humane feelings, but they are merged into the art of healing. When he sees a patient suffering, he feels no perturbation; he feels only the desire, by means of his art, to relieve the sufferer: thus should all our humane and social sympathies be regulated, divested of their morbid sensibility, and reduced to active and practical principles.

Some, when they move from the common routine of life, and especially on any emergency, are embarrassed, perplexed, and know not how to resolve with decision, and act with promptitude. Presence of mind is a valuable quality, and essential to active life; it is the effect of habit, and the formation of habit is facilitated by rule.

Command your feelings, for strong feelings disconcert the mind, and produce confusion of ideas. On every occasion that requires attention, learn to concentrate your thoughts with quickness and comprehension. These two rules reduced into habits, if steadily practiced, will induce decision of resolve and promptitude of action.

Precipitation spoils the best concerted plan; perseverance brings the[215] most difficult, when it is practicable, to a successful result. The flutter of haste is characteristic of a weak mind that has not the command of its thoughts; a strong mind, master of itself, possesses the clearness and prescience of reflection.

In learning, concentrate the energy of the mind principally on one study. The attention divided among many studies, is weakened by the division; besides, it is not granted to an individual to excel in many things. But, while one study claims your main attention, make occasional excursions into the fields of literature and science, and collect materials for the improvement of your mind, and the advancement of your favorite pursuit.

Excellence in a profession, and success in business, can be attained only by persevering industry. None who thinks himself above his vocation can succeed in it, for we can not give our attention to what our self-importance despises. None can be eminent in his vocation who devotes his mental energy to a pursuit foreign to it, for, in such a case, success in what we love is failure in what we neglect.

Among men, you must either speak what is agreeable to their humor, or what is consistent with truth and good morals. Make it a general rule of conduct neither to flatter virtue nor exasperate folly: by flattering virtue, you can not confirm it; by exasperating folly, you can not reform it. Submit, however, to no compromise with truth, but, when it allows, accommodate yourself with honest courtesy to the prepossessions of others.

In your whole behavior to mankind, conduct yourself with fairness and integrity. If an action is well received, you will have the credit it deserves; if it is not well received, you will have the approval of your own mind. The approval of a good conscience is preferable to the applause of the world.

Form no resolution, and engage in no undertaking, which you can not invoke Heaven to sanction. A good man prays the Almighty to be propitious to his virtuous plans: if his petition is denied, he knows it is denied in mercy, and he is resigned; if it is granted, he is grateful, and enjoys the blessings with moderation. A wicked man, in his iniquitous plans, either fails or succeeds: if he fails, disappointment is embittered by self-reproach; if he succeeds, success is without pleasure, for, when he looks around, he sees no smile of congratulation.

[From Fraser's Magazine.]


"Celebrated people," said Napoleon, when speaking of Necker, "lose on a close view:" a remark not substantially different from that of the Duke of Marlborough, that "no man was a hero to his valet de chambre." Proximity, like familiarity, "breeds contempt;" and the proper cure for the illusions of distance is nearness. Few objects in nature, whether living or dead, can stand the application of that test, which is as fatal to the pretensions of men as of mountains: while it is notorious that the judgments of history are seldom in accordance with the decisions of contemporaries or friends. Human greatness resembles physical magnitude in this, that its proportions are more or less affected by surrounding influences, which must be removed before its real dimensions can be ascertained. It is, in fact, one of the fluctuating quantities of social arithmetic, and to fix its precise amount is now, and ever has been, one of the most difficult enterprises in which a public writer can engage. It is apt, also, to be confounded with mere celebrity. Obscurity is not one of its accidents, but fame is; and there is something like an irresistible tendency on the part of mankind at large, to believe in the claims to distinction of the man who has been vulgatus per orbem. Humility does very well for poets—your Horaces and Grays, for instance—who can find Agamemnons and Hampdens on every village green, to whom the opportunity only of acquiring renown has been denied by envious fate; but the prose of life discards it as an unsuitable and troublesome adjunct, and refuses to extend its reverence to what is not appreciable. A famous man is, therefore, always presumed to be a great man, and he may be so in so far as popular reputation is concerned, though he need not be so otherwise. To which of these classes did Talleyrand belong? That he was celebrated is beyond doubt. Was he great? That is a different question, and could be answered satisfactorily only by a much more elaborate inquiry into his history than it is possible for us to institute. Forty years must elapse from his death, which took place in 1838, before those memoirs, which he is known to have compiled, shall be given to the world; and whoever tries will find it to be no easy task to anticipate those revelations which are reserved for the eyes and ears of the generation of 1878. Let us, then, be contented with a humbler effort, and endeavor to make the most of the materials which are accessible to us, scanty though they be. There are spurious lives of Talleyrand by the dozen. He repudiated these scandalous and gossiping chronicles in his life-time, and it is no part of our business to resuscitate them. M. Colmache's volume is of another stamp, however, and bears unexceptionable internal evidence of the honesty of the writer, whether we agree in his conclusions or not. As secretary to the prince he had superior facilities for acquiring a knowledge of, at least, the domestic habits of the man, but beyond this he has accomplished little; for though his work be well, and even powerfully written, and though it contain numerous fragments of strong dramatic interest which illustrate in a very remarkable manner Talleyrand's moral idiosyncracy, as well as the usages of the age and[216] country in which he lived—it would be absurd to suppose that the most reserved man in Europe, who had drilled his passions into a state of repose, and disciplined his tongue into the obedient slave of his own secret purposes, had given his confidence to a servant, in the full knowledge that every word which he uttered, and every opinion which he expressed, would be noted down, and published to the world when the grave had closed upon his remains. A less astute person, occupying the same conspicuous position in life, would have been guilty of no such folly as this: and though M. Colmache may have thought otherwise, he was obviously trusted with no more than it was perfectly safe for his master's posthumous reputation that he should be allowed to know. Moreover, we must remember, that though the French pride themselves on their skill in conversation—l'art de causer, as they term it—it is a wholly different thing from what would pass by that name in Britain. Men do not meet together in France (or, rather, they did not, for it is impossible to tell what they do now, and it would be unprofitable to inquire), freely to exchange their thoughts upon questions of importance, to discuss philosophy, religion, literature, or even politics; but to chat, to trifle with time, and to dispel weariness. Every thing that is serious is interdicted as an offense against good taste; and a French talker would rather run the risk of being considered a fool than a bore. The tyranny of fashion has been always cheerfully submitted to on this point; and to be brilliant, startling, and epigrammatic, are the passports to conversational reputation: not to be weighty, solid, or wise. To judge by M. Colmache's book, Talleyrand did not converse. It was no part of his social economy to intercommune with any one. His thoughts were his own, and he kept them to himself: hence, after we have perused this book, abounding as it does in curious sketches and narratives, we know nothing more of Talleyrand's sentiments on men and things than we did before. There was, no doubt, the usual lingual intercourse among his guests at the Château Vallençay, but the great man took no part in it. His rôle was lofty, mysterious, and grand. When he spoke all were silent, all attentive, all obsequious: but there was no conversation, in our sense of the word, and no dialogue, for there were no interlocutors. It was a monologue, in fact, and an interesting one—for his memory was deeply impressed with the recollections of the past, and he delighted to call them up, and to astonish his auditors by the freshness and vigor of his coloring: but, so far as we can discover, he never allowed himself to indulge in unnecessary commentaries or disclosures, and, with all his diligence, M. Colmache was unable to extract out of the wily diplomatist a single idea which it was his desire to conceal. Let there be no mistake, then, about the character of these Revelations. They are always amusing, sometimes highly interesting, and at others instructive: but they furnish exceedingly little toward a life of Talleyrand; and what his own countrymen are unable to give, foreigners can not supply. In what follows, therefore, we must be both abrupt and irregular.

Charles Maurice Talleyrand-Périgord, eldest son of the Comte de Talleyrand-Périgord, was born at Paris in the year 1754; and died in that city in the year 1838, at the advanced age of eighty-four. His father was by position a member of the ancient noblesse, and by profession, a soldier: his mother a woman of fashion, and attached to the court. According to M. Colmache, he came into the world "without spot or blemish," and we are led to infer that his lameness—the cause of so much suffering and injustice to him in after-life—was not congenital, as has been generally believed, but the result of want of care in his childhood; for, as it was not the custom in those days for women of rank to nurse their own offspring, or even to rear them in their own houses, the future diplomatist was removed to a distant part of the country a few days after his birth, and consigned to the care of a hired nurse, Mère Rigaut, in whose cottage, wild, neglected, and forgotten, he dwelt, for twelve years. He was at length recalled from his involuntary exile by the Bailli Talleyrand, his uncle—the youngest brother of his father, a naval officer, and a knight of Malta; who, with the warmth of feeling proper to men of his profession, was enraged, upon his return home, to find the poor boy condemned to banishment and obscurity, and determined to free him from both. He accordingly brought him to Paris, but was sadly mortified to find that his intention of making him a sailor was marred by his infirmity; and leaving him at the hôtel Talleyrand in charge of the parties whom his mother had instructed to receive him—for she was not there to perform that maternal duty herself—the honest Bailli set out for Toulon, where he rejoined his ship, and was drowned at sea a few months afterward. Young Talleyrand was now placed at the College of Louis le Grand, and under the immediate direction of the Père Langlois, Professor of Rhetoric in that institution; a kind and benevolent-minded man, as it would seem, to whom his pupil remained attached throughout his whole life, and who, unchanged and unchangeable, wore, in 1828, the academic costume which had prevailed before the Revolution—a long-skirted, collarless black coat, buttoned to the chin; black knee breeches and silk stockings; large shoes with silver-plated buckles; well powdered hair, with ailes de pigeon and a queue of portentous dimensions; and that indispensable companion of a savant crasseux of the middle of the eighteenth century, a huge flat snuff-box, which lay concealed in the deep recesses in his ample pockets. Talleyrand remained at this school for three years, and would appear to have made a respectable figure as a student, considering the disadvantages under which he labored from the want of preliminary training. It is probable that a sense of this deficiency on[217] the part of a lively lad, joined to the stimulus of competition, quickened his diligence, and he was rewarded with praise and prizes. He was also addicted to active sports, for "he was strong and hardy in spite of his lameness;" and we are told that his temper was mild and tractable at this period, and that, when attacked, his defensive weapon was his tongue, not his hands—so true is it, that "the boy is father to the man." His sharp, quick speech, we are assured, was the terror of his comrades—i.e. when a bolder youth would have boxed his antagonist's ears, Talleyrand scolded, and doubtlessly provoked him; but as there must be a philosophical reason for whatever concerns the nonage of a celebrated person, it is added, that "even then (between twelve and fifteen, observe) he had learned that the art of governing others consisted merely in self-command." During his residence at college he saw nothing of his father, and little of his mother; and when the latter did visit him, she was always attended by an eminent surgeon, whose duty it was to torture the unfortunate boy's leg, and to try, by bandages, cauteries, and other appliances, to make that long and straight which neglect had made short and crooked. These visits of madame mère were anticipated with horror, and ever afterward spoken of with disgust; nor could they have increased that love for the author of his being which is so natural to youth, and which an incident that occurred about this time would seem to have utterly extinguished.

At the close of his third year at college, his father died from the effects of an old wound received in battle. This event must have happened when his son had attained to the fifteenth year of his age, and, consequently, in the year 1769. By the laws of nature and of feudal succession, that son was now the head of his house, a peer of France, the inheritor of those peculiar privileges which then belonged to his order, the owner of large territorial possessions, and the Comte Talleyrand-Périgord: of all which rights, immunities, titles, and dignities, he was arbitrarily deprived by the cruel decision of a family council, of which his mother was the author and promoter, and his birthrights handed over to his younger brother, who, in his infancy, had been companion of his exile. Why this act of iniquity was committed, and how, we shall allow M. Colmache to tell:

"It was at this time that his father died, and Charles Maurice was now the Comte de Talleyrand, and head of that branch of the family to which he belonged. Meanwhile the younger son, Archambaut, had likewise returned from his nursing; but he had the better chance—his limbs were sound and well developed, as God had made them. No dire accident, the consequence of foul neglect, had marred his shape, or tarnished his comeliness. So, one fine day, and as a natural consequence, mark you, of this fortunate circumstance, when Charles Maurice, the eldest son, had finished his course of study at Louis le Grand, having passed through his classes with great éclat, there came a tall, sallow, black-robed priest, and took him away from the midst of his friends to the grim old séminaire of St. Sulpice, and it was there that he received the astounding intimation, from the lips of the superior himself, that, by the decision of a conseil de famille, from which there was no appeal, his birthright had been taken from him, and transferred to his younger brother.

"'Why so?' faltered the boy, unable to conceal his emotion.

"'He is not cripple,' was the stern and cruel answer.

"It must have been that hour—nay, that very instant—the echo of those heartless words, which made the Prince de Talleyrand what he is even to this very day. Who shall tell the bitter throes of that bold, strong-hearted youth, as he heard the unjust sentence? Was it defiance and despair, the gift of hell, or resignation, the blessed boon of heaven, which caused him to suffer the coarse black robe to be thrown at once above his college uniform, without a cry, without a murmur? None will ever be able to divine what his feelings were, for this one incident is always passed over by the prince. He never refers to it, even when in familiar conversation with his most loved intimates. It is certain, therefore, that the single hour of which I speak bore with it a whole life of bitterness and agony. (P. 106, 107.)"

Let us pause for a moment to consider the probable effects of such nurture and treatment on a nature like Talleyrand's. He was fifteen years of age; imperfectly educated for his station in life; lame, from the neglect of the guardians of his infancy; disinherited by those who should have watched with the most jealous care over his interests; cruelly punished for a physical defect chargeable to the carelessness of others; a stranger to hope, love, and fear; the victim of a domestic conspiracy; and the novitiate of a profession which he loathed, and to which, in his subsequent years, he did dishonor. His father he had never known, his mother he knew only as his tormentor and oppressor: no tie seems to have bound him to his brother, and up to this hour he had never yet slept one night under the paternal roof. These were no ordinary trials; and if the youth who was subjected to them became in after-life a cynic, is it to be wondered at? Indeed, a hasty view of this remarkable man's character might lead to the conclusion of M. Colmache, that the untoward accidents of his infancy and boyhood afforded an explanation of all his adult peculiarities; but we can not allow ourselves to accept this inference, natural as it would seem to be, for it appears to us, upon a closer inspection, that though these incidents might deepen the force of his mental inequalities, they could not have created them, and that the difference between the Bishop of Autun and the ancient noble, had he succeeded to his inheritance, would have amounted to little more than the difference between a proscribed[218] ecclesiastic and a proscribed aristocrat. No doubt, if the generous affections expand and blossom under genial culture, they as certainly contract and wither under neglect and harshness; nor should we, in ordinary cases, have any hesitation in giving the benefit of this elementary rule to the subject of an ordinary biography: but Talleyrand's is not such. There is no evidence in this book or elsewhere, for instance, that the sensitive part of his nature was acute, or that he was easily moved by strong emotions of any kind; and it is exceedingly difficult for us to comprehend how so singular a moral and intellectual organization as he unquestionably possessed could have been the result of any imaginable series of occurrences in early life, of whatever description they might happen to be. The power of intense concentration by which he was so remarkably distinguished was, assuredly, a gift from Nature (whether good or bad we say not), and not a circumstantial accident; and it is all but incredible that a man of vivid sensibilities could have succeeded by a mere effort of the will in suppressing every manifestation of their existence during a life prolonged far beyond the ordinary term, and in the midst of the most terrible convulsions that had agitated the world since the establishment of society in Western Europe. The cause appears to us to be unequal to the effect; and we are obliged to conclude that the cold, sarcastic, and selfish man, who believed in nothing and nobody, and who rejected even the common impulses of humanity, was no casual product of events, but precisely what he had been designed to be from the cradle, and what he would have shown himself to have been—though, perhaps, in a different way—had he never known what paternal neglect and maternal cruelty were.

We have no account in this volume of the progressive steps of his clerical education, beyond the intimation that it was wearisome and distasteful. Talleyrand disliked references to his ecclesiastical career. It had not been a respectable one; and if M. Colmache really got from him the stories which he tells in his book, we need not be surprised that there is nothing in them about either the Abbé or the Bishop. We know from other sources that, notwithstanding his constitutional timidity, he accepted the Revolution eagerly; and that he did his best, by precept and example, to consummate the destruction of the old order of things. He was the bosom friend of Mirabeau, so far as his suspicious nature would allow him to be the bosom-friend of any one; and his account (or what M. Colmache says was his) of the last days of that able, but profligate person's troubled life is one of the most striking things in this volume. Another extraordinary being likewise appears here, of whom less is generally known than of the other two, viz., the Abbé Cerutti, an Italian Jesuit, who had been in the service of the Dauphin, the father of Louis XVI., and who, like so many others, threw his religion and his allegiance behind his back when they could no longer subserve his personal ends, and who was, moreover, with Mirabeau and Talleyrand, one of the most active promoters of the popular cause. This trio, in conjunction with Condorcet, started, in 1789, the first democratical journal known in Paris. It was called the Feuille Villageoise, and was designed for circulation among the rural populations of the provinces. It has been accused of having provoked many of the atrocities of the Revolution; but this, it would seem, was a mistake. It only fanned the flames after they had broken out, but did not excite them: and it was remarkable for "burning columns" from Mirabeau, the ex-noble; for "cold, bitter irony," from Cerutti, the ex-Jesuit; and for recommendations of the "divisions of church property, &c." from Talleyrand, the ex-bishop. Such pastimes could have done no harm, according to M. Colmache; and were obviously inadequate to the production of a revolution—and such a revolution! Let us acquit these patriots, then, of treason against society, and let us believe that they were actuated by the purest motives, when they used every effort within their reach to rouse to madness an ignorant and excitable multitude, and stimulated by every possible means, the cupidity of the poor by suggestions to plunder the rich and to despoil the Church. It may be difficult to do this, but there is no help for it; and with such undeniable proofs of the wisdom, virtue, and moderation of this celebrated junta, as M. Colmache has been pleased to furnish, we may let the matter drop.

Talleyrand was consumed by a burning hatred of England, even before the Revolution broke out, and, in conjunction with a friend, gave a practical illustration of his hostility by fitting out a privateer at Brest, which was designed to intercept British ships trading to the West Indies; and as we do not remember to have seen this strange incident in his life mentioned elsewhere, we shall give the short account of it which M. Colmache has furnished:

"The sudden change from the frivolous papillotage of the ancien régime to the sombre enthusiasm which broke out at the epoch of the American war, made but little impression on M. Talleyrand. He was evidently prepared; and at once declared his opinion, not by pamphlets or inflammatory speeches, but by an argument far more forcible than either. Conjointly with his friend, the Count Choiseul Gouffier, he equipped a privateer, which he called the Holy Cause, and which left the harbor of Brest in the month of May, 1779. The Duc de Castries, then Minister of Marine, furnished the guns. This single fact would almost serve to paint the time. A vessel of war armed and equipped by the agent général du clergé de France, aided by a savant of the haute noblesse, and countenanced by one of the ministers, exhibits at once the utter confusion of ideas which must have existed just then. I have heard that the privateer, which, placed under command of a runaway scion[219] of nobility, was to have carried death and destruction among the English merchant-ships trading from the West Indies, never more made its appearance on the French coast. Be this as it may, I know that the prince does not like to talk of this little episode in his life; and the other day, when questioned rather closely on the subject, he answered, 'Laissons cela, c'est un de mes péchés de jeunesse.'" (P. 232.)

The temper of mind indicated by this passage was itself one of the forerunners of the Revolution, for at that time France had become delirious on the subject of the American struggle; and her soldiers and nobles who were aiding the revolted provincialists, were busily employed in gathering the fruits of that harvest of republicanism which they were so soon to transport to their own country, where they were destined to produce extraordinary results. At the time this event happened, Talleyrand was twenty-five years of age, and in holy orders; and we are to presume that the Anglo-mania, which overtook his countrymen ten years later, and was the rage in '89, had not yet set in. The anecdote is curious, but it strikes us as being illustrative rather of the character of the age and people than of the individual man, for whom in his natural mood, it was trop prononcé.

As the Revolution advanced Talleyrand's safety was endangered, and like most French patriots, ancient and modern, that was a thing which he looked carefully to. Some papers were found, after the sack of the Tuilleries, which compromised him; and in '92 he fled to the United States of America, taking up his abode in the city of New York. He was accompanied in his flight by a friend of the name of Beaumetz, and in concert with whom he resolved to enter into trade. A small ship was freighted with goods for Calcutta, whither the two exiles had resolved to proceed in search of fortune; and all that was wanted to enable them to put their scheme in execution was a fair wind, which, however, the elements refused. In the interval caused by this detention Talleyrand had one of what he called his "presentiments;" and to its occult warnings, as he afterward declared, he owed the immediate preservation of his life, salvation from shipwreck, and that change in his "destiny" which led to all the future incidents of his eventful career. Disappointment and vexation preying upon an irritable temper drove his partner mad. He saw insanity in his look and gestures, and suffering himself to be led by the lunatic to the heights of Brooklyn, which overlook the harbor, he fixed his eyes sternly upon him, exclaiming, at the same time, "Beaumetz, you mean to murder me; you intend to throw me from the height into the sea below. Deny it, monster, if you can!" Thus apostrophized, the unhappy and conscience-stricken maniac quailed beneath the intensity and sternness of his gaze; confessed that such was his design, the thought, "like a flash from the lurid fire of hell," having haunted him day and night; implored forgiveness, flung himself upon the neck of his meditated victim, and burst into tears. The paroxysm had passed off, and tottering reason had resumed her sway. Beaumetz was conveyed home and placed under medical treatment, speedily recovered, proceeded on his voyage alone, and was never more heard of. "My Fate," said Talleyrand, when speaking of this incident in after life, "was at work."

From the way in which this anecdote is introduced we learn that Talleyrand had some strong leaning to the Celtic superstition known as the second sight, which, in the adust imagination of a Frenchman, is closely allied to fatalism, and which, we fear, loses its interest, as it certainly does its virtue, when transported into sunnier regions from "the land of the mountain and the flood." In ancient times Augustus Cæsar,[18] and in modern Samuel Johnson, Napoleon, and Walter Scott, were all, more or less, and after the manner of their several idiosyncracies, the victims of this imaginary belief; and if we knew the apocalyptic tendencies of obscure, as well as we do those of celebrated individuals, we should probably, discover that this weakness was much more prevalent than is generally supposed. We have no great difficulty in understanding how a fanciful notion of this kind should attach itself to minds of a certain conformation, or be even generated by them, and that it should exercise a considerable, though unseen influence over the secret convictions of men of ability, and of women of vivid religious emotions; but we do not so readily comprehend how such persons as Napoleon and Talleyrand should have embraced a delusion which was utterly irreconcilable with their skeptical natures, and which necessarily presupposed an immaterial state of existence, and the providential superintendence of human affairs by a benevolent order of beings, whose powers must have been deputed to them by a superior and over-ruling Intelligence. It was the part of an ancient Roman, like Augustus, to believe in portents and omens, however insignificant; it might even require some philosophy to despise them; and among ourselves in modern times it will be found, if we mistake not, that strong poetical sensibilities, or a peculiarly impressible temperament, is the foundation of what can be regarded in no other light than an hallucination. The world of spirits, with all its shadowy tenants and imaginary impulses, might be a reality to Scott, whose demonology never for one moment obscured the lucid perceptions of a singularly clear and masculine intellect; while the Rosicrucianism of so vigorously-minded a man as Samuel Johnson was the plain result of that constitutional melancholy under which he labored—fortified, it may be, by theological tenets which bordered on the mystical: but what could Napoleon mean by Fate, or Talleyrand by Destiny? They were both of them unbelievers in spiritualism of any kind; and whence could those intimations come of[220] which Talleyrand, at least, conceived himself to be the recipient? He was obviously possessed by the idea that numerous premonitions had been vouchsafed to him; and what chiefly moved in him a desire to visit Scotland was, not its scenery, its lakes, its mountains, or its people, but a wish to inquire into the (as he supposed) natural faculty of divination. The dream may be of Jove[19]—Homer is a sound heathen authority upon this point; but Talleyrand was no dreamer. His "presentiments" (for so he loved to call them), were, apparently, sudden intuitions, which he was wholly unable to explain, but in which he placed so much confidence that he acted upon them to the letter—so says M. Colmache—and never, it would seem, in vain. They directed him rightly; and when, in old age, he had gathered around him at Vallençay all that remained of the wit, genius, and talent of French society in its better forms, he delighted to recount the instances in which this supernatural influence, like Socrates' dæmon, had befriended him. He believed in the reality of this power when he believed in nothing else, and that is the puzzle.

Having once returned to France, Talleyrand never again quitted it—at least, as an exile; but continued for the next forty years of his eventful life to cultivate the art of advancement, and to study carefully the means of acquiring a fortune: and he succeeded in both. The First Consul found in his extraordinary abilities precisely what he wanted and he in the First Consul that social support which he required, and upon which he found he could rely. There was no mutual esteem, however, between these remarkable men, whom interest alone bound together; and Bonaparte has left upon record his opinion of his Minister for Foreign Affairs, delivered at a time when he had nothing to expect from the favors of men or the caprices of Fortune. "Talleyrand," said Napoleon, at St. Helena, "is a corrupt man, who has betrayed all parties and persons. Wary and circumspect, always a traitor, but always in conspiracy with Fortune, Talleyrand treats his enemies as if they were one day to become his friends, and his friends as if they were to become his enemies. He is a man of unquestionable talent, but venial in every thing. Nothing could be done with him but by means of bribery."[20] This is not complimentary; and it would be curious to compare such a sentence of condemnation with the judgment of Talleyrand on Napoleon which is contained in his memoirs, for that there is one we need not doubt.

Talleyrand's department as a minister of state was that of Foreign Affairs, and the future historian of his diplomatic career will have to review his connection with all the great incidents which occurred in Europe from the year 1797 to his death, in 1838. That he was supple, unscrupulous, and able, is the conclusion of mankind at large; and, we presume, the correct one.

Passion never disturbed him, and feeling (except for himself) seldom. A revolutionary education superinduced upon a cold nature a distrust of all men—ay, and of women, too; and he seems to have entertained just so much respect for political stability of any kind as circumstances warranted, and no more. He was no believer in the reality of virtue—itself a quality of which he had but an inadequate conception, and to the active operation of which he would have held it to be mere simplicity and folly to trust. We may infer, therefore, that what he did not look for he did not find; and that, as generally happens to those who are wise beyond what is written, he denied the existence of a property, with the use of which, could it have been discovered, he was wholly unacquainted. He served the emperor so long as it was consistent with his interests to do so, and he deserted him when he saw that there was more peril in fidelity than in apostasy. The Restoration was, in a great measure, the work of his hands, though he hated Louis XVIII. mortally; and the grounds of that hatred were, apparently, personal, resting partly on those antipathies which dissimilarity in habits and taste is apt to generate in all ranks of life, and partly on disappointed ambition. Louis was fat; Talleyrand was thin. Louis liked good eating (most men do, by the way, be they kings or not); Talleyrand cared little for it, and ate but once a day. Louis had, rightly or wrongly, an idea that he was an independent monarch, to whose volitions some regard was due, and the legitimate sovereign of one of the greatest kingdoms in Europe; Talleyrand saw in him only a political stop-gap and glutton, to whose wishes little deference was owing, and whose intellect he despised: but he took care not to refuse the bounties or the honors bestowed upon him by his royal master—nor can we repress a smile when we find such a man gravely rebuking that prince for utter heartlessness and selfishness. It might be, and probably was so, but assuredly Talleyrand was not the person to make the charge.

The erection of the throne of the Barricades was also Talleyrand's work, if we may believe M. Colmache; and many of the incidents connected with the expulsion of Charles X., and the elevation of the Duke of Orleans, which are given in this volume, possess at this moment an instructive and melancholy interest, when we consider where the aspirant for that perilous honor is now, and what a dark cloud has settled down upon the stormy evening of his ambitious life.[21] Had we space, we would give some of these details; but we have not, and must be contented to refer to the book for them. The object of the writer, however, is, to construct an exculpation, and to vindicate (vain task!) the memory of Talleyrand from the reproach of ingratitude; but it is abundantly evident, even from the narrative itself, that if not one of the most active, he was, at least, one of the most zealous, promoters of the Revolution of 1830. There was little sympathy between Charles and[221] Talleyrand, though he preferred him much to his brother Louis. He even admitted—which, for him, was going far—that Charles was distinguished in private life by many excellent qualities; that he had "a feeling and a generous nature, and was a faithful and grateful friend;" but for many, and some of them obvious enough reasons, he disliked "the devout monarch," and we are told that Charles "returned tenfold in hatred and suspicion all the pity and contempt which the wily diplomatist sought to cast upon his government." The conclusion is, of course, plain. Talleyrand saw that every thing was going wrong, as did every body else after the event. He, therefore, withdrew from Paris in the winter of 1829—30; and, under the pretense of consulting his health, retired to Rochecotte, in Touraine, the seat of his niece, the Duchess de Dino. He had no political object in view, and was only driven "by the force of circumstances," into that vortex which was whirling tout le monde in the capital round about; but, somehow or other, the leaders of the movement gathered around him in his retreat, and, unfortunately for the theory of neutrality, it is stated that "it was at Rochecotte, during the month of May, which Thiers spent there with M. de Talleyrand, that he (i.e., Thiers) conceived the plan of those terrific articles in the National, which, every morning, like the battering-rams of ancient warfare, laid in ruins the wretched bulwarks, behind which the tottering monarchy thought itself secure." (P. 32.)

All this was, no doubt, purely accidental; and, as the editor of the National was a person of no social consideration whatever, it would be absurd to suppose that the Prince of Benevento had any secondary purpose to achieve by patronizing so obscure an adventurer. It turns out, indeed, that "M. Thiers was, in the eyes of M. Talleyrand, nothing more than a young writer, full of vigor and talent, whom the old seigneur loved to protect, and to initiate into the manners and customs of good society, without a knowledge of which (he would often say) there can be no good taste in literature. But he was the last person in the world who, at that time, would have looked upon Thiers as a conspirator, of whom he was making himself, by such protection, the vile associate." (P. 33.)

This should settle the point, and yet it does nothing of the kind; for, as if it were necessary that a mystery should involve all the actions of this man's life, and even comprehend his friends, we find in this very volume, and in immediate succession to the energetic disclaimer we have just quoted, the most elaborate proofs of his "complicity" in that "conspiracy," which ended by dethroning one monarch and elevating another. A single passage will set this matter at rest forever, and here it is:

"It has been to this day a matter of speculation whether the Duke of Orleans had anticipated being called to the throne, or whether it was the force of circumstances which had brought him to it. These are the facts: Although the Duke of Orleans had for a long time looked upon the event of a change in the dynasty as possible, and was most certainly prepared[22] to place the crown upon his own head in case of such an event, yet even so late as the 30th of July he hesitated to grasp it, and resisted the arguments and persuasions of Thiers. It is a known fact that the duke was concealed in the environs of Neuilly in fear of a popular outbreak, when a secret message from M. de Talleyrand, which he received on the evening of that day, caused him to decide at length upon re-entering Paris, and proclaiming himself Lieutenant-General of the Kingdom—the head of the new power. The new king soon forgot, however, this proof of attachment (attachment!!) on the part of his old friend; and M. de Talleyrand, who knew that kings, even when chosen by the will of the people, are, for the most part, compelled to be illustres ingrats, never, during the years which followed these events, alluded to the circumstances which brought about the avénement of Louis Philippe." (P. 35.)

And again:

"Now came the time when the high intelligence and marvelous sagacity of the prince were brought into action, and I hesitate not to repeat, saved the country. M. de Talleyrand dispatched to Neuilly, with all possible speed, a little billet written with his own hand. The bearer was a person of high courage and great integrity, and was charged, should he fall into danger, to destroy the billet. He could not in honor read its contents, but saw that there were but few words traced upon the paper. They were addressed to the king's sister, Madame Adelaide. This messenger was commissioned to place the billet himself in the hands of the princess, and to tell her that the Prince de Talleyrand conjured her to warn the Duke of Orleans that not a moment was to be lost; that the duke might reckon upon his aid, and that he must appear immediately; that he must come at once to Paris, to place himself at the head of the movement, or all would be lost without recall. Above all, he was only to take the title of Lieutenant-General of the Kingdom, which Charles had conferred upon him before leaving St. Cloud. He implored him not to manifest any other intention. In this advice the old diplomatist was reserving for himself a back door to creep out at in case Charles should march on Paris." (P. 39.)

There follows this conclusive revelation an account of Madame Adelaide's astuteness (astuce)—her anxiety not to commit herself in writing; her transmission to Prince Talleyrand of a verbal message; and of the climax of the whole intrigue in the arrival in Paris that same night of Louis Philippe, and of his proclamation in his capacity of Lieutenant-General of the Kingdom. The transition from this to royalty was easy, for it had been pre-arranged. It was M. de Talleyrand, we are assured, who overcame[222] the "faint scruples" of the Duke of Orleans, and it was his advice that "decided the king to go at once to the Hôtel de Ville, there to receive publicly the sceptre of France, and to swear allegiance to the charter."

After such statements as these, what useful purpose can it serve to declaim about conspiracies, reservations, and the like, when they so conspicuously testify to the fact, that one of the most energetic agents—after his own peculiar way—in bringing about a change of dynasty in France, was the very man whose memory his secretary is so anxious to relieve from this reproach? It is mere folly and blundering to do so, the more especially when we are told that the Orleans party comprehended all the leading members of the "Opposition" in both Chambers; that M. de Talleyrand was its head; and that, without declaring himself in favor of the new régime, he regulated all its movements, and was in constant and direct communication with the individual in whose behalf the Revolution of 1830 was got up. It is idle to quarrel about words; but if this was not "conspiracy," it was something so exceedingly like it, that it would require a very nice eye, indeed, to detect wherein the difference lay. The simple truth is this—that Talleyrand and his associates did in 1829-30, what Odillon Barrot and his accomplices (including the ubiquitous Thiers) did in 1847-48, but more successfully; for there can be no comparison between the government established under Louis Philippe and that inaugurated in the person of Louis Napoleon, and still less between the prospect of happiness which France enjoyed in 1830, and that which lies before her in 1850. The experiment has been closely copied by M. de Talleyrand's pupils, though the result has not been analogous; but this does not depend so much upon the men as upon the circumstances. Such a substitute for legitimate authority as the Duke of Orleans was can not be found twice in the same age and country; and one of the most mournful spectacles of our time is, the fate of the man and his family, for whom all these violent, and we must add, tortuous exertions, were made twenty years ago. Talleyrand's share in these transactions can not be gainsaid. Though a revolutionist, in so far as the elder branch of the Bourbons was concerned, he was not, however, a Republican in 1830; and had, probably, never been honestly so at any period of his life. The feeling of the ancient seigneur was strong in him to the last; and his constitutional timidity made him shrink with instinctive aversion from all contact with the mob: hence his terror during the "three glorious days of July" was agonizing: and when he discovered that, in the bloody triumph of the populace, no superiority of rank, talent, or fortune, was regarded, he trembled for his own safety—"for he knew that the people loved him not."

Talleyrand survived this, his last great political exploit, nearly eight years, having expired tranquilly at his hôtel in Paris, in May, 1838. His ex-secretary has a copious and rambling commentary upon his death, in which there is the usual amount of complaint and vindication. His patron had become reconciled to the church, and had submitted to its formalities immediately before his decease; and, considering his past hostility to it as a social institution, his renunciation of his sacred vows, and his ostentatious rejection of the Christian religion, such a step naturally caused some talk, and requires explanation—though none is given by M. Colmache, beyond the barren and somewhat commonplace intimation, that "he was influenced in this, as in many other instances, wherein he has drawn down the blame of the sticklers for consistency, by the desire to spare pain and trouble to his family; for he knew that his relatives would suffer much inconvenience by his resistance on his death-bed to the execution of certain religious formalities to which, in his own mind, he attached not the slightest importance."

It is rather a delicate matter to scrutinize motives, however great the temptation to do so, may be: fortunately, however, all call for the performance of so ungracious a duty on the present occasion is removed by M. Colmache, who tells us frankly what the reason was which induced M. de Talleyrand to enact something like a solemn farce in his dying moments. It was not religious compunction, nor any affectation of it, but a regard for the convenience and the material interests of his successors; "for it can not be denied," said he, "that he had ever held in view the elevation and aggrandizement of his family."

Certainly not. Nobody will be bold enough to do so. What prompted Voltaire to attend his parish church regularly to the last hour of his life, and even to take the communion; what led Franklin to mingle in the throngs which crowded around Whitefield in America; and what induced Gibbon to visit temples of religion when he had nothing else to do, and to record his impressions of the sermons he was condemned to listen to, must forever remain among the minor mysteries of humanity; but about M. de Talleyrand's "retraction," as it has been called, strange to say, there is no mystery at all. It was a mere exemplification of "the ruling passion strong in death." He could no longer care for himself, which had been the chief business of his life; but he could do what was next thing to it—he could care for his relations whom he was leaving behind him, and he did so.

The querulous part of this statement relates to Louis Philippe. The monarch, as is well known, visited his aged servant on his death-bed, and, we have not a doubt, behaved both gracefully and kindly. M. Colmache, however, does not think so, and all but abuses the king for an act which, being spontaneous, has the look, if it had not the reality, of benevolence. His manner was, it seems, constrained, the task itself[223] was irksome, and his "bearing," as compared with that of the dying statesman, tant son peu bourgeois. "Despite the old faded dressing-gown of the one, and the snuff-colored coat, stiff neckcloth, and polished boots of the other, the veriest barbarian could have told at a glance which was the 'last of the nobles,' and which the 'First Citizen' of the Empire." (P. 343.)

This would be severe were it not sheer gossip, and gossip dictated by a feeling of intense hostility to Louis Philippe, who committed the unpardonable blunder of not bestowing any particular regard upon the prince's secretary, though, with others, he had been specially introduced to him. In that case, and if M. Colmache really was, as he says, present in the chamber when this interview took place, we can only express our surprise that his account of it is so meagre; for it is impossible to believe that the last conversation between two men so distinguished, and so closely united by the ties of mutual obligation, should have been confined to a formal inquiry and a formal reply, which is all we find in this volume. We are at a loss to know, also, why the king should have been less of a gentleman and more of a tradesman in his manners and appearance than M. de Talleyrand; for, if that has any thing to do with the matter, he was as certainly one of the "last of the nobles," as his minister; and as we find nothing in M. Colmache's book respecting this valedictory visit, which the journals had not promulgated at the time of its occurrence, we are not only led to doubt the fact of his having been present, but likewise to withhold all confidence from his relation of its details. One reflection, however, he does make, which, as read in 1850, is curious: "I had looked," he says, "upon this visit as the farewell of the safely-landed voyager (landed, too, amid storm and tempest), to the wise and careful pilot who had steered him skillfully through rock and breaker, and now pushed off alone amid the darkness, to be seen no more!" (P. 344.)

Alas for human wisdom in its most imposing forms! where is now the "skillful pilot?" Dead, and his skill buried with him. And the "voyager" whom he "steered" into a secure haven amid "storm and tempest?" A fugitive and an exile, driven from the rickety throne which Talleyrand's necromancy had conjured up by a wave of his wand, and which his sagacious biographer obviously considered to be as stable as the globe itself:

Fato profugus ...
Multum ille et terris jactatus, et alto.

The share which Talleyrand is alleged to have had in the murder of the Duc d'Enghein, and which the Duke of Rovigo positively declared to have been, from first to last, a contrivance of his,[23] we must pass over in comparative silence; as the subject is one which it is impossible to elucidate, and which we could not hope to discuss with any profit in the short space which remains to us. If noticed at all in this volume, we have unfortunately mislaid the reference to it; and in a work which is without an index, and which has been compiled with a total disregard to chronological arrangement, we have not been able to recover it. All the parties to that infamous transaction were anxious in after times to shift the culpability from off their own shoulders; and amidst the criminations and recriminations of the future dukes and princes of the Empire, there is little positive knowledge of any kind to be gained. It might be, as Fouché said, "worse than a crime—a blunder;" but there was certainly nothing about the act itself from which a man of Talleyrand's lax morality would have shrunk; and our present impression is, that he was privy to this odious and useless tragedy, if the whole scheme of the violation of a neutral territory, the arrest, the mock trial, and the execution, did not originate with him. Even Napoleon regretted the occurrence, though he was too inflexible in his character to throw the blame on others when the deed was done, and at St. Helena he took the whole responsibility of it upon himself. "The Duc d'Enghein," said he, "died, because I willed it." This is the style imperial, but it is not the expression of a fact; and the Duke of Rovigo, with great probability, attributes this language to the desire which he latterly manifested to impress upon others a lofty idea of his absolute power as a sovereign. He was at the time only First Consul, and he has himself stated that, to use a familiar phrase, he was worried into it by those about him. "I did not rightly know," says he, "who the Duc d'Enghein was. The Revolution had come upon me when I was very young, and I had never been at court. All these points were explained to me. If it be so, I said, he must be seized, and the necessary orders were given in consequence. Every thing had been provided beforehand. The papers were prepared, and there was nothing to do but to sign them, and the fate of the prince was already decided."[24] This, if accepted as true—and we see no reason why it should not be—is conclusive; and if Bonaparte may be believed, a letter addressed to him from Strasburgh by the duke was kept by Talleyrand, and not delivered up till after the execution. He likewise committed the gross outrage upon public decency of giving a masked ball to the diplomatic body on the night of the unfortunate prince's death; and, all the circumstances taken into account, we fear there can be no doubt of his active participation (to say no more) in one of the foulest political enormities of modern times. His motive for allowing himself to be involved in so perilous an enterprise was, as usual, altogether personal. He dreaded lest a successful conspiracy formed beyond the Rhine might lead (a vain apprehension) to the restoration of the Bourbons; and he would seem to have taken this dark mode of preventing it, for he had offended too deeply to expect[224] forgiveness. But let us proceed to another theme—his marriage.

It is well known that Napoleon obtained from the fears of the Pope, Pius VII., a brief of secularization for his Minister for Foreign Affairs, and that Talleyrand subsequently married Madame Grand, or, as she is called in this book, Grandt, a lady who had lived with him as his mistress, and who, in consequence of this transformation, became no less a personage than the Princesse de Benevento of the Imperial Court. Much has been written about this woman, whose history was long a mystery; and of whose ignorance, étourderies, and arrogance, every body has heard something. In this volume her introduction to Talleyrand is related in the usual melo-dramatic style of French writers, and her beauty described with that fullness of detail which approaches to voluptuousness. The meeting was accidental, at least on Talleyrand's part. Returning at an early hour of the morning from a gambling visit to the Chevalier Fénélon, the particulars of which are hideous, he found his study occupied by a female, who had waited for five hours alone in the chamber; and who was now fast asleep in an arm-chair by the fire, the upper part of her body enveloped in a fashionable mantle, and the lower part displaying the gilded finery of a ball-dress. The diplomatist was stupefied by the fair vision, which he gazed upon with admiration, and having tried in vain to awaken her by coughing, and other innocent devices, he took up a letter addressed to himself which lay upon the table, and which he found to be from a friend, requesting him to give madame the benefit of his advice in a difficulty in which no one else could assist her. The servant slams the door—the lady awakes—a scene of mutual confusion ensues, which tries to the utmost M. Colmache's powers of description, but which ends in M. de Talleyrand giving to the lovely applicant the document she required, and in the commencement of a liaison which ultimately terminated in matrimony. It was, of course, a trick or practical joke, which had been played off by certain wags, male and female, at Madame Hamelin's assembly on the unsuspecting and guileless Madame Grand, according to M. Colmache; but to any one else it will seem plain enough that it was no more than the step of a daring and clever intriguante, who knew perfectly well what she was about, and who had resolved to conquer where Madame Tallien and Madame Beauharnais had failed—and she did conquer.

Who, then, was this bold lady who contrived so cunningly to ensnare in her toils the wariest man in France? "I have heard," says M. Colmache, "that she was of English origin. This is not true. Her maiden name was Dayot, and she was born at L'Orient; but her connection with India, where a great part of her family resided, and the peculiar character of her beauty, would seem to have been the ground-work of the supposition." (P. 298). We can not clear up this riddle altogether, but we can do something toward its partial solution.

Her family name we are unacquainted with, but she was a native of Scotland, and her first husband was a British officer, though we are likewise ignorant of his name. Her marriage most likely took place in India, and at an early age: for after her husband's death she became the wife of a M. Grand, a French gentleman, who obtained a divorce from her in India in consequence of an improper intimacy with Mr., afterward the celebrated Sir Philip Francis. How long she lived with Mr. Francis we know not, but she subsequently passed under the protection of a Mr. William Macintosh, a British merchant, with whom she returned to Europe in 1781. Mr. Macintosh's private affairs calling him to France, Madame Grand accompanied him; but her protector was an unfortunate man, whose claims upon the French Government were dissipated by the Revolution, and we lose sight of his friend altogether till her reappearance on the theatre of the great world, after that event, as the companion of Madame Beauharnais, and other celebrated women of that day. There is thus a blank in her personal history of twenty-one years which we are quite unable to fill up, and which we must leave to be supplied by others. Mr. Macintosh died at Eisenach, in Saxony, in 1809, at an advanced age; but his name is no longer associated with that of Madame Grand. He left a daughter, who became afterward the Countess de Colville; but whether Madame Grand was her mother, or whether he had married after his separation from that lady, are points on which we can throw no light.[25]

Such, then, was the much-talked-of Madame de Talleyrand, Princesse de Benevento. The date of her death is not given, but she certainly predeceased her last husband by several years. This marriage was not productive of happiness. There was not only much difference of habits, temper, and bearing, between the parties, to say nothing of the antecedents of both, but it appears that madame was jealous "of every member of her husband's family," to whom he showed affection. A separation was the consequence, and this loving couple dwelt in distinct establishments till the end of their lives.

It is a remarkable, and not uninstructive fact, that the revolution could not extinguish the cultivated instincts of this extraordinary man; and one of the most interesting things in this volume, is the glimpses which we occasionally get of his impressions of the new order of things. Harsh, and even cruel, as the old society had been to him, it had a profound hold upon his affections; and when the solitude and satiety of age invited reflection, he was compelled "to doubt whether the good which had been gained could ever compensate for that which had been forfeited" (p. 258). He lived on the memory of the past, and drew his best[225] inspirations from it. "Where," said he, "is the wit of your salons, the independence of your writers, the charm and influence of your women? What have you received in exchange for all these, which have fled forever? I would not give the remembrance of these times for all the novelty, and what you call improvements of the social system of to-day, even with the youth and spirit necessary to enjoyment. 'Tis true, there were abuse and exaggeration in many of our institutions, but where is the system in which these do not exist? If our people were devoured with misery and taxes, yours is wasting to the core with envy and discontent. Our noblesse was corrupt and prodigal; yours is bourgeoise and miserly—greater evils still for the prosperity of the nation. If our king had many mistresses, yours has many masters. Has he gained by the exchange? Thus you see it clearly demonstrated, that not one of the three orders has advanced in happiness by these wonderful improvements which you so much admire."[26] This is a strange testimony to the blessings of revolution on a grand scale, and from one, too, who had been in the midst of it as a prominent actor; but we suspect it is what most others, in like circumstances, would give were they candid, and what, after all, is simply true. Let any man of sound understanding look at France now, and say what she has gained, or the world through her, from the last outburst of popular fury; which has not only left her the prey of charlatanism, but made her the victim of the grossest passions. Talleyrand was, undoubtedly, right in his retrospect, but his healthy convictions came too late to be of any use.

Of Talleyrand's literary habits little is known that can be relied upon, but M. Colmache tells as, that "he could neither write nor dictate with ease"; and that the most trifling productions of his pen caused him as much trouble as the most elaborate dispatch. This may have proceeded from fastidiousness in the choice of language, but was, most probably, attributable to the defects of his education, and to the want of early practice in composition. We are not told what kind of reading pleased him, nor whether he was addicted to books; but he was a great admirer of Voltaire, with whom he had conversed in early life, and whose style, of its class, is perfect. He always deplored the scantiness of his classical attainments, and, particularly, his ignorance of the Greek tongue; and, so far as this volume teaches us, he would not appear to have been what it is customary to call a learned man. M. Colmache gives us certain "maxims for seasoning conversation," which, he says, were Talleyrand's, but which convey to the mind the idea of a lively and acute, rather than that of a profound thinker. If they want the bitterness of Rochefoucauld, they have not the point and pith of Bacon, nor the gravity of Locke. Three of these may suffice as specimens, and as favorable ones:

"Both erudition and agriculture ought to be encouraged by government; wit and manufactures will come of themselves.

"Metaphysics always remind me of the caravanseras in the desert. They stand solitary and unsupported, and are always ready to crumble into ruin.

"A great capitalist is like a vast lake, upon whose bosom ships can navigate; but which is useless to the country, because no stream issues therefrom to fertilize the land."

M. Colmache professes to give two fragments of the Memoirs, but he does not state how he came by them, and we doubt the fact of their being genuine. They are gracefully written, however, and that on the death of Mr. Fox particularly so. In his "Maxims" he speaks of women disrespectfully—a consequence, no doubt, of his disregard for the domestic virtues, and of the dissolute manners which prevailed in the higher ranks of French society in his time—and of the priesthood contemptuously. No hatred is so intense, or so durable, as that which is begotten of apostasy; and a renegade clerk, or a renegade politician, may be always expected to rail fiercely against his original creed. In his personal habits, the Prince of the Empire would seem to have adhered closely to the manners of the ancien régime, in the bosom of which he had been nurtured. He was courtly, formal, and somewhat exclusive; but his rigid temperance, and his regularity were proper to the man, and neither to the past nor present age. Of his bons mots we have a sprinkling, and but a sprinkling, in this volume; but the celebrated one about language is not there, though others of less piquancy are. Did M. Colmache consider it of apocryphal authenticity? We suspect so.

To sum up, then, What was the character of M. de Talleyrand? Of his extraordinary abilities there is no question, since men of every variety of feeling and position have borne testimony to them; but, was he great, great as we esteem any of the models of our own, or other countries? We think not. Celebrated he might be, but great he was not. No intensely selfish man like Talleyrand can ever become so. Where there is so much individual concentration, there is no room left for that expansion of the faculties of the soul upon which true renown rests, and out of which it springs. The region in which the mind acts is, necessarily, circumscribed by the constant pressure of a never-absent egotism; and when this mental constitution happens to be united to timidity, distrust, and temperamental coldness, greatness ceases to be a possible achievement. Moreover, he wanted principle, which is the natural foundation of public virtue; and he had no higher an idea of morality than its conveniency. His sense of propriety, which, in some cases was high, was merely a conventional instinct but it was derived from no anterior obligation, and recognized no source more elevated than the[226] canons of society. Of duty (that sacred word!) in its English sense, he had not the faintest conception; and provided that his person was protected, and his fortunes advanced, it was a matter of absolute indifference to him what master he served, or in what cause he enlisted. The first revolution, the empire, the restoration, and the throne of the barricades, all found in him a willing and an able instrument, and yet he proved faithless to all; for, though we have not circumstantial proof of this as to the last, his growing discontent with Louis Philippe shows clearly, that the political weathercock was again veering. Even when we make allowance for the very peculiar circumstances by which he was surrounded from his entry into life until his exit from it, it is impossible to doubt that this versatility was a consequence of a particular mental organization, and that, if rigorously analyzed, its causes would be found to resolve themselves into habits of reasoning upon men and things from which courage, generosity, and masculine disinterestedness, were carefully excluded. Patriotism may be pleaded in justification—it is a ready argument, and a common defense; but, ample as its proportions are, it will not cover every thing: besides that, in Talleyrand's case it was a non-existence, for of that holy love of country which the word is designed to convey, and which is the fruitful mother of moral heroism, he had not one particle. He might be, and no doubt was, the clever minister of a system, whatever that system chanced to be, and we know that he carried out the views of his immediate employers à toute outrance, and without the slightest regard to their future social or political consequences; but of any grand conceptions resting upon the rights, or contemplating the happiness of mankind, and discriminated from the claims of an existing dynasty, be it democratical or monarchical, he was utterly incapable. Carpe diem was his motto, and he was faithful to it; but however proper that Epicurean maxim might have been in the mouth of a Roman poet, or however truly it might depict the philosophy of a Roman courtesan, it is the deadly antagonist of greatness, which it blights in the bud. Out of such a nature as this—a nature unequal to the slightest sacrifice for the benefit of others, conservative of itself, and indifferent to all the world besides, it is impossible to make a great, though it may be easy enough to make a celebrated man—and such we take M. de Talleyrand, Prince de Benevento, to have been.


[17] Revelations of the Life of Prince Talleyrand. Edited from the Papers of the late M. Colmache, Private Secretary to the Prince. Second Edition. One Volume. London, 1850. H. Colburn.

[18] Suetonius, in Vita, cap. 92.

[19] Οναρ εκ Διος εστιν.

[20] Voice from St. Helena.

[21] The reader will perceive that this was written before the death of Louis Philippe, which took place at Claremont on the 26th day of August last.

[22] The italics are not ours.

[23] See Caulincourt's Recollections, &c. vol. ii. Appendix.

[24] Caulincourt, vol. ii. p. 274, 5.

[25] The particulars have been gleaned from a few scanty notices contained in an unpublished volume by the late George Macintosh, Esq., the nephew of the Mr. Wm. Macintosh spoken of above, entitled, Biographical Memoir of the late Charles Macintosh, Esq., F.R.S. &c. &c. Glasgow, 1847.

[26] P. 210. The italics are in the original.



"And so you will not join our party to Dunwich fair to-morrow, Elizabeth?" said Margaret Blackbourne to the pretty daughter of the Vicar of Southwold, with whom she was returning from a long ramble along the broken cliffs toward Eastern Bavent, one lovely July evening in the year 1616.

Southwold, be it known to such of my readers as may happen to be unacquainted with its locale, is a pretty retired bathing town on the coast of Suffolk, remarkable for its picturesque scenery and salubrious air. At the time when the events on which my tale is founded took place, Southwold, though it boasted none of the pretty marine villas which now grace the Gunhill and centre cliffs, was a place of greater wealth and importance than with all its modern improvements it is at present. It was then one of the most flourishing sea-ports in Suffolk, and occasionally sheltered in its ample bay the stateliest ships in the British navy. And, in addition to the little corn-brigs and colliers, whose light sails alone vary the blue expanse of waters, a mighty fleet of vessels of war might not unfrequently be seen stretching in majestic order along the undulating coast between Eastenness and Dunwich, and the more remote promontory of Orford-Ness. Dunwich, too, that Tyre of the East Angles, sat not then so wholly desolate on her crumbling cliff as now overlooking, in dust and ashes, the devouring waves of the German ocean in which her former glory lies buried two centuries ago. Dunwich, however changed and fallen from what she was in olden time, still retained the rank of a city; and, instead of the miserable horde of smugglers' and fishermen's huts we now behold, with the roofless remains of one lonely church, there were busy and populous streets, with shops, and some appearances of maritime enterprise and mercantile prosperity. The annual fair, which still takes place there on St. James's-day, was at that time considered as a most attractive holiday by the denizens of all the scattered towns and villages along that picturesque coast. Many a well-manned yawl and light sailing-vessel would, in those days, put off from Southwold, Lowestofft, or Aldborough, freighted with a pleasure-loving crew, eager to enjoy a summer voyage and a merry day at old Dunwich.

A great revolution has taken place in public opinion since then, with respect to fairs, which, so far from being exclusively the saturnalia of the vulgar and dissolute, were then used as marts for the sale of various articles of domestic produce; and regarded by all classes of society as seasons of social glee, where all met together, from the highest to the lowest, in gala array, with smiles on their faces, and good-will in their hearts, to participate in cheerful sports and harmless mirth, in which good order and decency were observed out of respect for the presence of ladies and gentlemen.

Christopher Younges, Elizabeth's father, was, however, a man of stern notions; and looking on the dark side of the picture, the abuse of such assemblages, he absolutely condemned them as affording fatal opportunities for the idle, the extravagant, and the dissipated to indulge in sinful excesses, and to seduce the weak and unstable to[227] follow bad example. He had never, on any occasion, permitted his pretty daughter Elizabeth, then in the opening bloom of eighteen, to display her youthful charms and gay attire even at the annual fair held in their own town, and she knew, as she told her gay companion, Margaret, "that it would be in vain to ask his permission to join the festive party on the morrow."

"For my part," rejoined Margaret, "I would as lief be a nun, and live shut up between four stone walls, as be subjected to such restraints! My father is the worshipful bailiff of this town, but he never stands in the way of a little harmless pleasure."

"Very true, Margaret; but my father, being a minister of the Gospel, understands these things better, you know."

"What! better than a magistrate? the chief magistrate of the borough and corporation of Southwold, Bessy Younges? No, no, my dear; you won't persuade me to that. Your father is a very good kind of man, and has a deal of book knowledge; but my father says, 'he knows very little of the world, and is far too stiff in his notions for his congregation,'" exclaimed Margaret.

"It may be so," observed Elizabeth, "but as I am bound to pay double attention to my father's advice, both as my parent and my pastor, I beg to hear no more on the subject."

"As you please, Elizabeth;—but have you seen Arthur yet?"

"Arthur! I thought he was at sea."

"He landed this morning at seven."

"And you not to tell me of it before!"

"I thought you had seen him; but I dare say he has called at the Vicarage while we have been out walking."

"How very provoking!"

"Never mind; you will have enough of his company to-morrow, if you go to Dunwich fair with us."

"But I am not going to Dunwich fair!" cried Elizabeth, pettishly; "and if Arthur Blackbourne goes without me I will never speak to him again."

"And if you do not there are plenty in this town who will be ready to pull caps for him, I can tell you. There is Joan Bates will be only too happy to sit by him in the boat, and she says—"

"Something vastly impertinent, I dare say; but I don't want to hear any of her cross speeches second-hand: I beg you will save yourself the trouble of repeating them, Margaret. It is getting late, and I must hasten home."

Time had, indeed, stolen a march on the vicar's fair daughter, while she had been discussing this interesting subject with her youthful friend and gossip, the sister of her sailor lover; for the full-orbed moon had already reared her bright face over the swelling waves, and was pouring a flood of radiance through the bay, and illuminating the high-arched windows of All-Saints' church on the distant dark promontory of Dunwich cat-cliff.

Elizabeth turned resolutely about to pursue a homeward path; but, at the little turnstile leading to the vicarage, which then with its neat garden and paddock adjoined the western boundary of the church-yard, she encountered Arthur Blackbourne and her brother Edward.

"Where have you been cruising out of your course, girls, for the last age?" cried Arthur: "here have I been giving chase to you both in all directions, till I have hardly a leg to stand on!"

"We have only been for a walk to Easton Broad," said Elizabeth.

"A walk to Easton Broad, the very evening of my return, and without me!"

"How should I know you were home?"

"There were other girls in the town who contrived to find it out;—ay, and pretty girls too—but they took the trouble of keeping a look-out for the Jolly Nicholas," rejoined Arthur, reproachfully.

"So did Bessy, I am sure!" exclaimed the boy Edward, with great vivacity; "why, she wholly crazed us about the Jolly Nicholas, and sent me a dozen times a day to ask our old pilots at the station, whether she were in sight, till they were so sick of the Jolly Nicholas and me, that they got as savage as so many sea-bears, and gave me the name of 'Old Nick' for my pains."

"Joan Bates was on the beach to welcome me on shore when I landed," pursued Arthur.

"Just like her; she is always so forward," retorted Elizabeth.

"It would be well if some people thought as much of me as Joan Bates," continued Arthur.

"And if you have nothing more agreeable to say to me, Arthur Blackbourne, I will wish you good night," said Elizabeth. "Come, Edward."

"You are in a mighty hurry, I think; when you have not seen me for six months, and I have thought of you, sleeping and waking, all that time, and now you won't speak one kind word to a poor fellow!" said the young sailor.

"I have spoken quite as many as you deserve," retorted Elizabeth; "if you want flattery, you may go to Joan Bates."

"And so I will, if you are not more lovingly disposed the next time we meet," said Arthur; "but you will be better tempered, I hope, at Dunwich fair to-morrow."

"I am not going to Dunwich fair."

"Not going to Dunwich fair, Bessy! a pretty joke, i'faith, when the Royal Anne is new painted and rigged with her best flags and canvas all ready to take us; and we have the prospect of a glorious day to-morrow."

"No matter; I shall not go."

"How very perverse;—just to vex me, I suppose!"

"You know my father does not approve of fairs."

"Fiddle-de-dee! there will be plenty of people as good as Parson Younges[228] at Dunwich fair, and some a little wiser, mayhap."

"I am sure there is no harm in going to a fair," said the boy Edward; "and, oh, dear! how I should like to go to-morrow."

"So you shall, my hearty, if you can persuade Bessy to go with us."

"Pray, sister, let us go! there will be such fine doings;—a pair of dancing bears, and three jack-an-apes dressed like soldiers, a mountebank with an Andrew and a Master Merriman, and such lots of booths with toys, and beads, and ribbons; more cakes and sweetmeats than I could eat in a year; besides a merry-go-round and two flying ships. Then, there will be wrestling and cudgel-playing, foot-ball, jumping in sacks, and dancing on the church-green to the pipe and tabor, and you dance so well."

"And we should dance together," whispered the handsome mate of the Jolly Nicholas.

"It is all very fine talking; but my father will never consent."

"Tut, tut; you have not asked him yet."

"It would be useless if I did."

"That is more than I know; for no ship is always in the same tack. Men change their minds as often as girls; and if you coax the old boy handsomely, when you bid him good-night, my compass to your distaff, he'll let you both go."

"Oh, do try, dear sister Bessy!" cried Edward, hanging on her arm.

"Well, I suppose I must; and if my father consents I will join you on the beach with Edward at six to-morrow morning."

"We shall wait for you, remember," said the sailor, "so come and let us know, at all events; for time and tide tarry for no one," and so they parted.

Elizabeth, when she preferred her suit to her father that evening, met with a positive denial, accompanied with a stern rebuke for her late return from her evening ramble. She retired to her own chamber in tears, and cried herself to sleep. She dreamed of the forbidden pleasure; and that she was seated in the gayly painted Queen Anne, at the helm by the side of her long-absent sailor love, listening to his whispered endearments, as the boat glided rapidly toward the scene of festive enjoyment, to which the merry pealing of bells seemed to invite her. At five she was awakened by a light tap at her chamber door, from her little brother, who whispered, "Oh, sister Bessy, it is such a lovely morning, let us go and see the boats push off for Dunwich fair!"

"To what purpose?" cried the mortified girl, "the sight of them will only increase my vexation."

"Oh, but you promised to let Arthur and Margaret know; and they will take it unkindly if you do not keep your word," said Edward.

Far wiser would it have been for the brother and sister if they had kept out of the way of temptation; but mutually compounding with their consciences, that there could be no harm in going to see the boat off, since they did not mean to sail with her crew, they left the paternal roof together, and tripped hand-in-hand toward the spot where the Queen Anne, with her new crimson pennon, lay in readiness for the launch, surrounded by a gayly-dressed group of females, young and old, in their holiday attire, jovial seamen, and blithe young bachelors of the town, among whom, but superior to them all, stood Arthur Blackbourne, in his sable fur cap with a bullion cordon and tassels. His nautical dress differed little in fashion from that of the rowers of the yawl, only that his doublet was of a smarter cut and finer material, and surmounted with a full ruff of Flanders lace, a piece of foppery in which the handsome mate of the Jolly Nicholas imitated the fashion of the court of James I., and was enabled, by his trading voyages to Antwerp and Hamburgh, to indulge without any great extravagance. He had brought home half-a-dozen yards of this costly adornment and a damasked gown for the vicar's fair daughter, and he communicated the fact to her in a loving whisper, when, after springing half-way up the cliff at three bounds to meet her, he had fondly encircled her waist with his arm, to aid her in the descent to the beach. "And the damask is white damask," pursued he, "on purpose for your wedding gown; and I have a pocket full of silver and gold besides, to treat you with any thing you may fancy at Dunwich fair, my sweeting."

"Dear Arthur, it is of no use talking of it; father was very angry with me for asking his leave to go, and so I can not go. I told you how it would be!" said Elizabeth, with mingled wrath and sorrow in her tones.

The mate of the Jolly Nicholas looked troubled for a moment, and then said, "Never mind, my darling girl, you shall go to Dunwich fair for all that, and so shall little Teddy."

"Oh, dear Arthur, I am so glad! Hurrah for Dunwich fair!" shouted the boy.

"Be quiet, foolish child, we can not go without my father's leave," said Elizabeth.

"Yes, yes, you can; it is but for once, and I will take all the blame upon myself," cried Arthur Blackbourne.

"Goodness, Arthur! I never disobeyed my father in my life."

"Then you have been a very good girl, Bessy, and he can not reasonably rate you for a first fault; and if he does—there is the white damask ready bought for the wedding gown, and I am ready to take you for better or worse to-morrow," continued Arthur, drawing the half-resisting, but more than half-willing girl, nearer and nearer to the boat at every word; while Teddy, hanging on her arm, continued to wheedle and implore her to go.

"It is only for once, sister Bessy; only for once: father can't kill us if we do take this one day's pastime. Oh, dear, oh, dear; I shall die if I don't go to Dunwich fair!"

"Arthur Blackbourne, we shall lose the tide if you stand palavering[229] there," shouted half-a-dozen of the crew of the Queen Anne.

"Arthur Blackbourne, you are to take charge of my niece, Joan Bates, if Bessy Younges doesn't go with us," screamed the shrill voice of the widow Robson, one of the busiest bodies in the busy borough corporate of Southwold two centuries ago.

"Oh gracious, aunt! you must not interfere between sweethearts;" expostulated Joan, with a giggle of affected simplicity. "I am sure I don't wish to take Arthur Blackbourne from Mistress Elizabeth Younges, if he prefers her company to mine, and it is her intention to go to Dunwich fair with us; but I think she does not go to fairs. Parson Younges always preaches against them, does not he, aunt?" said Joan.

"Why, to be sure he does," cried the widow Robson; "so of course his daughter can not be seen at such a place."

Elizabeth turned pale with vexation at these observations, the drift of which she perfectly understood. Margaret Blackbourne stepped back, and whispered in her ear, "All that is said to keep you from going to Dunwich fair with Arthur."

"I shall not ask their leave if I choose to go," returned Elizabeth.

"Then pray make up your mind at once," said the widow Robson, "or we shall none go, I fancy, as Arthur Blackbourne is the steersman of the Queen Anne."

"I am coming," cried Arthur, drawing Elizabeth toward the boat. All the female voyagers had now scrambled in, save Joan Bates, who was exercising her coquettish skill in parrying the advances of Bennet Allen, the town-clerk's brother, with the evident design of securing the attentions of the handsome Arthur Blackbourne for the voyage.

Four stout seamen, aided by a bare-foot, ragged rout of auxiliaries, such as are always loitering on Southwold beach in readiness to volunteer their services on such occasions, now began to impel the boat through the breakers with the usual chorus of, "Yeo ho—steady—yeo ho!" and Edward, following the example of some of the juvenile passengers, sprang into the boat with the agility of a squirrel, and a wild cry of delight.

"Edward, Edward, you must not go," exclaimed his sister.

"Hurrah for Dunwich fair!" shouted the willful urchin, tossing up his cap.

"Arthur, help me!" cried Elizabeth.

"Ay, ay, by all means," rejoined the mate of the Jolly Nicholas, taking her about the waist, and swinging her into the boat. The next moment he was seated by her side, and the Queen Anne was gayly dashing through the waves. Her canvas was hoisted amidst bursts of mirth, and snatches of nautical songs, and it was said that so gallant and fair a company and crew never before left Southwold beach. Elizabeth Younges was perhaps the only one who looked back with boding glances toward the town, and in so doing recognized her father's tall, bending figure on the centre cliff, holding up his hand in an authoritative manner, as if to interdict her voyage. It was her first act of willful disobedience, and her heart sank within her; and though she had triumphed over her bold rival, by securing the company and attentions of Arthur Blackbourne for the day, she felt more dejected than if she had been left alone on the beach. One black cloud, the only one in the silver and azure sky, now floated across the horizon, and appeared to hover darkly and ominously over her forsaken home, as the shores of Southwold receded in the distance.

"Arthur," whispered she to her lover, "I do not like to go to Dunwich fair so entirely against my father's prohibition. Do make the boat tack, and set the boy Edward and me ashore."

"Dear heart! it is folly to think of such a thing; we are opposite Dingle now."

"It will be only a pleasant walk back to Southwold for us."

"Very pleasant for you, perhaps; but recollect, there are twenty people besides yourself in the boat, and I really do not see why they should be put to inconvenience for your whims."

"But, Arthur, you know you put me into the boat against my will."

"The more fool I," retorted the offended lover. Elizabeth made an angry rejoinder, but instead of persisting in her purpose, she sat silent and sullen during the rest of the voyage. The merry pealing of bells from the three churches then remaining in Dunwich, sounded a jocund welcome over the waves—the old city was adorned with flags and green boughs in honor of her chartered fair, and the tall cliffs were lined with gayly-dressed groups, rejoicing in their holiday; but these things gave no pleasure to Elizabeth. The uproarious glee of her brother Edward annoyed her, and finding Arthur appeared in no haste to offer her his arm, to assist her in ascending the lofty cliffs of Dunwich, after they had landed, she took that of the reluctant boy and walked proudly on, without deigning to direct a glance toward her lover.

"I wish you would walk with your own man, sister Bess," said Edward. "I want to have some fun with the other boys."

"You are very unkind, Edward, to wish to desert me, when Arthur has treated me so ill. If it had not been for your perversity in jumping into the boat, and refusing to leave it, I should not have disobeyed my father by coming here," said Elizabeth.

"It is of no use thinking of that now," rejoined Edward; "as we are here, we had better enjoy ourselves."

Elizabeth never felt so little in the humor for any thing of the kind called pleasure. The want of sympathy, too, in her little brother, added to the bitterness of her feelings. She directed a furtive glance toward the party behind, and perceived Arthur engaged in what in these days would be called an active flirtation with her rival, Joan Bates: under these circumstances she determined not to relinquish her brother's arm;[230] but that perverse urchin, whom she had so entirely loved and petted from his cradle, with the usual ingratitude of a spoiled child, took the earliest opportunity of breaking from her, and joining a boisterous company of boys of his own age. Bennet Allen then approached, and offered his arm to Elizabeth, with the mortifying observation, "that as they both appeared to be forsaken and forlorn, the best thing they could do would be to walk together."

The proud heart of Elizabeth was ready to burst at this remark, and had it been any where else, she would have rejected the proffered attentions of young Allen with scorn; but she felt the impropriety of walking alone in a fair, and silently accepted the arm of her rival's discarded lover, and at the same time affected a gayety of manner she was far from feeling, in the hope of piquing Arthur Blackbourne. Nothing is, however, so wearisome to both mind and body as an outward show of mirth when the heart is sorrowful. Elizabeth Younges relapsed into long fits of gloom and silence, and when addressed by her companion, made short and ungracious answers.

"What a disagreeable thing a fair is," said she, at last; "I no longer wonder at my father saying it was not a suitable place for me—how I wish I were at home!"

But many weary hours of noise and pleasureless excitement had to be worn away, ere the party with whom Elizabeth came to Dunwich would agree to return. Elizabeth's remonstrances, entreaties, and anger were alike unheeded by the companions of her voyage. She had haughtily rejected every overture on the part of Arthur toward a reconciliation, and declined to receive fairings or attentions of any kind from him, to manifest her indignant sense of the slight she had experienced from him in the early part of the day; and Arthur had retorted by paying his court very ostentatiously to Joan Bates. Elizabeth, neglected and alone, strayed from her party, and sought a solitary nook among the ivied ruins of a monastic pile, whose rifted arches overhung the verge of the lofty cliff, where she indulged in floods of tears, casting from time to time her wistful glances toward Southwold, whose verdant cliffs looked so calm and peaceful in the mellow lights of a glowing sunset; but it was not till those cliffs were silvered by the rising moon that the tide served for the return of the boats. At length, Elizabeth heard her name vociferated by many individuals of her party, and felt sorely mortified at the publicity thus given to the fact of her being at a forbidden place. Ashamed to raise her voice in reply, yet painfully anxious to return to her deserted home, she hastened from her retreat among the ruins, and ran eagerly toward the steep narrow path that led to the beach. On the way she encountered Arthur Blackbourne, evidently the worse for his revels.

"Where have you been wandering about by yourself?" cried he, seizing her roughly by the arm.

"You have used me very ill to-day, Arthur," said she, bursting into tears.

"You are jealous and out of temper," was the reply.

"Where is my brother Edward?" sobbed Elizabeth, for she could not trust her voice with a rejoinder to this taunt.

"In the boat, and if you do not make haste, we shall lose the tide."

"I have suffered enough for my disobedience to my father as it is," said Elizabeth; "and oh, what will he say to me on my return from this disgraceful expedition!"

"There is no time to think of that now," rejoined Arthur, as they proceeded to the boat in mutual displeasure with each other. Elizabeth perceived with alarm, that boatmen and passengers alike were in the same state of inebriation which was only too evident in Arthur.

The beach was now a scene of tumultuous bustle; a crowd of boats were putting off for Southwold, Walberswick, and all the other places along the coast for which the wind and tide served.

"Young woman," said an experienced Dunwich mariner who had been regarding Elizabeth with much interest, "which boat are you going in."

"The Queen Anne of Southwold," was the reply.

"Take an old man's counsel and go not in her to-night. She is too full of riotous head strong people, and those who ought to be the most cool and considerate there are the worst."

"Oh, but I must go; I dare not remain longer, for I came without my father's leave."

"So much the worse, young girl, for you; no good can come of such doings," said the ancient mariner.

"Oh, if I but reach my home in safety, I will never, never so transgress again!" sobbed Elizabeth as she took her seat among the reckless crew of the Queen Anne, and rested her aching head against the dewy canvas which was now unfurled to the gay breeze that came dancing over the summer waves.

It was a night of intense beauty, and the contemplation of the starry heavens above, with that glorious moon shining in such cloudless splendor over the mighty expanse of heaving blue waters, might have drawn the minds of the midnight voyagers to far different themes than those which were so clamorously discussed by them as they glided through the murmuring waves. The Queen Anne had shot ahead of the swarm of sailing boats with which she left Dunwich strand, and her thoughtless crew, with wild excitement, continued to accelerate her perilous speed by hoisting a press of canvas as they neared the shores of Southwold.

A dispute now occurred among them, whether they should land at the haven or opposite the town. None of the parties were in a state to form a very correct judgment as to which would be the best and safest point to bring[231] the boat to shore. The importunities of Joan Bates and others of the female passengers, who had suffered severely from sea-sickness during the homeward voyage, prevailed on Arthur Blackbourne and a majority of the party to attempt a landing at the haven, and four of the boatmen scrambling through the surf proceeded to fix their rope and grapples, to bring the boat to shore. They were resisted by such of the men as were for landing opposite the town, and with reason, for the tide was rushing with great force into the river Blythe. Arthur Blackbourne had seized one of the oars to assist in effecting a landing on that perilous spot. Elizabeth Younges, who perceived a cable lying athwart the haven, started up in an agony of terror, caught him by the arm, and entreated him to desist. Arthur, attributing her opposition to angry excitement of temper, rudely shook off her hold and exerted a double portion of energy to accomplish his object, and just at the fatal moment when the men carelessly let go the rope, impelled the boat into immediate contact with the obstacle of which Elizabeth was about to warn him. The next instant all were struggling with the roaring tide. The slumbering village of Walberswick was startled with the death-shrieks of that devoted company. The anxious watchers on Southwold cliff, the parents, relatives, and friends of the hapless voyagers, echoed back their cries in hopeless despair. Then there was the impulsive rush of men, women, and children toward the spot where they had seen the boat capsized. In less than ten minutes the swift-footed neared it, but ere then, the dread gulf which divides time from eternity had already been passed by each and all, save one, of those who sailed so gayly from the town that morn. Lovers and rivals, passengers and crew, were united in a watery grave. The solitary survivor was Arthur Blackbourne.

The register of Southwold for the year 1616 contains the record of this tragedy of domestic life, penned with mournful minuteness by the faithful hand of the bereaved parent of two of the victims, Christopherus Younges, the Vicar of Southwold: we copy it verbatim from the tear-stained page.

"The names of those who were drowned and found again. They were drowned in the haven coming from Donwich fayer, on St. James's day in a bote, by reason of one cable lying overwharf the haven, for by reason the men that brought them down was so negligent, that when they were redie to come ashore the bote broke lose, and so the force of the tide carried the bote against the cable and so overwhelmed. The number of them were xxii, but they were not all found. The widow Robson, Johne Bates, Mary Yewell, Susan Frost, Margaret Blackbourne and the widow Taylor, were all buried on the 26th day of July, being all cast away, coming from Donwick fayer, on St. James's daye.

"Widow Poster was buried the 27th day of Julye. Bennett Allen was buried the 30th daie, Goodie Kerrison same daie. Edward and Elizabeth Younges, daughter and son to me, C. Younges, vicar and minister, was buried the 31st Dae of Julie.

"All these were found again in this towne and buried."—Southwold Register A. D. 1616.




Napoleon was born at Ajaccio in 1769. It was affirmed by many that he was at least a year older, and concealed his real age from an unwillingness to acknowledge his birth in Corsica, at a period when that island formed no part of the French dominions. The story is an idle one. A yet more idle one was circulated that he had been baptized by the name of Nicholas, but from apprehension of ridicule converted it, when he rose to celebrity, into Napoleon. The printed exercises of the military school of Brienne, of the years 1780, 1781, 1783, preserved in the Bibliothèque at Paris, represent him as proficient in history, algebra, geography, and dancing, under the name of Buona-Parte de l'Isle de Corse; sometimes d'Ajaccio en Corse. Many traits of his aspiring and ambitious character, even in early youth, have been related, and Pozzo di Borgo quoted (1826) a conversation with him when 18 years of age, in which, after inquiring and learning the state of Italy, he exclaimed, "Then I have not been deceived, and with two thousand soldiers a man might make himself king (Principe) of that country." The ascendency he acquired over his family and companions, long before his great talents had emerged from obscurity, were formerly described to me by Cardinal Fesch and Louis Bonaparte, and have been confirmed since by the uniform testimony of such as knew him during his residence in Corsica, or before his acquaintance with Barras, the Director. When at home he was extremely studious, ardent in some pursuit, either literary or scientific, which he communicated to no one. At his meals, which he devoured rapidly, he was silent, and apparently absorbed in his own thoughts. Yet he was generally consulted on all questions affecting the interests of any branch of his family, and on all such occasions was attentive, friendly, decisive, and judicious. He wrote at a very early period of his life, a History of Corsica, and sent the manuscript to the Abbé Raynal, with a flourishing letter, soliciting the honor of his acquaintance, and requesting his opinion of the work. The abbé acknowledged the letter, and praised the performance, but Napoleon never printed it. Persons who have dined with him at taverns and coffee-houses when it was convenient to him not to pay his reckoning, have assured me, that though the youngest and poorest, he always obtained, without exacting it, a sort of deference or even submission from the rest of the[232] company. Though never parsimonious, he was at that period of his life extremely attentive to the details of expense, the price of provisions, and of other necessary articles, and, in short, to every branch of domestic economy. The knowledge thus early acquired in such matters, was useful to him in a more exalted station. He cultivated and even made a parade of his information in subsequent periods of his career, and thus sometimes detected and frequently prevented embezzlement in the administration of public accounts.


Nothing could exceed the order and regularity with which his household both as consul and emperor was conducted. The great things he accomplished, and the savings he made, without even the imputation of avarice or meanness, with the sum comparatively inconsiderable of fifteen millions of francs a year, are marvelous, and expose his successors, and indeed all European princes to the reproach of negligence or incapacity. In this branch of his government, he owed much to Duroc. It is said, that they often visited the markets of Paris (les halles) dressed in plain clothes and early in the morning. When any great accounts were to be submitted to the emperor, Duroc would apprise him in secret of some of the minutest details. By an adroit allusion to them or a careless remark on the points upon which he had received such recent and accurate information, Napoleon contrived to impress his audience with a notion that the master's eye was every where. For instance, when the Tuilleries were furnished, the upholsterer's charges, though not very exorbitant, were suspected by the emperor to be higher than the usual profit of that trade would have warranted. He suddenly asked some minister, who was with him, how much the egg at the end of the bell-rope should cost? "J'ignore," was the answer. "Eh bien! nous verrons," said he, and then cut off the ivory handle, called for a valet, and bidding him dress himself in plain and ordinary clothes, and neither divulge his immediate commission or general employment to any living soul, directed him to inquire the price of such articles at several shops in Paris, and to order a dozen as for himself. They were one-third less dear than those furnished to the palace. The emperor, inferring that the same advantage had been taken in the other articles, struck a third off the whole charge, and directed the tradesman to be informed that it was done at his express command, because on inspection, he had himself discovered the charges to be by one-third too exorbitant. When afterward, in the height of his glory, he visited Caen, with the Empress Maria Louisa, and a train of crowned heads and princes, his old friend, M. Mechin, the Prefect, aware of his taste for detail, waited upon him with five statistical tables of the expenditure, revenue, prices, produce, and commerce of the department. "C'est bon," said he, when he received them the evening of his arrival, "vous et moi nous ferons bien de l'esprit sur tout cela demain au Conseil." Accordingly, he astonished all the leading proprietors of the department at the meeting next day, by his minute knowledge of the prices of good and bad cider, and of the produce and other circumstances of the various districts of the department. Even the royalist gentry were impressed with a respect for his person, which gratitude for the restitution of their lands had failed to inspire, and which, it must be acknowledged, the first, faint hope of vengeance against their enemies entirely obliterated in almost every member of that intolerant faction.

Other princes have shown an equal fondness for minute details with Napoleon, but here is the difference. The use they made of their knowledge was to torment their inferiors and weary their company: the purpose to which Napoleon applied it was to confine the expenses of the state to the objects and interests of the community.


His powers of application and memory seemed almost preternatural. There was scarcely a man in France, and none in employment, with whose private history, characters, and qualifications, he was not acquainted. He had, when emperor, notes and tables, which he called the moral statistics of his empire. He revised and corrected them by ministerial reports, private conversation, and correspondence. He received all letters himself, and what seems incredible, he read and recollected all that he received. He slept little, and was never idle one instant when awake. When he had an hour for diversion, he not unfrequently employed it in looking over a book of logarithms, which he acknowledged, with some surprise, was at all seasons of his life a recreation to him. So retentive was his memory of numbers, that sums over which he had once glanced his eye were in his mind ever after. He recollected the respective produce of all taxes through every year of his administration, and could, at any time, repeat any one of them, even to the centimes. Thus his detection of errors in accounts appeared marvelous, and he often indulged in the pardonable artifice of displaying these faculties in a way to create a persuasion that his vigilance was almost supernatural. In running over an account of expenditure, he perceived the rations of a battalion charged on a certain day at Besançon. "Mais le bataillon n'était pas là," said he, "il y a erreur." The minister, recollecting that the emperor had been at the time out of France, and confiding in the regularity of his subordinate agents, persisted that the battalion must have been at Besançon. Napoleon insisted on further inquiry. It turned out to be a fraud and not a mistake. The peculating accountant was dismissed, and the scrutinizing spirit of the emperor circulated with the anecdote through every branch of the public service, in a way to deter every[233] clerk from committing the slightest error, from fear of immediate detection. His knowledge, in other matters, was often as accurate and nearly as surprising. Not only were the Swiss deputies in 1801 astonished at his familiar acquaintance with the history, laws, and usages of their country, which seemed the result of a life of research, but even the envoys from the insignificant Republic of San Marino, were astonished at finding that he knew the families and feuds of that small community, and discoursed on the respective views, conditions, and interests of parties and individuals, as if he had been educated in the petty squabbles and local politics of that diminutive society. I remember a simple native of that place told me in 1814 that the phenomenon was accounted for by the Saint of the town appearing to him over-night, in order to assist his deliberations.


Some anecdotes related to me by the distinguished officer who conveyed him in the Undaunted to Elba, in 1814, prove the extent, variety, and accuracy of knowledge of Napoleon. On his first arrival on the coast, in company with Sir Neil Campbell, an Austrian and a Russian commissioner, Captain Usher waited upon him, and was invited to dinner. He conversed much on naval affairs, and explained the plan he had once conceived of forming a vast fleet of 160 ships-of-the-line. He asked Captain Usher if he did not think it would have been practicable; and Usher answered, that with the immense means he then commanded, he saw no impossibility in building and manning any number of ships, but his difficulty would have consisted in forming thorough seamen as distinguished from what we call smooth-water sailors. Napoleon replied that he had provided for that also; he had organized exercises for them afloat, not only in harbor, but in smaller vessels near the coast, by which they might have been trained to go through, even in rough weather, the most arduous manœuvres of seamanship, which he enumerated; and he mentioned among them the keeping a ship clear of her anchors in a heavy sea. The Austrian, who suspected Napoleon of talking in general upon subjects he imperfectly understood, acknowledging his own ignorance, asked him the meaning of the term, the nature of the difficulty, and the method of surmounting it. On this the emperor took up two forks, and explained the problem in seamanship, which is not an easy one, in so short, scientific, and practical a way, that Captain Usher assured me he knew none but professional men, and very few of them, who could off-hand have given so perspicuous, seamanlike, and satisfactory solution of the question. Any board of officers would have inferred, from such an exposition, that the person making it had received a naval education, and was a practical seaman. Yet how different were the objects on which the mind of Napoleon must have been long, as well as recently, employed!

On the same voyage, when the propriety of putting into a harbor of Corsica was under discussion, and the want of a pilot urged as an objection, Napoleon described the depth of water, shoals, currents, bearings, and anchorage, with a minuteness which seemed as if he had himself acted in that capacity; and which, on reference to the charts, was found scrupulously accurate. When his cavalry and baggage arrived at Porto Ferrajo, the commander of the transports said that he had been on the point of putting into a creek near Genoa (which he named, but I have forgotten); upon hearing which Napoleon exclaimed, "It is well you did not; it is the worst place in the Mediterranean; you would not have got to sea again for a month or six weeks." He then proceeded to allege reasons for the difficulty, which were quite sufficient if the peculiarities of the little bay were really such as he described; but Captain Usher, having never heard of them during his service in the Mediterranean, suspected that the emperor was mistaken, or had confounded some report he had heard from mariners in his youth. When, however, he mentioned the circumstance many years afterward to Captain Dundas, who had recently cruised in the Gulf of Genoa, that officer confirmed the report of Napoleon in all its particulars, and expressed astonishment at its correctness. "For" (said he), "I thought it a discovery of my own, having ascertained all you have just told me about that creek, by observation and experience."


Great as was his appetite for knowledge, his memory in retaining, and his quickness in applying it; his labor both in acquiring and using it was equal to them. In application to business he could wear out the men most inured to study. In the deliberations on the Code Civil, many of which lasted ten, twelve, or fifteen hours without intermission, he was always the last whose attention flagged; and he was so little disposed to spare himself trouble, that even in the Moscow campaign he sent regularly to every branch of administration in Paris directions in detail, which in every government but his would, both from usage and convenience, have been left to the discretion of the superintending minister, or to the common routine of business. This and other instances of his diligence are more wonderful than praiseworthy. He had established an office with twelve clerks, and Mounier at their head, whose sole duty it was to extract, translate, abridge, and arrange under heads the contents of our English newspapers. He charged Mounier to omit no abuse of him, however coarse or virulent; no charge, however injurious or malignant. As, however, he did not specify the empress, Mounier, who reluctantly complied with his orders, ventured to suppress, or, at least, to soften any phrases about her; but Napoleon questioned others on the contents of the English papers; detected Mounier and his committee in their mutilations of the articles, and forbade them to[234] withhold any intelligence or any censure they met with in the publications which they were appointed to examine. Yet with all this industry, and with the multiplicity of topics which engaged his attention, he found time for private and various reading. His librarian was employed for some time every morning in replacing maps and books which his unwearied and insatiable curiosity had consulted before breakfast. He read all letters whatever addressed to himself, whether in his private or public capacity; and it must, I believe, be acknowledged, that he often took the same liberty with those directed to other people. He had indulged in that unjustifiable practice[28] before his elevation, and such was his impatience to open both parcels and letters, that, however employed, he could seldom defer the gratification of his curiosity an instant after either came under his notice or his reach. Josephine, and others, well acquainted with his habits, very pardonably took some advantage of this propensity. Matters which she feared to mention to him were written and directed to her, and the letters unopened left in his way. He often complied with wishes which he thought he had detected by an artifice, more readily than had they been presented in the form of claim, petition, or request. He liked to know every thing; but he liked all he did to have the appearance of springing entirely from himself, feeling, like many others in power, an unwillingness to encourage even those they love in an opinion that they have an influence over them, or that there is any certain channel to their favor. His childish eagerness about cases led, in one instance, to a gracious act of playful munificence. He received notice of the arrival of a present from Constantinople, in society with the empress and other ladies. He ordered the parcel[29] to be brought up, and instantly tore it open with his own hand. It contained a large aigrette of diamonds which he broke into various pieces, and he then threw the largest into her imperial majesty's lap, and some into that of every lady in the circle.


Among his projects were many connected with the arts and with literature. They were all, perhaps, subservient to political purposes, generally gigantic, abruptly prepared, and, in all likelihood, as suddenly conceived. Many were topics of conversation and subjects for speculation, not serious, practical, or digested designs. Though not insensible to the arts or to literature, he was suspected latterly of considering them rather as political engines or embellishments, than as sources of enjoyment. M. de Talleyrand, and several artists concurred in saying, that "il avait le sentiment du grand, mais non pas celui du beau." He had written "bon sujet d'un tableau," opposite to some passage in Letourneur's translation of Ossian, and he had certainly a passion for that poem.

His censure on David, for choosing the battle at the straits of Thermopylæ as a subject for a picture, was that of a general rather than connoisseur: it smelt, if I may say so, of his shop; though, perhaps, the real motive for it was dislike to the republican artist, and distaste to an act of national resistance against a great military invader. "A bad subject," said he "after all, Leonidas was turned." He had the littleness to expect to be prominent in every picture of national victories of his time, and was displeased at a painting of an action in Egypt for Madame Murat, in which her wounded husband was the principal figure. Power made him impatient of contradiction,[30] even in trifles; and, latterly, he did not like his taste in music, for which he had no turn, to be disputed. His proficiency in literature has been variously stated. He had read much, but had written little. In the mechanical part he was certainly no adept; his handwriting was nearly illegible. Some would fain persuade me that that fault was intentional, and merely an artifice to conceal his bad spelling; that he could form his letters well if he chose, but was unwilling to let his readers know too exactly the use he made of them. His orthography was certainly not correct; that of few Frenchmen, not professed authors, was so thirty years ago: but his brothers Lucien and Louis, both literary men, and both correct in their orthography, write a similar hand, and nearly as bad a one as he did, probably for the same reason; viz., that they can not write a better one without great pains and loss of time.

Napoleon, when consul and emperor, seldom wrote, but he dictated much. It was difficult to follow him, and he often objected to any revision of what he had dictated.


Whatever were the religious sentiments of this extraordinary man, such companions were likely neither to fix nor to shake, to sway nor to alter them. I have been at some pains to ascertain the little that can be known of his thoughts on such subjects; and though it is not very satisfactory, it appears to me worth recording.

In the early periods of the revolution, he, in common with many of his countrymen, conformed to the fashion of treating all such matters, both in conversation and action, with levity and even derision. In his subsequent career, like most men exposed to wonderful vicissitudes, he professed half in jest and half in earnest a sort of confidence in fatalism and predestination. But on some solemn public occasions, and yet more in private and sober discussion, he not only gravely disclaimed and reproved infidelity, but both by actions and words implied his[235] conviction that a conversion to religious enthusiasm might befall himself or any other man. He had more than tolerance—he had indulgence and respect for extravagant and ascetic notions of religious duty. He grounded that feeling, not on their soundness or their truth, but on the uncertainty of what our minds may be reserved for, on the possibility of our being prevailed upon to admit and even to devote ourselves to tenets which at first excite our derision. It has been observed that there was a tincture of Italian superstition in his character, a sort of conviction from reason that the doctrines of revelation were not true, and yet a persuasion, or at least an apprehension that he might live to think them so. He was satisfied that the seeds of belief were deeply sown in the human heart. It was on that principle that he permitted and justified, though he did not dare to authorize the revival of La Trappe and other austere orders. He contended that they might operate as a safety-valve for the fanatical and visionary ferment which would otherwise burst forth and disturb society. In his remarks on the death of Duroc and in the reasons he alleged against suicide, both in calm and speculative discussion and in moments of strong emotion (such as occurred at Fontainbleau in 1814), he implied a belief both in fatality and providence.

In the programme of his coronation, a part of the ceremony was to consist in his taking the communion. But when the plan was submitted to him, he, to the surprise of those who had drawn it, was absolutely indignant at the suggestion. "No man," he said, "had the means of knowing, or had the right to say, when or where he would take the Sacrament, or whether he would or not." On this occasion, he added that he would not,[31] nor did he!

There is some mystery about his conduct in similar respects at St. Helena, and during the last days of his life. He certainly had mass celebrated in his chapel while he was well, and in his bedroom when ill. But though I have reason to believe that the last Sacraments were actually administered to him privately, a few days before his death, and probably after confession, yet Count Montholon, from whom I derive indirectly my information, also stated that he received Napoleon's earliest and distinct directions to conceal all the preliminary preparations for that melancholy ceremony from all his other companions, and even to enjoin the priest, if questioned, to say he acted by Count Montholon's orders, but had no knowledge of the Emperor's wishes.

It seems as if he had some desire for such assurance as the church could give, but yet was ashamed to own it. He knew that some at St. Helena, and more in France, would deem his recourse to such consolation, infirmity; perhaps he deemed it so himself. Religion may sing her triumph, Philosophy exclaim, "pauvre humanité," more impartial skepticism despair of discovering the motive, but truth and history must, I believe, acknowledge the fact. M. de Talleyrand, who, on hearing of his death, spoke of his mental endowments, added the following remarks:

"His career is the most extraordinary that has occurred for one thousand years. He committed three capital faults, and to them his fall, scarce less extraordinary than his elevation, is to be ascribed—Spain, Russia, and the Pope. I say the Pope; for his coronation, the acknowledgment by the spiritual head of Christendom that he, a little lieutenant of Corsica, was the chief sovereign of Europe, from whatever motive it proceeded, was the most striking consummation of glory that could happen to an individual. After adopting that mode of displaying his greatness and crowning his achievements, he should never, for objects comparatively insignificant, have stooped to vex and persecute the same Pontiff. He thereby outraged the feelings of the very persons whose enmity had been softened, and whose imagination had been dazzled by that brilliant event. Such were his capital errors. Those three apart, he committed few others in policy, wonderfully few, considering the multiplicity of interests he had to manage, and the extent, importance, and rapidity of the events in which he was engaged. He was certainly a great, an extraordinary man, nearly as extraordinary in his qualities as in his career; at least, so upon reflection I, who have seen him near and much, am disposed to consider him. He was clearly the most extraordinary man I ever saw, and I believe the most extraordinary man that has lived in our age, or for many ages."


[27] From a volume of Foreign Reminiscences, by Henry Richard Lord Holland, edited by his son, Henry Edward Lord Holland,—in the press of Messrs. Harper and Brothers, and soon to be published.

[28] Denon, Mechin, and others.

[29] Mechin.

[30] He was not so, however, either in deliberation or discussion, at least when the matter was invited by himself. He allowed his ministers to comment upon, and even to object to measures in contemplation (provided they acquiesced in them when adopted) in free and even strong terms, and he liked those he questioned on facts or opinions to answer without compliment or reserve.

[31] Some attributed this repugnance to conform, to his fear of the army, others to a secret and conscientious aversion to what he deemed in his heart a profanation.



Mrs. Bull and her rising family were seated round the fire, one November evening at dusk, when all was mud, mist, and darkness, out of doors, and a good deal of fog had even got into the family parlor. To say the truth, the parlor was on no occasion fog-proof, and had, at divers notable times, been so misty as to cause the whole Bull family to grope about, in a most confused manner, and make the strangest mistakes. But, there was an excellent ventilator over the family fire-place (not one of Dr. Arnott's, though it was of the same class, being an excellent invention, called Common Sense), and hence, though the fog was apt to get into the parlor through a variety of chinks, it soon got out again, and left the Bulls at liberty to see what o'clock it was, by the solid, steady-going, family time-piece: which went remarkably well in the long run, though it was apt, at times, to be a trifle too slow.

Mr. Bull was dozing in his easy chair, with his pocket-handkerchief drawn over his head. Mrs. Bull, always industrious, was hard at work,[236] knitting. The children were grouped in various attitudes around the blazing fire. Master C. J. London (called after his God-father), who had been rather late at his exercise, sat with his chin resting, in something of a thoughtful and penitential manner, on his slate resting on his knees. Young Jonathan—a cousin of the little Bulls, and a noisy, overgrown lad—was making a tremendous uproar across the yard, with a new plaything. Occasionally, when his noise reached the ears of Mr. Bull, the good gentleman moved impatiently in his chair, and muttered "Con—found that boy in the stripes, I wish he wouldn't make such a fool of himself!"

"He'll quarrel with his new toy soon, I know," observed the discreet Mrs. Bull, "and then he'll begin to knock it about. But we mustn't expect to find old heads on young shoulders."

"That can't be, ma," said Master C. J. London, who was a sleek, shining-faced boy.

"And why, then, did you expect to find an old head on Young England's shoulders?" retorted Mrs. Bull, turning quickly on him.

"I didn't expect to find an old head on Young England's shoulders!" cried Master C. J. London, putting his left-hand knuckles to his right eye.

"You didn't expect it, you naughty boy?" said Mrs. Bull.

"No!" whimpered Master C. J. London, "I am sure I never did. Oh, oh, oh!"

"Don't go on in that way, don't!" said Mrs. Bull, "but behave better in future. What did you mean by playing with Young England at all?"

"I didn't mean any harm!" cried Master C. J. London, applying, in his increased distress, the knuckles of his right hand to his right eye, and the knuckles of his left hand to his left eye.

"I dare say you didn't!" returned Mrs. Bull. "Hadn't you had warning enough, about playing with candles and candlesticks? How often had you been told that your poor father's house, long before you were born, was in danger of being reduced to ashes by candles and candlesticks? And when Young England and his companions began to put their shirts on, over their clothes, and to play all sorts of fantastic tricks in them, why didn't you come and tell your poor father and me, like a dutiful C. J. London?"

"Because the Rubric—" Master C. J. London was beginning, when Mrs. Bull took him up short.

"Don't talk to me about the Rubric, or you'll make it worse!" said Mrs. Bull, shaking her head at him. "Just exactly what the Rubric meant then, it means now; and just exactly what it didn't mean then, it don't mean now. You are taught to act, according to the spirit, not the letter; and you know what its spirit must be, or you wouldn't be. No, C. J. London!" said Mrs. Bull, emphatically. "If there were any candles or candlesticks in the spirit of your lesson-book, Master Wiseman would have been my boy, and not you!"

Here, Master C. J. London fell a-crying more grievously than before, sobbing, "Oh, ma! Master Wiseman with his red legs, your boy! Oh, oh, oh!"

"Will you be quiet," returned Mrs. Bull, "and let your poor father rest? I am ashamed of you. You to go and play with a parcel of sentimental girls, and dandy boys! Is that your bringing up?"

"I didn't know they were fond of Master Wiseman," protested Master C. J. London, still crying.

"You didn't know, sir!" retorted Mrs. Bull "Don't tell me! Then you ought to have known. Other people knew. You were told often enough, at the time, what it would come to. You didn't want a ghost, I suppose, to warn you that when they got to candlesticks, they'd get to candles; and that when they got to candles, they'd get to lighting 'em; and that when they began to put their shirts on outside, and to play at monks and friars, it was as natural that Master Wiseman should be encouraged to put on a pair of red-stockings, and a red hat, and to commit I don't know what other Tom-fooleries and make a perfect Guy Fawkes of himself in more ways than one. Is it because you are a Bull, that you are not to be roused till they shake scarlet close to your very eyes?" said Mrs. Bull indignantly.

Master C. J. London still repeating "Oh, oh, oh!" in a very plaintive manner, screwed his knuckles into his eyes until there appeared considerable danger of his screwing his eyes out of his head. But, little John (who though of a spare figure was a very spirited boy), started up from the little bench on which he sat; gave Master C. J. London a hearty pat on the back (accompanied, however, with a slight poke in the ribs); and told him that if Master Wiseman, or Young England, or any of those fellows, wanted any thing for himself, he (little John) was the boy to give it him. Hereupon, Mrs. Bull, who was always proud of the child, and always had been, since his measure was first taken for an entirely new suit of clothes to wear in Commons, could not refrain from catching him up on her knee and kissing him with great affection, while the whole family expressed their delight in various significant ways.

"You are a noble boy, little John," said Mrs. Bull, with a mother's pride, "and that's the fact, after every thing is said and done!"

"I don't know about that, ma;" quoth little John, whose blood was evidently up; "but if these chaps and their backers, the Bulls of Rome—"

Here Mr. Bull, who was only half asleep, kicked out in such an alarming manner, that for some seconds, his boots gyrated fitfully all over the family hearth, filling the whole circle with consternation. For, when Mr Bull did kick, his kick was tremendous. And he always kicked, when the[237] Bulls of Rome were mentioned.

Mrs. Bull holding up her finger as an injunction to the children to keep quiet, sagely observed Mr. Bull from the opposite side of the fire-place, until he calmly dozed again, when she recalled the scattered family to their former positions, and spoke in a low tone.

"You must be very careful," said the worthy lady, "how you mention that name; for, your poor father has so many unpleasant experiences of those Bulls of Rome—Bless the man! he'll do somebody a mischief."

Mr. Bull, lashing out again more violently than before, upset the fender, knocked down the fire-irons, kicked over the brass footman, and, whisking his silk handkerchief off his head, chased the Pussy on the rug clean out of the room into the passage, and so out of the street-door into the night; the Pussy having (as was well known to the children in general), originally strayed from the Bulls of Rome into Mr. Bull's assembled family. After the achievement of this crowning feat, Mr. Bull came back, and in a highly excited state performed a sort of war-dance in his top-boots, all over the parlor. Finally, he sank into his arm-chair, and covered himself up again.

Master C. J. London, who was by no means sure that Mr. Bull in his heat would not come down upon him for the lateness of his exercise, took refuge behind his slate and behind little John, who was a perfect game-cock. But, Mr. Bull having concluded his war-dance without injury to any one, the boy crept out, with the rest of the family, to the knees of Mrs. Bull, who thus addressed them, taking little John into her lap before she began:

"The B.'s of R.," said Mrs. Bull, getting, by this prudent device, over the obnoxious words, "caused your poor father a world of trouble, before any one of you were born. They pretended to be related to us, and to have some influence in our family; but it can't be allowed for a single moment—nothing will ever induce your poor father to hear of it; let them disguise or constrain themselves now and then, as they will, they are, by nature, an insolent, audacious, oppressive, intolerable race."

Here little John doubled his fists, and began squaring at the Bulls of Rome, as he saw those pretenders with his mind's eye. Master C. J. London, after some considerable reflection, made a show of squaring, likewise.

"In the days of your great, great, great, great, grandfather," said Mrs. Bull, dropping her voice still lower, as she glanced at Mr. Bull in his repose, "the Bulls of Rome were not so utterly hateful to our family as they are at present. We didn't know them so well, and our family were very ignorant and low in the world. But, we have gone on advancing in every generation since then; and now we are taught, by all our family history and experience, and by the most limited exercise of our rational faculties, that our knowledge, liberty, progress, social welfare and happiness are wholly irreconcilable and inconsistent with them. That the Bulls of Rome are not only the enemies of our family, but of the whole human race. That wherever they go, they perpetuate misery, oppression, darkness, and ignorance. That they are easily made the tools of the worst of men for the worst of purposes; and that they can not be endured by your poor father, or by any man, woman, or child, of common sense, who has the least connection with us."

Little John, who had gradually left off squaring, looked hard at his aunt, Miss Eringobragh, Mr. Bull's sister, who was groveling on the ground, with her head in the ashes. This unfortunate lady had been, for a length of time, in a horrible condition of mind and body, and presented a most lamentable spectacle of disease, dirt, rags, superstition, and degradation.

Mrs. Bull, observing the direction of the child's glance, smoothed little John's hair, and directed her next observations to him.

"Ah! You may well look at the poor thing, John!" said Mrs. Bull; "for the Bulls of Rome have had far too much to do with her present state. There have been many other causes at work to destroy the strength of her constitution, but the Bulls of Rome have been at the bottom of it; and, depend upon it, wherever you see a condition at all resembling hers, you will find, on inquiry, that the sufferer has allowed herself to be dealt with by the Bulls of Rome. The cases of squalor and ignorance, in all the world most like your aunt's, are to be found in their own household; on the steps of their doors; in the heart of their homes. In Switzerland, you may cross a line no broader than a bridge or a hedge, and know, in an instant, where the Bulls of Rome have been received, by the condition of the family. Wherever the Bulls of Rome have the most influence, the family is sure to be the most abject. Put your trust in those Bulls, John, and it's the inevitable order and sequence of things, that you must come to be something like your aunt, sooner or later."

"I thought the Bulls of Rome had got into difficulties and run away, ma?" said little John, looking up into his mother's face inquiringly.

"Why, so they did get into difficulties, to be sure, John," returned Mrs. Bull, "and so they did run away, but, even the Italians, who had got thoroughly used to them, found them out, and they were obliged to go and hide in a cupboard, where they still talked big through the key-hole, and presented one of the most contemptible and ridiculous exhibitions that ever were seen on earth. However, they were taken out of the cupboard by some friends of theirs—friends, indeed! who care as much about them as I do for the sea-serpent; but who happened, at the moment, to find it necessary to play at soldiers, to amuse their fretful children, who didn't know what they wanted, and, what was worse, would have it—and so the Bulls got back to Rome. And at Rome they are any thing but safe to stay, as you'll find, my dear, one of these odd[238] mornings."

"Then, if they are so unsafe, and so found out, ma," said Master C. J. London, "how come they to interfere with us, now?"

"Oh, C. J. London!" returned Mrs. Bull, "what a sleepy child you must be to put such a question! Don't you know that the more they are found out, and the weaker they are, the more important it must be to them to impose upon the ignorant people near them, by pretending to be closely connected with a person so much looked up to as your poor father?"

"Why, of course!" cried little John to his brother. "Oh, you stupid!"

"And I am ashamed to have to repeat, C. J. London," said Mrs. Bull, "that, but for your friend, Young England, and the encouragement you gave to that mewling little Pussy, when it strayed here—don't say you didn't, you naughty boy, for you did!"

"You know you did!" said little John.

Master C. J. London began to cry again.

"Don't do that," said Mrs. Bull, sharply, "but be a better boy in future! I say, I am ashamed to have to repeat, that, but for that, the Bulls of Rome would never have had the audacity to call their connection, Master Wiseman, your poor father's child, and to appoint him, with his red hat and stockings, and his mummery and flummery, to a portion of your father's estates—though, for the matter of that, there is nothing to prevent their appointing him to the Moon, except the difficulty of getting him there! And so, your poor father's affairs have been brought to this crisis: that he has to deal with an insult which is perfectly absurd, and yet which he must, for the sake of his family in all time to come, decisively and seriously deal with, in order to detach himself, once and forever, from those Bulls of Rome; and show how impotent they are. There's difficulty and vexation, you have helped to bring upon your father, you bad child!"

"Oh, oh, oh!" cried Master C. J. London. "Oh, I never went to do it. Oh, oh, oh!"

"Hold your tongue!" said Mrs. Bull, "and do a good exercise! Now that your father has turned that Pussy out of doors, go on with your exercise, like a man; and let us have no more playing with any one connected with those Bulls of Rome; between whom and you there is a great gulf fixed, as you ought to have known in the beginning. Take your fingers out of your eyes, sir, and do your exercise!"

"Or I'll come and pinch you!" said little John.

"John," said Mrs. Bull, "you leave him alone. Keep your eye upon him, and, if you find him relapsing, tell your father."

"Oh, won't I neither!" cried little John.

"Don't be vulgar," said Mrs. Bull. "Now, John, I can trust you. Whatever you do, I know you won't wake your father unnecessarily. You are a bold, brave child, and I highly approve of your erecting yourself against Master Wiseman and all that bad set. But, be wary, John; and, as you have, and deserve to have, great influence with your father, I am sure you will be careful how you wake him. If he was to make a wild rush, and begin to dance about, on the Platform in the Hall, I don't know where he'd stop."

Little John, getting on his legs, began buttoning his jacket with great firmness and vigor, preparatory to action. Master C. J. London, with a dejected aspect and an occasional sob, went on with his exercise.


In the village in which we were at one time residing, there dwelt, in a small cottage commanded by our windows, a lieutenant in the navy on half-pay. We were a child at the time, and one of our amusements was to watch from our play-room the bees that worked in that cottage-garden, and the "old gentleman"—as we styled him, because his hair was gray—pace, with his quick, quarter-deck step the little path that divided the flower-beds. It was a neat though very small dwelling, almost shut from view by lilacs and evergreens; the garden was gay with sweet flowers, which might almost be called domestic in this age of new buds and blossoms; and it was carefully tended by a young girl—his only daughter—and an old female servant. We noticed every morning that the lieutenant, who was a tall figure, and would have been a handsome and commanding-looking man but for his very great paleness and his stooping, walked briskly to the gate, and holding himself a little more erect than usual, glanced first at the vane, noticing with a sailor's instinct the quarter in which the wind sat; and then turning, gazed anxiously up the village in the direction of the postman's approach, till that functionary appeared in sight. Then he would lay his hand nervously on the top of the little garden-gate, half open it, close it again, and finally, as the letter-carrier advanced, hail him with the inquiry, "Any letter for me to-day, Roger?" If the answer were a "No," and such was the ordinary reply, he would turn away with a sigh, and walk slowly back to the house, bending more than ever, and coughing painfully—he had a distressing cough at times; but his daughter would meet him at the door, and pass her arm through his, and lead him in, with a gentle affection in the action that was quite intelligible; and though we could not hear her words, we knew she was consoling him. We also were sorry for his disappointment. Sometimes a letter came, and he would take it eagerly, but look at it with a changed countenance, for most frequently it was only one of those large wafered epistles we have since learned to recognize as bills—even then we could be sure it was not the letter which he looked for.

And thus he watched daily for something that never came, all through the bright summer and autumn, and even when the snow lay thick upon the[239] ground, and the cold morning and evening breeze must have been injurious to one in feeble health. At last we missed him from his usual post, and the arrival of the village doctor at the cottage confirmed our fears that he was ill. We never saw him again. A fire glimmered from an upper room, the chamber in which he slept; and at times his daughter's figure passed the window as she moved across it, in her gentle and noiseless task of nursing the dying officer. One morning we did not see the usual blaze from the casement: but the old woman came out and shut the shutters close, and drew down the blinds, and we saw as she re-entered the house that she was weeping. That very morning the postman, Roger, stopped at the little wicket, and rang the bell. He held in his hand a very large, long letter, with words printed outside. The woman-servant answered him, and took the letter, putting her apron to her eyes as he spoke. It was the long-hoped-for, long-expected letter from the Admiralty appointing the old officer to a ship. Alas, it came too late! He who had so long waited in restless anxiety—who had so sickened with disappointed hope—was gone to a world where the weary rest, and man's toil and worth are neither neglected nor forgotten. We heard afterward all his sad history, of which there are so many lamentable counterparts. He had gone to sea while yet a child, had toiled, suffered, and fought at the period when the very existence of his country depended on the valor of the navy; but then came the peace, and with many another brave man he had found himself on half-pay, alike unrewarded and forgotten. Mr. St. Quentin—our gentleman who waited for the post—was a widower with one only child, who was his idol. To educate and provide for her had been his great anxiety. How could this be done on his half-pay? It was impossible. True he read hard to become himself her teacher, but there was much he could not impart to her; and with heroic self-denial he placed her at an expensive school, and went himself almost without the common necessaries of life to keep her there. Still the heavy burden thus laid on his slender means obliged him to contract debts, and it was agony to his just and upright spirit when he found it impossible to defray them.

He had used great energy in his endeavors to get employed again, and just before we made his acquaintance, "waiting for the post," had received a promise that his services should be remembered. Both promise and fulfillment came too late! The one awoke hopes which, daily deferred, had preyed on the very springs of life, and taxed too sorely a constitution much tried by toil and suffering in youth; the other came when the heart it would have cheered had eased to feel the joy or sorrow of mortality. His orphan daughter, a pretty gentle creature of seventeen, was left totally destitute—almost friendless. If they had relatives, all communion with them had long ceased; and the utterly desolate and isolated situation of Mary St. Quentin was nearly unparalleled. My family, who were of her father's profession, were much affected by it, and took a warm interest in her fortunes. They procured for her the small pension accorded to the orphans of naval or military men, with contributions from several similar funds; and finally received her into our house, until she could hear of a situation as governess, for which her dearly-purchased education admirably fitted her.

I remember well the evening she first came among us. How sad and pale she looked in her solemn black dress, and how low and mournful her voice sounded! Poor girl! a rough world was before her; a fiercer and more terrible conflict for her timid nature than contending with the storms and battles in which her father had borne a part. We pitied her greatly, and strove to soothe and cheer her with all our little skill; though we certainly did not adopt the most likely means to achieve our object, when some days afterward we told her how we had watched her poor father as he waited for the post. Then for the first time since her coming among us we saw her weep; and she murmured, "If he could have seen the letter!"

After a time the exertions of her friends procured her a situation, and she left us. How anxiously we then watched for the letter that was to tell us that our dear new friend was safe, and well, and comfortable; and it did not tarry! Mary wrote gratefully, and even cheerfully. She had been kindly received; the home in which her lot was cast was a splendid chateau, in which all the comforts and luxuries of life abounded. Moreover, the family treated her as a gentlewoman, and her pupils were clever and well-trained. She was very thankful for the career of toil and seclusion to which circumstances condemned her—very willing to do her duty gladly in that state of life in which it had pleased God to place her. She remained with this family four or five years, passing her occasional holidays with us; and we learned to love her as a sister, and to look up to her for advice, which was ever as wise as it was gentle and affectionate. She was a very sweet creature—so quietly gay, so unselfish, so contented, and so modestly intelligent, that I can not remember that I have ever met with so perfect a woman. The last holiday she spent with us we saw a change in her, however; and it must have been a great mental change to be perceptible in one so self-possessed and patient. She had grown less attentive to our often exacting wishes; she had become absent and thoughtful—nay, at times a slight irritation was observable in her manner; but that which struck us most was the habit she really appeared to have inherited from her father—of watching for the postman. We remarked how eagerly she listened for his knock—how tremulously she asked for whom the letters were directed—and the painfully-repressed sigh and darkened countenance with which she turned away when there was none for her! As she had finally quitted the family with whom she had so[240] long resided, and was waiting for a new engagement, we thought at first that it was an epistle from some of the quarters in which she had applied for one she was expecting; but that could not be the case, for when she had made a re-engagement, and it was fixed that she was to proceed to the south of France with her future pupils' family, her watching for the post became more evident and more anxious: nay, to us who observed it, absolutely painful. What letter could she expect so nervously? Why was she daily so sadly disappointed? The solution came at last. It was the very morning fixed for her departure for London, where she was to meet her future charge. Her boxes, corded and directed, were in the hall; she stood at the window, dressed for her journey, weeping bitterly—for she loved us all, and still timidly shrank from strangers—and we were holding each a cold, trembling hand, when the servant entered with the letters—"One for Miss St. Quentin."

She glanced at it, suppressed a faint exclamation, and taking it, her hand trembled so violently that she could scarcely break the seal. But when it was open, and her eye had glanced over the contents, what a sudden change took place in her countenance! She blushed deeply, her lip trembled, and then smiled, and breaking from among us, she sought our mother, and asked to speak to her alone. That letter had changed her destiny. It was a proposal of marriage from a man of good position and fortune, who had won her affections by a thousand acts of attention and tenderness, but had left her uncertain whether he intended to fulfill an only implied promise or not. True he had said something of writing to her, and therefore she had waited for the post with such anxiety, and for so long a time in vain: but there had been good and sufficient reasons for his prolonged silence, and the lady was only too ready to forgive it.

She went to town, accompanied by my father, arranged to remain in England (finding a substitute as governess for her disappointed employers), and two months afterward was married in our little village church to one who has made her as happy as it is possible to be in a world of trial and sorrow.

A very singular and painful waiting for the post occurred at Malta, some years since: it was related to us by a person concerned in the affair, and we offer the reader the tale as it was told to us:

It was St. John's day, a festival highly venerated by the Maltese, who claim the beloved disciple as their patron saint. The English troops quartered in the island were to be reviewed on it, and as is usual, in compliment to the faith of the islanders, the artillery was ordered to fire a salute in honor of the day. It was a yearly custom; but the two officers whose duty it was at this time to see it fulfilled thought it savored of idolatry, and in the presence of the general and his staff refused to order their men to fire. They were of course put under an arrest for disobedience; but, the circumstances of the case considered, the general in command hesitated how to proceed with them, and at his request the governor of the island wrote to the commander-in-chief at home for instructions in the matter, as it was a case of "tender conscience." Some delay of course necessarily occurred in getting a reply, and the anxiety with which the puzzled general and rebellious officers awaited it may be imagined. Day after day did the eyes of the former traverse the bright blue sea, across which must come the decision of England, and day after day he waited for the post in vain. Foul winds, bad weather, all sorts of causes, stayed the course of the packet—there was no steam conveyance in those days—and before she actually entered Valetta harbor he to whom the letter had been written, the noble governor, was dead. It was judged expedient that the general should, however, open the commander-in-chief's answer, to prevent further unpleasant delay. Alas, it had been intended for the eye of Lord H——only! The commander-in-chief blamed the general, "who ought," he said, "to have tried and broke the officers on the spot—nothing in a military man could excuse disobedience to orders;" adding with reference to the general (of course without intending that any one but Lord H—— should learn his private sentiments), "but I never had much opinion of that officer!"

Poor General P—— loved and reverenced his military chief, as all soldiers must. Those words so singularly presented to his eyes, wounded him deeply. He was at the time suffering from low fever; they completed its work, making an impression on his mind no arguments could remove. He obeyed the orders given; held a court-martial; tried the offenders; dismissed them from the service; and then, taking to his bed, sank rapidly, and died before the next post from England could reach the island. He never waited for another!

And now I approach another reminiscence of this common human anxiety, of which I can not think without deep emotion. We had a young cousin, a fine lad full of spirit and ardor, a midshipman in the royal navy, who was our especial pride and delight. We had no brother, but he supplied the want to us, being, as a child, our constant playmate—as a youth, our merriest and best-loved correspondent. How full of fun, quaint humor, and droll adventures were his letters, and how we used to long for them, especially for that which proclaimed his arrival in the English seas! The period for receiving such an announcement had arrived, for his ship had entered Plymouth harbor; and I can never forget how eagerly I used to wait for the postman, how restlessly I watched him at an opposite door, and how I hated the servant for delaying him by a tardy attention to his knock! No letter came, however; day after day, hour after hour passed, and disappointment became uneasiness, and alarm[241] so terrible, that even the sad certainty was at last a relief.

He never wrote again. He had perished in Tampier Bay, and his death had been one of many instances of unrecorded but undoubted heroism. The weather was stormy, but it was necessary to send a boat on shore, and Charles had good-naturedly offered to take the duty of being its officer in the stead of a young and delicate messmate who had been ordered on the service. It upset in the surf: two men and our poor cousin clung to its keel for some minutes; at length it became apparent that one must let go his hold, or all would perish. Both the seamen were married men, and uttered their natural regret at leaving their children fatherless. The gallant youth (as they afterward reported when picked up) observed, "Then my life is less precious than yours. My poor mother, God bless you!" and, quitting his hold, perished in the ocean, which by a strange fatality has been the grave of nearly all his family.

Waiting for the post upon the mountains of Western India is recalled by this anecdote to my recollection. I well remember the last time I stood on the heights of Bella Vista, as our ghaut was called, watching the fleet approach of the tapaul, or postman. It was near sunset—a glorious hour in all lands, but especially so in the East. A gorgeous canopy of colored light was above us; beneath the "everlasting hills;" Their tops—for we looked down on the first ranges of ghauts—tipped with gold and crimson, and regal purple, or with blended colors, as if they had caught and detained a portion of the rainbow itself. Here and there, bits of jungle were perceptible, from one of which issued the running courier, whose speed was no bad commentary or explanation of Job's comparison—"My days are swift as a post." He was a tall, light figure, gayly dressed, and holding a lance with a little glittering flag at the top. He brought letters from the presidency; and some native correspondence was also transmitted through his means. These running posts are occasionally picked off by a tiger in their passage through the jungle; but the journey to our (then) abode was so frequently made, that the wild animals seldom appeared in the route, ceding it tacitly to the lords of creation, and permitting us to receive our letters safely. What joy it was to open one from England! it is really worth a journey to the East to feel this pleasure. The native letters destined for the official personages of the family are singular-looking affairs. They have for envelope a bag of king-cob cloth—a costly fabric of blended silk and gold thread; this is tied carefully with a gold cord, to which is appended a huge seal, as large and thick as a five-shilling piece. Once during our residence in India the homeward post was delayed by the loss of the steamer which bore our dispatches to England; they must have been vainly expected for two months, doubtless to the great alarm and anxiety of the public. Some of the mail boxes were, however, recovered from the sunken wreck by means of divers; and our epistles, after visiting the depths of the Red Sea, were safely conveyed to England. Once before, we were told, a similar catastrophe had occurred, but the boxes became so saturated with sea-water, that the addresses of the letters were illegible. It was judged expedient, therefore, to publish as much of their contents as was decipherable, in the Indian papers—under the idea that those to whom they were addressed would recognize their own missives from the context; and a most absurdly-mischievous experiment it proved. Never was such a breach of confidence. All sorts of disagreeable secrets were made out by the gentle public of the presidency. Intimate friends learned how they laughed at, or hated one another; matrimonial schemes were betrayed; the scandal, gossip, and confidential disclosures of the Indian letter-bag making as strange and unpleasant a confusion as if the peninsula had suddenly been converted into Madame de Genlis's "Palace of Truth." There was no little alarm when our steamer was lost, lest a similar disclosure should be made; but the world had grown wiser; and those epistles which were illegibly addressed were, we believe, destroyed, unless when relating to commercial interests, and other business.

We hope we have not wearied our gentle reader with this subject, for we have yet another little incident for his ear relative to it, which was told us as a fact by a French lady who knew the person concerned. Some friends of hers residing in the provinces had an only daughter, an heiress, and consequently a desirable match. Her hand was eagerly sought by many suitors, and was at last yielded by her parents to a gentleman of some property who had recently purchased a chateau in the neighborhood. His apparent wealth, his high connections, and very elegant manners, had won their favor; and in great delight at the excellent match her daughter was about to make, Madame L—— wrote to her friends and relatives to inform them of the approaching happy event. Among these was a lady residing at Marseilles, to whom she described, with all a Frenchwoman's vivacity, the person, manners, &c., of the bridegroom elect. Answers of congratulation and good wishes poured in of course; and Madame L——, who had a secret persuasion that she was an unknown and unhonored Madame de Sevigné, became so pleased with her increased correspondence, that she made a point of never leaving the house till after the delivery of the post. The Marseilles correspondent was the only one of the number with whom she had communicated who had not replied to her letter. This answer was therefore desired with great eagerness; and Madame L—— remembered afterward, though at the time it awoke no suspicion in her mind, that the lover always appeared uneasy when she expressed her anxiety on the subject, or her desire to hear from her friend.

The wedding-day arrived; and the bride groom, manifesting a most[242] flattering impatience for the performance of the ceremony, came early to the house of his affianced, to accompany the family party to the magistrates, where the contract was to be drawn up. But even on that momentous day Madame L—— adhered to her custom of waiting for the post, to the evident rage and even agonized impatience of her destined son-in-law, who urged her with passionate eagerness to proceed at once to the magistrates. The delay proved most serviceable. The post came in due time, and brought a letter from Marseilles. The writer, struck by some slight personal peculiarities which her friend had described, had fancied it possible that the promesso sposo was no other than an escaped galley-slave, with whom, before his condemnation for a heinous crime, her family had been intimate. She had therefore, in some alarm, caused her husband to make inquiries into the matter, and a sufficient mass of evidence had been collected to justify her suspicion, and cause her to urge inquiry and delay on the part of M. and Madame L——. She suggested, moreover, that the truth might be easily discovered by a personal examination of the gentleman, who, if the same individual, had been branded on the right shoulder. The surprise, horror, and alarm of Madame L—— may be imagined. The contents of the letter were of course instantly communicated by her to her husband, and by him privately to the bridegroom, whom he requested to satisfy his wife's fears by showing him his right shoulder. The request was indignantly refused as an insult to his honor; and convinced of the fact by the agitation and dismay of the culprit, as well as by this refusal, the gentleman gave him at once into the hands of the police, who had no difficulty in finding the fatal mark of infamy. He was, indeed, an escaped convict, and the wealth with which he had dazzled the good provincials was the spoil of a recent robbery, undertaken by himself and some Parisian accomplices, and so cleverly managed as to have set at naught hitherto the best efforts of the police for its discovery.

We may be sure Madame L—— congratulated herself highly on having, as if by a providential instinct, "waited for the post."



"Do thee go on, Phil," said a miner, one of sixteen who sat about a tap-room fire, "Do thee go on, Phil Spruce; and, Mrs. Pittis, fetch us in some beer."

"And pipes," added a boy.

Mr. Spruce contemplated his young friend with a grim smile. "Well," said he, "it's a story profitable to be heard, and so—"

"Ay, so it be," said a lame man, who made himself a little more than quits with Nature, by working with his sound leg on the floor incessantly. "So it be," said Timothy Drum, "Phil's a philosopher."

"It always strucked me," said a dirty little man, "that Phil has had a sort of nater in him ever since that night we lost old Tony Barker."

"What happened then?" inquired the squire's new gamekeeper.

"Did ever you see down the shaft of a pit?" asked Phil.

"No; and I'd rather not."

"A deep, deep well. Whatever they may do in other parts, we sing hymns, when we are pulled up, and if so be any of our butties at such times says a wicked word, he gets cursed finely when we be safe up at the top. We gon up and down different ways. In some old pits they have ladders, one under another, which reminds me—"

"Always the way with Phil."

Mr. Spruce gazed sternly in the direction of the whisperer, and drank some beer. "Which reminds me that once—"

We must here announce the fact concerning Mr. Philip Spruce, that his method of telling a story ("Which reminds me," always meant a story with him) is very discursive. He may be said to resemble Jeremy Bentham, who, according to Hazlitt's criticism, fills his sentence with a row of pegs, and hangs a garment upon each of them. Let us omit some portion of his tediousness, and allow him to go on with his tale.

"It was in the year one thousand, eight, four, four; by token it was the same month, November, in which the block fell upon Tim Drum's leg, I was invited to a Christmas dinner by old Jabez Wilson. You are aware, gentlemen, that hereabouts there are a great number of deserted pits. The entrances to these are mostly covered with a board or two. There aren't many stiles in our pit-country, so we are drove to using these for firewood. The old pit mouths being left uncovered, and sometimes hidden in brushwood, it is a very common thing for sheep to tumble in, and if gentlemen go shooting thereabouts, they may chance to return home without a dog—your good health, Timothy. As I was saying, I love to ponder upon causes and compare effects. I pondered as I walked—"

"And the effect was, that you tumbled into a pit, Phil Spruce."

"The truth has been told, gentlemen, but it has been told too soon. And now I've forgotten where I was. Ay, pondering," here Phil hung up a long shred of philosophy on one of his pegs; and after the first ten minutes of his harangue, which was chiefly occupied in abusing human nature, a fierce-looking individual said,

"Go on, sir; you've brought things to that pass where they won't bear aggravation. The company expects you to fall down the pit directly."

"In the middle of my reflections—my natural Christmas thoughts," continued Phil, "I felt a severe bump on the back and a singular freedom about my legs, followed by a crash against the hinder part of my head—"

"To the bottom at once," said the fierce-looking man.[243]

"I was at the bottom of a pit in two seconds. By what means my life was preserved I can not tell; certain it is that I sustained at that time no serious injury. Of course I was much stunned, and lay for a long time, I suppose, insensible. When I opened my eyes there was nothing to be seen more than a faint glimmer from the daylight far above, and a great many dancing stars which seemed like a swarm of gnats, ready to settle on my body. I now pondered how I should obtain rescue from my dangerous position, when an odd circumstance arrested my attention. I was evidently, unless my ears deceived me, not alone in my misfortune; for I heard, as distinctly as I now hear Mr. Drum's leg upon the fender, I heard a loud voice. It proceeded from a distant gallery. 'Who did you say?' inquired the voice in a hoarse tone; a softer voice replied, 'Phil Spruce, I think.' 'Very well,' answered the big sound; 'I'll come to him directly.'

"Here was a state of things. A gentleman resided here and was aware of my intrusion. Moreover, I was known. Was the acquaintance mutual? Well, gentlemen, that question was soon to be decided, for presently I heard a rustling and a crackling noise, like the approaching of a lady in a very stiff silk dress. But that gruff voice! I trembled. As the sound approached, a light gleamed over the dark, dirty walls, and glittered in the puddle upon which I was reposing. 'He or she has brought a candle, that is wise.' So I looked round. Mother of Miracles! He, she, or IT. What do you think approached? A mass of cinder, glowing hot, shaped into head, body, arms, and legs; black coal on the crown of its head, red glow on the cheeks, and all the rest white hot, with here and there a little eruption of black bubbles, spirting out lighted gas. It was the shape of a huge man, who walked up with a most friendly expression in his face, evidently intending to give me a warm reception.

"And so he did, as I will tell you presently. It needed not the aid of his natural qualities to throw me into a great and sudden heat; his supernatural appearance was enough for that. Then I was seized with a great fear lest, in his friendliness, he should expect me to shake hands. That was as if I should have thrust my fingers into this tap-room grate. Well, ma'am (your good health, Mrs. Pittis), the strange thing came up to me quite pleasant, with a beaming face, and said, in something of a voice like a hoarse blast pipe, 'Glad to see you, Mr. Spruce. How did you come here?' 'O,' said I, 'Sir,' not liking to be behind-hand in civility, 'I only just dropped in.' 'Cold, up above, Mr. Spruce? Will you walk in and take a little something warm?' A little something warm! What's that? thought I. 'O yes,' I said, 'with all my heart, sir.' 'Come along, then; you seem stiff in the bones, Mr. Spruce, allow me to help you up.' 'O Lord!' I cried, forgetting my manners. 'No, thank you, sir. Spruce is my name, and spruce my nature. I can get up quite nimble.' And so I did, with a leap; although it made my joints ache, I can tell you. The thing bowed and seemed to be quite glowing double with delight to see me. Take a little something warm, I thought again. O, but I won't though! However, I must not seem eager to get away just yet; the beast seems to think I came down on purpose to see him. 'After you, sir!' said I, bowing and pulling my forelock. 'If you will be so good as to lead, I'll follow.' 'This way, then, Philip.'

"So we went, along a gallery, and came to a vault which was lighted by the bodies of a great number of imps, all made of brisk live coal, like my conductor. 'I dare say you find the room close,' said the king—for I found afterward he was a real king, though he was so familiar. 'What will you take to drink?' I calculated there was nothing weaker than vitriol in his cellar, so I begged to be excused. 'It is not my habit, sir, to drink early mornings; and indeed I must not let my wife wait dinner. We will have a little gossip, if you please, and then you will let one of your servants light me out, perhaps. I merely dropped in, as you are aware, my dear sir.' 'Quite aware of that, my dear Phil. And very glad I am to get your company. Of course you are anxious to be up above in good time; and if you can stop here an hour, I shall be happy to accompany you.' Indeed, thought I to myself, Polly will stare. 'Most happy,' I replied. 'I fear you will take harm from that nasty puddle at my door,' observed the king. 'Wouldn't you wish to lie down and rest a bit, before we start out together.' I thought that a safe way of getting through the time. 'You are very good,' said I. 'Get a bed ready, Coffin and Purse!' Two bright little imps darted away, and the Thing turning round to me with a sulphurous yawn, said, 'I don't mind, Phil, if I lie down with you.' Surely he's roasting me, I thought.

"True as sorrow, Mr. Timothy, Coffin and Purse came back in no time to say the bed was ready; and I followed the king with as good courage as a Smithfield martyr. But I did not, I did not expect what followed. We went into a small vault, of which half the floor was covered by a blazing fire: all the coals had been raked level, and that was Coffin and Purse's bed-making. 'Well, I'll get in at once,' said the king; 'you see we've a nice light mattress.' 'Light, sir! why it's in vivid blazes. You don't suppose I can lie down on that.' 'Why not, Phil? You see I do. Here I am, snug and comfortable.' 'Yes, my dear sir, but you forget the difference there is between us?' 'And yes again, Mr. Spruce; but please to remember this is Christmas Day, a day on which all differences should be ended.'

"'And now,' said the monster, sitting up suddenly upon a corner of the bed, 'and now, Phil, I will urge you to nothing. You are a reasoning man, and count for a philosopher. Let's argue a bit, Mr. Spruce.' 'I'm favorable to free discussion.' I replied; 'but I decide on principles of[244] common sense.' 'Let common sense decide,' replied the king, crossing his knees and looking conversational. 'The point at issue is, whether with your views it would be better for you to remain a man or to become a cinder. What were your thoughts this morning, Philip Spruce?' 'This morning I was thinking about human nature, sir.' 'And how did you decide upon it, Philip?' 'Humbly asking pardon, sir, and meaning no offense, may I inquire whether in present company it is permitted to speak disrespectfully of the Devil?'

"I wouldn't have said that, Phil, to a man of his appearance."

"Lord bless you, Tim Drum, he looked so mild disposed, and 'No offense,' he says; 'speak out without reserve.' 'Then, sir,' said I, 'this is what I think of human nature. I believe that it was full of every sort of goodness, and that men were naturally well disposed to one another, till the Devil got that great idea of his. Men are born to worship their Creator, and to supply the wants of their neighbors, but then comes in the deceiving fiery monster, with a pocketful of money, and says, quite disinterested, 'Gentlemen and Ladies, it's of no use asking you to venerate me; you don't do it, and you oughtn't to; but the most convenient and proper thing is for every individual to worship only just his self. You see the result of this,' says the old sinner; 'by paying sacrifice to your own images, you just change things from the right-hand pocket to the left, or if you go abroad, as you must do, in search of offerings, all the fish comes to your own net, and all the fat into your own belly. You smoke your own incense, and if you chance to be remiss in your devotions, you may make peace and atonement any way you please. Then,' says the great brimstone beast—I beg your pardon, sir, excuse my liberty of speech—'if any body remark you are my servants, you can laugh, and tell them you are no such fools. As for any formulary of religion, follow in that the fashion of your country—'

"The cinder gentleman, Mrs. Pittis, my dear, rolled about in the fire, quite at his ease, and said, 'Very good, Phil. And what else have you to say of human nature?' by which you will see that he had discrimination enough to perceive the value of my observations. 'The result is, sir,' I says to him then, 'that the whole human race is a-dancing and a-trumpeting in corners, every man singing hymns in honor of his self. And the old enemy capers up and down the country and the town, rejoicing at the outcry which he hears from every lip in his honor. A friend is rarer than a phœnix; for no man can serve two images, and each sticks firmly by his own.'

"'Have you no charity yourself this Christmas, Mr. Spruce?' inquired the king, after he had called to his two imps that they should put fresh coals upon the bed, and rake it up. 'When I was a young man, sir,' said I, 'no one could have started in the world with a stronger faith in human goodness. But I've seen my error. All the ways of human nature are humbug, sir; as for my fellow-creatures, I've been very much deceived in 'em. That's all I know in answer to your question.'

"'I understand you, Phil,' the king said, lounging back upon the bed, and kindling the new coals into a blaze around him by the mere contact of his body. 'You are a philosopher out at elbows, and therefore a little out of temper with the world. You would like best to make your observations upon human nature without being jostled. You'd rather see the play from a snug little box, than be an actor in it, kicked about and worried.' 'Ah, sir,' said I, 'and where is such a seat provided?' 'Philip, I can answer that question,' said the king; 'and what is more, I can give you free admission to a snug private box.' 'How so, sir?' said I, quite eagerly. 'The coal-box, Phil,' replied the king. 'I'm puzzled, sir,' said I. 'In what way is my condition to be improved by the act of sitting in a coal-box?' 'That, my dear Phil, I will make as clear to you as a fire on a frosty night. Know, then, that I am King among the Coals.' I bowed, and was upon the point of kissing his extended hand, but drew back my nose suddenly. 'The cinder which I now have on I wear—because it is large and easy—in the manner of a dressing-gown, when here at home. I am, however, a spirit, and ruler over many other spirits similarly formed. Now, Phil, the business and amusement of myself and subjects is to transfer ourselves at will into the tenancy of any coal we please. The scuttles of the whole kingdom are our meeting-houses. Every coal cast upon the fire, Phil, is, by our means, animated with a living spirit. It is our amusement, then, to have a merry sport among ourselves; and it is our privilege to watch the scenes enacted round the hearths which we enliven. When the cinder becomes cold, the spirit is again set free, and flies, whither it pleases, to a new abode.'"

"Isn't that the doctrine of metamicosis?" asked the boy (a national scholar) tapping the ashes from his pipe-bowl.

"It's a thing I never heard on," said the gamekeeper. Mr. Spruce went on:

"'Did you never,' continued his majesty, 'when gazing into the fire, see a grotesque face glow before you? That face, Phil, has been mine. You have, then, seen the King among the Coals. If you become a cinder, Mr. Spruce, you may consider yourself made a judge.'

"'Well, sir,' says I, 'your reverence, it's firstly requisite to judge whether I will or won't sit down upon the fire. It's my opinion I won't. I'd like a little more discussion.' 'Talk away, Phil,' said the king. 'Well, sir,' says I, 'since you're always a-looking—leastways in winter—through the bars of grates, it's possible you've seen a bit yourself of human nature. Don't it fidget you?' 'Why,' says he, 'Phil,' a-stretching out his arms for a great yawn so suddenly as very nigh to[245] set my coat on fire with his red fingers, 'I have been tolerably patient, haven't I?' 'If it's sarcasm you mean,' says I, a little nettled, 'I must say, it's a figure of speech I don't approve of.'

"'I beg your pardon, sir,' he says, 'and here's an answer to your question. It's my opinion, Mr. Spruce, that as a cinder you will be agreeably surprised. I do see people sitting around me, now and then, whom I can't altogether get my coals to blaze for cheerfully. They sit and talk disparagement about all manner of folks their neighbors; they have a cupboard in their hearts for hoarding up the grievances they spend their lives in searching for; they hate the world, and could make scandal out of millstones, but if one hints that they are erring, they are up in arms, and don't approve of sarcasm.' 'Sir,' says I, 'you are personal.' 'By no means, Mr. Spruce; you, and a number like you, are good people in the main, and deeply to be pitied for your foolish blunder. You're a philosopher, Phil,' he says, 'and did you never hear that your "I" is the only thing certainly existent, and that the world without may be a shadow or mere part of you, or, if external, of no certain form or tint, having the color of the medium through which you view it—your own nature.' Here I saw occasion for a joke. 'Sir,' I says, 'if my own "I" is the only thing certainly existing, then the external world is all my eye, which proves what I propounded.' His flames went dead all of a sudden, and he looked black from top to toe. 'I am sure I beg your pardon, sir,' says I, 'excuse my liberty.'

"'He took no verbal notice of what I had said, but gave a tremendous shiver, and his flames began to play again. 'I'm of a warm and cheerful turn of mind,' says he, 'and I must say, that whenever I look out upon the men and women in the world, I see them warm and cheerful.' 'That's nothing wonderful,' said I; 'it's just because you see them sitting round your blaze.' 'Well,' says he, 'Mr. Spruce, I'm very glad you own so much; for my opinion is, that if you had shone out cheerfully when you were in the world, and warmed the folks that came within your influence—if you had put a little kindly glow into your countenance, you would have been surrounded always as I generally am.' 'You're young, says I, 'and you have had no experience; leastways, your experience has not been human. You get stirred when you're low, and people tend you for their own sakes—you ain't preyed upon by disappointments.'

"'Young!' said he; 'disappointments!' And, to my horror, he stood bolt upright, to be impressive. 'Look you, Mr. Spruce, the youngest is the wisest; the child remembers throughout years a happy day, and can forget his tears as fast as they evaporate. He grows up, and his budding youth imagines love. Two or three fancies commonly precede his love. As each of these decays, he, in his inexperience, is eloquent about his blighted hopes, his dead first love, and so on. In the first blossom of his manhood, winds are keen to him—at his first plunge into the stream of active life, he finds the water cold. Who shall condemn his shiver? But if he is to be a healthy man, he will strike out right soon, and glow with cheerful exercise in buffeting the stream. Youth, Mr. Spruce, may be allowed to call the water of the world too cold, but so long only as its plunge is recent. It is a libel on maturity and age to say that we live longer to love less. Preyed upon by disappointments—'

"'Yes,' says I, 'preyed upon.'

"'Say, rather, blessed with trial. Who'd care to swim in a cork jacket! Trouble is a privilege, believe me, friend, to those who know from whose hand, for what purpose, it is sent. I do not mean the trouble people cut out for themselves by curdling all the milk of kindness in their neighbors. But when a man will be a man, will labor with Truth, Charity, and Self-Reliance—always frank and open in his dealings—always giving credit to his neighbors for their good deeds, and humbly abstaining from a judgment of what looks like evil in their conduct—when he knows, under God, no helper but his own brave heart, and his own untiring hand—there is no disappointment in repulse. He learns the lesson Heaven teaches him, his Faith, and Hope, and Charity, by constant active effort became strong—gloriously strong—just as the blacksmith's right arm becomes mighty by the constant wielding of his hammer. Disappointment—let the coward pluck up courage—disappointment is a sheet-and-pumpkin phantom to the bold. Let him who has battled side by side with Trouble, say whether it was not an angel sent to be his help. Find a true-hearted man whose energies have brought him safe through years of difficulty; ask him whether he found the crowd to be base-natured through which he was called upon to force his way? Believe me, he will tell you "No." Having said this, his majesty broke out into a blaze, and lay down in his bed again. 'Well,' he said, 'Philip, will you come to bed with me?'

"'Why, sir,' said I, 'to say the best of it, you're under a misconception; but if it's in the nature of a coal to take such cheerful views of things as you appear to do, I'd rather be a coal than what I am. It's cold work living in the flesh, such as I find it—you seem jolly as a hot cinder, and for the matter of that, what am I now but dust and ashes? Coke is preferable.'

"'Coffin and Purse, you're wanted,' cried the king. And, indeed, Mrs. Pittis, and, indeed, gentlemen, I must turn aside one minute to remark the singularity of this king's body-guard, Coffin and Purse. 'Cash and Mortality,' said the king to me, 'make up, according to your theory, the aim and end of man. So with a couple of cinders you can twit him with his degradation. Sometimes Coffin, sometimes Purse, leaps out into his lap when he is cogitating.' 'Yes,' said I 'that will be extremely[246] humorous. But, so please your majesty, I still have one objection to joining your honorable body.' 'What is that, Phil?' 'I suppose, if I sits down in them there flames, they'll burn me.' 'To be sure,' said the king, kicking up his heels, and scraping a furnace load of live coal over his body, just as you might pull up the blanket when you're in bed to-night, Mrs. Pittis. 'Well, your highness,' said I, 'how about the pain?' 'Pah!' says the king, 'where's your philosophy? Did you never see a fly jump into a lamp-flame?' 'Yes, sure,' I answered. 'And what happened then? A moment's crackle, and an end of it. You've no time to feel pain.' 'Well, then,' said I, 'if your majesty will make a hole for me as near the middle as is convenient to yourself, I will jump into the bed straightway.' The king made a great spatter among the coals, and in I jumped. You know, ma'am, that a great part of our bodies is composed of water.'

"'I don't know that of any gentleman in this room,' replied the landlady. 'But I do believe that you are two parts built out of strong beer.'

"There was a burst—a flash, gentlemen; the liquid part of me went off in instantaneous steam. I cried out with a sharp burn in my foot. The pot was boiling over furiously that contained our bit of dinner; and as I sat close in to the fire, I got considerably scalded. How I got back in the steam to my own fireside, I never rightly comprehended. Fill the can now, Mrs. Pittis."

"'Yes,' said the landlady, 'but let me tell you, Mr. Spruce, that king of the hearth is a gentleman, and if you really had gone with the coals and got acquainted with fire-sides, it would have done you a great deal of good. You'd have owned then that there is a mighty deal more love than hatred in the world. You'd have heard round almost any hearth you chose to play eavesdropper to, household words, any thing but hard or bitter. Some people do not pay their scores with me, but, on the whole, I live. Some of our human natures may run termagant; but, on the whole, we men and women love. Among the worst are those who won't bear quietly their share of work, who can't learn self-reliance, but run to and fro, squealing for help, and talking sentiment against their neighbors, who won't carry their burdens for them. It's all very well for a musty, discontented old bachelor to say there's no love in the world, but it's a falsehood. I know better.'

"'My pipe's out,' said the boy. 'Be smart there with the 'baccy.'"

[From Dickens's Household Words.]


At one of Mr. Bagges's small scientific tea-parties, Mr. Harry Wilkinson delivered to the worthy gentleman a lecture, based principally on reminiscences of the Royal Institution, and of a series of lectures delivered there by Professor Faraday, addressed to children and young people. For it is not the least of the merits of that famous chemist and great man, Professor Faraday, that he delights to make the mightiest subject clear to the simplest capacity, and that he shows his mastery of Nature in nothing more than in being thoroughly imbued with the spirit of her goodness and simplicity.

This particular lecture was on Natural Philosophy in its bearings on a kettle. The entertainment of a "Night with Mr. Bagges" was usually extemporaneous. It was so on this occasion. The footman brought in the tea-kettle. "Does it boil?" demanded Mr. Bagges.

"It have biled, sir," answered the domestic.

"Have biled, sir!" repeated Mr. Bagges. "Have biled! And what if it has 'biled,' or boiled, as I desire you will say in future? What is that to the purpose? Water may be frozen, you simpleton, notwithstanding it has boiled. Was it boiling, sir, eh? when you took it off the fire? That is the question, sir."

"Yes, sir, that was what I mean to say, sir," replied Thomas.

"Mean to say, sir! Then why didn't you say it, sir? Eh? There—no, don't put it on, sir; hold it still. Harry, reach me the thermometer," said Mr. Bagges, putting on his spectacles. "Let me see. The boiling point of water is two hundred and—what?"

"Two hundred and twelve, Fahrenheit," answered Master Wilkinson, "if commonly pure, and boiled in a metallic vessel, and under a pressure of the atmosphere amounting to fifteen pounds on every square inch of surface, or when the barometer stands at thirty inches."

"Gracious, what a memory that boy has!" exclaimed his uncle. "Well; now this water in the kettle—eh?—why, this is not above one hundred and fifty degrees. There, sir, now set it on the fire, and don't bring me up cold water to make tea with again; or else," added Mr. Bagges, making a vague attempt at a joke, "or else—eh?—you will get yourself into hot water."

Mr. Thomas was seized with a convulsion in the chest, which he checked by suddenly applying his open hand to his mouth, the effort distending his cheeks, and causing his eyes to protrude in a very ridiculous manner, while Mr. Bagges disguised his enjoyment of the effects of his wit in a cough.

"Now let me see," said the old gentleman, musingly contemplating the vessel simmering on the fire; "how is it, eh, Harry, you said the other day that a kettle boils?"

"La!" interrupted Mrs. Wilkinson, who was of the party, "why, of course, by the heat of the coals, and by blowing the fire, if it is not hot enough."

"Aha!" cried her brother, "that's not the way we account for things, Harry, my boy, eh? Now, convince your mother; explain the boiling of a kettle to her: come."

"A kettle boils," said Harry, "by means of the action of currents."

"What are you talking about? Boiling a plum-pudding in a tea-kettle!"[247] exclaimed the mystified mamma.

"Currents of heated particles—of particles of hot water," Harry explained. "Suppose you put your fire on your kettle—on the lid of it—instead of your kettle on your fire—- what then?"

"You would be a goose," said his mother.

"Exactly so—or a gosling"—rejoined her son; "the kettle would not boil. Water is a bad conductor of heat. Heat passes through the substance of water with very great difficulty. Therefore, it would have a hard matter to get from the top of a kettle of water to the bottom. Then how does it so easily get from the bottom to the top?"

"Ah!" sighed Mr. Bagges. "In my young days we should have said, because the heat rises, but that won't do now. What is all that about the—eh—what—law of ex—what?—pansion —eh?"

"The law of expansion of fluids and gases by heat. This makes the currents that I spoke of just now, mamma; and I should have spelt the word to explain to you that I didn't mean plums. You know what a draught is?"

"I am sorry to say I do," Mr. Bagges declared with much seriousness, instinctively carrying his hand to the region of the human body from the Latin for which is derived the term, Lumbago.

"Well," pursued Harry, "a draught is a current of air. Such currents are now passing up the chimney, and simply owing to that trifling circumstance, we are able to sit here now without being stifled and poisoned."

"Goodness!" ejaculated Mrs. Wilkinson.

"To be sure. The fire, in burning, turns into gases, which are rank poison—carbonic acid, for one; sulphurous acid, for another. Hold your nose over a shovelful of hot cinders if you doubt the fact. The gases produced by the fire expand; they increase in bulk without getting heavier, so much so that they become lighter in proportion than the air, and then they rise, and this rising of hot air is what is meant by heat going upward. The currents of hot air that go up the chimney in this way have currents of cold air rushing after them, to supply their place. When you heat water, currents are formed just as when you heat gas or air. The heated portion of water rises, and some colder water comes down in its place; and these movements of the water keep going on till the whole bulk of it is equally hot throughout."

"Well, now," interrupted Mr. Bagges, "I dare say this is all very true, but how do you prove it?"

"Prove that water is heated by the rising and falling of hot currents? Get a long, slender glass jar. Put a little water, colored with indigo, or any thing you like, into the bottom of it. Pour clear water upon the colored, gently, so as not to mix the two, and yet nearly to fill the jar. Float a little spirit of wine on the top of the water, and set fire to it. Let it blaze away as long as you like; the colored water will remain steady at the bottom of the jar. But hold the flame of a spirit-lamp under the jar, and the colored water will rise and mix with the clear, in very little time longer than it would take you to say Harry Wilkinson."

"Ah! So the water gets colored throughout for the same reason that it gets heated throughout," Mr. Bagges observed, "and when it gets thoroughly hot—what then?"

"Then it boils. And what is boiling?"

"Bubbling," suggested the young philosopher's mamma.

"Yes; but ginger-beer bubbles," said Harry, "but you wouldn't exactly call that boiling. Boiling is the escaping of steam. That causes the bubbling; so the bubbling of water over the fire is only the sign that the water boils. But what occasions the escape of the steam?"

"The heat, of course—the—what is the right word?—the caloric," answered Mr. Bagges.

"True; but what heat? Why, the excess of heat over two hundred and twelve degrees—taking that as the average boiling point of water. You can heat water up to that point, and it remains water; but every degree of heat you cause to pass into it above that, turns a quantity of the water into steam; and flies off in the steam, unless the steam is hindered from escaping by extraordinary pressure. Blow the fire under that kettle as much as you will, and you will make the water boil faster, but you won't make it a bit hotter than two hundred and twelve degrees."

"Well, to be sure!" Mrs. Wilkinson exclaimed.

"If water," continued Harry, "could keep on getting hotter and hotter above the boiling point, why, we might have our potatoes charred in the pot, or our mutton boiled to a cinder. When water is confined in a strong vessel—and strong it must be to prevent a tremendous blow-up—confined, I say, so that no steam can escape, it may be heated almost red-hot; and there is a vessel made for heating water under pressure, called Papin's Digestor, which will digest almost any thing."

"What an enviable apparatus!" exclaimed Mr. Bagges.

"Well," resumed Harry; "so the boiling point of water depends on the degree of force which the air, or what-not, is pressing on its surface with. The higher the spot on which you boil your water, the lower the point it boils at. Therefore, water boiling at the top of a mountain is not so hot as water boiling at the mountain's base. The boiling point of water on the summit of Mont Blanc, is as low as one hundred and eighty-four degrees. So, if water must be at two hundred and twelve degrees, to make good tea, don't choose too high a hill to build a temperance hall on. The heavier, also, the air is, from the quantity of moisture in it, the hotter water becomes before it boils. If the atmosphere were carbonic acid gas, water would get much hotter without boiling than it can under—"

"Present arrangements," interposed Mr. Badges.[248]

"Consisting of a mixture of nitrogen and oxygen," continued Harry. "Water requires only a very low heat to make it boil in an exhausted receiver, out of which the air has been pumped, so as to leave none to press upon its surface. Owing to boiling depending upon pressure, you can actually make water boil by means of cold."

"What next?" sighed Mrs. Wilkinson.

"You can, indeed. Put a little boiling water in a salad-oil flask; so that the flask may be a quarter full, say. Cork the flask tightly. The boiling stops; and the upper three-fourths of the flask are full of vapor. Squirt a jet of ice-cold water upon the flask, above where the water is, and the water below will instantly begin to boil. The reason why, is this. The vapor in the flask presses on the surface of the hot water. The cold condenses the vapor—turns it back to water. That takes off the pressure for the time; and then the hot water directly flies into vapor, and boils, and so on, till it cools down too low to boil any longer. What reduces the boiling point of water on a hill or a mountain is, that the pressure of the atmosphere decreases as you ascend. A rise of five hundred and thirty feet in height above the level of the sea, makes a difference of one degree; so, give me a kettle of water and a thermometer, and I'll tell you exactly how near the moon we are."

"I shouldn't think one could make good hot mixed punch up in a balloon, now," observed Mr. Bagges, reflectively.

"Then," Harry proceeded, "it requires more heat to make water boil in a glass vessel than it does in a metal one. A metal vessel's inner surface is made up of very small points and dents. Scratching the inside of the glass so as to give it a roughness something like what the metal has, makes the boiling point lower; and a few iron filings thrown into water boiling in glass at two hundred and fourteen degrees, will bring it down to two hundred and twelve. The filings, and the roughness of the glass, are so many more points for the heat to pass into the water from, and form steam, and the water does not cling to them so hard as it clings to a smooth surface. Throw a lot of hay into a pan of hot water, and it makes a quantity of steam rise directly; and I have heard a doctor say that some poor people are in the habit of giving themselves cheap steam-baths by this means."

"A very good thing for rheumatic pains, I should think; certainly a much more rational remedy than patent medicines or Government poison," Mr. Bagges remarked.

"There are some salts," continued Harry, "which, if dissolved in water, will prevent it from boiling till it is heated to two hundred and sixty-four degrees, as if they held the water back from flying into steam. So, then, the boiling of water may be hindered, more or less, by pressure from without, and attraction from within. The boiling point of water depends on another important fact which the kettle always mentions before it boils, although we don't all of us understand the kettle's language. The singing of the kettle tells us—"

"That the water is going to boil," interrupted mamma.

"Yes, and that water contains air. The singing of the kettle is the noise made by the escape of the air, which is driven off by the heat. The air sticks and hangs in the water, till the heat expands it and makes it rise. Put a glass of water under the receiver of an air-pump, and exhaust the receiver. As you pump, the water begins to bubble, as if it were boiling; but the bubbles are the air contained in the water, being pumped out. The air-bubbles act like wedges between the little invisible drops that make up the whole water. If it were not for them, the water would be a mass which would hold together so hard that it would not go into steam, or boil, till it was heated to two hundred and seventy degrees, as may be proved by boiling some water quite deprived of air. And not only that, but when it did boil, it would boil all at once, and blow up with a tremendous explosion; which would be a still greater inconvenience in boiling a kettle."

"A pretty kettle of fish, indeed!" Mr. Bagges observed.

"So," said Harry, "strictly pure water would not be quite so great a blessing to us as you might think. Of course, you know, uncle, I don't mean to say that there is any advantage in the impurity of such water as the Thames, except when used for the purpose of fertilizing the earth. I am speaking of water so pure as to contain no air. Water of such severe purity would be very unmanageable stuff. No fishes could live in it, for one thing. I have already given you one good reason why it would be unsuitable to our kettle; and another is, that it would not be good to drink. Then water, as we find it in the world, has a very useful and accommodating disposition to find its own level. Pump all the air out of water, however, and it loses this obliging character in a great measure. Suppose I take a bent glass-tube, and fill one arm of it with airless water. Then I turn the tube mouth upward, and if the water were common water, it would instantly run from one arm into the other, and stand at the same level in both. But if the water has been exhausted of its air, it remains, most of it, in the one arm, and won't run till I give the table a smart rap, and shake it. So, but for the air contained in water, we could not make the water run up and down hill as we do. If water were deprived of air, London would be almost deprived of water."

"And water," observed Mr. Bagges, "would be robbed of a very valuable property."

"Good again, uncle. Now, if we could see through the kettle, we should be able to observe the water boiling in it which is a curious sight when looked into. To examine water boiling, we must boil the water in a glass[249] vessel—a long tube is the best—heated with a spirit lamp. Then first you see the water in motion, and the air-bubbles being driven off by the heat. As the water gets hotter, other bubbles appear, rising from the bottom of the tube. They go up for a little way, and then they shrink, and by the time they get to the top of the water, you can hardly distinguish them. These are bubbles of steam, and they get smaller as they rise, because at first the water is colder above than below, in proportion to the distance from the flame, and the cold gradually condenses the bubbles. But when the water gets thoroughly hot, the bubbles grow larger and rise quicker, and go of the same size right up to the top of the water, and there escape—if you choose to let them. And steam was allowed to escape so for many, many ages, wasn't it, uncle, before it was set to work to spin cotton for the world, and take us to America within a fortnight, and whirl us over the ground as the crow flies, and almost at a crow's pace?"

"For all which," remarked Mr. Bagges, "we have principally to thank what's his name."

"Watt was his name, I believe, uncle. Well; heat turns water into steam, and I dare say I need not tell you that a quantity of water becoming steam, fills an immense deal more space than it did as mere water. Cold turns the steam back into water, and the water fills the same space as it did before. Water, in swelling into steam and shrinking back into water again, moves, of course, twice, and mighty motions these are, and mighty uses are made of them, I should rather think."

"I believe you, my boy," said Mr. Bagges.

"And now," asked Harry, "have you any idea of what a deal of heat there is in steam?"

"It is hot enough to scald you," answered his mamma; "I know that."

"Yes; and hot enough, too, to cook potatoes. But there is much more heat in it than that comes to. Take a kettle of cold water. See at what degree the thermometer stands in the water. Put the kettle on the fire, and observe how long it takes to boil. It will boil at two hundred and twelve degrees; and therefore, during the time it has taken to boil, there has gone into it the difference of heat between two hundred and twelve degrees and the degree it stood at when first put on the fire. Keep up the same strength of fire, so that the heat may continue to go into the water at the same rate. Let the water boil quite away, and note how long it is in doing so. You can then calculate how much heat has gone into the water while the water has been boiling away. You will find that quantity of heat great enough to have made the water red-hot, if all the water, and all the heat, had remained in the kettle. But the water in your kettle will have continued at two hundred and twelve degrees to the last drop, and all the steam that it has turned into will not have been hotter—according to the thermometer—than two hundred and twelve degrees; whereas a red heat is one thousand degrees. The difference between two hundred and twelve degrees and one thousand degrees, is seven hundred and eighty-eight degrees; and what has become of all this heat? Why, it is entirely contained in the steam, though it does not make the steam hotter. It lies hid in the steam, and therefore it is called latent heat. When the steam is condensed, all that latent heat comes out of it, and can be felt, and the quantity of it can be measured by a thermometer. The warmth that issues from steam-pipes used to warm a house, is the latent heat of the steam that escapes as the steam turns back to water."

"Latent, heat! latent heat!" repeated Mr Bagges, scratching his head. "Eh? Now, that latent heat always puzzles me. Latent, lying hid. But how can you hide heat? When the zany in the pantomime hides the red-hot poker in his pocket, he cauterizes his person. How—eh?—how can heat be latent?"

"Why, the word heat has two meanings, uncle. In the first place, it means hotness. Hotness can not be latent, as the clown finds when he pockets the poker. In the second place, heat means a something the nature of which we don't know, which is the cause of hotness, and also the cause of another effect. While it is causing that other effect, it does not cause hotness. That other effect which heat causes in the instance of steam, is keeping water in the form of steam. The heat that there is in steam, over and above two hundred and twelve degrees, is employed in this way. It is wholly occupied in preserving the water in an expanded state, and can't cause the mercury in the thermometer to expand and rise as well. For the same reason, it could give you no feeling of hotness above what boiling water would—if you had the nerve to test it. While it is making steam continue to be steam, it is latent. When the steam becomes water again, it has no longer that work to do, and is set free. Free heat is what is commonly understood by heat. This is the heat which cooks our victuals, the heat we feel, the heat that singes Mr. Merriman. Latent heat is heat that doesn't warm, singe, or cook, because it is otherwise engaged. If you press gas suddenly into a fluid, the latent heat of the gas is set free. You seem to squeeze it out. Indeed, the same thing happens, if you violently force any substance into a closer form all at once. Every thing appears to have more or less latent heat in it, between its little particles, keeping them at certain distances from each other. Compress the particles within a smaller compass, and a part of the latent heat escapes, as if it were no longer wanted. When a substance in a compressed state expands on a sudden, it draws in heat, on the other hand. When a lady bathes her forehead with eau-de-Cologne to cure a headache, the heat of the head enters the eau-de-Cologne, and becomes latent in it while it evaporates. If you make steam under high pressure, you can heat it much above two[250] hundred and twelve degrees. Suppose you let off steam, so compressed and heated, by a wide hole, from the boiler, and put your hand into it as it rushes out—"

"What? Why, you'd scald your hand off!" cried Mr. Bagges.

"No, you wouldn't. The steam rushes out tremendously hot, but it expands instantly so very much, that the heat in it directly becomes latent in a great measure; which cools it down sufficiently to allow you to hold your hand in it without its hurting you. But then you would have to mind where you held your hand; because where the steam began to condense again, it would be boiling hot."

"I had rather take your word for the experiment than try it, young gentleman," Mr. Bagges observed.

"Another very curious thing," proceeded Harry, "in regard to boiling, has been discovered lately. A kettle might be too hot to boil water in. Take a little bar of silver, heated very highly; dip it into water. At first, you have no boiling, and you don't have any at all till the silver has cooled some degrees. Put a drop of water into a platinum dish, heated in the same way, and it will run about without boiling till the heat diminishes; and then it bursts into steam. M. Boutigny, the French chemist, made this discovery. Vapor forms between the drop of water and the red-hot metal, and, being a bad conductor of heat, keeps the heat of the metal for some time from flowing into the water. Owing to this, water, and mercury even, may be frozen in a red-hot vessel if the experiment is managed cleverly. A little more than a couple of centuries ago, this would have been thought witchcraft."

"And the philosopher," added Mr. Bagges, "would have been fried instead of his water-drop. Let me see—eh? what do they call this singular state of water?"

"The spheroidal state," answered Harry. "However, that is a state that water does not get into in a kettle, because kettles are not allowed to become red hot, except when they are put carelessly on the fire with no water in them, or suffered to remain there after the water has boiled quite away!"

"Which is ruination to kettles," Mrs. Wilkinson observed.

"Of course it is, mamma, because at a red heat iron begins to unite with oxygen, or to rust. Another thing that injures kettles is the fur that collects in them. All water in common use contains more or less of earthy and other salts. In boiling, these things separate from the water, and gradually form a fur or crust inside the kettle or boiler."

"And a nice job it is to get rid of it," said his mamma.

"Well, chemistry has lessened that difficulty," replied Harry. "The fur is mostly carbonate of lime. In that case, all you have to do is to boil some sal-ammoniac—otherwise muriate, or more properly hydrochlorate of ammonia—in the furred vessel. The hydrochloric acid unites with the lime, and the carbonic acid goes to the ammonia. Both the compounds formed in this way dissolve and wash away; and so you may clean the foulest boiler or kettle. This is a rather important discovery; for the effect of fur in a kettle is to oppose the passage of heat, and therefore to occasion the more fuel to be required to boil water in it, which is a serious waste and expense when you have a large steam-boiler to deal with. Dr. Faraday mentions the case of a Government steamer that went to Trieste, and during the voyage had so much fur formed in her boiler as to oblige all her coal to be consumed, and then the engineers were forced to burn spars, rigging, bulkheads, and even chopped cables, and to use up every shaving of spare timber in the ship. Soot underneath the kettle, as well as fur inside it, is a hindrance to boiling, as it is a bad conductor; and that is the reason why one can bear to hold a kettle of hot water, which is very sooty on its under surface, on the flat of the hand. So a black kettle doesn't give out its heat readily to what touches it, and so far it is good to keep water hot; but it gets rid of heat in another way; as I dare say you know, uncle."

"Eh?" said Mr. Bagges, "why, what?—no—I did know something about it the other day—but I've such a memory!—and—eh?—no—I've quite forgotten it."

"By radiation, you know. All warm bodies are constantly giving off rays of heat, as shining ones are giving off rays of light, although the heat-rays are invisible."

"How do we know that?" asked Mr. Bagges.

"Get a couple of concave mirrors—a sort of copper basins, polished inside. Stand them face to face, some yards apart. Put a hot iron ball—not red hot—in the focus of one mirror. Put a bit of phosphorus in the focus of the other. The phosphorus will take fire; though without the mirrors you might place it much nearer the hot iron, and yet it would not burn. So we know that there are rays of heat, because we can reflect them as we can rays of light. Some things radiate better than others. Those that have bright metal surfaces radiate worst, though such are what are used for reflectors. If their surfaces are blackened or roughened, they radiate better. A bright kettle gives off fewer rays of heat than a black one, and so far, is better to keep water hot in. But then, on the other hand, it yields more heat to the air, or the hob or hearth that it stands upon—if colder than itself. The bright kettle gives off heat in one way and the black in another. I don't know at what comparative rate exactly."

"Six of one, and half-a-dozen of the other," Mr. Bagges suggested.

"Now look at the wonderful relations of the kettle, uncle!"

"Relations?—Eh?—what the pot and the saucepan?" said Mr. Bagges.

"Oh, oh, uncle! No; its relations to the pressure of the atmosphere and[251] every cause that affects it—to the conveyance, and conduction, and radiation of heat—to latent heat or caloric, to the properties of water, to chemical decomposition—and to steam and its astonishing marvels, present and to come!"

"Well," said Mr. Bagges, "it is wonderful; and the kettle certainly is very respectably connected. Eh? And I hope to profit by the subject of our conversation; and so, I say, pour me out a cup of tea."


(Continued from page 97.)


In spite of all his Machiavellian wisdom, Dr. Riccabocca had been foiled in his attempt to seduce Leonard Fairfield into his service, even though he succeeded in partially winning over the widow to his views. For to her he represented the worldly advantages of the thing. Lenny would learn to be fit for more than a day-laborer: he would learn gardening in all its branches—rise some day to be a head-gardener. "And," said Riccabocca, "I will take care of his book-learning, and teach him whatever he has a head for."

"He has a head for every thing," said the widow.

"Then," said the wise man, "every thing shall go into it."

The widow was certainly dazzled; for, as we have seen, she highly prized scholarly distinction, and she knew that the parson looked upon Riccabocca as a wondrous learned man. But still, Riccabocca was said to be a Papist, and suspected to be a conjurer. Her scruples on both these points, the Italian, who was an adept in the art of talking over the fair sex, would no doubt have dissipated, if there had been any use in it; but Lenny put a dead stop to all negotiations. He had taken a mortal dislike to Riccabocca; he was very much frightened by him—and the spectacles, the pipe, the cloak, the long hair, and the red umbrella; and said so sturdily, in reply to every overture, "Please, sir, I'd rather not; I'd rather stay along with mother," that Riccabocca was forced to suspend all further experiments in his Machiavellian diplomacy. He was not at all cast down, however, by his first failure; on the contrary, he was one of those men whom opposition stimulates. And what before had been but a suggestion of prudence, became an object of desire. Plenty of other lads might no doubt be had on as reasonable terms as Lenny Fairfield; but the moment Lenny presumed to baffle the Italian's designs upon him, the special acquisition of Lenny became of paramount importance in the eyes of Signor Riccabocca.

Jackeymo, however, lost all his interest in the traps, snares, and gins, which his master proposed to lay for Leonard Fairfield, in the more immediate surprise that awaited him on learning that Dr. Riccabocca had accepted an invitation to pass a few days at the Hall.

"There will be no one there but the family," said Riccabocca. "Poor Giacomo, a little chat in the servants' hall will do you good: and the squire's beef is more nourishing, after all, than the sticklebacks and minnows. It will lengthen your life."

"The Padrone jests," said Jackeymo statelily, "as if any one could starve in his service."

"Um," said Riccabocca. "At least, faithful friend, you have tried that experiment as far as human nature will permit;" and he extended his hand to his fellow-exile with that familiarity which exists between servant and master in the usages of the Continent. Jackeymo bent low, and a tear fell upon the hand he kissed.

"Cospetto." said Dr. Riccabocca, "a thousand mock pearls do not make up the cost of a single true one. The tears of women, we know their worth; but the tear of an honest man—Fie, Giacomo! at least I can never repay you this! Go and see to our wardrobe."

So far as his master's wardrobe was concerned, that order was pleasing to Jackeymo; for the doctor had in his drawers suits which Jackeymo pronounced to be as good as new, though many a long year had passed since they left the tailor's hands. But when Jackeymo came to examine the state of his own clothing department, his face grew considerably longer. It was not that he was without other clothes than those on his back—quantity was there, but, the quality! Mournfully he gazed on two suits, complete in the three separate members of which man's raiments are composed: the one suit extended at length upon his bed, like a veteran stretched by pious hands after death; the other brought piecemeal to the invidious light—the torso placed upon a chair, the limbs dangling down from Jackeymo's melancholy arm. No bodies long exposed at the Morgue could evince less sign of resuscitation than those respectable defuncts! For, indeed, Jackeymo had been less thrifty of his apparel—more profusus sui—than his master. In the earliest days of their exile, he preserved the decorous habit of dressing for dinner—it was a respect due to the Padrone—and that habit had lasted till the two habits on which it necessarily depended had evinced the first symptoms of decay; then the evening clothes had been taken into morning wear, in which hard service they had breathed their last.

The doctor, notwithstanding his general philosophical abstraction from such household details, had more than once said, rather in pity to Jackeymo, than with an eye to that respectability which the costume of the servant reflects on the dignity of the master—"Giacomo, thou wantest clothes, fit thyself out of mine!"

And Jackeymo had bowed his gratitude, as if the donation had been accepted; but the fact was that that same fitting-out was easier said than done. For though, thanks to an existence mainly upon sticklebacks[252] and minnows—both Jackeymo and Riccabocca had arrived at that state which the longevity of misers proves to be most healthful to the human frame, viz., skin and bone—yet, the bones contained in the skin of Riccabocca all took longitudinal directions; while those in the skin of Jackeymo spread out latitudinally. And you might as well have made the bark of a Lombardy poplar serve for the trunk of some dwarfed and pollarded oak—in whose hollow the Babes of the Wood could have slept at their ease—as have fitted out Jackeymo from the garb of Riccabocca. Moreover, if the skill of the tailor could have accomplished that undertaking, the faithful Jackeymo would never have had the heart to avail himself of the generosity of his master. He had a sort of religious sentiment too, about those vestments of the Padrone. The ancients, we know, when escaping from shipwreck, suspended in the votive temple the garments in which they had struggled through the wave. Jackeymo looked on those relics of the past with a kindred superstition. "This coat the Padrone wore on such an occasion. I remember the very evening the Padrone last put on those pantaloons!" And coat and pantaloons were tenderly dusted, and carefully restored to their sacred rest.

But now, after all, what was to be done? Jackeymo was much too proud to exhibit his person, to the eyes of the Squire's butler, in habiliments discreditable to himself and the Padrone. In the midst of his perplexity, the bell rang, and he went down into the parlor.

Riccabocca was standing on the hearth under his symbolical representation of the "Patriæ Exul."

"Giacomo," quoth he, "I have been thinking that thou hast never done what I told thee, and fitted thyself out from my superfluities. But we are going now into the great world: visiting once begun, Heaven knows where it may stop! Go to the nearest town and get thyself clothes. Things are dear in England. Will this suffice?" And Riccabocca extended a £5 note.

Jackeymo, we have seen, was more familiar with his master than we formal English permit our domestics to be with us. But in his familiarity he was usually respectful. This time, however, respect deserted him.

"The Padrone is mad!" he exclaimed; "he would fling away his whole fortune if I would let him. Five pounds English, or a hundred and twenty-six pounds Milanese![32] Santa Maria! Unnatural Father! And what is to become of the poor Signorina? Is this the way you are to marry her in the foreign land?"

"Giacomo," said Riccabocca, bowing his head to the storm; "the Signorina to-morrow; to-day, the honor of the house. Thy small clothes, Giacomo. Miserable man, thy small-clothes!"

"It is just," said Jackeymo, recovering himself, and with humility; "and the Padrone does right to blame me, but not in so cruel a way. It is just—the Padrone lodges and boards me, and gives me handsome wages, and he has a right to expect that I should not go in this figure."

"For the board and the lodgment, good," said Riccabocca. "For the handsome wages, they are the visions of thy fancy!"

"They are no such thing," said Jackeymo, "they are only in arrear. As if the Padrone could not pay them some day or other—as if I was demeaning myself by serving a master who did not intend to pay his servants! And can't I wait? Have I not my savings too? But be cheered, be cheered; you shall be contented with me. I have two beautiful suits still. I was arranging them when you rang for me. You shall see, you shall see."

And Jackeymo hurried from the room, hurried back into his own chamber, unlocked a little trunk which he kept at his bed head, tossed out a variety of small articles, and from the deepest depth extracted a leathern purse. He emptied the contents on the bed. They were chiefly Italian coins, some five-franc pieces, a silver medallion inclosing a little image of his patron saint—San Giacomo—one solid English guinea, and two or three pounds' worth in English silver. Jackeymo put back the foreign coins, saying prudently, "One will lose on them here;" he seized the English coins and counted them out. "But are you enough, you rascals?" quoth he angrily, giving them a good shake. His eye caught sight of the medallion—he paused; and after eying the tiny representation of the saint with great deliberation, he added, in a sentence which he must have picked up from the proverbial aphorisms of his master—"What's the difference between the enemy who does not hurt me, and the friend who does not serve me? Monsignore San Giacomo, my patron saint, you are of very little use to me in the leathern bag. But if you help me to get into a new pair of small-clothes on this important occasion, you will be a friend indeed. Alla bisogna, Monsignore." Then gravely kissing the medallion, he thrust it into one pocket, the coins into the other, made up a bundle of the two defunct suits, and, muttering to himself, "Beast, miser that I am to disgrace the Padrone, with all these savings in his service!" ran down stairs into his pantry, caught up his hat and stick, and in a few moments more was seen trudging off to the neighboring town of L——.

Apparently the poor Italian succeeded, for he came back that evening in time to prepare the thin gruel which made his master's supper, with a suit of black—a little threadbare, but still highly respectable—two shirt fronts, and two white cravats. But, out of all this finery, Jackeymo held the small-clothes in especial veneration; for as they had cost exactly what the medallion had sold for, so it seemed to him that San Giacomo had heard his prayer in that quarter to which he had more[253] exclusively directed the saint's attention. The other habiliments came to him in the merely human process of sale and barter; the small-clothes were the personal gratuity of San Giacomo!


Life has been subjected to many ingenious comparisons; and if we do not understand it any better, it is not for want of what is called reasoning by illustration. Among other resemblances, there are moments when, to a quiet contemplator, it suggests the image of one of those rotatory entertainments commonly seen in fairs, and known by the name of "whirligigs or roundabouts," in which each participator of the pastime, seated on his hobby, is always apparently in the act of pursuing some one before him, while he is pursued by some one behind. Man, and woman too, are naturally animals of chase; the greatest still finds something to follow, and there is no one too humble not to be an object of prey to another. Thus, confining our view to the village of Hazeldean, we behold in this whirligig Dr. Riccabocca spurring his hobby after Lenny Fairfield; and Miss Jemima, on her decorous side-saddle, whipping after Dr. Riccabocca. Why, with so long and intimate a conviction of the villainy of our sex, Miss Jemima should resolve upon giving the male animal one more chance of redeeming itself in her eyes, I leave to the explanation of those gentlemen who profess to find "their only books in woman's looks." Perhaps it might be from the over-tenderness and clemency of Miss Jemima's nature; perhaps it might be that, as yet, she had only experienced the villainy of man born and reared in these cold northern climates; and in the land of Petrarch and Romeo, of the citron and myrtle, there was reason to expect that the native monster would be more amenable to gentle influences, less obstinately hardened in his iniquities. Without entering farther into these hypotheses, it is sufficient to say, that on Signor Riccabocca's appearance in the drawing-room, at Hazeldean, Miss Jemima felt more than ever rejoiced that she had relaxed in his favor her general hostility to man. In truth, though Frank saw something quizzical in the old-fashioned and outlandish cut of the Italian's sober dress; in his long hair, and the chapeau bras, over which he bowed so gracefully, and then pressed it, as if to his heart, before tucking it under his arm, after the fashion in which the gizzard reposes under the wing of a roasted pullet; yet it was impossible that even Frank could deny to Riccabocca that praise which is due to the air and manner of an unmistakable gentleman. And certainly as, after dinner, conversation grew more familiar, and the Parson and Mrs. Dale, who had been invited to meet their friend, did their best to draw him out, his talk, though sometimes a little too wise for his listeners, became eminently animated and agreeable. It was the conversation of a man who, besides the knowledge which is acquired from books and life, had studied the art which becomes a gentleman—that of pleasing in polite society. Riccabocca, however, had more than this art—he had one which is often less innocent—the art of penetrating into the weak side of his associates, and of saying the exact thing which hits it plump in the middle, with the careless air of a random shot.

The result was, that all were charmed with him; and that even Captain Barnabas postponed the whist-table for a full hour after the usual time. The Doctor did not play—he thus became the property of the two ladies, Miss Jemima and Mrs. Dale.

Seated between the two, in the place rightfully appertaining to Flimsey, who this time was fairly dislodged, to her great wonder and discontent, the Doctor was the emblem of true Domestic Felicity, placed between Friendship and Love.

Friendship, as became her, worked quietly at the embroidered pocket-handkerchief, and left Love to its more animated operations. "You must be very lonely at the Casino," said Love, in a sympathizing tone.

"Madam," replied Riccabocca, gallantly, "I shall think so when I leave you."

Friendship cast a sly glance at Love—Love blushed or looked down on the carpet, which comes to the same thing. "Yet," began Love again—"yet solitude, to a feeling heart—"

Riccabocca thought of the note of invitation, and involuntarily buttoned his coat, as if to protect the individual organ thus alarmingly referred to.

"Solitude, to a feeling heart, has its charms. It is so hard even for us, poor ignorant women, to find a congenial companion—but for you!" Love stopped short, as if it had said too much, and smelt confusedly at its bouquet.

Dr. Riccabocca cautiously lowered his spectacles, and darted one glance, which with the rapidity and comprehensiveness of lightning, seemed to envelop and take in it, as it were, the whole inventory of Miss Jemima's personal attractions. Now, Miss Jemima, as I have before observed, had a mild and pensive expression of countenance, and she would have been positively pretty had the mildness looked a little more alert, and the pensiveness somewhat less lackadaisical. In fact, though Miss Jemima was constitutionally mild, she was not de natura pensive; she had too much of the Hazeldean blood in her veins for that sullen and viscid humor called melancholy, and therefore this assumption of pensiveness really spoiled her character of features, which only wanted to be lighted up by a cheerful smile to be extremely prepossessing. The same remark might apply to the figure, which—thanks to the same pensiveness—lost all the undulating grace which movement and animation bestow on the fluent curves of the feminine form. The figure was a good figure, examined in detail—a little thin, perhaps, but by no means emaciated—with just and[254] elegant proportions, and naturally light and flexible. But that same unfortunate pensiveness gave the whole a character of inertness and languor; and when Miss Jemima reclined on the sofa, so complete seemed the relaxation of nerve and muscle, that you would have thought she had lost the use of her limbs. Over her face and form, thus defrauded of the charms Providence had bestowed on them, Dr. Riccabocca's eye glanced rapidly; and then moving nearer to Mrs. Dale—"Defend me" (he stopped a moment, and added), "from the charge of not being able to appreciate congenial companionship."

"Oh, I did not say that!" cried Miss Jemima.

"Pardon me," said the Italian, "if I am so dull as to misunderstand you. One may well lose one's head, at least, in such a neighborhood as this." He rose as he spoke, and bent over Frank's shoulder to examine some views of Italy, which Miss Jemima (with what, if wholly unselfish, would have been an attention truly delicate) had extracted from the library in order to gratify the guest.

"Most interesting creature, indeed," sighed Miss Jemima, "but too—too flattering!"

"Tell me," said Mrs. Dale gravely. "do you think, love, that you could put off the end of the world a little longer, or must we make haste in order to be in time?"

"How wicked you are!" said Miss Jemima, turning aside.

Some few minutes afterward, Mrs. Dale contrived it so that Dr. Riccabocca and herself were in a farther corner of the room, looking at a picture said to be by Wouvermans.

Mrs. Dale.—"She is very amiable, Jemima, is she not?"

Riccabocca.—"Exceedingly so. Very fine battle-piece!"

Mrs. Dale.—"So kind-hearted."

Riccabocca.—"All ladies are. How naturally that warrior makes his desperate cut at the runaway!"

Mrs. Dale.—"She is not what is called regularly handsome, but she has something very winning."

Riccabocca, with a smile.—"So winning, that it is strange she is not won. That gray mare in the fore-ground stands out very boldly!"

Mrs. Dale, distrusting the smile of Riccabocca, and throwing in a more affective grape charge.—"Not won yet; and it is strange!—she will have a very pretty fortune."


Mrs. Dale.—"Six thousand pounds. I dare-say—certainly four."

Riccabocca, suppressing a sigh, and with his wonted address.—"If Mrs. Dale were still single, she would never need a friend to say what her portion might be; but Miss Jemima is so good that I am quite sure it is not Miss Jemima's fault that she is still—Miss Jemima!"

The foreigner slipped away as he spoke, and sate himself down beside the whist-players.

Mrs. Dale was disappointed, but certainly not offended.—"It would be such a good thing for both," muttered she, almost inaudibly.

"Giacomo," said Riccabocca, as he was undressing, that night, in the large, comfortable, well-carpeted English bedroom, with that great English four-posted bed in the recess, which seems made to shame folks out of single-blessedness—"Giacomo, I have had this evening the offer of probably six thousand pounds—certainly of four thousand."

"Cosa meravigliosa!" exclaimed Jackeymo—"miraculous thing!" and he crossed himself with great fervor. "Six thousand pounds English! why, that must be a hundred thousand—blockhead that I am!—more than a hundred and fifty thousand pounds Milanese!" And Jackeymo, who was considerably enlivened by the Squire's ale, commenced a series of gesticulations and capers, in the midst of which he stopped and cried, "but not for nothing?"

"Nothing! no!"

"These mercenary English!—the Government wants to bribe you."

"That's not it."

"The priests want you to turn heretic."

"Worse than that," said the philosopher.

"Worse than that! O Padrone! for shame!"

"Don't be a fool, but pull off my pantaloons—they want me never to wear these again!"

"Never to wear what?" exclaimed Jackeymo, staring outright at his master's long legs in their linen drawers—"never to wear—"

"The breeches," said Riccabocca laconically.

"The barbarians!" faltered Jackeymo.

"My nightcap!—and never to have any comfort in this," said Riccabocca, drawing on the cotton head-gear; "and never to have any sound sleep in that," pointing to the four-posted bed. "And to be a bondsman and a slave," continued Riccabocca, waxing wroth; "and to be wheedled and purred at, and pawed, and clawed, and scolded, and fondled, and blinded, and deafened, and bridled, and saddled—bedeviled and—married."

"Married!" said Jackeymo, more dispassionately—"that's very bad, certainly: but more than a hundred and fifty thousand lire, and perhaps a pretty young lady, and—"

"Pretty young lady!" growled Riccabocca, jumping into bed and drawing the clothes fiercely over him. "Put out the candle, and get along with you—do, you villainous old incendiary!"


It was not many days since the resurrection of those ill-omened stocks, and it was evident already to an ordinary observer, that something wrong had got into the village. The peasant wore a sullen expression of countenance; when the Squire passed, they took off their hats with more[255] than ordinary formality, but they did not return the same broad smile to his quick, hearty "Good-day, my man." The women peered at him from the threshold or the casement, but did not, as was their wont (at least the wont of the prettiest), take occasion to come out to catch his passing compliment on their own good looks, or their tidy cottages. And the children, who used to play after work on the site of the old stocks, now shunned the place, and, indeed, seemed to cease play altogether.

On the other hand, no man likes to build, or rebuild, a great public work for nothing. Now that the Squire had resuscitated the stocks, and made them so exceedingly handsome, it was natural that he should wish to put somebody into them. Moreover, his pride and self-esteem had been wounded by the Parson's opposition; and it would be a justification to his own forethought, and a triumph over the Parson's understanding, if he could satisfactorily and practically establish a proof that the stocks had not been repaired before they were wanted.

Therefore, unconsciously to himself, there was something about the Squire more burly, and authoritative, and menacing than heretofore. Old Gaffer Solomons observed, "that they had better moind well what they were about, for that the Squire had a wicked look in the tail of his eye—just as the dun bull had afore it tossed neighbor Barnes's little boy."

For two or three days these mute signs of something brewing in the atmosphere had been rather noticeable than noticed, without any positive overt act of tyranny on the one hand, or rebellion on the other. But on the very Saturday night in which Dr. Riccabocca was installed in the four-posted bed in the chintz chamber, the threatened revolution commenced. In the dead of that night, personal outrage was committed on the stocks. And on the Sunday morning, Mr. Stirn, who was the earliest riser in the parish, perceived, in going to the farm-yard, that the knob of the column that flanked the board had been feloniously broken off; that the four holes were bunged up with mud; and that some jacobinical villain had carved, on the very centre of the flourished or scroll work, "Dam the stoks!" Mr. Stirn was much too vigilant a right-hand man, much too zealous a friend of law and order, not to regard such proceedings with horror and alarm. And when the Squire came into his dressing-room at half-past seven, his butler (who fulfilled also the duties of valet) informed him with a mysterious air, that Mr. Stirn had something "very particular to communicate, about a most howdacious midnight 'spiracy and 'sault."

The Squire stared, and bade Mr. Stirn be admitted.

"Well?" cried the Squire, suspending the operation of stropping his razor.

Mr. Stirn groaned.

"Well, man, what now!"

"I never knowed such a thing in this here parish afore," began Mr. Stirn, "and I can only 'count for it by s'posing that them foreign Papishers have been semminating"—

"Been what?"


"Disseminating, you blockhead—disseminating what?"

"Damn the stocks," began Mr. Stirn, plunging right in medias res, and by a fine use of one of the noblest figures in rhetoric.

"Mr. Stirn!" cried the Squire, reddening, "did you say 'Damn the stocks?"—damn my new handsome pair of stocks!"

"Lord forbid, sir; that's what they say: that's what they have digged on it with knives and daggers, and they have stuffed mud in its four holes, and broken the capital of the elewation."

The Squire took the napkin off his shoulder, laid down strop and razor; he seated himself in his arm-chair majestically, crossed his legs, and in a voice that affected tranquillity, said:

"Compose yourself, Stirn; you have a deposition to make, touching an assault upon—can I trust my senses?—upon my new stocks. Compose yourself—be calm. NOW! What the devil is come to the parish?"

"Ah, sir, what indeed?" replied Mr. Stirn: and then, laying the fore-finger of the right hand on the palm of the left, he narrated the case.

"And, whom do you suspect? Be calm now, don't speak in a passion. You are a witness, sir—a dispassionate, unprejudiced witness. Zounds and fury! this is the most insolent, unprovoked, diabolical—but whom do you suspect, I say?"

Stirn twirled his hat, elevated his eyebrows, jerked his thumb over his shoulder, and whispered, "I hear as how the two Papishers slept at your honor's last night."

"What, dolt! do you suppose Dr. Rickeybockey got out of his warm bed to bung up the holes in my new stocks?"

"Noa; he's too cunning to do it himself, but he may have been semminating. He's mighty thick with Parson Dale, and your honor knows as how the Parson set his face agin the stocks. Wait a bit, sir—don't fly at me yet. There be a boy in this here parish—"

"A boy!—ah, fool, now you are nearer the mark. The Parson write 'Damn the stocks,' indeed! What boy do you mean?"

"And that boy be cockered up much by Mister Dale; and the Papisher went and sat with him and his mother a whole hour t'other day; and that boy is as deep as a well; and I seed him lurking about the place, and hiding hisself under the tree the day the stocks was put up—and that ere boy is Lenny Fairfield."

"Whew," said the Squire, whistling, "you have not your usual senses about you to-day, man. Lenny Fairfield—pattern boy of the village. Hold your tongue. I dare say it is not done by any one in the parish, after[256] all; some good-for-nothing vagrant—that cursed tinker, who goes about with a very vicious donkey—whom, by the way, I caught picking thistles out of the very eyes of the old stocks! Shows how the tinker brings up his donkeys! Well, keep a sharp look-out. To-day is Sunday: worst day of the week, I am sorry and ashamed to say, for rows and depredations. Between the services, and after evening church, there are always idle fellows from all the neighboring country about, as you know too well. Depend on it, the real culprits will be found gathering round the stocks, and will betray themselves: have your eyes, ears, and wits about you, and I've no doubt we shall come to the rights of the matter before the day's out. And if we do," added the Squire, "we'll make an example of the ruffian!"

"In course," said Stirn; "and if we don't find him, we must make an example all the same. That's where it is, sir. That's why the stock's ben't respected; they has not had an example yet—we wants an example."

"On my word, I believe that's very true; and the first idle fellow you catch in any thing wrong we'll clap in, and keep him there for two hours at least."

"With the biggest pleasure, your honor—that's what it is."

And Mr. Stirn, having now got what he considered a complete and unconditional authority over all the legs and wrists of Hazeldean parish, quoad the stocks, took his departure.


"Randal," said Mrs. Leslie, on this memorable Sunday—"Randal, do you think of going to Mr. Hazeldean's?"

"Yes, ma'am," answered Randal. "Mr. Egerton does not object to it; and as I do not return to Eaton, I may have no other opportunity of seeing Frank for some time. I ought not to fail in respect to Mr. Egerton's natural heir!"

"Gracious me!" cried Mrs. Leslie, who, like many women of her cast and kind, had a sort of worldliness in her notions, which she never evinced in her conduct—"gracious me!—natural heir to the old Leslie property!"

"He is Mr. Egerton's nephew, and," added Randal, ingenuously letting out his thoughts, "I am no relation to Mr. Egerton at all."

"But," said poor Mrs. Leslie, with tears in her eyes, "it would be a shame in the man, after paying your schooling and sending you to Oxford, and having you to stay with him in the holidays, if he did not mean any thing by it."

"Any thing, mother—yes—but not the thing you suppose. No matter. It is enough that he has armed me for life, and I shall use the weapons as seems to me best."

Here the dialogue was suspended, by the entrance of the other members of the family, dressed for church.

"It can't be time for church! No! it can't!" exclaimed Mrs. Leslie. She was never in time for any thing.

"Last bell ringing," said Mr. Leslie, who, though a slow man, was methodical and punctual. Mrs. Leslie made a frantic rush at the door, the Montfydget blood being now in a blaze—whirled up the stairs—gained her room, tore her best bonnet from the peg, snatched her newest shawl from the drawers, crushed the bonnet on her head, flung the shawl on her shoulders, thrust a desperate pin into its folds, in order to conceal a buttonless yawn in the body of her gown, and then flew back like a whirlwind. Meanwhile the family were already out of doors, in waiting; and just as the bell ceased, the procession moved from the shabby house to the dilapidated church.

The church was a large one, but the congregation was small, and so was the income of the Parson. It was a lay rectory, and the great tithes had belonged to the Leslies, but they had been long since sold. The vicarage, still in their gift, might be worth a little more than £100 a year. The present incumbent had nothing else to live upon. He was a good man, and not originally a stupid one; but penury and the anxious cares for wife and family, combined with what may be called solitary confinement for the cultivated mind, when, amidst the two legged creatures round, it sees no other cultivated mind with which it can exchange an extra-parochial thought—had lulled him into a lazy mournfulness, which at times was very like imbecility. His income allowed him to do no good to the parish, whether in work, trade, or charity; and thus he had no moral weight with the parishioners beyond the example of his sinless life, and such negative effect as might be produced by his slumberous exhortations.

Therefore his parishioners troubled him very little; and but for the influence which in hours of Montfydget activity, Mrs. Leslie exercised over the most tractable—that is, the children and the aged—not half-a-dozen persons would have known or cared whether he shut up his church or not.

But our family were seated in state in their old seignorial pew, and Mr. Dumdrum, with a nasal twang, went lugubriously through the prayers; and the old people who could sin no more, and the children who had not yet learned to sin, croaked forth responses that might have come from the choral frogs in Aristophanes. And there was a long sermon apropos to nothing which could possibly interest the congregation, being, in fact, some controversial homily, which Mr. Dumdrum had composed and preached years before. And when this discourse was over, there was a loud universal grunt, as if of release and thanksgiving, and a great clatter of shoes—and the old hobbled, and the young scrambled to the church door.

Immediately after church, the Leslie family dined; and, as soon as dinner was over, Randal set out on his foot journey to Hazeldean Hall.[257]

Delicate and even feeble though his frame, he had the energy and quickness of movement which belongs to nervous temperaments; and he tasked the slow stride of a peasant, whom he took to serve him as a guide for the first two or three miles. Though Randal had not the gracious, open manner with the poor which Frank inherited from his father, he was still (despite many a secret, hypocritical vice, at war with the character of a gentleman) gentleman enough to have no churlish pride to his inferiors. He talked little, but he suffered his guide to talk; and the boor, who was the same whom Frank had accosted, indulged in eulogistic comments on that young gentleman's pony, from which he diverged into some compliments on the young gentleman himself. Randal drew his hat over his brows. There is a wonderful tact and fine breeding in your agricultural peasant; and though Tom Stowell was but a brutish specimen of the class, he suddenly perceived that he was giving pain. He paused, scratched his head, and glancing affectionately toward his companion, exclaimed,

"But I shall live to see you on a handsomer beastis than that little pony, Master Randal; and sure I ought, for you be as good a gentleman as any in the land."

"Thank you," said Randal. "But I like walking better than riding—I am more used to it."

"Well, and you walk bra'ly—there ben't a better walker in the county. And very pleasant it is walking; and 'tis a pretty country afore you, all the way to the Hall."

Randal strode on, as if impatient of these attempts to flatter or to soothe; and, coming at length into a broader lane, said, "I think I can find my way now. Many thanks to you, Tom;" and he forced a shilling into Tom's horny palm. The man took it reluctantly, and a tear started to his eye. He felt more grateful for that shilling than he had for Frank's liberal half-crown; and he thought of the poor fallen family, and forgot his own dire wrestle with the wolf at his door.

He staid lingering in the lane till the figure of Randal was out of sight, and then returned slowly. Young Leslie continued to walk on at a quick pace. With all his intellectual culture, and his restless aspirations, his breast afforded him no thought so generous, no sentiment so poetic, as those with which the unlettered clown crept slouchingly homeward.

As Randal gained a point where several lanes met on a broad piece of waste land, he began to feel tired, and his step slackened. Just then a gig emerged from one of these by-roads, and took the same direction as the pedestrian. The road was rough and hilly, and the driver proceeded at a foot's-pace; so that the gig and the pedestrian went pretty well abreast.

"You seem tired, sir," said the driver, a stout young farmer of the higher class of tenants, and he looked down compassionately on the boy's pale countenance and weary stride. "Perhaps we are going the same way, and I can give you a lift?"

It was Randal's habitual policy to make use of every advantage proffered to him, and he accepted the proposal frankly enough to please the honest farmer.

"A nice day, sir," said the latter, as Randal sat by his side. "Have you come far?"

"From Rood Hall."

"Oh, you be young Squire Leslie," said the farmer, more respectfully, and lifting his hat.

"Yes, my name is Leslie. You know Rood, then?"

"I was brought up on your father's land, sir. You may have heard of Farmer Bruce?"

Randal.—"I remember, when I was a little boy, a Mr. Bruce, who rented, I believe, the best part of our land, and who used to bring us cakes when he called to see my father. He is a relation of yours?"

Farmer Bruce.—"He was my uncle. He is dead now, poor man."

Randal.—"Dead! I am grieved to hear it. He was very kind to us children. But it is long since he left my father's farm."

Farmer Bruce, apologetically.—"I am sure he was very sorry to go. But, you see, he had an unexpected legacy—"

Randal.—"And retired from business?"

Farmer Bruce.—"No. But having capital, he could afford to pay a good rent for a real good farm."

Randal, bitterly.—"All capital seems to fly from the lands of Rood. And whose farm did he take?"

Farmer Bruce.—"He took Hawleigh, under Squire Hazeldean. I rent it now. We've laid out a power o' money on it. But I don't complain. It pays well."

Randal.—"Would the money have paid as well, sunk on my father's land?"

Farmer Bruce.—"Perhaps it might, in the long run. But then, sir, we wanted new premises—barns, and cattle-sheds, and a deal more—which the landlord should do; but it is not every landlord as can afford that. Squire Hazeldean's a rich man."


The road now became pretty good, and the farmer put his horse into a brisk trot.

"But which way be you going, sir? I don't care for a few miles more or less, if I can be of service."

"I am going to Hazeldean," said Randal, rousing himself from a reverie. "Don't let me take you out of your way."

"Oh, Hawleigh Farm is on the other side of the village, so it be quite my way, sir."

The farmer then, who was really a smart young fellow—one of that race which the application of capital to land has produced, and which in point of education and refinement, are at least on a par with the[258] squires of a former generation—began to talk about his handsome horse, about horses in general, about hunting and coursing: he handled all these subjects with spirit, yet with modesty. Randal pulled his hat still lower down over his brows, and did not interrupt him till past the Casino, when, struck by the classic air of the place, and catching a scent from the orange-trees, the boy asked, abruptly, "Whose house is that?"

"Oh, it belongs to Squire Hazeldean, but it is let or lent to a foreign Mounseer. They say he is quite the gentleman, but uncommonly poor."

"Poor," said Randal, turning back to gaze on the trim garden, the neat terrace, the pretty belvidere, and (the door of the house being open) catching a glimpse of the painted hall within—"poor, the place seems well kept. What do you call poor, Mr. Bruce?"

The farmer laughed. "Well, that's a home question, sir. But I believe the Mounseer is as poor as a man can be who makes no debts and does not actually starve."

"As poor as my father?" asked Randal openly and abruptly.

"Lord, sir! your father be a very rich man compared to him."

Randal continued to gaze, and his mind's eye conjured up the contrast of his slovenly, shabby home, with all its neglected appurtenances! No trim garden at Rood Hall, no scent from odorous orange blossoms. Here poverty, at least, was elegant—there, how squalid! He did not comprehend at how cheap a rate the luxury of the Beautiful can be effected. They now approached the extremity of the Squire's park pales; and, Randal, seeing a little gate, bade the farmer stop his gig, and descended. The boy plunged amidst the thick oak groves; the farmer went his way blithely, and his mellow, merry whistle came to Randal's moody ear, as he glided quick under the shadow of the trees.

He arrived at the Hall, to find that all the family were at church; and, according to the patriarchal custom, the church-going family embraced nearly all the servants. It was therefore an old invalid housemaid who opened the door to him. She was rather deaf, and seemed so stupid, that Randal did not ask leave to enter and wait for Frank's return. He therefore said briefly that he would just stroll on the lawn, and call again when church was over.

The old woman stared, and strove to hear him; meanwhile Randal turned round abruptly, and sauntered toward the garden side of the handsome old house.

There was enough to attract any eye in the smooth greensward of the spacious lawn—in the numerous parterres of varying flowers—in the venerable grandeur of the two mighty cedars, which threw their still shadows over the grass—and in the picturesque building, with its projecting mullions and heavy gables; yet I fear that it was with no poet's nor painter's eye that this young old man gazed on the scene before him.

He beheld the evidence of wealth—and the envy of wealth jaundiced his soul.

Folding his arms on his breast, he stood awhile, looking all around him with closed lips and lowering brow; then he walked slowly on, his eyes fixed on the ground, and muttered to himself—"The heir to this property is little better than a dunce; and they tell me I have talents and learning, and I have taken to my heart the maxim, 'Knowledge is power.' And yet, with all my struggles, will knowledge ever place me on the same level as that on which this dunce is born? I don't wonder that the poor should hate the rich. But of all the poor, who should hate the rich like the pauper gentleman? I suppose Audley Egerton means me to come into Parliament, and be a Tory like himself. What! keep things as they are! No; for me not even Democracy, unless there first come Revolution. I understand the cry of a Marat—'More blood!' Marat had lived as a poor man, and cultivated science—in the sight of a prince's palace."

He turned sharply round, and glared vindictively on the poor old Hall, which, though a very comfortable habitation, was certainly no palace; and, with his arms still folded on his breast, he walked backward, as if not to lose the view, nor the chain of ideas it conjured up.

"But," he continued to soliloquize—"but of revolution there is no chance. Yet the same wit and will that would thrive in revolutions should thrive in this commonplace life. Knowledge is power. Well, then shall I have no power to oust this blockhead? Oust him—what from? His father's halls? Well—but if he were dead, who would be the heir of Hazeldean? Have I not heard my mother say that I am as near in blood to this Squire as any one, if he had no children? Oh, but the boy's life is worth ten of mine! Oust him from what? At least from the thoughts of his uncle Egerton—an uncle who has never even seen him! That, at least, is more feasible. 'Make my way in life,' sayest thou, Audley Egerton. Ay, and to the fortune thou hast robbed from my ancestors. Simulation—simulation. Lord Bacon allows simulation. Lord Bacon practiced it—and—"

Here the soliloquy came to a sudden end; for as, rapt in his thoughts, the boy had continued to walk backward; he had come to the verge where the lawn slided off into the ditch of the ha-ha—and, just as he was fortifying himself by the precept and practice of my Lord Bacon, the ground went from under him, and slap into the ditch went Randal Leslie!

It so happened that the Squire, whose active genius was always at some repair or improvement, had been but a few days before widening and sloping off the ditch just in that part, so that the earth was fresh and damp, and not yet either turfed or flattened down. Thus when Randal,[259] recovering his first surprise and shock, rose to his feet, he found his clothes covered with mud; while the rudeness of the fall was evinced by the fantastic and extraordinary appearance of his hat, which, hollowed here, bulging there, and crushed out of all recognition generally, was as little like the hat of a decorous, hard-reading young gentleman—protégé of the dignified Mr. Audley Egerton—as any hat picked out of a kennel after some drunken brawl possibly could be.

Randal was dizzy, and stunned, and bruised, and it was some moments before he took heed of his raiment. When he did so, his spleen was greatly aggravated. He was still boy enough not to like the idea of presenting himself to the unknown Squire, and the dandy Frank, in such a trim: he resolved at once to regain the lane and return home, without accomplishing the object of his journey; and seeing the footpath right before him, which led to a gate that he conceived would admit him into the highway sooner than the path by which he had come, he took it at once.

It is surprising how little we human creatures heed the warnings of our good genius. I have no doubt that some benignant Power had precipitated Randal Leslie into the ditch, as a significant hint of the fate of all who choose what is, nowadays, by no means an uncommon step in the march of intellect—viz., the walking backward, in order to gratify a vindictive view of one's neighbor's property! I suspect that, before this century is out, many a fine fellow will thus have found his ha-ha, and scrambled out of the ditch with a much shabbier coat than he had on when he fell into it. But Randal did not thank his good genius for giving him a premonitory tumble; and I never yet knew a man who did!


The Squire was greatly ruffled at breakfast that morning. He was too much of an Englishman to bear insult patiently, and he considered that he had been personally insulted in the outrage offered to his recent donation to the parish. His feelings, too, were hurt as well as his pride. There was something so ungrateful in the whole thing, just after he had taken so much pains, not only in the resuscitation, but the embellishment of the stocks. It was not, however, so rare an occurrence for the Squire to be ruffled, as to create any remark. Riccabocca, indeed, as a stranger, and Mrs. Hazeldean, as a wife, had the quick tact to perceive that the host was glum and the husband snappish; but the one was too discreet and the other too sensible, to chafe the new sore, whatever it might be; and shortly after breakfast the Squire retired into his study, and absented himself from morning service.

In his delightful Life of Oliver Goldsmith, Mr. Forster takes care to touch our hearts by introducing his hero's excuse for not entering the priesthood. He did not feel himself good enough. Thy Vicar of Wakefield, poor Goldsmith, was an excellent substitute for thee; and Dr. Primrose, at least, will be good enough for the world until Miss Jemima's fears are realized. Now, Squire Hazeldean had a tenderness of conscience much less reasonable than Goldsmith's. There were occasionally days in which he did not feel good enough—I don't say for a priest, but even for one of the congregation—"days in which (said the Squire in his own blunt way), as I have never in my life met a worse devil than a devil of a temper, I'll not carry mine into the family pew. He shan't be growling out hypocritical responses from my poor grandmother's prayer-book." So the Squire and his demon staid at home. But the demon was generally cast out before the day was over; and, on this occasion, when the bell rang for afternoon service, it may be presumed that the Squire had reasoned or fretted himself into a proper state of mind; for he was then seen sallying forth from the porch of his Hall, arm-in-arm with his wife, and at the head of his household. The second service was (as is commonly the case, in rural districts) more numerously attended than the first one; and it was our Parson's wont to devote to this service his most effective discourse.

Parson Dale, though a very fair scholar, had neither the deep theology nor the archæological learning that distinguish the rising generation of the clergy. I much doubt if he could have passed what would now be called a creditable examination in the Fathers; and, as for all the nice formalities in the rubric, he would never have been the man to divide a congregation, or puzzle a bishop. Neither was Parson Dale very erudite in ecclesiastical architecture. He did not much care whether all the details in the church were purely gothic or not: crockets and finials, round arch and pointed arch were matters, I fear, on which he had never troubled his head. But one secret Parson Dale did possess, which is, perhaps, of equal importance with those subtler mysteries—he knew how to fill his church! Even at morning service no pews were empty, and at evening service the church overflowed.

Parson Dale, too, may be considered, nowadays, to hold but a mean idea of the spiritual authority of the Church. He had never been known to dispute on its exact bearing with the State—whether it was incorporated with the State, or above the State—whether it was antecedent to the Papacy, or formed from the Papacy, &c., &c. According to his favorite maxim, Quieta non movere (not to disturb things that are quiet), I have no doubt that he would have thought that the less discussion is provoked upon such matters, the better for both church and laity. Nor had he ever been known to regret the disuse of the ancient custom of excommunication, nor any other diminution of the powers of the priesthood, whether minatory or militant; yet for all this, Parson Dale[260] had a great notion of the sacred privilege of a minister of the gospel—to advise—to deter—to persuade—to reprove. And it was for the evening service that he prepared those sermons, which may be called "sermons that preach at you." He preferred the evening for that salutary discipline, not only because the congregation was more numerous, but also because, being a shrewd man in his own innocent way, he knew that people bear better to be preached at after dinner than before; that you arrive more insinuatingly at the heart when the stomach is at peace. There was a genial kindness in Parson Dale's way of preaching at you. It was done in so imperceptible, fatherly a manner, that you never felt offended. He did it, too, with so much art that nobody but your own guilty self knew that you were the sinner he was exhorting. Yet he did not spare rich nor poor: he preached at the Squire, and that great fat farmer, Mr. Bullock the churchwarden, as boldly as at Hodge the plowman, and Scrub the hedger. As for Mr. Stirn, he had preached at him more often than at any one in the parish; but Stirn, though he had the sense to know it, never had the grace to reform. There was, too, in Parson Dale's sermons, something of that boldness of illustration which would have been scholarly if he had not made it familiar, and which is found in the discourses of our elder divines. Like them, he did not scruple, now and then, to introduce an anecdote from history, or borrow an allusion from some non-scriptural author, in order to enliven the attention of his audience, or render an argument more plain. And the good man had an object in this, a little distinct from, though wholly subordinate to the main purpose of his discourse. He was a friend to knowledge—but to knowledge accompanied by religion; and, sometimes, his references to sources not within the ordinary reading of his congregation, would spirit up some farmer's son, with an evening's leisure on his hands, to ask the Parson for farther explanation, and so be lured on to a little solid or graceful instruction under a safe guide.

Now, on the present occasion, the Parson, who had always his eye and heart on his flock, and who had seen with great grief the realization of his fears at the revival of the stocks; seen that a spirit of discontent was already at work among the peasants, and that magisterial and inquisitorial designs were darkening the natural benevolence of the Squire; seen, in short, the signs of a breach between classes, and the precursors of the ever inflammable feud between the rich and the poor, meditated nothing less than a great Political Sermon—a sermon that should extract from the roots of social truths a healing virtue for the wound that lay sore, but latent, in the breast of his parish of Hazeldean:

And thus ran—The Political Sermon of Parson Dale.


"For every man shall bear his own burden." Galatians vi. 5.

"Brethren, every man has his burden. If God designed our lives to end at the grave, may we not believe that he would have freed an existence so brief, from the cares and sorrows to which, since the beginning of the world, mankind have been subjected? Suppose that I am a kind father, and have a child whom I dearly love, but I know by a Divine revelation that he will die at the age of eight years, surely I should not vex his infancy by needless preparations for the duties of life. If I am a rich man, I should not send him from the caresses of his mother to the stern discipline of school. If I am a poor man, I should not take him with me to hedge and dig, to scorch in the sun, to freeze in the winter's cold: why inflict hardships on his childhood, for the purpose of fitting him for manhood, when I know that he is doomed not to grow into man? But if, on the other hand, I believe my child is reserved for a more durable existence, then should I not, out of the very love I bear to him, prepare his childhood for the struggle of life, according to that station in which he is born, giving many a toil, many a pain to the infant, in order to rear and strengthen him for his duties as a man? So is it with our Father that is in Heaven. Viewing this life as our infancy, and the next as our spiritual maturity, where 'in the ages to come, he may show the exceeding riches of his grace,' it is in his tenderness, as in his wisdom, to permit the toil and the pain which, in tasking the powers and developing the virtues of the soul, prepare it for the earnest of our inheritance, the 'redemption of the purchased possession.' Hence it is that every man has his burden. Brethren, if you believe that God is good, yea, but as tender as a human father, you will know that your troubles in life are a proof that you are reared for an eternity. But each man thinks his own burden the hardest to bear: the poor man groans under his poverty, the rich man under the cares that multiply with wealth. For, so far from wealth freeing us from trouble, all the wise men who have written in all ages, have repeated with one voice the words of the wisest, 'When goods increase, they are increased that eat them; and what good is there to the owners thereof, saving the beholding of them with their eyes?' And this is literally true, my brethren; for, let a man be as rich as was the great King Solomon himself, unless he lock up all his gold in a chest, it must go abroad to be divided among others; yea, though, like Solomon, he make him great works—though he build houses and plant vineyards, and make him gardens and orchards—still the gold that he spends feeds but the mouths he employs; and Solomon himself could not eat with a better relish than the poorest mason who builded the house, or the humblest laborer who planted the vineyard. Therefore, 'when goods increase, they are increased that[261] eat them.' And this, my brethren, may teach us toleration and compassion for the rich. We share their riches whether they will or not; we do not share their cares. The profane history of our own country tells us that a princess, destined to be the greatest queen that ever sat on this throne, envied the milk-maid singing; and a profane poet, whose wisdom was only less than that of the inspired writers, represents the man who by force and wit had risen to be a king, sighing for the sleep vouchsafed to the meanest of his subjects—all bearing out the words of the son of David—'The sleep of the laboring man is sweet, whether he eat little or much; but the abundance of the rich will not suffer him to sleep.'

"Among my brethren now present, there is, doubtless, some one who has been poor, and by honest industry has made himself comparatively rich. Let his heart answer me while I speak: are not the chief cares that now disturb him to be found in the goods he hath acquired?—has he not both vexations to his spirit and trials to his virtue, which he knew not when he went forth to his labor, and took no heed of the morrow? But it is right, my brethren, that to every station there should be its care—to every man his burden; for if the poor did not sometimes so far feel poverty to be a burden as to desire to better their condition, and (to use the language of the world) 'seek to rise in life,' their most valuable energies would never be aroused; and we should not witness that spectacle, which is so common in the land we live in—namely, the successful struggle of manly labor against adverse fortune—a struggle in which the triumph of one gives hope to thousands. It is said that necessity is the mother of invention; and the social blessings which are now as common to us as air and sunshine, have come from that law of our nature which makes us aspire toward indefinite improvement, enriches each successive generation by the labors of the last, and, in free countries, often lifts the child of the laborer to a place among the rulers of the land. Nay, if necessity is the mother of invention, poverty is the creator of the arts. If there had been no poverty, and no sense of poverty, where would have been that which we call the wealth of a country? Subtract from civilization all that has been produced by the poor, and what remains?—the state of the savage. Where you now see laborer and prince, you would see equality indeed—the equality of wild men. No; not even equality there! for there, brute force becomes lordship, and woe to the weak! Where you now see some in frieze, some in purple, you would see nakedness in all. Where stand the palace and the cot, you would behold but mud huts and caves. As far as the peasant excels the king among savages, so far does the society exalted and enriched by the struggles of labor excel the state in which Poverty feels no disparity, and Toil sighs for no ease. On the other hand, if the rich were perfectly contented with their wealth, their hearts would become hardened in the sensual enjoyments it procures. It is that feeling, by Divine Wisdom implanted in the soul, that there is vanity and vexation of spirit in the things of Mammon, which still leaves the rich man sensitive to the instincts of heaven, and teaches him to seek for happiness in those elevated virtues to which wealth invites him—namely, protection to the lowly, and beneficence to the distressed.

"And this, my brethren, leads me to another view of the vast subject opened to us by the words of the apostle—'Every man shall bear his own burden.' The worldly conditions of life are unequal. Why are they unequal? O my brethren, do you not perceive? Think you that, if it had been better for our spiritual probation that there should be neither great nor lowly, rich nor poor, Providence would not so have ordered the dispensations of the world, and so, by its mysterious but merciful agencies, have influenced the framework and foundations of society? But if, from the remotest period of human annals, and in all the numberless experiments of government which the wit of man has devised, still this inequality is ever found to exist, may we not suspect that there is something in the very principles of our nature to which that inequality is necessary and essential? Ask why this inequality! Why? as well ask why life is the sphere of duty and the nursery of virtues. For if all men were equal, if there were no suffering and no ease, no poverty and no wealth, would you not sweep with one blow the half at least of human virtues from the world? If there were no penury and no pain, what would become of fortitude? what of patience? what of resignation? If there were no greatness and no wealth, what would become of benevolence, of charity, of the blessed human pity, of temperance in the midst of luxury, of justice in the exercise of power? Carry the question further; grant all conditions the same—no reverse, no rise and no fall—nothing to hope for, nothing to fear—what a moral death you would at once inflict upon all the energies of the soul, and what a link between the heart of man and the Providence of God would be snapped asunder! If we could annihilate evil, we should annihilate hope; and hope, my brethren, is the avenue to faith. If there be 'a time to weep, and a time to laugh,' it is that he who mourns may turn to eternity for comfort, and he who rejoices may bless God for the happy hour. Ah! my brethren, were it possible to annihilate the inequalities of human life, it would be the banishment of our worthiest virtues, the torpor of our spiritual nature, the palsy of our mental faculties. The moral world, like the world without us, derives its health and its beauty from diversity and contrast.

"'Every man shall bear his own burden.' True: but now turn to an earlier verse in the same chapter—

"'Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.' Yes;[262] while Heaven ordains to each his peculiar suffering, it connects the family of man into one household, by that feeling which, more perhaps than any other, distinguishes us from the brute creation—I mean the feeling to which we give the name of sympathy—the feeling for each other! The herd of deer shuns the stag that is marked by the gunner; the flock heedeth not the sheep that creeps into the shade to die; but man has sorrow and joy not in himself alone, but in the joy and sorrow of those around him. He who feels only for himself abjures his very nature as man; for do we not say of one who has no tenderness for mankind that he is inhuman? and do we not call him who sorrows with the sorrowful, humane?

"Now, brethren, that which especially marked the divine mission of our Lord, is the direct appeal to this sympathy which distinguishes us from the brute. He seizes not upon some faculty of genius given but to few, but upon that ready impulse of heart which is given to us all; and in saying, 'Love one another,' 'Bear ye one another's burdens,' he elevates the most delightful of our emotions into the most sacred of his laws. The lawyer asks our Lord, 'who is my neighbor?' Our Lord replies by the parable of the good Samaritan. The priest and the Levite saw the wounded man that fell among the thieves, and passed by on the other side. That priest might have been austere in his doctrine, that Levite might have been learned in the law; but neither to the learning of the Levite, nor to the doctrine of the priest, does our Saviour even deign to allude. He cites but the action of the Samaritan, and saith to the lawyer, 'Which now of these three, thinkest thou was neighbor unto him that fell among the thieves? And he said, He that showed mercy unto him. Then said Jesus unto him, 'Go, and do thou likewise.'

"O shallowness of human judgments! It was enough to be born a Samaritan in order to be rejected by the priest, and despised by the Levite. Yet now, what to us the priest and the Levite, of God's chosen race though they were? They passed from the hearts of men when they passed the sufferer by the wayside; while this loathed Samaritan, half thrust from the pale of the Hebrew, becomes of our family, of our kindred; a brother among the brotherhood of Love, so long as Mercy and Affliction shall meet in the common thoroughfare of Life!

"'Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ!' Think not, O my brethren, that this applies only to almsgiving—to that relief of distress which is commonly called charity—to the obvious duty of devoting, from our superfluities, something that we scarcely miss, to the wants of a starving brother. No. I appeal to the poorest among ye, if the worst burdens are those of the body—if the kind word and the tender thought have not often lightened your hearts more than bread bestowed with a grudge, and charity that humbles you by a frown. Sympathy is a beneficence at the command of us all—yea, of the pauper as of the king; and sympathy is Christ's wealth. Sympathy is brotherhood. The rich are told to have charity for the poor, and the poor are enjoined to respect their superiors. Good: I say not to the contrary. But I say also to the poor, 'In your turn have charity for the rich;' and I say to the rich, 'In your turn respect the poor.'

"'Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.' Thou, O poor man, envy not nor grudge thy brother his larger portion of worldly goods. Believe that he hath his sorrows and crosses like thyself, and perhaps, as more delicately nurtured, he feels them more; nay, hath he not temptations so great that our Lord hath exclaimed, 'How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of heaven?' And what are temptations but trials? what are trials but perils and sorrows? Think not that you can not bestow your charity on the rich man, even while you take your sustenance from his hands. A heathen writer, often cited by the earliest preachers of the gospel, hath truly said, 'Where-ever there is room for a man, there is place for a benefit.'

"And I ask any rich brother among you, when he hath gone forth to survey his barns and his granaries, his gardens and orchards, if suddenly, in the vain pride of his heart, he sees the scowl on the brow of the laborer—if he deems himself hated in the midst of his wealth—if he feels that his least faults are treasured up against him with the hardness of malice, and his plainest benefits received with the ingratitude of envy—ask, I say, any rich man, whether straightway all pleasure in his worldly possessions does not fade from his heart, and whether he does not feel what a wealth of gladness it is in the power of the poor man to bestow! For all these things of Mammon pass away; but there is in the smile of him whom we have served, a something that we may take with us into heaven. If, then, ye bear one another's burdens, they who are poor will have mercy on the errors, and compassion for the griefs, of the rich. To all men it was said—yes, to the Lazarus as to the Dives—'Judge not that ye be not judged.' But think not, O rich man, that we preach only to the poor. If it be their duty not to grudge thee thy substance, it is thine to do all that may sweeten their labor. Remember, that when our Lord said, 'How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of heaven,' he replied also to them who asked, 'Who then shall be saved?' 'The things which are impossible with men are possible with God:' that is, man left to his own temptations would fail; but strengthened by God, he shall be saved. If thy riches are the tests of thy trial, so may they also be the instruments of thy virtues. Prove by thy riches that thou art compassionate and tender temperate and benign; and thy riches themselves may become the evidence[263] at once of thy faith and of thy works.

"We have constantly on our lips the simple precept, 'Do unto others as ye would be done by.' Why do we fail so often in the practice? Because we neglect to cultivate that SYMPATHY which nature implants as an instinct, and the Saviour exalts as a command. If thou wouldst do unto thy neighbor as thou wouldst be done by, ponder well how thy neighbor will regard the action thou art about to do to him. Put thyself into his place. If thou art strong, and he is weak, descend from thy strength, and enter into his weakness; lay aside thy burden for the while, and buckle on his own; let thy sight see as through his eyes—thy heart beat as in his bosom. Do this, and thou wilt often confess that what had seemed just to thy power will seem harsh to his weakness. For 'as a zealous man hath not done his duty, when he calls his brother drunkard and beast,'[33] even so an administrator of the law mistakes his object if he writes on the grand column of society, only warnings that irritate the bold, and terrify the timid; and a man will be no more in love with law than with virtue, 'if he be forced to it with rudeness and incivilities.'[34] If, then, ye would bear the burden of the lowly, O ye great—feel not only for them, but with! Watch that your pride does not chafe them—your power does not wantonly gall. Your worldly inferior is of the class from which the apostles were chosen—amidst which the Lord of Creation descended from a throne above the seraphs."

The Parson here paused a moment, and his eye glanced toward the pew near the pulpit, where sat the magnate of Hazeldean. The Squire was leaning his chin thoughtfully on his hand, his brow inclined downward, and the natural glow of his complexion much heightened.

"But," resumed the Parson softly, without turning to his book, and rather as if prompted by the suggestion of the moment—"But he who has cultivated sympathy commits not these errors, or, if committing them, hastens to retract. So natural is sympathy to the good man, that he obeys it mechanically when he suffers his heart to be the monitor of his conscience. In this sympathy behold the bond between rich and poor! By this sympathy, whatever our varying worldly lots, they become what they were meant to be—exercises for the virtues more peculiar to each; and thus, if in the body each man bear his own burden, yet in the fellowship of the soul all have common relief in bearing the burdens of each other.

"This is the law of Christ—fulfill it, O my flock!"

Here the Parson closed his sermon, and the congregation bowed their heads.

(To be continued.)


[32] By the pounds Milanese, Giacomo means the Milanese lira.

[33] JEREMY TAYLOR—Of Christian Prudence. Part II.

[34] Ibid.

Monthly Record of Current Events



The principal event of the month has been the opening of the second session of the Thirty-first Congress, which occurred on the second of December. Each House was called to order by its presiding officer. Hon. William R. King of Alabama in the Senate, and Hon. Howell Cobb of Georgia in the House. The Message of President Fillmore was transmitted to Congress on the same day. The state of public feeling upon topics connected with slavery, and the fact that President Fillmore's views upon the subject had never before been officially communicated to the country, gave to the Message even more than an ordinary degree of interest.

After alluding to the death of General Taylor, the Message briefly sets forth the President's political principles and his views as to the proper policy of the government. In its foreign relations he would have the country regard the independent rights of all nations without interference, take no part in their internal strifes, and sympathize with, though it can not aid, the oppressed who are struggling for freedom. To maintain strict neutrality, reciprocate every generous act, and observe treaties, is the extent of our obligations and powers. In regard to our domestic policy, the President says he has no guide but the Constitution as interpreted by the courts, and by usage and general acquiescence. All its parts are equally binding, and no necessity can justify the assumption of powers not granted. The powers granted are as clearly expressed as the imperfections of human language will allow, and he deems it his duty not to question its wisdom, add to its provisions, evade its requirements, or multiply its commands. He promises to express his views frankly upon the leading subjects of legislation, and if any act should pass Congress, which shall appear to him "unconstitutional, or an encroachment on the just powers of other departments, or with provisions hastily adopted, and likely to produce consequences injurious and unforeseen," he would not hesitate to send it back for further consideration. Beyond this he will not attempt to control or influence the proceedings of Congress. The government of the United States is limited, and every citizen who truly loves the Constitution, will resist its interference in those domestic affairs which the Constitution has clearly and unequivocally left to the exclusive authority of the States: and every such citizen will also deprecate useless irritation among the several members of the Union, and all reproach and crimination tending to alienate one portion of the country from another. The Constitution has made it the duty of the President to take care that the laws be faithfully executed. Mr. Fillmore says that Congress and the country may rest assured that, to the utmost of his ability, and to the extent of the powers vested in him, he will, at all times and in all places, take[264] care that the laws be faithfully executed.

The President says he shall endeavor to exercise the appointing power so as to elevate the standard of official employment and advance the prosperity and happiness of the people.

No unfavorable change has taken place in our foreign relations. A convention has recently been negotiated with Great Britain to facilitate and protect the construction of a ship canal between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans: further provisions are required which shall designate and establish a free port at each end of the canal, and fix the distance from the shore within which belligerent maritime operations shall not be carried on. Upon these points there is said to be little doubt that the two nations will come to an understanding. The company of American citizens who have acquired from the state of Nicaragua the right of constructing a ship canal between the two oceans, through the territory of that state, have made progress in their preliminary arrangements. It is hoped that the guarantees of the treaty between the United States and Great Britain will be sufficient to secure the early completion of the work. Citizens of the United States have undertaken the construction of a railroad across the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, under grants of the Mexican government to a citizen of that republic. Some further stipulations from Mexico are still needed, however, to impart a feeling of security to those who may embark in the enterprise. Negotiations to secure them are now in progress. A proposition made by the government of Portugal to adjust and settle the claims of the United States against that government, has been accepted by the United States; and it is expected that a regular convention will be immediately negotiated for carrying the agreement into effect. The commissioner appointed under an act of Congress to carry into effect the Convention with Brazil, of January 27, 1849, has entered upon the performance of his duties: an extension of time, however, will be required, in consequence of the failure to receive documents which the government of Brazil is to furnish. The collection in ports of the United States, of discriminating duties on the vessels of Chili has been suspended.

The total receipts into the Treasury for the year ending June 30, 1850, were $47,421,748: expenditures during the same period $43,002,168. The public debt has been reduced $495,276. Part of the public debt amounting to $8,075,986 must be provided for within the next two years. A modification of the tariff is strongly recommended; so as to impose specific duties sufficient to raise the requisite revenue, and making such discrimination in favor of the industrial pursuits of our own country as to encourage home production without excluding foreign competition. Under the present ad valorem system extensive frauds have been practiced which show that it is impossible, under any system of ad valorem duties levied upon the foreign cost or value of the article, to secure an honest observance and an effectual administration of the law. The establishment of a mint in California is recommended, and also of an agricultural bureau at Washington. The attention of Congress is called to the importance of opening a line of communication between the Valley of the Mississippi and the Pacific. The necessity of a Commissioner to examine the validity of land titles in California is also urged, as well as the propriety of extending, at an early day, our system of land laws, with such modifications as maybe necessary, over California, New Mexico, and Utah. Further provision is required to protect our frontiers from hostile Indians. The navy continues in a high state of efficiency. The report of the Postmaster General is referred to for the condition of that department. The President says he has no doubt of the power of Congress to make appropriations for works of internal improvement, and he therefore recommends that appropriations be made for completing such works as have been already begun, and for commencing such others as may seem to the wisdom of Congress to be of public and general importance. The President also recommends that provision be made by law for the appointment of a commission to settle all private claims against the United States; and the appointment of a solicitor whose duty it shall be to represent the Government before such commission, and protect it against all illegal, fraudulent, or unjust claims, which may be presented for their adjudication.

The Message closes by expressing the President's views in regard to the Compromise measures of the last session. He believes those measures to have been required by the circumstances and condition of the country. He regards them as a settlement, in principle and substance a final settlement, of the dangerous and exciting subjects which they embrace. Most of these subjects, indeed, are placed by them beyond the reach of legislation. The President recommends an adherence to the adjustment established by those measures, until time and experience shall demonstrate the necessity of further legislation to guard against evasion or abuse. By that adjustment, he adds, "we have been rescued from the wide and boundless agitation that surrounded us, and have a firm, distinct, and legal ground to rest upon. And the occasion, I trust, will justify me in exhorting my countrymen to rally upon and maintain that ground as the best if not the only means, of restoring peace and quiet to the country, and maintain inviolate the integrity of the Union."

The annual Reports from the several departments were transmitted to Congress with the Message. They state in detail, as usual, the condition of the public service in each department of the government. We can only make room, of course, for a condensed summary of their contents.

The Report of Mr. Conrad, Secretary of war, is brief and clearly written. The whole number of men at present enrolled in the U. S. Army is 12,326, including officers. Of these, 7796 are under orders for Texas, New Mexico, California, and Oregon, thus leaving but 4530 in all the rest of the States and Territories. The Secretary, in view of the recent alarming incursions of the Indians, on the borders of Texas and New Mexico, urges an addition to the military establishment of the country. A history is given of the operations of infantry in New Mexico since last August. Mr. Conrad expresses the opinion, that the only description of troops to put an end to these savage forays, is cavalry. He says the Indians in that part of the country are excellent horsemen, and well skilled in the art of war. To extirpate them, he calls upon Congress to raise one or more regiments of mounted men. In this connection, moreover, he thinks that if the inhabitants of New Mexico were organized into a kind of protective militia of their own, much would be done to preserve the lives and property of those Territories, independently of Government relief. At all events the experiment, he says, is worth trying. The operations of that portion of the army employed in Oregon are next recapitulated, as are also those engaged in[265] the recent troubles with the Indians in Florida. The Secretary entertains no apprehension of any farther disturbance there. A large portion of the troops are withdrawn from the State, but sufficient are left to meet any emergency which may possibly arise. The number of the Indians there, we are told, is very small, probably not more than one hundred, who, however, occasion annoyance to the whites; and these the most efficient measures will be taken to remove. It is recommended that a small force be sent against the Sioux tribe of Indians, in order to compel obedience to the Chippewa treaty, which they have broken, and which the United States is bound to see respected. He also refers to the reports of the officers appointed to examine the Pacific Coasts of the United States, in order to select suitable sites for fortifications and naval depots there. Captain Stansbury's Expedition to the Great Salt Lake, the Secretary says, is understood to be completed, and a report of his operations is supposed to be now on its way home. Other Expeditions, similar to this, are also referred to. The Secretary renews the recommendation of his predecessor for the formation of a retired list of officers of the Army. An asylum for disabled and destitute soldiers is also urged upon the attention of Congress. The financial estimates for this Department, for the ensuing year, do not appear quite so favorable as could be wished. The sum required for the next fiscal year will considerably exceed the aggregate for the current year—an increase caused, among other things, by the act of last Congress increasing the rank and file of all the companies serving on the Western frontier—paying nearly double all the officers and men in California and Oregon—and by increased expenditures in the Quartermaster's department. The Secretary points out several departments of the service where principles of economy may be introduced to advantage, and to them he calls the earnest and immediate attention of Congress.

The Report of Mr. Graham, Secretary of the Navy, is also brief, and gives an account of the six different squadrons into which the naval force in commission is divided. The Secretary remarks that occasional instances of British interference with vessels bearing our flag on the African coast have occurred, but that in each case explanations and apologies have been made to our officers on that station, and the reports thereof transmitted to the Government. The existing personnel of the Navy embraces 68 captains, 97 commanders, 327 lieutenants, 111 surgeons, 43 assistant surgeons, 64 pursers, 24 chaplains, 12 professors of mathematics, 11 masters in the line of promotion, 464 passed and other midshipmen, and 7500 petty officers, seamen, landsmen, boys, etc. The Secretary says that this system of officers is unshapely and disproportioned, there being great disparity between the head and the subordinate parts, and he recommends a great reduction in the three highest grades. The report discusses other questions respecting the organization and distribution of the service. The Secretary notices the improvements going on in the Navy Yards in New York and other places; states that he has invited proposals for the construction of a Dry Dock in the Pacific; says that the stores on hand in the various yards amount to $6,500,000. A reduction of the number of yards is discussed. The Secretary says that our flag has been respected on every sea, and that the interests of commerce have been secure under its protection. The Navy consists of 7 ships of the line, 1 razee, 12 frigates, 21 sloops of war, 4 brigs, 2 schooners, 6 steam frigates, 3 steamers of the first class, 6 steamers of less than first class, and 5 store ships. The ships in commission are one razee, 6 frigates, 15 sloops of war, 4 brigs, 2 schooners (coast survey), 2 steam frigates, 1 steamer of the first class, 3 less than first class, 3 ships of the line as receiving ships, 1 steamer do., and one sloop do. Four ships of the line and two frigates are on the stocks in process of construction, but the work suspended. Besides these, there are the mail steamships on the New York and Liverpool and New York and Chagres lines, liable to naval duty in case of necessity.

The Report of Mr. Hall, the Postmaster General, gives a gratifying picture of the operations of the Post Office Department. The number of mail routes within the United States at the close of the fiscal year in June last, not including California and Oregon, was 5590: the aggregate length of such routes was 178,672 miles, and the number of contractors employed thereon, 4,760. The annual transportation of the mails on these routes was 46,541,423 miles, at an annual cost of $2,724,436, making the average cost about five cents and eight and a half mills per mile. The increase in the number of inland mail routes during the year was 649; the increase in the length of mail routes was 10,969 miles; and the annual transportation of the year exceeded that of the previous year by 3,997,354 miles, at an increased cost of $342,440. There were, on the 30th of June last, five foreign mail routes, of the aggregate length of 15,079 miles, and the annual price of the transportation thereon, payable by this Department, was $264,506; being an increase of $8814 on the cost of the preceding year. The increase of our mail service for the last fiscal year, over the year preceding, was about 9.4 per cent., and the increase in the total cost was about 12.7 per cent. The number of Postmasters appointed during the year ending June 30, 1850, was 6518. Of that number 2600 were appointed to fill vacancies occasioned by resignations; 233 to fill vacancies occasioned by the decease of the previous incumbents; 562 on a change of the sites of the offices for which they were appointed; 1444 on the removal of their predecessors, and 1979 were appointed on the establishment of new offices. The whole number of post offices in the United States at the end of that year was 18,417. There were 1679 post offices established, and 309 discontinued during the year.

The gross revenue of the Department for the year was as follows:

From letter postage, including foreign postage, and stamps sold $4,575,663 86
From newspapers and pamphlets 919,485 94
From fines 38 00
From miscellaneous items 3,048 66
From receipts on acc't of dead letters 1,748 40
  $5,499,984 86
Appropriation for franked matter 200,000 00
Total $5,699,984 86
From this sum should be deducted the amount received during the year for British postages, which are payable to that Government, under the postal convention of December, 1848 147,013 38
Leaving for the gross revenue of the year $5,552,971 48
Total expenditures 5,212,953 43
Excess of receipts $340,018 05

The expenditures of the current year are estimated at $6,019,809, the increase consisting in the additional service provided for, and in the increased rates sometimes paid on the new contracts. No reliable[266] estimate of receipts from postage for the year can be made. The increase for the year ending June 30, 1847, was 11.27 per cent.; that for the year ending June 30, 1848, only 7.43 per cent.; and that for the year ending June 30, 1849, 14.20 per cent.; being an average, for the three years, of 10.96 per cent.; and the increase for the year ending June 30, 1850, excluding the balance in favor of Great Britain was 14.62 per cent. It is believed that the increase for the current year will be at least 11 per cent. over the receipts of last year: and this will give an aggregate revenue of $6,166,616, an excess of $146,807 over the estimated expenditures. The conveyance of foreign correspondence has become an important branch of the service. The means provided are 16 large steamships in actual service, with four more to be added under existing contracts. Efforts are in progress to arrange with foreign countries for the interchange of mails and for the uninterrupted transit of our correspondence in the mails of those countries to the countries beyond. The mail service in California and Oregon is still in an unsettled state: some suggestions are made for improving its details. The Postmaster General recommends a considerable reduction in the rates of postage: he advises that the inland letter postage be reduced to three cents, the single letter, when pre-paid, and be fixed at the uniform rate of five cents when not pre-paid; and also, that the Postmaster General be required to reduce this pre-paid rate to two cents the single letter, whenever it shall be ascertained that the revenues of the Department, after the reductions now recommended, shall have exceeded its expenditures by more than five per cent. for two consecutive fiscal years. He also recommends that twenty cents the single letter, be charged on all correspondence to and from the Pacific coast, South America, the Eastern Continent and its islands, and points beyond either, and ten cents the single letter on all other sea-going letters, without the superaddition of inland postage; and that the provision which imposes an additional half cent postage upon newspapers, sent more than one hundred miles, and out of the State where they are mailed, be repealed, so as to leave the uniform inland postage on newspapers, sent to subscribers, from the office of publication, at one cent each. The postage upon pamphlets, periodicals, and other printed matter (except newspapers), Mr. Hall thinks, may be simplified and somewhat reduced, with advantage to the Department. Two cents for the pamphlet or periodical of the weight of two ounces or less, and one cent for every additional ounce or fraction of an ounce, is recommended as the inland rate upon all pamphlets, periodicals, and other printed matter; instead of the present rate of two and a half cents for the first ounce, and one cent for every additional ounce, or fraction of an ounce. For the sea-going charge on such matters, and on newspapers, twice the inland rate to and from the points to which it is proposed that the letter postage shall be ten cents, and four times the inland rate where the letter rate is twenty cents, is deemed a just and proper rate. The reductions recommended on printed matter are considerably less than those upon letters: and the reason of this is found in the fact that the rates of postage upon printed matter are now exceedingly low, when compared with the letter rates. The average postage on letters is estimated at about three dollars and sixteen cents per pound, and on newspapers or pamphlets at about sixteen cents per pound. After the reductions proposed, the average inland postage on letters will be about $2 50 per pound when not prepaid, and $1 50 per pound when pre-paid.

The reduction recommended will probably reduce the revenue of the Department for the first three or four years; but at the end of that period its revenues under the reduced rates will probably again equal its expenditures. To meet the temporary deficiency, additional appropriations from the Treasury will probably be required unless Congress should abolish the franking privilege, which is held to be the privilege of the constituent rather than of the representative. It is recommended, however, that if the franking privilege, and the privilege now accorded to newspaper proprietors of receiving exchange newspapers free of postage, be continued, the expense be paid out of the public Treasury. The present laws provide for a semi-monthly mail from New York and New Orleans to Chagres, and for only a monthly mail from that point to San Francisco. The defect has been partially supplied by an arrangement with the mail contractors, but the action of Congress on the subject is still required.

The report of Mr. Stuart, Secretary of the Department of the Interior, presents a variety of interesting information concerning the various subjects which come under his supervision. The expenses of the department for the year have been $5,403,372; those for the next year are estimated at $7,132,043. The report enters at some length into an explanation of the various items of this increase. The whole number of persons on the pension rolls of the United States is 19,758; the whole number who have drawn pensions during the first two quarters of the present year is 13,079. The whole amount expended for pensions during the year is estimated at $1,400,000. The number of land warrants issued for Revolutionary service is 12,588; and for the war of 1812, 28,978. The number of claims presented for service in the Mexican war is 81,373, and for scrip in lieu of land, 3332, making a total of 84,705. The number of claimants under the general Bounty Land Law of the last session of Congress is estimated at 250,000. The sales of Public Lands during the first three quarters of 1850 have amounted to 869,082 acres; the amount sold in 1849 was 1,329,902. The amount located by Mexican bounty land warrants during three quarters of the present year was 1,520,120, against 3,405,520, during the whole of last year. The aggregate amount disposed of in three quarters of 1850 was 2,815,366—in 1849 it was 5,184,410. The revenue derived from the sale of public lands has averaged about a million and a quarter of dollars per annum, for the last fifty years, above all expenses. The extension of our Land System over our possessions on the Pacific is strongly urged; and a commission is suggested to adjudicate on all questions of disputed titles to land in California. Mr. Stuart recommends the sale of the mineral lands, in fee simple to the highest bidder at public auction—in lots small enough to afford persons in moderate circumstances the opportunity of being bidders. The annexation of Texas and our treaty with Mexico, have added about 124,000 Indians to our population; many of them are fierce in their disposition and predatory in their habits. Further legislation for the protection of our people from them has become necessary. The Secretary urges the necessity of a highway to the Pacific; whether a railway, a plank road, or a turnpike would be most expedient, he says, can only be determined after a careful survey of the country and its resources shall have been made. He suggests the propriety of authorizing an immediate survey. The establishment of an Agricultural Bureau is[267] urged, and statements are made of the steps taken in securing the census returns.

Several of the State Legislatures are now in session, or have been during the past month. In several of them action has been taken upon the general question of Slavery. In Vermont a bill was passed for the protection of persons who may be claimed within that state as fugitive slaves. This bill provides (1.) That it shall be the duty of the State's attorneys within the several counties "to use all lawful means to protect, defend, and cause to be discharged" every person arrested or claimed as a fugitive slave; (2.) The application of any State's attorney in due form shall be sufficient authority for any one of the Judges of the Supreme Court, or any Circuit Judge, to authorize the issuing a writ of habeas corpus, which shall be made returnable to the supreme or county court when in session, and in vacation before any of the judges aforesaid; (3.) That it shall be the duty of all judicial and executive officers in the State, whenever they shall have reason to believe that any inhabitant of the State is about to be arrested as a fugitive slave, to give notice thereof to the State's attorneys in their respective counties; (4.) That whenever the writ of habeas corpus is granted in vacation, if upon the hearing of the same before any of the judges, the person arrested and claimed as a fugitive slave shall not be discharged, he shall be entitled to an appeal to the next stated term of the county court, on furnishing such bail and within such time as the judge granting the writ shall deem reasonable and proper; (5.) That the court to which such appeal is taken, or any other court to which a writ of habeas corpus in behalf of any such alleged fugitive slave is made returnable, shall, on application, allow and direct a trial by jury on all questions of fact in issue between the parties, and the costs thereof shall be chargeable to the State. The bill passed both branches of the Legislature with very little discussion, and was approved by the Governor, Nov. 13, 1850.

The Virginia Legislature assembled on the 2d of December. The Message of Governor Floyd closes with some emphatic comments on the Compromise measures of Congress. The action of the last session on the subject, the Governor says, has placed the Union in the most momentous and difficult crisis through which it has ever passed. Some of its enactments have produced a feeling of deep and bitter dissatisfaction at the South; while the law for the recovery of fugitive slaves has been met with a reception at the North little, if at all, short of open rebellion and utter defiance. This state of things, the Governor says, has grown out of an "unwarrantable interference on the part of Congress with the subject of slavery, and is another proof of the great danger which must ever follow any attempt on the part of that body to transcend the clear, well-defined limits set by the Constitution to govern and control their action." The action of Congress, it is held, has been grossly injurious to the South, for of the whole domain acquired from Mexico, not a foot is left, worth having, for the occupation of the slaveholder. Nothing ought to reconcile the South to this action, but the hope that it may settle forever all agitation of the question of slavery. But if peace and quiet can be thereby restored, if the Constitution can be respected and the Union maintained, these sacrifices, great as they are, may well be regarded as light in comparison with the objects attained. But should this expectation prove fallacious, and the slavery agitation be renewed, it will furnish, the Governor says, "proof, convincing and conclusive, of that fixed and settled hostility to slavery on the part of the North which should and will satisfy every reasonable man that peace between us is impossible; and then a necessity stronger than all law, the necessity of self-preservation, will demand at our hands a separation from those who use the relationship of brotherhood only for the purpose of inflicting upon us the worst acts of malignant hostility." The supineness of the South upon this subject is very warmly censured, and the hostility evinced in the Northern States toward the fugitive slave law is referred to as among the indications that peace and harmony have not been restored. Virginia, and all the slaveholding states, he thinks, "can and ought, calmly and explicitly to declare that the repeal of the fugitive slave law, or any essential modification of it, is a virtual repeal of the Union. The faithful execution of the law is the only means now left by which the Union can be preserved with honor to ourselves and peace to the country. Such a declaration on the part of the South will give strength and great moral weight to the conservative patriots at the North, now struggling for the Constitution and the supremacy of the laws, who are, in truth, fighting the battle of the Union, in the bosom of the non-slaveholding States. If, however, no consideration of prudence or patriotism can restrain the majority from the non-slaveholding States in their headlong career of usurpation and wrong, and should they repeal or essentially modify the fugitive slave law, the most prompt and decisive action 'will be required at your hands'. In either event, I would earnestly recommend that a Convention of the people be called at once to take into consideration the mode and measure of redress, as well as the means of providing for our future security and peace."

The Governor of Arkansas, in his Message to the Legislature of that State, objects to the admission of California, but contends that the evil can not be cured, and must be endured. He asks, "what could the South gain by resistance?" He also objects to President Fillmore's Message concerning Texas. But, with regard to the fugitive slave law, he contends, if the North touch it, the "South can no longer, with honor to herself, maintain her present relations with the North."

In Mississippi the Legislature convened in extra session on the 18th November, under a proclamation issued by Governor Quitman, to take into consideration the course to be pursued by the State in view of the recent measures of Congress. On the first day of the session the Governor sent in a Message giving a history of the aggressions of the North, and recommending secession from the Union. He says, "let the propositions be distinctly put to the non-slaveholding States that the wrongs of the South must be redressed, so far as it is in the power of Congress to do so, by obtaining from California a concession of territory south of 36° 30'; otherwise that they (the non-slaveholding States) must consent to such amendments of the Constitution as shall hereafter secure the rights of the slaveholding States from further aggression. But, in the event of continued refusal to do so, I hesitate not to express my decided opinion that the only effectual remedy for the evil, which must continue to grow from year to year, is to be found in prompt and peaceable secession from the aggressive States."

In Georgia, the State Convention, summoned to consider the best means of securing Southern rights and interests, assembled at Milledgeville, on the 11th of December. At the election of delegates to this Convention,[268] the issue made was between those in favor of disunion, and those opposed to it. The result showed a popular majority of about 30,000 in favor of the Union; in seven counties only of the whole State, had the disunionists popular majorities.

The Legislature of Texas met at Austin, November 18th, and Governor Bell immediately sent in his Message. He states that he anticipated the passage of the boundary bill by Congress, but regrets that Congress was no more specific in defining the mode of ascertaining and making known at the Federal treasury the amount of debt for which the five millions of stock are to be retained. He considers that the creditors of Texas must look to her alone, and not to the United States, for the settlement of her claims. In regard to the bonds issued by the late republic for double the amount of the original contracts, he thinks that between private individuals such would be void on account of usury. He, however, recommends that government should certainly pay to its creditors the full amount of benefits received, and interest on the amount from the time when it should have been paid. He also recommends that a law be passed, requiring all creditors holding claims against the late Republic of Texas, and for which revenues arising from import duties were specially pledged, to file releases in favor of the United States in respect to said claims, with the Comptroller of the State within a specified time; and in default thereof, their claims against the United States for the liability of the said debts, growing out of transfer of revenue, under the articles of annexation, shall be considered as waived from Mexico. On the 22d, a bill to accept the propositions of the boundary bill, was passed in both Houses, there being in the Senate but one, and in the House but five votes against it.—The party engaged in the survey of the Upper Rio Grande have reported that forty miles above Laredo is, and will continue to be, the head of steamboat navigation.

The Legislature of South Carolina met in special session on the 3d of December, and the Message of Governor Seabrook was received on the same day. The Governor says that during the year he has purchased largely of muskets and rifles, and caused several thousand musket accoutrements to be manufactured at Columbia. He wishes the Legislature to authorize him to purchase eighteen brass field-pieces, to establish foundries for cannon and small-arms. He complains of the North on account of the incendiary resolutions of State Legislatures; the sweeping denunciations emanating from abolition associations; the bitter and vindictive feelings of the press, the bar, and the pulpit: the inflammatory harangues to popular meetings; the encouragement and aid given to runaway slaves, &c., which unwarrantable proceedings have caused South Carolina, for about one-third of her political existence, to present an almost uninterrupted scene of disquietude and excitement. He says that "the time has arrived to resume the exercise of the powers of self-protection, which, in the hour of unsuspecting confidence, we surrendered to foreign hands. We must reorganize our political system on some surer and safer basis. There is no power, moral or physical, that can prevent it. The event is indissolubly linked with its cause, and fixed as destiny." Resolutions had been introduced into the Legislature upon these subjects, but no action has been had upon them.

The Legislature of Florida met on the 25th of November, and the Governor's Message was at once delivered. Gov. Brown, though a strong friend of the Union, expresses serious concern for the perpetuity of the Union, in consequence of the manifestations of Northern sentiment on their obligations under the Federal compact. He asks from the Legislature authority to call a convention of the people of the State, in the event of the repeal of the fugitive slave bill, or the consummation of any other aggressive measure.

The Nashville Convention adjourned on the 18th of November. Resolutions were passed expressing attachment to a constitutional Union, but declaring the right of any State to secede; expressing also the conviction that "the evils anticipated by the South, in forming this Convention had been realized, in the passage of the recent compromise acts of Congress. They further recommended to the South, not to go into any National Convention for the nomination of President and Vice-President of the United States, until the constitutional rights of the South were secured. They also recommended to the slaveholding States to go into convention, with a view to the restraint of further aggression, and if possible, to the restoration of the rights of the South. The Tennessee delegation protested against the adoption of the resolutions, declaring the proceeding to be "unhallowed and unworthy of Southern men."

Large public meetings have been held in various sections of the country in favor of the Union and of the Compromise measures of the last session of Congress. One was held at Philadelphia on the 21st of November, attended by six or seven thousand people, and numbering among its officers some of the most respectable citizens of Philadelphia. Hon. John Sargeant presided, and speeches were made by Messrs. Dallas, J. R. Ingersoll, Rush, Randall, and others. Letters were received from the Hon. Messrs. Clay, Webster, Cass, and other gentlemen of distinction, who were unable to be present. Mr. Randall, in his remarks, said, that the general impression, that the clause in the Constitution requiring the return of fugitive slaves was the result of a compromise, was erroneous: the records of the Convention would show that it was adopted unanimously, and without amendment. Resolutions expressive of strong attachment to the Constitution, of obligation to abide by its provisions, of determination to maintain the supremacy of the laws, of disapprobation of anti-slavery agitation, and of approval of the Compromise measures, were adopted with much applause.

A very large meeting of a similar character was held at Boston, on the 26th, in Faneuil Hall. Dr. J. C. Warren, a descendant of General Warren, who fell at Bunker's Hill, presided, and on taking the chair made an eloquent and patriotic speech. Resolutions were adopted, asserting that the preservation of the Constitution and Union is the paramount duty of all classes; that the blessings flowing from the Constitution vastly transcend in importance all other political considerations; that the laws of the land are equally binding on every State, and upon all citizens, and no one can refuse, or seem to refuse to obey them; that the measures of compromise passed by the last Congress ought to be carried out by the people; that resistance to law is mischievous, and that all who advise those who may be the subject of any law, to resist, deserve the opprobrium of the community, and the severe penalty of the law; that at all times, and in all places, the citizens of Boston will sustain the Union, uphold the Constitution, and enforce obedience to the[269] law. Speeches were made by B. R. Curtis, Esq., Hon. B. F. Hallett, and Hon. Rufus Choate, which were received with enthusiastic applause.

A Union meeting was held at Nashville, Tennessee, on the 23d, which was characterized by unanimity and great enthusiasm. The speakers were, Hon. Andrew Ewing, and Hon. A. J. Donaldson. Resolutions were passed declaring that no State has the constitutional right to secede, and that any such attempt would be revolutionary, and its consequences entail civil strife and bloodshed; that the continual agitation of the slavery issue, will, if persisted in, lead to the total alienation of one section of the Union from the other; that the people of the States have the right, whenever palpably, intolerably, and unconstitutionally oppressed, to throw off the chains that oppress them, but there is no present necessity for the exercise of this right that an attempt to repeal, or failure to enforce the fugitive slave law, will unite all the South, and most probably end in a total separation of the States; and that the Compromise measures of Congress meet their approbation, as the best that, under the circumstances, could be adopted, and they pledge themselves to give them hearty support.

A Union meeting was held at Staunton, Virginia, on the 25th of November, over which Col. James Crawford presided. Resolutions were adopted declaring the readiness of those assembled to meet all good citizens of every section, and of every party, on the platform of the Constitution, the Compromise, and the Union; and also expressing the belief that the maintenance of the Compromise in all its parts, without modification or amendment, is essential to the preservation of the Union. Letters were read from a number of distinguished gentlemen who had been invited, but were unable to be present.

A large meeting was held at Manchester, N. H., on the 20th of November, at which resolutions were passed expressing devotion to the Union, and a determination to stand by the Compromise measures, and to resist all further agitation of the subject.

A large Union meeting was held in Cincinnati, on the 14th of November, at which resolutions were adopted declaring their approval of, and determination to support, the measures of peace and compromise relative to the admission of California as a State; the establishment of the Territorial Governments of New Mexico and Utah; the settlement of the boundary question of Texas; the abolition of the slave trade in the district of Columbia; and the provision the more effectually to secure the observance of the constitutional duty to deliver up fugitives owing service or labor. They also declared that they condemned, and would oppose all forcible resistance to the execution of the law of the General Government for the re-capture of fugitives owing service or labor; that they regard such law as constitutional—in accordance with the compromise which formed the Union, and that they would sustain and enforce it by all proper and legal means, as a matter of constitutional compromise and obligation. And furthermore they declared that any effort to re-open the delicate and distracting questions settled and compromised by the Compromise and Peace measures passed during the late session of Congress are factious, and should be disapproved and opposed.

During the past month letters and speeches, upon the engrossing topic of the day, from some of the most eminent men in the country, have been given to the public, and have attracted a good deal of attention. They have been mainly on the side of the Compromise measures of the last session of Congress; as the agitation upon the other side, in the Northern States at least, has for the present almost wholly ceased. A speech of very marked and characteristic ability was made by the Hon. Rufus Choate, at the Faneuil Hall Union meeting in Boston. Mr. C. thought that the union of these States was in manifest peril, mainly from a public opinion created by restless and unprincipled men. He traced, with great skill and in very graphic and eloquent language, the manner in which public opinion is moulded by the unceasing efforts of the press and the orator, and that it is only by a prolonged and voluntary educational process that the fine and strong spirit of nationality is made to penetrate the great mass of the people, and the full tide of American feeling to fill the mighty heart. He then depicted the manner in which hostility of sentiment and sympathy between different sections of the country has been created and is kept alive. Coming, then, to the means by which danger to the Union can be best averted, he said the first and foremost thing to be done was to accept that whole body of measures of Compromise, by which the Government has sought to compose the country, and then for every man to set himself to suppress the further political agitation of this whole subject. These measures were then referred to, one after the other, and the essential justice and expediency of each were declared. The two great political parties of the North, he said, ought at once to strike this whole subject from their respective issues. He was not for any amalgamation of parties, or for the formation of any new one: the two great parties had united for the settlement of this great question, and they could now revive the old creeds, return to their old positions, and so spare America that last calamity, the formation of parties according to geographical lines. The conscience of the community, moreover, is bound to discourage and modify the further agitation of the subject of slavery, in the spirit in which, thus far, that agitation has been carried on. It is a great error to suppose that conscience or philanthropy requires the constant agitation of this topic. We of the North have nothing whatever to do with slavery in the Southern States, for we have solemnly covenanted with them that we will not interfere with it, and that we will perform certain duties growing out of it. Those duties are obligatory upon us, and no pretense of a higher law can absolve us from them. These positions were presented by Mr. Choate with all his accustomed strength, and with even more than the warmth of feeling and profusion of illustration which distinguish all his efforts.

Mr. Webster wrote a letter in reply to an invitation to attend the great Union meeting at Staunton, Va., approving most heartily of the objects of the proposed meeting, and assuring them, of his hearty sympathy and his unchangeable purpose to co-operate with them and other good men in upholding the honor of the States, and the Constitution of the Government. Political martyrdom, he declares, would be preferable to beholding the voluntary dismemberment of this glorious Republic. "It is better to die while the honor of the country is untarnished, and the flag of the Union still flying over our heads, than to live to behold that honor gone forever, and that flag prostrate in the dust." He assures them, from personal observation at the North, that through the[270] masses of the Northern people the general feeling and the great cry is, for the Union, and for its preservation: and, "while there prevails a general purpose to maintain the Union as it is, that purpose embraces, as its just and necessary means, a firm resolution of supporting the rights of all the States, precisely as they stand guaranteed and secured by the Constitution. And you may depend upon it," he adds, "that every provision in that instrument in favor of the rights of Virginia and the other Southern States, and every constitutional act of Congress, passed to uphold and enforce those rights, will be upheld and maintained not only by the power of the law, but also by the prevailing influence of public opinion. Accidents may occur to defeat the execution of a law in a particular instance; misguided men may, it is possible, sometimes enable others to elude the claims of justice and the rights founded in solemn constitutional compact, but, on the whole, and in the end, the law will be executed and obeyed; the South will see that there is principle and patriotism, good sense and honesty, in the general minds of the North; and that among the great mass of intelligent citizens in that quarter, the general disposition to ask for justice is not stronger than the disposition to grant it to others." Mr. Webster closes his letter by urging the people of Virginia to teach their young men to study the early history of the country, the feebleness of the Confederation—and to trace the steps, the votes, the efforts, and the labor by which the present Constitution was formed. He exhorts them to stand by their country, to stand by the work of their fathers, to stand by the Union of the States, "and may Almighty God prosper all our efforts in the cause of liberty, and in the cause of that United Government which renders this people the happiest people upon which the sun ever shone!"

Hon. A. H. H. Stuart, Secretary of the Interior, wrote a letter also on the same occasion in reply to a similar invitation. He expresses great satisfaction that meetings in behalf of the Union are held throughout the country. He says he believes that the integrity of the Union, and the peace of the country, will mainly depend on the course which the people of Virginia may adopt in the present crisis. There has been a melancholy change in the feelings of the people toward the Union, he thinks, within a few years past. Then, nothing but his advanced age, the respect felt for his character, and the strongest professions of attachment to the Union, prevented John Quincy Adams from public censure or expulsion for simply presenting a petition to Congress for a dissolution of the Union. Now, dissolution is openly advocated in speeches, pamphlets, and the newspaper press. Let the idea go abroad that Virginia sanctions such sentiments as these, and our Union is but a rope of sand. The only safe reliance, Mr. Stuart thinks, is for Virginia to assume her old position of mediator and pacificator. "Let her speak in language that can not be misunderstood. Let her blend kindness with firmness. But let no lingering doubt remain as to her loyalty to the Union." Twenty years ago, when the Union was in danger, General Jackson declared that it must be preserved. General Jackson slumbers in his grave, and there are men plotting disunion over his very ashes. But Mr. Stuart assures those to whom he writes, that we have a man at the head of the Government "not less devoted to the Union than Jackson, and not less determined to use all the powers vested in him by the Constitution to maintain it. He justly appreciates his obligations to maintain the integrity of the Constitution, and to see that the laws are faithfully executed. He will know no distinction between the North and the South, but will enforce obedience to the laws every where."

Hon. H. W. Hilliard, Member of Congress from Alabama, has written a letter declining a re-nomination, and discussing at some length the present condition of public affairs. The events of the past year, instead of impairing the strength of our political system, have, in his judgment, really served to demonstrate it. There is a growing conviction in the mind of the whole nation that the Constitution must be adhered to in its pristine spirit, and that, while it is adhered to, the republic will endure. He had no fear that the extension of our limits would enfeeble us. Our progress is the spread of a great family, all bearing with them the law, the traditions, the sympathies, and the religion of those from whom they sprung. The true way of perpetuating our Union is by multiplying the means of intercommunication, by making taxes as light as possible, by reducing postage, multiplying railroads, and bringing the Pacific coast nearer to us by the early construction of one of those great highways. The scheme of retaliation, lately projected, of discriminating against the products of other States must be abandoned, and our whole legislation, State and National, must be guided by a comprehensive, national, and patriotic spirit. "These States must regard each other as kindred States; the Constitution must be recognized in all of them as the supreme law; and the acts of Congress, passed in accordance with its provisions, must be obeyed, and we must fix in our minds and in our hearts the idea that, as we have had a common origin, we must have a common destiny." The measures of the last session must be regarded as a final adjustment of the disturbing questions growing out of slavery. Mr. H. exhorts to a conciliatory and a patriotic spirit. "Let us forbear," he says, "any hostile acts on our own part. I certainly desire to see in the midst of the great agricultural regions of the South a varied industry, which shall rival that of the North, and which shall spread over our fertile plains all the embellishments which wealth and a high civilization can bestow. I desire, too, to see a direct trade with foreign countries carried on through Southern ports. But I desire to see all this brought about by the enterprise and the energy of our people, entering into a bold and generous competition with those of the other States. We should seek to make Alabama a great and wealthy State; and we can do this by the vigorous development of our resources. Our fertile soil, our noble streams, our great cotton crop, our exhaustless mineral wealth, our population intelligent, industrious, enterprising, and religious—these will enable us to advance with a steady and rapid march in civilization, without resorting to legislative expedients to tax the products of other States associated with us in a common Government, one of the great objects of which is, to keep open the channels of intercommunication."

Hon. Levi Woodbury wrote a letter expressing regret that he could not attend the Union Meeting held at Manchester, N. H., on the 20th of November. He says that without more forbearance as to agitation of the subject of slavery, it is his solemn conviction, the Union will be placed in fearful jeopardy. He mentions as an alarming sign of the times the fact that any portion of our law-abiding community should either recommend forcible resistance to the laws, or actually participate in[271] measures designed to overawe the constituted authorities, and defeat the execution of legal precepts issued by those authorities. This, he says, is in direct hostility to the injunctions of Washington in his Farewell Address to his grateful countrymen; and seems no less hostile and derogatory to every sound principle for sustaining public order and obedience to what the legislative agents of the people and the States have enacted.

A letter from Mr. Webster, written on the same occasion, also alludes to the disposition which is abroad to evade the laws, and to resist them so far as it can be done consistently with personal safety. A "still more extravagant notion," he says, "is sometimes entertained, which is, that individuals may judge of their rights and duties, under the Constitution and the laws, by some rule which, according to their idea, is above both the Constitution and the laws." Both these positions are denounced as at war with all government and with all morality. "It is time," Mr. Webster adds, "that discord and animosity should cease. It is time that a better understanding and more friendly sentiments were revived between the North and the South. And I am sure that all wise and good men will see the propriety of forbearing from renewing agitation by attempts to repeal the late measures, or any of them. I do not see that they contain unconstitutional or alarming principles, or that they forebode the infliction of wrong or injury. When real and actual evil arises, if it shall arise, the laws ought to be amended or repealed; but in the absence of imminent danger I see no reason at present for renewed controversy or contention."

Mr. Clay, upon formal invitation of that body, visited the Legislature of Kentucky on the 15th of November. He was welcomed by the Speaker of the House in some brief and appropriate remarks to which he responded at considerable length. He spoke mainly of the measures of the session in which he had borne so conspicuous a part. The session, he said, opened under peculiarly unfavorable auspices. The sentiment of disunion was openly avowed, and a sectional convention of delegates had been assembled, the tendency of which was to break up the confederacy. In common with others, Mr. Clay said he had foreseen the coming storm, and it was the hope that he might assist in allaying it that led him to return to the Senate. The subject had long engaged his most anxious thoughts, and the result of his reflections was the series of propositions which he presented to Congress soon after the opening of the session. A committee of thirteen was afterward appointed to which the whole matter was referred and they reported substantially the same measures which he had proposed. At that time he was decidedly in favor of the immediate admission of California into the Union as a separate and distinct measure; but subsequent observation of the hostility which it encountered led him to modify his opinions, and unite it with kindred measures in one common bill. In excluding the Wilmot Proviso, which had previously been the great aim and object of the South, they obtained a complete triumph—and obtained it, too, by the liberal, magnanimous and patriotic aid of the northern members. It is true they may never be able to establish slavery in any of this newly acquired territory; but that is not the fault of Congress, which has adhered strictly to the policy of non-intervention, but of the people of the territory themselves to whom the whole subject has been committed. The boundary of Texas gave rise to by far the most intricate and perplexing question of the Session. Various opinions were held in regard to it by various interests, and the matter seemed to him eminently one for compromise and amicable adjustment. We gave what seems a large sum (ten millions of dollars), to Texas for relinquishing her claim, but half this amount we owed her creditors for having taken the revenues to which they looked for payment of their debts. Mr. Clay said he voted the money very cheerfully, because he believed it would be applied to the payment of her public debt; and he wished that we had some legitimate ground for giving to every debtor State in the Union money enough to pay all its debts, and restore its credit wherever it has been tarnished. Of the fugitive slave bill Mr. Clay said simply that its object was simply to give fair, full, and efficacious effect to the constitutional provision for the surrender of fugitives. The act abolishing the slave trade in the District of Columbia, was of little practical importance to southern interests, while it was demanded by every consideration of humanity and of national self-respect. In looking at the result of the whole, Mr. Clay thought that neither party, so far as California is concerned, could be said to have lost or gained any thing, while in regard to the territorial bills and the fugitive slave law the South had gained all it could reasonably claim. The effect of these measures, Mr. Clay thought, would be to allay agitation and pacify and harmonize the country. At all events it will greatly circumscribe the field of agitation: for none of these measures can be opened for renewed action except the fugitive slave bill; and when the dispute is narrowed down to that single ground the slaveholding States have decidedly the advantage. The Constitution is with them, the right is with them, and the State which shall oppose the execution of the law will place itself manifestly in the wrong. It was not to be expected that these measures would lead to immediate and general acquiescence on the part of the ultras of either section; but Mr. Clay did confidently anticipate that all their mad efforts would be put down by the intelligence, the patriotism, and the love of union of the people of the various States. Mr. Clay went on to draw a picture of the condition of the country, and especially of the slaveholding States, in the event of a dissolution of the Union. Under the present law the South will not probably recover all their fugitive slaves; but they will recover some of them. But in the event of disunion not one could be demanded. Mr. Clay said he had often been asked when he would consent to a dissolution of the Union. He answered Never, because he could conceive of no possible contingency that would make it for the interest and happiness of the people to break up this glorious confederacy. He would yield to it, if Congress were to usurp a power, which he was sure, it never would, of abolishing slavery within the States, for in the contingency of such a usurpation we should be in a better condition as to slavery out of the Union than in it. He believed that the time would come, at some very distant day, when the density of the population of the United States would be so great that free labor would be cheaper than slave labor, and that then the slaves would be set free; and that Africa would be competent to receive, by colonization from America, all the descendants of its own race. If the agitation of this subject should be continued, it must lead to the formation of two parties—one for the Union and the other against it. If such a division should become necessary, he announced himself a member of the Union party what ever[272] might be its elements. He would go further. "I have had," said he, "great hopes and confidence in the principles of the Whig party, as being most likely to conduce to the honor, to the prosperity, and the glory of my country. But if it is to be merged into a contemptible abolition party, and if abolitionism is to be engrafted on the Whig creed, from that moment I renounce the party, and cease to be a Whig. I go yet a step further: if I am alive, I will give my humble support for the Presidency to that man, to whatever party he may belong, who is uncontaminated by fanaticism, rather than to one who, crying out all the time and aloud that he is a Whig, maintains doctrines utterly subversive of the Constitution and the Union." Mr. Clay said that the events of the last few months had thrown together men of opposite parties, and he could say with truth and pleasure that during the late session he was in conference quite as often, if not oftener, with Democrats than Whigs; and he "found in the Democratic party quite as much patriotism, devotion to the Union, honor, and probity as in the other party."

Gen. James Hamilton has recently addressed a somewhat remarkable letter to the people of South Carolina upon the state of public affairs and the course which he desires his own State to pursue. Gen. H. was the Governor of South Carolina during the nullification crisis, and is fully imbued with the spirit of resistance to the Union. But he is also a man of great practical sagacity, and after carefully surveying the whole field, he is convinced that action now on the part of South Carolina would be ruinous to her cause. He has been all through the Southern States, and says he is satisfied that, in the event of such action, there is not another Southern State that would join her in it. He sketches the state of feeling in each of the States he has visited, and represents the Union party as decidedly in the ascendant in every one of them. He proceeds to say that although some of the recent measures of Congress, and particularly the admission of California, were exceedingly unjust to the South, yet they afford no justification for a disruption of the confederacy. Many, he says, believe that in the event of secession a collision will arise with the Federal Government, and South Carolina would have the sympathy and the aid of the other Southern States. But he does not believe the Federal Government would bring on any such collision; he thinks they would only prevent goods from entering their ports, carry the mail directly past them, and transfer all the commerce which they now enjoy to Savannah. He thinks South Carolina should await the result of the great battle in the North, between those who stand up for the rights of the South and their opponents. If the latter prevail and elect their President two years hence, the fugitive slave law will be repealed, slavery will be abolished in the District of Columbia, and a crisis will then occur which will inevitably unite the South. He urges them to await this event. The letter is written with great energy and eloquence, and will have a wide and marked influence upon public sentiment.

A complimentary public dinner was given to Hon. John M. Clayton at Wilmington, on the 16th of November, by his political friends. Mr. Clayton, in reply to a complimentary toast, made an extended and eloquent speech, mainly in vindication of the administration of Gen. Taylor from the reproach which political opponents had thrown upon it. He showed that in proposing to admit California as a State, and to organize the territories of New Mexico and Utah as States, with such constitutions as their inhabitants might see fit to frame, Gen. Taylor only followed the recommendations which had been made by President Polk in 1848, which had been approved by Mr. Calhoun in 1847, and which had then received the support of the great body of the political friends of both those statesmen. And yet his course was most bitterly opposed by the very persons who had previously approved the same principles. Mr. Clayton said he did not believe, and he never had believed, that there was any danger of disunion from the adoption of General Taylor's recommendations, and he ridiculed the clamor and the apprehension, that had been aroused upon the subject. The greatest obstruction both to the President and the country, arose out of the attempt to embody all the measures on the subject in a single bill; and yet the effort had been made to throw the blame of its failure upon the President and his Cabinet. His death showed the groundlessness of the charge, for the omnibus immediately failed. Mr. Clayton went on at considerable length to review the policy, both foreign and domestic, of the late administration, and to vindicate it from all the slanders and obloquy heaped upon it. He afterward, in response to a remark nominating General Scott as the next candidate for the Presidency, gave a glowing and eloquent sketch of the life and military career of that eminent soldier.

Hon. Joel R. Poinsett has written a letter to his fellow-citizens of South Carolina, remonstrating earnestly against the scheme of secession which they seem inclined to adopt. He vindicates each of the Compromise measures from the objections urged against it, and insists that there is no such thing under the Constitution as a right of secession. Such a step could only result in the injury and ruin of South Carolina, and he therefore earnestly exhorts them not to venture upon it.

A letter from Hon. Richard Rush, formerly U. S. Minister in France, has also been published, condemning very severely the anti-slavery agitation of the day, and urging the necessity of concession and harmony in order to the preservation of the Union.

Hon. George Thompson, a member of the British Parliament somewhat celebrated for his oratorical efforts in England and the United States in behalf of Abolition, is now in this country. Arrangements had been made by the Anti-Slavery men in Boston to give him a public reception at Faneuil Hall on his arrival. The meeting on the occasion was very large. Edmund Quincy presided. W. L. Garrison read an address detailing Mr. Thompson's exertions on behalf of abolition, and mentioning the facts attending his expulsion from this country fifteen years ago. The latter part of the address was interrupted by considerable noise, and several speakers who afterward attempted to address the meeting were not permitted to do so. No violence was attempted, but the meeting was compelled to disperse. Mr. Thompson has since been lecturing in Boston and other towns of Massachusetts on various topics not connected with slavery. His audiences have been good and he has been undisturbed.

We have received intelligence from California, by the arrival of the regular mail steamers, to the 1st of November. The cholera had made its appearance at Sacramento City, but had not been very virulent or destructive. The steamer Sagamore burst her boilers on the 29th of October, while lying at her wharf at San Francisco, killing ten or fifteen persons and seriously injuring a number of others.

The admission of California into the Union was celebrated on the 29th of[273] October with great éclat at San Francisco. An address was delivered by Hon. Nathaniel Bennett, and a splendid ball was given in the evening.

An official statement shows that from Nov. 12, 1849, to Sept. 30, 1850, the total amount of bullion cleared from San Francisco was $17,822,877, and the amount received was $2,134,000. Business in California was very good.

The mines continued to yield satisfactory returns. The gold deposits on the Upper Sacramento are worked with increased industry and success. Those on the Klamath and its tributaries, which have been discovered during the past year, prove to be exceedingly productive. Not less than a thousand persons have been engaged in working them within twenty miles of the mouth of the river, and their returns are said to average fully an ounce per day. The Klamath river is about a mile wide at its mouth, which is easy of access, and for forty miles up the stream there is no interruption to steamboat navigation. The junction of the Salmon river is ninety miles above. Midway between these points the river travel is impeded by rocks, so that boats can not pass; but, after leaving these, there is no obstacle up to the Falls at the mouth of Salmon river. Both here and at the rocks, town sites have been selected. Twenty miles above the Salmon, the Trinity river comes into the Klamath. The land around these rivers is, with little exception, favorable to agricultural purposes.

From Oregon we have intelligence to the 25th of October. The rainy season had set in, but not with much severity. The Oregon Spectator states that emigrants from the Cascade Mountains were arriving every day, though quite a number were still on the way. It is feared that they will suffer severely, especially from falling snow, though the government was doing all in its power for their relief. Quite a number of them intend to winter on the Columbia, between the Cascades and Dalles, as they find excellent food for their cattle in that section. The amount of wheat grown in the territory during the past season is estimated at 800,000 bushels.


We have intelligence from the City of Mexico to November 13th. The question of the Presidency, it is conceded, is definitely settled in favor of Arista. The financial condition of the Republic still engages the attention of Congress, which body is yet occupied in arranging the interior and foreign debt. General Thomas Reguena died on the 13th ultimo, at Guadalajara, and General Manuel Romero on the 31st, at San Louis Potosi. General Joaquin Rea, living at a village called Minerva, was, about the same time, murdered by one Felipe Delgado, and a band of scoundrels under his command. The Siglo announces positively that the Mexican Government has concluded two contracts with Colonel Ramsey, for the transportation of foreign mails through the Republic. The Mexican Government will receive $20 for every 100 pounds of correspondence and 20 cents for every 100 pounds of newspapers. By another contract there is to be communication between New Orleans and Vera Cruz twice a month, between New York and Vera Cruz, by the way of Havana, twice a month, and between a Mexican port and San Francisco, once a month. It appears that at its session of the 18th of July last, the Mexican Geographical and Statistical Society elected Daniel Webster a corresponding member. The Monitor Republicane learns by letters from New Grenada, that the Jesuits have been expelled from that country. The Congress of that Republic confirmed the decree of the Government with great unanimity.


Public attention in England continues to be absorbed by the bitter controversies excited by the Pope's bull extending his jurisdiction over that kingdom. Immense public meetings have been held in several of the principal cities of the kingdom, at which the Roman Catholic system has been unsparingly denounced. The newspaper press, daily and weekly, teems with articles upon the subject, and pamphlets have been issued by several of the most eminent dignitaries of both the Catholic and the Established Churches. The Government has been driven to take part in the war of words, and a letter from the Premier, Lord John Russell, to the Bishop of Durham, has been published, in which the proceedings of the Pope are severely censured, and contemptuous expressions are used concerning the ceremonials of the Roman Catholic worship. The newly appointed Cardinal Wiseman, has issued an able, elaborate, and temperate "Appeal to the Reason and Good Feeling of the English People," against the violent clamor by which he and his church have been assailed. This paper seeks to vindicate the proceeding of the Pope from censure, by showing that there is nothing in it inconsistent, in any way, with loyalty to the English government, as the only authority sought to be exercised is spiritual and voluntary. The letter of the Premier is very closely analyzed, and sharp reference is made to the complaints made by the Chapter of Westminster, of his assuming the Archiepiscopal title. He proposes a "fair division" of the two different parts embraced in Westminster proper. One comprises the stately Abbey, with its adjacent palaces and royal parks: this he does not covet: to it "the duties of the Dean and Chapter are mainly confined, and they shall range there undisturbed." He looks for his field of labor to another quarter. "Close under the Abbey of Westminster," he says, "there lie concealed labyrinths of lanes and courts, and alleys and slums, nests of ignorance, vice, depravity, and crime, as well as of squalor, wretchedness, and disease; whose atmosphere is typhus, whose ventilation is cholera; in which swarms a huge and almost countless population, in great measure, nominally at least, Catholic; haunts of filth, which no sewerage committee can reach—dark corners, which no lighting board can brighten. This is the part of Westminster which alone I covet, and which I shall be glad to claim and visit, as a blessed pasture in which sheep of holy Church are to be tended, in which a bishop's godly work has to be done, of consoling, converting, and preserving;" and if the wealth of the Abbey is to remain stagnant and not diffusive, he trusts there will be no jealousy of one who, by whatever name, is willing to make the latter his care without interfering with the former. The letter is written with great ability, and is well calculated to make a deep impression. The dignitaries of the English church have also written various letters upon the subject, all in the same tone, modified only by the individual temper of the several writers. Large and influential public meetings have been held at Liverpool, Bristol, and other cities.

The friends of Law Reform in England took advantage of the recent visit of D.D. Field, Esq., of New York, one of the Commissioners for revising the Code of that State, to revive the general interest felt in the same[274] subject in England. Mr. Field addressed the Law Amendment Society upon the subject, at its request: his statements were heard with marked attention, and excited a good deal of interest.

The Chamber of Commerce at Manchester has taken up the promotion of the growth of cotton in India with much earnestness. The British Government could not be induced, last session of Parliament, to respond to the wishes of the Chamber, and appoint a commissioner to proceed to India to inquire into the obstacles which prevented an increased growth of cotton in that country. The Chamber now entertains the idea of sending a private commission to India. The gentleman to whom this important and responsible service will be entrusted is Mr. Alexander Mackay, the author of "The Western World," who is well known in the United States, and whose eminent fitness for so responsible a mission is universally conceded.

The preparations for the great Exhibition of 1851 are advancing very rapidly. The building is rapidly going up, some twelve hundred workmen being constantly engaged upon it, and it every day exhibits some new features. As the commissioners anticipated, the demand for space from the various English local committees far exceeds all possible accommodation that can be provided in the building for the English exhibitors. The commissioners have not yet been able to digest the returns, so as to decide upon the necessary reduction of space to be made in each case, or to determine upon any principle by which that reduction is to be regulated. All parties will be accommodated so far as possible. Messrs. Clowes and Spicer, the celebrated printers, have obtained the contract for printing the Catalogue of the Exhibition. They give a premium of three thousand pounds for the privilege, and are to pay twopence for every catalogue sold, for the benefit of the Exhibition. The catalogue will be sold for one shilling. Another catalogue will be printed in several languages, and sold at an increased price.

A terrible storm swept the coast of Ireland during the month of November. Great damage was done to shipping, and an emigrant ship, named the Edmond, from Limerick to New York, was lost, with about a hundred of her passengers.


The chief centre of political interest at the present moment is Germany;—and as the points out of which the controversy between Prussia and Austria has grown, are somewhat complicated, a general view of the political character and relations of the German States may be of interest. After the fall of Napoleon, the States formerly composing the German empire, entered into a confederation. The parties were Austria and Prussia for their German territories, Denmark for Holstein, the Netherlands for Luxembourg, and 33 independent States and Free Cities, comprising a territory of 244,375 square miles, and containing at present 42,000,000 inhabitants. The principal points agreed to in this Confederation were as follows: That all the members possess equal rights; they bind themselves for the security of each and all from all foreign attacks; they guarantee to each the possession of its German territories; any member to be at liberty to enter into any league or treaty, not endangering the security of the Confederation, or any of its members, except in case of war declared by the Confederation, when no member can enter into any separate negotiation or treaty; the members not to make war upon each other, but to submit all differences to the decision of the Diet, whose final action shall be conclusive. The affairs of the Confederation to be managed by a Diet, meeting at Frankfort on the Maine, at which Austria presides, and in which the larger States have respectively two, three, and four votes, and the smaller one each, the whole number of votes being 70; in ordinary matters the Diet to be represented by a committee of 17 plenipotentiaries, each of the larger States having one, and several of the smaller being united in the choice of one. The army of the Confederation was fixed, in 1830, at 303,484 men, to be furnished by the States in a fixed proportion. The inconveniences of this cumbrous organization are apparent. One member might be at war with any power, while the others were at peace: thus the Confederation took no part in the Italian and Hungarian warfare against Austria, for it guaranteed to her only the possession of her German possessions, and in Schleswig-Holstein, Bavarian troops were in the service of Denmark, and Prussian soldiers in that of the Duchies. Then, each State being absolutely independent, could and did establish custom-houses, and levy tolls and duties upon its own frontier, to the great disadvantage of commerce. This at last became so intolerable, that a general Customs-union (Zollverein) was formed, under the auspices of Prussia, by which duties are levied only upon the common frontier, and the proceeds distributed among the States, in the ratio of their population. The Customs-union embraces more than four-fifths of Germany, with the exception of Austria. A strong desire has always prevailed throughout Germany for the construction of a united government, which should take the place of the petty principalities into which the country is divided. Thus alone can the German people, having a common origin, speaking a common language, and possessing common interests, assume that rank in the political world to which their numbers, position, and civilization entitle them. But this desire on the part of the people, has of course, been strenuously opposed by the princes, although circumstances have at times induced the Prussian government to favor the movement, in the expectation of becoming the leading power in the new State, or rather of Prussianizing all Germany. This question is the true origin of the difficulties in Schleswig-Holstein, and the present threatening aspect of affairs, growing out of the disputes in Hesse-Cassel. The Duchy of Holstein is the northernmost State of Germany, lying upon the Baltic, on which it possesses one or two good seaports. The sovereign is the King of Denmark—not, however, as such, but as Duke of Holstein. The present King of Denmark is without male heirs, and upon his demise the crown will pass to the female line. But it is contended that the principle of the Salic law, excluding females from the right of succession applies to Holstein, in which case the heir of the Duchy is the Grand-duke of Oldenburg, a German prince. In order to avoid the separation of Holstein from Denmark, the king issued a patent conforming the succession in Holstein to that of Denmark. The inhabitants of the Duchy, whose sympathies are with Germany rather than Denmark, resisted; appointed a provisional Government, and appealed for protection to Germany. At that time it seemed that one of the many endeavors to establish a strict German Confederation had succeeded; and it became an object to attach Holstein to this Confederation, in order to gain the command of the[275] Baltic. Prussia supported the Duchy; Austria and Bavaria opposed it, as favoring the designs of Prussia. The other states of Europe were opposed to the separation of Holstein from Denmark, upon the general conservative principle of maintaining things upon their old footing, as well as from an unwillingness to allow the commerce of the Baltic to fall wholly under the control of the Zollverein. Meanwhile "the year of revolutions," 1848, had passed, and, by common consent of all parties, the old Frankfort Diet was held to be virtually abolished, and delegates were called together to endeavor to construct a new Constitution. The Hungarian revolt was shaking Austria to its centre, and Prussia, true to her ancient instinct of aggrandizement, which has raised her from a petty principality to the rank of one of the Great Powers, took advantage of the compulsory concessions of Austria to her non-German subjects, to arouse the jealousy of the German states, and almost succeeded in forming a confederation, with herself at the head. But Russia having thrown her sword into the scale, and decided the balance against Hungary, Austria had leisure to attend to her German affairs. She soon succeeded in detaching state after state from the Prussian alliance, and began to insist upon the recognition of the old Frankfort Diet, which, was supposed to be dead and buried under the ruins of the two last eventful years. At this juncture, occurred the difficulties in the Electorate of Hesse-Cassel. The Elector, resisted in his attempt to levy taxes contrary to the constitution he had himself sanctioned, fled, and demanded the protection of the Diet, which was granted, for that body was composed of the representatives of the sovereigns, and knew nothing of constitutions. The Diet ordered the Austrian and Bavarian contingents of the Federal troops to march into the Electorate and reinstate the Elector. But Prussia, being nearer to the scene of action threw her own troops into the Electorate; not, however, avowing an intention of supporting the inhabitants in their opposition, but under the mere pretense of making use of the right of way from one portion of her territory to the other, between which Hesse-Cassel intervenes. Austria, in the name of the Diet, demanded that these Prussian troops should be withdrawn from the Electorate, upon which Prussia at once placed her whole army upon the war-footing. Thus, at the latest advices, the bodies of troops ready for hostilities, occupy the Electorate, and it is a matter of absolute uncertainty whether peace or war will ensue. In the mean while a conference had been held at Warsaw, between Austria, Prussia, and Russia, in which an attempt was made to settle the affairs of Germany. The decision made by this conference was so decidedly adverse to Prussia, that Count Brandenburg, the Prussian minister, was so chagrined at the disgrace of his country, that he fell into a delirious fever, from which he died. Austria alone is at the present time altogether unequal to a war with Prussia; but it is supposed that Russia will support Austria in the event of a war. Her reasons for so doing are obvious: if Prussia succeeds in forming a strong German Confederation, a power will be constituted capable of interposing an effectual barrier to her designs; whereas Austria is so far subservient to Russia, that her supremacy in Germany is almost equivalent to Russian control over the west of Europe.

The attitude of Austria and Prussia during the past month has been exceedingly belligerent and fears have been very generally entertained that war would be the result of the existing contentions. It seems, however, to be conceded that Austria is desirous of peace and that the King of Prussia really shares these pacific inclinations; but fears are entertained that the spirit of the people may have been so thoroughly aroused as to render nugatory any negotiations for peace which their rulers may conclude. Austria demands the right of passage through Brunswick of her army, ordered to interfere in the affairs of the Duchies; this Prussia has positively refused except with guarantees which will not be granted.

The Prussian Chamber met at Berlin on the 21st of November. The speech from the throne was pronounced by the king in person. He alluded to the commencement and vigorous prosecution of a railway system, to the extension of postal accommodations, and to the flourishing condition of commerce and navigation. In reference to his relations with Germany, the king declared his firm purpose to maintain the position he had taken, and said that he should soon stand more strongly armed, in its support, than he had been in ancient or modern times. The tone of the speech was considered warlike, and it had a corresponding effect upon the money market. But the public mind recovered from this feeling in the course of a day or two.

The public feeling throughout Prussia is described by correspondents as being highly excited. All classes are said to be desirous of war, and it is even feared that, if the king should consent to peace, he will not be sustained by his people, but will be driven to abdication and exile.

It is understood, meantime, that the Russian, English, and French Cabinets are using all their legitimate influence to prevent an appeal to arms. Some of the minor powers that sought the protection of Prussia in the Union are by no means satisfied with the turn affairs have taken. Baden has separated itself entirely from the connection, and declares "that, since Prussia has abandoned the Union, a mere alliance for protection and mutual representation in the Free Conference does not answer its expectations. It returns to the full possession of its independence." The Prussian troops are also entirely recalled from the principality. The Prussian armament is pressed forward vigorously. The fortresses are being placed in a state of defense; the works begun at Erfurth last summer are continued, and the inhabitants have begun to lay in stocks of provisions as if a siege were to be immediately expected. The town contains a strong garrison; the citadel is stored with provisions for two months, besides a number of live cattle.


The opening of the Assembly and the Message of the President, have been the principal events of political interest in France during the past month.

The Message was an able and elaborate presentation of the affairs of France; the President pledges himself in it, to abide by the requirements of the Constitution, and says that the great necessity for France is repose and order. The message was received with general favor by the Assembly and people. Its frankness and its firmness restored confidence and strengthened the government.

A decree has been issued for increasing the troops on the Rhine frontier by calling into activity 40,000 men of the 78,500 still to be disposed of out of the contingent of 1849. The Minister of War declares the political movements in Germany to be the cause of this increase.

The Moniteur du Soir having stated that General Cavaignac had declared that, in the event of Louis Napoleon being re-elected as President of[276] the Republic, he (General Cavaignac), "would submit with respect to the will of the nation, and place his affections and his sword at the disposal of the country and its executive representative," General Cavaignac has published a letter in the journals, in which he denies having ever used language from which it could be inferred "that he had said, either directly or indirectly, that he was ever disposed to place his affections and his sword at the service of the person who, after having sworn the observation of the Constitution of the country, would accept a candidature and an election which are forbidden by that Constitution."

A letter written by the Duke de Nemours to M. Guizot has excited a good deal of remark, though it has not been made public. It is said to be a most luminous exposé of the present state of affairs in France, and that it is calculated to do away in some measure with the favorable effect produced by the Message. M. Guizot has read it to several of his friends.


We have intelligence of serious collisions between the Turks and Christians in both Asiatic and European Turkey. In the former, the religious zeal of the Turks prompts them to fanatical excesses against the Christian population; in the latter, an obstinate struggle for political supremacy has already commenced between the respective followers of Christ and Mohammed. The sultan seems fated soon to be no more than the protector of European Turkey, for Bulgaria has been already made a principality as little dependent on the Porte as Servia and Bosnia; the Herzegovina and Albania are evidently aiming at the same privilege. Indeed the present position of Turkey appears any thing but satisfactory.

The persecution of the Christians in Asiatic Turkey is terrible. On the 18th of October an attack was to have been made on the Christians at Liwno, and one actually did take place on the 16th at Aleppo. A body of Turks and Arabs fell upon the Christians during the night, and a fearful massacre took place. The Greek bishop was among those murdered. The pacha locked himself up in the fortress, and the troops did not attempt to interfere. At Monasta, a fanatical dervish, who professed to be inspired, killed a Christian boy of fourteen years of age, and a certain Guiseppe Thomaso, an Italian emigrant, in the open street.

Accounts from Beyrout of the 4th of November state that for some years past the Turkish government has been desirous of subjecting the Syrian population to the recruitment system, but so great was the dissatisfaction the idea caused among the people that it refrained from doing so. At last, in September, it determined to execute the design, and it began operations. The people murmured; and bands of armed men, commanded by the Emirs Mohamet and Hassan, of the family of Harfourch, commonly known as the Emirs of Baalbeck, advanced toward Damascus, but were dispersed by the Turkish troops. It was believed that, after this, the recruiting would take place quietly, but the two Emirs reappeared at the beginning of October in the environs of Damascus at the head of between 3000 and 4000 men. A corps of the regular army, consisting of two battalions of regular infantry, two squadrons of cavalry, four guns, and 400 irregulars, under Mustapha Pacha, marched to meet them, and succeeded on the 16th of October in surrounding them in the defiles near Maloulah, six hours' distance from Damascus. The insurgents were obliged to give battle, and were completely defeated, with a loss of 1000 men; the two Emirs were captured. The loss of the troops was only thirty men. The village of Maloulah is inhabited principally by Christians, and the Turkish soldiers, exasperated at the resistance they made, pillaged some houses, carried off women, killed a Catholic monk, wounded another, and so seriously wounded a schismatic Greek bishop that he died afterward. They also completely sacked two convents, pretending that they contained gunpowder, and that insurgents had taken refuge in them. M. de Valbezene, the French consul at Damascus, exerted himself on behalf of the Christians, and, through his intervention, the seraskier of the army of Arabia promised assistance to the villages, and ordered the troops forthwith to give up all the articles taken from the churches and convents. The day after the battle, the Emirs were made to walk through the streets of Damascus in their shirts, with irons on their feet, and street-brooms on their shoulders. They were to have been subjected to the same punishment during five days, but suddenly they were sent off to Beyrout, from whence they were forwarded to Constantinople. This measure was taken in consequence of the breaking out of the revolt at Aleppo.



The past month has been more fruitful of events of interest in the world of Art than its predecessor. This was to be expected; for the opening of what is called "The season," and the approach of the Christmas holidays rarely pass without the production of novelties in most of the various walks of Art. Booksellers, Print-publishers, Jewelers, and Managers of places of Public Amusement, all, in fact, who minister to taste and luxury, reserve for December their finest and most elaborate productions; and an examination of their advertisements, even, will afford the means of judging the point of refinement attained by the public mind, whose demands they at once create and supply.

A decided improvement, year by year, is to be noticed in the style of books and other articles intended for Christmas and New-year gifts. The Annuals which, some five or six years ago, began to droop, are now dead, utterly extinct. Their exaggerated romantic Prose, their diluted Della Cruscan Poetry, their great-eyed, smooth-cheeked, straight-nosed, little-mouthed, small-waisted beauties, have passed from their former world into the happy and congenial state of the Ladies' Magazines, where they will again have their day, and again disappear before advancing taste and superior education. The place of the Annuals is occupied, we will not say supplied, by editions of the great poets and writers of prose fiction, illustrated in the highest style of the steel and wood engraver. Some of the first artists of the day are now employed by publishers to furnish designs for such publications, and the eagerness with which they are bought, and the discriminating admiration which they, on the whole, receive, when regarded in connection with the generous support given to Art Journals, Art Unions, and Public Galleries, show in the public mind an increasing healthiness and soundness of taste, as well as a greater interest in matters of Art.

Prominent among events of moment in this department, is the opening to[277] the public, at the Düsseldorf Gallery, of Lessing's Great Picture, The Martyrdom of Huss. The Düsseldorf Gallery had contained some of the finest modern paintings in the country, and had done much to keep alive the aroused interest of the public in the Arts of Design before the arrival of this, the greatest work of the acknowledged head of the Düsseldorf School; but now it is without doubt the centre of attraction to all lovers of Art on this side the water, for the great picture, whether regarded as to its intrinsic interest or its academic merits, has no rival here, and some enlightened enthusiasts say, none among modern paintings in the world. The picture appeals at once to popular sympathy, by the interest of its subject, the simplicity of its treatment, and by the striking reality and strong individual character of its figures. We gave, in the December number of this Magazine, a notice of this great picture, from a German paper, which renders any further description of it here unnecessary.

A very interesting series of etchings from the pencil of Mr. J. W. Ehninger, a young New York artist, has just appeared. They illustrate Irving's Dolph Heyliger, and are full of the humor of that charming Dutch story. Mr. Ehninger is a pupil of the Düsseldorf school, and has but just left its severe training. His style shows the conscientious faithfulness which is inculcated there, as one of the first requisites of a true artist; he has very happy conceptions of character, and seems to be thoroughly imbued with the spirit of the Knickerbocker times. In illustrating them he can not but achieve desirable reputation.

An informal meeting of a large number of the members and associates of the Academy of Design took place early in the last month. Its object was to devise measures to make the Academy a more efficient means of advancing the Art. It was determined, among other things, that lectures should be delivered upon Painting, and the various subjects connected with it. We have heard the Rev. Dr. Bethune named as likely to be the first lecturer. He could hardly fail to interest and instruct both the Members of the Academy, and the public generally, upon the subjects naturally falling within the scope of the first of such a series of lectures. It is gratifying to see that the members of the Academy are at last beginning to awake to the consciousness of its inefficiency, and we trust that some benefit may accrue to Art from their action.

Leutze's great picture of Washington Crossing the Delaware, a grand subject on which he had been engaged nearly three years, has been destroyed by fire, or rather in consequence of fire, as we learn by a letter from the artist himself, dated Düsseldorf, Nov. 10th. It is gratifying, for the artist's sake, to know that the picture was fully insured; but Insurance Companies, although very good protectors against pecuniary loss, can not reproduce works of genius or make up for their loss.

Mr. Hawthorne, whose Scarlet Letter showed such rare ability in the portrayal of the hidden workings of the heart, has a new work nearly finished, called The House of Seven Gables; it will be eagerly sought for, and we trust may prove as admirable a performance as the first-named book.

The purchase of the Greek Slave for distribution has brought the Western Art Union three thousand subscribers this year. It is an increase of nearly one hundred per cent upon the subscriptions of last year, but is hardly enough to warrant the addition of many other prizes to the great one.

Jenny Lind continues her triumphant progress through the country, delighting the world and doing good. Each place which she visits gets up an excitement, which if it be not equal to that at New York, is at least the result of a conscientious endeavor to accomplish the most which can be achieved with the means at command. Her four concerts in Baltimore are said to have produced forty thousand dollars, which is even more in proportion to the wealth and size of the place than the average receipts at her concerts in New York.

It is stated that the existence of a third ring around the planet Saturn was discovered on the night of Nov. 15th, by the astronomers at the Cambridge Observatory. It is within the two others, and therefore its distance from the body of Saturn must be small. It will be remembered that the eighth satellite of this planet was also discovered at Cambridge, by Mr. Bond, about two years since.

Mr. Junius Smith, who has been for some years very zealously engaged in introducing the culture of the tea plant into the United States, gives it as the result of his experiments that the heat of summer is far more to be feared for the tea plant, than the cold of winter, and requires more watchful care. In his field at Greenville, S. C., he has shaded every young plant put out the first week in June, and so long as he continued to do so, did not lose a single plant by the heat of the sun. The young tea-plants from nuts planted on the 5th of June last, and those from China set out about the same time, and most of them still very small, do not appear to have sustained the slightest injury, but are as fresh and green without any covering or protection, as they were in September. He thinks it not at all unlikely that the cultivation of the plant will become general in New England before it does in the Southern States.

Mr. Darley, whose outlines of Rip Van Winkle, and Sleepy Hollow, published by the Art Union, won him so much reputation in Europe as well as here, is about to publish a series of outline illustrations of Margaret, an American novel, said to be of great interest. We had some time since the pleasure of seeing the drawings for these illustrations, and will venture to say that in truthfulness of expression and accuracy of outline they are beyond any American works of their kind, and surpassed by none we know of which have appeared in Europe, we will not even except those of Retzsch.

The Art-Union Bulletin is our authority for stating that Mr. Darley has also engaged to furnish, to a print publisher in this city, twelve designs of large size, representing prominent scenes in American history. They are to be sketches in chiaroscuro, which will afterward be engraved in mezzotint. The first of these designs represents The Massacre of Wyoming. The point of time chosen by the artist, is the first demonstration made by the savages against the settlement, on the day preceding the general slaughter. A letter to the Tribune states that Mr. Healy, one of our best portrait painters, is hard at work on the figures of the former two great rivals, Mr. Webster and Mr. Calhoun. That of Mr. Calhoun is simply a full-length portrait, representing him as taking his leave of the Senate; it is for the Charleston authorities. The accessories of the painting are unimportant. That of Mr. Webster, however, gives us a large section of the Senate chamber, galleries included, and about one hundred and fifty figures or portraits, all after life. It is yet in outline. Boston will possess this valuable work of art, and almost living history of the celebrated speech on the[278] Constitution.


Mr. J. Payne Collier, the annotator upon Shakspeare, has received a pension of £100 a year from the Royal Literary Pension Fund. Another pension, of the same amount, has been granted to Mr. James Bailey, the translator of Facciolati's Latin Lexicon, and one of the most accomplished scholars of the day. So, entirely, however, had Mr. Bailey abstracted himself from the great literary world, that when the announcement was made of the pension conferred upon him "in consideration of his literary merits," not one of the literary journals, not even the Athenæum, was able to tell who the recipient was; but all declared that they knew of no man of letters bearing that name. This fund amounts to £1200, and the lion's share of it, the remaining £1000, is appropriated in a singular manner. It has been bestowed upon the wife of the new Lord Chancellor, Lord Truro, lately Mr. Solicitor Wilde. This lady is the daughter of the late Duke of Sussex, one of the sons of George III. The duke contracted a marriage with her mother, which was illegal by the terms of the Royal Marriage Act, and which he afterward repudiated by forming a similar connection with another woman, for whom he succeeded in procuring the title of Duchess of Inverness, and an allowance from the public treasury, to enable her to support her dignity. On the death of the duke an attempt was made to procure the recognition of his children by the former connection, as members of the royal family, with a pension. This being unsuccessful, the sum of £500 a year was first given to the daughter, who bore the name of D'Este, from the literary fund; which sum was afterward increased by an additional £500, from the same fund. The chief counsel in prosecuting these claims was Mr. Wilde, who, immediately on his elevation to the bench, as Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, marries this soi-disant Princess D'Este. Though the present chancellor is very wealthy, and receives a large income from his office, his wife still continues to absorb five-sixths of the sum at the disposal of the crown as a reward to "eminent literary merit:" her merit, like that celebrated in Figaro, being that she "condescended to be born;" from all of which it appears, that the merit of being a spurious off-shoot of the royal family, is just ten times as great as that of the most earnest and successful prosecution of literary and scientific pursuits.

The English papers, and especially the Literary Journals, express considerable apprehension that the English people are likely to be outdone in the coming Exhibition. The Athenæum complains of the comparative indifference which pervades the English manufacturers, while every mail from the Continent and from America, brings intelligence of an increased activity in their workshops. The prize of victory, in this case, it says, must rest with the strong. A new era in industry and commerce opens with 1851: and for a producer to be out of the Catalogue of the Exhibition will be equivalent to abandoning the field.

The gardens of the Zoological Society of London are constantly receiving new accessions from the liberal efforts of the English colonial Governors, and others in foreign parts. Fine presents of rare animals have also been received from several of the royal families of Europe.

A scheme has been proposed to convert the now abandoned grave-yards of London, into ornamental gardens, by throwing down useless walls, planting elms, mulberries, fig-trees and other plants which flourish in crowded thoroughfares, and laying out the surface with walks and flower-beds. Not to interfere with the sanctities of the graves, or permanently to remove any historic marks from their present localities, it is also proposed to collect the grave-stones and form with them the base of a pyramidal or other kind of monument to be erected in each church-yard.

The rumor that government intends to impose a mileage tax upon the electric telegraph has elicited very warm and emphatic remonstrances from the English press. The fact is very prominently brought forward that in England the telegraph is used much less than in the United States, because its employment is very greatly restricted by high charges, while in America it is thrown open to the great body of the public and is accordingly used by them. The Athenæum, speaking of the matter, says that, instead of adding to the expense of working the iron messengers, every effort should be made to reduce it so as to bring its benefits and consolations within the reach of smaller means. In this, as in some other respects, America sets the old continent a good example.

A new public park is soon to be opened, on the south side of London. The shooting grounds and premises so well known as the Red House, nearly opposite to Chelsea Hospital, have been purchased by Government for, it is said, £11,000. Of the new bridge to be erected across the Thames, in connection with this park, the works are soon to be begun.

Mr. Charles Locke Eastlake, has been elected President of the Royal Academy; he has also had the honor of knighthood conferred upon him.

Mr. Macready has been giving readings from Shakspeare the proceeds of which he appropriates to the purchase of Shakspeare's house for the country. He was one of the most liberal of the original subscribers to this fund, and has by this renewed donation aided still more effectually the accomplishment of the object.

Professor Faraday, at a late meeting of the Royal Institution, announced his discovery that oxygen is magnetic, that this property of the gas is affected by heat, and that he believes the diurnal variation of the magnetic needle to be due to the action of solar heat on this newly discovered characteristic of oxygen—the important constituent of the atmosphere. It is said that Bequerel also has recently directed attention to a somewhat similar conclusion; he communicated to the Academy of Sciences at Paris, that oxygen is magnetic in relation to the other gases, as iron is to the rest of the metals, and inferred that it is probable or possible that diurnal variation may be connected with this property of oxygen.

Henry Fitzmaurice Hallam, M.A., the only surviving son of the eminent English historian, died at Sienna, after a short illness, on the 26th of October, and at the early age of twenty-seven years. He had visited Rome with his father and others of the family, and they were on their return homeward, when this affliction fell upon them. It will be remembered, that a few years ago his elder brother, full of college honors and of the highest promise, died under equally afflictive circumstances.

A pamphlet by Sir Francis Bond Head, on the defenseless state of Great Britain, has excited a good deal of attention, and elicited some pretty sharp criticism from the London journals. Still, it is very generally conceded that there is a great deal of truth in his representations.

A correspondent of the London Athenæum, writing from Naples, gives an[279] account of a visit paid to the studio of the American sculptor, Powers. The figure of "America," upon which he is now engaged, is that of a robust young female, with a noble and dignified expression of countenance, and the head surrounded by a diadem of thirteen stars. The left arm and hand are elevated, as if exhorting the people to trust in heaven; while the right rests on the fasces, which are crowned with bay leaves, enforcing the precept that Union is Strength and will be crowned with Victory. The statue, which is half covered with drapery, will be 14 feet high; and for power, beauty, and dignity combined, the writer says, it is one of the finest that he has ever seen in Italy. Powers is about to commence working it out in marble, and calculates that in fifteen months it will be ready for sending off. By the side of it stands a half-developed statue of "California."


A new method of voting, which offers incontestable advantages on the score of accuracy and rapidity, has received an appropriation from the French Chambers. Each member is provided with a box containing ten ballots; five white (ayes), and five blue (nays). These consist of oblong squares of steel, having the name of the representative engraved upon each side. The urns are so arranged that the white and blue ballots fall into different compartments, not at random, but arrange themselves against a graduated copper rod, which shows at a glance the number of ballots for or against. These rods are taken from the urns, and placed upon a piece of mechanism upon the tribune, so arranged that one side shows all the ayes, the other all the nays, and the secretaries have only to add up the sums of the rods. Then, by touching a lever, the sides are reversed, so that the secretaries who have added the ayes have the nays presented to them; thus mutually checking each other. The result is thus ascertained in a few minutes, with scarcely a possibility of error. Lists are prepared beforehand bearing numbers corresponding to those engraved on a corner of the ballots, by which means the copy for the Moniteur is speedily furnished, with the utmost accuracy. This which used to take a considerable time, and swarmed with errors, can now be done in ten minutes. This ingenious and beautiful apparatus costs 27,000 francs.

A new aeronautic machine has been exhibited at Paris, which it is claimed solves the long sought problem, at least on a small scale, of directing the course of a balloon through the air. The leading ideas of the machine are drawn from the structure of birds and fishes, the animals that possess the power of traversing a liquid element. The model with which the successful experiments were performed, consists of a balloon of gold-beaters' skin, inflated with hydrogen, some three or four yards long, nearly round in front, and terminating in a horizontal rudder like the tail of a bird; a little before and above which is another rudder placed vertically, like the tail of a fish. The former is to change the course of the vessel up and down, the latter to turn it to the right or left. Toward the head of the balloon, in a position corresponding to that of the fins of a fish, are placed light wings, capable of a rapid motion, which constitute the motive power. In the model these are set in motion by machinery; but in the working machine human power is proposed. A framework of hollow iron is placed horizontally around the balloon to which it is attached by cords; this furnishes the fixed point to which are attached the cords which move the rudders; and from it is suspended the car in which the passengers are to be placed. The inventor promises to construct a machine capable of carrying up fifty persons. He acknowledges that the apparatus will be bulky, but consoles himself by the reflection that there is no present danger of the air being crowded. The whole weight of the machine and its burden is to be so proportioned to the amount of hydrogen in the balloon, that it will remain in equilibrium; an anchor is then to be thrown overboard, when the machine will of course rise; when a sufficient height is gained the anchor is to be weighed, and the equilibrium being again restored, the machine will be stationary; and it may then be propelled and guided by the wings and the rudders. Such, at least, is the belief of one of the editors of La Siècle, who was present at the trial of the model, and who indulges in the most glowing anticipations of the future success of the invention.

Rossini is said to be secretly superintending, at Boulogne, the production of a musical work to which he attaches great importance. He passes every evening and a part of each day with the famous tenor Donzelli, in revising this work, which has not yet been made known to the public, and which, it is said, will soon be performed at Boulogne.

Armand Marrast is engaged in writing some very curious memoirs respecting the events of the years 1848 and 1849. It is said that they will contain verbatim extracts from a report made to him and to General Cavaignac, by M. Carlier, on occasion of the election of Louis Napoleon to the Constituant Assembly. M. Carlier goes into many details of the habits and customs of Louis Napoleon, and of other members of his family.

It is stated in the French journals that in consequence of the confusion existing between the maritime calculations of different powers, and the unfortunate occurrences to which it sometimes leads, the naval powers of the north—Russia, Sweden, Denmark, and Holland—have entered into an agreement to open conferences on the old question of a common meridian for all nations. France, Spain, and Portugal, it is said, have given in their adhesion to the scheme; and a hope is held out that England will come into the arrangement. The most advanced opinion on the Continent seems to be in favor of the selection of an entirely neutral point of intersection—say Cape Horn—which it is said would have the immense advantage of being agreeable to the Americans.

M. Polain, keeper of the Archives at Liege, has recently discovered that the famous French historian, Froissart, whose Chronicles are universally known, copied the first fifty chapters of his work from Jehan le Bel, an author of his own time, whose manuscripts have been recently discovered in the Belgian libraries. This is a discovery of considerable interest to antiquarians. An edition of one hundred and twenty-five copies of Jehan le Bel's book has been printed for the use of a select number of historical savans.

A whimsical discovery is announced by M. Jules Allix, in the feuilleton of the Paris Presse. It seems too absurd to merit repetition, but it is reproduced in some of the London literary papers, and is there treated as if there might be something real in it. It is stated that a method has been discovered of communicating instantly between any two places on the earth, without regard to distance or continuous lines, and through the agency of magnetized snails! The[280] inventors of this novel telegraph are said to be M. Benoit, of France, and M. Biat, of America; and they are further said to have been engaged for several successive years in experimenting upon the subject. They claim to have ascertained that certain descriptions of snails possess peculiar properties or sympathies, which cause them to feel the same sensation, no matter at what distance they may be, when acted on in a particular way by galvanic and magnetic influences. A snail placed in a box, suitably provided with the requisite apparatus, in France, thus responds to the motions of a snail, placed in a similar box, in America; and by providing a snail for each letter, a conversation may thus be carried on. The correspondent of the London Literary Gazette, says that he saw experiments on the subject in Paris, which were attended with complete success. The whole thing is probably an ingenious hoax. A skeptical correspondent of the Literary Gazette proposes an easy method of testing the new telegraph. He says, "If the Presse newspaper will every day for a few weeks give a short abstract of contemporary American news, or indeed mention any points of prominent interest which occur on the other side of the Atlantic; thus anticipating by some weeks the ordinary mails; and if, when these arrive, the news given by the snail telegraph is confirmed, doubts will vanish, and snails will be at a premium."

Louis Napoleon, in his Message announced that the French government has proposed to the different Cabinets international relations for putting an end to the long tolerated abuse of literary and artistic piracy—that these propositions have been favorably received, in principle, by most of the Cabinets—and that between France and Sardinia a treaty has already been signed for the mutual protection of both these species of property. The announcement has been hailed with great satisfaction by the literary public.

A correspondent of the Literary Gazette says, that the distinguished French poet, Beranger, occupies himself a good deal in writing biographies, anecdotes, criticisms, &c., of the public men with whom, in the course of his long career, he came in contact. It is now two years since he announced his intention of giving such a work to the public, and he seems to think that it will possess great historical value.

A clever hoax was played off by La Presse against the President. The day previous to the one when the President's Message was to have appeared, that journal published a document entitled, "Message of the President of the Republic to the General Assembly," bearing the signature L. N. Bonaparte. Under the various heads which such a document would naturally contain, the most radical and sweeping propositions were laid down; propositions which nobody suspected the President of entertaining in the Elysée, whatever his opinions might have been when meditating in the Castle of Ham. Official communications were at once dispatched to the evening papers, declaring the publication a forgery; and stating that the Procureur of the Republic had caused the paper in question to be seized at the post and in the office of publication. The next day La Presse opened with an article stating that the paper of the day before had been seized for publishing such and such an article, copying its message of the previous day, and declaring it to be genuine, for that every word of it was the acknowledged publication of the President. The fact was that it was made up of extracts from various publications which Bonaparte had put forth at different epochs; and could hardly be branded as a forgery. Thus far the paper seemed to have the advantage. But the court soon turned the scale by sentencing the gérant of the paper, M. Nefftzer, to an imprisonment of a year, and a fine of 2000 francs.


A correspondent of the London Literary Gazette gives an account of an interesting quarrel between the directors of the Theatre Royal at Brussels and the Press. Disliking some of the criticisms of the latter, the directors posted placards announcing that they had withdrawn from sundry papers a specified number of free admissions worth a specified sum per annum. The proprietors of the paper had sued them for libels, and the case was before the courts.

Few of living literary men have enjoyed a wider reputation in the same department than the celebrated German critic Heinrich Heine. The literary world will, therefore, learn with regret that he is dying. An article in a late number of the London Leader says, that "paralysis has killed every part of him but the head and heart; and yet this diseased body—like that of the noble Augustia Thierry—still owns a lordly intellect. In the brief intervals of suffering Heine prepares the second volume of his 'Buch der Lieder;' and dictates the memoirs of his life—which he will make a picture gallery, where the portraits of all the remarkable persons he has seen and known will be hung up for our inspection. Those who know Heine's wicked wit and playful sarcasm will feel, perhaps, somewhat uncomfortable at the idea of sitting for their portraits; but the public will be eager 'for the fun.' There is little of stirring interest in the events of his life; but he has known so many remarkable people, and his powers of vivid painting are of an excellence so rare in German authors, that the announcement of his memoirs will create a great sensation."

The King of Bavaria has formed the gigantic design of causing to be executed a series of pictures on subjects derived from the annals of all times and all nations; the whole being destined to form a sort of pictorial universal chronology. But the expense and vastness of such a project warrant the fear that it will never be realized.

The Emperor of Russia has resolved to have copies, in default of the originals, of all the great paintings of the old masters of all schools; and he is at present causing to be copied in Venice two great works of Titian. It is to be done by M. Schiavone who is quite celebrated for the skill with which he copies. The Ex-Emperor of Austria, it is said, surprised to find, in one of his visits to Venice, that no monument had been erected to the memory of Titian, ordered, at his own expense, the construction of one worthy of the immortal painter. He left to the Academy of Venice the choice of the form of the monument, and of the site on which it should be erected. The Academy, after a discussion pro forma, confided the monument to one of its members, M. Zandomeni, professor of sculpture. The monument is to be placed in the church of St. Mary of Frari, near that of Canova. It will be inaugurated in about a year's time with great pomp. Shortly after the monument was commenced, Zandomeni died, but his son has carried out his design.



The Reveries of a Bachelor, by Ik. Marvel (published by Baker and Scribner), some portions of which have already been presented to the public in the October number of our Magazine, and in the Southern Literary Messenger, where they originally appeared, is one of the most remarkable and delightful books of the present season. Under the artistic disguise of the reveries of a solitary bachelor, yielding to the sweet and pensive fancies that cluster around his contemplative moments, inspired to strange, aerial, and solemn musings by the quiet murmur of his old-fashioned wood-fire, or gathering a swarm of quaint moralities from the fragrant embers of his cigar, the author stamps his heart on these living pages, and informs them with the most beautiful revelations that can be drawn from the depths of a rich experience and a singularly delicate and vivid imagination. Perhaps the most striking feature of this volume, is its truthfulness and freshness of feeling. The author has ventured to appropriate the most sacred emotions as the materials for his composition. Scenes, over which the vail is reverently drawn in real life, and which are touched lightly by the great masters of passion, are here depicted with the most faithful minuteness of coloring, and fondly dwelt on, as if the artist could not leave the tearful creations of his fancy. Nothing but an almost Shakspearian fidelity to nature could give success to such an experiment. The slightest tincture of affectation, or false sentiment, would ruin the whole. We always distrust the man who would play upon our emotions, and are glad to take refuge in the ludicrous, to save ourselves from the pathetic. If a single weak spot can be detected in the magic chain which he would throw around our feelings, if every link does not ring with the sound of genuine metal, the charm is at once broken, and we laugh to scorn the writer who would fain have opened the fountain of tears. It is no mean proof of the skill of the "Bachelor," that his pathetic scenes are always true to their aim. He has risked more than authors can usually afford, by dealing with the most exquisite elements of feeling, but he always forces you to acknowledge his empire, and yield your sympathies to his bidding.

It must not be inferred from these comments that our "Bachelor" is always in the lachrymose vein. Far from it. We have alluded to his mastery in the pathetic, because this is one of the most unerring tests of the sanity and truth of genius. But his "Reveries" also abound in touches of light and graceful humor; they show a quick perception and keen enjoyment of the comic; his sketches of character are pointed with a fine and delicate raillery; and his descriptions of natural beauty breathe the gushing cordiality of one who is equally at home in field and forest. With a rare facility of expression, obtained by dallying with every form of phrase that can be constructed out of the English vocabulary, and a beautiful freedom of spirit that makes him not ashamed to unfold the depths of his better nature, Mr. Ik. Marvel has opened a new vein of gold in the literature of his country. We rejoice that its early working gives such noble promise that its purity and refinement will not be surpassed by its richness.

Richard Edney and the Governor's Family (published by Phillips, Sampson, and Co., Boston), is a new novel by the author of Margaret, the original and erratic New England story, which established the reputation of the writer as a shrewd delineator of manners, a watchful observer of nature, a satirist of considerable pungency, and a profound thinker on social and religious topics. Richard Edney is of the same stamp with that unique production. It has all its willful perversity, but with less ability. It is not so fresh and lifesome, but has more method, more natural sequence in the details of the story, and will probably please a more numerous class of readers. We do not think this author has come into the full possession of his powers. He is too conscious to permit their spontaneous and facile use. While he thinks so much of the motion of his wings, he can never soar into the empyrean. He often talks as if the burden of a prophet were on his heart, but he is too introspective for the fullness of inspiration. Even his strange and grotesque ways are not redeemed by showing the fatal inevitableness of a natural product. They do not appear to grow out of a tough, knotted, impracticable intellect; in that case we should not hesitate to forgive them; but they seem to be adopted with malice aforethought; and used with the keenness of a native Yankee, as the most available capital for the accomplishment of his purposes. With this writer, the story is subordinate to another object. He makes it the vehicle for sundry reflections and speculations, that are often ingenious, and always interesting. In this point of view, his book has considerable value. It is suggestive of more problems than it resolves. It points out many tempting paths of inquiry, which it does not enter. No one can read it without receiving a new impulse to his thoughts, and one usually in the right direction. The author is evidently a man of heart as well as of intellect, and inclines to a generous view of most subjects. His book should be looked at rather in the light of an ethical treatise than of a novel. The plot is less in his mind than the moral. But such hybrid productions are apt to fail of their end. If we desire to study philosophy, commend us to the regular documents. We do not wish for truth, as she emerges dripping from the well, to be clothed in the garments of fiction. Such incongruous unions can hardly fail to shock a correct taste, even if the story is managed with tolerable skill. In this instance, we can not highly praise the conduct of the narrative. It is full of improbable combinations. Persons and scenes are brought into juxtaposition, in a manner to violate every principle of vraisemblance. The effect is so to blunt the interest of the story, that we can hardly plod on to the winding-up.

Still we find talent enough in Richard Edney to furnish materials for a dozen better books. It has a number of individual sketches that are admirably drawn. We might quote a variety of isolated passages that impress us deeply with the vigor of the writer, and which, if wrought up with as much plastic skill as is usually connected with such inventive talents, would secure his rank among the élite of American authors. He has not yet done justice to his remarkable gifts, not even in the inimitable Margaret—the poem Philo we regard as a dead failure—and if our frank, though friendly criticism, shall act as a provocative to his better genius, he is welcome to the benefit of it.

The Issue of Modern Philosophic Thought is the title of an Oration by Rev. E. A. Washburn, delivered on the 6th of August, before the Literary Societies of the University of Vermont, and published by Phillips,[282] Sampson, and Co., Boston. It is an earnest, eloquent, and discriminating defense of the spiritual views of philosophy, set forth by Coleridge in England and by the late President Marsh in this country, with a vigorous protest against the abuses and errors which the author conceives have sprung up in the train of a false and counterfeit idealism. The Oration exhibits an intimate acquaintance with the development of philosophic inquiry, since the reaction against the French Sensualism of the last century, and the application of more profound and religious theories to Literature, Society, and Art in recent times. With no effeminate yearnings for the return of the "inexorable Past," and with a masculine faith in the designs of Providence for the destiny of Humanity, Mr. Washburn is alive to the dangers incident to a condition of progress, and describes them with honest boldness and fidelity. Without pretending to accord with all his ideas, we must yield the merit to his Discourse of affluent thought, rich learning, and a style of remarkable grace and elegance.

The Memorial, edited by Mary E. Hewitt, and published by G. P. Putnam, is one of the most beautiful gift-books for the present season, and in its peculiar character and design possesses an interest surpassed by none. It is written by friends of the late Mrs. Osgood, and is an appropriate and tasteful tribute to her memory. The profits are to be devoted for the erection of a monument to her in Mount Auburn. Its literary excellence may be inferred from the fact, that Nathaniel Hawthorne, the author of "St. Leger," John Neal, W. G. Simms, N. P. Willis, Bayard Taylor, R. H. Stoddard, Bishop Doane, Bishop Spencer, George H. Boker, General Morris, George Lunt, A. B. Street, Mrs. Sigourney, Mrs. Oakes Smith, Mrs. Whitman, and, indeed, most of the celebrities of the time, in this country, are contributors. The volume will be welcome, as a choice specimen of American literary talent, and a graceful souvenir of the distinguished poetess in whose honor it has been prepared.

The Evening of Life, by Jeremiah Chaplin (published by Lewis Colby), is a collection of devotional pieces, original and selected, intended to impart "light and comfort amid the shadows of declining years." The selections are made with excellent taste, being for the most part extracted from the best authors in the religious literature of England and America. Among them we observe the names of Fenelon, Thomas à Kempis, Jeremy Taylor, Bunyan, Madame Guyon, Bishop Hall, Milton, Southey, and Wordsworth; and of American writers, Bryant, Longfellow, Whittier, Willis, and W. R. Williams.

A New Memoir of Hannah More, by Mrs. Helen C. Knight, has been published by M. W. Dodd, giving a condensed and interesting view of the history of the celebrated religious authoress. Her connection with the development of practical religious literature, as well as her rare qualities of character, will always give an attraction to every authentic record of the incidents of her life. The present volume is evidently written by one of her warm admirers. It relates the principal facts in her brilliant career with remarkable vivacity. Indeed, a more chastened style would have been better suited to the subject of the memoir, whose own manner of writing, though florid and ambitious, in her more elaborate efforts, always displayed an imagination under the control of an active and discriminating judgment. As an instance of the excessive liveliness of description in which Mrs. Knight not unfrequently indulges, we may allude to her portrait of Hannah More's father, the parish schoolmaster, "besides leading a flock of village urchins to nibble in the green pastures of knowledge, his five little girls follow the same friendly crook, and in their training he beholds the buds and blossoms, as he hopes to realize the fruit of his professional skill and parental fidelity."

Harper and Brothers have now ready two important standard works on philology, A Latin-English Lexicon, founded on the larger Latin-German Lexicon of Freund, edited by E. A. Andrews, LL.D., and A New Classical Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography, Mythology, and Geography, by William Smith, edited by Professor Charles Anthon. These works have been subjected to a strict, laborious, and thorough revision by the American editors; large and valuable additions have been made to their contents; the very latest improvements in the science of philology have been incorporated with the researches of their original authors; and in point of exactness of investigation, clearness of method, and precision and completeness of detail, may be warmly recommended to the classical students of this country, as without a rival in their respective departments.

The great work of Dr. Freund is so well known to the best educated scholars, as one of the most consummate specimens of German intellectual enterprise and persistency, that it is hardly necessary to make more than this passing allusion to its signal merits. Its indefatigable author, pursuing the path marked out by Gesenius and Passow in Hebrew and Greek lexicography, has opened a new era in the study of the Latin Language, reduced it to a far more compact and orderly system, and greatly facilitated the labors of those who wish to master the noble treasures of its literature. His Lexicon, published at Leipsic in four volumes, from 1834 to 1845, comprising nearly 4500 pages, has been made the basis of the present work, the Editor, meantime, making use of the best sources of information to be obtained in other quarters, including the smaller School-Lexicon of Dr. Freund himself, and the dictionaries of Gesner, Facciolati, Scheller, and Georges. He has aimed to condense these abundant materials within the limits of a single volume, retaining every thing of practical importance in the works from which they are derived.

In pursuance of this method, Professor Andrews has given all the definitions and philological remarks in Freund's larger Lexicon, with his references in full to the original Latin authors, the grammarians, editors, and commentators, retrenching from the citations whatever parts seemed to be superfluous, and entirely omitting such as were redundant or of comparatively trifling consequence. At the same time, he has preserved the reference to the original Latin authorities, thus enabling the student to examine the quotations at pleasure.

This Lexicon, like the Dictionary of Freund, on which it is founded, accordingly, contains in its definitions, in its comparison of synonyms, in its general philological apparatus, and in the number and variety of its references to the original classic authors, an amount of information not surpassed by any similar work extant, while in the luminous and philosophical arrangement of its materials, it is without an equal among the most complete productions in this department of study.

The learned Editor of this work, who has attained such a distinguished reputation, as one of the soundest and most thorough Latin philologists in the United States, has been assisted in its preparation by several friends and associates of great literary eminence, among whom are[283] President Woolsey, of Yale College, Professor Robbins, of Middlebury College, and Prof. Wm. W. Turner, of the Union Theological Seminary, New York. The result of their united labors, as exhibited in the substantial volume before us, is a worthy monument of their high cultivation, their patience of intellectual toil, and their habits of profound, vigilant, and accurate research, and will reflect great credit on the progress of sound learning in this country.

The Classical Dictionary, by Dr. Wm. Smith, is one of the excellent series of Dictionaries prepared under the direction of that eminent scholar, aided by a number of learned philologists, for the purpose of presenting the results of German historical and archæological research in an English dress. This series has been received with the warmest expressions of approbation by the scholars and teachers of Great Britain. In preparing the present work, Dr. Smith has had peculiar reference to the wants of the younger class of students. He has wished to furnish them with a Dictionary, on the same plan with that of Lempriere, containing in a single volume the most important names, biographical, mythological, and geographical, occurring in the Greek and Roman writers usually read in the course of a classical education.

His work is, accordingly, divided into three distinct parts, Biography, Mythology, and Geography. The biographical portion is divided again into the departments of History, Literature, and Art—including all the important names which are mentioned in the classical writers, from the earliest times to the extinction of the Western Empire—a brief account of the works which are extant by the Greek and Roman writers, with notices of their lives—and a sketch of the principal artists, whose names are of importance in the history of Art. The mythological articles have been prepared with great care, and are free from the indelicate allusions which have rendered some former works of this kind unfit to place in the hands of young persons. The geographical portion of this work is entirely new, and exceedingly valuable. The Editor has drawn upon the most authentic sources of information, comprising, besides the original authorities, the best modern treatises on the subject, and the copious works of travels in Greece, Italy, and the East, which have appeared, within the last few years, both in England and Germany.

The present American edition, which has been superintended by Professor Anthon, appears nearly simultaneously with the English edition, having been printed from sheets received in advance, and thoroughly revised for circulation in this country. The experienced Editor has performed his task with the ability which might be anticipated from his critical learning and accuracy. He has made important additions from the most recent authorities, with a view of adapting the work still more completely to junior students. Many errors which had escaped the vigilance of the original editor have been corrected; several valuable tables have been added; and the whole work greatly improved both in substance and form.

It is not intended, however, to supersede the Classical Dictionary of the American Editor, as the articles are brief, and without the completeness of detail required by the more advanced class of students; but for those who desire a smaller and less costly work, this volume will no doubt take the place of the obsolete Lempriere, whose Dictionary, on account of its cheapness, still disgraces some of our seminaries of learning.

American Education, by Edward D. Mansfield (published by A. S. Barnes and Co.), is an elaborate discussion of the theory of education, with special reference to its bearing on the wants and character of the American people. The author gives a forcible exposition of his views, with a variety of practical illustrations, of remarkable interest. Avoiding a too minute consideration of details, he endeavors to ascend to the region of eternal principles, to elucidate the harmony between the nature of man and the influences of the universe, and thus to shed a clear light on the momentous problem of the destiny of the soul. The tone of his volume is earnest, elevated, and often approaching a thoughtful solemnity, showing the deep religious convictions with which the subject is identified in the mind of the author. No one can peruse his impressive statements without a deeper sense of the importance of "the ideas connected with a republican and Christian education in this period of rapid development."

A. Hart, Philadelphia, has republished The Ministry of the Beautiful, by Henry James Slack, of the Middle Temple, London, consisting of a series of conversations on the principles of aesthetic culture. A vein of refined and pure sentiment pervades the volume; the style is often of exquisite beauty; but the discussion usually terminates in a dim, purple haze, lulling the mind to repose in a soft, twilight enchantment, without imparting any clear conceptions, or enlarging the boundaries of either knowledge or taste.

D. Appleton and Co. have published a valuable educational work by Geo. W. Greene of Brown University, entitled History and Geography of the Middle Ages, intended as the first of a series of historical studies for the American Colleges and High Schools. It is founded on a work in the French language, which describes, with clearness and brevity, the condition of politics, literature, and society during the Middle Ages. The high reputation of the author in every thing relating to Italian literature, will secure attention to his work.

A. S. Barnes and Co. have issued a selection of Hymns and Tunes, entitled Christian Melodies, by George B. Cheever, and G. E. Sweetser. It has been prepared with great care, and will no doubt be found a highly valuable aid in the performance of choral service.

Crosby and Nichols, Boston, have reprinted from the English Edition, A Sketch of Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton, by Rev. Thomas Binney, being a popular lecture on the character of the great English philanthropist, originally delivered in Exeter Hall, London, before the "Young Men's Christian Association." It relates the most salient incidents in the life of Fowell Buxton, with a running commentary remarkable for its quaintness and vivacity. For young men in particular, to whom it is expressly dedicated, it must prove an instructive and pleasing volume.

J. S. Redfield has published The Manhattaner in New Orleans, by A. Oakley Hall, a collection of agreeably written papers, contributed, in the first place, to a literary journal of this city, and containing a variety of sketches of life in the Crescent City. Without any high pretensions to force of thought or brilliancy of composition, this little volume shows a lively power of observation, an active curiosity, and an unaffected ease of description, which can not fail to win for it golden opinions, among all classes of readers.

The same publisher has issued the second part of an ingenious treatise on Physiognomy, entitled The Twelve Qualities of Mind, by J. W.[284] Redfield, M.D., setting forth a view of the subject which claims to be a complete refutation of the principles of Materialism. The author writes with earnestness and ability, and presents many fruitful suggestions, though he does not succeed in elevating his favorite study to the dignity of a science.

An interesting volume of travels has been published by William Holdredge, entitled A Winter in Madeira, and a Summer in Spain and Florence. The author is understood to be the Hon. John A. Dix, although his name is not appended to the volume. His description of Madeira will be read with interest, as an authentic account of a state of society, concerning which we have little information from modern travelers. His remarks on Spain and Florence are of a less novel character, but are every where distinguished for good sense, clearness of expression, and correctness of taste.

A neat volume adapted to the holiday season, is Gems by the Way Side, by Mrs. L. G. Abel (published by Wm. Holdredge), consisting of choice selections from favorite authors, with several tasteful embellishments.

An excellent service has been done to the cause of good learning by George P. Putnam, in the publication of a handsome volume, entitled The World's Progress, A Dictionary of Dates, edited by himself. The preparation of a work of this character demands such rare patience of labor, such habits of accurate research, such soundness and delicacy of judgment, and such devotion to the interests of knowledge, without the hope of great fame or profit by the enterprise, that the pioneers of literature who undertake it, are entitled at least to the cordial gratitude of every student and lover of letters. In the present volume, Mr. Putnam has collected a large amount of information, from distant and various sources, and arranged it in a lucid order, adapted to aid the investigations of the student, and to promote the facility of general reference. It consists of a series of tabular views of ancient and modern history, compiled from a previous manual by the Editor, and the full and accurate tables of Talboys—an Alphabetical Dictionary of Dates, founded on the well-known work of Joseph Haydn—a Chronological List of Authors, from the Companion to the British Almanac, with additions—a Table of the Heathen Deities—and a general Biographical Index. The task of the Editor has been performed, with diligence and fidelity, although, as he intimates in the preface, it can not be presumed that such a volume can be free from imperfections. We might direct his attention to several obvious errors for correction in a future edition; but we presume they have already been discovered by his vigilant eye.

Montaigne: The Endless Study and Other Miscellanies, is a translation from the French of Alexander Vinet, with an Introduction and Notes, by Robert Turnbull (published by M. W. Dodd). The principal part of these Essays are addressed to the numerous class of cultivated minds, that with a profound sense of the beauty and grandeur of the Christian religion, have failed to receive it as a divine revelation, or as the authoritative guide of character and life. With regard to the author, we are informed by Dr. Turnbull, that "he was distinguished as much for simplicity as dignity of character, for profound humility as for exalted worth. Apparently as unconscious of his greatness as a star is of its light, he shed upon all around him a benignant radiance. In a word, he walked with God. This controlled his character, this shaped his manners. Steeped in holy love, he could not be otherwise than serene and gentle. He published a volume of philosophical criticisms, in which he discusses with uncommon depth and subtlety, but in language of exquisite clearness and force, some of the highest problems in philosophy and morals, and dissects the maxims and theories of such men as Montaigne, Voltaire, Rochefoucauld, Jouffroy, Cousin, Quinet, and Lamartine. His fine genius for philosophical speculation, in connection with his strong, common sense, and his unwavering faith in the Gospel are here strikingly developed." Among the subjects treated of in this volume, are the Character of Montaigne, The Idea of the Infinite, the Moral System of Jouffroy, The Claims of Heaven and Earth adjusted, and others of a similar bearing. They are discussed in the light of philosophical principles, and with a certain breadth of view, not always found in theological essays. The translator has not confined himself with rigid fidelity to the phraseology of the author, although for the sake of the vivacity and interest which it imparts, he occasionally retains the French idiom—a dangerous precedent to be adopted by unskillful hands.

Ticknor, Reed, and Fields, Boston, have published a collection of Orations and Speeches, by Charles Sumner, comprising his Anniversary Discourses on The True Grandeur of Nations; The Scholar, The Jurist, The Artist, The Philanthropist; Fame and Glory; The Law of Human Progress; The War System of the Commonwealth of Nations; a Lecture on White Slavery in the Barbary States; Three Tributes of Friendship to Joseph Story, John Pickering, and Henry Wheaton; and several political Speeches, delivered within the last few years, on various occasions, in Massachusetts. They are adapted to sustain the high reputation of the author for extensive classical learning, an uncommon power of graceful and fertile illustration, and a glowing, and often gorgeous eloquence.

The Broken Bud (published by R. Carter and Brothers), is the title of a small volume of prose and poetry, intended as a tribute to the memory of a beloved child, by a bereaved mother, and containing many passages of touching pathos and genuine beauty.

Bardouac, or, The Goatherd of Mount Taurus, is a charming Persian Tale, translated from the French, in a style of great neatness and vivacity published by Crosby and Nichols, Boston.

G. P. Putnam has published Fadette, a new story by George Sand, illustrative of domestic life in France, translated by Matilda M. Hays. It is a tale of quiet, exquisite beauty, free from the morbid sentiment which abounds in the fictitious works of the modern French school, and rendered into graceful, idiomatic English by the accomplished translator.

R. Carter and Brothers have brought out a new edition of The Memoir of Rev. Alexander Waugh, the celebrated Scottish pastor in London, an admirable piece of religious biography, describing the life of a vigorous and noble-minded man.

J. S. Redfield has issued a little volume, with an uncommonly attractive exterior, entitled Chanticleer, a Thanksgiving Story, consisting of quiet descriptions of American country life and manners, set forth in the framework of a superficial and not very skillfully managed narrative. It contains some passages of considerable beauty, but as a whole, it has hardly sufficient freshness and fervor to produce a wide sensation.


A Leaf from Punch.


The Female Mind has hitherto been considered as a sort of fancy bazaar, in which all kinds of light articles are to be stowed away without regard to order or utility. If we could unlock the stores of female knowledge, such, at least, as the modern boarding-school supplies—we should find an extraordinary conglomeration of miscellaneous goods, bads, and indifferents, which though somehow or other reduced under one head, and that not always a strong one, are brought into a state of "disorder" which is, by us, at least, any thing but "admired." If we might be permitted the privilege of examining phrenologically the interior of a young lady's head, we should find not only what—but how completely—modern education has done for it. We will take any average boarding-school Miss, and instead of turning her organs into finger-organs, by merely passing our hands over the exterior bumps, we take the liberty of breaking her head at once, and looking directly into it.

We find Constructiveness in a state of entanglement with the quantity of crotchet and other fancy work in which it is completely bound up, for want of some more useful matter for the employment of this valuable quality; and on looking to the organ of Imitation, we see it exercised on a parcel of the most ridiculous airs and affectations, to say nothing of more dangerous qualities, set before it for the purpose of calling into practice its powers of copying. As to Number, its whole capacity seems to be concentrated on number one: and Comparison is clogged up with entire wardrobes, as if the only use of comparison to the female mind was to be its application to the respective bonnets, dresses, and articles of millinery worn by friends, enemies, or acquaintances. Causality shows us an instance of something like an appropriate application of the organ; for it is intended to be one of inquiry, and it is exercised certainly in a questionable manner, for it is constantly directed, by the modern system of female education, to the asking, How it is an "establishment" is to be gained? or, Why it is that one person has succeeded in getting a husband before another? Eventuality is devoted to the cognizance of no more important events than Births, Deaths, and Marriages; while Form, Size, and Color are exercised respectively on the noses, mustaches, and eyes of the other sex, the organ of Weight being brought to bear on the estimating of bankers' balances. Order goes wholesale to the dressmaker's; Ideality knows nothing of any ideal but a beau; and Time and Tune are clogged with all sorts of airs, calling into operation Destructiveness, as far as the keys of an instrument are concerned, and Secretiveness as far as any meaning is conveyed by the means of so much labor.

Having brought ourselves to the sad conclusion that the examination of a fashionably-educated female head reveals nothing but faculties mis-employed, and valuable material wasted on what is not material at all, we can not but express a wish that Ladies' Preparatory Schools could be established, in which the pupils might be fitted for the useful, as well as the ornamental parts of life, and where the fact of there being a kitchen as well as a drawing-room to every house would not be altogether lost sight of. If the world could be got through in a Polka, to the accompaniment of a cornet-à-piston, the boarding-schools of the present day would be well enough; but as there is a sort of every-day walk to be gone through, we should greatly appreciate any system of female education that should fit women to get through the world with us, instead of merely getting through our money.


In the first place, we would put into execution the great design of our artist, who has shown us a Preparatory School in which cookery should be studied as an art, and in which the dressing of a dinner would be learned as a matter of course—or of one, two, or three courses of lectures. There should be a regular series of instruction, from the shelling of a pea by the smallest class, to the achievement of the most exquisite Mayonnaise by the more advanced scholars. The young ladies would be taught not only how to make their entreé into a drawing-room, but how to prepare an entreé worthy of the dinner-table. We would have cookery inculcated in its most elementary form, and although we should shrink from any thing like harshness, we should not hesitate to put the beginners through a vigorous course of basting for the first year or so.[286]

The rules of arithmetic could easily be adapted to the culinary art, and such propositions as

3 Eggs make one Omelette.
2 Omelettes make one Breakfast.
3 Breakfasts à la fourchette make one Dinner,

and other calculations of a similar kind, would make the young female student familiar with her tables not only in their ordinary sense, but with what her tables ought to furnish samples of. We would suggest, also, periodical examinations in the higher branches of cookery, and translations of English food into French dishes. The rendering of a small slice of beef into a filet piqué aux légumes printaniers, would form an exercise quite as difficult, and certainly as useful, as any other conversion of English into French; and the proper garniture of a leg of mutton would be as great a trial to the taste as if it were employed on merely millinery trimmings.

We should be glad to see the establishment of a culinary college for young ladies, and though we would not exactly recommend the cramming system to the fairer sex, we think that beef and mutton would furnish quite as valuable food for their minds, as a great deal of that that is now put into them.



Ladies have quite a different system of calculation to what men have. Look at the peculiar way in which they calculate ages. Why! they are quite an age behind the present generation—at least, the generation of men—for a man is, figuratively, said, as he grows older, to approach into his second childhood, but a woman does so literally, inasmuch as she becomes every year one year younger—a rejuvenating process, by which, if she lived long enough, she would ultimately reach the happy period when she was carried about in long clothes, and took a tenacious delight, peculiar to babies, in pulling gentlemen's whiskers. In fact, I wonder that, carrying out this retrograde movement, a married lady, as she advances in years, does not re-appear on the stage of life as the ball-room girl, and throw off the matronly title of Mrs., to put on the more flowery salutation of Miss. It would be more consistent with the representation of figures—we mean, arithmetical figures—though it might be a little at variance with the appearance of personal ones.

My belief is that the female mind has no correct sense of numbers. It belabors and rolls out figures as cooks do paste, making them as thick or as thin as it pleases to fit the object required. I have noticed a largeness or liberality of measurement in most of their calculations, which redounds greatly, in this calculating age, to the generosity of the sex. It is quite opposite to the self-measurement which they apply to themselves. Whereas the latter is distinguished by a narrowness of result which almost makes us suspect that Subtraction has been largely at work; the former is crowned with a roundness of figure which leads us strongly to accuse the sum total of having been gained by the corrupt agency of Addition. In fact my suspicions are so violent on this head, that I always adopt the following plan when I am at a loss to know:

How To Correctly Ascertain The Age Of A Lady. I first ask the Lady accused her own age. I then inquire of her "dearest friends." I next ascertain the difference between the two accounts (which frequently varies from five years to forty), and, dividing that difference by 2, I add that quotient to the lady's own representation, and the result is the lady's age, as near as a lady's age can be ascertained.

Example: Mrs. Wellington Seymour gives herself out to be 28. Her friends, Mrs. M'cabe, Mrs. Alfred Stevens, Madame Cornichon, and Miss Jerkins, indignantly declare that they will eat their respective heads off if she is a day younger than 46. Now the disputed account stands thus:

Mrs. Seymour's age, as represented by her friends 46
Mrs. Seymour's age, as represented by herself 28
Difference between the two Accounts 18

That difference has to be divided by 2, which, I believe, will give 9. If that is added to Mrs. Seymour's own statement, the result obtained will be the answer required. Accordingly Mrs. Wellington Seymour's age is 37—a fact, which, upon consulting the family Bible, I find to be perfectly correct—and I only hope Mrs. S. will, some day, forgive me for publishing it. There are many other eccentricities in female arithmetic, such as increasing twofold the amount of a gentleman's fortune, and diminishing fiftyfold the amount of a lady's—and a general proneness, besides, to magnify figures, leading them, at times, into strange errors of exaggeration, which would debar them from following the profession of a penny-a-liner, or writing works of numerical fidelity, like "M'Culloch's Commercial Dictionary." But as I do not love the female mind particularly for its eccentricities, but rather for its beauties, I shall close the door upon this ungallant subject; for, if a woman is good and beautiful, it matters but little how old she is.


Netting is now followed with so much ardor, as a female accomplishment, that one would think there is a great deal of net profit to be derived from it. The ladies' periodicals are full of instructions in this new popular art; and we have seen a couple of closely-printed columns devoted to directions for netting a mitten.

We had some thoughts of endeavoring to furnish the necessary instructions for netting a gentleman's nightcap, but we found that we should not have room for more than half of it, and that the tassel, at all events, would have to stand over till our next, and perhaps be continued in a still remoter Pocket-Book.

Being desirous of furnishing some instruction in Netting, to our female readers, we have thought of something within our compass, and beg leave to lay before them, our


Take as many meshes as are within your reach, and get the softest material you can to work upon. Go on with your netting as fast as ever you can work the material about with your meshes until you find you can turn it round your finger and thumb with the utmost facility. Let your netting-needles be very sharp; thread them double to prevent them from breaking; and we may observe, that silken ringlets serve exceedingly well as thread, when the work in hand is the netting of a husband. Always employ the brightest colors you can, and the final operation will be the joining together, which should be neatly finished off with a marriage knot, and the husband will be completely netted.


Winter Fashions.

Figure 1.—Promenade And Morning Costume Figure 1.—Promenade And Morning Costume

Heavy, rich textures of silk have taken the place of the lighter stuffs used at the beginning of December. Brocards, satin princesse, antique moires, Irish poplins, and heavy chiné silks, such as were worn by the belles who saw Washington inaugurated, are now in vogue. The latter material is called by the French camayeux. It is made of all colors, such as light violet upon dark violet; or, what is more beautiful, large white roses, hardly visible, and partly concealed by light green leaves upon a ground of dark green, forming an ensemble at once coquettish, brilliant, and extremely elegant. Plain poplins are much worn; also royal Pekin or black damask, trimmed with two broad flounces of Cambray lace. Instead of a corsage, a petite corsage of the same material is worn, wide open in front, and closed at the waist with two double buttons, or a large bow of ribbon.

Figure 2 represents this style of corsage. The edge is trimmed with lace or fullings of ribbon, the sleeves three-quarters long and in pagoda form. The same figure represents a very pretty style of head-dress. The cap is composed of plain tulle of the lightest description; upon one side of the head, partially covering the ear, is a bunch of roses, or other flowers, pendant.

Fig. 2.—Head-dress And Corsage Fig. 2.—Head-dress And Corsage

Figure 1 represents a promenade and a morning costume. The Promenade[288] Costume is a high silk dress; the waist and point long; the sleeves three-quarter length and wide at the bottom; the skirt long and exceedingly full; five volants are set on full, each being trimmed at a little distance from the edge by a narrow guimpe. Manteau of light brown cashmere, trimmed with velvet of the same color; closed up in front by four large brandebourgs. Bonnet of a very open form, trimmed entirely with plaid ribbon.

Fig. 3.—Bonnet. Fig. 3.—Bonnet.

The Morning Costume is a jupe of blue silk, very long and full, trimmed down the front with rows of velvet and small silk tassels, the form of an acorn. A cain de feu, a sort of jacket, of blue satin, of a darker shade than the jupe, the small skirt of which is of the Hungarian form. It is trimmed round with velvet and has tassels up the front to correspond with the skirt; the sleeves come but little below the elbow, wide at the bottom, and cut like the skirt. These are likewise trimmed with velvet. Cap of black lace, trimmed with a broad white ribbon, edged with pink.

Figure 3 shows a new style of plain velvet bonnet, of rich green. It is made very deep; trimmed with velvet. Satins are made in the same form, of a dark color, the interior of the fronts lined with white, rose, or any other fresh color. These are ornamented with branches of flowers of velvet, or nœuds of plaid ribbon, half velvet and half satin, the colors harmonizing with the bonnet.

There are small bonnets of white or pink plush, having for their sole ornament a single bow of satin ribbon, or a ribbon velonté at the sides. This style is very elegant, and particularly adapted for very young ladies, especially when trimmed with a deep fall of rich lace. Those made of pink satin, and trimmed with blonde, forming a bunch upon the side of the exterior, the interior being filled entirely with rows of narrow blonde, are exceedingly graceful.

A new style of fringe for ball dresses has lately been introduced. It is extremely light, and composed of a mixture of white and gold, which forms a splendid trimming when placed upon a triple skirt of white tulle. It is also made of pink and silver, which has a beautiful effect upon a dress of pink crape; splendid bouquets of beautiful flowers being arranged so as to loop up the skirts on either side.

A new and greatly admired style for Evening Dresses, called d'Adrienne, has lately been brought out in Paris. It is made of the richest materials. The corsage is extremely low, and forms a very deep point, its ornaments being placed en cœur upon the centre of the front. The skirt is open, and is ornamented upon the two sides with streamers of ribbon and nœuds of pearls. The under-skirt of satin is enriched with an echelle of lace or a triple falbalas, the two extremities of which are disposed so as to join the nœuds upon the upper dress.

An elegant addition to a lady's toilet has been recently brought out, which recalls the mantillas worn by the Maltese ladies. It consists of a kind of pelisse, fulled into the narrow band around the throat, which is concealed by a small collar, having for ornament a volant or frill of Chantilly lace. The lower part of the pelisse, as well as the sleeves, is encircled with four rows of Chantilly lace, surmounted with rows of narrow velvet or watered ribbons, forming a pretty heading. This little garment is extremely elegant for places of amusement, made in pink, blue, or white satin, and trimmed with Brussels or English point lace.

Fringes and Cambray lace will be much used this season in the decoration of dresses. Feathers will be much worn, some in touffes, and others si5mply the long single feather, passing over the entire front of the bonnet.

Transcriber's note

The following changes have been made to the text:

Page 161: Was 'aa' (garrison of earth. The Roman phrase for expressing that a man had died, viz., "Abiit ad plures" (He has gone over to the majority), my brother explained to us; and we easily comprehended that any one generation of)

Page 163: Was 'visiters' (understandings. This superciliousness annoyed my sister; and, accordingly, with the help of two young female visitors, and my next younger brother—in subsequent times a little middy on board many a ship)

Page 163: Was 'Amu rath' (middy had six. He, this wicked little middy, caused the greatest affliction to Sultan Amurath, forcing him to order the amputation of his head six several times (that is, once in every one of his six parts),)

Page 168: Was 'conistency' (intercourse with the devil, was aware that the air is a material of some consistency, capable, like the ocean, of bearing vessels on its surface; and, in one of his works, he particularly describes the construction of)

Page 181: Was 'I to' (the western coast," to the hour of "General Humbert's triumphal entry into Dublin." Nor was it prose alone, but even poetry, did service in our cause. Songs, not, I own, conspicuous for great metrical beauty,)

Page 185: Was 'un less' (unless you guarantee my personal safety!" He assured me there was there was nothing to fear, and, taking a key from the hand of one of the keepers,)

Page 188: Was 'excleimed' ("Fifty dollars more," he exclaimed, with a deep-drawn breath, as he threw down the stake.)

Page 188: Was gabe's ("The last button on Gabe's coat, and I cr—cr—; no, I'll be hamstrung if I do!")

Page 192: Was 'slided' (decline. It was a strange, rapid piece of work. The whole party ran, rushed, tumbled, slid, rolled down in one confused crowd, the torches glaring, flakes of burning pitch scattering here and there, the)

Page 193: Was 'converstaion' (were fretted by political restrictions, by a system of espial which tabooed all conversation upon public matters before any stranger, and they were glad enough to get their tongues at liberty. Adam, the old)

Page 202: Was Worsworth's sonnets (poetry; whereas Milton's were itself sufficient to perpetuate his name; Wordsworth's sonnets are, perhaps, equal to Milton's, some of his "Minor Poems" may approach "Lycidas," and "Il Penseroso," but where a whole like)

Page 202: Was 'Peneroso' (Wordsworth's sonnets are, perhaps, equal to Milton's, some of his "Minor Poems" may approach "Lycidas," and "Il Penseroso," but where a whole like "Paradise Lost?")

Page 209: Was 'misserable' ("It was likely, was not it? and you to have been her husband before this time, if—Oh, miserable me! to let my child go and dim her bright life! But you'll forgive me, and come sometimes, just for a little quarter of)

Page 213: Was 'waxed' (her bright, glad youth. She yearned to look upon its waters once again. This desire waxed as her life waned. She told it to poor crazy Mary.)

Page 215: Was 'to to the world' (his death, which took place in 1838, before those memoirs, which he is known to have compiled, shall be given to the world; and whoever tries will find it to be no easy task to anticipate those revelations which)

Page 219: Was 'conscience-striken' (from the height into the sea below. Deny it, monster, if you can!" Thus apostrophized, the unhappy and conscience-stricken maniac quailed beneath the intensity and sternness of his gaze; confessed that such was)

Page 226: Was 'lovelv' (Vicar of Southwold, with whom she was returning from a long ramble along the broken cliffs toward Eastern Bavent, one lovely July evening in the year 1616.)

Page 227: Was 'in dulge' (opportunities for the idle, the extravagant, and the dissipated to indulge in sinful excesses, and to seduce the weak and unstable to follow bad example. He had never, on any occasion, permitted his pretty)

Page 234: Was 'better without' (bad a one as he did, probably for the same reason; viz., that they can not write a better one without great pains and loss of time.)

Page 255: Was 'Rickey bockey' ("What, dolt! do you suppose Dr. Rickeybockey got out of his warm bed to bung up the holes in my new stocks?")

Page 266: Was 'privvilege' (Congress should abolish the franking privilege, which is held to be the privilege of the constituent rather than of the representative. It is recommended, however, that if the franking privilege, and the privilege)

Page 274: Was 'plenipotentaries' (matters the Diet to be represented by a committee of 17 plenipotentiaries, each of the larger States having one, and several of the smaller being united in the choice of one. The army of the)

Page 276: Was 'Damuscus' (convents. The day after the battle, the Emirs were made to walk through the streets of Damascus in their shirts, with irons on their feet, and street-brooms on their shoulders. They were to have been subjected to)

Page 288: Was 'cachmere' (little distance from the edge by a narrow guimpe. Manteau of light brown cashmere, trimmed with velvet of the same color; closed up in front by four large brandebourgs. Bonnet of a very open form, trimmed)