The Project Gutenberg eBook of Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 60, No. 369, July 1846

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Title: Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 60, No. 369, July 1846

Author: Various

Release date: April 27, 2011 [eBook #35984]
Most recently updated: January 7, 2021

Language: English

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TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE: A few obvious misprints have been corrected, but in general the originally erratic spelling, punctuation and typesetting conventions have been retained. Accents in foreign language poetry and phrases are inconsistent in the original, and have not been standardized.


No. CCCLXIX. JULY, 1846. Vol. LX

Letters on English Hexameters. Letter I.,19
Marlborough's Dispatches. 1708-1709,22
The Americans and the Aborigines. Part the Last,45
The Death of Zumalacarregui,56
New Scottish Plays and Poems,62
Elinor Travis. Chapter the Second,83
More Rogues in Outline,101
The Last Recollections of Napoleon,110


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





A clever book of travels, over ground comparatively untrodden, is in these days a welcome rarity. No dearth is there of vapid narratives by deluded persons, who, having leisure to travel, think they must also have wit to write: with these we have long been surfeited, and heartily grateful do we feel to the man who strikes out a new track, follows it observantly, and gives to the world, in pleasant and instructive form, the result of his observations. Such a traveller we have had the good fortune to meet with, and now present to our readers.

We take it that no portion of the globe's surface, of equal extent, and comprising an equal number of civilized, or at least semi-civilized, states, is less known to the mass of Europeans than the continent of South America. Too distant and dangerous for the silken tourist, to whom steam-boats and dressing-cases are indispensable, it does not possess, in a political point of view, that kind of importance which might induce governments to stimulate its exploration. As a nest of mushroom republics, continually fighting with each other and revolutionizing themselves—a land where throat-cutting is a popular pastime, and earthquakes, fevers more or less yellow, and vermin rather more than less venomous, are amongst the indigenous comforts of the soil—it is notorious, and has been pretty generally avoided. Braving these dangers and disagreeables, a German of high reputation as a naturalist and man of letters, has devoted four years of a life valuable to science to a residence and travels in the most interesting district of South America; the ancient empire of the Incas, the scene of the conquests and cruelties of Francisco Pizarro.

"The scientific results of my travels," says Dr Tschudi in his brief preface, "are recorded partly in my Investigation of the Fauna Peruana[2] and partly in appropriate periodicals: the following volumes are an attempt to satisfy the claim which an enlightened public may justly make on the man who visits a country in reality but little known."

We congratulate the doctor on the good success of his attempt. The public, whether of Germany or of any other country into whose language his book may be translated, will be difficult indeed if they desire a better account of Peru than he has given them.

Bound for the port of Callao, the ship Edmond, in which Dr Tschudi sailed from Havre-de-Grace, was [2] driven by storms to the coast of Chili, and first cast anchor in the bay of San Carlos, on the island of Chiloe. Although by no means devoid of interest, we shall pass over his account of that island, which is thinly peopled, of small fertility, and cursed with an execrable climate; and accompany him to Valparaiso, his next halting place. There he found much bustle and movement. Chili was at war with the confederation of Peru and Bolivia, and an expedition was fitting out in all haste. Sundry decrees of the Peruvian Protector, Santa Cruz, had excited the ire of the Chilians, especially one diminishing the harbour dues on vessels arriving direct from Europe and discharging their cargoes in a Peruvian port. This had damaged the commerce of Chili; and already one army under General Blanco had been landed on the Peruvian coast to revenge the injury. It had signally failed in its object. Outmanœuvred and surrounded, it was taken prisoner to a man. On this occasion the behaviour of Santa Cruz was generous almost to quixotism. He sent back the soldiers to their country, and actually paid for the cavalry horses, which he kept. The Chilian government showed little gratitude for this chivalrous conduct. The treaty of peace concluded by Blanco was not ratified; but a second armament, far more powerful than the first, was got ready and shipped from Valparaiso during Dr Tschudi's stay in that port. His account of the Chilian army and navy is not very favourable. His ship had hardly anchored when several officers of the land forces came on board, and inquired if there were any swords to be sold, as they and their comrades were for the most part totally unprovided with such weapons. Swords formed no part of the cargo of the Edmond, but one of the ship's company, acquainted, perhaps, from previous experience, with the wants of these South American warriors, had brought out an assortment as a private spec., and amongst them was a sort of falchion, about five feet long, which had belonged to a cuirassier of Napoleon's guard. The officer who bought this weapon was a puny half-cast lad, who could hardly lift it with both hands, but who nevertheless opined that, in case of a charge, it would play the devil amongst the Peruvians. "Ten months later," says Dr Tschudi, "I met this hero on the march, amongst the mountains of Peru. He had girded on a little dirk, scarce larger than a toothpick, and behind him came a strapping negro, laden with the falchion. I could not help inquiring whether the latter arm had done much mischief in the then recent battle of Yungay, and he was honest enough to confess that he had not used it, finding it rather too heavy." The Chilian fleet, twenty-seven transports and nine men-of-war, was, with one or two exceptions, in bad condition; short of guns and hands, and manned in great part by sailors who had run from English, French, or North American ships. The officers were nearly all English. The shipment of the horses was conducted in the most clumsy manner: many were strangled in hoisting them up, others fell out of the slings and were drowned, and those that were embarked were so badly cared for, that each morning previous to the sailing of the fleet, their carcasses were thrown overboard by dozens. The Chilian troops had no stomach for the campaign, and, in great part, had to be embarked by force. "I stood on the landing place," writes the doctor, "when the Santiago battalion went on board. Ill uniformed, and bound two and two with cords, the soldiers were actually driven into the boats." With such an army, what besides defeat and disaster could be expected? But treachery and discord were at work in Peru, and success awaited the reluctant invaders.

With unpardonable imprudence the captain of the Edmond had manifested an intention of selling his ship to the Peruvians to be converted into a man-of-war. A Yankee captain was suspected of a similar design; and the consequence was an embargo laid upon all ships in the port of Valparaiso, until such time as the Chilian army might be supposed to have reached its destination and struck the first blow. A delay of five-and-forty days was the consequence, particularly wearisome to Dr Tschudi, as he was unable to absent himself for more[3] than twenty-four hours from the town, lest the embargo should be suddenly raised and the ship sail without him. He found few resources in Valparaiso, whose population, especially the numerous foreigners, have their time fully occupied by commercial pursuits. The town itself, closely built and dirty, is divided by quebradas or ravines into three parts, extending along the side of a hill, and designated by the sailors as foretop, maintop, and mizentop. These quebradas, close to whose edge run the badly lighted streets, are particularly dangerous in the winter nights; and many a sailor, on shore for a "spree," finds his grave in them. The police is good, better probably than any other South American town; and although assassinations occasionally occur, the perpetrators rarely escape. One curious institution is the travelling house of correction, which consists of waggons, not unlike those in which menagerie keepers convey their beasts. Each of these contains sleeping accommodation for eight or ten criminals. Behind stands a sentry, and in front of some of them is a sort of kitchen. The prisoners draw the waggons themselves; and as they for the most part work upon the roads, often at some distance from the city, there is an evident gain thus in their conveying their dwelling with them. The plan answers well in a country where there is, properly speaking, no winter.

A common article of sale on the Valparaiso market is live condors, which are taken in traps. A fine specimen is worth a dollar and a half. In one court-yard, Dr Tschudi saw eight of them, fettered after a peculiar fashion. A long narrow strip of untanned leather was run through their nostrils, tied tight, and the other end fastened to a post fixed in the ground. This allowed the birds liberty to move about in a tolerably large circle, but as soon as they attempted to fly, they were brought down by the head. Their voracity is prodigious. One of them ate eighteen pounds of meat in the course of a day, without at all impairing his appetite for the next morning's breakfast. Dr Tschudi measured one, and found it fourteen English feet from tip to tip of the wings.

Most joyfully did our traveller hail the arrival of the long-looked for permission to sail. With a favouring breeze from the east, the Edmond soon made the islands of Juan Fernandez, and Dr Tschudi was indulging in pleasant recollections of Alexander Selkirk, Defoe, and Robinson Crusoe, when the cry "a man overboard" startled him from his reverie. Over went the hen-coops and empty casks; the ship was brought to, and a boat lowered. It was high time, for a shark had approached the swimmer, who defended himself with remarkable courage and presence of mind, striking out with his fists at his voracious pursuer. So unequal a combat could not last long, and the lookers-on thought him lost, for the shark had already seized his leg, when the boat came up; a rain of blows from oars and boat-hooks forced the monster to let go his hold, and the sailor was snatched, it might truly be said, from the jaws of death. His wounds, though deep, were not dangerous, and in a few weeks he was convalescent. Without other incident worthy of note, Dr Tschudi arrived in the bay of Callao. There the first news he heard was that the Chilians had effected a landing, taken Lima by storm, and were then besieging Callao. This magnificent fort, the last place in South America that had held out for the Spaniards, and which General Rodil defended for nearly eighteen months against the patriots, had since been in great measure dismantled, and three-fourths of the guns sold. Those that remained were now wretchedly served by the Peruvians, whilst the fire of the besiegers, on the other hand, did considerable damage. The siege, however, was pushed nothing like so vigorously as it had been by the patriots. Both the land and sea forces were too small. To the latter the Peruvians had unfortunately no fleet to oppose. Several men-of-war had been treacherously taken from them by the Chilians in time of peace, and the only two remaining were sunk upon the approach of the enemy.

"One Sunday afternoon," says Dr Tschudi, "the Chilian brig-of-war, Colocolo, sailed close in under the walls of the fort, and threw in a few balls. The batteries immediately returned the fire with every gun they could[4] bring to bear; but all their shots went too high, and fell amongst the merchantmen and other neutral vessels. Meanwhile the Colocolo sailed to and fro in derision of the batteries. At last the French commodore, seeing the danger of the merchant ships, sent a boat to the fort, menacing them with a broadside if they did not instantly cease firing. This the garrison were compelled to do, and to submit patiently to the insults of the Chilians. Another instance of the great prejudice which the vicinity of neutral shipping may be to besieged or besiegers, was witnessed on the night of the 5th November 1820, in the bay of Callao, when Lord Cochrane and Captain Guise, with a hundred and fifty men, boarded the Spanish forty-four gun corvette Esmeralda. Between the Esmeralda and the fort lay a North American frigate, the Macedonia, which completely hindered the castle from covering the corvette with its guns. So enraged were the garrison at this, that the next morning an officer of the Macedonia was murdered with his whole boat's crew, the very instant they set foot on shore."

We shall not accompany Dr Tschudi through his "fragment of the modern history of Peru;" for although lucid and interesting, it might become less so in the compressed form which we should necessarily have to adopt. We find at one time six self-styled presidents of Peru—each with his share of partizans, more or less numerous, and with a force at his command varying from one to five thousand men—oppressing the people, levying contributions, shooting and banishing the adherents of his five rivals. Let us examine the probable causes of such a state of things, of the revolutions and rebellions which have now lasted for twenty years—since the birth of the republic, in fact—and which must finally, if a check be not put to them, bring about the depopulation and total ruin of Peru. These causes Dr Tschudi finds in the want of honour and common honesty exhibited by the majority of the Peruvian officers. With the army all the revolutions have begun. As soon as an officer reaches the rank of colonel, and if he can only reckon upon the adherence of some fifteen hundred or two thousand soldiers, he begins to think of deposing the president and ruling in his stead. In so doing, he is actuated by avarice rather than by ambition. During their short-lived power these dictators levy enormous contributions, of which they pocket the greater part, and let the soldiers want. After a while they abandon the helm of government, either voluntarily or by compulsion, and take with them their ill-gotten wealth. When the chiefs set such examples, it cannot be wondered at if, amongst their inferiors, insubordination and mutiny are the order of the day. These, however, are most prevalent amongst the subaltern officers, scarcely ever originating with the soldiers, although their treatment, we are informed, is inhumanly cruel, and their privations and sufferings of the severest. There appears to be a great similarity in character between the Peruvian infantry and the Spanish troops of the present day; although the former are not of Spanish descent, but consist chiefly of Indians from the interior and mountainous districts of Peru. Dr Tschudi describes them as obedient, willing, and courageous; unparalleled in their endurance of hunger and fatigue, capable of sustaining for several days together marches of fourteen or sixteen leagues. The officers, however, must be good, or the men are useless in the field. If not well led, they throw away their arms and run, and there is no possibility of rallying them. Moreover, no retrograde movement must be made, although it be merely as a manœuvre—the Indians looking upon it as a signal for flight. The cavalry, for the most part well mounted, is worthless. It consists of negroes—a race rarely remarkable for courage. As cruel as they are cowardly, a defeated foe meets with barbarous treatment at their hands.

With every Peruvian army march nearly as many women as it comprises men. Unpalatable as such a following would be to European commanders, it is encouraged and deemed indispensable by Peruvian generals. The Indian women, as enduring and hardy as their husbands, set out two or three hours before the troops, and[5] precede them by about the same time at the halting place. They immediately collect wood for fires, and prepare the rations, which they carry with them, for their husbands, sons, and brothers. Without them, in the more desolate and mountainous districts, the soldiers would sometimes risk starvation. They are no impediment to the rapid march of a column, which they, on the contrary, accelerate, by saving the men trouble, and affording them more time for repose. During a battle they remain in the vicinity of the troops, but far enough off not to impede their movements; the fight over, they seek out the wounded and take care of them. The lot of these poor women, who go by the name of rabonas, is any thing but an enviable one; for besides their many privations and hardships, they meet with much ill usage at the hands of the soldiery, to which, however, they submit with incredible patience.

The manner in which most of the officers treat the soldiers is perfectly inhuman, and the slightest offences meet with terrible chastisement. Every officer has a right, at least in war time, to inflict, without a court-martial, any punishment he pleases. Some of the chiefs are celebrated for the refinement of their cruelties; and many soldiers prefer death to serving under them. During General Gamarra's campaign against the Bolivians in 1842, several score of soldiers sprang one day from the bridge of Oroya, to seek death in the torrent that flows beneath it. With the scornful cry of "Adios, capitan!" they took the fatal leap, and the next instant lay mangled and expiring upon the rocks through which the stream forces its way. "I myself have witnessed," continues Dr Tschudi, "how soldiers who on the march were unable to keep up with the column, were shot dead upon the spot. On the road from Tarma to Jauja, a distance of nine leagues, I passed seven Indians who had thus lost their lives. It is true that the commandant of that battalion, an officer whose sword was as yet unstained with any blood save that of his own men, was accustomed to call out when he saw a soldier straggling from fatigue—'pegale un tiro!' Shoot him down! And the order was forthwith obeyed." When the troops reach the halting-place, and the rabonas learn the fate of their sons or husbands, they mournfully retrace their weary footsteps, and amidst tears and lamentations dig a last resting place for these victims of military tyranny.

The sick are scarcely better treated. When they can no longer drag themselves along, they are placed upon mules, and, through the severest cold or most burning heat, are driven after the army. When they die, which is most frequently the case, they are dropped at the next village, to be buried by the alcalde.

"The major of a squadron of light cavalry," says our traveller, "once asked me, during my stay at Tarma in the year 1842, to take charge for a few days of his sick men. Of one hundred and twenty soldiers composing the squadron, sixty-eight lay huddled together in a damp dark hole, ill of the scarlet fever. Fourteen more were suffering from the effects of punishment. What a horrible sight they presented! Their backs were nearly bare of flesh and covered with the most frightful wounds. A mutiny had taken place, and the major had shot six men, and caused eighteen others to receive from one hundred to three hundred lashes, with broad thongs of tapir hide—a punishment so severe, that some of them died under its infliction. The survivors were compelled immediately to mount their horses and follow the squadron. For nine days they rode on in the most terrible agony, and during that time had to cross the Cordilleras. Several of them refused to have their wounds dressed; and it was necessary to use force to compel them. One man implored me with tears to do nothing to improve his state, for that he longed to die. Before they were nearly cured, a march was ordered, and they again had to mount and ride. The consequences of this barbarity were easy to foresee. Before another eight days had elapsed, the squadron was scarcely sixty men strong."

Turn we from such horrors to a more pleasing theme. "Could I suppose," says Dr Tschudi, "that my readers are acquainted with the excellent description of Lima which Stevenson[6] gives in his Travels in South America,[3] I would willingly abstain from any detail of the houses, churches, squares, and streets of that capital. But as that esteemed work was published twenty years ago, and is now almost entirely forgotten, I may venture, without danger of repeating things universally known, to give a sketch of the city of Lima." And accordingly, the doctor devotes his fifth chapter to an account of the capital of Peru—an account over which we shall pass lightly, for the double reason, that our readers may be better acquainted with Stevenson's work than Dr Tschudi's countrymen can be supposed to be, and because, if we linger wherever we are tempted so to do in this very pleasant book, our paper will run out beyond any reasonable length. We must glance at the cathedral founded by Pizarro, and which took ninety years in building. Its magnificence and riches are scarcely to be surpassed by those of any other existing church. The high altar boasts of seven silver pillars of the Ionic order, twelve feet high, and a foot and a-half thick; the shrine is seven and a-half feet high, carved in gold, and studded with countless diamonds and emeralds; the silver candlesticks weigh one hundred and twelve pounds each. In connection with the convent of San Pedro, a curious anecdote is told. It belonged to the Jesuits, and was their "Colegio Maximo;" it was known to possess immense wealth, for the richest plantations and finest houses belonged to the order. In the year 1773, the king of Spain, supported by the famous bull of the 21st June of that year, "Dominus ac redemptor noster," sent orders to his South American viceroys to arrest all the Jesuits in one night, ship them off to Spain, and confiscate their wealth. The greatest secresy was observed, and no one but the viceroy, and those in his entire confidence, was supposed to know any thing of the plan. But the same ship which conveyed to the viceroy the king's instructions in his own handwriting, brought to the vicar-general of the Jesuits in Lima the needful instructions from the general of the order at Madrid, to whom his Majesty's designs had become known. In all silence, and with every precaution the needful preparations were made; at ten o'clock on the appointed night, the viceroy summoned his council, and communicated to them the royal commands. No one was allowed to leave the room till the blow had been struck. At midnight trusty officers were sent to arrest the Jesuits, of whose names the viceroy had a list. It was expected that they would be surprised in their sleep. The patrole knocked at the door of the San Pedro convent, which was immediately opened. The commanding officer asked to see the vicar-general, and was forthwith conducted into the principal hall, where he found the whole of the order assembled, waiting for him, and ready to depart. Each man had his portmanteau packed with whatever was necessary for a long voyage. In all the other convents of Jesuits similar preparations had been made. The astonishment and vexation of the viceroy may be imagined. He immediately sent off the whole fraternity to Callao, where ships were ready to receive them. Inventories were then taken, and search made for the Jesuits' money. But great was the surprise of the searchers when instead of the millions which the order was known to possess, but a few thousand dollars were to be discovered. All the keys, including that of the strong box, were found, duly ticketed, in the vicar-general's room. The Jesuits could hardly have taken a better revenge for the treachery that had been used with their order.

It was supposed that the money was buried, partly in the plantations, and partly in the convent of San Pedro. An old negro, in the service of the convent, told how he and one of his comrades had been employed[7] during several nights in carrying, with bandaged eyes, heavy sacks of money into the vaults beneath the building. Two Jesuits accompanied them, and helped them to load and unload their burdens. The researches hitherto made have been but superficial and imperfect; and Dr Tschudi opines, with some naïveté, that the hidden hoard may yet be discovered. We cannot partake his opinion. The cunning Jesuits who concealed the treasure will have found means to recover it.

Lima was the principal seat of the Inquisition upon the west coast of South America, and in severity the tribunal was but little surpassed by that of Madrid itself. The building in which it was held still exists, but was gutted by the populace when the institution was abolished by the Cortes, and few traces of its internal arrangements and murderous engines are now to be seen. More visible ones are yet to be noticed in the persons of some unfortunate Limeños. "A Spaniard," Dr Tschudi tells us, "whose limbs were frightfully distorted, told me, in reply to my inquiries, that he had fallen into a machine which had thus mangled him. A few days before his death, however, he confided to me that in his twenty-fourth year he had been brought before the tribunal of the Holy Inquisition, and by the most horrible tortures had been compelled to confess a crime of which he was not guilty. I still shudder when I remember his crushed and twisted limbs, at the thoughts of the agonies which the unhappy wretch must have endured."

Now and then, however, the most holy ruffians of the Inquisition met their match, as the following anecdote serves to show. The Viceroy, Castel-Fuerte, once expressed, in presence of his confessor, certain opinions regarding religion which the good monk did not find very catholic, and which he accordingly, as in duty bound, reported to the Inquisitors. The latter, confident of their omnipotence, joyfully seized this opportunity to increase its prestige, by proving that their power extended even to the punishment of a viceroy. But Castel-Fuerte was not Philip of Spain. At the appointed hour, he repaired to the Inquisition at the head of his body-guard and of a company of infantry, with two pieces of artillery, which he caused to be pointed at the building. Entering the terrible hall, he strode up to the table, drew out his watch, and laid it before him. "Señores," said he, "I am ready to discuss this affair, but for one hour only. If I am not back by that time, my officers have orders to level this building with the ground." Astounded at his boldness, the Inquisitors consulted together for a few moments, and then, with eager politeness, complimented the resolute Castel-Fuerte out of the house.

Lima was founded by Pizarro in the year 1534, on the 6th of January, known amongst Roman Catholics as the Day of the Three Kings. From this latter circumstance it has frequently been called the City of the Kings. Like some tropical flower, urged into premature bloom and luxuriance by too rich a soil and too ardent a sun, its decay has been proportionably rapid, and the capital of Peru is already but the ghost of its former self. Some idea of its rapid growth may be formed from the circumstance that a wall built in 1585, only fifty years after its foundation, includes, with the exception of a small portion of the northern extremity and the suburb of San Lazaro, the whole of a city capable of containing one hundred thousand inhabitants, and measuring ten English miles in circumference. The dates of foundation of the principal public buildings further confirm the fact of Lima's rapid arrival at the size as well as the rank of a metropolis. The number of inhabitants, which in 1810 was estimated at eighty-seven thousand, in 1842 was reduced to fifty-three thousand. It must be observed, however, that the manner of taking the census is loose and imperfect, and these numbers may need rectification. At the same time, there can be no doubt that the population has long been, and still is, daily diminishing. Of this diminution the causes are various, and may easily be traced to the physical and political state of the country. Terrible earthquakes have buried thousands of persons beneath the ruins of their dwellings; the struggle for independence also swept away its thousands; and banishment[8] and emigration may further account for the decrease. Epidemics, the natural consequence of an imperfect police, and an utter neglect of cleanliness, frequently rage in the city and its environs; and Dr Tschudi proves, by interesting tables and statements, that the average excess of deaths over births has been, since the year 1826, no less than five hundred and fifty annually. Without entering into all the causes to which this may be attributed, he pronounces the criminal, but, in Lima, too common, practice of causing abortion to be one of the most prominent. So large a yearly decrease menaces the Peruvian capital with a speedy depopulation, and already whole streets and quarters of the city are desolate,—the houses falling in,—the gardens run to waste. To the country, not less than to the town, many of the above facts are applicable; and the once rich and flourishing region, that extends from the third to the twenty-second degree of southern latitude, and which, at the time of its conquest by Pizarro, contained an enormous population, now possesses but one million four hundred thousand inhabitants.

One can really hardly grieve over the possible extinction of a race which, according to Dr Tschudi's showing, is in most respects so utterly worthless and undeserving of sympathy. We refer now more especially to the white Creoles,[4] who constitute about a third, or rather more, of the population of Lima, where there are comparatively few Indians of pure blood, but, on the other hand, a large number of half-casts of every shade, and about five thousand negroes, chiefly slaves. These white Creoles, with few exceptions the descendants of Spaniards, seem to have clung to, and improved upon, the vices of their progenitors, without inheriting their good qualities. Both physically and morally they have greatly degenerated. Weak, indolent, and effeminate, a ten hours' ride seems to them an exploit worthy of registration in the archives of the country. Sworn foes of any kind of trouble, if their circumstances compel them to choose an occupation, they set up some retail shop, which gives them little trouble, and allows them abundance of leisure to gossip with their neighbours and smoke their cigar. The richer class pass their time in complete idleness,—lounging in the streets, visiting their acquaintances, and occasionally taking a lazy ride to their plantations near the city. The afternoon is got rid of in the café, the gaming-house, or the cock-pit—cock-fighting being a darling diversion with the Creoles. Their education is defective, and the majority of them are ignorant beyond belief. Dr Tschudi tells us of a Peruvian minister of war who knew neither the population nor the area of his country, and who obstinately maintained that Portugal was the eastern boundary of Peru, and could be reached by land. Another Peruvian, high in place, was heard to give an exact account of how Frederick the Great had driven Napoleon out of Russia. There have been some brilliant exceptions to this general darkness, but the list of them is very brief, and may be comprised in a few lines. In their habits the Creoles are dirty, especially at table; and the disgusting custom of spitting is carried to an extent that would make even a Yankee stare. Their principal good qualities are abstinence from strong drinks, hospitality to strangers, and benevolence to the poor.

The ladies of Lima, we learn, are in most respects far superior to the men. Tall and well made, with regular features, magnificent eyes and hair, beautiful teeth, and exquisitely small feet, they are spoken of by Dr Tschudi in terms almost of enthusiasm. Their dress is very original; one usual part of it being a silk petticoat, made so narrow at the ankles as to prevent rapid walking, and to render their kneeling down in church and getting up again a matter of some difficulty. [9] During the revolution, when Lima was held alternately by the Spaniards and the Patriots, a party of the former, in order to ascertain the real sentiments of the Limeños, disguised themselves as Patriots, and approached the city. As soon as their coming was known, a crowd went out to meet them, and in the throng were many women with these narrow sayas. When sufficiently near, the disguised Spaniards drew their swords, and cut right and left amongst the defenceless mob. The men saved themselves by flight, but the women, impeded by their absurd petticoats, were for the most part sabred.

The Limeñas are good mothers, but bad housekeepers. Most ladies have an unnecessarily numerous establishment of servants and slaves, each of whom does just what he pleases, and is rarely at hand when wanted. Smoking is pretty general amongst Peruvian women, but is on the decline rather than the increase. They are passionately fond of music, and most of them sing and play the guitar or piano, although, for want of good instruction, their performance is usually but middling. Many of them are skilled in needle-work; but they rarely occupy themselves in that manner—never in company or of an evening. "Happy city!" exclaims Dr Tschudi, thinking doubtless of his own fair countrywomen and their eternal knitting needles, "where stocking making is unknown in the social circle!" We do not find, however, that the doctor supports his assertion of the moral superiority of the Creole ladies over their worser halves, by any very strong proofs. That assertion, on the contrary, is followed by the startling admissions, that they are confirmed gluttons, and ruin their husbands by their love of dress; that they gamble considerably, and intrigue not a few, favoured in this latter respect by a certain convenient veil of thick silk, called a manto, which entirely conceals their face, having only a small triangular loop-hole, "through which a great fiery eye flashes upon you." We fear that these "flashes," frequently repeated, have a little dazzled our learned traveller, and induced him to look leniently on the sins of the lovely Limeñas. We do not otherwise know how to reconcile the evidence with the eulogium.

Ardent politicians, and endowed with a degree of courage not often found in their sex, these Peruvian dames have frequently played a prominent part in revolutions, and by their manœuvres have even brought about changes of government. Conspicuous amongst them was Doña Francisca Subyaga, wife of the former president, Gamarra. When, in 1834, her cowardly and undecided husband was driven out of Lima by the populace, and stood lamenting and irresolute what to do, Doña Francisca snatched his sword from his side, put herself at the head of the troops, and commanded an orderly retreat, the only means by which to save herself and the remainder of the army. A bystander having ventured to utter some insolent remark, she rode up to him, and threatened that when she returned to Lima she would make a pair of riding-gloves out of his skin. She died in exile a few months later, or else, when her husband went back to Peru four years afterwards, at the head of a Chilian army, she would have been likely enough to keep her word.

So much for the Limeñas, although Dr Tschudi gives us a great deal more information concerning them; and very amusing this part of his book is, reminding us considerably of Madame Calderon's delightful gossip about Mexico. "Lima," says the Spanish proverb, "is a heaven to women, a purgatory to husbands, and a hell to jackasses." The latter unfortunate beasts being infamously used by the negroes, who, especially the liberated ones, are the most cruel and vicious race in Peru. In this latter category must be included the Zambos and Chinos, half-casts between negroes and mulattos, and negroes and Indians. We turn a few pages and come to the carnival; during which, judging from the account before us, we should imagine that Lima became a hell not only to ill-treated donkeys, but to man woman, and child. The chief sport of that festive season consists in sprinkling people with water, concerning the purity of which the sprinklers are by no means fastidious.[10] From nearly every balcony, liquids of the most various and unsavoury description are rained down upon the passers by; at the street corners stand negroes, who seize upon all who are not of their own cast, and roll them in the gutter, unless they prefer paying a certain ransom, in which case they get off with a trifling baptism of dirty water. Troops of young men force their way into the houses of their acquaintances and attack the ladies. First they sprinkle them with scented water, but when that is expended, the pump, and even worse, is had recourse to, and the sport becomes brutality. The ladies, with their clothes dripping wet, are chased from room to room, become heated, and are frequently rendered dangerously ill. Diseases of the lungs, and other rheumatic complaints, are the invariable consequences of the carnival, to whose barbarous celebration many fall victims. Besides this, every year murders occur out of revenge for this brutal treatment. One favourite trick is to fill a sack with fragments of glass and earthenware, and fasten it to the balcony by a cord, the length of which is so calculated, that when let down the sack hangs at about seven feet from the ground. The sack is kept on the balcony till somebody passes, and is then suddenly thrown out, but, thanks to the cord, remains at a safe distance above the heads of those below. Although it is tolerably well known that in most streets there is at least one of these infernal machines; yet the sudden shock and alarm are so great, that persons have been known to fall down senseless on the spot. Horses are thus made to shy violently, and frequently throw their riders. The practice is each year forbidden by the police, but the prohibition is disregarded.

Heaven preserve us from a Lima carnival! If compelled to choose we should infinitely prefer a campaign against the Chilians, which, we apprehend, must be mere barrack-yard duty comparatively. No wonder that the city is becoming depopulated, when the fairer portion of its inhabitants are annually subjected to such inhuman treatment. In some respects the Peruvians appear to be perfect barbarians. Their favourite diversions are of the most cruel order; cock-fighting and bull-fights—but bull-fights, compared to which, those still in vogue in Spain are humane exhibitions. Peru is the only country in South America where this last amusement is kept up as a matter of regular occurrence. Bull-fighting in Spain may be considered cruel, but in Peru it becomes a mere torturing of beasts, without honour or credit to the men opposed to them, who are all negroes and zambos, the very dregs of the populace. There seems a total want of national character about the Peruvians. They are bad copies of the Spaniards, whose failings they imitate and out-herod till they become odious vices. Add to what has been already shown of their cruel and sensual propensities, the fact that their habitations, with the exception of the two rooms in which visits are received, bear more resemblance, for cleanliness and order, to stables than to human dwellings, and it will be acknowledged that not a little of the savage seems to have rubbed off upon the Peruvian.

Ice is a necessary of life in Lima, and is brought from the Cordilleras, a distance of twenty-eight leagues. So essential in that ardent climate is this refreshment, that the lack of it for a few days is sufficient to cause a notable ferment among the people; and in all revolutions, therefore, the leaders cautiously abstain from applying the mules used for its carriage, to any other purpose. The Indians hew the ice out of the glaciers in lumps of six arrobas (150 pounds) each, and lower it from the mountains by ropes. Other Indians receive and carry it a couple of leagues to a depot, where it is packed upon mules. Two lumps form a mule load, and thirty of these loads are sent daily to Lima, where, by means of frequent relays, they arrive in eighteen or twenty hours. During the journey the ice loses about the third of its weight, and what remains is just sufficient to supply the city for a day. It is chiefly used in making ices, composed for the most part of milk or pine-apple juice.

The want of good roads, and, in many directions, of any roads at all, renders carriage travelling in the[11] neighbourhood of Lima exceedingly difficult and expensive. Only southwards from the city is it possible, at an enormous cost, to get to a distance of forty leagues. Sixty or eighty horses are driven by the side of the carriage, and every half hour fresh ones are harnessed, as the only means of getting the vehicle through the sand, which is more than a foot deep. A Peruvian, who was accustomed to send his wife every year on a visit to his plantation, at thirty-two leagues from Lima, told Dr Tschudi that the journey there and back cost him fourteen hundred dollars, or somewhere about three hundred pounds sterling. In former days, during the brilliant period of the Spanish domination, enormous sums were frequently given for carriages and mules; and the shoes of the latter, and tires of the wheels, were often of silver instead of iron. Even at the present day the Peruvians expend large sums upon the equipments of their horses, especially upon the stirrups, which are ponderous boxes carved in wood, and lavishly decorated with silver. A friend of Dr Tschudi's, a priest from the Sierra, had a pair made, the silver about which weighed forty pounds! The saddle and bridle were proportionably magnificent, and the value of the silver employed in the whole equipment was more than 1500 dollars. Spurs are of enormous size. According to the old usage they should contain three marks—a pound and a half—of silver, and be richly chased and ornamented. The rowels are one and a half to two inches in circumference. Besides the saddle, bridle, and stirrups above described, the unfortunate Peruvian horses are oppressed with sheepskin shabrack, saddle-bags, and various other appliances. "At first," says our traveller, "the Peruvian horse-trappings appear to a stranger both unwieldy and unserviceable; but he soon becomes convinced of their suitableness, and even finds them handsome." We should not, nor, we dare be sworn, do the horses, whose many good qualities certainly deserve a lighter load and better treatment than they appear to get. Dr Tschudi speaks highly of their endurance and speed, although their usual pace is an amble, at which, however, they will outstrip many horses at full gallop. One variety of this favourite pace, the paso portante, in which the two feet on the same side of the body are thrown forward at the same time, is particularly curious, and peculiar to the Peruvian horse. The giraffe is the only other animal that employs it. In Peru a horse is valued according to the goodness of his amble. Beauty of form is a secondary consideration, and the finest trotters are thought nothing of, but are sold cheap for carriage work. It is considered a serious defect, and greatly depreciates a horse's value, if he has the habit of flapping or lashing himself with his tail when spurred, or at any other time. As this habit is found incurable, the sinews of the tail are sometimes cut through, which, by crippling it, hinders the obnoxious flapping.

The breaking of a Peruvian horse occupies two years. The horse-breakers are, for the most part, free negroes, of powerful build, and they understand their business perfectly, only that they ill-treat the animals too much, and thereby render them shy. They teach them all sorts of ambles and manège tricks, one of the latter consisting in the horse pirouetting upon his hind legs. This they do when at full gallop, on the slightest signal of the rider. A well-known Limeño, says Dr Tschudi, rode at full speed up to the city wall, which is scarcely nine feet broad, leaped upon it, and made his horse repeatedly perform this volte, the fore feet of the beast each time describing the arc of a circle beyond the edge of the wall. He performed this feat with every one of his horses. Further on in the book, the doctor relates an incident that occurred to himself, proving the more valuable qualities of these horses, their strength, courage, and endurance. "I had occasion to go from Huacho to Lima," he says, "and wished to accomplish this journey without halting. The distance is twenty-eight leagues, (at least eighty-four miles,) and I left Huacho at two in the afternoon, accompanied by a negro guide. At one in the morning we reached the river Pasamayo, which had been greatly swoln by the recent rains, and thundered along with a fearful uproar. Several travellers[12] were bivouacked upon the shore, waiting for daylight, and perhaps for the subsiding of the waters. My negro shrugged his shoulders, and said he had never seen the river so high; and the travellers agreed with him, and denied the possibility of crossing. But I had no time to lose, and made up my mind to risk the passage on my good horse, who had often served me in similar dilemmas. I cautiously entered the stream, which, at each step, became deeper and stronger. My horse soon lost his footing, and, in spite of his violent efforts, was swept down by the force of the current, until we were both dashed against a rock in the middle of the river. Just then the moon became clouded, and I could no longer distinguish the group of trees on the opposite shore, which I had fixed upon to land at. Luckily my horse had again found a footing; I turned his head, and plunging into deep water, the noble beast swam back, with incredible strength, to the bank whence we had come. After some search I found a more favourable place, and my negro and I succeeded in crossing. Three travellers, who were anxious to do the same, but did not dare venture alone, called to us for assistance. I sent back the negro on my own horse, and one by one he brought them over. Seven times did the good steed achieve the dangerous passage, and then carried me without a halt to Lima, where we arrived at the hour of noon.

Such horses as these are indeed valuable in a country where carriage roads there are none, or next to none. The mules, whose price varies according to their qualities, from 100 to 1000 dollars, also perform, in spite of indifferent usage, scanty care, and frequently poor nourishment, journeys of great length over the arid sandy plains of Peru. They are also amblers, and often as swift as the horses. Dr Tschudi tells us of a priest at Piura, who, when he had to read mass at a sea-port town, fourteen leagues from his residence, mounted, at six in the morning, a splendid mule belonging to him, and reached his destination at nine o'clock. At four in the afternoon he set off on his return, and was home by seven or half-past. The whole of the road, which led across a sandflat, was gone over at an amble. The priest refused enormous sums for this beast, which he would on no account sell. At last Salaverry, then president of Peru, heard of the mule's extraordinary swiftness, and sent an aide-de-camp to buy it. The officer met with a refusal; but no sooner had he turned his back, than the priest, who knew Salaverry's despotic and violent character, cut off his mule's ears and tail. As he had foreseen, so it happened. The next morning a sergeant made his appearance, bearing positive orders to take away the animal in dispute, with or without the owner's sanction. This was done; but when Salaverry saw the cropped condition of poor mulo, he swore all the oaths in the language, and sent him back again. The priest had attained his end, for he valued the beast less for his beauty than for his more solid qualities.

The Peruvian cuisine has, not unnaturally, a considerable similarity with the Spanish. The puchero or olla is the basis of the dinner, and of red pepper, capsicums, and other stimulating condiments, abundant use is made. The Limeños have some extraordinary notions respecting eating and drinking. They consider that every sort of food is either heating or cooling, and is opposed to something else. The union in the stomach of two of these contrary substances is attended, according to their belief, with the most dangerous consequences, and may even cause death. A Limeño, who has eaten rice at dinner, omits the customary glass of water after the sweetmeats, because the two things se oponen, are opposites. To so absurd an extent is this carried, that servants who have eaten rice refuse to wash afterwards, and the washer-women never eat it. "I have been asked innumerable times," says Dr Tschudi, "by persons who had been ordered a foot-bath at night, whether they might venture to take it, for that they had eaten rice at dinner!"

The market at Lima was formerly held upon the Plaza Mayor, and was renowned for the great abundance and variety of the fruits, vegetables, and flowers brought thither for sale. But it is now on the Plazuela de la Inquisicion,[13] and its glory has in great measure departed. Along the sides of the gutters sit the fish and sausage sellers, who may be seen washing their wares in the filthy stream before them. The butchers exhibit good meat, but only beef and mutton, the slaughtering of young beasts being forbidden by law. On the flower market are sold Lima nosegays—pucheros de flores, as they are called. They are composed of a few specimens of the smaller tropical fruits, esteemed either for fragrance or beauty, laid upon a banana leaf, and tastefully intermingled with flowers. The whole is sprinkled with lavender water and other scents, and is very pretty to look at, but yields an overpoweringly strong perfume. The price depends on the rarity of the flowers employed, and some of these pucheros cost seven or eight dollars. They rank amongst the most acceptable presents that can be offered to a Peruvian lady.

"The city of earthquakes," would be a far more appropriate name for Lima, than the city of the kings. On an average of years, five-and-forty shocks are annually felt, most of which occur in the latter half of October, in November, December, January, May, and June. January is the worst month, during which, in many years, scarcely a day passes without convulsions of this kind. The terrible earthquakes that play such havoc with the city, come at intervals of forty to sixty years. Since the west coast of South America is known to Europeans, the following are the dates:—1586, 1630, 1687, 1713, 1746, 1806; always two in a century. It is greatly to be feared that ten more years will not elapse without Lima being visited by another of these awful calamities. Dr Tschudi gives a brief account of the earthquake of 1746. It was on the 28th of October, St Simon and St Jude's day, that at 31 minutes past 10 P.M., the earth shook with a fearful bellowing noise, and in an instant the whole of Lima was a heap of ruins. Noise, earthquake, and destruction were all the affair of one moment. The few buildings whose strength resisted the first shock, were thrown down by a regular horizontal motion of the earth, which succeeded it and lasted four minutes. Out of more than three thousand houses only twenty-one remained uninjured. Nearly all the public buildings were overthrown. At the port of Callao the destruction was even more complete; for scarcely was the earthquake over, when the sea arose with a mighty rushing sound, and swallowed up both town and inhabitants. In an instant five thousand human beings became the prey of the waters.[5] The Spanish corvette San Fermin, which lay at anchor in the harbour, was hurled far over the walls of the fortress, and stranded at more than five hundred yards from the shore. A cross marks the place where she struck. Three heavily laden merchantmen met the same fate, and nineteen other vessels foundered. The town had disappeared, and travellers have related how, even now, when the sky is bright and the sea still, the houses and churches may be dimly seen through the transparent waters. Such a tale as this is scarce worth refuting, seeing that the houses were overturned by the earthquake before they were overwhelmed by the sea, whose action must long since have destroyed their every vestige. But the old sailors along that coast love to tell how on certain days the people are seen sitting at the doors of their houses, and standing about in the streets, and how, in the silent watches of the night, a cock has been heard to crow from out of the depths of the sea.

Meteors frequently appear as forerunners of the earthquakes, amongst whose consequences may be reckoned the sudden sterilizing of districts previously fruitful, but which, after one of these convulsions of nature, refuse for many years to put forth vegetation. No frequency of repetition diminishes [14]the alarm and horror occasioned by the shocks. The inhabitants of Lima, although accustomed from their earliest childhood to the constant recurrence of such phenomena, spring from their beds at the first quivering of the earth, and with cries of "misericordia!" rush out of their houses. The European, who knows nothing of earthquakes but the name, almost wishes for the arrival of one, and is sometimes inclined to laugh at the terror of the Peruvians; but when he has once felt a shock, any disposition to make merry on the subject disappears, and his dread of its recurrence is even greater than that of the natives. The deeply unpleasant impression left by an earthquake, is in Lima heightened by the plegarias or general prayers that succeed it. The shock has no sooner been felt, than a signal is given from the cathedral, and during ten minutes all the bells in the town toll with long, measured strokes to call the inhabitants to their devotions.

A pleasant country to live in! Those who may feel tempted by the doctor's commendation of the fascinating Limeñas—the delightful, although not very healthy, climate—the luscious fruits, and gorgeous flowers, and manifold wonders of Peru—to gird up their loins and betake themselves thither, will perhaps think twice of it when they learn that an earthquake might, and probably would, be their welcome. Descriptions of tropical countries remind us of those pictures of Italian festivals, where nymph-like damsels and Antinöus-looking youths are gracefully dancing round grape-laden cars; whilst some fine old Belisarius of a grandpapa, white bearded and benignant, sits upon the shaft and smiles upon his descendants. One sees the graceful forms, the classic features, the bursting grapes, and the bright sunshine; all of which, like enough, are depicted to the life, but one sees nothing of the filth, and nastiness, and crawling vermin, that would awfully shock us in the originals of the picture. Not that we mean to accuse Dr Tschudi of painting Peru in rose-colour, or remaining silent as to its defects. He is a conscientious traveller, and gives us things as he finds them. Besides the great nuisance of the earthquakes, and the lesser one of dirt, already adverted to; besides the armies of fleas, which render even the Lima theatre almost unvisitable—not mild European fleas, but sanguinary Spanish-American ones; besides the malaria in the swamps, the piques, chinches, mosquitos, and other insect tormentors, he favours us with some agreeable details touching the highwaymen who infest the whole coast of Peru, but especially the neighbourhood of Lima and Truxillo. They are usually runaway slaves, simarrones, as they are called, or else free negroes, zambos, and mulattos. Now and then Indians are found amongst them, who make themselves conspicuous by their cold-blooded cruelties, and occasionally even a white man takes to this infamous trade. In 1839 a North American, who had served on board of a man-of-war, was shot for highway robbery. Shooting, it must be observed, appears to be the usual way of inflicting capital punishment in Peru. These banditti, well mounted and armed, are very bold and numerous, and most of them belong to an extensive and well organised band, which has branches in various directions. Sometimes they approach the city in parties of thirty or forty men, and plunder all travellers who leave it. They prefer attacking foreigners, and usually spare the richer and more influential Peruvians, which may be one cause that stronger measures are not adopted against them. Shortly before Dr Tschudi's departure from Lima, they attacked the feeble escort of a sum of one hundred thousand dollars, which were on their way to the mines of Cerro de Pasco, and carried off the money. The silver bars sent from the mines to the city they allow to pass unmolested, as being too heavy and cumbersome. The unfortunate peasants who come in from the mountains on jackasses, with eggs and other produce, are marked for their particular prey, on account of the money which they usually carry with them to make purchases in the town. If no dollars are found on them, they are killed or terribly maltreated. We pass over some stories of the cruelties exercised by these bandits. Here is one of another[15] sort. "One night that I found myself at Chancay," says the doctor, "an Indian told me the following anecdote: About half a mile from the village, he said, he had been met by a negro, who approached him with carbine cocked, and ordered him to halt. The Indian drew a large pistol, and said to the robber, 'You may thank heaven that this is not loaded, or it would be all over with you.' Laughing scornfully, the negro rode up and seized the Indian, who then pulled the trigger of his pistol and shot him dead on the spot."

When attacked by the police or military, the robbers display desperate courage in their defence. Sometimes they take shelter in the bush or thicket, to which, if the space of ground it covers be not too extensive, the pursuers set fire on all sides; so that the bandits have no choice but to perish or yield themselves prisoners. In the latter case their trial is very short, and after they have been left shut up with a priest for the space of twelve hours, they are brought out and shot. They are allowed to choose their place of execution, and must carry thither a small bench or stool upon which they sit down. Four soldiers stand at a distance of three paces; two aim at the head and two at the heart. A few years ago a Zambo of great daring was sentenced to death for robbery, and he demanded to be shot upon the Plaza de la Inquisicion. He sat down upon his bench—the soldiers levelled and fired. When the smoke of the discharge blew away, the Zambo had disappeared. He had watched each movement of the soldiers, and at the very moment that they laid finger on trigger, had thrown himself on one side and taken refuge amidst the crowd, some of whom favoured his escape. In time of war a corps is formed composed chiefly of these banditti, and of men who have made themselves in some way obnoxious to the laws. They go by the name of Montoneros, and are found very useful as spies, skirmishers, despatch-bearers, &c., but are generally more remarkable for cruelty than courage. They wear no uniform; and sometimes they have not even shoes, but strap their spurs on their naked heels. In the year 1838, the Anglo-Peruvian general, Miller, commanded a thousand of these montoneros who were in the service of Santa Cruz. When war is at an end, these wild troops disband themselves, and for the most part return to their former occupation.

Abandoning Lima and its environs, Dr Tschudi takes us with him on a visit to the various towns and villages along the coast, proceeding first north and then south of the capital. In a coasting voyage to the port of Huacho, he has the honour to reckon amongst his fellow passengers, Lord Cochrane's friend, the celebrated Padre Requena, then cura of that town. Of this ecclesiastic, of whom he, after his arrival, saw a good deal, he draws a picture which may be taken as a general type of the Peruvian priesthood, and is by no means creditable to them. Requena's chief passion is coursing, and his greatest annoyance, during Dr Tschudi's stay in Huacho, was, that ill health, brought on by his excesses, prevented him from indulging it. He had several magnificent horses, and a numerous pack of greyhounds, some of which latter had cost him one hundred and fifty and two hundred dollars a-piece. His seraglio was almost as well stocked as his kennel, and the number of children who called him tio, or uncle, the usual term in Peru in such cases, was quite prodigious. He took great pride in talking of his friendship with Lord Cochrane. He died a few weeks after his return to Huacho, and delayed so long to send for a confessor that the Indians at last surrounded the house with frightful menaces, and sent in a priest to render him the last offices of the church. He had great difficulty in making up his mind to death, or, as he expressed it, to a separation from his greyhounds and horses. At almost the last moment, when his hands began to grow cold, he made his negro put on them a pair of buckskin gloves.

This respectable priest was by no means singular in his love of the chase, of which frequent examples are to be found in Peru. On reaching Quipico, the most easterly plantation in the beautiful valley of Huaura, Dr. Tschudi had scarcely entered the courtyard when he was surrounded by upwards of fifty greyhounds, whilst[16] from every quarter others came springing towards him. They were the remains of a pack that had belonged to one Castilla, recently the owner of the plantation, and whose usual establishment consisted of two to three hundred of these dogs, with which he every day went coursing. The strictest discipline was kept up amongst this lightfooted multitude. At stated hours a bell summoned them to their meals, and in the kennel stood a gibbet, as a warning to the lazy or perverse. One day, when Castilla was out hunting, an Indian came up, with an ordinary-looking crossbred dog. In spite of his looks this dog out-stripped the whole pack, and pulled down the roebuck. Castilla immediately purchased him at the enormous price of three hundred and fifty dollars. A few days afterwards he again went out with his best hounds and his new acquisition. The leashes were slipped, and the greyhounds went off like the wind, but the crossbreed remained quietly by the horses. The same afternoon he was hung up to the gallows, an example to his fellows.

The whole extent of the Peruvian coast, from its northern to its southern extremity, presents nearly the same aspect; vast deserts of sand, varied by fruitful valleys, with their villages and plantations; seaport towns there where nature or commerce has encouraged their foundation; alternate insupportable heat and damp fog; scarcity of men; crumbling monuments of a period of riches and greatness. In the sandy plains it is no unusual occurrence for travellers to lose their way and perish for thirst. In that fervent and unhealthy climate, human strength rapidly gives way before want of food and water. In the year 1823 a transport carrying a regiment of dragoons, three hundred and twenty strong, stranded on the coast near Pisco. The soldiers got on shore, and wandered for thirty-six hours through the sand-waste, out of which they were unable to find their way. At the end of that time they were met by a number of horsemen with water and food, who had been sent out from Pisco to seek them, but already one hundred and fifty of the unfortunates had died of thirst and weariness, and fifty more expired upon the following day. Forty-eight hours' wandering in those arid deserts, deprived of food and drink, is certain death to the strongest man. Rivers are scarce, and even where the bed of a stream is found, it is in many instances dry during the greater part of the year. The traveller's danger is increased by the shifting nature of the sand, which the wind raises in enormous clouds, and in columns eighty to one hundred feet high. The medanos are another strange phenomenon of these dangerous wilds. They are sandhills in the form of a crescent, ten to twenty feet high, and with a sharp crest. Their base is moveable, and when impelled by a tolerably strong wind, they wander rapidly over the desert; the smaller ones, more easily propelled, preceding the large. The latter, however, after a time, prevent the current of air from reaching the former—take the wind out of their sails, it may be said—and then run over and crush them, themselves breaking up at the same time. In a few hours, what was previously a level, is often covered with ranges of hillocks, hindering a view of the horizon, and bewildering the most experienced wanderers through these perilous regions. In November the summer begins. The scorching rays of the sun break through the grey covering of the heavens, and threaten to consume, by their intensity, the entire vegetable and animal creation. Not a plant finds nourishment, nor a beast food upon the parched and glowing soil; no bird or insect floats upon the sultry air. Only in the upper regions is seen the majestic condor, flying towards the ocean. All life and movement is now confined to the coast. Troops of vultures assemble around the stranded carcases of sea monsters; otters and seals bask beneath the cliffs; variegated lizards scamper over the sand-heaps, and busy crabs and sea-spiders dig into the damp shore. In May the scene changes. A thin veil of mist spreads over sea and coast, gradually thickening, until in October the sun again dispels it. At the beginning and end of this winter, as it is called, the fog generally rises at nine or ten in the morning, and is again dissipated at three in the afternoon.[17] It is thickest in August and September, when, for weeks together, it does not lift. It never changes into rain, but only into a fine penetrating mist, called the garua. On many parts of the Peruvian coast, it never rains, excepting after a very violent earthquake, and even then not always. The usual height of the fog from the ground is seven or eight hundred feet. It never exceeds a height of twelve hundred feet, nor is found at all beyond a few miles from the coast, at which distance it is replaced by violent rains. The boundary line between rain and fog may be determined with almost mathematical accuracy. Dr Tschudi visited two plantations, one about six leagues from Lima, the other in the neighbourhood of Huacho, one half of which was annually watered by the garuas, and the other half by rain. A wall was built upon the line where one mode of irrigation ceased and the other began.

The province of Yca, whose soil is sandy, and to all appearance incapable of producing any description of vegetation, is devoted to the culture of the vine, which perfectly succeeds there. The young plants are set half a foot deep in the sand, and left to themselves; they speedily put forth leaves, and yield a luxuriant crop of grapes, remarkable for flavour and juiciness. These are mostly used for brandy, with which the whole of Peru and great part of Chili are supplied from the valley of Yca. It is of excellent quality, especially a sort made from muscatel grapes, and called aguardiente de Italia. Very little wine is made, except by one planter, Don Domingo Elias, who has attempted it after the European fashion. The result has been a wine resembling Madeira and Teneriffe, only much more fiery, and containing a larger proportion of alcohol. The brandy was formerly conveyed to the coast in huge earthen botijas, capable of containing one hundred and fifty to one hundred and seventy-five pounds weight of the liquor; but these were continually broken, chiefly by the thirsty mules across which they were slung like panniers, and who, when rushing in crowds to the watering-places, invariably smashed a number of them against each other. To remedy this the brandy-growers have adopted the use of goat-skins; and the manner in which, upon many plantations, these are prepared, is as frightful a piece of barbarity as can well be imagined. A negro hangs up the goat, alive, by the horns, makes a circular cut through the skin of the neck, and strips the hide from the agonized beast, which is only killed when completely flayed. The pretext for this execrable cruelty is, that the skin comes off more easily, and is found more durable. It is to be hoped that the planters will have sufficient humanity speedily to do away with so horrible a practice.

The negro carnival, which Dr Tschudi witnessed at Yca, appears to us, of the two, a more civilized performance than the Creole carnival at Lima. In various of the streets large arches, tastefully decorated with ribands, are erected; the negresses and zambas dance beneath then; whilst the allotted task of the men is to gallop through without being stopped. If the women succeed in checking the horse, and pulling the rider out of the saddle, the latter has to pay a fine, and gets laughed at to boot. It is difficult to know which to admire most; the speed of the horses, the skill of the riders, or the daring of the women, who throw themselves upon the horse as he comes on at full gallop. As the horsemen approach, they are pelted with unripe oranges, which, thrown by a strong-armed zamba, are capable of inflicting tolerably hard knocks. Dr Tschudi saw one negro who, during a whole hour, galloped backwards and forwards without being stopped, and concluded by giving an extraordinary proof of muscular strength. At the very moment that he passed under the arch, he stooped forward over his horse's neck, caught up a negress under each arm, and rode off with them!

Opposite to the ports of Pisco and Chincha, lie a number of small islands, noted for their large deposits of guano, or huanu, as Dr Tschudi corrects the orthography of the word. The doctor gives some very interesting particulars concerning this efficacious manure, which, although but recently adopted in Europe, appears to have been used in Peru as far back as the time of the first Incas. The Peruvians use it chiefly for the maize and potato fields; their manner of employing it is peculiar, and but little known in Europe.[18] A few weeks after the seeds have begun to germinate, a small hole is made beside each plant, filled with huanu and covered up with earth. Twelve or fifteen hours later the whole field is laid under water, and left so for a few hours. The effect of the process is incredibly rapid. In a very few days the plants attain double their previous height. When the operation is repeated, but with a smaller quantity of the huanu, the farmer may reckon upon a crop at least threefold that which he would obtain from an unmanured soil. Of the white huanu, which is much stronger than the dark-coloured, less must be used, and the field must be watered sooner, and for a longer time, or the roots will be destroyed. When the land is tolerably good, seven hundred and fifty to nine hundred pounds of huanu are reckoned sufficient for a surface of fourteen thousand square feet; with poor soil a thousand to twelve hundred pounds are required.

The waters that wash the coast of Peru swarm with fish, upon many of which nature has amused herself in bestowing the most singular and anomalous forms. For a period of six weeks, Dr Tschudi took up his abode at the port of Huacho, with a view to increase his ichthyological collection. Every morning at five o'clock he rode down to the beach to await the return of the fishermen from their nocturnal expeditions. From as far as they could distinguish him, the Indians would hold up to his notice some strange and newly captured variety of the finny race. He succeeded in getting together many hundred specimens of about a hundred and twenty species of sea and river fish; but ill luck attended this valuable collection. Through the negligence of the people at the port of Callao, a cask of brandy, in which the fish were preserved, was left for months upon the mole in the burning sun, till its contents were completely spoiled. A second cask, in spite of the most careful packing, arrived in Europe, after a fifteen months' voyage, in a similar condition. This, however, was not the only instance, during the doctor's stay in Peru, of the fruits of great industry, and trouble, and heavy expense, being snatched from him by untoward accidents. But nothing seems to have discouraged a man actuated by a sincere love of science and thirst for information, and possessed, as is made manifest by many parts of his modest and unegotistical narrative, of great determination and perseverance. Steadily he continued his researches, in defiance of difficulties and sufferings that would have driven ordinary men over and over again on board the first ship sailing for Europe.

We have as yet scarcely referred to those portions of the volume dedicated to natural history, although the doctor rarely dismisses a province or district without giving a brief but interesting account of its most remarkable animals, fruits, and plants. His description of some of these is very curious. Amongst others, he tells us of a small bird called the cheucau, (Pteroptochus rubecula Kittl,) in connexion with which the people of Chiloë, of which island it is a native, entertain a host of superstitious fancies, foretelling good or bad luck according to the various modulations of its song. "I was one day," says the doctor, "out shooting with an Indian guide, when we came upon one of these birds, sitting on a bush and piping out a shrill huit-huit-ru. I had already taken aim at it, when my companion seized my arm, and begged me not to shoot it, for that it was singing its unlucky note. Wishing to obtain a specimen, I disregarded his entreaty and fired. I had leaned my gun against a tree, and was examining the little bird, when a vicious mule, irritated probably by the report, came charging down upon us, so that we had only just time to run behind a hedge in order to escape his attack. Before we could find means to drive the enraged animal away, he had thrown down my gun, bitten it furiously, and stamped on it with his fore-feet. The Indian gravely said that it would be well if no worse came of it, for that he had told me the bird was whistling bad luck." There is another bird, about the size of a starling, which passes its time, and finds its food, upon the backs of the cattle, and chiefly of horses and jackasses, picking out the insects which there abound. The beasts seem to feel that he is doing them a service, and allow him to walk unmolested over their backs and heads. Of the beasts of prey, the ounce is the most dangerous[19] and bloodthirsty. It attains a very large size, and Dr Tschudi saw the carcass of one that measured eight feet and three inches from the nose to the extremity of the tail. The tail was two feet and eight inches long. It had been killed after a two days' hunt, during which, three negroes had been dangerously wounded by it. Of Peruvian fruits, the most delicious is the chirimoya. It is of a round form, sometimes heart-shaped or pyramidal, its rind thick and tough, of a green colour streaked with black. The inside is snow-white, soft and juicy, with black pips or seeds. Near Lima, they are small and of inferior quality, sometimes not larger than a man's fist; but in the interior, and especially in the province of Huanuco, they attain their full perfection, and often weigh fourteen or sixteen pounds. Their smell is most fragrant, and their delicious flavour, Dr Tschudi says, he can compare to nothing, for it is incomparable.

We perceive, on glancing over what we have written, that we have occupied ourselves chiefly with the lighter portions of this book, and, by so doing, may have given the reader an erroneous idea of its value. Although, as already mentioned, the more important and scientific results of Dr Tschudi's travels are to be found in others of his works, the one before us must not be set down as a mere amusing and ephemeral production. It contains a great deal of curious information, and will be found useful as a book of reference by all who are interested in the commerce, natural history, and general statistics of Peru.

Notwithstanding our endeavours to "go a-head," we have got no further than the conclusion of the first volume. In the second, which is also the final one, the doctor abandons the coast and the city, and penetrates into what may be termed the Peruvian back-woods, amongst the snow-covered Cordilleras and aboriginal forests, the silver mines and Indians. Of what he there saw and heard we shall give an account in our next Number.


Letter I.

Dear Mr Editor—I perceive, by your having requested a second specimen of N.N.T.'s English hexameters, that you feel an interest in the question, whether that form of verse can be successfully employed in our language. Certainly the trial has never yet been made under any moderate advantages. Sidney, and the other Elizabethans, in their attempts, hampered themselves with Latin rules of the value of syllables, which the English ear refuses to recognise, and which drive them into intolerable harshness of expression and pronunciation. Stanihurst's Virgil is so laboriously ridiculous in phraseology, that every thing belonging to it is involved in the ridicule. Southey's Vision is a poem so offensive in its scheme, that no measure could have made it acceptable. Yet the beginning of that poem is, as you, Mr Editor, have remarked, a very happy specimen of this kind of verse; and would, I think, by a common English reader, be admired, independently of classical rules and classical recollections. Now, if we can reach this point, and at the same time give a good English imitation of the Epic mode of narration in Homer, we shall have a better image of Homer in our language than we yet possess. Your contributor appears to me to have advanced a good way towards the execution of this kind of work; and I should be glad if he, or you, would allow me, as a reader of English hexameters, to offer a few remarks on his first book of the Iliad, with a view to point out what appear to me the dangers and difficulties of the task. I do not say any thing of my general admiration of N.N.T.'s version, for mere praise you would hardly think worth its room.

I should be glad to discuss with you, Mr Editor, the objections which are usually made to English hexameters. There is one of these objections which I will say a few words about at present. It proceeds upon a misapprehension, now, I hope, pretty generally rectified; I mean the objection that we cannot have hexameters, "because we have so few spondees the language." Southey says we have but one, Egypt; and gives this as a reason why the[20] spondees of classical hexameters are replaced by trochees in German and English. As to Southey's example, Egypt is no more a spondee than precept or rescript; but the fact is, that we have in English spondees in abundance; and these spondees have tended more than any thing else to spoil our hexameters. The universal English feeling of rhythm rejects a spondee at the end of the verse; and if the syllables there placed are such as would, in the natural course of pronunciation, form a spondee, we nevertheless force upon them a trochaic character. This may be worth proving. Read, then, the following lines of Sidney:—

"But yet well do I find each man most wise in his own case."

"And yet neither of ūs great ōr blest deemeth his own self."

"Shall such morning dews be an ease to heat of a love's fire?"

"Tush, tush, said Natūre, this is all but a trifle; a man's self
Gives haps or mishaps, ev'n as he ord'reth his heart."

Now, here you have four endings which are naturally spondees; but the verse compels you to pronounce them as trochees—ōwn căse, ōwn sĕlf, lōve's fĭre, mān's sĕlf. If you still doubt whether the last foot of English hexameters is necessarily a trochee, consider this:—that if you make them rhyme, you must use double rhymes, in order that the rhyme may include the strong syllable. Thus take any of the examples given in Maga for April last:—

"See, O citizens! here old Ennius's image presented.
Honour me not with your tears; by none let my death be lamented."

The ear would not be satisfied with a rhyme of one syllable such as this—

"But yet well do I find each man most wise in his own case:
Wisely let each resolve, and meet the event with a calm face."

Now, so long as men retain the notion that the most perfect English hexameters are those which have spondees in the classical places, they are led to admit such verses as those just quoted; and this being done, the common reader, and indeed every reader, is compelled to do some violence to the language in reading. This, more than any thing else, has made an English hexameter frequently sound forced and unnatural. N.N.T. has a few such in his first Iliad.

"Pressed on the silvery hilt as he spake was the weight of his right hand."

"Two generations complete of the blood of articulate mankind."

"Over the split wood then did the old man burn them, and black wine

These forms of English hexameter are to be avoided, if you would commend the verse to the common ear. And we may exclude them with a good conscience. Their forced and uneasy movement does not arise from any imperfection in our English spondees; but from the spondee in these cases being so perfect, that it cannot without some violence be made a trochee, which the English verse requires. I do not think you will find this bad trick in Southey. His habitual feeling of English rhythm preserved him from it.

But there is another blemish, which Southey, forgetting his classical rhythm too much, for it ought to have guided his English practice, has often incurred. It is, the writing lines without a cæsura, so that they divide themselves into half lines. Such as these:—

"Washington, said the monarch, | well hast thou spoken and truly."

"Evil they sow, and sorrow | will they reap for their harvest."

"That its tribute of honour, | poor though it was, was witholden."

"Pure it was and diaphanous. | It had no visible lustre."

N.N.T. has a few of these. One is the last line I quoted from him.

The essential point in English hexameters, especially while they are imperfectly naturalized, is, that the rhythm should be unforced. Without this, they will always repel and offend the English reader. And hence, though our rhythm is to be constructed by stress, and not by Latin rules of long and short, still, if it do not destroy it mars the verse, to have, for short syllables, those which have long vowels, clustered consonants, or special emphasis.[21]

Such are the dactyls at the beginning of these lines of Southey:—

"Thōu, tŏo, dĭdst act with upright heart as befitted a sovereign."

"Hēaven ĭn thĕse things fulfilled its wise though inscrutable purpose."

"Heār, Heăv'n! y̆e angels hear! souls of the good and the wicked."

Except you prefer to read it thus—

"Hear, Heav'n! yē ăngĕls hear!"

which is no better. Perhaps the worst of Southey's lines in this way is this—

"Flōw'd thĕ lĭght ūncrēātĕd; lĭght all sufficing, eternal."

And as examples of weak syllables harshly made strong, take these—

"Fabius, Ātrides, and Solon and Epamininondas."

"Here, then, āt the gate of Heaven we are met! said the Spirit."

"Thē desire of my heart hath been alway the good of my people."

N.N.T. has some examples of this. As a slight one, I notice at the end of a line, hārvĕstlĕss ocean. And these, which are spoiled by the violation of emphasis:—

"Trūly Ĭ came not, for one, out of hate for the spearmen of Troja."

"Mightier even than you, yet amōng thĕm Ĭ never was slighted."

Here we have an emphatic I and an emphatic them which are made short in the rhythm.

N.N.T. has one dactyl which I can hardly suppose was intended—

"Under his chāstĭsĭng hand."

It appears to me that we shall never bring the lovers of English poetry to like our hexameters, except we can make the verses so that they read themselves. This the good ones among them do. N.N.T. has whole passages which run off without any violence or distortion.

But the phraseology of English hexameters requires great care, as well as the rhythm, and especially in such a work as the translation of Homer. The measure has the great advantage of freeing us from the habitual chain of "poetical diction." But we must take care that we are not led, by this freedom, either into a modern prose style, or into mean colloquialities; or in translating, into phrases which, though expressive and lively, do not agree with the tone of the poem. The style must be homely, but dignified, like that of our translation of the Old Testament. Perhaps you will allow me, for the sake of example, to notice some of N.N.T.'s expressions:—

"Try not the engine of craft: to come over me thus is beyond thee."

"This the suggestion, forsooth, that thyself being safe with thy booty,
I shall sit down without mine."

The phrase to "come over me" is colloquial, and too low even for a letter. "Your suggestion" is a phrase for a letter, not for an epic poem. "Forsooth" would be good in construing, but not in a poem. Again, is this passage serious English:—

"Opposite rose Agamemnon in wrath, but before he could open?"

I could notice other blemishes of style, as they seem to me; and, indeed, I could the more easily find them, on account of the very severe standard of good English, serious and dignified, yet plain and idiomatic, which I think the case requires. Every phrase should be the very best that can be found both for meaning and tone. I know that this requirement is difficult; but I think the thing may be done; and I do not see why N.N.T. should not do it, and thus give us a better English Homer than we have yet.

If you can find room for me, I have a few more words to say on this same matter of English hexameters another day. It appears to me that there are still very erroneous notions current upon the subject. In the mean time I subscribe myself your obedient

M. L.




The fall of the external walls of Lille did not terminate the struggle for that important fortress. Marshal Boufflers still held the citadel, a stronghold in itself equal to most fortresses of the first order. No sooner, however, were the Allies in possession of the town, than the attack on the citadel commenced with all the vigour which the exhausted state of the magazines would furnish. Detached parties were sent into France, which levied contributions to a great extent, and both replenished the stores of the Allies and depressed the spirits of the French, by making them feel, in a manner not to be misunderstood, that the war had at length approached their own doors. To divert, if possible, Marlborough from his enterprise, the Elector of Bavaria, who had recently returned from the Rhine, was detached by Vendôme, with fifteen thousand men against Brussels; while he himself remained in his intrenched camp on the Scheldt, which barred the road from Lille to that city, at once stopping the communication, and ready to profit by any advantage afforded by the measures which the English general might make for its relief. The governor of Brussels, M. Paschal, who had seven thousand men under his orders, rejected the summons to surrender, and prepared for a vigorous defence; and meanwhile Marlborough prepared for its relief, by one of those brilliant strokes which, in so peculiar a manner, characterize his campaigns.

Giving out that he was going to separate his army into winter-quarters, he dispatched the field artillery towards Menin, and he himself set out with his staff in rather an ostentatious way for Courtray. But no sooner had he lulled the vigilance of the enemy by these steps, than, wheeling suddenly round, he advanced with the bulk of his forces towards the Scheldt, and directed them against that part of the French general's lines where he knew them to be weakest. The army, upon seeing these movements, anticipated the bloodiest battle, on the day following, they had yet had during the war. But the skill of the English general rendered resistance hopeless, and gained his object with wonderfully little loss. The passage of the river was rapidly effected at three points; the French corps stationed at Oudenarde, vigorously assailed and driven back on Grammont with the loss of twelve hundred men, so as to leave the road uncovered, and restore the communication with Brussels. Having thus cleared the way of the enemy, Marlborough sent back Eugene to resume the siege of the citadel of Lille; while he himself, with the greater part of his forces, proceeded on to Brussels, which he entered in triumph on the 29th November. The Elector of Bavaria was too happy to escape, leaving his guns and wounded behind; and the citadel of Lille, despairing now of succour, capitulated on the 11th December. Thus was this memorable campaign terminated by the capture of the strongest frontier fortress of France, under the eyes of its best general and most powerful army.[6]

But Marlborough, like the hero in antiquity, deemed nothing done while any thing remained to do. Though his troops were exhausted by marching and fighting almost without intermission for five months, and he himself was labouring under severe illness in consequence of his fatigues, he resolved in the depth of winter to make an attempt for the recovery of Ghent, the loss of which in the early part of the campaign had been the subject of deep mortification. The enemy, after the citadel of Lille capitulated, having naturally broken up their army into cantonments, under the belief that the campaign was concluded, he suddenly collected his forces, and drew round Ghent on the 18th December. Eugene formed the covering force with the corps lately employed in the reduction of Lille. The garrison was very strong, consisting of no less than thirty battalions [23] and nineteen squadrons, mustering eighteen thousand combatants.[7] The governor had been instructed by Vendôme to defend this important stronghold to the last extremity; but he was inadequately supplied with provisions and forage, and this event signally belied the expectations formed of his resistance. The approaches were vigorously pushed. On the 24th the trenches were opened; on the 25th a sortie was repulsed; on the 28th December, the fire began with great vigour from the breaching and mortar batteries; and at noon, the governor sent a flag of truce, offering to capitulate if not relieved before the 2d January. This was agreed to; and on the latter day, as no friendly force approached, the garrison surrendered the gates and marched out, in such strength that they were defiling incessantly from ten in the morning till seven at night! Bruges immediately followed the example; the garrison capitulated, and the town again hoisted the Austrian flag. The minor forts of Plassendall and Leffinghen were immediately evacuated by the enemy. With such expedition were these important operations conducted, that before Vendôme could even assemble a force adequate to interrupt the besiegers' operations, both towns were taken, and the French were entirely dispossessed of all the important strongholds they had gained in the early part of the campaign in the heart of Brabant. Having closed his labours with these glorious successes, Marlborough put the army into now secure winter-quarters on the Flemish frontiers, and himself repaired to the Hague to resume the eternal contest with the timidity and selfishness of his Dutch allies.[8]

Such was the memorable campaign of 1708—one of the most glorious in the military annals of England, and the one in which the extraordinary capacity of the British general perhaps shone forth with the brightest lustre. The vigour and talent of Vendôme, joined to the secret communication which he had with those disaffected to the Austrian government in Ghent and Bruges, procured for him, in the commencement of the campaign, a great, and what, if opposed by less ability, might have proved a decisive advantage. By the acquisition of these towns, he gained the immense advantage of obtaining the entire command of the water communication of Brabant, and establishing himself in a solid manner in the heart of the enemy's territory. The entire expulsion of the Allies from Austrian Flanders seemed the unavoidable result of such a success, by so enterprising a general at the head of a hundred thousand combatants. But Marlborough was not discouraged; on the contrary, he built on the enemy's early successes a course of manœuvres, which in the end wrested all his conquests from him, and inflicted a series of disasters greater than could possibly have been anticipated from a campaign of unbroken success. Boldly assuming the lead, he struck such a blow at Oudenarde as resounded from one end of Europe to the other, struck a terror into the enemy which they never recovered for the remainder of the campaign, paralysed Vendôme in the midst of his success, and reduced him from a vigorous offensive to a painful defensive struggle. While the cabinet of Versailles were dreaming of expelling the Allies from Flanders, and detaching Holland, partly by intrigue, partly by force of arms, from the coalition, he boldly entered the territory of the Grand Monarque, and laid siege to its chief frontier fortress, under the eyes of its greatest army and best general. In vain was the water communication of the Netherlands interrupted by the enemy's possession of Ghent and Bruges; with incredible activity he got together, and with matchless skill conducted to the besiegers' lines before Lille, a huge convoy eighteen miles long, drawn by sixteen thousand horses, in the very teeth of Vendôme at the head of an hundred and twenty thousand men. Lille captured, Ghent and Bruges recovered, the allied standards solidly [24] planted on the walls of the strongest fortress of France, terminated a campaign in which the British, over-matched and surrounded by lukewarm or disaffected friends, had wellnigh lost at the outset by foreign treachery all the fruits of the victory of Ramilies.

The glorious termination of this campaign, and, above all, the addition made to the immediate security of Holland by the recovery of Ghent and Bruges, sensibly augmented Marlborough's influence at the Hague, and at length overcame the timidity and vacillation of the Dutch government. When the English general repaired there in the beginning of 1709, he quickly overawed the adherents of France, regained his wonted influence over the mind of the Pensionary Heinsius, and at length succeeded in persuading the government and the States to augment their forces by six thousand men. This, though by no means so great an accession of numbers as was required to meet the vast efforts which France was making, was still a considerable addition; and by the influence of Prince Eugene, who was well aware that the principal effort of the enemy in the next campaign would be made in the Netherlands, he obtained a promise that the Imperial troops should winter there, and be recruited, so as to compensate their losses in the preceding campaign. Great difficulties were experienced with the court of Turin, which had conceived the most extravagant hopes from the project of an invasion of France on the side both of Lyons and Franche Comté, and for this purpose required a large subsidy in money, and the aid of fifty thousand men under Prince Eugene on the Upper Rhine. Marlborough was too well aware, by experience, of the little reliance to be placed on any military operations in which the Emperor and the Italian powers were to be placed in co-operation, to be sanguine of success from this design; but as it was material to keep the court of Turin in good-humour, he gave the proposal the most respectful attention, and sent General Palmer on a special mission to the Duke of Savoy, to arrange the plan of the proposed irruption into the Lyonnois. With the cabinet of Berlin the difficulties were greater than ever, and in fact had become so urgent, that nothing but the presence of the English General, or an immediate agent from him, could prevent Prussia from seceding altogether from the alliance. General Grumbkow was sent there accordingly in March, and found the king in such ill-humour at the repeated disappointments he had experienced from the Emperor and the Dutch, that he declared he could only spare three battalions for the approaching campaign.[9] By great exertions, however, and the aid of Marlborough's letters and influence, the king was at length prevailed on to continue his present troops in the Low Countries, and increase them by fourteen squadrons of horse.[10]

But it was not on the Continent only that open enemies or lukewarm and treacherous friends were striving to arrest the course of Marlborough's victories. His difficulties at home, both with his own party and his opponents, were hourly increasing; and it was already foreseen, that they had become so formidable that they would cause, at no very remote period, his fall. Though he was publicly thanked, as well he might, by both houses of parliament, when he came to London on 1st March 1709, yet he received no mark of favour from the Queen, and was treated with studied coldness at court.[11] Envy, the inseparable[25] attendant on exalted merit—ingratitude, the usual result of irrequitable services, had completely alienated the Queen from him. Mrs Masham omitted nothing which could alienate her royal mistress from so formidable a rival; and it was hard to say whether she was most cordially aided in her efforts by the open Opposition, or the half Tory-Whigs who formed the administration. Both Godolphin and the Duke speedily found that they were tolerated in office merely: while, in order to weaken their influence with the people, every effort was made to depreciate even the glorious victories which had shed such imperishable lustre over the British cause. Deeply mortified by this ingratitude, Marlborough gladly embraced an offer which was made to him by the government, in order to remove him from court, to conduct the negotiation now pending at the Hague with Louis XIV. for the conclusion of a general peace.[12]

The pride of the French monarch was now so much humbled that he sent the President Rouillé to Holland, with public instructions to offer terms to the Allies, and private directions to do every thing possible to sow dissension among them, and, if possible, detach Holland from the alliance. His proposals were to give up Spain, the Indies, and the Milanese to King Charles; and cede the Italian islands, reserving Naples and Sicily for his grandson. In the Netherlands and Germany, he offered to restore matters to the state they were at the peace of Ryswick; and though he was very reluctant to give up Lille, he offered to cede Menin in its place. These terms being communicated to the court of London, they returned an answer insisting that the whole Spanish monarchy should be restored to the house of Austria, the title of Queen Anne to the Crown of England, and the Protestant succession acknowledged, the Pretender removed, the harbour of Dunkirk destroyed, and an adequate barrier secured for the Dutch. In their ideas upon this barrier, however, they went much beyond what Marlborough was disposed to sanction, and therefore he maintained a prudent reserve on the subject. As the French plenipotentiary could not agree to these terms, Marlborough returned to England, and Lord Townsend was associated with him as plenipotentiary. They were instructed to insist that Furmes, Ipres, Menin, Lille, Tournay, Condé, Valenciennes, and Maubeuge, should be given up to form a barrier, and that Newfoundland and Hudson's Bay should be restored. Alarmed at the exaction of such rigorous terms, Louis sent M. de Torcy, who made large concessions; and Marlborough, who was seriously desirous of bringing the war to a conclusion, exerted all his influence with the States to induce them to accept the barrier offered. He so far succeeded, that on the very day after his return to the Hague, he wrote both to Lord Godolphin and the Duchess of Marlborough, that he had prevailed on the Dutch commissioners to accede to the principal articles, and that he had no doubt the negotiation would terminate in an honourable peace.[13]

These flattering prospects, however, [26] were soon overcast. The Dutch renewed their demand of having their barrier strengthened at the expense of Austria, and insisted that the Flemish fortresses of Dendermonde and Ghent, forming part of the Imperial dominions, should be included in it. To this both Eugene and Marlborough objected, and the Dutch, in spite, refused to stipulate for the demolition of Dunkirk. So violent an altercation took place on the subject between the Pensionary Heinsius and Marlborough, that it had wellnigh produced a schism in the grand alliance. M. de Torcy at first endeavoured to mitigate the demands of the Dutch government; but finding them altogether immovable, he addressed himself privately to Marlborough, offering him enormous bribes if he could procure more favourable terms for France. The offers were 2,000,000 livres (£80,000) if he could secure Naples and Sicily, or even Naples alone, for the grandson of the King of France; and 4,000,000 livres (£160,000) if, in addition to this, he could save Strasburg, Dunkirk, and Landau, for France. Marlborough turned away from the disgraceful proposal with coldness and contempt;[14] but enforced in the most earnest manner on the French king, the prudence and even necessity of yielding to the proffered terms, if he would save his country from dismemberment, and himself from ruin. His efforts, however, to bring matters to an accommodation with France proved ineffectual; and after some weeks longer spent in proposals and counter-proposals, the ultimatum of the Allies was finally delivered to the French plenipotentiary by the Pensionary of Holland.[15]

By this ultimatum, Charles was to be acknowledged King of Spain and the Indies, and the whole Spanish monarchy was to be ceded by France. All the conquests of Louis in the Low Countries were to be given up; the Duke of Anjou was to surrender Spain and Sicily in two months, and if not delivered, Louis was to concur with the Allies for his expulsion. The barrier towns, so eagerly coveted by the Dutch, were to be given up to them. Namur, Menin, Charleroi, Luxembourg, Condé, Tournay, Maubeuge, Nieuport, Fismes, and Ipres, were to be put into the possession of the Allies. De Torcy objected to the articles regarding the cession of the whole Spanish monarchy in two months; though he declared his willingness to go to Paris, in order to persuade the French monarch to comply with them, and actually set off for that purpose. On the way to the French capital, however, he was met by a messenger from the French king, who rejected the proposals. "If I must continue the war," said Louis, with a spirit worthy his race, "it is better to contend with my enemies than my own family." So confidently had it been believed, both at the Hague and in London, that peace was not only probable, but actually concluded, that letters of congratulation poured in on the duke from all quarters, celebrating his dexterity and address in negotiation not less than his prowess in arms. So confident, indeed, was Marlborough that peace would be concluded, that he was grievously disappointed by the rupture of the negotiations; and never ceased to strive, during the whole summer, to smooth away difficulties, and bring the Allies to such terms as the French king would accept. He was overruled, however, by the ministry at home, who concluded the celebrated barrier treaty with the Dutch, which Marlborough refused to sign, and was accordingly signed by Townsend alone, without his concurrence! And it is now decisively proved by the publication of his private correspondence with Lord Godolphin, that he disapproved of the severe articles insisted upon by the Allies and his own cabinet; and that, if he had had the uncontrolled management of the negotiation, it would have been brought to a favourable issue on terms highly advantageous to England, and which would have prevented the treaty of Utrecht from forming a stain on its annals.[16] [27]

The rigorous terms demanded, however, by the Allied cabinets, and the resolute conduct of the King of France in rejecting them, had an important effect upon the war, and called for more vigorous efforts on the part of the confederates than they had yet put forth, or were even now disposed to make. Louis made a touching appeal to the patriotic spirit of his people, in an eloquent circular which he addressed to the prelates and nobles of his realm. He there set forth the great sacrifices which he had offered to make to secure a general peace; showed how willing he had been to divest himself of all his conquests, abandon all his dreams of ambition; and concluded by observing, that he was now compelled to continue the contest, because the Allies insisted upon his descending to the humiliation of joining his arms to theirs to dispossess his own grandson. The appeal was not made in vain to the spirit of a gallant nobility, and the patriotism of a brave people. It kindled a spark of general enthusiasm and loyalty: all ranks and parties vied with each other in contributing their property and personal service for the maintenance of the war; and the campaign which opened under such disastrous auspices, was commenced with a degree of energy and unanimity on the part of the French people which had never hitherto been evinced in the course of the contest.[17] As afterwards, in the wars of the Revolution, too, the misfortunes of the state tended to the increase of its military forces. The stoppage of commerce, and shock to credit, threw numbers out of employment; and starving multitudes crowded to the frontier, to find that subsistence amidst the dangers of war which they could no longer find in the occupations of peace.

Skilfully availing themselves of this burst of patriotic fervour, the ministers of Louis were enabled to open the campaign with greater forces than they had yet accumulated since the beginning of the war. The principal effort was made in Flanders, where the chief danger was to be apprehended, and the enemy's most powerful army and greatest general were to be faced. Fifty-one battalions and forty-nine squadrons were drawn from the Rhine to Flanders; and this great reinforcement, joined to the crowds of recruits whom the public distress impelled to his standards, enabled the renowned Marshal Villars, who had received the command of the French, to take the field at the head of 112,000 men. With this imposing force, he took a position, strong both by nature and art, extending from Douay to the Lye; the right resting on the canal of Douay, the centre covered by the village of La Bassie, the left supported by Bethune and its circumjacent marshes. The whole line was strengthened by redoubts and partial inundations. Marlborough was at the head of 110,000 men, and although his force was composed of a heterogeneous mixture of the troops of different nations, yet, like the colluvies omnium gentium which followed the standards of Hannibal, it was held together by the firm bond of military success, and inspired with unbounded confidence, founded on experience, in the resources and capacity of its chief. Events of the greatest and most interesting kind could not but be anticipated, when two armies of such magnitude, headed by such leaders, were brought into collision; and the patriotic ardour of the French nation, now roused to the uttermost, was matched against the military strength of the confederates, matured by so long and brilliant a series of victories.[18]

Though relying with confidence on the skill and intrepidity of his troops, Marlborough, according to his usual system, resolved if possible to circumvent the enemy by manœuvring, and reserve his hard blows for the time [28] when success was to be won in no other way. His design was to begin the campaign with a general battle, or the reduction of Tournay, which lay on the direct road from Brussels by Mons to Paris, and would break through, in the most important part, the barrier fortresses. To prepare for either event, and divert the enemy's attention, strong demonstrations were made against Villars' intrenched position, and if it had been practicable, it would have been attacked; but after a close reconnoitre, both generals deemed it too hazardous an enterprise, and it was resolved to besiege the fortress. On the 23d June, the right under Eugene crossed the lower Dyle below Lille; while the left, with whom were the whole English and Dutch contingents, crossed the upper Dyle, and Marlborough fixed his headquarters at the castle of Looz. So threatening were the masses which the Allies now accumulated in his front, that Villars never doubted he was about to be attacked; and in consequence he strengthened his position to the utmost of his power, called in all his detachments, and drew considerable reinforcements from the garrisons of Tournay and other fortresses in his vicinity. Having thus fixed his antagonist's attention, and concentrated his force in his intrenched lines between Douay and Bethune, Marlborough suddenly moved off to the left, in the direction of Tournay. This was done, however, with every imaginable precaution to impose upon the enemy. They decamped at nightfall on the 27th in dead silence, and advanced part of the night straight towards the French lines; but at two in the morning, the troops were suddenly halted, wheeled to the left, and marched in two columns, by Pont à Bovines and Pont à Tressins, towards Tournay. So expeditiously was the change in the line of march managed, and so complete the surprise, that by seven in the morning the troops were drawn round Tournay, and the investment complete, while a half of the garrison was still absent in the lines of Marshal Villars, and it was thereby rendered incapable of making any effectual defence. Meanwhile, that commander was so deceived, that he was congratulating himself that the enemy had "fixed on the siege of Tournay, which should occupy them the whole remainder of the campaign; when it is evident their design had been, after defeating me, to thunder against Aire la Venant with their heavy artillery, penetrate as far as Boulogne, and after laying all Picardy under contribution, push on even to Paris."[19]

Tournay is an old town, the ancient walls of which are of wide circuit; but it had a series of advanced works erected by Vauban, and its citadel, a regular pentagon, was considered by the great Condé as one of the most perfect specimens of modern fortification in existence. So little did the governor expect their approach, that many of the officers were absent, and a detachment of the garrison, sent out to forage, was made prisoners by General Lumley, who commanded the investing corps. The fortifications, however, were in the best state, and the magazines well stored with ammunition and military stores. It was the ancient capital of the Nervii, so celebrated for their valour in the wars with Cæsar; and an inscription on its walls testified that Louis XIV., after taking it in four days, had assisted in the construction of the additional works which would render it impregnable. The attempt to take such a place with a force no greater than that with which Villars had at hand to interrupt the operations, would have been an enterprise of the utmost temerity, and probably terminated in disaster, had it not been for the admirable skill with which the attention of the enemy had been fixed on another quarter, and the siege commenced with half its garrison absent, and what was there, imperfectly supplied with provisions.[20]

[29] The heavy artillery and siege equipage required to be brought up the Scheldt from Ghent, which in the outset occasioned some delay in the operations. Marlborough commanded the attacking, Eugene the covering forces. By the 6th, however, the approaches were commenced; on the 10th, the battering train arrived and the trenches armed; repeated sallies of the enemy to interrupt the operations were repulsed, and several of the outworks carried, between that time and the 21st, on which last occasion the besiegers succeeded in establishing themselves in the covered ways. The breaching batteries continued to thunder with terrible effect upon the walls; and on the 27th, a strong horn-work, called of the Seven Fountains, was carried, and the Allies were masters of nearly the whole line of the counterscarp. Meanwhile, Villars made no serious movement to interrupt the besiegers, contenting himself with making demonstrations between the Scarfe and the Scheldt to alarm the covering forces. Eugene, however, narrowly watched all his proceedings; and in truth the French marshal, far from really intending to disquiet the Allies in their operations, was busied with an immense army of pioneers and labourers in constructing a new set of lines from Douay along the Scarfe to the Scheldt near Condé, in order to arrest the progress of the Allies in the direction they had now taken. Seeing no prospect of being relieved, the governor on the 29th surrendered the town, and retired with the remains of the garrison, still four thousand strong, into the citadel.[21]

On the surrender of the town, no time was lost in prosecuting operations against the citadel, and the line of circumvallation was traced out that very evening. But this undertaking proved more difficult than had been expected, and several weeks elapsed before any material progress was made in the operations, during which Villars made good use of his time in completing his new lines to cover Valenciennes and Condé. The garrison of the citadel, though unequal to the defence of the town of Tournay, was quite adequate to that of the citadel: and the vast mines with which the whole outworks and glacis were perforated, rendered the approaches in the highest degree perilous and difficult. The governor, M. De Surville, proposed, on the 5th August, to capitulate in a month if not relieved; and to this proposition, Marlborough and Eugene with praiseworthy humanity at once acceded: but the King of France refused to ratify the terms proposed, unless the suspension of arms was made general to the whole Netherlands, to which the allied general would not accede. The military operations consequently went on, and soon acquired a degree of horror hitherto unparalleled even in that long and bloody contest. The art of countermining, and of counteracting the danger of mines exploding, was then very imperfectly understood, though that of besieging above ground had been brought to the very highest degree of perfection. The soldiers, in consequence, entertained a great and almost superstitious dread of the perils of that subterraneous warfare, where prowess and courage were alike unavailing, and the bravest, equally as the most pusillanimous, were liable to be at any moment blown into the air, or smothered under ground, by the explosions of an unseen, and therefore appalling, enemy. The Allies were inferior in regular sappers [30] and miners to the besieged, who were singularly well supplied with that important arm of the service. The ordinary soldiers, how brave soever in the field, evinced a repugnance at engaging in this novel and terrific species of warfare: and it was only by personally visiting the trenches in the very hottest of the fire, and offering high rewards to the soldiers who would enter into the mines, that men could be got who would venture on the perilous service.[22]

It was not surprising that even the bravest of the allied troops were appalled at the new and extraordinary dangers which now awaited them, for they were truly of the most formidable description. What rendered them peculiarly so, was, that the perils in a peculiar manner affected the bold and the forward. The first to mount a breach, to effect a lodgement in a horn-work, to penetrate into a mine, was sure to perish. First a hollow rumbling noise was heard, which froze the bravest hearts with horror: a violent rush as of a subterraneous cataract succeeded; and immediately the earth heaved, and whole companies, and even battalions, were destroyed with a frightful explosion. On the 15th August a sally by M. De Surville was bravely repulsed, and the besiegers, pursuing their advantage, effected a lodgement in the outwork: but immediately a mine was sprung, and a hundred and fifty men were blown into the air. In the night between the 16th and 17th, a long and furious conflict took place below ground and in utter darkness, between the contending parties, which at length terminated to the advantage of the besiegers.[23] On the 23d a mine was discovered, sixty feet long by twenty broad, which would have blown up a whole battalion of Hanoverian troops placed above it; but while the Allies were in the mine, congratulating themselves on the discovery, a mine below it was suddenly sprung, and all within the upper one buried in the ruins. On the night of the 25th, three hundred men, posted in a large mine discovered to the Allies by an inhabitant of Tournay, were crushed by the explosion of another mine directly below it; and on the same night, one hundred men posted in the town ditch were suddenly buried under a bastion blown out upon them. Great was the dismay which these dreadful and unheard-of disasters produced among the allied troops. But at length the resolution and energy of Marlborough and Eugene triumphed over every obstacle. Early on the morning of the 31st August the white flag was displayed, and a conference took place between the two commanders in the house of the Earl of Albemarle; but the governor having refused to accede to the terms demanded—that he should surrender prisoners of war—the fire recommenced, and a tremendous discharge from all the batteries took place for the next three days. This compelled the brave De Surville to submit; and Marlborough, in consideration of his gallant defence, permitted the garrison to march out with the honours of war, and return to France, on condition of not serving again till exchanged. On September 3d the gates were surrendered; and the entire command of this strong fortress and rich city, which entirely covered Spanish Flanders, was obtained by the Allies.[24]

[31] No sooner was Tournay taken than the allied generals turned their eyes to Mons, the next great fortress on the road to Paris, and which, with Valenciennes, constituted the only remaining strongholds that lay on that line between them and Paris. So anxious was Marlborough to hasten operations against this important town, that on the very day on which the white flag was displayed from the citadel of Tournay, he dispatched Lord Orkney with all the grenadiers of the army, and twenty squadrons, to surprise Ghislain, and secure the passage of the Haine. On the 3d, the Prince of Hesse-Cassel was dispatched after him with 4000 foot and 60 squadrons. Lord Orkney, on arriving on the banks of the Haine, found the passage so strongly guarded that he did not deem it prudent to alarm the enemy by attempting to force them. The Prince of Hesse-Cassel, however, was more fortunate. He marched with such extraordinary diligence, that he got over forty-nine English miles in fifty-six successive hours; a rapidity of advance, for such a distance, that had never been surpassed at that, though it has been outdone in later times.[25] By this means he reached the Haine on the other side of Mons, and surprised the passage near Obourg, at two in the morning of the 6th, and at noon he entered the French lines of the Trouille without opposition, the enemy retiring with precipitation as he advanced. He immediately extended his forces over the valley of the Trouille, fixed his headquarters at the abbey of Belian, and with his right occupied in strength the important plateau of Jemappes, which intercepted the communication between Mons and Valenciennes. It was on this height that the famous battle was fought between the French Republicans under Dumourier in 1792: another proof among the many which history affords how frequently the crisis of war, at long distances of time from each other, takes place in the same place. By this decisive movement Marlborough gained an immense advantage;—Mons was now passed and invested on the side of France; and the formidable lines, thirty leagues in length, on which Marshal Villars had been labouring with such assiduity during the two preceding months, were turned and rendered of no avail.[26]

While the Prince of Hesse-Cassel, with the advanced guard of the army, gained this brilliant success, Marlborough was rapidly following with the main body in the same direction. The force besieging Tournay crossed the Scheldt at the bridge of that town, and joined the covering force under Eugene. From thence they advanced to Sirant, where they were joined by Lord Orkney with his detachment, which had failed in passing the Haine. On the 6th, having learned of the success of the Prince of Hesse-Cassel, who had turned the enemy's lines, and got between Mons and France, the allied generals pushed on with the utmost expedition, and leaving their army to form the investment of Mons, joined the prince in the abbey of Belian. Both commanders bestowed on him the highest compliments for the advantages he had gained; but he replied, "The French have deprived me of the glory due to such a compliment, since they have not even waited my arrival." In truth, such had been the celerity and skill of his dispositions, that they had rendered resistance hopeless, and achieved success without the necessity of striking a blow. Meanwhile Marshal Boufflers, hearing a battle was imminent, arrived in the camp as a volunteer, to serve under Villars, his junior in military service; a noble example of disinterested patriotism, which, not less than the justly popular character of that distinguished general, raised the enthusiasm of the French soldiers to the very highest pitch.[27] Every thing announced [32] a more sanguinary and important conflict between the renowned commanders and gallant armies now arrayed on the opposite sides, than had yet taken place since the commencement of the war.[28]

During these rapid and vigorous movements, which entirely turned and broke through his much-vaunted lines of defence, Villars remained with the great body of his forces in a state of inactivity. Aware he was to be attacked, but ignorant where the blow was first likely to fall, he judged, and probably rightly, that it would be hazardous to weaken his lines at any one point by accumulating forces at another. No sooner, however, did he receive intelligence of the march of the Prince of Hesse-Cassel, than he broke up from the lines of Douay, and hastily collecting his forces, advanced towards that adventurous commander. At two in the morning of the 4th, he arrived in front of him with his cavalry; but conceiving the whole allied army was before him, he did not venture to make an attack at a time when his great superiority of force would have enabled him to do it with every chance of success. The movement of Villars, however, and general feux-de-joie which resounded through the French lines on the arrival of Marshal Boufflers, warned the allied leaders that a general battle was at hand; and orders were in consequence given to the whole army to advance at four o'clock on the afternoon of the 7th. A detachment of Eugene's troops was left to watch Mons, the garrison of which consisted only of eleven weak battalions and a regiment of horse, not mustering above five thousand combatants; and the whole remainder of the allied army, ninety thousand strong, pressed forward in dense masses into the level and marshy plain in the middle of which Mons is situated. They advanced in different columns, headed by Marlborough and Eugene; and never was a more magnificent spectacle presented, than when they emerged from the woods upon the plain, and ascended in the finest order, with their whole cavalry and artillery, as well as infantry, the undulating ground which lies to the south of that town. They arrived at night, and bivouacked on the heights of Quaregnon, near Genly, and thence on to the village of Quevy, in a line not three miles in length, and only five distant from the enemy; so that it was evident a general battle would take place on the following day, unless Villars was prepared to abandon Mons to its fate.[29]

The French marshal, however, had no intention of declining the combat. His army was entirely fresh, and in the finest order; it had engaged in no previous operations; whereas a bloody siege, and subsequent fatiguing marches in bad weather, had sensibly weakened the strength, though they had not depressed the spirits, of the allied soldiers. The vast efforts of the French government, joined to the multitude of recruits whom the public distress had impelled into the army, had in an extraordinary degree recruited his ranks. After making provision for all the garrisons and detached posts with which he was charged, he could bring into the field no less than a hundred and thirty battalions, and two hundred and sixty squadrons; and as they had all been raised to their full complement, they mustered sixty-five thousand infantry, and twenty-six thousand horse, with eighty guns; in all, with the artillery, ninety-five thousand combatants. This vast array had the advantage of being almost entirely of one nation, speaking one language, and animated with one spirit; while the allied force was a motley array of many different faces and nations of men, held together by no other bond but the strong one of military success and confidence in their [33] chief. Both armies were of nearly equal strength, under the command of the ablest and most intrepid commanders of their day; the soldiers of both had acted long together, and acquired confidence in each other; and both contained that intermixture of the fire of young, with the caution of veteran troops, which is of the happiest augury for military success. It was hard to say, between such antagonists, to which side the scales of victory would incline.[30]

The face of the country occupied by the French army, and which was to be the theatre of the great battle which was approaching, is an irregular plateau, interspersed by woods and intersected by streams, and elevated from a hundred and fifty to two hundred feet above the meadows of the Trouille. Mons and Bavay, the villages of Quevrain and Giory, formed the angular points of this broken surface. Extensive woods on all the principal eminences both give diversity and beauty to the landscape, and, in a military point of view, added much to the strength of the position as defensible ground against an enemy. Near Malplaquet, on the west of the ridge, is a small heath, and immediately to the south of it the ground descends by a rapid slope to the Hon, which finds its way by a circuitous route by the rear of the French position to the Trouille, which it joins near Condé. The streams from Malplaquet to the northward all flow by a gentle slope through steep wooded banks to the Trouille, into which they fall near Mons. The woods on the plateau are the remains of a great natural forest which formerly covered the whole of these uplands, and out of which the clearings round the villages and hamlets which now exist, have been cut by the hands of laborious industry. Two woods near the summit level of the ground are of great extent, and deserve particular notice. The first, called the wood of Louvière, stretches from Longueville in a north-easterly direction to Cauchie; the second, named the wood Taisnière, of still larger size, extends from the Chaussée de Bois to the village of Bouson. Between these woods are two openings, or Trouées as they are called in the country—the Trouée de la Louvière, and the Trouée d'Aulnoet. Generally speaking, the ground occupied by the French, and which was to be the theatre of the battle, may be described as a rough and woody natural barrier, stretching across the high plateau which separates the Haine and the Trouille, and pervious only by the two openings of Louvière and Aulnoet, both of which are in a very great degree susceptible of defence.[31]

The allied army consisted of one hundred and thirty-nine battalions, and two hundred and fifty-three squadrons, with one hundred and five guns; mustering ninety-three thousand combatants. The two armies, therefore, were as nearly as possible equal in point of military strength—a slight numerical superiority on the part of the French being compensated by a superiority of twenty-five guns on that of the Allies. Among the French nobles present at the battle, were no less than twelve who were afterwards marshals of France.[32] The son of James II., under the name of the Chevalier of St George, who combined the graces of youth with the hereditary valour of his race, was there; St Hilaire and Folard, whose works afterwards threw such light on military science, were to be found in its ranks. The Garde-du-corps, Mousquetaires gris, Grenadiers à cheval, French, Swiss, and Bavarian guards, as well as the Irish brigade, stood among the combatants. The reverses of Louis had called forth the flower of the nobility, as well as the last reserves of the monarchy.[33]

[34] Early on the morning of the 9th, Marlborough and Eugene were on the look-out at the Mill of Sart, with a strong escort, consisting of thirty squadrons of horse. From the reports brought in, it was soon ascertained that the whole enemy's army was in march towards the plain of Malplaquet, on the west of the plateau, and that Villars himself was occupying the woods of Lasnière and Taisnière. His headquarters were at Blaugnies, in the rear of the centre. The two armies were now only a league and a half separate, and Marlborough and Eugene were clear for immediately attacking the enemy, before they could add to the natural strength of their position by intrenchnents. But the Dutch deputies, Hooft and Goslinga, interfered, as they had done on a similar occasion between Wavre and Waterloo, and so far modified this resolution as to induce a council of war, summoned on the occasion, to determine not to fight till the troops from Tournay were within reach, and St Ghislain, which commanded a passage over the Haine, was taken. This was done next day, the fort being carried by escalade, and its garrison of two hundred men made prisoners; and on the day following, all the reserves from Tournay came up. But these advantages, which in themselves were not inconsiderable, were dearly purchased by the time which Villars gained for strengthening his position. Instead of pushing on to attack the allies, as Marlborough and Eugene had expected, to raise the siege of Mons, that able commander employed himself with the utmost skill and vigour in throwing up intrenchments in every part of his position. The nature of the ground singularly favoured his efforts. The heights he occupied, plentifully interspersed with woods and eminences, formed a concave semicircle, the artillery from which enfiladed on all sides the little plain of Malplaquet, so as to render it literally, in Dumont's words, "une trouée d'enfer." Around this semicircle, redoubts, palisades, abattis, and stockades, were disposed with such skill and judgment, that, literally speaking, there was not a single inequality of ground, (and there were many,) which was not turned to good account. The two trouées or openings, in particular, already mentioned, by which it was foreseen the Allies would endeavour to force an entrance, were so enfiladed by cross batteries as to be wellnigh unassailable. Twenty pieces of artillery were placed on a redoubt situated on an eminence near the centre of the field; the remainder were arranged along the field-works constructed along the lines. Half the army laboured at these works without a moment's intermission during the whole of the 9th and 10th, while the other were under arms, ready to repel any attack which might be hazarded. With such vigour were the operations conducted, that by the night of the 10th, the position was deemed impregnable.[34]

During these two days, which were passed in inactivity, awaiting the coming up of the reinforcements from Tournay, which the council of war had deemed indispensable to the commencement of operations, Marlborough and Eugene had repeatedly reconnoitred the enemy's position, and were fully aware of its growing strength. Despairing of openly forcing such formidable lines, defended by so numerous and gallant an army, they resolved to combine their first attack with a powerful demonstration in rear. With this view, the rear-guard, which was coming up from Tournay under General Withers, of nineteen battalions and ten squadrons, received orders not to join the main body of the army, but, stopping short at St Ghislain, to cross the Haine there, and, traversing the wood of Blangris by a country road, assail the extreme left of the enemy at the farm of La Folie, when the combat was seriously engaged in front. Forty battalions of Eugene's army, under Baron Schulemberg, were to attack the wood of Taisnière, supported by forty pieces of cannon, so placed that their shot reached every part of the wood. To distract the enemy's attention, other attacks were directed along the whole line; but the main effort [35] was to be made by Eugene's corps on the wood of Taisnière; and it was from the co-operation of the attack of Schulemberg on its flank, that decisive success was expected.[35] All the corps had reached their respective points of destination on the evening of the 10th. Schulemberg was near La Folie; Eugene was grouped, in four lines, in front of Taisnière; and the men lay down to sleep, anxiously awaiting the dawn of the eventful morrow.[36]

At three in the morning of the 11th, divine service was performed, with the utmost decorum, at the head of every regiment, and listened to by the soldiers, after the example of their chief, with the most devout attention. The awful nature of the occasion, the momentous interests at stake, the uncertainty who might survive to the close of the day, the protracted struggle now to be brought to a decisive issue, had banished all lighter feelings, and impressed a noble character on that impressive solemnity. A thick fog overspread the field, under cover of which the troops marched, with the utmost regularity, to their appointed stations: the guns were brought forward to the grand battery in the centre, which was protected on either side by an épaulement to prevent an enfilade. No sooner did the French outposts give notice that the Allies were preparing for an attack, than the whole army stood to their arms, and all the working parties, who were still toiling in the trenches, cast aside their tools, and joyfully resumed their places in the ranks. Never, since the commencement of the war, had the spirit of the French soldier been so high, or so enthusiastic a feeling infused into every bosom. With confidence they looked forward to regaining the laurels, under their beloved commander, Marshal Villars, which had been withered in eight successive campaigns, and arresting the flood of conquest which threatened to overwhelm their country. No sooner did he mount on horseback at seven, than loud cries of "Vive le Roi!" "Vive le Maréchal de Villars!" burst from their ranks. He himself took the command of the left, giving the post of honour on the right, in courtesy, to Marshal Boufflers. On the allied side, enthusiasm was not so loudly expressed, but confidence was not the less strongly felt. They relied with reason on the tried and splendid abilities of their chiefs, on their own experienced constancy and success in the field. They had the confidence of veteran soldiers, who had long fought and conquered together. In allusion to the numerous field-works before them, and which almost concealed the enemy's ranks from their view, the sarcastic expression passed through the ranks, "We are again about to make war on moles." The fog still lingered on the ground, so as to prevent the gunners seeing to take aim; but at half-past seven it cleared up; the sun broke forth with uncommon brilliancy, and immediately the fire commenced with the utmost vigour from the artillery on both sides.[37]

For about half an hour the cannon continued to thunder, so as to reach every part of the field of battle with their balls, when Marlborough moved forward his troops in échelon, the right in front, in order to commence his projected attack on the French centre and left. The Dutch, who were on the left, agreeably to the orders they had received, halted when within range of grape, and a violent cannonade was merely exchanged on both sides; but Count Lottum, who commanded the centre of twenty battalions, continued to press on, regardless of the storm of shot and grape with which he was assailed, and when well into the enemy's line, he brought up his left shoulders, and in three lines attacked the right of the wood of Taisnière. Schulemberg, at the same time, with his forty battalions to the right of Lottum, advanced against the wood of Taisnière in front; while Lord Orkney, with his fifteen battalions, as Lottum's men inclined to the right, marched [36] straight forward to the ground they had occupied, and attacked the intrenchment before him in the opening. Eugene, who was with Schulemberg's men, advanced without firing a shot, though suffering dreadfully from the grape of the batteries, till within pistol-shot of the batteries. They were there, however, received by so terrible a discharge of all arms from the intrenchments—the French soldiers laying their pieces deliberately over the parapet, and taking aim within twenty yards of their opponents—that they recoiled above two hundred yards, and were only brought back to the charge by the heroic efforts of Eugene, who exposed his person in the very front of the line. Meanwhile, three battalions brought up from the blockade of Mons stole unperceived, amidst the tumult in front, into the south-eastern angle of the wood of Taisnière, and were making some progress, when they were met by three battalions of French troops, and a vehement fire of musketry soon rang in the recesses of the wood.

Meanwhile, Marlborough in person led on D'Auvergne's cavalry in support of Lottum's men, who speedily were engaged in a most terrific conflict. They bore without flinching the fire of the French brigade du Roi, and, crossing a ravine and small morass, rushed with fixed bayonets, and the most determined resolution, right against the intrenchment. So vehement was the onset, so impetuous the rush, that some of the leading files actually reached the summit of the parapet, and those behind pushing vehemently on, the redoubt was carried amidst deafening cheers. But Villars was directly in rear of that work; and he immediately led up in person a brigade in the finest order, which expelled the assailants at the point of the bayonet, and regained the work. Marlborough upon this charged at the head of D'Auvergne's cavalry; and that gallant body of men, three thousand strong, dashed forward, entered the intrenchments, which were, at the same time, surmounted by some of Lottum's battalions. While this desperate conflict was going on in front and flank of the wood, Withers, with his corps brought up from Tournay, was silently, and with great caution, entering the wood on the side of La Folie, and had already made considerable progress before any great efforts were made to expel them. The advance of this corps in his rear rendered it impossible for Villars any longer to maintain the advanced line of works in the front of the wood; it was therefore abandoned, but slowly, and in admirable order—the troops retiring through the trees to the second line of works in their rear, which they prepared to defend to the last extremity.

While this bloody conflict was raging in and around the wood of Taisnière, the half-hour during which the Prince of Orange had been directed to suspend his attack had elapsed, and that gallant chief, impatient of inactivity when the battle was raging with such fury on his right, resolved to move forward in good earnest. The Scotch brigade, led on by the Marquis of Tullibardine, headed the column on the left; to their right were the Dutch, under Spaar and Oxenstiern; while the Prince of Hesse-Cassel, with twenty-one squadrons, was in reserve to support and follow the infantry into the works, when an opening was made. On the word "march" being given, the troops of these various nations, with rival courage, advanced to the attack. The Scotch Highlanders, headed by the gallant Tullibardine,[38] rushed impetuously forward to the attack, despite a tremendous fire of grape and musketry which issued from the works, and succeeded in reaching the top of the intrenchment. But before they could deploy, they were charged by the French infantry in close order, and driven out. Tullibardine met a glorious death in the redoubt he had won. Equally gallant was the assault, and unpropitious the result, of the Prince of Orange's attack on the right towards the French centre. There, [37] too, by a vehement rush the intrenchment was carried; but the troops which surmounted it had no sooner penetrated in than they were attacked by Boufflers, at the head of fresh troops in close order in front, while a powerful battery opened with grape on their flank. This double attack proved irresistible; the assailants were pushed out of the works with dreadful slaughter. Spaar lay dead on the spot; Hamilton was carried off wounded. Seeing his men recoil, the Prince of Orange seized a standard, and advancing alone to the slope of the intrenchment, said aloud, "Follow me, my friends; here is your post." But it was all in vain. Boufflers' men from the French second line had now closed up with the first, which lined the works, and a dense mass of bayonets, six deep, bristled at their summit behind the embrasures of the guns. A dreadful rolling fire issued from them; their position could be marked by the ceaseless line of flame, even through the volumes of smoke which enveloped them on all sides; and at length, after displaying the most heroic valour, the Prince of Orange was obliged to draw off his men, with the loss of three thousand killed, and twice that number wounded. Instantly the brigade of Navarre issued with loud shouts out of the intrenchments. Several Dutch battalions were driven back, and some colours, with an advanced battery, fell into the enemy's hands. Boufflers supported this sally by his grenadiers à cheval; but the Prince of Hesse-Cassel came up with his well-appointed squadron on the other side, and, after a short struggle, drove the French back into their works.

Hearing that matters were in this precarious state on the left, Marlborough galloped from the right centre, accompanied by his staff, where Lotturn's infantry and D'Auvergne's horse had gained such important advantages. Matters erelong became so alarming, that Eugene also followed in the same direction. On his way along the rear of the line, the English general had a painful proof of the enthusiastic spirit with which his troops were animated, by seeing numbers of the wounded Dutch and Hanoverians, whose hurts had just been bound up by the surgeons, again hastening to the front, to join their comrades, though some, faint from the loss of blood, yet tottered under the weight of their muskets. The reserves were hastily directed to the menaced front, and by their aid the combat was in some degree restored in that quarter; while Marlborough and Eugene laboured to persuade the Prince of Orange, who was burning with anxiety at all hazards to renew the attack, that his operations were only intended as a feint, and that the real effort was to be made on the right, where considerable progress had already been made. Order was hardly restored in this quarter, when intelligence arrived from the right that the enemy were assuming the initiative in the wood of Taisnière, and were pressing hard both upon the troops at La Folie and in front of the wood. In fact, Villars, alarmed at the progress of the enemy on his left in the wood, had drawn considerable reinforcements from his centre, and sent them to the threatened quarter. Marlborough instantly saw the advantage which this weakening of the enemy's centre was likely to give him. While he hastened back, therefore, with all imaginable expedition to the right, to arrest the progress of the enemy in that quarter, he directed Lord Orkney to advance, supported by a powerful body of horse on each flank, directly in at the opening between the two woods, and if possible force the enemy's intrenchments in the centre, now stripped of their principal defenders.

These dispositions, adopted on the spur of the moment, and instantly acted upon, proved entirely successful. Eugene galloped to the extreme right, and renewed the attack with Schulemberg's men, while Withers again pressed on the rear of the wood near La Folie. So vigorous was the onset, that the Allies gained ground on both sides of the wood, and Villars hastening up with the French guards to restore the combat near La Folie, received a wound in the knee, when gallantly heading a charge of bayonets, which obliged him to quit the field. In the centre, still more decisive advantages were gained. Lord Orkney there made the attack with such vigour, that the intrenchments, now[38] not adequately manned, were at once carried; and the horse, following rapidly on the traces of the foot soldiers, broke through at several openings made by the artillery, and spread themselves over the plain, cutting down in every direction. The grand battery of forty cannon in the allied centre received orders to advance. In the twinkling of an eye the guns were limbered up, and moving on at a quick trot. They soon passed the intrenchments in the centre, and facing to the right and left, opened a tremendous fire of canister and grape on the dense masses of the French cavalry which there stood in the rear of the infantry, who were almost all in front among the works. These noble troops, however, bore up gallantly against the storm, and even charged the allied horse before they had time to form within the lines; but they were unable to make any impression, and retired from the attack sorely shattered by the allied artillery.

The battle was now gained. Villars' position, how strong and gallantly defended soever, was no longer tenable. Pierced through in the centre, with a formidable enemy's battery thundering on either side, in the very heart of his line, on the reserve squadrons, turned and menaced with rout on the left, it was no longer possible to keep the field. Boufflers, upon whom, in the absence of Villars in consequence of his wound, the direction of affairs had devolved, accordingly prepared for a retreat; and he conducted it with consummate skill, as well as the most undaunted firmness. Collecting a body of two thousand chosen horse yet fresh, consisting of the élite of the horse-guards and garde-du-corps, he charged the allied horse which had penetrated into the centre, and was by this time much blown by its severe fatigues in the preceding part of the day. It was accordingly worsted and put to flight; but all the efforts of this noble body of horsemen were shattered against Orkney's infantry, which, posted on the reverse of the works they had won, poured in, when charged, so close and destructive a fire, as stretched half of the gallant cavaliers on the plain, and forced the remainder to a precipitate retreat. Still the indefatigable Boufflers made another effort. Drawing a large body of infantry from the works on his extreme right, which had been little engaged, he marched them to the left, and reforming his squadrons again, advanced to the charge. But Marlborough no sooner saw this, than he charged the garde-du-corps with a body of English horse which he himself led on, and drove them back, while the infantry staggered and reeled like a sinking ship under the terrific fire of the allied guns, which had penetrated the centre. At the same time the Prince of Orange and the Prince of Hesse-Cassel, perceiving that the intrenchments before them were stript of great part of their defenders, renewed the attack; in ten minutes these works were carried; a tremendous shout, heard along the whole line, announced that the whole left of the position had fallen into the hands of the Allies.

In these desperate circumstances, Boufflers and his brave troops did all that skill or courage could suggest to arrest the progress of the victors, and withdraw from the field without any additional losses. Forming his troops into three great masses, with the cavalry which had suffered least in rear, he slowly, and in perfect regularity, commenced his retreat. The Allies had suffered so much, and were so completely exhausted by the fatigue of this bloody and protracted battle, that they gave them very little molestation. Contenting themselves with pursuing as far as the heath of Malplaquet, and the level ground around Taisnière, they halted, and the men lay down to sleep. Meanwhile the French, in the best order, but in deep dejection, continued their retreat still in three columns; and after crossing the Hon in their rear, reunited below Quesnoy and Valenciennes, about twelve miles from the field of battle.[39]

Such was the desperate battle of [39] Malplaquet, the most bloody and obstinately contested which had yet occurred in the war, and in which it is hard to say to which of the gallant antagonists the palm of valour and heroism is to be given. The victory was unquestionably gained by the Allies, since they forced the enemy's position, drove them to a considerable distance from the field of battle, and hindered the siege of Mons, the object for which both parties fought, from being raised. The valour they displayed had extorted the admiration of their gallant and generous enemies.[40] On the other hand, these advantages had been purchased at an enormous sacrifice, and never since the commencement of the contest had the scales hung so even between the contending parties. The Allies lost, killed in the infantry alone, five thousand five hundred and forty-four; wounded and missing, twelve thousand seven hundred and six; in all eighteen thousand two hundred and fifty, of whom two hundred and eighty-six were officers killed, and seven hundred and sixty-two wounded. Including the casualties in the cavalry and artillery, their total loss was not less than twenty thousand men, or nearly a fifth of the number engaged. The French loss, though they were worsted in the fight, was less considerable; it did not exceed fourteen thousand men—an unusual circumstance with a beaten army, but easily accounted for, if the formidable nature of the intrenchments which the Allies had to storm in the first part of the action, is taken into consideration. In proportion to the numbers engaged, the loss to the victors was not, however, nearly so great as at Waterloo.[41] Few prisoners, not above five hundred, were made on the field; but the woods and intrenchments were filled with wounded French, whom Marlborough, with characteristic humanity, proposed to Villars to remove to the French headquarters, on condition of their being considered prisoners of war—an offer which that general thankfully accepted. A solemn thanksgiving was read in all the regiments of the army two days after the battle, after which the soldiers of both armies joined in removing the wounded French on two hundred waggons to the French camp. Thus, after the conclusion of one of the bloodiest fights recorded in modern history, the first acts of the victors were in raising the voice of thanksgiving, and doing deeds of mercy.[42]

No sooner were these pious cares concluded, than the Allies resumed the investment of Mons: Marlborough, with the English and Dutch, having his headquarters at Belian, and Eugene, with the Germans, at Quaregnon. The Prince of Orange, with thirty battalions and as many squadrons, was intrusted with the blockade. Great efforts were immediately made to get the necessary siege equipage and stores up from Brussels; but the heavy rains of autumn set in with such severity, that it was not till the 25th September that the trenches could be opened. Boufflers, though at no great distance, did not venture to disturb the operations. On 9th October, a lodgement [40] was effected in the covered way; on the 17th, the outworks were stormed; and on the 26th, the place surrendered with its garrison, still three thousand five hundred strong. By this important success, the conquest of Brabant was finished; the burden and expense of the war removed from the Dutch provinces; the barrier which they had so long sought after was rendered nearly complete; and the defences of France were so far laid bare, that by the reduction of Valenciennes and Quesnoy, in the next campaign, no fortified place would remain between the Allies and Paris. Having achieved this important success, the allied generals put their army into winter-quarters at Ghent, Bruges, Brussels, and on the Meuse; while fifty battalions of the French, with one hundred squadrons, were quartered, under the command of the Duke of Berwick, in the neighbourhood of Maubeuge, and the remainder of their great army in and around Valenciennes and Quesnoy.[43]

During the progress of this short but brilliant campaign, Marlborough was more than ever annoyed and disheartened by the evident and increasing decline of his influence at home. Harley and Mrs Masham contrived to thwart him in every way in their power; and scarcely disguised their desire to make the situation of the Duke and Godolphin so uncomfortable, that out of spleen they might resign; in which case, the entire direction of affairs would have fallen into their hands.[44] Influenced by these new favourites, the Queen became cold and resentful to the Duchess of Marlborough, to whom she had formerly been so much attached; and the Duke, perceiving this, strongly advised her to abstain from any correspondence with her Majesty, as more likely to increase than diminish the estrangement so rapidly growing between them. The Duchess, however, was herself of too irritable a temper to follow this sage advice; reproaches, explanations, and renewed complaints ensued on both sides; and as usual in such cases, where excessive fondness has been succeeded by coldness, all attempts to repair the breach only had the effect of widening it. Numerous events at court, trifles in themselves, but "confirmation strong" to the jealous, served to show in what direction the wind was setting. The Duchess took the strong and injudicious step of intruding herself on the Queen, and asking what crime she had committed to produce so great an estrangement between them. This drew from her Majesty a letter, exculpating her from any fault, but ascribing their alienation to a discordance in political opinion, adding, "I do not think it a crime in any one not to be of my mind, or blamable, because you cannot see with my eyes, or hear with my ears." While this relieved Marlborough from the dread of a personal quarrel between the Duchess and Royalty, it only aggravated the precarious nature of his situation, by showing that the split was owing to the wider and more irremediable division on political subjects.[45]

Encouraged by this powerful support at court, Harley now openly pursued his design of effecting the downfall of Marlborough, and his removal from office, and the command of the armies. The whole campaign which had terminated so gloriously, was criticised in the most unjust and malignant spirit. The siege of Tournay was useless and expensive; the battle of Malplaquet an unnecessary carnage. It was even insinuated the Duke had purposely exposed the officers to slaughter, that he might obtain a profit by the sale of their commissions. The preliminaries first [41] agreed to at the Hague were too favourable to France; when Louis rejected them, the rupture of the negotiations rested with Marlborough. In a word, there was nothing done by the English general, successful or unsuccessful, pacific or warlike, which was not made the subject of loud condemnation, and unmeasured invective. Harley even corresponded with the disaffected party in Holland, in order to induce them to cut short the Duke's career of victory by clamouring for a general peace. Louis was represented as invincible, and rising stronger from every defeat: the prolongation of the war was entirely owing to the selfish interests and ambition of the allied chief. These and similar accusations, loudly re-echoed by all the Tories, and sedulously poured into the royal ear by Harley and Mrs Masham, made such an impression on the Queen, that she did not offer the smallest congratulation to the Duchess on the victory of Malplaquet, nor express the least satisfaction at the Duke's escape from the innumerable dangers which he had incurred.[46]

An ill-timed and injudicious step of Marlborough at this juncture, one of the few which can be imputed to him in his whole public career, inflamed the jealousy of the Queen and the Tories at him. Perceiving the decline of his influence at court, and anticipating his dismissal from the command of the army at no distant period, he solicited from the Queen a patent constituting him Captain-general for life. In vain he was assured by the Lord Chancellor that such an appointment was wholly unprecedented in English history; he persisted in laying the petition before the Queen, by whom it was of course refused. Piqued at this disappointment, he wrote an acrimonious letter to her Majesty, in which he reproached her with the neglect of his public services, and bitterly complained of the neglect of the Duchess, and transfer of the royal favour to Mrs Masham. So deeply did Marlborough feel this disappointment, that on leaving the Hague to return to England, he said publicly to the deputies of the States—"I am grieved that I am obliged to return to England, where my services to your republic will be turned to my disgrace."[47]

Marlborough was received in the most flattering manner by the people, on landing on 15th November, and he was greeted by the thanks of both Houses of Parliament for his great and glorious services. The Queen declared in her speech from the throne, that this campaign had been at least as glorious as any which had preceded it; and the Chancellor, in communicating the thanks of the House of Lords, added—"This high eulogium must be looked upon as added to, and standing upon the foundation already laid in the records of this House, for preserving your memory fresh to all future times; so that your Grace has also the satisfaction of seeing this everlasting monument of your glory rise every year much higher." Such was the impulse communicated to both Houses by the presence of the Duke, and the recollection of his glorious services, that liberal supplies for carrying on the war were granted by both Houses. The Commons voted £6,000,000 for the service of the ensuing year, and on the earnest representation of Marlborough, an addition was made to the military forces.

But in the midst of all these flattering appearances, the hand of destruction was already impending over the British hero. It was mainly raised by the very greatness and inappreciable nature of his services. Envy, the invariable attendant on exalted merit, had already singled him out as her victim: jealousy, the prevailing weakness of little minds, had prepared his ruin. The Queen had become uneasy at the greatness of her subject. There had even been a talk of the Duke of Argyll arresting him in her name, when in command of the army. Anne lent a ready ear to the representations of her flatterers, and especially Mrs Masham, that she was enthralled by a single family; that Marlborough was the real sovereign [42] of England, and that the crown was overshadowed by the field-marshal's baton. Godolphin, violently libelled in a sermon by Dr Sacheverell, at St Saviour's, Southwark, the Doctor was impeached before the House of Lords for the offence. The government of the Tower, usually bestowed on the recommendation of the commander-in-chief, was, to mortify Marlborough, bestowed without consulting him on Lord Rivers. At length matters came to such a pass, and the ascendency of Mrs Masham was so evident, while her influence was exercised in so undisguised a manner to humiliate him, that he prepared the draft of a letter of resignation of his commands to her Majesty, in which, after enumerating his services, and the abuse which Mrs Masham continued to heap on him and his relations, he concluded with saying—"I hope your Majesty will either dismiss her or myself."[48]

Sunderland and several of the Whig leaders warmly approved of this vigorous step; but Godolphin, who foresaw the total ruin of the ministry and himself, in the resignation of the general, had influence enough to prevent its being sent. Instead of doing so, that nobleman had a long private audience with her Majesty on the subject; in which, notwithstanding the warmest professions on her part, and the strong sense she entertained of his great and lasting services, it was not difficult to perceive that a reserve as to future intentions was manifested, which indicated a loss of confidence. Marlborough declared he would be governed in the whole matter by the advice and opinion of his friends; but strongly expressed his own opinion, "that all must be undone if this poison continues about the Queen."[49] Such, however, was the agony of apprehension of Godolphin at the effects of the duke's resignation, that he persuaded him to adopt a middle course, the usual resource of second-rate men in critical circumstances, but generally the most hazardous that can be adopted. This plan was to write a warm remonstrance to the Queen, but without making Mrs Masham's removal a condition of his remaining in office. In this letter, after many invectives against Mrs Masham, and a full enumeration of his grievances, he concludes with these words—"This is only one of many mortifications that I have met with, and as I may not have many opportunities of writing to you, let me beg of your Majesty to reflect what your own people and the rest of the world must think, who have been witnesses of the love, zeal, and duty with which I have served you, when they shall see that, after all I have done, it has not been able to protect me against the malice of a bed-chamber woman.[50] But your Majesty may be assured that my zeal for you and my country is so great, that in my retirement I shall daily pray for your prosperity, and that those who serve you as faithfully as I have done, may never feel the hard return I have met with."

These expressions, how just soever in themselves, and natural in one whose great services had been requited as Marlborough's had been, were not likely to make a favourable impression on the royal mind, and, accordingly, at a private audience which he had soon after of the Queen, he was received in the coldest manner.[51] He retired in consequence to Blenheim, [43] determined to resign all his commands, unless Mrs Masham was removed from the royal presence. Matters seemed so near a rupture, that the Queen personally applied to several of the Tories, and even Jacobites, who had long kept aloof from court, to support her in opposition to the address expected from both Houses of Parliament on the duke's resignation. Godolphin and Somers, however, did their utmost to bend the firm general; and they so far succeeded in opposition to his better judgment, and the decided opinions of the Duchess, as to induce him to continue in office without requiring the removal of Mrs Masham from court. The Queen, delighted at this victory over so formidable an opponent, received him at his next audience in the most flattering manner, and with a degree of apparent regard which she had scarcely ever evinced to him in the days of his highest favour. But in the midst of these deceitful appearances his ruin was secretly resolved on; and in order to accelerate his departure from court, the Queen inserted in her reply to the address of the Commons at the close of the Session of Parliament, a statement of her resolution to send him immediately to Holland, as "I shall always esteem him the chief instrument of my glory, and of my people's happiness." He embarked accordingly, and landed at the Brill on March 18th, in appearance possessing the same credit and authority as before, but in reality thwarted and opposed by a jealous and ambitious faction at home, which restrained his most important measures, and prevented him from effecting any thing in future on a level with his former glorious achievements.

The year 1709 was signalized by the decisive victory of the Czar Peter over Charles XII. at Pultowa, who was totally routed and irretrievably ruined by the Muscovite forces, commanded by the Czar in person on that disastrous day. This overthrow was one of the most momentous which has occurred in modern times. Not only was a great and dreaded conqueror at once overturned, and erelong reduced to captivity; but a new balance of power was established in the north which has never since been shaken. Sweden was reduced to her natural rank as a third-rate power from which she had been only raised by the extraordinary valour and military talents of a series of warlike sovereigns, who had succeeded in rendering the Scandinavian warriors, like the Macedonians of old, a race of heroes. Russia, by the same event, acquired the entire ascendency over the other Baltic powers, and obtained that preponderance which she has ever since maintained in the affairs of Europe. Marlborough sympathised warmly with the misfortunes of the heroic sovereign, for whose genius and gallantry he had conceived the highest admiration. But he was too sagacious not to see that his disasters, like those of Napoleon afterwards in the same regions, were entirely the result of his own imprudence; and that if he had judiciously taken advantage of the terror of his name, and the success of his arms, in the outset of his invasion, he might have gained all the objects for which he contended without incurring any serious evil.[52]

Peter the Great, who gained this astonishing and decisive success, was one of the most remarkable men who ever appeared on the theatre of public affairs. He was nothing by halves. For good or for evil he was gigantic. Vigour seems to have been the great characteristic of his mind; but it was often fearfully disfigured by passion, and not unfrequently misled by the example of more advanced states. To elevate Russia to an exalted place among nations, and give her the influence which her vast extent and physical resources seemed to render within her reach, was throughout life the great object of his ambition; and [44] he succeeded in it to an extent which naturally acquired for him the unbounded admiration of mankind. His overthrow of the Strelitzes, long the Prætorian guards and terror of the czars of Muscovy, was effected with a vigour and stained by a cruelty similar to that with which Sultan Mahommed a century after destroyed the Janissaries at Constantinople. The sight of a young and despotic sovereign leaving the glittering toys and real enjoyments of royalty to labour in the dockyards of Saardem with his own hands, and instruct his subjects in shipbuilding by first teaching himself, was too striking and remarkable not to excite universal attention. And when the result of this was seen: when the Czar was found introducing among his subjects the military discipline, naval architecture, nautical skill, or any of the arts and warlike institutions of Europe, and in consequence long resisting and at length destroying the terrible conqueror who had so long been the terror of Northern Europe, the astonishment of men knew no bounds. He was at once the Solon and Scipio of modern times: and literary servility, vying with great and disinterested admiration, extolled him as one of the greatest heroes and benefactors of his species who had ever appeared among men.

But time, the great dispeller of illusions, and whose mighty arm no individual greatness, how great soever, can long withstand, has begun to abate much from this colossal reputation. His temper was violent in the extreme; frequent acts of hideous cruelty, and occasional oppression, signalized his reign. More than any other man, he did evil that good may come of it. He compelled his people, as he thought, to civilisation, though, in seeking to cross the stream, hundreds of thousands perished in the waves. "Peter the Great," says Mackintosh, "did not civilize Russia: that undertaking was beyond his genius, great as it was; he only gave the Russians the art of civilized war." The truth was, he attempted what was altogether impracticable. No one man can at once civilize a nation: he can only put it in the way of civilisation. To complete the fabric must be the work of continued effort and sustained industry during many successive generations. That Peter failed in rendering his people on a level with the other nations of Europe in refinement and industry, is no reproach to him. It was impossible to do so in less than several centuries. The real particular in which he erred was, that he departed from the national spirit, that he tore up the national institutions, violated in numerous instances the strongest national feelings. He clothed his court and capital in European dress; but men do not put off old feelings with the costume of their fathers. Peter's civilisation extended no further than the surface. He succeeded in inducing an extraordinary degree of discipline in his army, and the appearance of considerable refinement among his courtiers. But it is easier to remodel an army than change a nation; and the celebrated bon-mot of Diderot, that the Russians were "rotten before they were ripe," is but a happy expression, indicating how much easier it is to introduce the vices than the virtues of civilisation among an unlettered people. To this day the civilisation of Russia has never descended below the higher ranks; and the efforts of the real patriotic czars who have since wielded the Muscovite sceptre, Alexander and Nicholas, have been mainly directed to get out of the fictitious career into which Peter turned the people, and revive with the old institutions the true spirit and inherent aspirations of the nation. The immense success with which their efforts have been attended, and the gradual, though still slow descent of civilisation and improvement through the great body of the people, prove the wisdom of the principles on which they have proceeded. Possibly Russia is yet destined to afford another illustration of the truth of Montesquieu's maxim, that no nation ever yet rose to durable greatness but through institutions in harmony with its spirit. And in charity let us hope that the words of Peter on his death-bed have been realized: "I trust that, in respect of the good I have striven to do my people, God will pardon my sins."



A Tale of the Short War.

Part the Last.

It may be present to the memory of some of our readers, that when the British troops, under Sir Edward Pakenham, menaced New Orleans, the constitution of Louisiana was temporarily and arbitrarily suspended by General Jackson, commanding the American forces in the south, with a view to greater unity in the defensive operations. This suspension excited great indignation amongst the Louisianians, who viewed it as a direct attack upon their liberties, unjustified by circumstances. Meetings were called, and the general's conduct was made the subject of vehement censure. When the news of the peace between England and the United States, concluded in Europe before the fight of New Orleans took place, arrived, judicial proceedings were instituted against Jackson; he was found guilty of a violation of the Habeas Corpus act, and condemned to a fine of two thousand dollars. This fine the Louisianian Creoles were anxious to pay for him; but he preferred paying it himself, and did so with a good grace, thereby augmenting the popularity he had acquired by his victories over the Creek Indians, and by the still more important repulse of Pakenham's ill-planned and worse-fated expedition. In the book which forms the subject of the present article, this historical incident has been introduced, rather, however, to illustrate American character and feelings, than in connexion with the main plot of the tale. Captain Percy, a young officer of regulars, brings the announcement of the suspension of the Louisianian constitution to a town on the Mississippi, then the headquarters of the militia, who, at the moment of his arrival, are assembled on parade. The general commanding reads the despatch with grave dissatisfaction, and communicates its contents to his officers. The news has already got wind through some passengers by the steam-boat which brought the despatch-bearer, and discontent is rife amongst the militia. The parade is dismissed, the troops disperse, and the officers are about to return to their quarters, when they are detained by the following incident:—

From the opposite shore of the river, two boats had some time previously pushed off; one of them seeming at first uncertain what direction to take. It had turned first up, then down stream, but had at last pulled obliquely across the river towards the bayou or creek, on the shore of which the little town was situated. It was manned by sailors, judging from their shirts of blue and red flannel; but there were also other persons on board, differently dressed, one of whom reconnoitred the shore of the bayou with a telescope. It was the strange appearance of these persons that now attracted the attention of the officers. They were about twelve in number; some of them had their heads bound up, others had their arms in slings; several had great plasters upon their faces. They were of foreign aspect, and, judging from the style of their brown, yellow, and black physiognomies, of no very respectable class. As if wishing to escape observation, they sat with their backs to the bayou. At a word from General Billow, an officer stepped down to meet them.

The boat was close to shore, but as soon as the suspicious-looking strangers perceived the approach of the militia officer, it was turned into the creek and shot rapidly up it. Suddenly it was brought to land; one of the better dressed of the men stepped out and approached the captain of regulars, who just then came out of the guard-house. With a military salute he handed him a paper, saluted again, and returned to his companions in the boat. After a short time the whole party ascended the bank of the bayou, and walked off in the direction of the town. The captain looked alternately at the men and at the paper, and then approached the group of officers.[46]

"What do those people want?" inquired General Billow.

The officer handed him the paper.

"Read it yourself, general. I can hardly believe my eyes. A passport for Armand, Marceau, Bernardin, Cordon, &c., planters from Nacogdoches, delivered by the Mexican authorities, and countersigned by the general-in-chief.

"Have you inquired their destination?"

Captain Percy shrugged his shoulders. "New Orleans. Any thing further, the man tells me, is known to the general-in-chief. A most suspicious rabble, and who seem quite at home here."

"Ah, Mister Billow and Barrow, how goes it? Glad to see you. You look magnificent in your scarfs and plumes."

This boisterous greeting, uttered in a rough, good-humoured voice, proceeded from our friend Squire Copeland, who had just landed from the second boat with his companions and horses, and having given the latter to a negro to hold, now stepped into the circle of officers, his broad-brimmed quaker-looking hat decorated with the magnificent bunch of feathers, for which his daughters had laid the tenants of the poultry-yard under such severe contribution.

"Gentlemen," said he, half seriously and half laughing, "you see Major Copeland before you. To-morrow my battalion will be here."

"You are welcome, major," said the general and other officers, with a gravity that seemed intended as a slight check on the loquacity of their new brother in arms.

"And these men," continued the major, who either did not or would not understand the hint, "you might perhaps take for my aides-de-camp. This one, Dick Gloom, is our county constable; and as to the other," he pointed to the Englishman, "I myself hardly know what to call him."

"I will help you then," interrupted Hodges, impatient at this singular introduction. "I am an Englishman, midshipman of his Majesty's frigate Thunderer, from which I have, by mishap, been separated. I demand a prompt investigation of the fact, and report to your headquarters."

The general glanced slightly at the overhasty speaker, and then at the written examination which the squire handed to him.

"This is your department, Captain Percy," said he; "be pleased to do the needful."

The officer looked over the paper, and called an orderly.

"Let this young man be kept in strict confinement. A sentinel with loaded musket before his door, and no one to have access to him."

"I really do not know which is the most suspicious," said the general; "this spy, as he is called, or the queer customers who have just walked away."

Squire Copeland had heard with some discontent the quick decided orders given by the captain of regulars.

"All that might be spared," said he. "He's as nice a lad as ever I saw. I was sitting yesterday at breakfast, when a parcel of my fellows, who are half horse, half alligator, and a trifle beyond, came tumbling into the house as if they would have pulled it down. Didn't know what it meant, till Joe Drum and Sam Shad brought the younker before me, and wanted to make him out a spy. I had half a mind to treat the thing as nonsense; but as we sat at table he let out something about Tokeah; and when the women spoke of Rosa—you know who I mean, Colonel Parker; Rosa, whom I've so often told you of—he got as red as any turkey-cock. Thinks I to myself, 'tisn't all right; better take him with you. You know Tokeah, the Indian, who gave us so much trouble some fifteen years ago?"

"Tokeah, the chief of the Oconees?"

"The same," continued the squire. "I chanced to mention his name, and the lad blurted out, 'Tokeah! Do you know him?' and when Mistress Copeland spoke of Rosa"——

"But, my dear major, this circumstance is very important, and I see no mention of it in your report," said the general reprovingly.

"I daresay not," replied the loquacious justice of peace; "he'd hardly be such a fool as to put that down. I had my head and hands so full that I asked him just to draw up an account of the matter himself."[47]

The officers looked at each other.

"Upon my word, squire," said the general, "you take the duties of your office pretty easily. Who ever heard of setting a spy to take down his own examination, and a foreigner too? How could you so expose yourself and us?"

The squire scratched himself behind the ear. "Damn it, you're right!" said he.

During this dialogue, the officers had approached one of the five taverns, composing nearly a third part of the infant town, towards which the ill-looking strangers had betaken themselves. The latter seemed very anxious to reach the house first, but owing to the tardiness of some of their party, who walked with difficulty, they were presently overtaken by the prisoner and his escort. When the foremost of them caught a sight of the Englishman's face, he started and hastily turned away. Hodges sprang on one side, stared him full in the face, and was on the point of rushing upon him, when one of his guards roughly seized his arm and pointed forwards.

"Stop!" cried the midshipman, "I know that man."

"Maybe," replied the orderly dryly, "Forward!"

"Let me go!" exclaimed Hodges, "It is the pirate."

"Pirate?" repeated the soldier, who had again laid hold of his prisoner. "If you cut any more such capers, I'll take you to prison in a way that your bones will remember for a week to come. This young man says," added he to the officers, who just then came up, "that yonder fellow is a pirate."

"Obey your orders," was the sole reply of the general; and again the orderly pushed his prisoner onwards.

"And you?" said the militia general, turning to the foreigners—"Who may you be?"

One of the strangers, half of whose face was bound up with a black silk bandage, whilst of the other half, which was covered with a large plaster, only a grey eye was visible, now stepped forward, and bowed with an air of easy confidence.

"I believe I have the honour to address officers of militia, preparing for the approaching conflict. If, as I hope, you go down stream to-morrow, we shall have the pleasure of accompanying you."

"Very kind," replied the general.

"Not bashful," added the squire.

"We also are come," continued the stranger in the same free and easy tone, "to lay our humble offering upon the altar of the land of liberty, the happy asylum of the persecuted and oppressed. Who would not risk his best blood for the greatest of earth's blessings?"

"You are very liberal with your best blood," replied the general dryly. "How is it that, being already wounded, you come so far to seek fresh wounds in a foreign service?"

"Our wounds were received from a party of Osages who attacked us on the road, and paid dearly for their temerity. We are not quite strangers here; we have for many years had connexions in New Orleans, and some of the produce of our plantations will follow us in a few days."

"And this gentleman," said Colonel Parker, who, after staring for some time at one of the adventurers, now seized him by the collar, and in spite of his struggles dragged him forward: "does he also come to make an offering upon liberty's altar?"

With a blow of his hand he knocked off the man's cap, and with it a bandage covering part of his face.

"By jingo! dat our Pompey, what run from Massa John in New Orlean," tittered the colonel's black servant, who stood a little on one side with the horses.

"Pompey not know massa. Pompey free Mexican. Noding to massa," screamed the runaway slave.

"You'll soon learn to know me," said the colonel. "Orderly, take this man to jail, and clap irons on his neck and ankles."

"You will remain here," said the general in a tone of command to the spokesman of the party, who had looked on with an appearance of perfect indifference during the detection and arrest of his black confederate.

"It will be at your peril if you detain us," was the reply. "We are ordered to repair to headquarters as speedily as possible."

"The surgeon will examine you, and if you are really wounded, you[48] will be at liberty to fix your temporary abode in the town. If not, the prison will be your lodging."

"Sir!" said the man with an assumption of haughtiness.

"Say no more about it," replied the general coldly—"the commander-in-chief shall be informed of your arrival, and you will wait his orders here."

The stranger stepped forward, as if he would have expostulated, but the general turned his back upon him, and walked away. A party of militia now took charge of the gang, and conducted them to the guard-house.

This scarred and ill-looking crew are Lafitte and the remnant of his band, come, according to a private understanding with General Jackson, to serve the American artillery against the British, (an historical fact.) Their bandages and plasters being found to cover real wounds, they are allowed to quarter themselves at the estaminet of the Garde Imperiale, kept by a Spaniard called Benito, once a member of Lafitte's band, but now settled in Louisiana, married, and, comparatively speaking, an honest man. Benito is greatly alarmed at the sight of his former captain and comrades, and still more so when they insist upon his aiding them that very night to rescue Pompey the negro, lest he should betray their real character to the militia officers. Lafitte promises to have the runaway slave conveyed across the Mississippi; but as this would require the absence, for at least three hours, of several of the pirates, who, although at liberty, are kept under a species of surveillance, the real intention is to make away with the unfortunate Pompey as soon as the boat is at a certain distance from land. The negro is confined in a large building used as a cotton store, built of boards, and in a dilapidated condition; the militia on guard leave their post to listen to the proceedings of a meeting then holding for the discussion of General Jackson's unconstitutional conduct, and, profiting by their absence, Benito and four of the pirates, Mexican Spaniards, contrive the escape of a prisoner whom they believe to be Pompey. In the darkness they mistake their man, and bring away Hodges, who is confined in the same building. This occurs at midnight. The meeting, which absorbs the attention of the militia, is not yet over, when the four pirates, Benito, and the rescued prisoner, arrive at the junction of the creek and the Mississippi, and, unmooring a boat, prepare to embark.

At this moment a second boat became visible, gliding gently down the bayou towards the stream.

"Que diablo!" muttered the Mexicans. "What is that?"

The boat drew near; a man was in it.

"Who is that?" whispered the pirates, and then one of them sprang suddenly into the strange skiff, whence the clanking of chains was heard to proceed. The Mexican stared the unwelcome witness hard in the face.

"Ah, massa Miguel!" cried the new-comer with a grin: "Pompey not stop in jail. Pompey not love the ninetail."

"The devil!" exclaimed the Mexican—"it is Pompey. Who is the other then? We are seven instead of six. What does all this mean?"

"Santiago!" cried the pirates: "Who is he?" they whispered, surrounding the seventh, and, as it seemed, superfluous member of their society.

"No Spanish. Speak English," was the reply.

"Santa Virgen! How came you here?"

"You ought to know, since you brought me."

The men stepped back, and whispered to each other in Spanish. "Come, then!" said one of them at last.

"Not a step till I know who you are, and where you go."

"Fool! Who we are matters little to you, and where we go, as little. Any place is better for you than this. Stop here and I would not give a real for your neck."

"Leave him! Leave him!" muttered the others.

"Be off, and back again quickly," whispered the tavern-keeper, "or you are all lost."

"Stop!" cried the Englishman. "I will go with you."

The negro had already jumped into the Mexicans' boat, and, with the heedlessness of his race, had left his own adrift.[49]

"Ingles!" said one of the pirates, "sit you here." And he showed him his place in the bow of the boat next to a young Mexican. "And Pompey in the middle, and now let's be off."

"Stop!" cried Hodges. "Had we not better divide ourselves between the two boats?"

"Ah, massa never rowed across the Sippi," tittered the lazy negro. "Massa not get over in six hours, and come to land at Point Coupé."

"Hush, Pompey," muttered his neighbour, and the boat, impelled by six pair of hands, darted swiftly out into the stream.

"Ah, Massa Manuel, let Pompey file off him chains," grumbled the black. "Pompey been in upper jail—been cunning," laughed he to himself; "took file and helped himself out. Massa Parker stare when he see Pompey gone."

"Hold your tongue, doctor," commanded a voice from the hinder part of the boat, "and let your chains be till you get across."

The negro shook his head discontentedly. "Massa Felipe wouldn't like to be in the collars," said he; but nevertheless he put away his file, and whilst with one hand he managed the oar, with the other he held the chain connecting the ankle irons with the collar, and which had been filed in too close to the latter. This collar consisted of a ring two inches broad, and as thick as a man's finger, encircling the neck, and from which three long hooks rose up over the crown of the head. With a sort of childish wonder he weighed the chain in his hand, staring at it the while, and then let it fall into the bottom of the boat, which now advanced towards the middle of the stream.

"Poor Lolli!" said the negro after a short silence—"she be sad not to see Pompey. She live in St John's, behind the cathedral."

"Pompey!" cried the Mexican who sat forward on the same bench with Hodges, "your cursed chain is rubbing the skin off my ankles."

"Sit still, Pompey," said the negro's neighbour. "I'll take it out of the way."

"Ah! massa hurt poor Pompey," cried the black to his next man, who had wound the chain round his feet, and now gave it so sudden a pull that the negro let go his oar and fell back in the boat. The young Englishman became suddenly attentive to what passed.

"What are you about?" cried he; "what are you doing to the poor negro?"

"Gor-a-mighty's sake, massa, not joke so with poor Pompey," groaned the negro. "Massa strangle poor nigger."

"It's nothing at all, Pompey; think of your fat Lolli behind the cathedral, and don't forget the way to Nacogdoches," said the man on the sternmost bench, who had taken the chain from his comrade, passed it through the neck-iron, and, violently pulling it, drew the unhappy negro up into a heap.

"Massa, Massa, Ma——!" gasped the negro, whose breath was leaving him.

The whole had been the work of a moment, and the stifled groans and sobs of the agonized slave were nearly drowned by the rush of the waters and splash of the oar-strokes.

"The devil!" cried the Englishman, "what is all this?"

At that moment the board on which he sat was lifted, his fellow-rower threw himself against him with all his force, and nearly succeeded in precipitating him into the stream. Hodges staggered, but managed to regain his balance, and turning quickly upon his treacherous neighbour, dealt him a blow with his fist that knocked him overboard.

"Buen viage á los infiernos!" cried the other Mexicans with a burst of hellish laughter, hearing the splash, but misapprehending its cause.

"Go to hell yourself!" shouted the Englishman, grasping his oar, and dealing the man in front of him a blow that stretched him by the side of the negro.

"Santa Virgen! who is that?" cried the two sternmost pirates.

"The Englishman!" exclaimed one of them, pressing forwards towards Hodges, but stumbling over the men at the bottom of the boat, which now rocked violently from the furious struggle going on within it.

"Ma—— Ma——!" groaned the negro again, now seemingly in the death agony—His eyes stood out from[50] their sockets, and glittered like stars in the darkness; his tongue hung from his mouth, swollen and convulsed.

"By the living God! if you don't unfasten the negro, I'll knock you all into the river."

"Maldito Ingles! Picaro gojo!"

"Let him go! Let him go! Holy Virgin!" yelled the three Mexicans, as one of them who had approached the Englishman was knocked bellowing into his place by a furious blow of the oar. "It's the devil himself!" cried the pirates, and one of them pushed the negro towards Hodges.

"Stand back!" cried the midshipman, "and take off his neck-iron. If you strangle him, you are all dead men."

One of the Mexicans laid hold of the negro, who was coiled up like a ball, and drew the chain out of the collar. The poor slave's limbs fell back, dead and powerless as pieces of wood. A gasping, rattling noise in his throat alone denoted that life was still in him.

"Stand back!" repeated Hodges, stooping down, and endeavouring, by vigorous friction with a blanket, to restore the negro to consciousness. During this life-and-death struggle, the boat, left at the mercy of the waters, had been borne swiftly away by the stream, and was now floating amongst a number of the enormous trees which the Mississippi carries down by thousands to the sea. The Mexicans resumed their places, and with their utmost strength began to pull up-stream. Not far from the frail skiff, beneath the mantle of fog covering the river, a huge tree-trunk was seen coming directly towards the boat—Hodges had barely time to bid the Mexicans be careful, when it shot by them. As it did so, a strange, unnatural cry saluted their ears, and straining his eyes through the darkness, the young Englishman saw a head and a hand appearing above one of the limbs of the forest giant.

"Misericordia!" cried the voice—"Socorro! Por Dios!"

It was the Mexican whom Hodges had knocked into the water, and who, by means of the tree, had saved himself from drowning.

"Turn the boat!" cried Hodges, "your countryman is still alive."

"Es verdad!" exclaimed the desperadoes, and the boat was turned—Meanwhile the negro had come gradually to himself, and now crouched down at the feet of his deliverer. He peered over the gunwale at the half-drowned Mexican.

"Gor-a-mighty, Massa!" cried he, seizing the Englishman's oar—"dat Miguel—trike him dead, Massa; Miguel very bad mans."

"Keep still, Pompey!" answered Hodges, pulling with might and main to the assistance of the Mexican. The boat shot alongside the floating tree, and the half-drowned wretch had just sufficient strength left to extend his hand, which the Englishman grasped.

"Take care, Massa! the pirates will kill us both," cried the negro.

At that moment the boat received a violent shock, a wave dashed over it, and threw the Mexican on the gunwale, across which he lay more dead than alive.

"Lay hold of him!" said Hodges to the negro.

"Ah, Pompey not such dam' fool—Pompey lub Massa too much. The others don't row. Look, Massa, they only wait to kill Massa."

"Hark ye!" cried Hodges to the Mexicans, at the same time giving the nearest to him a blow with his oar—"the first who leaves off rowing—you understand me?"

The boat rocked on the huge sheet of water, in the midst of the floating trees, menaced each moment with destruction from the latter, or with being swallowed up by the troubled and impetuous stream; the Mexicans cowered upon their benches—thirst of blood, and rage, suppressed only by fear, gleaming in their black, rolling eyes and ferocious countenances. The negro now twisted the boat rope round the body of the rescued man, who, still groaning and imploring mercy, was dragged on board.

"Ah, Massa! Miguel good swimmer; bath not hurt him, Massa," mumbled the restless black: "Massa not forget to take his oar with him out of the boat."

"And Pompey not forget to handle his own a little more diligently," was the reply of Hodges.

For a time the negro obeyed the[51] injunction, and then looked at the young Englishman, who appeared to listen attentively to some distant sound.

"Massa never fear, militiaman sleep well—only Sippi's noise. Pompey know the road, Massa Parker not catch him."

A quarter of an hour passed away, and the strength of the rowers began to diminish under their continued and laborious efforts.

"Massa soon see land—out of the current already," cried the negro.

Another quarter of an hour elapsed, and they reached the shore; Hodges jumped out of the boat, and was followed by the negro, still loaded with his fetters. The Mexicans sprang after them.

"Stop by your boat!" cried Hodges in a threatening tone. Instead of an answer, a knife, thrown by a sure and practised hand, struck him on the breast. The deerskin vest with which Canondah had equipped him, proved his protection. The weapon stuck in it, and remained hanging there.

"Vile assassins!" cried Hodges, who now broke off the flat part of his oar, and grasping the other half, was about to rush upon the bandits, when the negro threw his arms round him.

"Massa not be a fool! pirates have more knives, and be glad if he go near them. Kill him then easy."

"You are right, Pompey," said Hodges, half laughing, half angry, at the negro, who was showing his white teeth in an agony of fear and anxiety. "The dogs are not worth the killing."

For a moment the three assassins stood undecided; then yelling out a "Buen viage á los infiernos," got into their boat and speedily disappeared in the fog and darkness.

Hodges is pursued and recaptured, but Tokeah and Rosa, who, with their companions, are brought in by a party of militia, and the latter of whom is joyfully recognised and welcomed by the worthy Squire Copeland, clear him of the charge of spying, and he remains a prisoner of war. The troops take their departure for New Orleans, and the Indians are detained at the town, whence, however, Tokeah and El Sol depart in the night-time, and continue their journey. The old chief accomplishes his object, disinters his father's bones, and returns to fetch Rosa, and proceed with her to his new home in the country of the Comanches. Meanwhile the action of New Orleans has been fought, and he finds, to his grief and astonishment, that Lafitte, whose life he had spared in the expectation of his meeting punishment at the hands of the Americans, has actually been fighting in their ranks, and has received, as a reward for his services, a free pardon, coupled, however, with an injunction to quit the territory of the United States. Through an advertisement in an old newspaper, traces have been discovered of Rosa's father, who, as the reader is given to understand, is a Mexican of high rank. She had been stolen by a tribe of Indians with whom Tokeah was at war, and from whose hands he rescued her. Tokeah has an interview with General Jackson, who cautions him against the further indulgence of his inveterate hostility to the Americans, and permits him to depart. Rosa now goes to take leave of the old chief, who is as yet unaware that she is not to accompany him.

When Rosa, Squire Copeland, and Hodges entered the estaminet of the Garde Imperiale, they found the two chiefs and their followers seated in their usual manner upon the floor of the room, which had no other occupants. El Sol rose at their entrance, and, advancing a few steps, took Rosa's hand and conducted her to a chair. She did not sit down, but ran to the Miko and affectionately embraced him. The old chief gazed at her with a cold and inquiring look.

"Miko," said the squire, "Miss Rosa has come to take leave of you, and to thank you for the kindness you have shown her. You yourself shall fix the sum that will compensate you for your expenses on her account."

"Tokeah," replied the Indian, misunderstanding Major Copeland's words, and taking a leather bag from his wampum belt, "will willingly pay what the white chief claims for food and drink given to the White Rose."

"You are mistaken," replied the squire; "payment is due to you. Strictly speaking, the amount should[52] be fixed by a jury, but you have only to ask, and any reasonable sum shall be paid at once."

"The white chief," said the Indian, "may take whatever he pleases."

"I tell you it is I, and not you, who have to pay," returned the squire.

"Has my daughter bid farewell to her foster-father?" said the Indian to Rosa, who had listened to this dialogue with some uneasiness. "Rosa must leave the wigwam of the white men; the Miko's path is a long one, and his spirit is weary of the palefaces."

"And must the Miko go?" said Rosa. "Oh! father of my Canondah! remain here; the white men will love thee as a brother."

The Indian looked at her with astonishment.

"What means the White Rose?" said he,—"the palefaces love Tokeah? Has the White Rose——?" He paused, and surveyed her gloomily and suspiciously. "Tokeah," continued he, at last, "is very weary of the white men; he will be gone."

"Miko," said Rosa, timidly—for it was evident that the chief was still in error as to the motive of her visit—"Rosa has come to beg you to remain a while with the white men; but if you must go, she will"——

"The Miko is the father of his people," interrupted Tokeah; "they call him; he must go, and the Rose of the Oconees shall also be the Rose of the Comanches, the squaw of a great chief."

The young girl blushed, and stepped back.

"Miko," said she, "you are the beloved father of my dear Canondah; you saved my life and maintained me, and I thank you heartily; but, Miko, I cannot, I must not, do as you wish. I no longer belong to you, but to my father, my long-lost father."

"Rosa speaks truth—she belongs to her father," said the Miko, not yet undeceived; "my daughter's feet are weak, but she shall sit in a canoe till she reaches the wigwams of the Pawnees, and they have many horses."

"By G—!" cried the squire, "here is a mistake; the Indian thinks to take Rosa with him. My dear boy," continued he to Hodges, "run as quick as you can to Colonel Parker, and bring a party of men. Bayonets are the only things these savages respect. Rosa, say no more to him, he is getting wild."

A change had taken place in the Indian, although it was one which only a keen observer could detect. He began to have an inkling that Rosa was to be taken from him, and his gloomy inanimate physiognomy betrayed a restless agitation, which alarmed the major.

"The White Rose," resumed Tokeah, after a while, "is a dutiful daughter. She will cook her father's venison."

"That would I willingly do for the father of my Canondah," said the young girl; "but a higher duty calls me. Father of my Canondah! Rosa has come to take leave of thee."

The Indian listened attentively.

"Miko," continued the maiden, "the father who gave me life, is found. Rosa must hasten to him who for fourteen years has wept and sought her."

"Tokeah gave Rosa her life; he saved her from the tomahawk of Milimach; he paid with skins for the milk she drank."

"But Rosa has another father who is nearer to her, whom the Great Spirit bestowed upon her; to him must she go. I must leave you, Miko," said she, with increased firmness of manner.

Upon the countenance of the Indian all the bad passions of his nature were legible. The scales had at last fallen from his eyes; but even now his cold and terrible calmness did not desert him, although the violence of the storm raging within showed itself in the play of his features and the variation of his complexion.

"Miko," said the squire, who foresaw an approaching outburst of fury—"Miko, you heard the words of the great warrior of the palefaces?"

The Indian took no notice of the caution; his whole frame was agitated by a feverish trembling; his hand sought his scalping-knife; and he cast so terrible a look at Rosa, that the horrorstruck squire sprang to her side. To Major Copeland's astonishment, the young girl had regained all her courage, and there was even a certain dignity in her manner.[53]

"Miko," said she, extending her arms, "I must leave you."

"What says my daughter?" demanded the Indian—who even yet seemed unable to believe his ears—his voice assuming so shrill and unnatural a tone, that the tavern-keeper and his wife rushed terrified into the room. "Tokeah is not her father? she will not follow the Miko?"

"She cannot," answered Rosa firmly.

"And Rosa," continued the Indian, in the same piercing accents, "will leave the Miko; will let him wander alone on his far and weary path?"

The words were scarcely uttered, when, by a sudden and unexpected movement, Tokeah sprang to his feet, caught Rosa in his arms, and with a like rapidity retreating to the side door of the room, came in such violent contact with it, that its glass panes were shivered into a thousand pieces.

"And does the white snake think," he exclaimed, with flashing eyes, "that the Miko is a fool?" He held the maiden in his left arm, whilst his right raised the glittering scalping-knife. "Does the white snake think," continued the raging Indian, with a shrill laugh of scorn, whilst the foam gathered round his mouth, "that the Miko fed and cherished her, and gave skins for her, that she might return to the white men, the venomous palefaces, whom he spits upon?" And he spat with loathing upon the ground.

"By the God who made you, hold! Hurt the child, and you are a dead man!" cried the squire, who seized a stool and endeavoured to force his way to Rosa, but was repulsed by the Comanches and Oconees.

"Therefore did the white snake accompany me!" yelled Tokeah. "Does my son know," cried he to El Sol, "that the White Rose has betrayed her father—betrayed him for the palefaces? Will the white snake follow her father?" screamed the frantic savage.

"I cannot," was the reply. "The voice of my white father calls me."

An expression of intense hatred came over the features of the Indian, as he gazed at the beautiful creature who lay half-fainting on his arm.

"Tokeah will leave the White Rose with her friends," said he, with a low deadly laugh, drawing back his hand and aiming the knife at her bosom.

"Gracious God! he is killing her!" cried the major, breaking furiously through the opposing Indians. But at this critical moment the young Comanche was beforehand with him. With a bound he interposed himself between the chief's armed hand and intended victim, tore Rosa from the grasp of Tokeah, and hurled him back against the door with such force that it flew into fragments.

"Tokeah is indeed a wild cat!" cried he with indignant disgust. "He forgets that he is a chief amongst his people, and brings shame upon the name of the Red men. El Sol is ashamed of such a father."

These words, spoken in the Pawnee dialect, had an indescribable effect upon the old savage. He had partly raised himself after his fall, but now again sank down as if lifeless. Just then several file of militia entered the room with bayonets fixed.

"Shall we take the Indian to prison?" said Lieutenant Parker.

The major stood speechless, both his arms clasped round Rosa.

"Lieutenant Parker," said he, "support Rosa for a moment: the Almighty himself has protected her, and it beseems not us to take vengeance." He approached the old Indian, who still lay upon the floor, lifted him up, and placed him against the wall. "Tokeah," he said, "according to our laws your life is forfeited, and the halter the least you deserve; nevertheless, begone, and that instantly. You will find your punishment without receiving it at our hands."

"He was my father, my unhappy father!" exclaimed Rosa, and tottering to the Indian, she threw her arms around him. "Father of my Canondah," cried she, "Rosa would never leave you, but the voice of her own father calls. Forgive her who has been a daughter to you!"

The Indian remained mute. She gazed at him for a while with tearful eyes; then turned to El Sol, and bowing her head modestly and respectfully, took leave of him, and left the house with her companions.

The young chief of the Comanches[54] remained as in a dream, till the major, with Rosa and the militia, were already far from the estaminet. Suddenly he came bounding after them, and placing himself before Rosa, took her hands, pressed them to his breast, and bowed his head so mournfully, that the witnesses of the scene stood silent, sympathizing with his evident affliction.

"El Sol," whispered he, in a scarcely audible tone, "has seen Rosa: he will never forget her."

And without raising his eyes to her face, he turned away.

"As I live," exclaimed the squire, with some emotion, "the noble savage weeps!"

An hour subsequently to this scene, the party of Indians left the bayou in a canoe, and ascended the Mississippi. Upon reaching the mouth of the Red River, they turned into it, and continued their route up-stream. On the tenth day from that of their departure, they found themselves upon the elevated plain where the western district of Arkansas and Louisiana joins the Mexican territory. To their front were the snowy summits of the Ozark range, beyond which are immense steppes extending towards the Rocky Mountains. The sun sank behind the snow-capped peaks, as the Indians landed at the western extremity of the long table-rock, which there stretches like a wall along the left bank of the Red River. Leaving their canoe, they approached a hill, or rather a mass of rock, that rises not far from the shore in the barren salt steppe, and in whose side exists a cave or grotto, resembling, by its regularity of form, an artificial archway. Here, upon the imaginary boundary line separating the hunting grounds of the Pawnees of the Toyask tribe from those of the Cousas and Osages, they took up their quarters for the night. El Sol ordered a fire to be made; for Tokeah, who had just left the warm climate of Louisiana, shivered with cold. Their frugal meal dispatched, the Miko and his Oconees stretched themselves upon the ground and slept. El Sol still listened to a legend related by one of the Comanches, when he was startled by a distant noise. In an instant the three warriors were upon their feet, their heads stretched out in the direction of the breeze which had conveyed the sound to their ears.

"The dogs!" murmured the young Comanche; "they bay after a foe in whose power it once was to crush them."

The Oconees were roused from their slumber, and the party hurried to the place where they had left the canoe. The Miko and his warriors got in and descended the stream; whilst El Sol and the two Comanches crept noiselessly along the water's edge in the same direction. After proceeding for about half a mile, the canoe stopped, and the young chief and his followers entered it, previously breaking the bushes growing upon the shore, so as to leave unmistakable marks of their passage. They continued their progress down the river to the end of the table-rock, and then, leaving the old man in the boat, El Sol and the four warriors again landed, and glided away in the direction of their recently abandoned bivouac. In its vicinity were stationed a troop of twenty horses. Of the Indians to whom these belonged, ten remained mounted, whilst the remainder searched the cave, and followed the trail left by its late occupants. Crouching and crawling upon the ground, the better to distinguish the footmarks dimly visible in the moonlight, it might almost have been doubted whether their dark forms were those of men, or of some strange amphibious animals who had stolen out of the depths of the river for a midnight prowl upon the shore.

His ear against the rock, and motionless as a statue, El Sol observed each movement of the foe. Suddenly, when the Indians who followed the trail were at some distance from the cave, he made a sign to his companions, and, with a noiseless swiftness that defied detection, the five warriors approached the horses. A slight undulation of the plain was all that now separated them from their enemy. El Sol listened, gazed upwards at the moon's silver disk, just then emerging from behind a snow-charged cloud, raised himself upon his knee, and taking a long and steady aim, nodded to his warriors. The next instant five savages, pierced by[55] as many bullets, fell from their horses to the ground; a terrible yell shattered the stillness of the night; and with lightning swiftness El Sol sprang upon the terrified survivors, who, answering his war-whoop by cries of terror, fled in confusion from the place. It needed all the surprising rapidity and dexterity of the young chief and his followers to secure six of the half-wild horses, whose bridles, so swift and well-calculated had been the movements of the Comanches, might be said to fall from the hands of their slain riders into those of the assailants. The remaining steeds reared in extreme terror, and then, with neigh and snort, dashed madly across the wide waste of the steppe.

Springing upon the backs of the captured animals, the Comanches galloped to the shore. Scarcely had they entered the canoe, astern of which the horses were made to swim, when the bullets and arrows of the pursuing foe whistled around them.

"Will my son promise the Miko to be a good father to the Oconees?" said the old chief in a hollow voice, as they pulled out of range of the fire.

"A father and a brother," answered the Comanche. "But why does my father ask? He will dwell long and happily with his children."

"Will El Sol swear it by the Great Spirit?" repeated the old man, earnestly, but in a fainter voice.

"He will," replied the young chief.

"Will he swear to bury Tokeah and his father's bones in the grave of the warriors of the Comanches?"

"He will," said El Sol.

"So shall the white men not scoff at his ashes nor at those of his father," groaned the Miko. "But it is the will of the Great Spirit that Tokeah should not see the hunting-grounds of the Comanches; he is doomed to die in the land of the palefaces."

A rattling in his throat interrupted the old man; he murmured a few broken words in the ears of his Oconees, who broke out into a wild howl of lamentation. Still clasping to his breast the coffin containing his father's bones, he sank back in the boat in the agonies of death. El Sol raised him in his arms, but life had already fled. A bullet had struck him between the shoulders, and inflicted a mortal wound. In silent grief the young chief threw himself upon the corpse, and long after the boat had reached the opposite shore, he lay there, unmindful of all but his sorrow. Roused at length by the whispers of his companions, to a sense of the danger of longer delay, he laid the body across a horse, and himself mounting the same animal, took the road to the village of the Pawnees. There, upon the following day, to the wild and mournful music of the death-song, the little party made its sorrowful entrance.

At this point the narrative ceases. We turn the page, expecting at least another chapter, or some notice of Rosa's restoration to her father, and subsequent marriage with Hodges, which the previous portion of the novel certainly led us to anticipate. But our author, with his usual eccentric disregard of the established routine of romance writers, contents himself with a postscript, consisting of an advertisement extracted from the Opelousas county paper, and dated March 1816, announcing the marriage of the amiable and accomplished Miss Mary Copeland, daughter of the Honourable John Copeland, of James county, to Mr James Hodges, formerly of H.B.M. Navy, and now of Hodges' Seat in the same state. The reader is left to complete the denouement for himself, if he so pleases, and to conjecture that Rosa's father, a Mexican grandee, takes back his daughter to her native country, and that the incipient attachment between her and the young Englishman is mutually forgotten.

We here finally conclude our extracts from the already published work of our German American friend—extracts comprising, as we believe, the cream of the twenty volumes, or thereabouts, which he has given to the world. The incognito behind which this clever and original writer has so long shrouded himself, is at length abandoned; and to a new edition of his works, now in course of publication, stands prefixed the name of Charles Sealsfield.



By Colonel Lord Howden, K.St.F., K.C.S.

"Ac sane, quod difficilimum, et prælio strenuus erat et bonus in consilio; quorum alterum ex providentiâ timorem, alterum ex audaciâ temeritatem, adferre plerumque solet. In Jugurthâ tantus dolus, tantaque peritia locorum et militiæ erat, ut absens aut præsens perniciosior esset in incerto haberetur."—Sallust.

The siege of Bilbao was undertaken against the will, and strongly expressed counsel of Zumalacarregui. He was not only aware of the risk of the enterprise, with the insufficient means at his disposal for attempting it, but he had other plans. His plans, however, were undervalued, and his counsels were slighted, at the court of the Pretender. The little empty politicians there, were dazzled by the idea of possessing an important town, not deeming it their business to calculate the means by which it was to be obtained; the incompetent military advisers who directed from afar, thought that this bold attempt, proceeding from them, would contrast in bright relief with the hitherto wary and waiting policy of the commander-in-chief; and the wish, not an unnatural one, of the wandering prince, to find himself for once in comfortable quarters, was not the least among the motives which decided the operation. Though at this moment the Christino army was in a state of great discouragement from a long series of advantages that had been gained by the Carlists, the funds of the latter were entirely exhausted; and the idea of a forced loan upon the rich inhabitants of Bilbao was too seducing to be coldly examined by those little acquainted with the real difficulties of the war. Zumalacarregui wished to attack Victoria, and, profiting by the prestige of his late successes, to throw himself on the fertile and virgin ground of the Castiles. This was doubtlessly the right course, but the project was overruled.

Independently of what thus gave rise to these ambitious aspirations, there was a personal feeling which had long been busy, either in attempting new and unexpected combinations on the part of the Camarilla, or in mutilating or rendering ineffectual those that had been imagined by Zumalacarregui. There was no passion, bold or mean, no jealousy, no intrigues, vegetating ever so rankly or rifely in the oldest and largest court of Europe, which did not flourish in that of Don Carlos.

There was not a Christino general more disliked by the hangers-on of Don Carlos than Zumalacarregui. They feared him, they respected him, but they hated him.

When the Pretender first made his appearance in Navarre, Zumalacarregui was in his favourite retreat of the Amescuas. He was far from insensible to the advantage which the presence of the chief actor in the drama might produce, if his personal bearing should be such as to create an enthusiasm for his cause, and if those who accompanied him should bring each his personal contingent of enlightened advice and honest activity. But with all these hopes, Zumalacarregui was not without his fears; his sagacity foresaw what his experience soon confirmed, that the royal chief was worse than a nullity, and that the royal suite were actively in the way. Lord Bacon says, "it is the solecism of princes to think to command the end, and yet not to endure the means." Dr Carlos was always commanding the end, while his general was left to find the means as best he could. A large portion of his small army was absorbed in protecting the prince, and could rarely be counted on in a combined movement; and the non-combatants, under every denomination of title and rank, drew more rations for their consumption than would have sufficed for the support of a large body of soldiers.

Zumalacarregui, personally, was never very enthusiastic in the cause. It is true that his feelings had always had a tendency to absolutism, or rather he entertained the conviction that a strong government was necessary to the happiness of Spain, and that the greater the unity of that government, the greater was its chance of stability, and its power of favourable action; but when he left Pamplona to put himself at the head of the insurgent Navarrese, he was influenced far more by pique[57] against the existing state of things, than by enthusiasm for the new one which he sought to establish. He had been treated both brutally and unjustly by Quesada, at that time inspector of infantry; and, with his active spirit, a condemnation to inactivity was the severest sentence that could be passed upon him. Rest to his unquiet bosom was a hell from which he was determined to emerge; and, confident in his powers, he seized the first opportunity which enabled him to bring them into action.

The meeting between Zumalacarregui and the prince was respectful, but not warm; the first was unaccustomed to have any feelings, the second was unaccustomed to conceal those he had. The new importation had brought no new ideas, no plans, no accession of science; above all, no money; at least no more than was to be applied to its own wants. Don Carlos was evidently under the constraint that a strong mind imposes on a weak one. He saw that the servant was the master, as much in commanding intellect as in actual power. They were both uncomfortable; Zumalacarregui neither flattered the prince, nor his chances of success; he laid before him his difficulties, almost insuperable in his own opinion—for let it be known as a fact, that he always in his heart despaired of the ultimate upshot of the war. In conversational phrase, he had made himself thoroughly disagreeable; for he had spoken calmly, coldly, truly—and the hopes of an immediate march to Madrid had been rudely shaken. Zumalacarregui left the prince's headquarters with a discouragement and a contempt which he was at no pains to conceal. From that moment he was an object, often of admiration, but never of affection; and it was evident that the effort to esteem him was too painful to ensure a continuance of confidence.

Among those who consider Zumalacarregui solely as the able chief of a devoted army, putting aside all the circumstances of political partisanship, there can be little difference of opinion, if that opinion be fairly formed and honestly given. By those who remark upon the comparatively small number of his troops, and the relatively confined scale of his operations, and who therefore refuse him the name of a great general, it must be remembered, that if this principle of applying reputation be pushed further in its expression—if military praise and appreciation are to be awarded strictly according to the size of the theatre and the magnitude of the numbers, and not according to the spirit which moves over the one, and directs the others—by such geometrical logic, our own great hero would be deemed immeasurably inferior to the French emperor.

Zumalacarregui possessed great courage, but he made no show of it. It would have been more brilliant if he had had more vanity; and the exposure of his person was always subservient to some object of utility. He had a comprehensive view of military movements, but he never forgot the peculiar nature of his warfare; and he never ambitiously allowed himself to be carried away by plans or manœuvres beyond the exigencies of his position. As an administrator in forming reserves, in procuring supplies, in discovering resources, in bringing raw battalions to a state of rough efficiency in the shortest possible time, he was unrivalled; yet his mind was not cramped by detail, and when he descended to minute matters, it was because they were really important. He was severe and inflexible, even taciturn and morose; yet he was extremely loved by his troops. At the time that he was commander-in-chief, commissary-general and treasurer, and that all the sums of money, raised or sent, passed through his hands without a check or a receipt, there never was a breath raised against the purity of his moral character. These certainly are the elements out of which great generals are made; and it is not irrational to think that, under other circumstances, the same man, this Navarrese Guerrillero, far superior as such to the brave but improvident Mina, or the active but dull Jauregui, might have expanded into a European hero, and have left a less perishable name.

When the siege of Bilbao was decided on, Zumalacarregui threw his objections to the winds, and set about it with his constitutional ardour. He arrived before it with fourteen battalions, and a miserable battering-train, composed of two twelve-pounders, one six-pounder, two brass four-pounders,[58] two howitzers and a mortar, and with a great penury of corresponding ammunition. The town was garrisoned by a force of four thousand men, well armed, without counting the national guard, and was protected by forty pieces of artillery, mostly of large calibre, mounted on different forts thrown up in favourable positions. But what was of chief advantage to the besieged, and what almost rendered success hopeless, was the free communication from without kept up by French and English vessels of war stationed in the Nervion, a river that runs alongside the town, and joins the sea at some seven or eight miles' distance.

Zumalacarregui fixed his headquarters at a spot called Puente Nuevo, in a small straggling village, just at this side of the town of Bilbao, and under one of its most fashionable and frequented walks. Eraso had begun the investiture of the place a few days previously, and both these chiefs lodged in a small inn named the Three Sisters. Puente Nuevo was completely commanded by an eminence called the Morro, just outside the gates of Bilbao; but the garrison, either from motives of prudence or others, gave the Carlists no inconvenience from that point.

At a short distance to the right of the Durango road, and on a height immediately over the town of Bilbao, is a church, called Our Lady of Begoña; and not far from it is a house, which, from its comparative size and solidity, and from its commanding view of the country around, goes by the name of the Palace. On the second day of the siege, two serious misfortunes befell the besiegers: eighty of the best muskets they possessed were piled in the portico of the church of Begoña, and were all entirely destroyed by a grenade that took them horizontally, killing the two sentinels that were mounting guard over them. The same evening the two largest of the guns, already half-worn out, burst from continued firing, just as something like an impression appeared on the spot it was proposed to breach.

Don Carlos, during this time, was at Durango, a distance of five or six hours. Zumalacarregui, seeing the hopelessness of the operation, and, above all, the discouragement of the men, sent an express to the prince to say, "that he would be obliged infallibly to raise the siege and retire, unless some means were immediately taken to raise the drooping spirits of his army; that they were without clothes, without food, and almost without ammunition; that it was absolutely necessary that a sum of money should be procured and sent to him, which would enable him to pay the troops a part of what was due to them; and that then, as the means of prolonging a siege was out of the question, he would endeavour to carry out his majesty's wishes, and try to take the place by assault."

Cruz-Mayor, the lead of the Camarilla, loved to humiliate Zumalacarregui, and no answer was returned to this letter; but Zumalacarregui was not idle, nor did he allow inaction to dispirit still more the minds of his men. He even attempted an assault, which failed, with the loss of all those who were ordered on this service. Unfortunately for the attacking column, lots were drawn for the troops that were to compose it; and they fell upon a regiment of Navarrese, entirely ignorant of the localities, who, getting confused in cross-paths and lanes at the foot of the walls, were cut off to a man. It was thought that the result of this attack might have been otherwise had it been undertaken by the Biscayan companies, who knew every inch of the ground. The hour, too, was ill judged, for it was at the beginning of nightfall, when it was just dark enough to embarrass those who were attempting the assault, without being sufficiently so to induce the inhabitants and national guards to retire from the walls.

On the 15th June 1835, Zumalacarregui proceeded to the palace of Begoña, not far from the church of the same name, as the best spot for observing the repairs made, and the additional means of defence raised by the enemy during the night. He passed through the middle room on the first story, and, throwing open the window, went out on the iron balcony overlooking the town. The balls were flying so thick and fast that he desired all those who accompanied him to remain within; but, notwithstanding their supplications, he himself remained leaning on the railing of the balcony, his knees nearly[59] touching the ground. The telescope which he used, showing the marksmen in the enemy's works that he was probably a personage of importance, occasioned a general discharge from the nearest battery. It was now exactly eight o'clock in the morning, and a ball from this discharge struck Zumalacarregui in the upper and anterior part of the right leg, on the inner side, about two inches below the knee. From the position in which he was struck, the ball took a downwards direction, and, as no part of the intricate machinery of the knee was injured, there was every reason to suppose that no serious consequences could ensue.

Either from the extreme pain of the wound, or the shock given to the nervous system, Zumalacarregui fainted. His secretary, Zaratiegui, and the rest of his staff, picked him up in a state of insensibility, and placed him on a chair. The surgeon, Grediaga, a man of considerable acquirements, who was then practising in the sacristy of the church of Begoña, which had been converted into an hospital, was immediately sent for, as well as a young English surgeon of the name of Burgess, belonging to a small body of cavalry called the "Holy Squadron," or the "Squadron of Legitimacy."

This young man, a person of great respectability, and well informed in his profession, has been since as grossly as ridiculously accused of having been bought by the English government to hasten the end of Zumalacarregui, if ever his services enabled him to do so; and it is still said, and believed by many, that the death of the general was owing to poison put into the bandages with which Mr Burgess first dressed the wound. In a country like Spain, where there is much ignorance and deep prejudice, it does not suffice to laugh to scorn accusations of any sort: it is better to meet them seriously, and disprove them by a fact. Mr Burgess never dressed Zumalacarregui's leg at all. He spoke no Spanish, and while he was endeavouring to make himself understood and to learn what had happened, Grediaga arrived and put on the first application.

On being asked whither he should be carried, Zumalacarregui immediately said to Cegama, a town three days' journey off, situated in a solitary neighbourhood, and entirely unprovided with any thing like comfort, medicines, or professional assistance. The surprise of all was manifest, but the general was too accustomed to be obeyed not to be so in this instance. He was placed upon an old sofa from which the legs were sawed, and which was carried by eight guides of Navarre, with twenty-four others as a reserve. Neither he nor the chief of his staff and secretary, Zaratiegui, had a single peseta in their pockets, and he received from Mendigana, the paymaster-general, twenty ounces of gold, as a part of the pay that was due to him.

The reason which induced Zumalacarregui to go to Cegama, was indeed a strange one, and a fatal one. It was one he never expressed, but which prompted this revelation from the very instant that he received his wound. There lived in this district a quack of the very lowest capacity, of the name of Petriquillo—a man entirely unimbued with the slightest tincture of medical science, but whose chance cures of gunshot wounds during the time of the Army of the Faith in 1822, had astonished and taken possession of the mind of Zumalacarregui. He even refused to allow the ball to be extracted at a moment when the operation presented no danger, and his only anxiety was to put himself into the hands of this ignorant adventurer.

When the party arrived at Durango, Don Carlos sent word that he would next morning pay a visit to his wounded chief; the frame of mind of the latter may be collected from an exclamation he made on the road, heard by all, and commented on by many—"Truly this is a happy day for the court of the king!"

As announced, Don Carlos came, and the following remarkable conversation took place:—"Well, Thomas, how could'st thou do so foolish a thing as to get wounded?" (The Spanish royal family always use the second person singular.) "Sir, I exposed myself, because it was my duty to do so—besides, I have lived long enough, and I am firmly convinced that we shall all have to die in your majesty's service." "Well, but where do'st thou intend going?" "To Cegama, sir." "No, don't go there, it is a long way off: stay here, I'll have thee taken care[60] of." "Sir, I have said I would go to Cegama, and to Cegama will I go: your majesty knows me well enough to be convinced that what I say, I do." "Oh yes! Thomas, that is certain—well, go with God, and take care of thyself."

After this interview, Zumalacarregui instantly set off, as if it was a relief to him to get out of the atmosphere of the court. Between Durango and Bergara he was met by the quack Petriquillo and the cura Zabala. Besides the above-mentioned Grediaga, Don Carlos had desired two other nominal physicians, Gelos and Voloqui, to accompany the general; but these two men were, in fact, as ignorant, and as rash, and as opinionated as Petriquillo himself. Petriquillo took off the dressing from the wound; he made two men rub the patient for four hours from the hip to the ankle, with an unctuous substance known only to himself. He then put on a bandage dipped in some medicament of his own composition. Zumalacarregui suffered extremely during the night.

Next morning a violent fever manifested itself. Mr Burgess, frightened at this treatment, returned to Bilbao, and Zumalacarregui continued his journey, arriving at Cegama on the evening of the 17th.

The surgeon Grediaga still continued, not his services, but his useless advice. As the fever increased, he recommended quiet, diet, and blood-letting. Petriquillo objected to venesection or leeches; he administered food in large quantities, to support the general's strength, and kept the room full of company to keep up the general's spirits.

Five days passed in this way with this treatment, or rather absence of treatment, only diversified by various attempts to extract the ball, though the leg, by the progress of the fever, and the continued application of the knife and probe, was swollen to twice its size, and was in a state of the highest exacerbation.

In the middle of the night of the 23d, a great idea struck Gelos and Petriquillo, the former was sleeping in the same room with Grediaga, and, fearful lest the latter should prevent its accomplishment, rose stealthily at one o'clock in the morning, proceeded with Petriquillo to the room of the general, and they there together did extract the ball.

At daylight, the joy in the house was extreme; the ball was passed through the hands of every inhabitant in Cegama, and was then dispatched in a box to Don Carlos. Petriquillo and Gelos announced, that in fifteen days the general would be at the head of his army before Bilbao.

At six o'clock, Zumalacarregui began to complain of insupportable thirst, and of pains all through the body; shortly afterwards, general shiverings came on, with convulsions at times. During an interval between these, he received the last consolations of religion; for though far from being a bigot, or even a devotee, Zumalacarregui respected, and practised reverentially, the religion of his country. At eleven o'clock in the morning of the 24th of June 1835, he expired.

On examining the body, it was found that two cuts had been made completely through the calf of the leg in order to get at the ball: Their length was about three inches, and their depth was as great as it could be; for they reached the bone. The whole of the integuments had been divided by Petriquillo, and the sheets of the bed were one mass of blood.

About three hours before the general's death, Petriquillo, unseen, went into the stable, saddled his mule, and departed.

As the dead chief never possessed the uniform of a general, his body was laid out in borrowed garments belonging to the attorney of the place. It was dressed in a black coat and black pantaloons, with a white waistcoat, and over the shoulder was put the riband of the fifth class of St Ferdinand, without the star, for he never had one. Zumalacarregui had troubled himself little about external decorations; and his ordinary dress, a black sheep-skin jacket, red overalls, and a flat scarlet boyna, or cap of the country, which he thought sufficiently good for his body when living, was deemed unworthy of him when he became dust. It was an apt type of what had preceded, and what was to follow: the rude neglected warrior during life—the Duke, the King's friend, the grandee of Spain after death.

One word about the cruelty of Zumalacarregui. He was cruel, and what is about to be said is a reason, but it[61] is not put forth as either an excuse or a justification. His cruelty proceeded from no innate or idiosyncratic ferocity. In a less cruel atmosphere he would have breathed a milder spirit. There is an indifference to life in all Spaniards, which, on one side, prompts great deeds, and, on the other, readily ripens into inhumanity. They care little about their own lives, and speedily learn to care still less about the lives of others. In this melancholy warfare there was cruelty on all sides; and, from the execution of Santos Ladron, there followed a series of bloody atonements, each producing each, which strewed the highways with as many bodies as had fallen in the field.

Though the temptation of straying into any thing like a biography has been studiously avoided, there is one anecdote so curious, and not only so explanatory of what has just been said, but so illustrative of the character of both the man and the country, that it will hardly be deemed out of place.

A young grandee of Spain, the Count of Via-Manuel, had been taken prisoner. Zumalacarregui was anxious to save his life, though the circumstance of his rank seemed to make his death the more certain, as being a fitter expiation for many executions which had lately taken place on the Christino side. Zumalacarregui addressed a letter to Rodil, the commander-in-chief of that army, saying that he was anxious to exchange his prisoner for a subaltern officer, and some soldiers that had been lately seized sick in a farm-house, and that he awaited the answer. The distance between the armies was short, and, some hours after, Via-Manuel requested permission to see the general and learn his fate. Zumalacarregui received him in the room when he was just going to dinner, and, in that oriental style so interwoven in the whole web of Spanish customs, offered him a part of the repast that was before him. In ordinary times, this is but a courteous form, and it is rarely accepted; but Via-Manuel, thinking perhaps of the Arab's salt in this Moorish compliment, accepted the invitation, and sat down at the table. They eat, and at the end of dinner an orderly entered and gave a letter to the general. It was from Rodil, and contained only these words—"The rebels were shot this morning." Zumalacarregui, without saying a word, handed the paper to Via-Manuel, rose from table, and went out of the room. The unfortunate count was that night placed, according to custom, in the chapel of the village, and was shot next morning.

This happened in Lecumberri, which was entered shortly afterwards by the troops of the Queen. On leaving it the following day, two Carlist officers were pinioned and shot through the back, on the very spot where Via-Manuel fell. Such was the frightful mode of reciprocal expiation carried on on both sides; but the writer of this notice has, at least, among those painful recollections, the consolation of reflecting, that in this, as in other instances more fortunate, he did all in his power to save the victims.

This little sketch has swelled beyond its intended bulk, but when those who love Spain have passed the Pyrenees, it is difficult not to linger there, even on paper. Amid dangers and difficulties, and even the horrors of civil war, Spain has an attraction which it would be as difficult to explain to those who do not feel it, as to describe the sound of a trumpet to a deaf man. To those who have passed their early years there, Spain is like the shining decoration in a play, which still continues haunting the slumbers of the child that has seen one for the first time.

After the death of Zumalacarregui, Don Carlos took command of the army, with Moreno for chief of his staff, but the latter exercised all real authority. The Pretender was utterly deficient of every thing like military talent, and from the day of Zumalacarregui's death, his cause was not only hopeless, but felt to be so by the queen's party, who shortly regained the large portion of occupied territory which they had recently lost.

Zumalacarregui, from the 1st May 1835 to the 11th of June of that year, had made upwards of three thousand soldiers and a hundred officers prisoners. He left for all inheritance to his wife and daughters something less than forty pounds and four horses.



We suspect that in this railway age poetry is at a greater discount than ever. The reason is obvious. Not only the public, who are the readers, but even the poets themselves, have been largely infected by the current mania of speculation. Had the possession of capital been requisite for a participation in any of the thousand defunct schemes which have caused so unprecedented an emigration to the breezy shores of Boulogne, our poetical friends might have claimed for their vocation the credit of a rare morality. But unfortunately, the national gaming-table was open to men of every class. Peer and peasant, count and costermonger, millionaire and bankrupt, were alike entitled to figure as allottees, or even as committee-men, for the simple subscription of their signatures; and amidst the rush and squeeze of the crowd, who thronged towards the portal of Plutus, we were less surprised than pained to observe some of the most venerated votaries of Apollo. We shall not affect to disguise the purpose for which we were there ourselves. But much may be permitted to the prosaic writer which is forbidden to the canonized bard. Ours is a pen of all work—equally ready to concoct a prospectus, or to expose a literary charlatan. We are intensely fond of lucre, and expect, some day or another, to be in possession of the moiety of a plum. We have therefore no vain scruples regarding the sanctity of our calling, but carry our genius like a hooded falcon upon our wrist, ready to let it fly at any manner of game which may arise. We, however, deny in absolute terms the right of a poet to any such general license. He has no business whatever to trespass one foot beyond the limits his own domain. He ought to be thoroughly ignorant of the existence of bulls and bears, stags and ducks, and the rest of the zoology of the Exchange. Consols should be to him a mystery more impenetrable than the Sibylline verses, and the state of the stocks as unaccountable as the policy of Sir Robert Peel. The mischief, however, is done, and we fear it is irremediable. The example of the Poet-Laureate may indeed serve as a kind of excuse for the minor professors of the art. His well-known attempt to bear the Kendal and Windermere line, by a series of ferocious sonnets, is still fresh in the memory of the public, and we trust the veteran has, long ere this, realized a handsome profit. We ourselves made a little money out of the Perth and Inverness, by means of an indignant tirade against the desecration of the Pass of Killiecrankie; and we should, to a certainty, have made more, had not the Parliamentary Committee been weak enough to believe us, and, in consequence, to reject the bill. Yet it may be long before the literary market can recover its healthy tone—ere sonnets once more resume their ancient ascendency, and circulate from hand to hand in the character of intellectual scrip.

We suspect that very few of the poets backed out of the scrape in time. Their sanguine and enthusiastic temperament led them to hold, at all risks and hazards; and they did not, as a body, take warning from the symptoms of a declining market. An amiable friend of ours who belongs to the Young England party, and who has issued a couple of duodecimos in laudation of Bishop Bonner, found himself at the period of the crash in possession of two thousand Caithness and Land's End scrip, utterly unsaleable at any discount, though a fortnight before they were quoted at fifteen premium. He meditates, as we are [63] informed, a speedy retirement to the penal solitudes of La Trappe, as there now seems to be little hope that Louis Philippe will provide a proper refuge for chivalrous misfortune by resuscitating the Order of Malta. The weaver-poet of Camlachie has gone into the Gazette in consequence of an unfortunate speculation in Caledonians. His lyre is as silent as his shuttle; and we fear that in his hours of despondency he is becoming by far too much addicted to drink. A clever young dramatist confessed to us some time ago that he found himself utterly "goosed;" and the last hope of the school of Byron has been forced to deny himself the luxury of inverted collars, as his uncompromising laundress peremptorily refused to accept of payment in characteristic Cemetery shares.

In the gross, this state of things seems deplorable enough; and yet, when we analyse it, there is still some room for comfort. Never, since we first had the honour of wielding the critical lash—for the Crutch is a sacred instrument—in the broad amphitheatre of letters, do we recollect a year less fertile in the product of verse than the present. Our young friends are not possessed with the same supreme and sublime contempt of gold which formed so disinterested a feature of the poets of the by-gone age. They have become corrupted by the manufacturing and utilitarian tenets of the day; and—we shudder to record it—divers of them are violent free-traders. They have all fallen into the snare of the man Broker; and at the very outset of life, in the heyday and spring of their existence, they can count both sides of a shilling with the acuteness of a born Pennsylvanian. Hence it is, we presume, that they have attained to a knowledge of the fact—long ago notorious among the Trade—that poetry will not pay. They look upon genius through the glasses of Adam Smith, weigh the probability of an adequate demand before they venture on the production of a supply, and cut short the inchoate canto upon principles of Political Economy. In a few years, we fear, poetry will be no longer extant, save for the commercial purposes of the advertisements of Messrs Moses and Hyam; unless, indeed, some Welsh or Highland railway company should take the matter up, and double their dividends by bribing a first-rate poet to produce another Lady of the Lake. Hence the sparseness of our library table, which renders our old vocation comparatively a sinecure, and leaves us, without the necessity of immolation, to the undisturbed enjoyment of our chair.

We might indeed, were we savagely inclined, discover some Volscians worth our fluttering in the ranks of Young England, or the more sombre group of poetical Oxonian divines. But we look with a kindly eye upon the eccentricities of the one school, and we listen to the drowsy strains of the other with no more active demonstration of disapproval than a yawn. We have high hope of George Sydney Smythe, Lord John Manners, and others, who have already produced some things of evident promise—not mere beaten tinsel, such as the resuscitated Cockneys are again beginning to vend in the literary market—but verses of true and genuine originality. Could we but ensure them against the vitiating effects of politics, it were a light hazard to predict for either of the above gentlemen a far higher reputation than has been achieved by the united efforts of the whole canorous crew which constituted the Melbourne administration. We must indeed except Mr Macaulay, a better poet than a politician, but—the brilliant ballad-writer being removed—what soul could have been contented to fatten upon the spongy lyrics of a Spring Rice, or the intolerable tragedies of a Russell! What food to sweeten the tedium of a solitary imprisonment for life!

As for the Oxford school, we fairly confess that its votaries are beyond our comprehension. Amiable they are, no doubt, although ascetic in principle; but they are likewise insufferably tedious. We have attempted at various times, and during different states of the barometer, to make ourselves master of the compositions of Mr Williams and his principal followers. We failed. After skimming over a page or two of mellifluous blank verse, we began to experience a strange sensation, as if a bee were[64] humming through the room. At each evolution of the imaginary insect, our eyes felt heavier and heavier. We made a strong effort to rally ourselves at the description of a crystalline stream, meandering, as we rather think, somewhere through the confines of Paradise; but the hue of the water gradually changed. It became dark and treacly, purled with a somniferous sound, as though the channel had been filled with living laudanum; and in three minutes more we were unconscious of the existence of the income-tax, and as relieved from the load of worldly cares as though we had joined company with the Seven Sleepers of Ephesus.

Surely we have a right to expect something better from Oxford than this. The old nurse of learning must bestir herself once more, forswear morphia, and teach her pupils to strike a manlier chord, else men will cease to believe in the ancient magic of her name. What we want is, power, energy, pathos—not mere vapid sentiment, so diligently distilled that scarce a flavour of the original material is left to enable us to discover its origin. If poetry be a copy or a reflex of life, let it show out lifelike and true; if it be the representation of a dream, at all events let us have the vision, as in the mirror of Agrippa, well defined, though around its edges rest the clouds of impenetrable mystery. Above all things, let us have meaning, not vague allegorical phrases—power if not passion—sense if not sublimity. If the classics cannot teach us these, let us go back to the earlier ballads, and see how our fathers wrote without the aid of metaphysical jargon.

Our present purpose is to deal with Scottish writers, and fortunately we have material at hand. Last month we were in London, engaged in divers matters connected with the state of the nation and our own private emolument, which latter pursuit we as seldom as possible neglect. The cares of a railway witness, in which capacity we had the honour to act, are but few. A bountiful table was spread for us, not in the wilderness, but in an excellent hotel in St James's; breakfast, luncheon, dinner, and supper, followed one another with praiseworthy regularity; the matutinal soda-water was only succeeded by the iced hock and champagne of the vespers, and a beneficent Fairy of seventeen stone, in the guise of a Writer to Her Majesty's Signet, was courteous enough not only to defray the whole of the attending expenses, but to furnish us with certain sums of gold, which we disseminated at our own proper pleasure. In return for the attentions of our legal Barmecide, we submitted to ensconce ourselves for a couple of days in a hot room somewhere about the Cloisters, in the course of which sederunt we held an animated conversation with several gentlemen in wigs, for the edification—as we were given to understand—of five other gentlemen in hats, who sat yawning behind a green table. We take this opportunity of tendering our acknowledgments to the eminent and raucous Queen's Counsel who was kind enough to conduct our cross-examination, and who so delicately insinuated his doubts as to the veracity and candour of our replies. As his knowledge of the localities about Braemar—the district then under question—was about equal to his cognizance of the natural history of Kamschatka, we felt the compliment deeply; and should we ever have the pleasure of encountering our beetle-browed acquaintance during a vacation ramble on the skirts of Schehallion, we pledge ourselves that he shall carry back with him to Lincoln's Inn some lasting tokens of our regard. In the mean time we sincerely hope he has recovered from that distressing fit of huskiness which rendered his immediate vicinity by no means a seat of comfort to his solicitor.

As a matter of course, we relieved the monotony of our duties by divers modes of relaxation. Greenwich—in the glory of its whitebait, its undeniable Thames flounders, its dear little ducklings enshrined in their asparagus nest, and its flagons, wherein the cider cup shows sparklingly through the light blue Borage—was not unfrequented by us in the course of the sultry afternoon. At Richmond, likewise, we battened sybaritically; and more than once essayed to resuscitate our appetite, and awake within us the dormant sense of poetry, by a stroll along the breezy heath of Hampstead,[65] preparatory to a dive into the Saracen, where, doubtless, in the days of yore, Leigh Hunt, Keats, and Hazlitt used to make wild work among the eggs and spinach. Our attendance at the theatres, however, was a matter of rarity. We have no fancy to undergo martyrdom by means of a slow stewing, when the sole palm we can win, in exchange for the sudorific pangs, is the enjoyment of some such shabby-genteel comedy as The Beggar on Horseback, or a travestie like that of the Birds of Aristophanes, the only peculiarity of which is its utter want of meaning. As a general rule, we prefer the spectacles on the Surrey side, to those exhibited in the Metropolitan or Westminster districts. There, the nautical drama still flourishes in its pristine force. The old British tar, in ringlets, pumps, and oil-skin castor, still hitches up his trousers with appropriate oath; revolves the unfailing bolus of pigtail in his cheek—swims to shore across a tempestuous sea of canvass, with a pistol in each hand and a cutlass in his teeth, from the wreck of the foundering frigate—and sets foot once more on the British soil, just in time to deliver Pretty Poll of Portsmouth, his affianced bride, (who has a passion for short petticoats and crimson stockings,) from the persecutions of that bebuttoned pirate with the whiskers, who carries more pistols in his girdle than the scalps of an Indian chief, and whose fall, after a terrific combat with basket-hilts and shower of fiery sparkles, brings down the curtain at the close of the third act amidst roars of unmitigated joy. Also we delight to see, at never-failing Astley's, the revived glories of British prowess—Wellington, in the midst of his staff, smiling benignantly upon the facetious pleasantries of a Fitzroy Somerset—Sergeant M'Craw of the Forty-Second, delighting the élite of Brussels by his performance of the reel of Tullochgorum at the Duchess of Richmond's ball—the charge of the Scots Greys—the single combat between Marshal Ney and the infuriated Life-guardsman Shaw—and the final retreat of Napoleon amidst a volley of Roman candles, and the flames of an arseniated Hougomont. Nor is our gratification less to discern, after the subsiding of the shower of saw-dust so gracefully scattered by that groom in the doeskin integuments, the stately form of Widdicomb, cased in martial apparel, advancing towards the centre of the wing, and commanding—with imperious gestures, and some slight flagellation in return for dubious compliment—the double-jointed clown to assist the Signora Cavalcanti to her seat upon the celebrated Arabian. How lovely looks the lady, as she vaults to her feet upon the breadth of the yielding saddle! With what inimitable grace does she whirl these tiny banners around her head, as winningly as a Titania performing the sword exercise! How coyly does she dispose her garments and floating drapery to hide the too maddening symmetry of her limbs! Gods!—She is transformed all at once into an Amazon—the fawn-like timidity of her first demeanour is gone. Bold and beautiful flushes her cheek with animated crimson—her full voluptuous lip is more compressed and firm—the deep passion of the huntress sparkles in her lustrous eye! Widdicomb becomes excited—he moves with quicker step around the periphery of his central circle—incessant is the smacking of his whip—not this time directed against Mr Merryman, who at his ease is enjoying a swim upon the saw-dust—and lo! the grooms rush in, six bars are elevated in a trice, and over them all bounds the volatile Signora like a panther, nor pauses until, with airy somersets, she has passed twice through the purgatory of the blazing hoop, and then, drooping and exhausted, sinks like a Sabine into the arms of the herculean Master, who—a second Romulus—bears away his lovely burden to the stables, amidst such a whirlwind of applause as Kemble might have been proud to earn!

"So," in the language of Tennyson—

"So we triumph'd, ere our passion sweeping through us left us dry,
Left us with the palsied heart, and left us with the jaundiced eye."

"Dryness," however, according to our creed and practice, is not altogether unappeasable, and by the help of Barclay, Perkins, and Company, we succeeded in mitigating its rage. But[66] we confess to the other miseries of the palsied heart and jaundiced eye, so soon as we were informed by the above-mentioned scribe, that our bill had been thrown out upon committee, and that, if we tarried longer in London, it must be upon our own proper charges. We had been so used for the last twelve months to voyage, and to subsist at the expense of joint-stock companies—so habituated to dine with provisional committees, and to hold sweet supper consultations in the society of salaried surveyors—that a reference to our private resources appeared a matter of serious hardship. However, there was no help for it. Some mean and unreasonable share-holders were already growling about a return of some portion of the deposits, and even, to the infinite disgust of the directors, hinted at a taxation of accounts. The murmurs of these slaves of Mammon broke up our little Eden. The Irish egg-merchant, who had been fed for three weeks upon turtle to induce him to give testimony touching the importation of eerocks—the tollman from Strathspey, who nightly meandered to the Coal-hole, in company with the intoxicated distiller—the three clerks who did the dirty work of the committee-room, and were therefore, with wise precaution, stinted in their allowance of beer—the northern bailie, who stuck strenuously to toddy, and the maritime provost, who affected the vintage of the Rhine—the raw uncouth surveyor from Dingwall, who, guiltless of straps, and rejoicing in a superfluity of rig-and-fur over a pair of monstrous brogues, displayed his native symmetry every afternoon in Regent Street, and reciprocated the gaze of the wondering milliners with a coarse guffaw, and the exhibition of his enormous teeth;—All these worthies vanished from the house in a single day, like spirits at the crowing of the cock, and returned to their native hills in a state of comparative demoralization. For our own part, we packed our portmanteau in gloomy silence, and meditated a speedy retreat to the distant solitudes of Loch Awe.

We were eating, as we thought, our last muffin, when our eye was accidentally caught by an advertisement in the Times, purporting that a new play was to be immediately produced at the Princess's theatre, and that its title was The King of the Commons. A spasm of delight shot through us. We were aware, some time before, that a dear friend, and distinguished fellow-labourer of ours, whose contributions have always been of sweetest savour in the nostrils of fastidious Christopher, had turned his attention to dramatic poetry, and was resolved, for once at least, to launch an experimental shallop upon the stage. Nor did we doubt that this was the enunciation of his attempt. We divined it at once from the subject, so akin to his genius and deep national feelings—we knew the fervour of his love to Scotland, and his earnest desire to illustrate some page of her varied annals—and we resolved accordingly to postpone our departure, and be present at the success or discomfiture of our bold and adventurous brother.

The first night of a new play is always attended with some agreeable excitement. If the author is a known man upon the boards—a veteran of some six comedies, all of which have found their way into the provinces, and are usually selected by the leading Star on the occasion of his or her benefit—the general audiences are desirous to ascertain whether his new effort is equal in point of merit to the rest. The critics, most of whom have failed in their own proper persons, are by no means indisposed to detect the occurrence of blemishes—friends hope that it may succeed, and unsuccessful rivals devoutly trust it may be damned. If the author is unknown, and if no very flagrant efforts have been made to pre-puff his performance, he has at all events the chance of an impartial hearing. Let the play go on smoothly to the middle; let no very glaring absurdities appear; let the actors really exert themselves, and display any thing like interest or talent in their business, and young Sophocles is generally sure of a favourable verdict. Our dear friends, the public, are always well disposed towards a winning man. One cheer elicits another, and applause, once commenced, goes on at a multiplied ratio. No doubt, the case may be reversed, and the sound of a solitary catcall from the pit awake the slumbering serpents, and become the signal for universal sibilation.[67]

The danger is, that an unknown author, unpuffed, may be ruined for want of an audience. We have no great faith in the panacea of free tickets, issued by the lessee for the simple purpose of getting up a house. The worth of a production is usually estimated by its current value, and we doubt if a favourable bias can be produced in the minds of any, by means of gratuitous pasteboard. Puffing, again, often defeats its own object. It creates doubt in the anticipations of some, jealousy in those of others and is also apt to create a prestige which the result may not justify. When we are told, on the authority of newspaper paragraphs, that Bianca Franconi, or the Seven Bloody Poignards of Parma, is to take the town by storm,—that nothing equal to it in merit has been produced since the days of Shakspeare,—that the critic who had the privilege of attending the first rehearsal, emerged from the theatre with his blood in a state of congelation, owing to the sepulchral tones and vehement gestures of Mr Charles Kean, who represents the part of Giacomo degli Assassinazioni, the Demon Host of the Abruzzi;—when we listen to this preliminary flourish of trumpets, we are apt to screw our imaginations a peg too high, and may chance to derive less rapture than we had anticipated from the many scenes of murder which garnish the dénouement of the drama.

A greater virtue than fidelity is not in the celestial catalogue. We should at all times be ready to accompany a friend, either in a triumphal ovation or in a melancholy march to the scaffold,—to place the laurel on his head, or the funereal handkerchief in his hand. It was an exuberance of this feeling which determined us to be present at the first representation of The King of the Commons; and being firmly convinced of the truth of the adage, that there is safety in a multitude of councillors, we sent round the fiery cross to such of our fellow-contributors as were then in London, requesting them to favour us with their company to an early dinner at the Parthenon, as a proper preliminary to the more serious business of the evening.

Some half-dozen of the younger hands responded punctually to our call. They came dropping in in high glee, with a rather mischievous expression of countenance, as though they anticipated fun; nor had they been five minutes in the room, before we discovered, to our unspeakable consternation, that every man was furnished, either with a catcall or a railway whistle! Here was a proper business! We knew very well that the articles which our dramatic friend contributes to Maga, have found more favour in the eyes of the public than the lucubrations of all the rest of us put together, and yet we had been foolish enough to assume, that, after the manner of the brethren, we had been convoking a literary Lodge. In fact, we had made no allowance for that indescribable delight which prompts you irresistibly, and without thought of succour, to cram your horse at the ditch into which, six seconds before, the friend of your bosom has been pitched from the back of his runaway mare, and wherein he is now lying with his head fixed inextricably in the mud, and his legs demonstrating in the air a series of spasmodic mathematical propositions. Not that, in the slightest degree, the dispositions of the lads were evil. If the play turned out well, we knew that they would be found cheering with the most uproarious, and probably raving for the next week about the merits of their fortunate compeer;—but if, on the contrary, it should happen that our brother had overestimated his powers, little doubt existed in our mind, that each contributor would exert himself on his peculiar instrument as vigorously as Herr Kœnig, on the cornet-à-piston, nor seek to excuse himself afterwards on any more elaborate plea, than the right of every Briton to participate in a popular amusement.

The dinner went off well. We were, however, cautious to confine each man to his solitary pint, lest their spirits should prove too exuberant at the moment of the rising of the curtain. Coffee over, we wended our way to the theatre, where we arrived just in time to hear the expiring crash of the overture. The first glimpse of the well-filled house assured us that there was no fear of the play falling still-born[68] for want of an adequate audience. Boxes, pit, and gallery were equally crammed. We took our seat in the midst of the band of catcallers and whistlemen, and proceeded to the inspection of the bill as diligently as though it were an exponent of the piece. It must be confessed that our friend has not been very fortunate in the selection of his names. Early associations with the neighbourhood of Mid-Calder, a region abounding in cacophonous localities, seem to have led him a little astray. Adam Weir, Portioner in Laichmont, is a name which may be found figuring in the Cloud of Witnesses, or in that very silly book, Mr Simpson's Traditions of the Covenanters. It might sound admirably in a tale of the "hill-folk," but we totally repudiate and deny the propriety of enrolling Sir Adam Weir of Laichmont in the list of King James's Bannerets. Buckie of Drumshorlan likewise, though he may turn out on further acquaintance to be a fellow of infinite fancy, appears to us in print the eidolon of a Bathgate carter. Madeleine we acknowledge to be a pretty name, but it loses its effect in conjunction with a curt patronymic. However, these are minor matters. It may be allowable to us, who drew our first trout from the Linnhouse Water, to notice them, but English ears may not be so fastidious. Tomkins, to the Chinese, is probably a name as terrible in sound as Wellington.

But see!—the curtain rises, and displays an interior in Holyrood. James White—you are a lucky fellow! That mechanist is worth his weight in gold; for, what with stained windows and draperies and pilasters, he has contrived to transform our old gloomy palace, where solemnity sits guardian at the portal, into as gay a habitation as ever was decked out for a southern potentate. Francesco and Bernardo—that is, Buckie and Mungo Small—have some preliminary talk, for which we care not; when suddenly the folding-doors fly open, and enter James the Fifth of Scotland, surrounded by his nobles.

Unquestionably the greatest of living British actors, Macready, has never wanted honours. This night he has them to the full, if deafening applause can testify the public goodwill; and of a truth he deserves them all, and more, were it but for that king-like bearing. There is no mock majesty in his aspect. Admirably has he appreciated the chivalrous character of James, who in many points seems to have borne a strong resemblance to the English Richard—as gallant and fearless, as hasty and bountiful—more trusting perhaps, but yet not more deceived. There is now a cloud on the royal brow. Some of the nobles have delayed, upon various pretexts, to send their vassals to the general muster on the Borough Muir, preparatory to an inroad upon England, and James cannot urge them on. Somerville and some others, who have no mind for the war, are pleading their excuse, greatly to the indignation of the King, who considers the honour of Scotland more bound up with the enterprise than his own.

"I was the proudest king—too proud perhaps—
I thought I was but foremost in a band
Of men, of brothers, of true-hearted Scots;
But pshaw!—it shall not move me."

He thus reproaches his nobles, who would fain instigate him to peace, but who on this occasion, as on many others, were opposed to the opinions, not only of the clergy, but of the people.

"What! to hear
His threats, and worse than threats—his patronage?
As if we stoop'd our sovran crown, or held it
As vassal from the greatest king alive!
No; we are poor—I know we are poor, my lords;
Our realm is but a niggard in its soil,
And the fat fields of England wave their crops
In richer dalliance with the autumn winds
Than our bleak plains;—but from our rugged dells
Springs a far richer harvest—gallant hearts,
Stout hands, and courage that would think foul scorn
To quail before the face of mortal man.
[69] We are our people's king. For you, my lords,
Leave me to face the enemy alone!
I care not for your silken company.
I'll to my stalwart men—I'll name my name,
And bid them follow James. They'll follow me—
Fear not—they'll follow!"

After some more such dialogue, the nobles promise obedience and retire, leaving James convinced of their lukewarmness, though unsuspicious of their treason, and more determined than ever to trust implicitly to the devotion of the people.

"Will they be traitors still? and play the game
Was play'd at Lauder Bridge? and leave their king
Unshielded to the scorn and laugh of England?
I will not think so meanly of them yet!
They are not forward, as their fathers were
Who died at Flodden, as the brave should die,
With sword in hand, defiance in their hearts,
And a whole land to weep and honour them.
If they desert me—well, I can but die,
And better die than live a powerless king!"

Some good passages had occurred before, but this was the first palpable hit in the play. The word Flodden came home like a cannon-shot to the heart of every Scotsman in the house, and a yell arose from the pit, as though the general body of bordering surveyors who packed it, were ready for another insurrection.

Buckie of Drumshorlan, who, it seems, is a notorious reiver, or, as he phrases it—"an outcast—a poor Scottish Ishmaelite,"—a fact, however, unknown to the king, whom he had rescued from the waters while attempting to cross the Avon in a spate—now comes forward, and gives information against Sir Adam Weir of Laichmont, as an agent of the English court, and a corrupter of the treacherous nobility. James determines to expiscate the matter in person; and accordingly, in the next scene, we are transported to a wood near Laichmont, where Madeleine Weir, the grandchild of the knight, and Malcolm Young, her cousin, are apparently bird-nesting, but in reality, though they know it not, making love. For poor Malcolm is an orphan, dependent entirely on Sir Adam, who will not let him become a soldier, but has condemned him to holy orders. It is, in short, the story—nearly as old as the world—of disappointed hope and love; though Madeleine, with a sweet innocence which we suspect is rarely to be found save on the stage, seems unconscious of the true state of her feelings with reference to her early playmate. Their tête-à-tête is interrupted by the entrance of King James, of course in disguise, and now beset by sundry ruffians who have left their mark on the royal costard; and Malcolm, like a tight St Andrews student, springs to the rescue. This effects the introduction of the King to the house of Laichmont, where we find Sir Adam—a hoary, calculating traitor—in great anxiety to find a messenger to communicate an English dispatch to the disaffected lords of Scotland. We pass over his colloquy with his neighbour, Laird Small—an elderly idiot, whose son Mungo holds the post of usher at Holyrood, and who now agrees with Sir Adam to unite the two estates by a marriage between the said Mungo and Madeleine. This scene, which is pure dramatic business, is pleasantly enough conducted, although in point of probability, and considering the ambition of the knight, he might have looked for a better match for his daughter than a coxcomb of an usher, heir though he was of some plashy acres in the rush-covered confines of Mid-Calder. We have observed, however, that love of district is as deep a passion in the human mind as love of country; and the intense yearning of the Switzer for his clear Lucerne, may not transcend the tide of parochial patriotism which swells the bosom of the native of the Kirk of Shotts.

In the second act, Sir Adam somewhat[70] incautiously selects James himself as the messenger to the nobles; and here we cannot altogether acquit our friend from the charge of great improbability. That blemish excepted, the scene is a good one, especially in the part where James, with the true vanity of a poet, becomes ruffled at the account of the common criticism on his verses. In the next scene, James extracts the secret of his love from Malcolm—a character which, by the way, was admirably performed by Mr Leigh Murray—and the whole mystery of the sadness of her cousin is revealed to the agitated Madeleine. We have an idea that dramatic love-scenes must be very ticklish in composition; at least of this we are aware, that in real life they are peculiarly perplexing. We never felt so like a booby as when we first attempted a proposal; and, to our shame be it said, we experienced far less pain from the positive refusal of Jemima, than from the consciousness that, at that moment, we must have appeared inexpressibly absurd. And so it is, we apprehend, with the great majority of lovers. They keep beating about the bush for months, and never seem absolutely to know what they would be at. The great majority of marriages are the result of accident. We have known several proposals follow the overturning of a chaise. A sharp race from the pursuit of an infuriated bull—the collision of a steam-boat—even a good rattling thunder-storm, will bring to a proper understanding parties who, under ordinary circumstances, and with no such pretty casualties, might have dawdled out years of unprofitable courtship, and finally separated for ever in consequence of some imaginary coldness, for which neither one nor the other of them could have assigned a plausible reason. Now, within the limits of a five-act play, there is no space for dawdling. The flirtation must always be of the warmest, and the engagement consequent thereon. A friend to whom your hero can tell his story, is of immense advantage in the drama, more especially when the young gentleman, as in this case, is under difficulties, and the young lady playfully concealed behind a whinbush, for no other purpose than that of learning the cause of his secret sorrow. Let us see how our friend manages this.

James.—You know not—but—enough! Poor Malcolm Young!
Tell me what weighs so heavy on your heart.
Madeleine. (behind.)—Now I shall hear what makes poor Malcolm sad.
Malcolm.—Sir,'tis but three weeks since that I came home—
Home! no, I dare not call it home,—came here,—
After long tarrying at St Andrew's schools,
By order of my kinsman, at the last,
A month since,—'tis one little month ago——
James.—Go on, go on!
Madeleine.—Now comes the hidden grief.
Malcolm.—He forced me by deceitful messages
To vow me to the priesthood, when my soul
Long'd more for neighing steeds than psalteries.
Oh, what a happy fortune had been mine
To draw the sword 'neath gallant James's eye,
And rouge it to the hilt in English blood!
James.—God bless you, boy!—your hand again—your hand!
Would you have served the king?
Malcolm.—Ay! died for him!
James.—And he'd have cherish'd you, believe me, boy,
And held you to his heart, and trusted you—
And you'd ha' been true brothers;—for a love
Like yours is what poor James has need of most.
Is this your grief?
Malcolm.—Alas, my grief lies deeper!
I might have bent me to my cruel fate
With prayers that our brave king find Scots as true,
And worthier of his praise than Malcolm Young.
When I came back, I had not been a day
'Mid well-known scenes in the remember'd rooms,
[71] Till to my heart, my soul, the dreadful truth
Was open'd like a gulf; and I—fool! fool!
To be so dull, so blind—I knew too late
That I was wretched—miserable—doom'd,
Like Tantalus, to more than hellish pains—
To feel—yet not to dare to speak, or think;
To love—and be a priest!
Madeleine.—To love! to love!
How strange this is!
James.—How found you this, poor friend?
Malcolm.—By throbbings at the heart, when I but heard
Her whisper'd name; thoughts buried long ago
'Neath childish memories—we were children both—
Rose up like armed phantoms from their grave,
Waving me from them with their mailèd hands!
I saw her with the light of womanhood
Spread o'er the childish charms I loved so well—
I heard her voice sweet with the trustful tones
She spoke with long ago, yet richer grown
With the full burden of her ripen'd thoughts.
Madeleine.—My head goes round—my heart will burst!
Malcolm.—I saw
A world lie open—and an envious spell
Fencing it from me; day by day, I felt
Grief and the blackness of unsunn'd despair
Closing all round me.
James.—And the maiden's name?
Malcolm.—Was Madeleine Weir."

Obedient to dramatic rule, Madeleine faints away at the discovery; and the good-natured king, without however discovering himself, determines to secure the happiness of the youthful couple.

This brings us to the third act, where the accusing Buckie again makes his appearance, and denounces Sir Adam Weir, not only as a traitor, but as a plunderer of his own kin. He avers the existence of a nephew, who, were a multiplepoinding instituted, would be found to have good right to a considerable slice of Laichmont, not to mention divers other dividends; and he pledges himself to compear at Holyrood on an early day, at the peril of his head, to prove the truth of his allegations. With reference to the correspondence with the nobility, James speaks thus:—

"Your words are strong
As if they sprang from truth. I came to prove
Sir Adam Weir; through him to reach the hearts
Of higher men. The saddest heart alive
Would be as careless as a lark's in June
Compared to mine, if what my fear portends
Proves true. Sir Adam Weir has wealth in store—
Is crafty, politic, and is of weight—
The words are his—with certain of our lords.
Buckie.—I told you so. I know he has deep dealings
James.—Name them not; from their own lips I'll hear
Their guilt; no other tongue shall blot the fame
Of James's nobles. If it should be so;
If the two men I've trusted from my youth—
If Hume—If Seton—let the rest go hang!
But Seton, my old playmate!—if he's false,
Then break, weak heart! farewell, my life and crown!——
I pray you meet me here within an hour
This very night; I shall have need of you.
And as you speak as one brave man should speak
To another man, albeit he is a king,
[72] I will put trust in you; and, ere the morn,
You shall impeach Sir Adam in our court:
And woe betide the guilty! Say no more;
I meet you here again."

Sir Adam Weir delivers the important packet to the king to be conveyed to the traitors, and James immediately hands it over to Buckie, with a strict charge that it shall be produced that evening in the court at Holyrood. His majesty having no further business at Laichmont, departs in hot haste for Edinburgh.

It is now full time for old Sir Adam to exercise his parental authority over Madeleine in the matter of her nuptials with Mungo Small, who has at last arrived at Laichmont. The aged reprobate having already sold his king and country, cannot be expected to have any remorse about trafficking with his own flesh and blood; and accordingly he shows himself, in this interview, quite as great a brute as the elder Capulet. Nay, to our apprehension, he is considerably worse; for he not only threatens the meek-eyed Madeleine with starvation, but extends his threats of vengeance to the unoffending Malcolm in case of her refusal to wed with the gentle County Mungo. Madeleine is no Juliet, but a good Scots lassie—brought up, we hope, in proper knowledge of her breviary, if not of her catechism, and quite incapable of applying to the Friar Laurence of Mid-Calder for an ounce of deceptive morphia. She has a hankering for St Ninian's and the holy vocation of a nun.

"Madeleine—I'll hie me to the monastery door,
And ask the meek-eyed nuns to take me in;
And it shall be my grave; and the thick walls
Shall keep me from the world; and in my heart
I'll cherish him, and think on all his looks,
Since we were children—all his gentle tones;
And when my weary breast shall heave no more,
I'll lay me down and die, and name his name
With my last breath. I would we both were dead
For we shall then be happy; but on earth
No happiness for me—no hope, no hope!"

But Madeleine is not yet to get off quite so easily. Young Master Small is introduced to ensnare her with his manifold accomplishments, and certainly he does exhibit himself as a nincompoop of the first water. With all respect and affection for our brother, we hold this character to be a failure. There is, we maintain, a vast difference between vanity, however preposterous, and sheer undaunted drivel, which latter article constitutes the staple of Master Mungo's conversation. Not but what a driveller may be a fair character for a play, but then he ought to drivel with some kind of consistency and likelihood. Far are we from denying that there are many fools to be found in Scotland; we even consider it a kind of patriotism to claim our just quota of national idiocy. Our main objection to Mungo is, that he represents, so far as we have seen, no section of the Scottish Bauldy. If he resembles any thing, it is a Cockney of the Tittlebat Titmouse breed, or one of those absurd blockheads in the plays of Mr Sheridan Knowles who do the comic business, wear cock's feathers in their hats, and are perpetually inquiring after news. There is a dash of solemnity, a ludicrous assumption of priggism, about the Scottish fool which Mr White has entirely evaded. Ass though he be, the northern dunderhead is neither a man-milliner nor a flunky; and yet Mungo Small is an arrant compound of the two. We put it to the public if the following scene is facetious:—

"Mungo.—She curtseys with an air; though, for my part,
I like the Spanish swale, as thus, (curtseys,) low, low;
Not the French dip, as thus, (curtseys,) dip, dip.
Which think you best?
Madeleine.—Sir! did you speak to me?
Mungo.—Did I? 'pon honour—yes, I think I did:
Some like the Austrian bend, (curtseys,) d'ye like it so?
Our girls, the Hamiltons, have got it pat;
No sooner do I say, 'Sweet Lady Jane,'
And draw my feather so, and place my hand
Here on my heart, 'Fair Lady Jane, how are ye?'
But up she goes, and bend, (curtseys;) but if an ass,
Some fribble she don't like, comes near her, lo!
A swale! (curtseys,) 'tis very like this gentlewoman.
I hope there's no one near you you don't like?
For if there is, 'fore gad! an 'twere my father,
I'd cut him into slices like cold ham,
As thin as that.
Laird.—Gadso! pray gad it ain't;
I hope it ain't his father—he would do it!
He's such a youth!"

Fancy such a capon as this holding office at the court of James the Fifth!

The mock account of the tournament which follows, would be pleasant reading were it not for the total incongruity of the narrator with the scene which he describes. The actor who performed this part was evidently quite at home in the representation of the smallest Cockney characters. He brought out Mungo as the most pitiful little reptile that ever waddled across the stage, and in consequence the audience, for the first and only time, exhibited some symptoms of disapprobation. What had gone before was really so good—the performers had so ably seconded the efforts of the author—the interest excited by the general business of the play was so great—that this declension, which might otherwise have been overlooked, was felt to be a positive grievance. Our chosen band of contributors had hitherto behaved with great decorum. They had cheered lustily at the proper places, pocketed their whistles, and although the house was remarkably warm, not a man of them had emerged between the acts for the sake of customary refreshment. All at once, in the middle of the tournament scene, the shrill sharp squeak of a catcall greeted on our ear, and turning rapidly round, we detected a Political Economist in the act of commencing a concerto. It was all we could do to wring the instrument from the villain's hand. We threatened to make a report of his contumacious conduct to head-quarters, and menaced him with the wrath of Christopher; but his sole reply to our remonstrance was something like a grumbled defiance; and very glad were we when the offending Mungo disappeared, and a pretty scene between Madeleine and Malcolm, made the audience forget the ill-omened pleasantries of the Cockney.

The fourth act is remarkably good. Of all the Scottish nobles, Lord Seton and Hume have ever been the dearest to James; his belief in their enduring faith and constancy has enabled him to bear up against the coldness and disaffection of the others; but the time has now arrived when his confidence in the honour of at least one of them is destined to be shaken. One of the bishops—Mr White does not specify his diocese—accuses Lord Seton of holding correspondence with the leader of the English host. The charge is not believed—nay, hardly entertained—until Seton himself being sent for, to some extent admits the fact of having received a messenger.

"Bishop.—And he sent a message back to Dacre,
And gave the envoy passage and safe conduct.

James.—Is all this true?—Oh, Seton, say the word,
One little word—tell me it is not true!
Seton.—My liege,'tis true.
James.—Then by the name we bear
You die!—a traitor's death! Sirrah! the guard.
I will not look again on where he stands.
Let him be taken hence—and let the axe
Rid me of——Seton! is it so in truth,
[74] That you've deceived me—join'd my enemies?
You—you—my friend—my playmate!—is it so?
Sir, will you tell me wherein I have fail'd
In friendship to the man who was my friend?
I thought I loved you—that in all my heart
Dwelt not a thought that wrong'd you.

Seton.—You have heard
What my accuser says, and you condemn me—
I say no word to save a forfeit life—
A life is not worth having, when't has lost
All that gave value to it—my sovereign's trust!
James (to the Bishop.)—You see this man, sir—he's the selfsame age
That I am. We were children both together—
We grew—we read in the same book—my lord,
You must remember that?—how we were never
Separate from each other; well, this man
Lived with me, year by year; he counsell'd me'
Cheer'd me, sustained me—he was as myself—
The very throne, that is to other kings
A desolate island rising in the sea—
A pinnacle of power, in solitude,
Grew to a seat of pleasance in his trust.
The sea that chafed all round it with its waves
This man bridged over with his love, and made it
A highway for our subjects' happiness—
And now! for a few pieces of red gold
He leaves me. Oh, he might have coin'd my life
Into base ingots—stript me of it all—
If he had left me faith in one true heart,
And I should ne'er have grudged him the exchange.
Go, now. We speak your doom—you die the death!
God pardon you! I dare not pardon you—
Seton.—I ask no pardon, sir, from you.
May you find pardon—ay, in your own heart
For what you do this day!
Bishop.—Be firm, my liege.
James.—Away, away, old man!—You do not know—
You cannot know, what this thing costs me."

After all, it turns out that Seton is perfectly innocent—that the message he has dispatched to English Lord Dacre is one of scorn and defiance—and that the old Cacofogo of the church, who might have belonged to The Club, has been rather too hasty in his inferences. Macready—great throughout the whole scene—outshone himself in the reconciliation which follows; and we believe our friend the Political Economist was alone in his minority when he muttered, with characteristic adherence to matter of fact—"Why the plague didn't that fellow Seton clear himself at once, and save us the whole of the bother?" We return for a moment to Laichmont, where there is a regular flare-up between old Sir Adam and Malcolm, the latter pitching it into the senior in superior style. An officer from the court arrives, and the whole family party are ordered off instanter to Holyrood.

The last act shows us King James vigilant, and yet calm, in the midst of the corrupted barons. It is some weeks since the latter have seen a glimpse of an English rouleau, and their fingers are now itching extremely for an instalment. They are dismissed for the moment, and the king begins to perform his royal functions and redeem his promises, by procuring from the Cardinal-Legate letters of dismission from the church in favour of Malcolm Young. The court is then convoked, and Buckie—public prosecutor throughout—appears with a pair of wolf's jaws upon his head, which we hold to be a singular and[75] somewhat inconvenient substitute for a wig. The indictment is twofold. The first charge is against Sir Adam for falsehood, fraud, and wilful imposition; in consequence of which, his nephew, described as a lad of considerable early promise, has been compelled to betake himself to the king's highway, in the reputable capacity of a cutpurse. This missing youth turns out to be identical with the cateran of Drumshorlan. The second charge is more serious. It relates to the public treachery of Weir; in proof of which, Buckie produces the packet containing the dispatches to the Lords. All is confusion and dismay.

"Somerville.—'Tis some foolishness,
I'll take the charge.
James.—Bring me the packet, lord!
Here, Maxwell! break the seal—but your hand shakes.
Hume! lay it open. (Hume opens the packet.) Blessings on you, Hume!
Oh, what a thing is truth! Here, give it me!
Now, by my soul, this is a happy time!
I hold a score of heads within my hands—
Heads—noble heads—right honourable heads—
Stand where you are! ay, coroneted heads—
Nay, whisper not! What think you that I am?
A dolt—a madman? As I live by bread,
I'll show you what I am! You thought me blind,
You called me heedless James, and hoodwink'd James—
You'll find me watchful James, and vengeful James!
(Hume marches in the Guard, with Headsman;
They stand beside the Lords, who form a group.)
One little word, and it will conjure up
The fiend to tear you. One motion of this hand—
One turning of the leaf—Who stirs a foot
Is a dead man! If I but turn the leaf,
Shame sits like a foul vulture on a corse,
And flaps its wings on the dishonor'd names
Of knights and nobles.
(A pause; the Lords look at each other.)
Nay, blench not, good my lords;
I mean not you; the idle words I say
Can have no sting for you! You are true men—
True to your king! You'll show your truth, my lords,
In battle; pah! we'll teach those Englishmen
We are not the base things they take us for;
They'll see James and his nobles side by side—
(Aside.) If they desert me now, then farewell all!
(Aloud.) There!—(gives the packet back to Somerville)
I know nothing!"

After this act of magnanimity, our readers will readily believe that all the other personages in the drama are properly disposed of—that pardon and reconciliation is the order of the day—and that the lovers are duly united. So ends one of the most successful dramas which has been produced for a long time upon the stage. Our own judgment might possibly have been swayed by partiality—not so that of the thousands who have since witnessed its repeated and successful representation. Were we to venture upon any broad criticism, after a careful perusal of this play, and of The Earl of Gowrie, we should be inclined to say that Mr White sins rather upon the side of reserve, than that of abandonment. We think he might well afford to give a freer rein to his genius—to scatter before us more of the flowers of poesy—to elevate the tone of his language and the breadth of his imagery, more especially in the principal scenes. It may be—and we almost believe it—that he entertains a theory contrary to ours—that his effort throughout has been to avoid all exaggeration, and to imitate,[76] as nearly as the vehicle of verse will allow, not only the transactions, but the dialogue of actual life. But, is this theory, after all, substantially correct? A play, according to our ideas, is not intended to be a mere daguerreotype of what has passed or is passing around us; it is also essentially a poem, and never can be damaged by any of the arts which the greatest masters in all times have used for the composition of their poetry. Much must be said in a play, which in real life would find no utterance; for passion, in most of its phases, does not usually speak aloud; and therefore it is that we not only forgive, but actually require some exaggeration on the stage, in order to bring out more clearly the thoughts which in truth would have remained unspoken. In the matter of ornament, much must be left to the discretion and the skill of the author. We are as averse as any man can be to overflowing diction—to a smothering of thoughts in verbiage—to images which distract the mind by their over-importance to the subject. But the dramatic author, if he carefully considers the past annals of his craft, can hardly fail to remark that no play has ever yet achieved a permanent reputation, unless, in addition to general equable excellence, it contains some scenes or passages of more than common beauty and power, into the composition of which the highest species of poetry enters—where the imagination is allowed its unchecked flight, and the fancy its utmost range. Thus it was, at all events, that Shakespeare wrote; and if our theory should be by any deemed erroneous, we are contented to take shelter under his mighty name, and appeal to his practice, artless as it may have been—as the highest authority of the world.

But, after all, we are content to take the play as we find it. Of The Earl of Gowrie, Mr White's earlier production, we have left ourselves in this article little room to speak. In some points it is of a higher and more ambitious caste than the other—written with more apparent freedom; and some of the characters—Logan of Restalrig for example—are powerfully conceived. It is not, however, so well adapted for the stage as the other drama. James the Sixth, according to our author's portraiture, is a far less personable individual than his grandsire; and the quaint mixture of Scots and Latin with which his speeches are decorated, would sound strangely and uncouthly in modern ears, even could a competent actor be found. We would much rather see this play performed by an amateur section of the Parliament House, than brought out on the boards of Drury Lane. If the Lords Ordinary stood upon their dignity and refused participation in the jinks, we think we could still cull from the ranks of the senior bar, a fitting representative for the gentle King Jamie. We have Logans and Gowries in abundance, and should the representation ever take place, we shall count upon the attendance of Mr White, who shall have free permission for that evening to use the catcall to his heart's content.

Not less pleased are we with the delightful book of Highland Minstrelsy from the pen of Mrs David Ogilvy, and so characteristically illustrated by our friend R. R. M'Ian, which now claims our attention. We are glad to find, in one young writer at least, a return to a better and a simpler style than that which has been lately prevalent—a strong national feeling not warped or perverted by prejudice, and a true veneration for all that is great and glorious in the past. These poems are, as the authoress informs us in her preface, intended to bear upon "the traditions, the sentiments, and the customs of a romantic people"—they are rather sketches of the Highlanders, than illustrations drawn from history—they are well conceived, and clearly and delicately executed.

Indeed, notwithstanding the mighty harvest which Sir Walter Scott has reaped, there is a wide field still open to those who comprehend the national character. It is, however, one into which no stranger may hope to enter with the slightest prospect of success. A more lamentable failure than that committed by Mr Serjeant Talfourd in his attempt to found a tragedy upon the woful massacre of Glencoe—a grosser jumble of nonsense about ancestry and chieftainship—was, we verily believe, never yet perpetrated.[77] At the distance of six years, we can vividly remember the tingling of our fingers for the pen when we first detected the Serjeant upon his northern poaching expedition; nor assuredly should he have escaped without exposure, had not the memory of Ion been still fresh, and many graceful services to literature pled strongly within us in his behalf. But our authoress, if not born, has been bred in the heart of the mountains—she knows, we are sure, every rood of great Strath-Tay from Balloch to the roaring Tummel—she has seen the deep pass of Killiecrankie alike in sunshine and storm, and sweet must have been the walks of her childhood in the silent woods of Tullymet. It is among such scenes as these—in the midst of a brave, honest and an affectionate people—that she has received her earliest poetical impulse, and gratefully has she repaid that inspiration with the present tribute of her muse.

We hardly know to which of her ballads we should give precedence. Our favourite—it may be from association, or from the working of Jacobite sympathies of which we never shall be ashamed—is the first in order, and accordingly we give it without comment:—

"The Exile at Culloden.
"There was tempest on the waters, there was darkness on the earth,
When a single Danish schooner struggled up the Moray Firth.
Looming large, the Ross-shire mountains frown'd unfriendly on its track,
Shriek'd the wind along their gorges, like a sufferer on the rack;
And the utmost deeps were shaken by the stunning thunder-peal;—
'Twas a sturdy hand, I trow ye, that was needed at the wheel.
"Though the billows flew about them, till the mast was hid in spray,
Though the timbers strain'd beneath them, still they bore upon their way,
Till they reach'd a fisher-village where the vessel they could moor—
Every head was on its pillow when they landed on the shore;
And a man of noble presence bade the crew "Wait here for me.
I will come back in the morning, when the sun has left the sea."
"He was yet in manly vigour, though his lips were ashen white,
On his brow were early furrows, in his eyes a clouded light;
Firm his step withal and hasty, through the blinding mist so sure,
That he found himself by dawning on a wide and lonesome muir,
Mark'd by dykes and undulations, barren both of house and wood,
And he knew the purple ridges—'twas Culloden where he stood.
"He had known it well aforetime—not, as now, so drear and quiet;
When astir with battle's horror,—reeling with destruction's riot;
Now so peacefully unconscious that the orphan'd and exiled
Was unmann'd to see its calmness, weeping weakly as a child;
And a thought arose of madness, and his hand was on his sword—
But he crush'd the coward impulse, and he spake the bitter word;—
"'I am here, O sons of Scotland—ye who perish'd for your king!
In the misty wreaths before me I can see your tartans swing—
I can hear your slogan, comrades, who to Saxon never knelt;
Oh! that I had died among ye, with the fortunes of the Celt!
"'There he rode, our princely warrior, and his features wore the same
Pallid cast of deep foreboding as the First one of his name;
Ay, as gloomy as his sunset, though no Scot his life betray'd;
Better plunge in bloody glory, than go down in shame and shade.
"'Stormy hills, did ye protect him, that o'erlook Culloden's plain,
Dabbled with the heather blossoms red as life-drops of the slain?
Did ye hide your hunted children from the vengeance of the foe?
Did ye rally back the flying for one last despairing blow?
[78] No! the kingdom is the Saxon's, and the humbled clans obey,
And our bones must rot in exile who disdain usurper's sway.
"'He is sunk in wine's oblivion for whom Highland blood was shed,
Whom the wretched cateran shelter'd, with a price upon his head,
Beaten down like hounds by scourging, crouching from their master's sight;
And I tread my native mountains, as a robber, in the night;
Spite of tempest, spite of danger, hostile man and hostile sea,
Gory field of sad Culloden, I have come to gaze on thee!'
"So he pluck'd a tuft of heather that was blooming at his foot,
That was nourish'd by dead kinsmen, and their bones were at its root;
With a sigh he took the blossom, and he strode unto the strand,
Where his Danish crew awaited with a motley fisher band;
Brief the parley, swift his sailing, with the tide, and ne'er again
Saw the Moray Firth the stranger or the schooner of the Dane."

"Eilan Mohr" and the "Vow of Ian Lom," the renowned Seannachie of the Highlands, are both fine poems, but rather too long for extract; and as we do not doubt that this volume will erelong be found in the boudoir and drawing-room of many of our fair countrywomen, we have less hesitation in leaving them to a more leisurely perusal.

The young authoress will, we trust, forgive us if we tender one word of advice before parting with her on the heights of Urrard—a spot which was once—and we hope will be again—the home of more worth, beauty, and excellence, than is often to be found within the circle of a single family. She ought to be very cautious in her attempts to write in the Scottish dialect. Few, even of those who have habitually heard it spoken from their childhood, can discern the almost indefinable line which exists between the older and purer phraseology, and that which is more corrupt. The very spelling of the words is a matter of considerable difficulty, and when not correctly written, the effect is any thing but pleasing. With this hint and another extract we shall return the volume to better keeping than our own, with our sincere approval of its contents, and our admiration for the genius of the writer.

"The Old House of Urrard.
"Dost fear the grim brown twilight?
Dost care to walk alone,
When the firs upon the hill-top
With human voices moan?
When the river twineth restless
Through deep and jagged linn,
Like one who cannot sleep o' nights
For evil thoughts within?
When the hooting owls grow silent,
The ghostly sounds to hark,
In the ancient house of Urrard,
When the night is still and dark.
"There are graves about old Urrard,
Huge mounds by rock and tree;
And they who lie beneath them
Died fighting by Dundee.
Far down along the valley,
And up along the hill,
The fight of Killicrankie
Has left a story still.
But thickest show the traces
And thickest throng the sprites,
In the woods about old Urrard,
On the gloomy winter nights.
"In the garden of old Urrard,
Among the bosky yews,
A turfen hillock riseth
Where latest lie the dews;
Here sank the warrior stricken
By charmèd silver ball,
And all the hope of victory
Fell with him in his fall.
Last stay of exiled Stuart,
Last heir of chivalrie,
In the garden of old Urrard
He died, the brave Dundee!
"In the ancient house of Urrard,
There's many a hiding den;
The very walls are hollow,
To cover dying men;
For not e'en lady's chamber
Barr'd out the fierce affray;
And couch and damask curtain
Were stain'd with blood that day
[79] And there's a secret passage,
Whence sword, and skull, and bone,
Were brought to light in Urrard,
When years had pass'd and gone.
"If thou sleep alone in Urrard,
Perchance in midnight gloom
Thou'lt hear behind the wainscot
Of that old haunted room,
A fleshless hand that knocketh,
A wail that cries on thee;
And rattling limbs that struggle
To break out and be free.
It is a thought of horror!—
I would not sleep alone
In the haunted rooms of Urrard,
Where evil deeds were done.
"Amidst the dust of garrets
That stretch along the roof,
Stand chests of ancient garments
Of gold and silken woof.
When men are lock'd in slumber,
The rustling sounds are heard
Of dainty ladies' dresses,
Of laugh and whisper'd word,
Of waving wind of feathers,
And steps of dancing feet,
In the haunted halls of Urrard,
When the winds of winter beat."

We cannot altogether dismiss the book without bearing testimony to the merits of M'Ian, a rising artist and thorough Highlander, already favourably known to the public by his Sketches of the Clans, and other admirable works. Few pictures have ever affected us more than his Highland prisoner, exhibited last year in the Royal Academy, into which he has thrown a far deeper feeling, both of poetry and romance, than is at the command of many of his brethren, whose names are more widely bruited than his own. We send him across the Border our cordial greeting, and our best wishes for his continued success and prosperity.

And here we should have concluded this article in peace and amity with all men—haunted by no other thoughts save those of sweet recollection—and as innocent of blood as our terrier pup, who, we are gratified to observe, is at this moment vainly attempting to enlarge a casual fracture in our slipper. But our eye has accidentally lighted upon a fugitive volume, half smothered beneath a heap of share-lists; and mindful of our duty, however painful, we drag forth the impostor to his doom. Morning and other Poems, by a Member of the Scotch Bar! Why, the very name of the book is enough to betray its spurious origin. The unfortunate person who has rashly attempted to give currency to his verses by assuming a high and honourable position, to which, we believe from the bottom of our soul, he has not the remotest pretension—has not even taken the pains to ascertain the corporate name of the body with which he claims affiliation, and bungles even in the title-page. With the members of the Scottish Bar we have some acquaintance—nay, we think that—from habitual attendance at the Parliament House, being unfortunately implicated in a law-plea as interminable as that of Peebles against Plainstanes—we know almost every one of them by headmark, from the Pet of the Stove, whose snuff-box is as open as his heart, to the saturnine gentleman who is never seen beyond the precincts of the First Division. We acquit every one of them of participation in this dreary drivel.

It may be that the gods have not made all of them poetical—and, for the sake of the judges, we opine that it is better so—yet some rank amongst our dearest and most choice contributors; nor, we believe, is there one out of the whole genuine fraternity of educated and accomplished gentlemen who could not, if required, versify a summons, or turn out a Lay of the Multiplepoinding, equal, if not superior, to Schiller's Song of the Bell. It is rather too much that the literary character of the bar of Scotland is to be jeopardied by the dulness of the author of Morning and other Poems. Why has he not the courage, instead of sheltering himself under a legal denomination common to some three hundred gentlemen, to place his own name upon the title-page, and stand or fall by the bantlings of his own creation? Does he think, forsooth, that it is beneath the dignity of a barrister to publish verses, or to hold at any time a brief in the court of Apollo? If so, why does he attempt to thrust forward his vocation so wantonly? But he knows that it is no disgrace. The literary reputation of the bar is so high, that he actually assumes[80] the title for the sake of obtaining a hearing, and yet merges his own individuality, so that he may be enabled to slink away in silence and obscurity from the ridicule which is sure to overwhelm him.

Morning, and other Poems! It was impossible for the author to have stumbled upon a more unfortunate subject in support of his pretensions. Of all imaginable themes, that of morning is least likely to inspire with enthusiasm the soul of a Scottish barrister. Few are the associations of delight which that word awakens in his mind. It recalls to him the memory of many a winter, throughout which he has been roused from his comfortable nap at half-past seven, by the shrill unquellable voice of Girzy, herself malignant and sullen as the bespoken warning of the watchman. He recollects the misery of shaving with tepid water and a blunt razor by the light of a feeble dip—the fireless study—the disordered papers—the hasty and uncomfortable breakfast, and the bolting of the slippery eggs. Blash comes a sheet, half hail half slush, against the window—the wind is howling without like a hurricane, and threatens to carry off that poor shivering lamplighter, whose matutinal duty it is to extinguish the few straggling remnants of gas now waning sickly and dim, in the dawn of a bad December morning. What would he not give if this were a Monday when he might remain in peace at home! But there is no help for it. He is down for three early motions on the roll of the most punctual Ordinary that ever cursed a persecuted bar; so he buttons his trot-cosey around him, and, without taking leave of the wife of his bosom—who, like a sensible woman as she is, never thinks of moving until ten—he dashes out, ankle-deep in mud and melting snow, works his way up a continuous hill of a mile and a half in length, with a snell wind smiting him in the face, his nose bluemigating like a plum, and his linen as thoroughly damped as though it had been drawn through the wash-tub. Just as he begins to discern through the haze the steeple of Knox's kirk, nine strokes upon the bell warn him that his watch is too slow. He rushes on through gutter and dub, and arrives in the robing-room simultaneously with ten other brethren, who are all clamorously demanding their wigs and gowns from the two distracted functionaries. Accomodated at last, he hurries up the stairs, and when, through the yellow haze of the house, he has groped his way to the den where early Æacus is dispensing judgment by candle-light, he finds that the roll has been already called without the appearance of a single counsel. Such, for half the year—the other half being varied by a baking—are the joys which morning brings to the member of the Scottish bar. Few, we think, in their senses would be inclined to sing them, nor, indeed, to do our author justice, does he attempt it. His notions of morning occupations are very different. Let us see what sort of employment he advises in an apostrophe, which, though ostensibly addressed to Sleep, (a goddess with two mothers, for he calls her "Daughter of Jove and Night, by Lethe born,") must, we presume, have been intended for the edification of his fellow-mortals.

"Nor then, thy knees
Vex with long orisons. The morning task,
The morning meal, or healthful morning walk
Demand attention next. Thy hungry feed,
Among thy stall, if lowing herds be thine;
Drain the vex'd udders, set the pail apart
For the wean'd kid; the doggish sentinel
Supply, nor let him miss the usual hand
He loves. Then, having seen all full and glad,
Body and soul with food thyself sustain.
If wedded bliss be yours, the fruitful vine
Greet lovingly, and greet the olive shoots,
The gifts of God!"

Here is a pretty fellow! What! First breakfast, then a walk, then the byre, the ewe-bught, the pig-stye, and the kennel, and after all that,[81] without wiping the gowkspittle of the tares from your jacket, or the stickiness of Cato's soss from your fingers, you would sit down to a second breakfast, like a great snorting gormandizer, and never say good-morning to your wife and children until you have finished your third roll, and washed down that monstrous quantity of fried ham with your fifth basin of bohea! But no—we turn over a couple of pages, and find that we have done our friend injustice. He is a poet, and, according to his idea of that race, they subsist entirely upon porridge or on sowens.

"But what becomes the rustic, little suits
The poet and the high Æonian fire——
His toils I mean; sacred the morning prime
Is still to song, and sacred still the grove;
No fields he boasts, no herds to grace his stalls,
The muse has made him poor and happy too,
She robs him of much care and some dull coin,
Stints him in gay attire and costly books,
But gives a wealth and luxury all her own,
And, on a little pulse, like gods they diet."

Our theory is, that this man is a medical student. We have a high regard for the healing faculty; nor do we think that, amongst its ranks, there is to be found more than the ordinary proportion of blockheads. But the smattering of diversified knowledge which the young acolytes are sure to pick up in the classes, is apt to go to their heads, and to lead them into literary and other extravagances, which their more sober judgment would condemn. They are seldom able, however, to disguise their actual calling; and even their most powerful efforts are tinctured with the flavour of rhubarb or of senna. This youth has been educated in obstetrics.

"Three months scarce had thrice increased
Ere the world with thee was blest."

He is an adept in the mysteries of gestation—an enthusiast so far in his profession, and cannot even contemplate the approach of morning without the feelings of a genuine Howdie. Mark his exordium—

"The splendid fault, solicitude of fame,
Which spurs so many, me not moves at all
To sing, but grateful sense of favours obtain'd
By many a green-spread tree and leafy hill:
The MORNING calls, escaped from dewy sleep
And Tithon's bed to celebrate her charms,
What sounds awake, what airs salute the dawn!
"That virgin darkness, loveliest imp of time,
Is, to an amorous vision, nightly wed,
And made the mother of a shining boy,
By mortals hight the day, let others tell,
In livelier strains, and to the Lydian flute
Suit the warm verse; but be it ours to wait
In the birth-chamber, and receive the babe,
All smiling, from the fair maternal side,
By pleasant musings only well repaid."

It is a great pity that one so highly gifted should ever have been tempted to forsake the muse for any mere mundane occupation. But in spite of his modest request that sundry celestial spirits—

"Will to a worthier give the bays to Phœbus dear,
And crown my Wordsworth with the branch I must not wear"—

we are not altogether without hopes that he will reconsider the matter, avoid too hard work, which, in his own elegant language, might make him

"Wan as nun who takes the vows,
Or primrose pale, or lips of cows!"—

and not only delight us occasionally with a few Miltonic parodies as[82] delectable as these, but be persuaded in time to assume the laureat's wreath. As for the pretext that he is getting into practice—whether legal or medical—that is all fudge. He informs us that "the following pages were written, during the author's leisure hours, some years ago, before the superior claims of professional occupations interfered to make such pursuits unlawful, and would probably have remained unpublished, but for the accident of a talented friend's perusal." Moreover, he says that "his conscience will not reproach him with the hours which the preparation of these poems for the press has filched from graver business—

'The tedious forms, the solemn prate,
The pert dispute, the dull debate.'"

We assure him that it need not do so. No man who has glanced at this volume will accuse him of knowing the difference between a process of Ranking and Sale and a Declarator of Legitimacy; and he may comfort himself with the conviction that his literary pursuits are quite as lawful at the present time as they were some years ago. No importunate solicitor will ever interfere to divert him from them. The man who cannot compass an ordinary distich will never shine in minutes of debate; nor have we the slightest expectation that a three-guinea fee—even were he entitled to receive it—would ever supply the place of that unflinching principle of honour, which he thus modestly, and not unprophetically acknowledges to be the mainspring of his inspiration—

"'Tis this which strings, in time, my feeble harp,
And yet shall ravish long eternal years!"

The following imprecation, which we find in "Morning," inspires us with something like hope of the continuance of his favours:—

"When I forget the dear enraptured lay,
May this right hand its wonted skill forego,
And never, never touch the lyre again!"

We dare not say Amen to such a wish. On the contrary, in the name of the whole Outer-House, we demand a supplementary canto. Let him submit it to the perusal of his "talented friend," and we dare answer for it that the publishers will make no objection to stand sponsors for a new volume on the same terms as before.



A Tale in Three Chapters.

Chapter the Second.

So far have I spoken of what I saw and witnessed. Much of what follows came to me, years afterwards, authenticated by the chief performer in the eventful drama which I write, and by others no less worthy of belief. After what has been already narrated, it will not be supposed that I suffered the life of my friend to pass away unnoticed. We corresponded, but fitfully, and at long intervals. Here and there we met, often strangely and by accident, and I became now the depositary of his heart's dearest secrets, now the reluctant adviser, and now the bold and earnest remonstrant. Our intimacy, however, ceased abruptly and unhappily a year or two subsequently to his marriage. Sinclair, it will be seen, then went abroad, and I returned to my duty at the university. I recur to the memoranda of his history which lie before me, and proceed with my text.

It would appear that General Travis overtook the fugitives, but, as good or ill fortune would have it, not until the knot was tied, and his presence profited nothing. I have been told that the desperate father, at one period of the chase, was within an easy stage of the runaways, and, had he been so disposed, might have laid hands on the delinquents without ruinously bribing the postilions, who prudently husbanded their strength in full expectation of additional largess. But, at the very moment of victory, as it were, the general unfortunately was seized with illness, and compelled to pass a day and night under the hands of a village doctor in a roadside inn. He was very angry and rebellious, you may be sure, and oftener than once asserted with an oath—so that there could be no doubt whatever of his sincerity—that he would give the world (if he had it) to be allowed to proceed; at the same time that he unreasonably accused the practitioner, whom he had never seen before, of conspiring with his enemies to bring his gray hairs with sorrow to the grave. The worthy apothecary, guilty of nothing but the venial offence of making the most of a visitation of Providence, merely shook his head dolefully at every exclamation of his patient, hinted at gastric fever, and rubbed his palms, intimating by that act that so he proposed to wash his hands of all responsibility. Whereupon the general prudently gave in, held out his massive fist, was prescribed for, went to bed and put out his candle, just two minutes after he had put out the basket of physic which had been sent to prolong his stay in the inn for at least a week to come.

The interview between the disconsolate parent and the youthful offenders is adverted to in the letter which I received from Rupert Sinclair in London early in the honeymoon. It is many years since it was written: the paper is discoloured, and the ink fading. It is the effusion of a fond and enthusiastic youth; but it looks mournful and dried up, more like the decaying writing on the rolls of a mummy than the ardent outpourings of a recent passion. Alack for the mutability of life! I have no apologies to make for giving the letter as it stands. It speaks for itself: its publication cannot harm the dead.

"Dearest Walter—Congratulate me! wish me joy! But no greater joy than I experience at this hour, with the sunny and smiling heaven above, and in the possession of a treasure of which no man living can rob me: of which I am prouder than Alexander could have been of all his conquered worlds. She is mine! I have ventured much for the prize; yet little—for I feel I could have parted with every thing in life for her who is to me—life, every thing. She is mine! Oh the comprehensiveness of that one little word! Mine whilst existence lasts—mine to cherish and uphold—mine for earth and heaven! We walked this morning to the placid[84] lake which lies hidden in the heart of the mountains, to which we have retreated for a season away from the envious eyes of men. The waters were as calm as at the dawn of the first sabbath! The sky that overarched us looked down upon them in unutterable love. The slightest breath that crept amongst the trees was audible. Her arm was upon mine. Nature had attuned my soul to the surrounding harmony—the gentlest pressure of her confiding hand oppressed me with joy and moved me to tears. Laugh at me if you will. You answer to all this—that I dream. Be it so:—That I must soon awake. It is possible. Nay, I grant you that this foretaste of heaven, now vouchsafed to me, must pass away and leave behind it only the remembrance of this golden epoch. Still the remembrance is mine, the undying memory of a vision unparalleled by all other dreams of life.

"I have written to my father, but he replies not. He has no sympathy for attachments such as mine, and cannot understand the bitterness of life caused by a blighted hope. But he will relent. He has a noble nature, and will take no delight in my unhappiness. My mother's influence is unbounded. She loves me, and will plead my cause with him, when the first paroxysm of anger has passed away, and has left him open to her sway. I will take my Elinor to her; her innocence and beauty would melt a stubborn heart to pity. Shall it not prevail with her whose heart is ours already by the ties of holiest nature? Believe me, I have no fear of Lord Railton's lasting anger.

"The general reached us the day after we were married. Happily for me that he arrived not before. Elinor, as I have told you often, reveres her father, and has a chivalric sense of filial obligations. Had he commanded her to return to his roof whilst the right to command remained with him, she would have deemed it her paramount duty to obey him. His rage was terrible when we met; I had never seen a man so plunged in grief before. He accused me of treachery—of having betrayed his confidence—and taken advantage of his daughter's simplicity and warm affection. The world, he said, would reproach him for an act which he would have moved heaven and earth to prevent, and the reputation of the family would be blasted by the conduct of one, who, but for his own base deed, should have remained for ever a stranger to it. What could I reply to this? For my dear Elinor's sake, I bore his cruel words, and answered not. Her gentle spirit has already prevailed. He quitted us this morning reconciled to our union, and resolved to stand by us in all extremities. There was no resisting the appeal of beauty such as hers. The old man wept like a child upon her neck as he forgave and blest her. Urgent business carries the general abroad for a season, but he returns to England shortly, to make arrangements for the future. Meanwhile, in obedience to his earnest request, I shall seek an interview with my father, and in person entreat his forgiveness and aid. My plans are unsettled, and necessarily depend upon the conduct of Lord Railton. Let me hear from you, dearest Wilson. Once more wish me joy. I ask no better fate for you than happiness such as mine.

"Your faithful and devoted
"Rupert Sinclair."

The honeymoon over, Rupert Sinclair repaired to his father's house. Since his marriage he had received no tidings of his parents: he had written to his father and mother, but from neither came one syllable of acknowledgment or reply. It was strange, but he relied with unshaken confidence upon his power over the fond mother's heart, and upon the magic influence of that loveliness which he himself had found resistless and invincible. The blissful dream was a short one; he was about to be roused from it. Elinor and he were in town: upon the morning of his visit to Grosvenor Square, they sat together in their hotel and weaved their bright and airy plans in syllables more unsubstantial than the gossamer.

"You will love my mother, my dearest Elinor," said Sinclair. "The great world, in which she acts no unimportant part, has not spoiled her affections. She is indulgent and fond almost to a fault."

"I shall love her for your sake, Rupert," answered the lovely wife.[85] "How like she is!" she exclaimed, looking at a miniature which she wore around her neck, and then comparing it with the living countenance that beamed upon her. "Yet," she continued with a sigh, "she owes me no return of love."

"And wherefore?"

"Have I not stolen her most cherished treasure?"

"Have you not added to her treasures? She will rejoice in her new-found daughter. I know her well. She will not even suffer my father to frown upon us. When he would be most stern, she will lead you to him, and melt him into tenderness and pardon."

"I hope, dear Rupert, that it may be so. I would my father were with us!"

"Lord Railton will be a father to you till his return. Trust me for it. You shall find a happy home with him, until arrangements are made for our settlement here or elsewhere."

"Oh, elsewhere, dear Rupert, if it be possible! Let us go abroad; I was never happy in London, and strange to say, never felt at home in England. Yet London was my birth-place."

"You love blue sky, dearest!"

"Yes, and happy people. Men and women who are not mere slaves to form and fashion: who breathe free air and imbibe a sense of freedom. Oh Venice! dear Venice!—we shall go to Venice, shall we not? It is the land of enchantment, dearest Rupert, there is nothing like it in the world—the land of love and of romance."

"You shall visit it, sweetest, and abide there if you wish it. To me all spots are alike that find you happy and at my side. When you are tired of Venice, you shall lead me whithersoever you will."

"Will you always say so?"

"Always. But that our departure may not be delayed, let us attend to the pressing business of the hour. All our movements depend upon my father's sanction. Once reconciled to him, and the world is before us, to minister, sweet Elinor, to your every wish."

"What if he should punish you for my offence?"

"For your offence, dear girl! and what is that? Think not of it. I go to remove your fears and seal our happiness!"

With these and similar words of confidence and hope, the youth departed on his errand. Not without some misgiving and apprehension, however, did he present himself at that door which heretofore had flown open at his approach, always offering to his view the forms of obsequious lackeys, only too willing to anticipate his pleasure. The establishment of Lord Railton in a striking manner represented the sentiments and feelings of the noble proprietor. There was not a servant in the house who did not know, and that most accurately, the opinions, public and private, of "my lord," and the relative regard he had for all who approached his noble person, and who, moreover, did not give evidence of this knowledge in his conduct towards mankind. A stranger might have formed a just opinion of the influence of a visitor by simply remarking the bearing of Mister Brown the butler, as he ushered that visitor into the sublime presence. Smiles of welcome—a sweet relaxation of the features—greeted "the favoured guest;" cold rigidity, withering politeness, if not the stern expression of rebuke itself, were the undisguised acknowledgments of one who was "a bore" in his lordship's study, and consequently "a rejected" in the steward's room. During the boyhood of Rupert Sinclair, and whilst his mamma was known to be affectionately disposed to spoil her offspring by every kind of cruel indulgence, the regard entertained for the young scion, from Mister Brown downwards, was beautiful to contemplate. If he appeared in the hall, one sickening and hollow smile pervaded the cheeks of every individual; the tongue that was still wet with slander and abuse, became, as if by magic, sugary with choice phrases; and not a soul of all the lying crew, but sought to surpass the rest by the profuseness of its palpable and unmeaning flattery. Rupert Sinclair, worldly wise though he was not, would have been stolid indeed had he not gathered from the porter's air something of the reception that awaited him from his offended sire, when the wide portal opened to receive the unforgiven prodigal.[86]

"His lordship?"——began Rupert inquiringly.

"Not at home, sir," said the flunkey, with all imaginable coolness interrupting him.

"Lady Railton?"

"Not at home, sir."

"She is in town?"

"In town, sir?—yes, sir."

"I will wait," said Sinclair, moving towards the inner hall.

He had not spoken before the porter pulled with all his might at a bell-wire that communicated with the steward's room. As though the signals were preconcerted, Mister Brown was in the hall in no time, and confronting the intruder upon the thresh-hold of the sanctuary. "I beg your pardon, Mr Sinclair," said Mister Brown, half respectfully, half confidentially. "Lord Railton is particularly engaged this morning, and has given orders to that effect. It is the painfulest thing to communicate, but I am but an agent."

Rupert coloured up, and hesitated for a moment.

"I must see Lady Railton, then?" he continued hastily.

"Her ladyship is ill, sir—really very ill. She is not suffered to see any body. My lord has forbidden any one to approach her but her maid. I hope no offence, but I heard Doctor Bennett tell her ladyship that it was of the highest consequence to keep Mr Sinclair away for the present."

"Is she really so ill, sir?" asked Rupert, turning pale, and with a quivering lip.

Mister Brown drew his handkerchief from his pocket, and applied it to his eyes.

"She is indeed, sir," said that hoary hypocrite; "we have had a dreadful time of it. I thought his lordship would have blown his brains out. My lady was given over for a week. For my own part, I may say that duty and feeling have struggled in my bosom till I am quite worn out, and it's quite impossible for me to say who will be laid up next."

"I must see my father, Mr Brown," said Sinclair, advancing a step or two, to the great discomfort of the butler, who was evidently sadly perplexed by the conflicting emotions of his mind; for whilst he acknowledged Lord Railton for his master, he respected Mr Sinclair as his heir, and felt how important it was to obey his present lord without declining to serve the youth whom he hoped to make his future lord. "I must see him. Go to him, I beg of you, and tell him I am here."

So saying, Mr Sinclair advanced a few steps further, and found himself unhindered in the dining-room—moreover, to his surprise and agitation, in the presence of his father. Mister Brown vanished. To behold his parent, to fall on his knees before him, and to grasp his hand, was the work of a moment. Lord Railton recoiled as though a serpent, and not his child, had wound about him. He was livid with rage, and an unnatural hate was settled in his cold, yet piercing eye.

"Your pardon, father!" cried the youth.

"Never, so help me"——

"Oh, do not say it, father!" exclaimed the son, interrupting him before the awful word was spoken; "for heaven's sake, do not call that name to witness such a fearful sentence—do not drive me to distraction!"

"You have driven me mad; you have blasted every hope of mine. You have been a traitor and a shame to the name you bear, and of which I would it were in my power to deprive you as easily as it is to attach to it the curse with which you shall receive from me your title and your inheritance. Begone! I never knew what it was to hate till now."

Rupert arose and burst into tears. His father looked at him unmoved except by scorn.

"You have not seen her," exclaimed Rupert, when the first burst of grief had passed away; "you do not know the value of the child whom you reject."

"No, but I have heard. The world has heard of our disgrace. Mark me, you are no longer child of mine. I disown and discard you. I will enter into no particulars. From this moment I will hold no further intercourse with you. At my death you will obtain my name, and all that the law allows you. Until my death, you will receive from my man of business more than a sufficient sum for your[87] support. Let me not hear from you again. I shall struggle to forget you and your ingratitude. Neither in health nor sickness, neither by letter nor in person, let me know any thing of you or yours. You have forsaken your natural ties for new associations. They have made you a traitor to your blood—let them make the most of the adoption."

"Father, you cannot mean it!" cried Rupert in an agony of sorrow.

"Father!" said the old lord, repeating the word; "in virtue of what filial act do you claim such a kindred with me? Call that man father whose bankrupt fortune and reputation have had such marvellous power to wean you from your duty. Mark me, Sinclair—you were the first to violate the tie between us, I will be the last to restore or reunite it. Leave me. I cannot bear to look upon you."

"My mother!" inquired Sinclair, in a voice that dared not rise above a whisper.

"Name not that poor broken-hearted woman," replied Lord Railton: "spare me and her the pang of that inquiry. You have killed her."

"Oh, no, no, impossible!" ejaculated Sinclair. "Let me see her, and obtain her forgiveness, if I am driven afterwards from your door."

"She lies upon a bed of sickness, placed there by yourself. She will never rise again. Your wife must be fair indeed, if her beauty can atone for such a murder."

"Oh, you are unjust, most cruel and unjust!"

"You have taught us such injustice and cruelty as we practise. Begone, sir! As long as we live, we must not meet again. If you remain in England, I shall go abroad. If you travel, I remain in England. The sea shall be between us. I reproach myself with nothing. I denied you nothing. I knew my duty towards you, and performed it. Your mother lived only for your happiness. We have been cursed and disappointed. I forget you from this hour. Had I received intelligence this morning of your death, it would have given me no pain, evoked no sorrow. You are dead to me. Come not again across this threshold and I will endeavour to forget that I was not always childless."

And so saying, Lord Railton put an end to the interview by quitting the apartment. Grief, in the bosom of Rupert, had already given place to offended pride and resentment—such resentment, at least, as his mild nature understood. Whatever might have been his offence, he felt that it did not, could not deserve the vindictive hatred which burned no less in his father's countenance than in his terrible denunciations. What! was it a crime to link one's fate with virtuous innocence and beauty, such as hers who called him husband? If it was a fault to carve one's own way to happiness, did it deserve a harsher condemnation than that apportioned to the felon? The image of Elinor rose for the protection of the youth, and armed him with courage for the trial of that hour. He came a suppliant; but he returned in triumph: he came acknowledging his offence and suing for forgiveness; he returned justified and self-acquitted. Deprived of love and friendship at the hearth and home of his youth, he appreciated at even more than their value the joys that had been created for him in the palace of his own bright home, where a divinity presided as queen. The punishment he received for her dear sake, rendered her, if that were possible, the object still more of his passionate regard. He would have made any sacrifice to appease the anger of his father and the offended pride of his mother—he did not believe in the dangerous illness of the latter—but repulsed like a dog from their side, he deemed himself absolved from further trials of their tenderness, additional exercise of his own forbearance and filial duty.

It was during the day of his visit to Grosvenor Square that Sinclair was honoured with a return visit from the attorney of Lord Railton. That gentleman had received instructions that very morning to pay to the order of Mr Rupert Sinclair the sum of one thousand pounds per annum, in quarterly payments of two hundred and fifty pounds each: "But really," as the legal gentleman said to Rupert, upon breaking the matter to him, "he could not reconcile it to his sense of duty, and to the esteem which it was natural for him to entertain towards every member of Lord Railton's[88] family—to perform his very unthankful office without using all his humble efforts to bring about a reconciliation, which in every respect was so very desirable. God forbid that business should ever prevent him from doing his duty as a Christian."

It need hardly be said that Mr Crawly, the attorney in question, was too keen a judge of things in general to throw dirt in the face of the rising sun, simply because he had worshipped the setting luminary a few hours before. Like all who depended more or less upon the estates of the Railton family for their support, it was of the highest consequence to maintain a good understanding with either party. If Lord Railton fed Mr Crawly now, Rupert Sinclair was expected to feed by and by Crawly's son and heir, who was preparing himself for the paternal stool by a short round of folly and extravagance at the university. Who could tell? Lord Railton might die to-morrow—he had had a squeak or two—and Crawly had been called to make his will: or he might forgive his son—or twenty things might happen to remove present differences, and restore the divided interest to its first integrity. Crawly had boasted to his relations and friends for the first twenty years of his official career, that he had never made one enemy; and when he set up his carriage in the prime of life, he invented his own arms and crest, and assumed for his motto the words, "always agreeable."

"It really is, my dear Sinclair," said Crawly, "a thousand pities that we cannot bring about a more satisfactory state of things; but I do hope that time will do wonders. Some excuses must be made for Lord Railton. Remember his age."

[He had said the same thing to Lord Railton in the morning: "Some excuses must be made for Mr Sinclair, my lord. Remember his youth!"]

"I cannot but think, Mr Crawly," answered Rupert, "that I have been treated with unmerited harshness."

"I cannot say, Mr Sinclair—I do not think it would become me to reply—that you have been treated handsomely."

[Crawly, Crawly! you spoke those words in Grosvenor Square!]

"I accept the allowance, sir, and will make the most of it. You may assure my father that I shall not prefer any further claims upon his bounty, or force myself again into his presence."

"As for bounty, my dear Mr Sinclair, you must permit me to state that the expression is hardly a correct one. The property of his lordship descends to you, and you are perfectly justified in spending freely what is your own."

["Mr Crawly," said Lord Railton, in Grosvenor Square that morning, foaming with rage, "I will deprive him of every shilling that is not his own. I have been economical for his sake; I will be extravagant to spite him."

"My lord," replied Crawly, "you are perfectly justified in spending freely what is your own."]

"May I take the liberty, Mr Sinclair," said the lawyer after a pause, "to inquire what your present views may be?"

"I am undecided, sir. I know not whether I shall remain here or go abroad. My father's reception of me has staggered and confounded me. I would have consulted his wishes had he received me as his son. I have now to satisfy only my own convenience."

"I shall pay your annuity, Mr Sinclair, into your banker's regularly every quarter-day. The first payment will be made in advance. I need not assure you, I trust, that I act in this most painful business rather as a mediator and a friend than a hired agent. There may be a time when an additional advance may be both convenient and acceptable. I have known you long, Mr Rupert. I know you to be a man of honour. I have only to add, that at such times you will confer a favour upon me by making me your banker, and commanding my purse."

I wonder if this was the reason why Mr Crawly suggested to Lord Railton the propriety of grinding Mr Sinclair down to as small a sum as possible. If so, if it were merely to give himself the opportunity of acting like a second father to the castaway, the recommendation cannot be too highly applauded.

"Thank you, sir; I shall not trouble[89] you. I know my income, and I shall take care to keep my ambition within its bounds. I have had but few desires, I have now fewer than ever. A humble cottage and contentment are to be prized far beyond a palace and its harassing cares. I do not want the world to administer to my happiness. I am the happiest of men at home. To have that home invaded by the vulgar pleasures of life, would be to rob me of its charm!"

Now nothing could have been more satisfactory than this sentiment, had it but been responded to by her upon whom not only the annual expenses of Mr Rupert Sinclair's household depended, but his every movement, wish, and thought. Unfortunately for the domestic husband, the wife understood the bliss of love in a cottage no more than a nightingale may be supposed to appreciate the advantages of imprisonment in a cage of gold. She was born, and had been educated, in the world. It was the scene of her triumphs, the home of her affections. She had played no unimportant part in it; her sway had been acknowledged, her beauty had gained its victory there. Home! she had never known any other, and what right had Sinclair to suppose that she was adapted for a narrower? He had met her in dissipation, but had he won her from it? Hardly; since a few days only had intervened between the hour of their meeting, and the still more luckless hour of their union. Was it to be imagined, could it in fairness be expected, that this young creature, all life all fascination and vanity, with her heart attuned to the joys of fashion, with the object of her life attained—with power and position now, and wealth and rank to come, would forego all the advantages within her reach, all the influence that she felt, and all the pleasure that it was simply to ask for, in order to obtain "Love in a cottage?" Rupert Sinclair! pull down the thatch, and build some marble hall for the fairy you have caught—not chained!

Within six months of his marriage, the Honourable Rupert Sinclair was living at the rate of—not one—but five thousand a-year. Persuaded by his wife, (who learnt any thing but quiet submission from the tyranny of Lord Railton, and whose determination to go abroad was relinquished the moment she discovered her absence from England would be agreeable to her husband's family,) Rupert had taken a mansion in town, and Mrs Rupert Sinclair was the admired of all admirers, a leader of fashion, and the proclaimed beauty of her day. Rupert had been dragged into the vortex, with no power to hold back, even had he been willing to interfere with those delights which gained him a smile of approbation, and expressions of gratitude, cheaply purchased at any cost or sacrifice of his. True he was fearfully in debt; true Mr Crawly had been summoned oftener than once to the rescue; true that wily gentleman had advanced heavy sums of money, taking particular care, however, to be amply secured by legal documents, and more than amply repaid by the exaction of illegal interest. It was perhaps natural for Sinclair to believe, as debts accumulated upon debts, that the hour of his estrangement from his parents was drawing rapidly to a close, and that, although his way of living could not but aggrieve and offend his stern and angry father, yet it was impossible nature could suffer him much longer to withhold his paternal and forgiving hand. Mental reasoning of this character is the last resource of the culpable and the self-deluded. Lord Railton, faithful to his threat, went abroad; Lady Railton was sufficiently recovered to accompany him; and both quitted England without deigning to notice the spend-thrifts, whose extravagance and need were soon the common talk of scandalmongers, dissatisfied tradesmen, and spiteful serving-men. Yet there was no flinching on the part of Rupert. A cloud of anxiety might sit temporarily on his brow, a sigh now and then escape him; but he uttered no remonstrance, and took no pains to stem the tide of folly and prodigality that flowed unceasingly within his walls. His love for Elinor had increased rather than diminished since their marriage. He was proud of the homage of mankind, and knew her worthy of the highest. Why should he seek to restrain the innocent[90] pleasures of a woman for whose gratification and happiness he lived? Why curtail the joys in which she had participated almost from infancy? why prevent her from crowning a scene, for the adornment of which she was created and eminently fitted?

And where was General Travis during this brief season of intoxication and wanton waste? At Calais, whither his liabilities had banished him, and were likely to detain him for some time to come. There was no doubt of his ruin. He lived with his melancholy-looking wife and younger daughter, upon a pittance secured upon the life of the former, but hardly sufficient to support them in decency. Yet they maintained, even in their reverses, a style that to a degree reflected on the scene of their exile the brilliancy of their brighter years. Could it be that the substance of poor Rupert Sinclair was ministering here also to the vices of this unhappy family? I fear there is no doubt of it. The general was as huge a braggart as ever. He insisted upon drawing a line midway between the highest and the lowest of the swindling fraternity to which he belonged, and by whom he was surrounded, and suffered intercourse to exist only with the favoured members of the upper class. He was prating for ever of his son-in-law, his connexions, his influence with the ministry through the potent Lord Railton, and was most lavish of his promises of preferment to any credulous individual whom he could persuade to favour him with the eternal loan of a five-pound note. General Travis had, not unaccountably perhaps, acquired much power over the mind of Sinclair. Expelled from his natural counsellors, who, in their best days, had been any thing but faithful advisers,—harassed and tormented by growing cares, it is not to be wondered at, that he should seek counsel and aid from one whom he believed to be a thorough man of the world—who was bound to him by the closest ties, and of whose integrity and honour he had not the remotest suspicion. It was General Travis who instructed Sinclair in the recondite science of raising money—and of staving off the attacks of tradesmen with the weapons of generous usurers: who taught him that still more marvellous art of civilized life, of living upon one thousand a-year more sumptuously than your neighbour with ten; and who day after day persuaded him, by arguments which I cannot attempt to recite, that by forestalling his inheritance in his youth, he would not materially affect the property which must accrue to him in his age. It may be that the arguments would have been more severely tested had they come from any other than Elinor's father—had they not been employed to increase the comforts and desires of Elinor herself. But whether this be so or not, it is certain that Rupert Sinclair, for a long time, was a helpless victim in the hands of a bold and ruthless destroyer.

Chance, I have hinted at the beginning of this chapter, brought Rupert and myself together at singular times and places, and made me an actor in his history whether I would or not. Since his first letter to me, I had heard from him but once; of him, alas! I had heard too much. He was in the height of his giddy career, when I passed through London for the first time since his marriage, and resolved to pay him a visit. I arrived late in the evening, and I had but a few hours at my command, for early in the morning I was to start for France by the Calais packet. When I reached my hotel, I sent my card to the residence of my friend, who instantly invited me to his too hospitable roof. There was a gay and brilliant assembly in his house that evening, and, as usual, Elinor outshone the multitude in beauty and animation. She received me cordially, and kindly held out her snow-white hand at my approach, and greeted me with a smile of fascination that robbed me of whatever displeasure I had brought with me on account of her proceedings. How could I reproach Sinclair for submitting to the spell that governed him, when it was impossible for me—a stranger, and one certainly not prepossessed in her favor—to resist it?

Sinclair was much altered in appearance. He looked jaded and unhappy. There was nothing in his countenance harmonizing with the scene around him. He seldom spoke,[91] and to all my questions he returned evasive answers, seeking rather to direct his discourse to matters in which neither of us found a personal interest, than to his own affairs, which at the time had far more interest for me than my own.

"I am glad you are here to-night, Wilson," said Rupert, as we sat together. "To-morrow I leave town for a few days, and we should not have met had you arrived a day later."

"I am off to France myself to-night for a week or more, and——"

As I spoke, I saw the colour in Sinclair's cheek rapidly changing. He was evidently surprised and chagrined by the intelligence.

"Can I serve you," said I at once, taking advantage of my opportunity, "by remaining in town?"

"No, no, I thank you. What route do you take?"

"By packet to Calais, and from Calais to Paris by the formidable diligence. Can I help you at the seat of politeness and art?"

"No, I thank you," replied Sinclair, changing colour again. "You are aware that my father is in Paris?"

"So I have heard. It is said that his lordship"——

"Do not speak of it," he said, mildly interrupting me. "Whatever may happen to me, I cannot but think that the blame must rest ultimately there."

"Do you fear evil, then?" I eagerly inquired.

Mr Crawly came up at this moment, with his lady upon his arm, and Crawly, junior, lounging in his immediate rear. The latter was an Adonis in his way—got up with a perfect contempt of expense and all propriety. Crawly beckoned to Sinclair, who at once quitted my side and walked over to him, whilst I was left in possession of Mrs Crawly and the hopeful. I escaped as soon as I could, and seeing no more of Sinclair, took my departure at a comparatively early hour.

Three nights after this, I was roused from sleep in my bed at the Hotel Louis Seize, (a comfortable hotel in those days, bordering on the marketplace in Calais,) by a murmuring sound which at first I believed to be nothing more than a portion of an unsatisfactory dream in which I had once again found myself with Rupert and his lady in London. Satisfying myself that the dream and the sound were distinct, I was already again midway between the lands of life and death, when the tones of a voice roused me almost like a cannon-shot from my couch, and caused me seriously to inquire whether I was sleeping or waking, dreaming or acting. I could have sworn that the voice I had heard belonged to Rupert Sinclair. I jumped from my bed, and struck a light. It was twelve o'clock by my watch. For a few seconds all was as silent as the grave; then I heard most distinctly a step along the passage, into which my bed-room conducted—the sound of a door opening, closing, and immediately a heavy tread in the adjoining room. Two chairs were then drawn close to a table; upon the latter a rough-voiced man knocked with his fist, and exclaimed at the same moment—

"There are the papers, then!"

Surely I had heard that voice before. To whom could it belong? Whilst I still puzzled my brains to remember, another voice replied. It was impossible to mistake that. Most assuredly it was Rupert Sinclair's.

"I see them!" it said; every syllable bringing fresh perspiration on my brow.

How came he here? what was his business? and with whom? A thin partition merely divided my bed-room from that in which the speakers were. Had I been inclined to close my ears against their words, it would have been difficult. Anxious, and even eager, to obtain knowledge of the movements of my friend, I made no scruple of listening most attentively to every word. Who knew but he was in the hands of sharpers, and might I not have been providentially sent to his rescue? At all events I listened, and not a syllable did I suffer to escape me.

"I know, my dear young friend," began the rougher voice—whose but General Travis's?—"that you are anxious to do what is best for us all. Your interest, you know, is my daughter's, and my daughter's is, of course, mine. We are all in one boat."[92]

"Yes, undoubtedly," said Rupert.

"These debts are very large," continued the general.

"Yes," replied Sinclair; "and some of them must be discharged forthwith. Crawly is impatient and angry, and accuses me of having used him ill."

"Crawly is a villain," said the general hurriedly; "he has made a fortune out of you, and now wishes to back out. The interest alone that he has exacted has been enough to ruin you."

"Your messenger, you say, failed to see my father?"

"Yes. His lordship closed his doors upon him, and took no notice of his letter, in which he asked that some amicable arrangement might be made with respect to the property that must evidently come to you."

There succeeded to this a few sentences in an under tone from either party, which I could not make out.

"Then what is to be done?" murmured Sinclair again in a tone of entreaty.

"Don't be advised by me, my friend," said the general in a subdued voice, which I strained my ears to catch; "God forbid that you should reproach me hereafter for advice which I tender solely with a view to your peace of mind and comfort. Heaven knows you have had little peace of late!"

Rupert sighed heavily.

"I have for the last week been turning the matter over and over seriously. As I said before, I can have no object but your well-doing, and—naturally—my child's—my child's, Sinclair—your loving, and I know, beloved wife."

"I believe it," said Rupert.

"Is any one aware of your visit here?"

"Not a creature."


"Was with me the very night I started, but he does not suspect. He believes that I am now in England."

"Now, my dear friend, I don't think I ought to say what"—

As ill luck would have it, I coughed. The general ceased upon the instant, and opened his door hastily. I blew out my light, and held my breath.

"What was that?" asked the general in a whisper.

Both listened for a few seconds, and then the general proceeded, still whispering.

"There was a man in London whom I found in my reverses faithful and considerate; an honest man in a world of dishonesty and knavery. He is well to do in life, and he has visited me here. Nay, he is here now—has been here some days; is in this very hotel."

"What of him?" asked Rupert.

"We are as brothers, and I have entrusted him with the history of your affairs. He is willing to assist and relieve you; and he can do it, for he has a mint of money."

"I must borrow no more, sir," eagerly interposed Sinclair. "My liabilities are even now greater than I can bear. My income will not pay the interest of the money that has been advanced."

"And therefore comes my friend in the very nick of time to save you. I agree with you that it would be ridiculous to think of further loans. Your only plan now is to sell out and out. This you may do advantageously, relieve yourself of every incumbrance, and retain sufficient for the future, if you will be but moderately careful, and invest your capital with caution."

"How do you mean?" inquired my friend.

The general whispered lower than ever, as though ashamed that even the bare walls should witness his heartless proposition. I gathered his suggestion from the quick and anxious answer.

"What!" exclaimed Sinclair, "sell my inheritance, part with my birth-right?"

"No! neither sell nor part with it—but forestall and enjoy it."

I heard no more. There came a gentle knock at the door of the room in which Rupert and his father-in-law were speaking; the door softly opened, and another visitor arrived. Sinclair's name was mentioned by way of introduction; then the stranger's, which escaped me; and shortly afterwards the whole party quitted the apartment, as it seemed, maintaining a dead silence—for, listen as eagerly as I would, not a syllable could I gather. Repose was impossible that night. After keeping my position for about[93] half an hour, I hastily dressed, and sallied forth in quest of information. I descended, and inquired of the first servant whom I could summon, the names of the English gentlemen who were then staying in the house. My answer was very unsatisfactory.

"There was Milor Anglais," said the man who was the great referee of the house in all matters pertaining to the English tongue, "friend of Mons. le General; the gentleman as come to-morrow; Monsieur Jones who vos arrive yesterday; Monsieur Smith, his ami, and Monsieur Sir John Alderman, Esquire, vith his madame and petite famille. There vos none more."

With this imperfect information, I returned to my couch, not to sleep, but to form some plan that would save my unhappy friend from the fangs of the sharks who were about to sacrifice him to their rapacity. He stood upon the very verge of destruction. There could be no doubt of it. How to get sight of him—how to warn him of his danger—how to help him out of the difficulties into which extravagance and wickedness had brought him? These were some of the questions that crowded upon my disturbed mind during the whole of the anxious night—questions that easily came—were less easily dismissed, and still less easily answered with comfort to myself, or with prospect of salvation to my friend.

The first individual I saw, upon leaving my apartment on the following morning, was General Travis himself. He was walking hastily down-stairs, evidently about to quit the hotel. I called his name. He started more like the thief "who fears each bush an officer," than the traveller "who fears each bush a thief," and turned his restless eye upon me. At first he pretended not to know me—then he bowed, and continued his way.

"One moment, general," said I, stopping him. "I have a word to say to you."

"I am somewhat pressed for time this morning—but a moment is easily spared," replied the general very collectedly. He followed me up-stairs, and entered my room. I closed the door.

"You have seen my friend lately?" I asked in nervous haste.

"Your friend?" rejoined General Travis. "To whom have I the honour to speak?"

His effrontery was amusing. I looked at him hard—but his countenance in no way betrayed him.

"My name is Wilson," said I; "that of my friend, Rupert Sinclair."

"O—h! I remember!" exclaimed the cunning master, with all the affectation of extreme surprise. "And how did you leave Sinclair—gay, giddy, and happy as ever?"

I gazed upon the man with a view to shame him into blushing. I was grievously disappointed. He returned me gaze for gaze, and looked unconscious innocence itself. I resolved to bring our business to a crisis without further parley.

"General Travis," I began, "I was last night, I will not say the unwilling, but certainly the unintentional listener to the plan propounded by you to my inexperienced friend, your son-in-law, of whose presence in this town you seem so lamentably ignorant."

The general did change colour now. He was about to speak, when I stopped him.

"Hear me!" I continued aloud and sternly. "I know the man with whom I have to deal. It is but fair that we should be on equal terms. I go this day to London to denounce your conspiracy, and to prevent its success. Your scheme for beggaring your children, and enriching yourself, clever as it is, is killed in the bud. Attempt to carry it out, and the law shall reach you even here."

"My dear Mr"——interposed the general.

"Let us have no argument," I proceeded in the same loud tone; "my business is to prevent the havoc you would bring about, and rest assured I will. Make no new attempts upon the credulity of your victim, and you are safe. Take another step in the nefarious business, and I solemnly vow to heaven that I will not leave you till I have exacted a fearful penalty for your crime."[94]

"You really, Mr Wilson, do"——stammered the general, with increasing awkwardness at every word.

"Where is Mr Sinclair now?" I vehemently asked.

"Gone," replied the general.


"To England."

"Satisfy me of the truth of this—give me your solemn promise to urge him no more to the commission of an act which insures his ruin, and I leave you. Refuse me, and I will expose your designs, and brand you to the world as the unnatural and cruel destroyer I have found you."

The general manifestly believed me to be in possession of more than I knew. He fairly quailed beneath my impetuosity and anger. I had expected resistance and battle. I met with mean capitulation and fear. He shuffled out apologies—entreated me to believe that he was actuated only by the sincerest wishes for his children's welfare—indeed, how could it be otherwise?—and assured me that although he might have been mistaken in the plans he had formed for Mr Sinclair's extrication, his motives were unquestioned, and as pure as could be. Still I might see these things with different eyes, and a better remedy might suggest itself to me. For his part, he should be glad to listen to it, and to recommend it to Sinclair's attention. At all events, he was prepared to engage to proceed no further with the transaction of which I had obtained knowledge, and all he asked in return was, that I should not wait upon Lord Railton, and acquaint him with what had transpired. To communicate the matter to his lordship, would be to shut out finally and for ever the last hopes of the unhappy children.

My promise was given, as soon as I learned for certain that Rupert had set sail for London by the packet that quitted Calais harbour at an early hour that morning. My own business urged me to proceed forthwith to Paris, but I could not be easy until I had secured the fulfilment of General Travis's engagement by another interview with Rupert. Accordingly, I returned to England. My task with Sinclair was an easy one. He had already had the good sense to discover that to part with all that he had in the world for a sum that must be dissipated in a few years at the most, would be an act of madness which no amount of pressing difficulty could warrant. Moreover, the sum of money that was offered by the gentleman whose honesty and generosity had been so highly lauded by the general, had been so shamefully small, that Rupert retreated with horror from the abyss towards which he had so incautiously advanced. I received a full assurance from the harassed man that he would suffer any extremity rather than listen again to similar propositions, and then I recommenced my journey with an easier conscience. So far, a tremendous blow had been averted. But what would happen next—what scheme the general would next suggest—what measures the very critical condition of Sinclair's affairs would make absolutely necessary—it was impossible to guess—to foresee, or to think of without deep anxiety and great alarm.

Six months elapsed, and Rupert Sinclair was still rapidly descending. With increased and increasing liabilities, there was more profuseness and greater recklessness. No one knew better than Rupert himself the folly and even sinfulness of his mode of life, yet any body would have found it easier than himself to put a stop to it. He was absorbed in the existence of his wife. As I have already said, her life was his—her wishes, her thoughts, and aims. She could not desire, and he not gratify; she could not ask to be a queen amidst the throng in which she moved, and he not place her on the throne at any sacrifice, however costly; at any risk, however desperate. This was the secret of his misery. And then from day to day, he lived bankrupt-like, on hope. Something would happen. He had faith in the love of his mother, in the natural goodness of a father's heart. Time would heal the wound that had been inflicted; and incline them to look with commiseration on youthful errors easy to repair.

A glimmering of promise stole forth at this crisis of the history. The critical position of the ministry for the time being, had brought Lord Railton and his wife back to England; and I resolved, in my eagerness to serve my[95] unhappy pupil, to see her ladyship, and to make an attempt at reconciliation, even if it should be repulsed with the insult I had met with at her husband's hands. I could not suffer Sinclair to sink, so long as one effort might save him. I had heard that, cold and selfish as Lady Railton was, love for her child had been a redeeming point in her character from the moment of his birth. Feeling surely was not dead within her! Could I but gain an interview, would it not be easy to recall in her heart natural emotions, which, though deadened, might never be entirely hushed, and to extract sympathy from a bosom already inclined to pity by love? The attempt was a bold one—but the prize, in the event of success, was not small; and surely worth a venture. I took courage, and was not wholly disappointed.

His lordship, I had heard upon inquiry, was generally absent from home during the forenoon. One morning, at ten o'clock precisely, I presented myself at Grosvenor Square, and sent my card to her ladyship. I was admitted at once. In an elegantly furnished boudoir, surrounded by all the luxuries that money could furnish, or the pampered sense demand, I beheld Lady Railton, for the first time since the marriage of her son. She sat behind an open screen, through which she spoke to me, with her eyes bent to the table on which her arms rested. She had been writing at the moment of my announcement; and though excited by my presence, her countenance betrayed more satisfaction than displeasure at my visit. A visible change had taken place in her. She was much thinner than when I saw her last; her eyes were sunken, and her cheek was very pale; she was evidently suffering from the shock which I had occasioned her, for her thin lips were tightly pressed together, and quivering at the corners. I felt deep pity for the slave of fashion; but gathered courage also from the pleasing exhibition of sensibility in one whom God had made a mother to save her from heartlessness.

"Shut the door, Mr Wilson," said Lady Railton in an under tone, "and pray be seated."

I complied with her request.

"You have been somewhat tardy, methinks, in finding your way hither," proceeded her ladyship.

I informed her of my visit to Lord Railton, and its disagreeable termination. She had not heard of it.

"Lord Railton," she continued, "has requested me to hold no intercourse with my son, and his lordship's requests have ever been commands to me. I have not disobeyed him. But I have looked for you. I made no promise to deny admittance to you. You were his friend. When did you see him?"

"Very lately, madam," I answered.

"He is in great difficulty and trouble—is he not?"

I shook my head.

Kind nature pleaded for poor Rupert. The mother attempted to speak—once—twice: her lips trembled: she could not: a flood of tears saved her from choking.

"He is well?" she asked at length.

"Well," I answered, "but for his trials—which are severe indeed."

"What can be done?" inquired Lady Railton.

"To bring him peace of mind—to repair the mischief that has happened—to secure prudence for the future—to save him from utter ruin, I know no remedy save reconciliation with his parents."

Lady Railton sighed deeply, and exclaimed—


"Indeed!" said I, as if surprised.

"Lord Railton is inexorable. He has listened to my appeals unmoved: he will listen to them no longer. Unhappy Rupert!"

"Unhappy indeed!" said I.

"His wife is very fair, they say?"

"Lovely, madam!"

"But wilful and extravagant?"

"Wayward, perhaps, but young. Oh Lady Railton, do not revenge too harshly upon a spoiled child of nature and the world, the sins of the world's committing. Mrs Sinclair has a warm and affectionate heart; she is devoted to her husband. Your ladyship's friendship and advice would at once render her all you could hope to find in the wife of your son. Permit me to say that the absence of your countenance[96] has alone been sufficient to"——

"Alas! you urge in vain. I dare not see them!"

"It is a hard saying, madam," I rejoined: "may you not live to repent it!"

Lady Railton rose from her seat, came from behind the screen, and paced her small chamber with perturbation. She suddenly stopped before a cabinet—a drawer of which she unlocked, and produced from it a pocket-book.

"Take this, Mr Wilson," she said in a hurried and faltering voice. "I dare not see him—must not correspond with him. I am his mother, and I feel bitterly, most bitterly for him. But I am Lord Railton's wife, and I know my duty. He has disgraced us—irreparably, irrecoverably. You cannot understand how deep the stain is which our name has suffered; you cannot calculate the wrong inflicted on my husband. Reconciliation is hopeless!"

"And this pocket-book, madam?" I coldly asked.

"Contains an order on my banker for three thousand pounds—all that I have been able to hoard up for my unhappy boy since he deserted us. The sum, I know, is trifling, compared with his exigencies. But what can I do? His own conduct has rendered me helpless."

Poor Lady Railton, to do her justice, suffered much from the struggle between maternal feeling and her mistaken sense of duty. Her eyes filled with tears again, and she sat before me sobbing bitterly.

"Let me entreat your ladyship," I exclaimed with animation, "to make one effort for the redemption of the children whom you may lose for ever by the stern course you now adopt. Your influence with Lord Railton is naturally and deservedly very great. I cannot bring myself to believe that he will be insensible to your appeals, if you will but urge them with the earnestness and tenderness which so well become you. I an satisfied that the difficulties of Mr Sinclair would cease at once, and his happiness as well as your own be secured, if he could find parents and advisers in those to whom he has a right to look for advice and aid. Whatever his extravagance may have been, whatever his youthful follies, I do implore your ladyship to bear in mind, that not he alone is answerable for them, but they also in part who deserted him in the hour of his greatest need. You may save him now—when I next meet your ladyship, the time will have passed away."

"Spare me this anguish," said her ladyship with assumed calmness. "I repeat—it is impossible. The hour may come when it shall be permitted me to satisfy the promptings of my heart. Till that hour arrives, it is but torture to be reminded of my inability and weakness."

"Pardon me, Lady Railton—I have done."

I was about to rise, when her ladyship checked me.

"In that pocket-book, Mr Wilson," she continued, "you will find a correspondence respecting the sale of Sinclair's commission."

"His commission!" said I with surprise, for I had not heard of his desire to sell out before.

"Yes. He now awaits a purchaser of his commission to be gazetted out. I have prevented the sale hitherto. Assure him—not from me, but from yourself, that however slender is the hope now of his father's ultimate forgiveness, he cuts it off entirely by that act. Let the commission be withdrawn at once from the Horse-guards; the draft that accompanies the correspondence will make up to him the sum he loses.

"Am I to present it as a gift from your ladyship?"

"No—yes—as you will; but let him not write or communicate with me in any way. I have engaged to hold no intercourse with him, and I cannot disobey the injunctions of Lord Railton." I rose; her ladyship gave me her hand with an expression of good will, and then suffered me to depart without another word.

Things were really mending. In Lady Railton we had unquestionably a friend, time and opportunity serving. It was of the highest consequence to be assured of that. With her upon our side, I had no fear of[97] eventual peace and harmony, provided measures could be taken for present difficulties; whilst, without her, every effort would have been purposeless, and even worse. Nor was this our only gleam of sunshine. When I returned to Rupert, the glad messenger of good tidings, I found that another friend had been sent by Providence to the rescue. Amongst the many high-born and eminent individuals whom the beauty and genius of Elinor had attracted to the gay habitation of Rupert Sinclair, was one who enjoyed, in an especial degree, the favour of his sovereign, and who was intimately connected by ties of blood and friendship with the commander-in-chief of his majesty's forces. The Earl of Minden had little to recommend him beyond his influence with the court and the powers that were. He belonged to an old family, of which he was the last lineal representative; was master of unbounded wealth, but was selfish, grasping, and mean to the last degree. He had a small body, but still smaller mind. Generation after generation, the head of the family to which he belonged, had held high office in the state, and had helped to govern the country without genius for statesmanship, or the ordinary ability of their humble business men. Office came to them as a matter of right, and custom had induced a people, slow to interfere with prescription, to regard the Earls of Minden as divinely appointed rulers, whom it would be sacrilege to depose. By marriage, the Earl of Minden was connected with the chief families of England: he had represented his king and country at the principal courts of Europe, where his magnificence and prodigality—for meanness itself may be lavish—had gained for him, as a matter of course, inordinate admiration and regard. Powerful with the ministry—the owner of four boroughs—the acknowledged friend, and even associate of royalty—what commoner did not feel honoured by his patronage?—what noble not gratified by his esteem? Lord Minden had but few of the weaknesses common to mankind. Proud and self-sufficient, he acknowledged no supremacy but that of woman. The only graceful infirmity of which his contemporaries could accuse his lordship, and to which posterity might point, was the infirmity of the best and bravest—that of a facile heart in the affairs of love.

Lord Minden, charmed by the bewitching grace of Elinor Sinclair, had, as it were, gladly resigned himself to its sweet influence. He was never happier, after what were deemed the fatigues of office, than in the brilliant assembly which she could summon at her bidding; never so gay as when listening at her side to the arch sallies which drew smiles of approval from lips that seldom cared to relax. The overbearing peer was content to play the humblest part in the scene of which she was the heroine, and to which she imparted a life and spirit that were sought in vain elsewhere. The intervention of Lady Railton had been already superseded by the generosity of one far more influential. The Earl of Minden himself had taken Rupert under his all-powerful wing. Not only was the commission restored, but promises of advancement were made, and the most flattering assurances of friendship and regard liberally offered. Lady Railton's draft, at her own request, was applied to the payment of a pressing debt. I contrived to make her acquainted with the new and incalculable acquisition that had been made. The information had all the effect I could desire; her ladyship, dazzled by the brilliancy of the prospect, and eager to make as much of it as she could, to my great astonishment sent for me, and actually opened negotiations for an interview between herself and her so recently discarded son. Oh world! world!

Before these negotiations, however, could lead to any satisfactory result, a new colour was given to the state of things, by some incidents of a most disagreeable and painful character. I was sitting in my room one morning, conning in my mind the most advisable means to adopt for the presentation of Sinclair at the parental abode, when a modest knock at my door announced a visitor of humble rank. My request to "walk in" was timidly responded to by a very old friend, in the shape of John Humphrys, the[98] valet of Sinclair, and the oldest servant in his establishment. John had nursed his master on his knee, having been himself nursed in the house of Lord Railton's father, whose coachman had acknowledged John for his son. John had never been married, but he loved his master as faithfully as though he had been his own child, and had resigned as good a situation as any in the kingdom to follow the fortunes of the exile, whatever they might be. With this unbounded reverence for Rupert, Humphrys regarded Rupert's former instructor in the light of a demigod.

"Ah, John, is it you?" said I. "Step in, old friend, and be seated."

John obeyed awkwardly, twirled his hat about, coughed and hemmed, but said nothing.

"Well, Humphrys, what news?" I continued, to give him confidence.

Humphrys shook his head despondingly.

I grew alarmed. "Any thing amiss?" I exclaimed. "Mr Sinclair ill, or"——

"All well—in health, sir," stammered John—"all well there. I—I am going, sir."


"Yes, sir," said Humphrys in a whisper, and getting up to close the door. "My heart's broke."

"Don't desert your master now, John," said I encouragingly. "You have weathered the storm hitherto. Things are mending. Take my word for it, we shall be in smooth water presently."

Humphrys shook his head again.

"Never, sir!" said he with emphasis, "as sure as my name's John."

"Explain yourself, Humphrys. What is it you have learned?"

"Too much, sir. I can bear it no longer. It is the common talk of the servants! I would have stayed with him for a crust till death, but I cannot hear him so spoken of."

"You frighten me. Go on."

"I ask your forgiveness, Mr Wilson," proceeded Humphrys, mumbling on, "but there are strange things said, and I didn't believe them at first,—and I was ready to knock the man down that hinted them to me—and I would have done it,—but I have seen, sir—with my own eyes—I wish I had been blind!" suddenly and passionately exclaimed the good fellow, his eyes overflowing with honest tears.

"Man, man!" said I hastily and vexed. "You talk in riddles. What is it you drive at?"

"Can't you guess, sir?" he answered meaningly.


"Yes, sir,—Mrs Sinclair!"

"Mrs Sinclair?"

"And Lord Minden."

"Lord Minden! For God sake"—

"Hush, sir!" said John, putting his finger to his lips. "I wouldn't have any body overhear us for the world. But it's true, it's true, as I am a living man."

"It is a lie!" I cried—"an infamous and slanderous lie! Some tale of a discharged and disappointed servant—a base conspiracy to destroy a good man's character. For shame, John Humphrys—for shame!"

"I don't wonder at you, sir," continued Humphrys. "They were my own words; and, until I was satisfied with my own eyes of the truth of what I had heard, I wouldn't have believed an angel from heaven. God knows, Mr Wilson, it is too true. We have lived to see terrible things, sir."

I entreated Humphrys to be still more explicit, and he was so. His communication went to show that the interference of Lord Minden in the affairs of his master was far from being disinterested, and that the price to be exacted for the preferment was much too great to make preferment or even life desirable to Rupert Sinclair. If I was horrorstruck at this announcement, how shall I describe my feelings when he further stated, with a serious and touching earnestness, that, as he hoped for salvation hereafter, he firmly believed that Rupert Sinclair was a party to his own dishonour. I was about to strike the fellow to the earth for his audacity; but I reflected for a moment, and was relieved of a load of oppression. I could have laughed outright, so overjoyed did I at once become, with the sudden upsetting of this tremendous fabrication. Sinclair a party to his own dishonour! Any thing short of that might have found me credulous. That accusation would have destroyed the unimpeached[99] evidence of saints. I recovered myself and spoke.

"You are an honest man, John Humphrys," said I, "a good servant, and faithful, I believe. But go your ways, and let not the wicked impose upon you more. Your tale is too good by half. Tell your informants, that, if they look for success, they must be less ambitious: if they desire to bring conviction to their listeners, they must not prove so much. And beware"—I proceeded in a more serious tone—"how you give currency to the slander you have brought to me. You love your master. Show your fidelity by treating this calumny with the scorn it merits."

"Sir," answered Humphrys, "if I were to be called from this world to-night, I could not retract the words I have spoken. I have not hinted to another what, alas! I know to be true. You may be sure I have no desire to circulate Mr Sinclair's infamy. I shall leave his service, for with him I can no longer live,—and you will soon learn whether or not I have uttered the truth. Oh dear! oh dear!" he added, with a sigh of despair,—"what will the world say?"

I dismissed John Humphrys, and turned to my own affairs. It was neither prudent nor becoming to listen further to the revelations of such a person; I would not even permit him to explain to me how he had arrived at the convictions which no doubt he honestly entertained. It was sufficient to hear the charges he brought against poor Rupert, to be convinced that the man was grossly deceived; that he had been cruelly imposed upon by vicious and vindictive men. But, could I be otherwise than deeply aggrieved by the rumour which had arisen, and which was not likely to lose on the lips of those who would be too eager to give it currency? It was a new and unexpected element in the complicated misfortunes of Lord Railton's house. Unexpected? What, Walter Wilson, and had not suspicions crossed your mind before, of the probability of such slander? Had you not many times angrily repulsed intruding thoughts that savoured of uncharitableness towards the volatile and beauteous wife? Had not prejudice before her marriage rendered you cruel; and experience since—did it not tend, if not to foster cruelty, to sustain alarm? But Rupert a party to his own dishonour! Monstrous! Ridiculous! Absurd!

Either the perseverance of Lady Railton, or the magic power of Lord Minden's name, had achieved a miracle. The stony and stubborn heart of Lord Railton was mollified. True, he hesitated to forgive his son; true, he would not see him; but he graciously submitted to be spoken to on his son's affairs, and even went so far as to admit me to an audience, in order that I might explain, as well as I knew them, the difficulties under which Mr Rupert Sinclair at present laboured. The doors of Lord Railton's house opened wide on the auspicious morning. The sun shone brilliantly in Grosvenor Square. The porter was a living smile from head to foot. The under butler all blandness and honied words. He rubbed his hands when he received me, bowed patronisingly and preceded me to his lordship's study with the air of one who knew which way the wind was, and that it was blowing pleasantly. There was a frozen air about the house when I had visited his lordship before—now it was summer-like and warm. Then every thing seemed bound with iron clasps,—men's mouths, and hearts, and minds; and even doors and windows. Now, every thing looked free and open, pleasant, hospitable, inviting. Could it be that I had changed,—or was it only that Lord Railton's note was different, and that the universal heart of that great house had pitched itself to the prevailing key?

No word of apology was offered for former rudeness. His lordship, as before, presented me with his finger, and then proceeded to our business. He had heard, he said, of Lord Minden's kind interference on behalf of his son, who was indeed most unworthy of his lordship's favourable notice; nay, he had been spoken to by Lord Minden himself, and desirous as he was at all times to comply with the wishes of any member of His Majesty's government, he could not but feel, that when their wishes pointed to the advancement of his own flesh and blood, there was additional reason for listening, to all they had to urge. For[100] his part, if Lord Minden should feel justified in extending his patronage to Mr Sinclair, he, Lord Railton, on his side, should deem it a matter of grave consideration, whether it would not be advisable to extricate the object of Lord Minden's favor from the liabilities which he had thoughtlessly incurred. Not that Mr Sinclair must look for pardon—or reconciliation—yet; that is to say, until Lord Minden should be satisfied that his protégé had deserved the gracious favour of His Majesty, and had shown himself worthy of the condescension, &c. &c. &c.

The upshot of the long harangue was, that as soon as Lord Minden should aid in promoting Sinclair, Lord Railton would be ready to pay his debts—and to receive terms for peace, provided the patronage of the commander-in-chief continued to rest upon the fortunate scapegrace, and His Majesty thought him still a fit object for the exercise of his royal favour. Translated into honest English, Lord Railton's proposition was neither more nor less than this,—"I will forgive my son, as soon as circumstances render my forgiveness not worth a button to him. I will withhold it so long as it is necessary to save him from ruin, and to restore him to tranquillity." A right worldly proposition too!

Lord Railton requested, as a preliminary step, to be informed of the exact state of his son's affairs; and I, as mediator, undertook to lay it before his lordship. I quitted the mansion in Grosvenor Square to procure at once the necessary documents from Sinclair. Approaching the house of the latter, I perceived standing before the door two horses and a groom. I advanced, knocked, and was informed that groom and horses were the property of the Earl of Minden, who was then with Mrs Sinclair, and that Mr Sinclair himself was from home. I had no right to feel uncomfortable at this announcement, yet uncomfortable I was, in spite of myself. "When does Mr Sinclair return?" I asked.

The two lackeys who listened to my question exchanged an almost imperceptible smile, and replied, that "they could not tell." That smile passed like a dagger to my heart.

I hesitated for a moment—left my card—and then withdrew.

I had not proceeded to the corner of the street before I turned round instinctively, and without a thought. To my joy I perceived Rupert making his way from the other extremity of the street to his own door. I moved to meet him. He came nearer and nearer—approached within sight of the horses and groom—and then turned back. What did it mean? Why did he not go home? I grew giddy with coming apprehensions. Whilst I stood motionless on the path, I felt a touch upon my shoulder. I perceived John Humphrys.

"Here, sir," said the man, "you have seen with your own eyes what I have seen every day for the last month. As soon as Lord Minden arrives, Mr Sinclair goes out, and never returns until he takes his departure. If he should by chance return whilst his lordship's horse is standing there, he walks away, and does not think of coming back until"——

"It is a lie! a dream!" I exclaimed, almost bewildered. "It cannot be!"

"I wish to say nothing, sir," proceeded Humphrys. "You have seen, you have seen!"

"I have! I have!" I cried, coming to myself. "I wash my hands of him and his. Father of Heaven! can such wickedness exist—and in him, in him? But I have done with him for ever!"

And so saying, I fled maniac-like from the accursed spot, and vowed in my excitement and indignation to return no more. I kept my word.



The Sick Antiquary.

"Aspettar e non venire,
Star in letto e non dormire.
Son' due cose da morire."

Italian Proverb.

Three years are passed since we last visited Herr Ascherson, and we once more find ourselves, with considerably improved tact and knowledge, both as to virtuosi and virtu, ringing at the well-known bell! On the door being unbarred to us, we are sorry to hear that he is now a great invalid, and confined to bed. "I hope we don't disturb you, Mr Ascherson," said we, as a half-witted slattern of fifty opened the door of the sick man's room, and discovered to us something alarmingly like Cheops redivivus, reclining on a Codrus-looking couch, which was too short to receive his whole body save diagonally, in which position he accordingly lay. Upon hearing these words, the much-swathed object suddenly draws itself up in bed; and after looking keenly to make us out in the dusk, (as if he suspected a visit of cajoling rather than condolence.) his eye lost its anxious look, and his features gradually expanded, when he saw at a glance that we were come, not to cheat, but to cheer him. The first words he uttered were—"Ja, ja; dat is mein nobil freund the Doctor;" and then, falling back, he resigned himself to his pains, like a man who has been long trained to suffer. We ask after his health. The poor invalid shakes his head, and tells us, groaning, that he was "sehr krank, very ill indeed; had much dolors but no slipp;" apologising also for having sent for some 10 pi. which we owed him, and which "it was need," so he told us, "to pay his medicine mit." Really concerned to see one whom we had so recently known under worldly circumstances so unlike the present, so suffering, so poor, and so solitary, we told him that we had been intending to call on him that very day for that very purpose—observing, by way of consoling his feelings, that it was not to be expected "that a man who had laid out so much money of the present currency to procure fine specimens of one that was out of date, could be quite so well off in ready cash as those whose money was all in hard coin at their bankers. "Ja, ja," it was even so; and then, his pains remitting for a moment, he proceeded to explain, for our satisfaction, how he had become so short of the needful supplies. "Tis three monate seyne mein freund Vinhler went to Paris—(an honest and heart-good man, Mr Vinhler)—to whom this commission I consign:—'See you give a careful eye-blink to this 9000 ducats, which you must take mit you to Paris. There in the house of Furet you shall become some moneys, which you shall send to me directly; and mit these ducats you shall also pay their consignment.' Well, it was a simple direct, als any childer might do. So Vinhler takes my money, gets to Paris, calls and pays Mr Furet, and writes that he will be back in Neapoli in a week. So I stay! Drei monate I stay, and no Mr Vinhler come! Then lastly, when I hav begin to scold myself, two days seyne, comes eine briefe, and says, 'I hav been stopt here for three weeks by what I then foresaw not when I did write you lastly. I am promised to marry Herr Furet's daughter, and we mak the marriage in eine monate. I am sorry for the delay about your monete, but shall bring them mit Mrs Vinhler and myself to Neapoli, when we arrive!" So, while he is happy mit his Julia in Paris, I cannot become my Julias that I hav bought; and I hav lost much by this man's delay. Ah! (continued he,) whenever he had felt mein dolors," (the poor man had now wrought himself up into a painful excitement,) "my no slipp, this unendlich irritation, this torment to pay the Doctor, for no gute—my loss of practice, my loss of friends, my physique[102] so bad, mein eine samkeit so dull—he should surely have sent me that cassetta of coins to make me a little more gay." Being obliged to quit Naples suddenly, we left him in the midst of his pains, which had been wholly unrelieved by our medication; fretting more and more daily at the non-arrival of his friend; with nobody to visit him but the needy Leech, who, having asked himself—

"And will my patient pay?
And can he swallow draughts until his dying day?"

thinks no further self-interrogatory needful; with none to inquire after him, save only the peasants, whose findings he is too ill to look at, and too poor to purchase; and Death's grim auctioneer, who undertakes for the district; and who, when he has made the daily inquiry at his door, not to lose further time, begins to ply his small hammer, and is tap-tap-tapping away for somebody else, till wanted. Oh! who would change places with a sick antiquary, whose conscience, though he sleeps, is awake to torment him, and whose dreams, if he dream, are of rifled tombs, profaned temples, Charon and his boat!

"Nocte, brevem si forte indulsit cura soporem,
Et toto versato toro, jam membra quiescunt,
Continuo templum et violati numinis aras,
Et quod præcipuis mentem sudoribus urget,
Se vidit in somnis!"

Old Ignazio.

"Oh dear! what can the matter be?
Oh dear! what shall I do?
Nobody coming to Jockey, and
Nobody coming to Jew!"

What quondam collector at Rome but must recollect that snuffy and gruffy old fellow, Ignazio Vesconali, who lives at the bottom of Scalirata, and has grown old with the Piazza itself! Go down at any hour of the day, and there he was sure to be, either blinking away through his blue goggle glasses, with his cap on, at his door, or at a little shabby table fumbling over curiosities; or creeping over to the coffee-house opposite, to toddle back again, with his cotton pocket-handkerchief, his snuff-box, and his key in hand, to re-arrange his treasures, and utter lamentations that nobody any longer comes to buy. On such occasions we have sometimes entered; and after a "buon giorno," and a remark on the weather, (which, if you abused it, however injuriously, always secured you his assent; for he quarrels now even with the calendar,) he expected you to hope he had sold something lately, to afford him an opportunity to say, "Ma ché, ma niente;" and then you had to sit and listen while he told you all his grievances—how once "a dozen English noblemen had stood all of a row there," and he showed you where, in his shop, fighting for his wares, and buying them almost quicker than he could register the purchases they made; and how sometimes he could sell 500 scudi worth of property before breakfast, and get an appetite by doing so! No! there was not a man of note in England, that had not some day or other been booked by him. All their kindness, no doubt—and then they came not to tease poor Ignazio, but to buy of him. Now a different set of customers dropt in one by one to look at his gems, and to find nothing good enough for them; some tumbling over his antiques, and offering a scudo for his best onyxes; "uno scudo, Santissima Maria Virgine!" others adventuring a whole paul! a price for his best Consular coins!—ah! gli avari! The earth too, once so bountiful, was now as avaricious of parting with her treasures as the English themselves. The fields had ceased to yield their former supplies; and the peasants about Rome would scarce stoop to picking up rubbish, for which, however, they always wanted Ignazio's money. "Ah, poor[103] old man!—che vecchio? old man forsooth! say rather an old dotard, who is unfit to buy, to bargain, or to live!" And then he would ventriloquize once more to himself. "Ah, poor Ignazio! ah, poor old man! your day is indeed gone by." Such appeals were irresistible. So, whenever we had a few scudi to spare, (and it was not quite discreet to go into his shop without,) we used to beg to see some of his boxes of engraved stones; and having pored for a time over wares that had been examined by the most cunning eyes in Rome, would find one of better workmanship, and stop to inquire its price. "Quanto, Signor Ignazio?" and while Signor Ignazio was recollecting himself, we glanced on from one to the other, (the great rule in bargaining being never to appear to know what you are bargaining for!) "Per cinque scudi vi lo do." Viewed thus in the light of a donation, we would think it too high, and tell him so. "Take it for four, then—pigliate lo per quattro;" and at this fresh concession he would grunt a little, like a tame seal in a water-tub! Still we would hesitate, and dare to offer two. "For every body else, he had said impossible,—for us we were padronissimi to take it, as the old man's gift, on our own terms." So we would put it up, and then, elated at our bargain, and at his respect for us, we would remove another "intaglio" from the box; and this time, naming our own price, say with perfect nonchalance, "due scudi." The old fellow would then fumble it up in his snuffy old gloves, and bring it near his snuffy old nose; and having wiped his snuffy old magnifier, would bend his blue goggle glasses over it—and having screamed—"Che! due scudi? what do you mean by two scudi? A stone of this beauty! a living head of Medusa—a front face, too—for two scudi! The serpents in the hair were worth more money—one-half of such a head, were the stone in two, would be worth more money." And then would come in the antistrophe as before—"Ah, povero Ignazio! povero vecchio!"—and we would be shocked, and declare with compunction that we had no intention to cheat him; and he, already "persuasissimo of that," would beg us to say no more, but to put it into our pocket for three. After these preliminaries were settled and paid for, we would be contented to hear him once more recount the tale of his younger days, when he had the antiquity business all to himself; when he married his first wife; had dealings with Demidoff; and knew all that were worth knowing in Rome—both buyers and sellers. "Old age, Signor, is preparing me fast to give up both my business and my life! Buy, buy, now's your time, eccomi! an old man who wants to sell off every thing! name your prices! Don't be afraid, you may offer me any thing now." "Three scudi?" "Impossible I should let you have it for that. It cost me five; but never mind! there's the mask at three scudi. Take it! Any thing else?" "This intaglio?" "You are a capital judge, or you would not have thus picked out my best intaglio—will no colonnati suit?" "No." "Will you be pleased if I prove my friendship for you by sacrificing it at fifteen?" No! "There, take it as our third gift for twelve; but, oh that I should have lived to sell it for that, even to you! But you will come and see me again; I know you will, Dottore mio! And sure you might contrive to spend a few more fees with me than you do, and be all the richer for it into the bargain—what fine opportunities you must have of selling things to your patients, especially to the donne! I wish I was a doctor, that I might carry on my business for a year or two longer!"

Signor Dedomenicis.

"I have a hundred questions to ask," said we, turning into Dedomenicis' curiosity-shop, and casting a furtive glance behind his old armour and arras hangings, to see that there was no other confidant to whom we might be betraying our ignorance. "Dunque—well then, one at a time; è s'accommodi—make yourself at home," said the old dealer, pushing[104] us a chair, and looking humanely communicative, as he adjusted to his temples a huge pair of spectacles, and stood at our side ready to be interrogated.

An old dealer, like a young beauty, when you are together, expects something flattering to be said about his eyes, so "we wished ours were as good as his." He said, "they were younger." "But what was the use of young eyes, or of any eyes," said we, disparaging our own, "that could not make out the wholesomeness of a coin, nor distinguish the patina of antiquity from vulgar verdigris?"

Dedomenicis' cough convinced us that this sentiment of ours was not very far from what he himself believed to be the truth, only he was too polite to say so.

"There!" said we, "look at these bronze bargains of ours, these two counterfeit coins, which have not been a week in our possession, and which C—— has already declared to be false! Oh! would you not have deemed it a happier lot to put up with a blameless blindness, and all its evils, rather than, having eyes in your head, to have disgraced them by such a purchase?" Dedomenicis glances one glance at the false Emperors, and then passes a sentence which banishes them for ever from the society of the Cæsars; while he wonders how we could have hoped to buy a real Piscennius and a Pertinax in the same adventure, and both so well preserved too?

"Were we ignorant of the prices usually set upon the heads of all those emperors who had enjoyed but a few weeks' reign?" Did not every body, for instance, know that the African Gordians, both father and son, were, in bronze, worth their weight in gold? that a Vitellius in bronze was cheap at six pounds? and that he might be considered fortunate indeed who could convert his spare ten-pound notes into as many Pertinax penny-pieces, or come into the possession of a half-penny or a second module, as it is called, of Pescennius Niger, at the same price? Did not every body know that Domitia was coy at £20, and stood out for £25? That Matidia, Mariana, and Plotina smiled upon none who would not give £40 to possess them, and that Annia Faustina was become a priceless piece? Had we been so long returned to Rome and not yet heard of the Matidia now in the keeping of our gallant countryman, General A——, who was jealous (at least so B—— had told him) of showing her even to his best friends, lest she should prove too much for their virtue to withstand, and slept with her, and could not snore securely unless she was by his side? Well, he had paid £40 for her at Thomas's sale in London, and Rollin, on seeing her in Paris, would have gladly detained her there for £50, but the general was not to be bribed; "so you see, dottore mio, it costs a good deal to collect coins even in the baser metal." "So it would appear, indeed, Dedomenicis; and the next time a Pertinax in bronze turns up, we will most pertinaciously refuse to bid for him; or if another Pescennius should ever again cross our path, we will mutter 'Hic Niger est,' and remember to have nothing to do with him."

"And I think," said the old fellow, slily taking off his spectacles, and placing them on the table,—"I think you will not lose much if you adhere to your present intention."

"And yet it is annoying not to know the difference between the works of those Paduan brothers, of a recent century, and such as really belong to the old Roman mint;" saying which we began to study them afresh, as a policeman would do to a rogue, whom he expected to meet again. "Is this knowledge, dear Dedomenicis, to be acquired 'per càrita?' let us not waste our time, if it be not." "Lei lo sapra! it will come in good time. Pazienza! be patient! you know our proverb—'time and straw ripen medlars,' and your judgment will mature in time, just as the medlars do."

Crude as an unripe medlar though our judgment certainly then was, still the prospect of its mellowing into unsoundness at last was by no means consolatory; and so we told him, pocketing our false coins, and going home to consult the memorandum of their price,—here it is! Eccola! as it was most ingeniously registered by us at the time—"Nov. 7, 1840—Bought[105] to-day of a peasant on his way from Ricci to Rome, two beautiful coins, a Pertinax and a Pescennius Niger, in perfect preservation! only paid £5 for the two!! the simple contadino, who can't read the epigraphes, asks whether they are not Nero's!!"[54]

A ring at the bell, and our courier has announced Signor Dedomenicis. "By all means, show him in then,"—for he had come, a year later, to see coins we had picked up during our summer trip to Sicily. "There," said we gaily, and to put him in a good humour at once, (for the remark showed we had made ourselves master of his physiognomy),—"there, Dedomenicis, is a Ptolemy Evergetes, who was, to judge by his coins, your very prototype—it is your nose—your chin—your"——

"Suppose you make it mine altogether then," said he slily; but we "prized it too much, on this very account, to part with it!" After which we go to the nearest cabinet in the room—unlock the door, take out drawer No. 1, marked Sicilian, and rare; and in the pride of our young beginnings, and little knowing what we were to bring upon ourselves in so doing,—

"Midst hopes, and fears that kindle hopes.
A pleasing anxious throng;
And shrewd suspicions often lull'd,
But now returning strong,"—

we hand over the tray to Dedomenicis, whose running commentary, as soon as he had brought it into the field of his spectacles, was really appalling; and he plied it as destructively as a Sikh battery, or a Perkins's steam gun.

Prepared to see him take out the first coin in the row, to subject it to his magnifier, to turn it round, now on this side, now on that, and then to pause, ere he could decide upon it, little could we have supposed that in a second his battery was to commence fire; and that in less than a minute, he would have passed a summary sentence upon every coin of the lot.

"One—two—three."—Thus it began; "roba commune—common as blackberries; (four, five, six,) niente di buono—good for what you can get for them; (seven, eight, nine,) Idem; (ten, eleven, twelve,) Idem; thirteen, not of Messina, as it pretended to be; and here had sold us a Neapolitan cat in place of a Sicilian hare!" "Come! a cat?" (for we called to mind what each of puss's nine lives had cost us, and determined to die game for it), "that coin a counterfeit?" "Sī—Sīg-nō-rĕ!" in that sort of sing-song gamut twang in which one Roman answers another's incredulity—"anzi falsīssimo," with a most provoking lengthening out of the second syllable of that most provoking superlative; he knew all about its fabrication; the gentleman who made these coins was an acquaintance—not a friend of his; the original coin being in request, and somewhat expensive, he had contrived to get up a new issue of the Messina Hare,[55] which was much in vogue, and seemed, like Gay's Hare, to court an extensive acquaintance, and many friends. "That Himera[56] hen is of a brood that never lays golden eggs, and the sooner you can get rid of her the better. Time was when such poultry fetched its price; now, thanks to the prolific process of our modern hatchings, we see her as often in the market as widgeon, snipe, or plovers. That's a fine lion; 'tis a pity you've no lioness to match him; but one such real Rhegium leone is worth a host of counterfeits,—'unus, sane, at Leo'. As to your [106] Ptolemies' eagles here, at least they are well preserved, and that always should give a coin some claim to a place in a beginner's collection; though to us dealers, who see many of them, these eagles at last become somewhat uninteresting and vulgar birds. What a collection is here of Hieros[57] on horseback, all in good plight too! Well, I might have bought in or out of these ranks myself; but I should not, I think, like you, have purchased the whole troop—of course you paid but little for them." "Yes," said we timidly, "not overmuch, not more than they were worth perhaps, six pauls a-piece," and we coughed nervously, and expected him to speak encouragingly; but he said nothing, and proceeded with his scrutiny of our box. "Per Bacco! What a quantity of cuttlefish! Methinks Syracuse has rather overdone you with her Lobigo, but that at least is genuine, for 'tis too cheap to make money of by imitation. This of Naxos will do. This of Tarentum, va bene! this of Locri, corresponde." A faint "bravo!" escapes him on taking up an Athenian Tetradrachm, with the Archer's name on the field; but he takes no note, has no "winged words" to throw away upon our winged horses, though every nag of them, we know, came from Corinth or from Argos.

The bearded corn of Metapontus, with Ceres or Mars on the reverse: Arion on his dolphin—that beautiful, most beautiful of coins—were, together with sundry others, all too common for his antiquarian eye to take pleasure in; he sought something less frequently presented to it, and at last he found it in a Croton coin with a rare reverse, which, "would we sell him, he would take at twenty dollars, and pay us in living silver." A bow told him we were not disposed to part with it. And now he comes to what we consider to be our finest piece,—our Lipari bronze! And on it is a fat dolphin sporting on a green sea. Dedomenicis' manner is vastly discouraging, and we are prepared for new disappointment, yet we could have sworn that that coin was genuine. But if false, as he believes it to be, why then not have done with it? why put it down to take it up again? why ask whether we don't repute it false, when he knows we know nothing of the matter? And why mouse it so closely under his keen eye, and look round the rim of it, and examine the face of it, and appear as if he would penetrate into its very soul,[58] and get at its history? Oh! 'tis all right, then; if "he may be mistaken," doubtless he is so: and this is confirmed by his now proposing—thinking an exchange no robbery, of course—to exchange it for us. Ingenuous man! who hadst twice invoked the saints and the Madonna in our behalf when thou heardest the price we paid for our unlucky Hare; and when thou knewest how C—— had beguiled us into taking, and paying for a Roman, the price of an Etruscan "As;" and now thou wouldst have robbed us of our best coin, have deprived us of the very Delphin classic of our collection; it won't do! Our Messenian hare is welcome, but, old æruscator, we cannot let you swim away on our dolphin; and we rise to replace him in our monetaro accordingly.

A third interview with Dedomenicis [107] is recorded in our entry-book of such matters.—"Here are the coins, Signor, which you gave me to clean last week: they are ten in number, for which you owe me as many pauls.—Eccole!" "Ah," said we, "you have not made much of them, I fear." "Look and see," was the laconic reply. By which time we had taken up the first, and were pleased to find that an Augustus, whose lineaments we could hardly recognise, when we gave him to Dedomenicis to scale, had come back to us perfectly restored. "Why, Dedomenicis," said we, "this is a restitution better than Trajan's, of this very Emperor's coinage; for that, after all, was but the imitation of an old mint; but yours the restoration of the old one itself. Henceforth I prefer Dedomenicis' restituit to Trajan's restituit." "Well, then, when you have looked over the others, you will, I dare say, pay these and them at the same rate, as if they had been the issues of that Emperor."[59] We were indeed surprised at what we saw, so much had all our coins gained by the process to which Dedomenicis had subjected them. The second we took up represented the Ostian harbour, (Portus Ostiensis.) We had given it to him with a foul bottom—it was restored to us with its basin cleared out, and with all its shipping, just as it used to look in the days of Nero; in another, the whole arena of the Colosseum had been disencumbered; in another, Antonine's column shone bright from top to bottom; here we saw Honos et Virtus (honour and military prowess) again taking the field; here the scales of Justice once more appeared, and librated freely in her hand; here Hope resumed her green trefoil; Pudicity unveils her face; and there sat Fecundity on a curule seat, with all her family about her; lastly, there were those three scandalous sisters of Caligula—the Misses Money (Moneta,)[60]—standing together with their arms intertwined, and their names at their backs. All these ten restitutions cost only ten pauls! "And how did you manage to clean then so well, Dedomenicis?" "Col tempo ed il temperino,"—with time and a penknife: "Ma ci vuo il genio,"—you must have a talent for it.

Scaling a Coin.

"Ci vuo il genio,"—he was right; and think you 'tis so easy or simple a thing to clean a coin? to unmask an empress, pertinacious in her disguise, or to scrape acquaintance with emperors? Try it;—not that you will succeed; but that the difficulties which you are thus made to encounter in the attempt, will dispose you the more readily to do justice to the skill of those who succeed in this delicate process, which, like the finer operations of surgery, requires at once precision and address, great nicety in the handling of your instrument; while the importance attached to the operation itself makes the successful performance of it not a little desirable. The penknife, guided by a dexterous hand, may light upon a discovery that has been buried for ages; and a pin's point may make revelations sufficient to adjust some obscure point in history. Who knows what face may now lie hid (facies dicatur an ulcus?) under some obscure coating of paste? What an it be a Vitellius; what if a Pertinax should reveal himself? or suppose, when you have removed the foul larvæ, you undermine a Matidia! a Plotina!! an Annia Faustina!!! and your fortune [108] is made! 'Tis a lottery, we admit. But the very principle of the excitement—the charm is, that you know not what may turn up; for a less chance, you may possibly have bought a "Terno" in a Frankfort lottery, the chance of an estate on the Moselle! But there are small prizes to be picked up occasionally—and here's a case in point:—"I was one day sauntering," said our friend C——, "by the tomb of Cecilia Metella, when a peasant came up with a handful of very dirty-looking coins, so firmly encrusted with mortar, that it seemed absurd to attempt its removal. Having nothing particular to do, and liking the wild quiet of the spot, I gave some 'baiocchi' to the man; and taking my seat on a bit of the old aqueduct, I opened my penknife, and began to scrape away. At first I saw the trace of a letter; and digging round it, I at length disinterred a large M——a Roman M! It was probably Maximin, or his son Maximus, that I then had under my thumb; but it might be a Marinus, in which case it was a valuable coin; so I wrought on with renewed vigour, and presently an L was in the field. A better prospect this than the last; for if it turned out to be an Æmilianus, I should have made a good morning's work of it—and it was so! Little by little, line by line, grain by grain, I opened the field, till C. Julius Æmilianus, Pontif: Max: in a full epigraphe, shone forth with the imperial head in full relief, all in a bright emerald patina. I have seen several Æmilianuses, but none like that; and it cost me only a penny."

Now, touching the difficulties in your way—should you still fancy them to be imaginary—take any dirty coin nigra moneta sordibus, and try to clean it; oil it, and scrub it as you may; pick into, poke at, finally, waste your whole morning over it, till your back aches, and your penknife is blunted; you will have to confess at last that your labour has been lost! Your only chance, then, is the fire; and if the actual cautery fails, there is no longer any hope. As in learning to scale properly, you must come to sacrifice a great many coins before you can hope to succeed, fiat experimentum in corpore vili—begin with those that are worthless. Never mind scratching a Faustina's face; set no store by Nero; you may, if you like, mutilate as many Domitians as that emperor mutilated flies. For why?—they cost nothing; unless, indeed, there were something to be gained by reversing the picture. But this only while learning, and to learn; for when you know how to clean a coin properly, you will hardly waste your time in adding new Trajans to the ten thousands already in existence; nor whet your curiosity or steel upon an empress, known to be as common in bronze as she was wont to be in the flesh! When you have a really valuable coin, on which your pains will not be thrown away, your mode of procedure is, first to scrape, with extreme caution, on some small spot by the margin, till you have taken your proper soundings, and come down to the patina. Your next step must be, to ascertain whether that patina is hard, or soft and friable; in which latter case you will have to use all diligence not to poke your penknife in Crispina's eyeball, nor to wound her husband, with a few days' beard upon his chin. No healing process can help you here to undo your clumsy surgery and want of skill. He will remain cicatrised, and she lippa for life. Each separate feature requires renewed care. When your minute manipulations have brought out the eyeball unspecked, then comes the nose; and to remove the closely sticking plaster from its side, and expose uninjured the curling nostril underneath, requires more than Taliacotian sleight of hand to manage properly. You must not trifle with Faustina's hair, nor with Philip's beard. The "flava coma," which we do not consider as ornamental at any time, looks far worse in brass than in golden tresses. You must be an aurist when you come to the ear. Deal with the ear, and remember that it has its portio mollis as you gently probe your way into its tube. Need we insist upon the necessity of respecting a lady's lips? and yet you will wound them, unless you are careful. And when all is done, you may find that your coin is no sooner cleaned, than[109] it is seized with the smallpox,[61] which will become confluent and spread, unless properly instructed. You have probed each cicatrix to the bottom, and filled the minute holes with ink. Thus you will see that patience, tact, and care are all required in scaling a coin; or, as Dedomenicis said, ci vuo il genio!

The collecting coins is a pleasant way of learning the chronology of the royal families of antiquity; and if you are culpably negligent in their arrangement, the first dealer who sees your cabinet takes care to apprize you of your mistakes, and will generally rate you soundly as he does so. The first time Dedomenicis visited our collection of the Roman emperors, he was in a great taking on detecting (which he did not fail to do at a glance) various anachronisms in our arrangement. "By all that should be, if here is not Agrippina the wife of Germanicus, and Claudius's Agrippina, in next-door neighbourhood! the two Faustinas (che scandalo, dottore mio!) lying side by side with strange husbands! Philip junior deposing his own father—ci avevano questa consuetudine, so let that pass; but here is a more serious affair. Pray separate all these Julias a little, my dear sir, caro lei, (looking at us very reproachfully;) here, in this one tray, you have mixed, introduced, and confounded together all the Julias of the Roman empire! Julia, the daughter of Titus, alone in her right place beside her first consort Domitian. But Julia Pia and Julia Domna are but the aliases of the same empress, the wife of Septimius Severus; and here you have placed by mistake Julia Paula, the wife of Eliogabalus, after Julia Mammæa, who you must remember married Maximin. Pray attend to these things; and whenever your series is deficient, leave vacant spaces in your trays to mark the deficiencies. Don't crowd your emperors thus together, when time has separated them in history," &c. &c. &c. We promised faithfully to attend to these hints; but it was all to no purpose, for in one week our friends, to whom we used to show our collection properly arranged, would again involve our chronology in inextricable confusion, especially certain dear young ladies of our acquaintance, who, by no means showing the same respect for old Time that old Time continued to demonstrate towards them, would make light of whole centuries; and we have known them so regardless of all dates, except perhaps their own, as to bring up a Constantine or Maxentius, and to place them under the very nose of Augustus!



There are few things more striking than the analogy in civil and physical changes of the world. There have been in the history of man periods as distinctive as in the history of nations. From these periods society and nations have alike assumed new aspects, and the world has commenced a new career. The fall of the Roman Empire was the demarcation between the old world and the new. It was the moral deluge, out of which a new condition of man, new laws, new forms of religion, new styles of thought, almost a totally new configuration of human society, were to arise. A new settlement of the civil world took place: power absorbed by one race of mankind was to be divided among various races; and the development of principles of government and society, hitherto unknown, was to be scarcely less memorable, less unexpected, or less productive, than that voyage by which Columbus doubled the space of the habitable globe.

The Reformation was another mighty change. It introduced civil liberty into the empire of tyranny, religion into the realm of superstition, and science into the depths of national ignorance. The French Revolution was the last, and not the least powerful change within human experience. Its purpose is, like its operation, still dubious. Whether it came simply for wrath, or simply for restoration—whether, like the earthquake of Lisbon, it came only to destroy, and leave its ruins visible for a century to come; to clear the ground of incumbrances too massive for the hand of man, and open the soil for exertions nobler than the old, must be left to time to interpret. But there can be no question, that the most prominent agency, the most powerful influence, and the most dazzling lustre, of a period in which all the stronger impulses of our being were in the wildest activity, centred in the character of one man, and that man—Napoleon.

It is evidently a law of Providence, that all the great changes of society shall be the work of individual minds. Yet when we recollect the difficulty of effecting any general change, embracing the infinite varieties of human interests, caprices, passions, and purposes, nothing could seem more improbable. But it has always been the course of things. Without Charlemagne, the little principalities of Gothic Europe would never have been systematised into an empire;—without Luther, what could have been the progress of the Reformation?—without Napoleon, the French Revolution would have burnt itself out, vanished into air, or sunk into ashes. He alone collected its materials, combined them into a new and powerful shape, crowned this being of his own formation with the imperial robe, erected it in the centre of Europe, and called the nations to bow down before a new idol, like the gods of the Indian known only by its mysterious frown, the startling splendour of its diadem, and the swords and serpents grasped in its hands.

That the character of Napoleon was a singular compound of the highest intellectual powers with the lowest moral qualities, is evidently the true description of this extraordinary being. This combination alone accounts for the rapidity, the splendour of his career, and the sudden and terrible completeness of his fall. Nothing less than pre-eminent capacity could have shot him up through the clouds and tempests of the Revolution into the highest place of power. A mixture of this force of mind and desperate selfishness of heart could alone have suggested and sustained the system of the Imperial wars, policy, and ambition; and the discovery of his utter faithlessness could alone have rendered all thrones hopeless of binding him by the common bonds of sovereign to sovereign, and compelled them to find their only security for the peace of Europe in consigning him to a [111] dungeon. He was the only instance in modern history of a monarch dethroned by a universal conviction; warred against by mankind, as the sole object of the war; delivered over into captivity by the unanimous judgment of nations; and held in the same unrelaxing and judicial fetters until he died.

It is another striking feature of this catastrophe, that the whole family of Napoleon sank along with him. They neither possessed his faculties, nor were guilty of his offences. But as they had risen solely by him, they perished entirely with him. Future history will continually hover over this period of our annals, as the one which most resembles some of those fabrications of the Oriental genius, in which human events are continually under the guidance of spirits of the air; in which fantastic palaces are erected by a spell, and the treasures of the earth developed by the wave of a wand—in which the mendicant of this hour is exalted into the prince of the next; and while the wonder still glitters before the eye, another sign of the necromancer dissolves the whole pageant into air again. Human recollection has no record of so much power, so widely distributed, and apparently so fixed above all the ordinary casualties of the world, so instantly and so irretrievably overthrown. The kings of earth are not undone at a blow; kingdoms do not change their rulers without a struggle. Great passions and great havoc have always preceded and followed the fall of monarchies. But the four diadems of the Napoleon race fell from their wearers' brows with scarcely a touch from the hand of man. The surrender of the crown by Napoleon extinguished the crowns actually ruling over millions, and virtually influencing the whole Continent. They were extinguished, too, at the moment when the Imperial crown disappeared. It had no sooner been crushed at Waterloo, than they all fell into fragments, of themselves;—the whole dynasty went down with Napoleon into the dungeon, and not one of them has since returned to the world.

The name of General Count Montholon is well known to this country, as that of a brave officer, who, after acquiring distinguished rank in the French army by his sword, followed Napoleon to St Helena; remained with him during his captivity; and upon his death was made the depositary of his papers, and his executor. But his own language, in a letter dated from the Castle of Ham in June 1844, gives the best account of his authority and his proceedings.

"A soldier of the Republic, a brigadier-general at twenty years of age, and minister-plenipotentiary in Germany in 1812 and 1813, I could, like others, have left memoirs concerning the things which I saw; but the whole is effaced from my mind in presence of a single thing, a single event, and a single man. The thing is Waterloo; the event, the fall of the Empire; and the man, Napoleon."

He then proceeds to tell us, that he shared the St Helena captivity for six years; that for forty-two nights he watched the dying bed of the ex-monarch; and that, by Napoleon's express desire, he closed his eyes. But to those duties of private friendship were affixed official services, which looked much more like tyranny than the tribute of personal regard, and which we should think must have worn out the patience, and tried the constitution, of the most devoted follower of this extraordinary captive.

Napoleon, though apparently contemptuous of the opinions of mankind, evidently felt the strongest anxiety to make out a favourable statement for himself. And all his hours, except the few devoted to exercise on horseback and to sleep, and to his meals, were employed in completing the narrative which was to clear up his character to mankind.

During the last years passed in St Helena, Napoleon sent for the Count every night at eleven o'clock, and continued dictating to him until six in the morning, when he went into the bath, dismissing the count with—"Come, my son, go and repose, and come to me again at nine o'clock. We shall have breakfast, and resume the labours of the night." At nine, he returned, and remained with him till one, when Napoleon went to bed. Between four and five, he sent for the count again, who dined with him every day, and at nine o'clock left him, to return at eleven.[112]

The world little knew the drudgery to which these unfortunate followers of the Ex-Emperor were thus exposed, and they must all have rejoiced at any termination of a toil so remorseless and so uncheering.

Napoleon was fond of the Turkish doctrine of fatality. Whether so acute a mind was capable of believing a doctrine so palpably contradicted by the common circumstances of life, and so utterly repugnant to reason, can scarcely be a question; but with him, as with the Turks, it was a capital doctrine for the mighty machine which he called an army. But the count seems to have been a true believer. He, too, pronounces, that "destiny is written," and regards himself as being under the peculiar influence of a malignant star, or, in his own words: "In fact, without having sought it, my destiny brought me into contact with the Emperor in the Elysée Bourbon, conducted me, without my knowing it, to the shores of Boulogne, where honour imposed upon me the necessity of not abandoning the nephew of the Emperor in presence of the dangers by which he was surrounded. Irrevocably bound to the misfortunes of a family, I am now perishing in Ham; the captivity commenced in St Helena."

Of Count Montholon, it must be acknowledged, that he was unstained by either the vices or the violences which scandalized Europe so frequently in the leaders of the French armies. He appears to have been at all times a man of honourable habits, as he certainly is of striking intelligence. But we have no faith in his doctrine of the star, and think that he would have acted much more wisely if he had left the stars to take care of themselves, avoided the blunder of mistaking the nephew of Napoleon for a hero and a genius, and stayed quietly in London, instead of risking himself with an invasion of valets to take the diadem off the most sagacious head in Europe.

The narrative commences with the return of Napoleon to Paris after his renown, his throne, and his dynasty were alike crushed by the British charge at Waterloo. He reached Paris at six in the morning of the 21st. It is now clear that the greatest blunder of this extraordinary man was his flight from the army. If he had remained at its head, let its shattered condition be what it might, he would have been powerful, have awed the growing hostility of the capital, and have probably been able to make peace alike for himself and his nation. But by hurrying to Paris, all was lost: he stripped himself of his strength; he threw himself on the mercy of his enemies; and palpably capitulated to the men who, but the day before, were trembling under the fear of his vengeance.

Nobleness of heart is essential to all true renown; and perhaps it is not less essential to all real security. Napoleon, with talents which it is perfectly childish to question, though the attempt has been made since the close of his brilliant career, wanted this nobleness of heart, and through its want ultimately perished. Of the bravery of him who fought the splendid campaigns of Italy, and of the political sagacity of him who raised himself from being a subaltern of artillery to a sovereign of sovereigns, there can be no doubt. But his selfishness was so excessive that it occasionally made both contemptible, and gave his conduct alike the appearance of cowardice, and the appearance of infatuation. His flight from Egypt, leaving his army to be massacred or captured, disgraced him in the face of Europe. His flight from Russia, leaving the remnant of his legions to be destroyed, was a new scandal; but hitherto no evil had been produced by this gross regard of self. The penalty, however, must be paid. His flight from the army in Belgian, leaving it without counsel or direction, to be crushed by a victorious enemy, was the third instance of that ignoble preference of his own objects which had characterised and stained his Egyptian and Russian career. But retribution was now come, and he was to be undone. The slaughter of Waterloo had been tremendous, but it was not final. The loss of the French army had been computed at forty thousand men, killed, wounded, and dispersed. He had come into the field with seventy-two thousand men, independent of Grouchy. He had thus thirty thousand remaining. Grouchy's force of thirty thousand was still[113] untouched, and was able to make its way to Paris. In addition to these sixty thousand, strong garrisons had been left in all the fortresses, which he might without difficulty have gathered upon his retreat. The Parisian national guard would have augmented this force, probably, on the whole, to one hundred thousand men. It is true that the allied Russian and Austrian forces were on the frontier. But they had not yet moved, and could not prevent the march of those reinforcements. Thus, without reckoning the provincial militia of France, or calculating on a levée en masse, Napoleon within a fortnight might have been at the head of one hundred and fifty thousand men, while the pursuing army could not have mustered half the number. He would thus have had time for negotiation; and time with him was every thing. Or let the event be what it might, the common sense of the Allies would have led them to avoid a direct collision with so powerful a force fighting on its own ground under the walls of the capital, and knowing that the only alternatives were complete triumph or total ruin.

Count Montholon makes a remark on the facility with which courtiers make their escape from a falling throne, which has been so often exemplified in history. But it was never more strikingly exemplified than in the double overthrow of Napoleon. "At Fontainbleau, in 1814," says the Count, "when I hastened to offer to carry him off with the troops under my command, I found no one in those vast corridors, formerly too small for the crowd of courtiers, except the Duke of Bassano and two aides-de-camp." His whole court, down to his Mameluke and valet, had run off to Paris, to look for pay and place under the Bourbons. In a similar case in the next year, at the Elysée Bourbon, he found but two counts and an equerry. It was perfectly plain to all the world but Napoleon himself that his fate was decided.

There certainly seems to have been something in his conduct at this period that can scarcely be accounted for but by infatuation. His first act, the desertion of his army, was degrading to his honour, but his conduct on his arrival was not less degrading to his sagacity. Even his brother Lucien said that he was blinded with the smoke of Waterloo. He seems to have utterly lost that distinct view and fierce decision which formerly characterised all his conduct. It was no more the cannon-shot or the thunder-clap, it was the wavering of a mind suddenly perplexed by the difficulties which he would once have solved by a sentence and overwhelmed by resistance—which he would have once swept away like a swarm of flies. The leader of armies was crushed by a conspiracy of clerks, and the sovereign of the Continent was sent to the dungeon by cabal of his own slaves.

While Napoleon was thus lingering in the Elysée Bourbon, the two chambers of the Legislature were busily employed between terror and intrigue. The time was delicate, for the Bourbons and the Allies were approaching. But, on the other hand, the fortunes of Napoleon might change; tardiness in recognising the Bourbons might be fatal to their hopes of place, but the precipitancy of abandoning Napoleon might bring their heads under the knife of the guillotine. All public life is experimental, and there never was a time when the experiment was of a more tremulous description.

At length they began to act; and the first precaution of the Chamber of Deputies was to secure their own existence. Old Lafayette moved a resolution, that the man should be regarded as a traitor to the country who made any attempt to dissolve the Chamber. This was an obvious declaration against the authority of the Empire. The next motion was, that General Beker should be appointed commandant of the guard ordered to protect the Legislature. This was a provision against the mob of Paris. The Legislature was now safe on its two prominent perils. In the mean time, Napoleon had made another capital blunder. He had held a council of the ministers, to which he proposed the question, whether he should proceed in person to the Chamber of Deputies, and demand supplies, or send his brothers and ministers to[114] make the communication. Three of the ministers approved of his going in person, but the majority disapproved of it—on the plea of its being a dangerous experiment, in the excited state of the public passions. If Napoleon had declined this counsel, which arose from either pusillanimity or perfidy, it is perfectly possible that he might have silenced all opposition. The known attachment of the troops, the superstition connected with his fortunes, the presence of the man whom they all so lately worshipped, as the Indians worship the serpent for the poison of its fang, might have produced a complete revulsion. Napoleon, too, was singularly eloquent—his language had a romantic splendour which captivates the artificial taste of the nation; and with an imperial figure before them, surrounded with more powerful incidents than the drama could ever offer, and threatening a fifth act which might involve the fate of France and Europe, the day might have finished by a new burst of national enthusiasm, and the restoration of Napoleon to the throne, with all his enemies in the Legislature chained to its footstool.

But he sent his brother Joseph to the Chamber of Peers, and received the answer to his mission next morning, in a proposal which was equivalent to a demand for his abdication.

A council of ministers was again held on this proposal. The same three who had voted for his presence in the Chamber, now voted for his rejection of the proposal. The majority, however, were against them. Napoleon yielded to the majority. He had lost his opportunity—and in politics opportunity is every thing. He had now nothing more to lose. He drew up an acknowledgment of his abdication; but appended to it the condition of proclaiming his son, Napoleon Second, emperor of the French. This was an artifice, but it was unworthy even of the art of Napoleon. He must have been conscious that the Allies would have regarded this appointment as a trick to ensure his own restoration. His son was yet a child; a regent must have been appointed; Napoleon would have naturally been that regent; and in six months, or on the first retreat of the Allies, he would as naturally have reappointed himself emperor. The trick was too shallow for his sagacity, and it was impossible to hope that it could have been suffered by the Allies. Yet it passed the Chamber, and Napoleon Second was acknowledged within the walls. But the acknowledgment was laughed at without them; the Allies did not condescend to notice it; and the Allies proceeded to their work of restoration as if he had never existed. In fact, the dynasty was at an end; a provisional government was appointed, with Fouché at its head, and the name of Napoleon was pronounced no more.

Count Montholon gives a brief but striking description of the confusion, dismay, and despair, into which Waterloo had thrown the Bonapartists. He had hurried to the Elysée a few hours after the arrival of Bonaparte from the field. He met the Duke of Vicenza coming out, with a countenance of dejection, and asked him what was going on. "All is lost," was the answer. "You arrived to-day, as you did at Fontainbleau, only to see the emperor resign his crown. The leaders of the Chambers desire his abdication. They will have it; and in a week Louis XVIII. will be in Paris. At night on the 19th, a short note in pencil was left with my Swiss, announcing the destruction of the army. The same notice was given to Carnot. The last telegraphic dispatch had brought news of victory; we both hastened to the Duke of Otranto; he assured us with all his cadaverous coldness that he knew nothing. He knew all, however, I am well assured. Events succeeded each other with the rapidity of lightning; there is no longer any possible illusion. All is lost, and the Bourbons will be here in a week."

The Count remained forty-eight hours at the palace. The fallen Emperor had now made up his mind to go to America, and the Count promised to accompany him. A couple of regiments, formed of the workmen of the Faubourg St Germain, marching by the palace, now demanded that Napoleon should put himself at their head, and take vengeance on his enemies.[115] But he well knew the figure which the volunteers of the mob would make in front of the bayonets which had crushed his guard at Waterloo, and he declined the honour of this new command. A few courtiers, who adhered to him still, continued to talk of his putting himself at the head of the national force. But Waterloo had effectually cured him of the passion for soldiership, and he constantly appealed to his unwillingness to shed the blood of Frenchmen. It was at least evident that he intended to tempt the field no more, but after being the cause of shedding the blood of two millions of the people, his reserve was romantic.

The Count was sent to dismiss the volunteers, and they having performed their act of heroism, and offered to challenge the whole British army, were content with the glory of the threat, and heroically marched home to their shops.

But Montholon, on returning again, addressed Napoleon on the feasibility of attacking Wellington and Blucher with the battalions of the Messrs Calicot, upon which the Ex-Emperor made the following solemn speech: "To put into action the brute force of the masses, would without doubt save Paris, and ensure me the crown, without having recourse to the horrors of a civil war. But this would be also to risk the shedding of rivers of fresh blood. What is the compressive force which would be sufficiently strong to regulate the outburst of so much passion, hatred, and vengeance? No, I never can forget one thing, that I have been brought from Cannes to Paris in the midst of cries for blood, 'Down with the priests!' 'Down with the nobles!' I would rather have the regrets of France than possess its crown."

There is no country in the world, where Napoleon's own phrase, that from the sublime to the ridiculous is but a step, is more perpetually and practically realised than in France. Here was a man utterly ruined, without a soldier on the face of the earth, all but a prisoner, abandoned by every human being who could be of the slightest service to him, beaten in the field, beaten on his own ground, and now utterly separated from his remaining troops, and with a hundred thousand of the victors rushing after him, hour by hour, to Paris. Yet he talks as if he had the world still at his disposal, applauds his own magnanimity in declining the impossible combat, vaunts his own philosophy in standing still, when he could neither advance nor retreat, and gives himself credit as a philanthropist, when he was on the very point of being handed over to the enemy as a prisoner. Some unaccountable tricks of a lower description now began to be played on the goods and chattels of the Elysée Bourbon. A case containing snuff-boxes adorned with portraits set in diamonds, was laid by Bertrand on the mantel-piece. He accidentally turned to converse with General Montholon at the window. Only one person entered the room. The Count does not give his name,—he was evidently a person of rank. On turning to the mantel-piece again, the case was gone.

One of the ministers had brought some negotiable paper to the amount of several millions of francs into the Emperor's chamber. The packet was placed under one of the cushions of the sofa. Only one person, and that one a man of rank who had served in Italy, entered the chamber. Napoleon went to look for the money, calculated a moment, and a million and a half of francs, or about £60,000 sterling, had been taken in the interim. Those were times for thievery, and the plunderers of Europe were now on the alert, to make spoil of each other. The Allies were still advancing, but they were not yet in sight; and the mob of Paris, who had been at first delighted to find that the war was at an end, having nothing else to do, and thinking that, as Wellington and Blucher had not arrived within a week, they would not arrive within a century, began to clamour Vive l'Empereur! Fouché and the provisional government began to feel alarm, and it was determined to keep Napoleon out of sight of the mob. Accordingly they ordered him to be taken to Malmaison; and on the 25th, towards nightfall, Napoleon submissively quitted the Elysée, and went to Malmaison. At Malmaison he remained for the greater part of the[116] time, in evident fear of being put to death, and in fact a prisoner.—Such was the fate of the most powerful sovereign that Europe had seen since Charlemagne. Such was the humiliation of the conqueror, who, but seven years before, had summoned the continental sovereigns to bow down to his footstool at Erfurth; and who wrote to Talma the actor these words of supreme arrogance—"Come to Erfurth, and you shall play before a pit-full of kings."

From this period, day by day, a succession of measures was adopted by the government to tighten his chain. He was ordered to set out for the coast, nominally with the intention of giving him a passage to America. But we must doubt that intention. Fouché, the head of the government, had now thrown off the mask which he had worn so many years. And it was impossible for him to expect forgiveness, in case of any future return of Napoleon to power. But Napoleon, in America, would have been at all times within one-and-twenty days of Paris. And the mere probability of his return would have been enough to make many a pillow sleepless in Paris. We are to recollect also, that the English ministry must have been perfectly aware of the arrest of Napoleon; that St Helena had been already mentioned as a place of security for his person; and that if it was essential to the safety of Europe,—a matter about which Fouché probably cared but little; it was not less essential to the safety of Fouché's own neck,—a matter about which he always cared very much, that the Ex-Emperor should never set foot in France again.

The result was, an order from the minister at war, Davoust, Prince of Eckmuhl, couched in the following terms. We give it as a document of history.

"General, I have the honour to transmit to you the subjoined decree, which the commission of government desires you to notify to the Emperor Napoleon: at the same time informing his majesty, that the circumstances are become imperative, and that it is necessary for him immediately to decide on setting out for the Isle of Aix. This decree has been passed as much for the safety of his person as for the interest of the state, which ought always to be dear to him. Should the Emperor not adopt the above mentioned resolution, on your notification of this decree, it will then be your duty to exercise the strictest surveillance, both with a view of preventing his majesty from leaving Malmaion, and of guarding against any attempt upon his life. You will station guards at all the approaches to Malmaison. I have written to the inspector-general of the gendarmerie, and to the commandant of Paris, to place such of the gendarmerie and troops as you may require at your disposal.

"I repeat to you, general, that this decree has been adopted solely for the good of the state, and the personal safety of the Emperor. Its prompt execution is indispensable, as the future fate of his majesty and his family depends upon it. It is unnecessary to say to you, general, that all your measures should be taken with the greatest possible secresy.

(Signed) "Prince of Eckmuhl,
Marshal and Minister of War."

Those documents, which have now appeared, we believe, for the first time authentically, will be of importance to the historian, and of still higher importance to the moralist. Who could have once believed that the most fiery of soldiers, the most subtle of statesmen and the proudest of sovereigns, would ever be the subject of a rescript like the following? It begins with an absolute command that "Napoleon Bonaparte" (it has already dropped the emperor) "shall remain in the roads of the Isle of Aix till the arrival of passports." It then proceeds:—"It is of importance to the well-being of the state, which should not be indifferent to him, that he should remain till his fate, and that of his family, have been definitively regulated. French honour is interested in such an issue; but in the mean time every precaution should be taken for the personal safety of Napoleon, and that he must not be allowed to leave the place of his present sojourn.

(Signed) "The Duke of Otranto.
"The Prince of Eckmuhl.

A similar document was issued to[117] General Beker, signed by Carnot and Caulaincourt. Count Montholon remarks, with sufficient justice, on the signature of Caulaincourt to this paper, that the Emperor would have been extremely astonished to see that name subscribed to a letter in which he was called Napoleon—if any thing could have astonished the former exile of Elba, and the future exile of St Helena.

This must have been a period of the deepest anxiety to the imperial prisoner. He evidently regarded his life as unsafe; thought that he discovered in the project of his journey a determination to throw him either into the hands of assassins or of the French king, and formally announced his refusal to leave Malmaison "until informed of his fate by the Duke of Wellington." He was now reduced to the lowest ebb. He acknowledged himself powerless, hopeless, and utterly dependent on the will of his conqueror. The bitterness of heart which dictated such words must have been beyond all description. He was now abandoned by the few who had followed him from the Elysée.

But time was pressing; Wellington was advancing with rapid steps, and there was a possibility that he might capture Napoleon at Malmaison. Troops were sent to burn the neighbouring bridge, and precautions were taken to prevent the catastrophe. A division of the army coming from the Vendée halted before the palace, and insisted on seeing Napoleon, and on being led by him to battle. This was rodomontade, with the advanced troops of the whole army now within sight of Paris. But it was enough to betray him into the absurdity of proposing to try another chance for his crown. Beker was dispatched to Paris to try the effect of this communication. Fouché gave for answer, the simple fact that the Prussians were advancing on Versailles. The sitting of the provisional government would have been worth the hand of a great painter. Fouché, after sharply rebuking the general for bringing in his proposal from Malmaison, made him sit down at his side, while he wrote a peremptory and decided refusal. Carnot was walking gloomily up and down the room. Caulaincourt, Baron Quinette, and General Grenier, sat silently around the table. Not a word was uttered except by the Duke of Otranto. The general received his dispatch and departed. On passing through the anterooms, he found them filled with generals and high civil officers, who all expressed but one opinion on the necessity of getting rid of Napoleon. "Let him set off, let him go," was the universal cry. "We can undertake nothing for either his personal good or Paris." There was now no alternative. Napoleon must either remain and fall into the hands of Louis XVIII., who had already proclaimed him a traitor and an outlaw, or he must try to make his escape by sea. On the 29th of June, at five o'clock in the evening, he entered the carriage which was to convey him to the coast, leaving Paris behind, to which he was never to return alive, but to which his remains have returned in a posthumous triumph twenty-six years after, on the 15th of September 1840.

On his arrival at Rochfort, all the talent of the French for projects was immediately in full exercise. Never were there so many castles in the air built in so short a time. Proposals were made to smuggle the prisoner to the United States in a Danish merchant vessel, in which, in case of search, he was to be barrelled in a hogshead perforated with breathing holes.

Another project was, to put him on board a kind of fishing-boat manned by midshipmen, and thus escape the English. A third project proposed, that the two French frigates anchored under the guns of the Isle of Aix should put to sea together; that one of them should run alongside Captain Maitland's ship, and attack her fiercely, with the hope of distracting her attention, even with the certainty of being destroyed, while the other frigate made her escape with Napoleon on board. This is what the French would call a grande pensée, and quite as heroic as any thing in a melodrama of the Porte St Martin. But the captain of the leading frigate declined the distinction, and evidently thought it not necessary that he and his crew should be blown out of the water, as they certainly would have been if[118] they came in contact with the Bellerophon; so this third project perished.

After a few days of this busy foolery, the prisoner, startled by new reports of the success of the Allies every where, and too sagacious not to feel that the hands of the French king might be the most dangerous into which the murderer of the Duc D'Enghien could fall; looking with evident contempt upon the foolish projects for his escape, and conscious that his day was done, resolved to throw himself into the hands of Captain Maitland, the commander of the Bellerophon, then anchored in Basque roads. On the night of the 10th, Savary and Las Cases were sent on board the English ship, to inquire whether the captain would allow a French or neutral ship, or the frigates with Napoleon on board, to pass free? Captain Maitland simply answered, that he had received no orders except those ordinarily given in case of war; but that he should attack the frigates if they attempted to pass; that if a neutral flag came in his way, he would order it to be searched as usual. But that, in consequence of the peculiar nature of the case, he would communicate with the admiral in command.

A circumstance occurred on this occasion, which brought M. Las Cases into no small disrepute afterwards. The captain hospitably asked Las Cases and Savary to lunch with him, and, while at table, inquired whether they understood English. He was answered that they did not; and the captain, though of course relying upon the answer, made his observations in English to his officers, while he addressed the Frenchman in his own tongue. It was afterwards ascertained that Las Cases, who had been an emigrant for some years in England, understood English perfectly. Nothing could therefore be more pitiful than his conduct in suffering the captain to believe that he was ignorant on the subject, and thus obtain a confidence to which he had no right. The circumstance, as Count Montholon says,—"was afterwards made a bitter reproach against Las Cases; the English charging him with a violation of honour; because, as they affirmed, he had positively declared that he was unacquainted with their language, when the question was put to him at the commencement of the conference. This, however," says Count Montholon, "is not correct." And how does he show that it is not correct? "The question," says he, "was put collectively, that is, to both alike, and Savary alone answered in the negative." Of course the answer was understood collectively, and comprised M. Las Cases as well as M. Savary. In short, the conduct was contemptible, and the excuse not much better. Las Cases, of course, should not have allowed any other person's word to be taken, when it led to a delusion. It is possible that Savary was unacquainted with his companion's knowledge of English,—though when we recollect that Savary was minister of police, and that Las Cases was about the court of Napoleon, it is difficult to conceive his ignorance on the subject. But in all instances, there could be no apology for his fellow-Frenchman's sitting to hear conversations of which he was supposed, on the credit of Savary's word, and his own silence, to comprehend nothing.

It happily turns out, however, that all this dexterity had only the effect of blinding the parties themselves.

"This mystification and piece of diplomatic chicanery"—we use the language of the volume—"proved, in fact, rather detrimental than useful; for, no doubt, the information thus gained by surprise from Captain Maitland and his officers, contributed to induce the Emperor to decide on surrendering himself to the English." The captain was too honourable a man to think of practising any chicane on the subject; but if the two employés overreached themselves, so much the better.

But events now thickened. On the 12th, the Paris journals arrived, announcing the entrance of the Allies into Paris, and the establishment of Louis XVIII. in the Tuileries! All was renewed confusion, consternation, and projects. On the next day Joseph Bonaparte came to the Isle of Aix, to propose the escape of his fallen brother in a merchant vessel from Bordeaux, for America, and remain in his place. This offer was generous, but it could[119] scarcely be accepted by any human being, and it was refused. But delay was becoming doubly hazardous. It was perfectly possible that the first measure of the new government would be an order for his seizure, and the next, for his execution. On that evening he decided to accept the offer of the chasse-marées, to go on board before morning, and trust to the young midshipmen and chance for his passage across the Atlantic.

We know no history more instructive than these "last days" of a fugitive Emperor. That he might have escaped a week before, is certain, for the harbour was not then blockaded; that he might have made his way among the channels of that very difficult and obstructed coast even after the blockade, is possible; that he might have found his way, by a hundred roads, out of France, or reached the remnant of his armies, is clear, for all his brothers escaped by land. But that he still hesitated—and alone hesitated; that this man—the most memorable for decision, famed for promptitude, for the discovery of the true point of danger, daring to the height of rashness, when daring was demanded—should have paused at the very instant when his fate seemed to be in his own hand, more resembles a preternatural loss of faculty than the course of nature. His whole conduct on the shore of France is to be equalled only by his conduct among the ashes of Moscow,—it was infatuation.

Again the man of decision hesitated; and at four in the morning General Lallemand and Las Cases were sent on board the Bellerophon under the pretext of waiting for the admiral's answer, but in reality to ascertain whether the captain would express officially any pledge or opinion relative to Napoleon's favourable reception in England; which Las Cases had conceived him to express in his conversation with his officers, and of which this M. Las Cases was supposed not to have understood a syllable.

Captain Maitland's answer was distinct and simple. It was, "that he had yet received no information, but hourly expected it; that he was authorized to receive Napoleon on board, and convey him to England, where, according to his own opinion, he would receive all the attention and respect to which he could lay any claim." But, to prevent all presumptions on the subject, adding—"I am anxious that it should be well understood, that I am expressing only my personal opinion on this subject, and have in no respect spoken in the name of the government, having received no instructions from either the admiralty or the admiral."

It is almost painful to contemplate these scenes. What agonies must have passed through the heart of such a man, so humbled! What inevitable contrasts of the throne with the dungeon! What sense of shame in the humiliation which thus placed him at the disposal of his own few followers! What sleepless anxiety in those midnight consultations, in those exposures to public shame, in this sense of utter ruin, in this terrible despair! If some great painter shall hereafter rise to vindicate the pencil by showing its power of delineating the deepest passions of our nature, or some still greater poet shall come to revive the day of Shakspeare, and exhibit the tortures of a greater Macbeth, fallen from the highest elevation of human things into a depth of self-reproach and self-abasement to which all the powers of human language might be pale,—what a subject for them were here!

The theatrical habits of the French are singularly unfortunate for a nation which assumes to take an influential rank in the world. They deprive them of that capacity for coping with real things which is essential to all substantial greatness. With them the business of the world must be all melodrame, and the most commonplace, or the most serious actions of life, must be connected with scene-shifting, trap-doors, and the mimic thunders of the stage. Napoleon was now in a condition the most deeply calculated to force these stern realities of life on the mind. Yet even with him all was to be dramatic; he was to throw himself on the clemency of his conqueror, like one of the heroes of Corneille. England was to stand in admiration of his magnanimous devotedness. The sovereign was to receive him with astonishment and open arms, and, after an embrace of royal[120] enthusiasm, he was to be placed in secure splendour, cheered by the acclamations of a people hastening to do him homage. In this false and high-coloured view of things, he wrote the famous and absurd note, in which he pronounced himself another Themistocles, come to sit by the hearth of the British people. A manlier, because a more rational view of things, would have told him that a war, expressly begun with a determination to overthrow his dynasty, could not be suffered to conclude by giving him the power of again disturbing the world—that his utter faithlessness prohibited the possibility of relying on his pledges—the security of the Bourbon throne absolutely demanded his being finally disabled from disturbing its authority—England owed it to her allies to prevent a repetition of the numberless calamities which his reign had inflicted upon Europe, and owed it to herself to prevent all necessity for the havoc of a new Waterloo.

The national passion for a coup de théâtre rendered all this knowledge of no avail, and he flung himself at the feet of the Prince Regent, with the flattering phraseology of claiming protection "from the most powerful, the most constant, and the most generous of his enemies."

The step was now taken. On the 15th of July, at daybreak, he left the Isle of Aix, and entered one of the boats which was to convey him on board the Bellerophon. He had still a parting pang to undergo. As he looked round the shore, a white flag was flying on all the ships and batteries. All the rest of this curious narrative has been already given to the world. We have no desire to repeat the details.

Count Montholon, in his fondness for excitement, here states that a privy council was held on the question, whether the terms of the Congress of Vienna prevented England from giving up Napoleon to the vengeance of Louis XVIII., adding that "the dispatches of the Duke of Wellington urged them to adopt bloody and terrible determinations." This we utterly disbelieve; and, if we required additional reasons for our disbelief, it would be in the Count's telling us that the energetic opposition of the Duke of Sussex alone prevented the delivery of the prisoner—there not being perhaps any prince, or any individual of England, less likely to have weight in the councils of the existing government.

Without presuming to trace the steps of Providence, it is natural and not unwise to follow them in those leading transactions which give character to their times, or which complete events decisive of the fates of eminent men or nations. One of the most characteristic and abhorred acts of the entire life of the French Emperor, was his imprisonment of the English who were travelling in his country at the commencement of his reign. The act was the most treacherous within human record—it was perfidy on the largest scale. Europe had been often scandalised by breaches of political faith, but the agents and the sufferers were sovereigns and nations. But in this instance the blow fell upon individuals with the most sudden treachery, the most causeless tyranny, and the most sweeping ruin. Twelve thousand individuals, travelling under the protection of the imperial laws, wholly incapable of being regarded by those laws as prisoners, and relying on the good faith of the government, were seized as felons, put under duress, separated from their families in England, suddenly deprived of their means of existence, stopt in the progress of their professions, plundered of their property, and kept under the most vigilant surveillance for eleven years.

The retribution now fell, and that retribution exactly in the form of the crime by which it was drawn down. We give a few extracts of the document by which Napoleon protested against his detention, as a most complete, though unconscious indictment against his own act eleven years before.

Protest at sea, on board the Bellerophon, August 1815—"In the face of God and man, I solemnly protest against the injury which has been committed upon me, by the violation of my most sacred rights, in forcibly disposing of my person and liberty.

"I came freely on board the Bellerophon, and am not a prisoner,—I am the guest of England.[121]

"I presented myself in good faith, and came to place myself under the protection of the laws of England. As soon as I set my foot on board the Bellerophon, I felt myself on the soil of the British people. If the orders issued by the government to receive myself and my suite were merely intended as a snare, then they have forfeited their bond. If such an act were really done, it would be in vain for England in future to speak of her faith, her laws, and her liberty.

"She pretended to offer the hand of hospitality to an enemy, and when he had trusted to her fidelity, she immolated him."

If the detenus at Verdun, and scattered through the various fortresses of France, had drawn up a petition against the desperate act which had consigned them to captivity, they might have anticipated the language with which Napoleon went to the dungeon, that was never to send him back again amongst mankind.

There was but one preliminary to his departure now to take place. It was the execution of an order from the Government to examine the baggage in the strictest manner, and to require the surrender of all money or jewels of value in the possession of Napoleon and his suite. Necessary as this act was, for the prevention of bribery, and attempts to escape from St Helena, not for any undue seizure of private property, for a most ample allowance was already appointed by the government for the expenses of the prisoner, this duty seems to have been most imperfectly performed. As the Count tells us, "the grand-marshal, gave up 4000 Napoleons, as constituting the Emperor's chest. We kept secret about 400,000 francs in gold—from three to four hundred thousand francs in valuables and diamonds, and letters of credit for more than four million of francs." Whether this immense sum was overlooked by the extraordinary negligence of those whose duty it was to fulfil the orders of government, or whether their search was baffled, the narrative does not disclose. But there can be no question that the suite were bound to deliver up all that they possessed; and that there can be as little question that with such sums of money at his disposal, Napoleon's subsequent complaints of poverty were ridiculous, and that the subsequent sale of his plate to supply his table was merely for the purpose of exciting a clamour, and was charlatanish and contemptible.

We pass rapidly over the details of the voyage. Napoleon spent a considerable part of his time on the quarter-deck, took opportunities of conversing affably with the officers, and even with the crew. On one occasion, after some conversation with the master, he invited him to dine at the admiral's table. The master declined the invitation, as a sin against naval etiquette. "Oh! in that case," said Napoleon, "you must come and dine in my own cabin." The admiral, however, had the good sense to tell Napoleon, that any one invited by him to the honour of sitting at his table, was, by that circumstance alone, placed above all rule of etiquette, and that the master should be welcome to dinner next day. This conduct, of course, made him very popular on board; but the chief interest of these important volumes is in the conversations which he held from time to time with the officers, and especially in the long details of his military and imperial career, which he dictated at St Helena, and which make the true novelty and value of the work. In one of those conversations which he had with them, he referred emphatically to his own efforts to make France a great naval power. "Unfortunately," said he, "I found nobody who understood me. During the expedition to Egypt, I cast my eyes on Decrés. I reckoned on him for understanding and executing my projects in regard to the navy. I was mistaken; his passion was to form a police, and to find out, by means of the smugglers, every web which your ministers, or the intriguers of Hartwell, were weaving against me. He had no enlarged ideas; always the spirit of locality and insignificant detail—paralysing my views." He then proceeded to state the hopeless condition of the French navy when he assumed the throne. The navy of Louis XVI. was no longer in existence; the Republic possessed[122] but four ships of the line; the taking of Toulon, the battle of the river Jenes in 1793—of Rochefort in 1794, and finally, the battle of Aboukir, had given the death-blow to the navy. "Well, notwithstanding the disaster of Trafalgar, which I owe entirely to the disobedience of Admiral Villeneuve, I left to France one hundred ships of the line, and 80,000 sailors and marines, and all this in a reign of ten years." The truth is, that the attempt to make the French navy was one of the pre-eminent blunders of Napoleon. France is naturally a great military power, but her people are not maritime. England is not naturally a great military power, but her people are maritime. France has an immense land frontier which can be defended only by a land force. England has no land frontier at all. The sea is her only frontier, and it, of course, can be defended only by a fleet. A fleet is not a necessary of existence to France. A fleet is a necessary of existence to England. It is therefore self-evident that France only wastes her power in dividing it between her fleet and her army; and may be a great power, without having a ship; while England is compelled to concentrate her strength upon her fleet, and without her fleet must be undone. Thus the law of existence, which is equivalent to a law of nature, gives the naval superiority to England. There are symptoms in France at the present day, of falling into Napoleon's blunder, and of imagining the possibility of her becoming the naval rival of England. That she may build ships is perfectly possible, and that she may crowd them with a naval conscription is equally possible. But the first collision will show her the utter folly of contending with her partial strength against the power on which England rests her defence—a struggle between a species of volunteer and adventurous aggression, and the stern and desperate defence in which the safety of a nation is supremely involved.

On crossing the Line, the triumph of Neptune was celebrated in the usual grotesque style. The Deity of the Sea requested permission to make acquaintance with Napoleon, who received him graciously, and presented him with five hundred Napoleons for himself and the crew, upon which he was rewarded with three cheers, and "Long live the Emperor Napoleon!"

On the 16th of October 1815, the Northumberland cast anchor in the roads at St Helena. The Count remarks that the 17th, the day on which he disembarked, reminded him of a disastrous day. It was the anniversary of the last day of the battle of Leipsig. If distance from all the habitable parts of the globe were to be the merits of Napoleon's prison, nothing could have been more appropriate than the island of St Helena. It was two thousand leagues from Europe, twelve hundred leagues from the Cape, and nine hundred from any continent. A volcanic rock in the centre of the ocean.

In the month of April, the frigate Phaeton anchored in the roads, having the new governor, Sir Hudson Lowe, with his family, on board. Sir Hudson is now where neither praise nor blame can reach him, but the choice was unfortunate in the very point for which probably he had been chosen;—he had been colonel of the Corsican regiment in our service, had served much in the Mediterranean, and had already been (as far as we remember) the object of Napoleon's bitterness in some of his Italian manifestoes. There can be no doubt that the mildest of governors would have been no favourite with the prisoner of Longwood. But in the present instance Napoleon's blood boiled at the idea of being placed under the jurisdiction of the colonel of the Corsican rangers; and he, accordingly, took every opportunity of exhibiting his indignation—a sort of feeling which, in a foreigner, and especially one of southern blood, always amounts to fury.

We pass over a multitude of minor circumstances, though all characteristic, and all invaluable to the historian of the next century; but which would retard the more interesting conversations of the extraordinary captive. On the communication of the convention signed at Paris in August 1815, declaring him the prisoner of the four allied powers, and the announcement of the commissioners under whose charge he was to be placed, Napoleon burst out into a[123] passionate remonstrance, which, however, he addressed only to the people around him. On those occasions he always adopted that abrupt and decisive style which in a Frenchman passes for oracular.

"The expenses of my captivity will certainly exceed ten millions of francs a-year. It has not been the will of fate that my work should finish by effecting the social reorganisation of Europe." He then ran into his old boasting of his probable triumph in his great collision with the British army. "At Waterloo I ought to have been victorious—the chances were a hundred to one in my favour; but Ney, the bravest of the brave, at the head of 42,000 Frenchmen, suffered himself to be delayed a whole day by some thousands of Nassau troops. Had it not been for this inexplicable inactivity, the English army would have been taken flagrante delicto, and annihilated without striking a blow. Grouchy, with 40,000 men, suffered Bulow and Blucher to escape from him; and finally, a heavy fall of rain had made the ground so soft that it was impossible to commence the attack at daybreak. Had I been able to commence early, Wellington's army would have been trodden down in the defiles of the forest before the Prussians could have had time to arrive. It was lost without resource. The defeat of Wellington's army would have been peace, the repose of Europe, the recognition of the interests of the masses and of the democracy."

Napoleon was always fluent on this subject; but the only true matter of surprise is, that so clever a personage should have talked such nonsense. In the first place, he must have known that Ney with his 40,000 men had been soundly beaten by about half that number, and was thus unable to move a step beyond Quatre-Bras. In the next, that Grouchy, instead of suffering the Prussians to escape him, was gallantly fought by their rear-guard, was unable to make any impression whatever on them, and if he had not made his escape in the night, would unquestionably have been crushed to pieces the next day; and thirdly, as to the English armies being saved by the rain, the Duke of Wellington fought the French from eleven in the forenoon till seven in the evening without being driven an inch from the ground. If the French could not beat him in eight hours, they could not beat him in as many days. It was not until seven in the evening that the Prussian guns were heard coming into the field. Even then they were a mile and a half from Wellington's position. The British then charged, swept the French before them, Napoleon himself running away amongst the foremost, leaving 40,000 of his troops on the field or in the hands of the enemy. It would have been much wiser to have said not a syllable upon the battle, or much manlier to have acknowledged that he was more thoroughly beaten than he had ever seen an army beaten before; and that with 72,000 French veterans in the field, he had been routed and ruined by 25,000 British, three-fourths of whom had never fired a shot before in their lives.

We have from time to time some curious acknowledgments of the political treacheries which formed the actual system of Napoleon's government, whether consular or imperial. On dictating a note relative to St Domingo to Count Montholon, he elucidated this policy in the most unequivocal manner. It will be remembered that, on the peace of Amiens, he had sent out a powerful fleet and an army of thirty thousand men to the West Indies. It will also be remembered, that in reply to the remonstrance of the British government, who naturally looked on so formidable an armament with considerable suspicion, the First Consul disclaimed in the most solemn manner all sinister views, pronounced, with every appearance of sincerity, that his sole object was the subjection of a French island then in revolt, and when this object was effected his whole purpose would be accomplished. But in St Helena, where candour cost nothing, he amply acknowledged the treachery. "I had two plans," said he, "for St Domingo. The first was that of acknowledging the power of the blacks, making Toussaint L'Ouverture governor, and, in fact, making St Domingo a West Indian vice-royalty. This plan was my favourite, and why? The French flag would acquire a great development of power[124] in the American waters, and a variety of expeditions might have been undertaken against Jamaica and all the Antilles, and against South America, with an army of thirty thousand blacks trained and disciplined by French officers."

We are to remember that at this time he was at peace with both England and Spain, whose territories he was thus about to dismember; for we cannot believe that the affairs of St Domingo were suffered greatly to occupy his mind. In the busy days from Marengo to the loss of Egypt, and the conclusion of peace, he had intended to have raised an universal negro insurrection in our islands. Upon the colours of his negro army he was to have inscribed "Brave blacks, remember that France alone recognises your liberty"—which would have been, in fact, a manifesto, calling upon all the negroes of the West Indies to revolt without delay. But the negroes of St Domingo, having formed plans of liberty for themselves, dispatched one of their colonels with a demand of independence. The chance, therefore, of invading Jamaica through their means was extinguished at once, and France was punished by the loss of her greatest colony for ever.

In a conversation with Colonel Wilks, the ex-governor, on taking his leave, he told him that India had been constantly an object of his policy—that he had constantly assailed it by negotiations, and would have reached it by arms, had he been able to come to an understanding with the Emperor of Russia on the partition of Turkey. He then talked of his constant wish for peace—a declaration which the colonel probably received with a smile; and next disclosed a transaction, which, on any other authority, would have been incredible, but which amounted to perhaps the boldest and broadest piece of bribery ever attempted with a distinguished minister.

While the French army was still on the right bank of the Elbe, the offer of the Austrian mediation was brought by Prince Metternich, demanding, as a preliminary, the abandonment of the great German fortresses which still remained in French hands.

"I said to Metternich with indignation," are the words of this singular conference—"Is it my father-in-law who entertains such a project? Is it he who sends you to me? How much has England given you, to induce you to play this game against me? Have I not done enough for your fortune? It is of no consequence—be frank—what is it you wish? If twenty millions will not satisfy you, say what you wish?"

He adds, that on this scandalous offer of corruption, Metternich's sudden sullenness and total silence recalled him to a sense of what he had just expressed, and that thenceforth he had found this great minister wholly impracticable. Who can wonder that he did so, or that the offer was regarded as the deepest injury by a man of honour? But Napoleon's conception of the matter, to the last, was evidently not that he had committed an act of bribery, but that he had "mistaken his man." "It was," as Fouché observed, "worse than a crime, it was a blunder."

One of the absurdities of the crowd who collected anecdotes of Napoleon, was a perpetual affectation of surprise that he should not have terminated his imprisonment by his own hand. He was conscious of the imputation, and it seems to have formed the occasional subject of his thoughts. But his powerful understanding soon saw through the sophistry of that species of dramatic heroism, by which a man escapes "with a bare bodkin" all the duties and responsibilities of his being.

"I have always regarded it," said he, "as a maxim, that a man exhibits more real courage by supporting calamities, and resisting misfortunes, than by putting an end to his life. Self-destruction is the act of a gambler who has lost all, or that of a ruined spendthrift, and proves nothing but a want of courage."

The attempts to prove that Napoleon wanted personal intrepidity were at all times childish. His whole career in his Italian campaigns was one of personal exposure, and from the period when he rose into civil eminence, he had other responsibilities than those of the mere general. His life was no longer his own; it was[125] the keystone of the government. Whether as consul or as emperor, his fall would have brought down along with it the whole fabric on which the fate of so many others immediately depended. It is, however, certain, that his courage was not chivalric, that no gallant fit of glory ever tempted him beyond the necessary degree of peril, and that he calculated the gain and loss of personal enterprise with too nice a view as to the balance of honour and advantage. A man of higher mind—an emperor who had not forgot that he was a general, would never have deserted his perishing army in Poland; an emperor who had not forgot that he was a soldier, would never have sent his Imperial guard, shouting, to massacre, and stayed himself behind. But to expect this devotion of courage is to expect a spirit which Napoleon never exhibited; and which is singular among the military exploits of the south. Napoleon might have commanded at Platea, but he would never have died at Thermopylæ.

In days like ours, which begin to familiarize men with the chances of political convulsion, it may be well worth while to listen to the conceptions of one who better knew the nature of the French Revolution than perhaps any among the great actors of the time. Napoleon was sitting by his fireside, in St Helena, on the 3d of September:—

"To-day," said he, "is the anniversary of a hideous remembrance, the St Bartholomew of the French Revolution—a bloody stain, which was the act of the Commune of Paris, a rival power of the Legislature, which built its strength upon the dregs of the passions of the people. * *

We must acknowledge, that there has been no political change without a fit of popular vengeance, as soon as, for any cause whatever, the mass of the people enter into action. * *

General rule:—No social revolution without terror! Every revolution is in principle a revolt, which time and success ennoble and render legal; but of which terror has been one of the inevitable phases. How, indeed, can we understand, that one could say to those who possess fortune and public situations, 'Begone, and leave us your fortunes and your situations,' without first intimidating them, and rendering any defence impossible? The Reign of Terror began, in fact, on the night of the 4th of August, when privileges, nobility, tithes, the remains of the feudal system, and the fortunes of the clergy, were done away with, and all those remains of the old monarchy were thrown to the people. Then only did the people understand the Revolution, because they gained something, and wished to keep it, even at the expense of blood."

This language is memorable. It ought to be a lesson to England. Napoleon here pronounces, that the great stimulant of political revolution is public robbery. Privileges may be the pretence, but the real object is plunder; and the progress of reason may be alleged as the instrument, but the true weapon is terror. In England, we are preparing the way for a total change. The groundwork of a revolution is laid from hour to hour; the Aristocracy, the Church, the landed proprietors, are made objects of popular libel, only preparatory to their being made objects of popular assault. The League has not yet taken upon it the office of the Commune of Paris, nor have the nobles, the clergy, and the bankers, been massacred in the prisons; but when once the popular passions are kindled by the hopes of national plunder, the revolution will have begun, and then farewell to the constitution. The habits of England, we willingly allow, are opposed to public cruelty; and in the worst excesses, the France of 1793 would probably leave us behind. But the principle in every nation is the same—the possessors of property will resist, the plunderers of property will fight; conflicting banners will be raised, and, after desperate struggles, the multitude will be the masters of the land.

There can be nothing more evident, than that some of the leaders in these new movements contemplate the overthrow of the monarchy. There may be mere dupes in their ranks, the spirit of money-making may be the temper of others; but there are darker minds among them which scarcely condescend to conceal their intentions. The presidentship of a British republic[126] would be not without its charms for the demagogue; and the bloody revolution of 1641, might rapidly find its still more sanguinary counterpart in the revolution of the nineteenth century. We have the history in the annals of France, and the commentator is the "child and champion of Jacobinism"—Napoleon.

His impression that revolution always fixed its especial object in plunder, found another authority in one of the peculiar agents of public disturbance. "Barrère," said Napoleon, "affirmed, and truly, Le peuple bat monnaie sur la place Louis XV." ("The people coin money in the square of Louis XV.")—alluding to the guillotine, which enriched the treasury by the death of the nobles, whose wealth became the property of the nation.

He proceeded, with equal decision and truth: "A revolution is always, whatever some may think, one of the greatest misfortunes with which the Divine anger can punish a nation. It is the scourge of the generation which brings it about; and for a long course of years, even a century, it is the misfortune of all, though it may be the advantage of individuals."

Napoleon spent the chief portion of his time in dictating the recollections of his government, and general defences of his conduct. Those dictations were sometimes written down by Montholon, and sometimes by Las Cases. But in November 1816, an order was issued for the arrest of Las Cases, and his dismissal from the island, in consequence of his attempting to send, without the knowledge of the governor, a letter to Prince Lucien, sowed up in the clothes of a mulatto. This arrest made a prodigious noise among the household of Napoleon, and was turned to good advantage in England, as an instance of the cruelty of his treatment. Yet it seems perfectly probable that the whole was a trick of the Ex-emperor himself, and a mere contrivance for the purpose of sending to Europe Las Cases as an agent in his service.

The security of Napoleon's imprisonment was essential to the peace of Europe; and no precaution could be justly regarded as severe, which prevented an outbreak so hazardous to the quiet of the world. Among those precautions, was the strictest prohibition of carrying on any correspondence with Europe, except through the hands of the governor. The whole household were distinctly pledged to the observance of this order, and any infraction of it was to be punished by instant arrest and deportation from the island.

An order had been sent from England to reduce the number of the household by four domestics; and it seems not improbable that Napoleon's craft was suddenly awakened to the prospect of establishing a confidential intercourse with the faction whom he had left behind. But the four domestics were obviously inadequate to this object, and some person of higher condition was necessary. Las Cases some time before had attempted to send a letter to Europe by the mulatto. The fellow had been detected, and was threatened with a flogging if he repeated the experiment; yet it was to this same mulatto that Las Cases committed another letter, which the mulatto immediately carried to the governor, and Las Cases was arrested in consequence. Napoleon was instantly indignant, and vented his rage against the cruelty of the arrest, at the same time expressing his scorn at the clumsiness of Las Cases in delivering his letter to so awkward a messenger. But, whatever might be his pretended wonder at the want of dexterity in the Count, it was exceeded by his indignation at the conduct of the governor. "Longwood," he writes in a long and formal protest against his detention, "is wrapped in a veil which he would fain make impenetrable, in order to hide criminal conduct. This peculiar care to conceal matters gives room to suspect the most odious intentions." This was obviously a hint that the governor's purpose was to put him secretly to death: a hint which neither Napoleon nor any other human being could have believed.

But in alluding to the arrest of the Count, he touches closely on the acknowledgment of the intrigue.

"I looked through the window," he said, "and saw them taking you away. A numerous staff pranced about you. I imagined I saw some[127] South Sea Islanders dancing round the prisoners whom they were about to devour!" After this Italian extravaganza, he returns to his object. "Your services were necessary to me. You alone could read, speak, and understand English. Nevertheless, I request you, and in case of need, command you, to require the governor to send you to the Continent. He cannot refuse, because he has no power over you, except through the voluntary document which you signed. It would be great consolation to me to know that you were on your way to more happy countries."

This letter was carried by Bertrand to the governor for Las Cases, and "the wished-for effect was produced on Sir Hudson Lowe, as soon as he saw the terms in which the Emperor expressed his regret." We are fairly entitled to doubt the sincerity of the wish; for on Sir Hudson's offering to let Las Cases remain at Longwood, a new obstacle instantly arose,—the Count declared that "to remain was utterly impossible;" his honour was touched; he absolutely must go; or, as Count Montholon describes this happy punctilio,—"Unfortunately, Las Cases, influenced by extreme susceptibility of honour, thought himself bound to refuse the governor's offer. He felt himself too deeply outraged by the insult; he explained this to the grand-marshal, and we were obliged to renounce the hope of seeing him again." Then came the finale of this diplomatic farce. "It was in vain that the Emperor sent Bertrand and Gourgaud to persuade him to renounce his determination; he was resolved to leave the island; and on the 29th of December 1816, he quitted St Helena."

We have but little doubt that the whole was a mystification. The gross folly of sending a secret dispatch by the same man of colour who had been detected by the governor, and threatened with punishment for the attempt to convey a letter; the bustle made on the subject at Longwood; the refusal of Las Cases to comply with Napoleon's request to remain, which, if it had been sincere, would have been equivalent to a command; and the conduct of Las Cases immediately on his arrival Europe, his publications and activity, amply show the object of his return. But a simple arrangement on the governor's part disconcerted the whole contrivance. Instead of transmitting Las Cases to Europe, Sir Hudson Lowe sent him to the Cape; where he was further detained, until permission was sent from England for his voyage to Europe. On his arrival, Napoleon's days were already numbered, and all dexterity was in vain. We have adverted to this transaction chiefly for the credit which it reflects on the governor. It shows his vigilance to have been constantly necessary; it also shows him to have been willing to regard Napoleon's convenience when it was possible; and it further shows that he was not destitute of the sagacity which was so fully required in dealing with the coterie at Longwood.

Napoleon's habits of dictating his memoirs must have been formidable toil to his secretaries. He sometimes dictated for twelve or fourteen hours, with scarcely an intermission. He spoke rapidly, and it was necessary to follow him as rapidly as he spoke, and never to make him repeat the last word. His first dictation was a mere revival of his recollections, without any order. The copy of his first dictation served as notes to the second, and the copy of this second became the subject of his personal revision; but he, unfortunately for his transcribers, made his corrections almost always in pencil, as he thus avoided staining his fingers—no woman being more careful in preserving the delicacy of her hands.

Those dictations must be regarded as the studied defences of Napoleon against the heavy charges laid against his government.

We have now given a general glance at the career of the French Emperor, as exhibited to us in these Recollections. He strikingly showed, in all the details of his government, the characteristics of his own nature. Impetuous, daring, and contemptuous of the feelings of mankind, from the first hour of his public life, his government was, like himself, the model of fierceness, violence, and disregard of human laws. Whatever was to him an object of ambition, was[128] instantly in his grasp; whatever he seized was made the instrument of a fresh seizure; and whatever he possessed he mastered in the fullest spirit of tyranny. He was to be supreme; the world was to be composed of his soldiery, his serfs, courtiers, and tools. The earth was to be only an incalculable population of French slaves. There was to be but one man free upon the globe, and that man Napoleon.

We find, in this romance of power, the romance of his education. It has been often said, that he was Oriental in all his habits. His plan of supremacy bore all the stamp of Orientalism—the solitary pomp, the inflexible will, the unshared power, and the inexorable revenge. The throne of the empire was as isolated as the seraglio. It was surrounded by all the strength of terror and craft, more formidable than battlements and bastions. Its interior was as mysterious as its exterior was magnificent; no man was suffered to approach it but as soldier or slave; its will was heard only by the roaring of cannon; the overthrow of a minister, the proclamation of a war, or the announcement of a dynasty crushed and a kingdom overrun, were the only notices to Europe of the doings within that central place of power.

But, with all the genius of Napoleon, he overlooked the true principles of supremacy. All power must be pyramidal to be secure. The base must not only be broad, but the gradations of the pile must be regular to the summit. With Napoleon the pyramid was inverted—it touched the earth but in one point; and the very magnitude of the mass resting upon his single fortune, exposed it to overthrow at the first change of circumstances.

Still, he was an extraordinary being. No man of Europe has played so memorable a part on the great theatre of national events for the last thousand years. The French Revolution had been the palpable work of Providence, for the punishment of a long career of kingly guilt, consummated by an unparalleled act of perfidy, the partition of Poland. The passions of men had been made the means of punishing the vices of government. When the cup was full, Napoleon was sent to force it upon the startled lips of Prussia, Austria, and Russia. The three conspirators were crushed in bloody encounters—the capitals of the three were captured—the provinces of the three were plundered—and the military pride of the three was humiliated by contemptuous and bitter conditions of peace.

But, when the destined work was done, the means were required no more. When the victims were broken on the wheel, the wheel and the executioner were alike hurried from the sight of man. The empire of France was extinguished by the same sovereign law which had permitted its existence. The man who had guided the empire in its track of devastation—the soul of all its strength, of its ambition, and its evil—was swept away. And as if for the final moral of human arrogance, France was subjected to a deeper humiliation than had been known in the annals of national reverses since the fall of Rome; and the ruler of France was plunged into a depth of defeat, a bitterness of degradation, an irreparable ruin, of which the civilized world possesses no example. His army destroyed in Russia by the hand of Him who rules the storm—the last forces of his empire massacred in Belgium—his crown struck off by the British sword—his liberty fettered by British chains—the remnant of his years worn away in a British dungeon, and his whole dynasty flung along with him into the political tomb, were only the incidents of the great judicial process of our age. The world has been suffered to return to peace; while the sepulchre of this man of boundless but brief grandeur has been suffered to stand in the midst of that nation which most requires the great lesson—that ambition always pays for its splendour by its calamities; that the strength of a nation is in the justice of its councils; and that he "who uses the sword shall perish by the sword!"

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


[1] Peru. Reiseskizzen aus den Jahren 1838-1842. Von J. J. von Tschudi. St Gall: 1846.

[2] Untersuchungen über die Fauna Peruana. St Gall: 1846.

[3] An Historical and Descriptive Narrative of Twenty Years' Residence in South America. Containing Travels in Arauco, Chili, Peru, and Columbia; with an account of the Revolution, its rise, progress, and results; by W. B. Stevenson. London: 1825.

[4] Europeans are apt to attach the idea of some particular colour to the word Creole. It is a vulgar error. Creole (Spanish, Criollo) is derived from criar, to breed or produce, and is applied to native Americans descended from 'Old World' parents. Thus there are black Creoles as well as white, and a horse or a dog may be a Creole as well as a man, so long as the European or African blood is preserved unmixed.

[5] The day and the event strangely coincide with the passage in Schiller's "Wilhelm Tell"—
"'s ist Simon und Judä
"Da rast der See und will sein Opfer haben."

[6] Marlborough to Mr Secretary Boyle, 17th December 1708. Disp. iv. 362.

[7] Disp. iv. 315, 323, 345. Marlborough to Duke de Mole, 10th Dec. 1708. Ibid. 346. Coxe, iv. 278.

[8] Marlborough to Mr Secretary Boyle, 3d January 1709, Disp. iv. 389.

[9] "'Can I do more than I do now?' said the King. 'I make treaties, but the Emperor breaks his word with me, as well as Holland, every moment. Besides it is impossible, without great inconvenience, to give more than three battalions; and he is a wretch who would advise me otherwise.' I said he was a wretch who should advise him not to do it. He replied, 'You speak very boldly, and may perhaps repent it, if your arguments are not conclusive.'"—General Grumbkow to Marlborough, March 9, 1709. Coxe, iv. 341.

[10] King of Prussia to Marlborough, March 9, 1709. Coxe, iv. 346.

[11] In communicating the thanks of the House of Lords, the Chancellor said,

"I shall not be thought to exceed my present commission, if, being thus led to contemplate the mighty things which your Grace has done for us, I cannot but conclude with acknowledging, with all gratitude, the providence of God in raising you up to be an instrument of so much good, in so critical a juncture, when it was so much wanted." Coxe, iv. 375.

[12] Coxe, iv. 352, 366, 377.

[13] "M. de Torcy has offered so much, that I have no doubt it will end in a good peace." Marlborough to Godolphin, 19th May 1707.

"Every thing goes on so well here, that there is no doubt of its ending in a good peace. Government have in readiness the sideboard of plate, and the chairs of state and canopy; and I beg it may be made so as to form part of a bed when I am done with it here, which I hope may be by the end of this summer, so that I may enjoy your dear society in quiet, which is the greatest satisfaction I am capable of having." Marlborough to the Duchess, 19th May 1709. Coxe, iv. 393.

[14] Mémoire, M. de Torcy, ii. 104-111.

[15] Swift's Conduct of the Allies, 72; Coxe, iv. 395-415.

[16] "I have as much mistrust for the sincerity of France as any body living can have; but I will own to you, that in my opinion, if France had delivered the towns promised by the plenipotentiaries, and demolished Dunkirk and the other towns mentioned, they must have been at our discretion; so that if they had played tricks, so much the worse for themselves." Marlborough to Lord Godolphin, June 10, 1709. Coxe, iv. 405.

[17] Coxe, iv. 401.

[18] Ibid. v. i. 5.

[19] Mém. de Villars, ii. 63. Marlborough to Godolphin, June 27, 1709. Coxe, iv. 5, 6.

[20] Marlborough to Mr Secretary Boyle, 27th June 1709. Disp. iv. 520. Coxe, v. 7, 8.

[21] Marlborough to Lord Galway, 4th July 1709; and to the Queen, 29th July 1709. Disp. iv. 530 and 556. Coxe, v. 8, 13. Marlborough's private letters to the Duchess at this period, as indeed throughout all his campaigns, prove how he was tired of the war, and how ardently he sighed for repose at Blenheim. "The taking of the citadel of Tournay will, I fear, cost us more men and time than that of the town; but that which gives me the greatest prospect for the happiness of being with you, is, that certainly the misery of France increases, which must bring us a peace. The misery of the poor people we see is such, that one must be a brute not to pity them. May you be ever happy, and I enjoy some few years of quiet with you, is what I daily pray for." Marlborough to the Duchess, July 30, 1709. Coxe, v. 12.

[22] Dumont's Military History, ii. 104. Coxe, v. 15, 16.

[23] A very striking incident occurred in the siege, which shows to what a height the heroic spirit with which the troops were animated had risen. An officer commanding a detachment, was sent by Lord Albemarle to occupy a certain lunette which had been captured from the enemy; and though it was concealed from the men, the commander told the officer he had every reason to believe the post was undermined, and that the party would be blown up. Knowing this, he proceeded with perfect calmness to the place of his destination; and when provisions and wine were served out to the men, he desired them to fill their calashes, and said, "Here is a health to those who die the death of the brave." The mine in effect was immediately after sprung; but fortunately the explosion failed, and his comrades survived to relate their commander's noble conduct.

[24] Marlborough to Mr Secretary Boyle, 31st August and 3d September 1709. Disp. iv. 585, 588. Coxe, v. 14, 18. Dumont's Military History, ii. 103.

[25] Mackenzie's brigade, which joined Wellington's army after the battle of Talavera, marched sixty-two English miles in twenty-six hours. Napier, ii. 412.

[26] Coxe, v. 20, 25. Marlborough to Mr Secretary Boyle, 7th September 1709. Disp. iv. 590.

[27] A similar incident occurred in the British service, when Sir Henry, now Lord Hardinge, and Governor-general of India, served as second in command to Sir Hugh Gough, his senior in military rank, but subordinate in station, at the glorious battles of Ferozepore and Sobraon, with the Sikhs. How identical is the noble and heroic spirit in all ages and countries! It forms a freemasonry throughout the world.

[28] Coxe, v. 24, 25. Disp. iv. 588, 595.

[29] Marlborough to Mr Secretary Boyle, 7th and 11th September 1709. Disp. iv. 591, 592. Coxe, v. 25, 26.

[30] Mém. de Villars, ii. 167, 184. Coxe, v. 26, 28.

[31] Coxe, v. 29, 30. The author has passed over the ground, and can attest the accuracy of the description here given.

[32] Viz. Artagnan, Maréchal de Montesquieu; De Guiche, Maréchal de Grammont; Puysegur, Montmorenci, Coigny, Broglio, Chaulnes, Nangis, Isenghien, Duras, Houdancourt, and Sanneterre. The monarchy never sent forth a nobler array.

[33] Coxe, v. 32. Mém. de Villars, ii, 280.

[34] Coxe, v. 34, 37; Dumont's Military History, ii. 381-7.

[35] Marlborough's General Orders, Sept. 10, 1709.

[36] Coxe, v. 40, 44.

[37] Lediard, Life of Marlborough, ii. 172, 180. Coxe, v. 45, 47.

[38] The regiments of Tullibardine and Hepburn were almost all Atholl Highlanders.

[39] Coxe, v. 54, 63; Disp. v. 592, Marlborough to Mr Secretary Boyle, Sept. 11, 1709, and to Mr Wauchope, same date, v. 598.

[40] "The Eugenes and Marlboroughs ought to be well satisfied with us during that day; since till then they had not met with resistance worthy of them. They may now say with justice that nothing can stand before them; and indeed what shall be able to stay the rapid progress of these heroes, if an army of one hundred thousand men of the best troops, strongly posted between two woods, trebly entrenched, and performing their duty as well as any brave men could do, were not able to stop them one day? Will you not then own with me that they surpass all the heroes of former ages?"—Letter of a French Officer who fought at Malplaquet; Coxe, v. 65.

[41] At Waterloo, there were sixty-nine thousand six hundred and eighty-six men in Wellington's army, and the loss was twenty-two thousand four hundred and sixty-nine, or one in three nearly; at Malplaquet, it was one in five; at Talavera, one in four—five thousand being killed and wounded out of nineteen thousand eight hundred engaged.—Siborne's Waterloo, ii. 352 and 519.

[42] Marlborough to Marshal Villars, 13th September 1709, and to Mr Secretary Boyle, 16th September 1709; Disp. v. 596, 599.—Coxe, v. 64.

[43] Marlborough to Mr Secretary Boyle, October 21, 1709. Disp. v. 617, 621.

[44] "Be assured that Mrs Masham and Mr Harley will, underhand, do every thing that can make the business uneasy, particularly to you the Lord Treasurer, and me, for they know well that if we were removed every thing would be in their power. This is what they labour for, believing it would make them both great and happy; but I am very well persuaded it would be their destruction." Marlborough to Godolphin, Nov. 1, 1709; Coxe, v. 105.

[45] Coxe, v. 105, 111.

[46] Coxe, v. 115, 116.

[47] Swift, Mem. on Queen's Change of Ministry in 1710, p. 37. Coxe, v. 117-118.

[48] Coxe, v. 124, 133.

[49] Duchess of Marlborough to Maynwaring, January 18, 1710. Coxe, v. 134

[50] Marlborough to Queen Anne, January 19, 1710.

[51] "On Wednesday sennight I waited upon the Queen, in order to represent the mischief of such recommendations in the army, and before I came away I expressed all the concern for her change to me, that is natural to a man that has served her so faithfully for many years, which made no impression, nor was her Majesty pleased to take so much notice of me as to ask my Lord Treasurer where I was upon her missing me at Council. I have had several letters from him since I came here, and I cannot find that her Majesty has ever thought me worth naming; when my Lord Treasurer once endeavoured to show her the mischief that would happen, she made him no answer but a bow." Marlborough to Lord Somers, January 21, 1710.

[52] "If this unfortunate king had been so well advised as to have made peace the beginning of this summer, he might in a great measure have influenced the peace between France and the Allies, and made other kingdoms happy. I am extremely touched with the misfortunes of this young king. His continued successes, and the contempt he had of his enemies, have been his ruin." Marlborough to Godolphin, August 26, 1709. Disp. v. 510.

[53] The Earl of Gowrie; a Tragedy. By the Rev. James White. London: 1845.

The King of the Commons; a Drama. By the Same. 1846.

A Book of Highland Minstrelsy. By Mrs D. Ogilvy. Illustrated by R. R. M'Ian. London: 1846.

Morning, and other Poems. By a Member of the Scotch Bar. London: 1846.

[54] It is worth noting, because one does not see why it is so, that the only imperial birbone of the lot universally known and execrated at Rome is Nero. One is much better able to understand (with Capri in front of one's windows) why a like exclusive and unenviable popularity at Naples attaches to Tiberius.

[55] The hare was first introduced into Sicily by Anaxilaus of Rhegium, and was adopted by the Messenians on their coins, as was also the chariot, in commemoration of his victory in the mule races at Olympia.

[56] On the urbic coins of Aquinum, Suessa, and Tiano, which are generally of bronze, the cock figures on one side, the subject on the other varying; on those of Himera (a silver currency,) chanticleer is always confronted on the reverse by Dame Partlett.

[57] Hiero the Second, tyrant of Syracuse, who flourished 216 B.C., and was contemporary with Archimedes. The face is one expressive of refinement, and the coin of a very fine style of art, as indeed are all those that ever issued from the old and original mint of Sicily; but alas! there are now many small and illicit mints to which the travelling public that buys coins, is, without always knowing it, vastly more indebted. "Roba Siciliana"—Sicilian trash, exclaims the indignant Neapolitan, when you show him a modern forgery by which you have been duped. "Sciochezza di Napoli" retorts the dealer at Messina or Palermo, vindicating at once his own honour, which seems aspersed, and that of his Trinacrian associates. To reconcile these two statements, which are both true, the reader has only to be informed that there are mints every where, and coiners as cunning at Pozzuoli as at Palermo.

[58] By the word anima, or soul of a coin, numismatists designate the interior of the metal, as opposed to its superficies or field.

[59] The restitution of the coinage of one Emperor by his successor, consisting of a smaller issue of pieces than the original from which it is taken, has become comparatively scarce; hence such restitutions fetch a much higher price than those of the earlier currency, and Dedomenicis's remark was not without its meaning.

[60] Moneta, one of the many epithets or aliases of Juno, borrowed by the Emperor Caligula for his three sisters, Agrippina, Drusilla, and Livilla, who are represented standing in a row, each with her cornucopia and scales, and her name behind her back.

[61] "La petite verole" is the name employed by French numismatists to designate this disease. They could not have hit upon a happier. A finely characteristic specimen of it is to be seen at present in the bronze impersonation of George IV. which stands on the Steym at Brighton, where the whole face looking seaward has become balafré and pock-marked. It is strange that under the epithet of pustular, as applied to silver, the ancients appear to have meant the purest and most refined quality of that metal, when it is the alloy mixed with the bronze that makes it pustular.

[62] History of the Captivity of Napoleon at St. Helena. By General Count Montholon. 2 vols. London: Colburn.