The Project Gutenberg eBook of Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Vol. 63, No. 390, April, 1848

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Title: Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Vol. 63, No. 390, April, 1848

Author: Various

Release date: April 18, 2024 [eBook #73422]

Language: English

Credits: Richard Tonsing, Brendan OConnor, and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at (This file was produced from images generously made available by The Internet Archive)


Transcriber’s Note:

New original cover art included with this eBook is granted to the public domain.

No. CCCXC.      APRIL, 1848.      Vol. LXIII.


Fall of the Throne of the Barricades, 393
A German Ditty, 419
Two Sonnets, 420
My Route into Canada, 425
The Conquest of Naples, 436
Travelling in Taffyland, 455
Life and Times of Lord Hardwicke, 463
How we got Possession of the Tuilleries, 484
The Caxtons: A Family Picture. Part I., 513
To whom all Communications (post paid) must be addressed.
No. CCCXC.      APRIL, 1848.      Vol. LXIII.


“Deus patiens quia Æternus.”—St Augustin.

Eighteen years ago, when the throne of Charles X. was overturned amidst the universal exultation of the liberal party in this country, we ventured, amidst the general transports, to arraign the policy and condemn the morality of the change. We pleaded strongly, in several articles,[1] that that great event foreboded nothing but a long series of calamities to France and to Europe; that liberty had been rendered impossible in a country which, casting aside all the bonds of religion and loyalty, had left no other foundation for government but force; and that the external peace of the Continent would be put in imminent peril by an ardent military population, heated by the successful issue of one great revolt, placed in the midst of monarchies in which the feudal institutions and chivalrous feelings were still in ascendency. We doubted the stability of a government founded on the success of one well-organised urban insurrection: we distrusted the fidelity of men who had begun their career by treachery and treason. Nominally the aggressor, we concluded that Charles X. was really on the defensive; he attempted a coup d’état, because government in any other way had become impossible. We were told in reply, that these were antiquated and exploded ideas; that the revolution was necessary to save the liberties of France from destruction; that a new era had opened upon mankind with the fire of the Barricades; that loyalty was no longer required when the interest of mankind to be well governed was generally felt; and that a throne surrounded by republican institutions was the best form of government, and the only one in which the monarchical principle could any longer be tolerated in the enlightened states of modern Europe.

With how much vehemence these principles were maintained by the whole whig and liberal party in Great Britain, need be told to none who recollect the rise of the dynasty of the Barricades in the year 1830. To those who do not, ample evidence of the general delusion, and of the perseverance with which it was combated, will be found in the pages of this Journal for 1831 and 1832. Time has rolled on, and brought its wonted changes on its wings. More quickly than we anticipated, the perilous nature of the convulsion which had proved victorious was demonstrated—more clearly than we ventured to predict, was the necessity of Prince Polignac’s ordinances demonstrated. It soon became apparent that France could be governed only by force.

The government of Louis Philippe was a continual denial of its origin—an incessant effort to crush the spirit which had raised it. The repeated and sanguinary disorders in Paris; the two dreadful insurrections in Lyons; the awful drowning of the revolt of the cloister of St Méry in blood; demonstrated, before two years had elapsed, that the government had felt the necessity of extinguishing the visionary ideas which had been evoked, as the means of elevating itself into power. More than once it stood on the edge of the abyss; and it was saved only by the vigour of the sovereign, and the newly awakened terrors of the holders of property, which prevented them from openly coalescing with the determined republicans, who aimed at overturning all the institutions of society, and realising in the nineteenth century the visions of Robespierre and Babœuf in the eighteenth. In the course of this protracted struggle, the new government felt daily more and more the necessity of resting their authority on force, and detaching it from the anarchical doctrines, amidst the triumphs of which it had taken its rise. Paris was declared in a state of siege; the ordinances of Polignac were reenacted with additional rigour; the military establishment of the country was doubled; its expenditure raised from nine hundred millions to fifteen hundred millions francs; an incessant and persevering war waged with the democratic press; and Paris surrounded by a chain of forts, which effectually prevented any other will from governing France but that of the military who were in possession of their bastions. Such was the result to the cause of freedom in France of the triumph of the Barricades.

But in eighteen years an entirely new generation rises to the active direction of affairs. In 1848, the personal experience, the well-founded fears, the sights of woe which had retained the strength of France round the standards of the Barricades, were forgotten. The fearful contests with anarchy by which the first years of the reign of Louis Philippe had been marked, had passed into the page of history, that is, were become familiar to a tenth part only of the active population. To those who did learn it from this limited source, it was known chiefly from the volumes of M. Louis Blanc, who, in his “Ten years of the reign of Louis Philippe,” painted that monarch in no other light but as one of the most deceitful and sanguinary tyrants who ever disgraced humanity. Thus the lessons of experience were lost to the vast majority of the active citizens. The necessity of keeping at peace, which Louis Philippe so strongly felt, and so energetically asserted, became in the course of years an insupportable restraint upon a people fraught with revolutionary ideas, and heated by the glowing recollections of the Empire. A nation containing six millions of separate landed proprietors,[2] the great majority of whom were at the plough, and not possessed of six pounds a-year in the world, necessarily chafes against any power which imposes the restraints of order and peace on the appetite for plunder and the lust of conquest. This was the true secret of the fall of the dynasties of the Restoration and the Barricades. They fell because they kept the nation at peace with its neighbours, and at peace with itself,—because they terminated the dream of foreign conquest, and checked the visions of internal utopia; because they did not, like Napoleon, open the career of arms to every man in the country capable of carrying a musket; or, like Robespierre, pursue the supposed advantage of the working classes by the destruction of every interest above them in society. Had either Charles X. or Louis Philippe been foreign conquerors, and the state of Europe had permitted of their waging war with success, they would have lived and died on the throne of France, and left an honoured crown to their successors. There never were monarchs who mowed down the population and wasted the resources of France like Napoleon and Louis XIV.; but as long as they were successful, and kept open the career of elevation to the people, they commanded their universal attachment. It was when they grew unfortunate, and could call them only to discharge the mournful duties of adversity, that they became the objects of universal execration. The revolution has ever been true to its polar star, viz.—worldly success.

In making these observations, we must guard against being misunderstood. We do not assert that the present leaders of the Revolution desire foreign war, or are insincere in the pacific professions which they have put forth in their public proclamations. We have no doubt that “Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity,” is what they really desire; and that with England in particular they are sincerely desirous to remain, at present at least, on terms of amity. The early promoters of the Revolution of 1789—Siêyes, Bailly, Mirabeau, and Lafayette—were equally loud and probably sincere in their pacific protestations at the outset of the first convulsion. What we assert is another proposition entirely corroborated by past history, and scarcely less important in its present application—viz., that the members of the existing Revolutionary Government are placed in a false position; that they have been elevated to power by the force of passion, and the spread of principles inconsistent with the existence of society; that if they continue to fan them, they will ruin their country, if they attempt to coerce them, they will be destroyed themselves. This is the constant and dreadful alternative in which a Revolutionary Government is placed, and which has so uniformly led in past history to what is called a departure from the principles of freedom by its successful leaders. It was this which brought Lafayette into such discredit in Paris, that his life was saved only by his fortunate confinement in an Austrian dungeon: it was this which rendered Mirabeau in the end a royalist, and for ever ruined him in popular favour: it was this which made Robespierre strive to restore the sway of natural religion in the infidel metropolis: it was this which gave Napoleon such a horror of the metaphysical “Ideologues,” who, according to him, had ruined France, and rendered him the resolute and unbending opponent of the Revolution. But even Napoleon’s iron arm was unequal to the task of arresting the fiery coursers of democracy: he only succeeded in maintaining internal tranquillity by giving them a foreign direction. He turned them not against the Tuileries, but against the Kremlin; he preserved peace in France only by waging war in Europe. A “Napoleon of Peace” will never succeed in restraining the Revolution.

Observe the pledges with which the Provisional Government are commencing their career. They are, that the state is to provide employment for all who cannot procure it from private individuals; that an ample remuneration is to be secured to labour; that the right of combination to raise wages is to be protected by law; that the House of Peers is to be abolished, as well as all titles of honour, the bearing of which is to be absolutely prohibited; that a noble career to all Frenchmen is to be opened in the army; the national representation is to be placed on the most democratic basis of a National Assembly, elected by nine millions of electors; all burdens on subsistence are to be abolished; unlimited circulation is to be provided for newspapers and the extension of knowledge; but the taxes, in the mean time at least, are to undergo no diminution. These promises and pledges sufficiently demonstrate what interest in the state has now got the ascendency. It is the interest, or rather supposed interest, of labour, in opposition to that of capital—of numbers against property.

The Revolution that has taken place is a communist or socialist triumph; the chiefs who have been installed in power are the leaders of the party who think that the grand evil of civilisation is the encroachment of the profit of capital on the wages of labour, and that the only effectual remedy for them is to be found in the forcible diminution of the former and extension of the latter.

The doctrine of this party in France has long been, that Robespierre perished because he did not venture to pronounce the word, agrarian law. It would be to little purpose to pronounce that word now, when the Republic has got nearly six millions of separate proprietors, most of them not worth six pounds a-year each. There is little but sturdy resistance to be got by attempting to spoliate this immense and indigent body, as they have spoliated the old territorial proprietors. But the capitalists and shopkeepers of towns stand in a different situation. In their hands, since the fall of Napoleon, very considerable wealth has accumulated. The peace and order maintained by the governments of the Restoration and the Barricades, though fatal to themselves, has been eminently favourable to the growth of bourgeois opulence. It is against that opulence that the recent Revolution was directed. The shopkeepers, deluded to their own destruction, began the insurrection: they surrounded and compelled the abandonment of the Tuileries. All successful convulsions are headed, in the first instance at least, by a portion of the higher or middle ranks. But they were soon passed by the rabble who followed their armed columns; and when the tumultuous mob broke into the Chamber of Deputies, fired at the picture of Louis Philippe, and pointed their muskets at the head of the Duchess of Orleans, it was too late to talk of Thiers and Odillon Barrot; the cause of reform was already passed by that of Revolution; and nothing could serve the victorious and highly excited multitude, but the abolition of monarchy, peers, and titles of honour, and the vesting of government in the hands of dreamers on equality, and leaders of Trades’ Unions in France.

Let the National Guard, who brought about the Revolution, and seduced or overcame the loyalty of the troops of the line, explain, if they can, the benefit they are likely to derive from this triumph of Socialism over Bourgeoisie, of labour over capital, of numbers over property. The Revolution was the work of their hands, and they must reap its fruits, as unquestionably they will bear its responsibility. It is of more importance for us in this country to inquire how the promises made by government, and the expectations formed by the people, are to be realised in the present social and political state of France. Already, before the Io Pæans upon the fall of the Orleans dynasty have ceased, the difficulties of the new government in this respect have proclaimed themselves. Columns of ten and fifteen thousand workmen daily wait on the administration to insist on the immediate recognition of the rights of labour: their demands were promptly acceded to by the decree of 3d March, which fixes the hours of labour in Paris at ten hours a-day, and in the provinces at eleven hours. They were formerly eleven hours in Paris and twelve in the provinces. This is quite intelligible: it is reasonable that the Civil Prætorian Guards of the capital should work less than the serfs of the provinces. Cutting off an hour’s labour over a whole country would be deemed a pretty serious matter in “l’industrieuse Angleterre:” but on the other side of the Channel, we suppose, it is a mere bagatelle, important chiefly as showing from what quarter the wind sets. Other prognostics of coming events are already visible. Monster meetings of operatives and workmen in and around Paris continue to be held in the Champs de Mars, to take the interests and rights of labour into consideration: it is probable that they will still further reduce the hours of toil, and proportionately raise its wages. Already the stone-cutters have insisted on a minimum of pay and maximum of work, and got it. Eight hours a-day, and ten sous an hour, is their ultimatum. The journalists early clamoured for the immediate removal of all duties affecting them. They succeeded in shaking off their burdens; other classes will not be slow in following their example. Meanwhile government is burdened, as in the worst days of the first Revolution, with the maintenance of an immense body of citizens with arms in their hands, and very little bread to put into their mouths. How to feed this immense body, with resources continually failing, from the terrors of capital, the flight of the English from Paris, and the diminished expenditure of all the wealthier classes, would, according to the former maxims of government, have been deemed a matter of no small difficulty. But we suppose the regenerators of society have discovered some method of arriving, with railway speed, at public opulence amidst private suffering.

The melancholy progress of the first Revolution has naturally made numbers of persons, not intimately acquainted with its events, apprehensive of the immediate return of the Reign of Terror and the restoration of the guillotine into its terrible and irresistible sovereignty in France. Without disputing that there is much danger in the present excited and disjointed state of the population of that country, there are several reasons which induce us to believe that such an event is not very probable, at least in the first instance, and that it is from a different quarter that the real danger that now threatens France is, in the outset at least, to be apprehended.

In the first place, although the Reign of Terror is over, and few indeed of the actual witnesses are still in existence, yet the recollection of it will never pass away: it has affixed a stain to the cause of revolution which will never be effaced, but which its subsequent leaders are most anxious to be freed from. Its numerous tragic scenes—its frightful atrocity—its heroic suffering, have indelibly sunk into the minds of men. To the end of the world, they will interest and melt every succeeding age. The young will ever find them the most engrossing and attractive theme,—the middle-aged, the most important subject of reflection,—the old, the most delightful means of renewing the emotions of youth. History is never weary of recording its bloody catastrophes,—romance has already arrayed them with the colours of poetry,—the drama will ere long seize upon them as the finest subjects that human events have ever furnished for the awakening of tragic emotion. They will be as immortal in story as the heroes of the Iliad, the woes of the Atrides, the catastrophe of Œdipus, the death of Queen Mary. So strongly have these fascinating tragedies riveted the attention of mankind, that nothing has ever created so powerful a moral barrier against the encroachments of democracy. The royal, like the Christian martyrs, have lighted a fire which, by the grace of God, will never be extinguished. So strongly are the popular leaders in every country impressed with the moral effects of these catastrophes, that their first efforts are always now directed to clear every successive convulsion of their damning influence. Guizot and Lafayette, at the hazard of their lives, in December 1830, saved Prince Polignac and M. Peyronnet from the guillotine; and the first act of the Provisional Government of France in 1848, to their honour be it said, was to proclaim the abolition of the punishment of death for political offences, in order to save, as they intended, M. Guizot himself.

In the next place, the bloodshed and confiscation of the first Revolution have, as subsequent writers have repeatedly demonstrated, so completely extinguished the elements of national resistance in France, that the dangers which threatened its progress and ensanguined its steps no longer exist. It was no easy matter to overturn the monarchy and church of old France. It was interwoven with the noblest, because the most disinterested feelings of our nature,—it touched the chords of religion and loyalty,—it was supported by historic names, and the lustre of ancient descent,—it rested on the strongest and most dignified attachments of modern times. The overthrow of such a fabric, like the destruction of the monarchy of Great Britain at this time, could not be effected but by the shedding of torrents of blood. Despite the irresolution of the king, the defection of the army, the conquest of the capital, and the emigration of the noblesse, accordingly, a most desperate resistance arose in the provinces; and the revolution was consolidated only by the mitrillades of Lyons and Toulon, the noyades of the Loire, the proscriptions of the Convention, the blood of La Vendée. France was not then enslaved by its capital. But now these elements of resistance to the government of the dominant multitude at Paris no longer exist. The nobles have been destroyed and their estates confiscated; the clergy are reduced to humble stipendiaries, not superior in station or influence to village schoolmasters; the corporations of towns are dissolved; the house of peers has degenerated into a body of well-dressed and titled employés. Six millions of separate landed proprietors, without leaders, wealth, information, or influence, have seized upon and now cultivate the soil of France. Power is, over the whole realm, synonymous with office. Every appointment in the kingdom flows from Paris. In these circumstances, how is it possible that resistance to the decrees of the sovereign power, in possession of the armed force of the capital, the treasury, the telegraph, and the post-office, can arise in France elsewhere than in the capital? Civil war, therefore, on an extended scale over the country, is improbable; and the victorious leaders of the Revolution, delivered from immediate apprehension, save in their own metropolis, of domestic danger, have no motive for shocking the feelings of mankind, and endangering their relations with foreign powers, by needless and unnecessary deeds of cruelty. It was during the struggle with the patricians that the proscriptions of Sylla and Marius deluged Italy with blood. After they were destroyed, by mutual slaughter and the denunciations of the Triumvirate, though there was often the greatest possible tyranny and oppression under the emperors, there was none of the wholesale destruction of life which disgraced the republic, when the rival factions fronted each other in yet undiminished strength.

Although, however, for these reasons, we do not anticipate, at least at present, those sanguinary proscriptions which have for ever rendered infamous the first Revolution, yet we fear there is reason to apprehend changes not less destructive in their tendency, misery still more widespread in its effects, destined, perhaps, to terminate at last in bloodshed not less universal. Men have discovered that they are not mere beasts of prey: they cannot live on flesh and blood. But they have learned also that they can live very well on capital and property: and it is against these, in consequence, that the present Revolution will be directed. They will not be openly assailed: direct confiscations of possessions have fallen almost as much into disrepute as the shedding torrents of blood on the scaffold. The thing will be done more covertly, but not the less effectually. They will take a leaf out of the former private lives of the Italians, and the recent public history of Great Britain. We have shown them that, under cover of a cry for the emancipation of slaves, property to the amount of one hundred and twenty millions can be quietly and securely destroyed in the colonies; that, veiled under the disguise of placing the currency on a secure basis, a third can be added to all the debts, and as much taken from the remuneration of every species of industry, throughout the country. These are great discoveries, they are the glory of modern civilisation: they have secured the support of the whole liberal party in Great Britain. The objects of the French Revolutionists are wholly different, but the mode of proceeding will be the same. The stiletto and the poison bowl have gone out of fashion: they are discarded as the rude invention of a barbarous age. The civilised Italians have taught us how to do the thing. Slow and unseen poison is the real secret; there are Lucretia Borgias in the political not less than the physical world. The great thing is to secure the support of the masses by loud professions of philanthropy, and the warmest expressions of an interest in the improvement of mankind; and having roused them to action, and paralysed the defenders of the existing order of things by these means, then to turn the united force of the nation to their own purposes, and the placing of the whole wealth of the state at their disposal. Thus the ends of Revolution are gained without its leaders being disgraced: the substantial advantages of a transfer of property are enjoyed without a moral reaction being raised up against it. Fortunes are made by some, without a direct spoliation of others being perceived: multitudes are involved in misery, but then they do not know to what cause their distresses are owing, nor is any peculiar obloquy brought upon the real authors of the public calamities.

We do not say that the present Provisional Government of France are actuated by these motives, any more than we say that our negro emancipators or bullionists and free-traders meant, in pursuing the system which they have adopted, to occasion the wholesale and ruinous destruction of property which their measures have occasioned. We consider both the one and the other as political fanatics; men inaccessible to reason, insensible to experience; who pursue certain visionary theories of their own, wholly regardless of the devastation they produce in society, or the misery they occasion in whole classes of the state. “Perish the colonies,” said Robespierre, “rather than one iota of principle be abandoned.” That is the essence of political fanaticism; it rages at present with equal violence on both sides of the Channel. The present Provisional Government of France are some of them able and eloquent—all of them, we believe, well-meaning and sincere men. But they set out with discarding the lessons of experience; their principle is an entire negation of all former systems of government. They think a new era has opened in human affairs: that the first Revolution has destroyed the former method of directing mankind, and the present has ushered in the novel one. They see no bounds to the spread of human felicity, by the adoption of a social system different from any which has yet obtained among men. They have adopted the ideas of Robespierre without his blood,—the visions of Rousseau without his profligacy.

The writings of Lamartine and Louis Blanc clearly reveal these principles, particularly the “Histoire des Girondins” of the former, and the “Dix Ans de l’Histoire de Louis Philippe” of the latter. Lamartine says the Girondists fell because they did not, on the 10th August 1792, when the throne was overturned, instantly proclaim a republic, and go frankly and sincerely into the democratic system. If he himself falls, it will not be from a repetition of the error; he has done what they left undone. We shall see the result. Experience will prove whether, by discarding all former institutions, we have cast off at the same time the slough of corruption which has descended to all from our first parents. We shall see whether the effects of the fall can be shaken off by changing the institutions of society; whether the devil cannot find as many agents among the Socialists as the Jacobins; whether he cannot mount on the shoulders of Lamartine and Arago as well as he did on those of Robespierre and Marat. In the meantime, while we are the spectators of this great experiment, we request the attention of our readers to the following interesting particulars regarding the acts of the new government, the professions they have made, the expectations which are formed of them.

One of the most popular journals of the working classes of Paris—that is, the present rulers of France—the Democratie Pacifique, has adopted the following mottoes:—

“The Revolution of 1789 has destroyed the old Regime; that of 1848 should establish the new one.”

“Social reform is the end, as Republic is the means; all the Socialists are Republicans, all the Republicans are Socialists.”[3]

The methods by which the plans of the Socialists are to be worked out, are in the same journal declared to be as follows:—


“A man with a heart,—a man greatly loved by the working classes, has lent his hand to the formation of a programme dictated by the popular will. The ideas on which it rests, treated as utopian yesterday, have no need to be discussed to-day. The last Revolution is an explosion of light which has dissipated the darkness. The Socialist ideas railed at yesterday, accepted to-day, will be realised to-morrow. Its principles are,—

“I. The rights of labour.—It is the duty of the state to furnish employment, and if necessary a minimum of wages, to all the members of society whom private industry does not employ.

“II. House of refuge for industry.

“III. Despotism must be for ever disarmed by the transformation of the army into industrial regiments, (en regiments industriels,) suited alike to the defence of the territory and the execution of the great works of the Republic.

“IV. Public education, equal, gratuitous, and obligatory upon all.

“V. Savings’ banks (caisses d’épargne) which keep capital dead, shall be vivified by labour: the people who produce all riches can afford to be their own bankers.

“VI. A universal reform of law courts, juries every where.

“VII. Absolute freedom of communications of thought.

“VIII. A progressive scale of taxation.

“IX. A progressional tax on machinery employed in industry.

“X. An effectual guarantee for a fair division of profits between the capitalists and the workmen.

“XI. A tax on luxury.

“XII. Universal suffrage.

“XIII. A national assembly.

“XIV. Annual elections by all.

“Vive la Republique!
Gardons nos armes!”[4]

To carry out these principles, they propose a general centralisation of all undertakings in the hands of government, to be brought under the direct control of a simple majority of universal suffrage electors. In the same journal we find the following proposals:—


“Let us reproduce to-day, with the certainty of being heard by the country, the wishes which the Democratie Pacifique has announced every morning since its origin, seventeen years ago.

“I. All railways, roads, canals, and public ways, by which the life of France circulates, to be absorbed by the state.

“II. The state should undertake all stage-coaches, carriers, waggons, and means of conveyance or transport, of every description.

“III. All joint-stock banks should be absorbed by the state—(A l’état les banques confédérées.)

“IV. All insurance companies, mines, and salt-works, to be undertaken by the state.

“V. No more forestalling, accumulating, regrating, or anarchical competition. Feudal industry is pierced to the heart; let us not allow it to raise itself from the dust.”[5]

Such are the proposals to be found in a single journal which represents the ideas that are now fermenting in the mind of France.

These propositions will probably “donnent à penser,” as the French say, to most of our readers. Some of them will perhaps be of opinion that our lively neighbours are getting on at railway speed in the regeneration of society. We recommend their projects to the consideration of the numerous holders of French railway and other stock, in the British islands. They will doubtless get good round sums for their claims of damages against the French government, when it has absorbed all the joint-stock companies of the country!—the more so when it is recollected, 1st, That the damages will be assessed by juries elected by universal suffrage. 2d, That they will be paid by a government appointed by an assembly elected in the same way. We are not surprised, when such ideas are afloat in the ruling and irresistible workmen of Paris, who have just overturned Louis Philippe, at the head of one hundred thousand men, that the French funds have fallen thirty-five per cent in these few days, and railway and other stock in a still greater proportion. The Paris 3 per cents are now (March 18) at 50; the 5 per cents at 72!

Nor let it be said these ideas are the mere dreams of enthusiasts, which never can be carried into practice by any government. These enthusiasts are now the ruling power in the state; their doctrines are those which will quickly be carried into execution by the liberal and enlightened masses, invested by universal suffrage with supreme dominion in the Republic. Most assuredly they will carry their ideas into execution: the seed which the liberal writers of France have been sowing for the last thirty years, will bring forth its appropriate fruits. What power is to prevent the adoption of these popular and highly lauded “improvements,” after the government of Louis Philippe and Guizot has been overturned by their announcement? These persons stood as the barrier between France and the “social revolution” with which it was menaced: when they were destroyed, all means of resisting it are at an end, and the friends of humanity must trust to prevent its extension to other states, mainly to the reaction arising from its experienced effects in the land of its birth.

Already there appears, not merely in the language of the popular journals, but in the official acts of the Provisional Government, decisive evidence that the socialist ideas are about to be carried into execution by the supreme authority in France. On March 1st, there appeared the following decree of the Provisional Government:—

“The Provisional Government, considering that the revolution made by the people should be made for them:

“That it is time to put an end to the long and iniquitous sufferings of the working classes:

“That the question of labour is one of supreme importance:

“That there can be no higher or more dignified preoccupation of the Republican Government:

“That it becomes France to study ardently, and to solve, a problem which now occupies all the states of Europe:

“That it is indispensable, without a moment’s delay, to guarantee to the people the fruits of their labours:

“The Provisional Government has decreed,—

“That a permanent commission shall be formed, which shall be entitled, ‘The Commission of Government for the Labourers,’ and charged, in a peculiar and especial manner, with their lot.

“To show the importance which government attaches to this commission, it names one of its members, M. Louis Blanc, president of the commission, and for vice-president, another of its members, M. Albret, mechanical workman.

“Workmen are invited to form part of the commission.

“It shall hold its sittings in the palace of the Luxembourg.

Louis Blanc.
Armand Marrast.
Garnier Pages.[6]

How is the Provisional Government to find funds for the enormous multitudes who will thus be thrown upon them, or to satisfy the boundless expectations thus formed of them, and which their own acts have done so much to cherish? Already the want of money has been experienced. Nearly all the banks of Paris have failed; the savings’ banks have been virtually confiscated, by the depositors being paid only a tenth in specie, and the Bank of France has suspended cash payments. The government has got into an altercation with a class of the highest importance, under existing circumstances, which is striving to liberate itself from the imposts which are more immediately felt by it. So early as March 2d, the journalists claimed an exemption from the stamp duties on the public journals; and on the government hesitating to comply with their requests, they loudly demand the dismissal of M. Cremieux, the new minister of justice. The Democratie Pacifique of March 2d, observes—

“The greatest danger of our situation is, not that which comes from without, but that which comes from within. The most imminent danger would be the slightest doubt on the intentions of government, the least retrograde step in the presence of events. That disquietude, we are bound to admit, already exists in the minds of many—distrust is the precursor of revolutions.

“The government has had under its eyes the conduct of the people. Let it imitate it. Energy, constant energy, is the only way to do good. The people have proved it. It is by energy alone that the prolongation of struggles is prevented—the effusion of blood arrested—dangerous reactions averted.

“Forward, and Force to power! Such is the double cry of the Republic.

“The Chamber of Deputies and of Peers must not only be interdicted from meeting; like royalty, they must be abolished.

“M. Cremieux, the minister of justice, has forgotten his principles. He is not prepared for the part he has to perform. He blindly yields to old attachments and prejudices. At the moment when the most absolute liberty of the press, the most rapid and ceaseless emission of ideas, is the sole condition of the public safety—at the moment when we are in the midst of a chaos from whence we cannot escape if light does not guide our steps—at that moment M. Cremieux proposes to extinguish it—he proposes this, a retrograde step, to the minister of finance—the reestablishment of the stamps on journals.

“A revolution of yesterday cannot be thus braved.

“These gentlemen wish a republic surrounded by republican institutions.

The people have not yet laid down their arms.[7]

The government, after having made a show of resistance, yielded to their masters. The duties on journals were abolished, and absolute freedom given to the pouring of the rankest political poisons into the mind of France.

It is easy to see, with a government resting on such a basis, where the first practical difficulty will be found. Embarrassment of finance is the rock on which it will inevitably split: the more certain that it has been preceded by a huge deficit created by the former government; the more galling that it will be accompanied by the flight or hoarding of capital from the measures of the present one. Capitalists are universally alarmed over the whole country. A monetary crisis, as is the case with all successful revolutions, and that too of the severest kind, has ensued. M. Gouin’s bank, the same which formerly bore the name of Lafitte, has failed under liabilities to the extent of three millions. Nearly all the other banking establishments of Paris have already followed the example. The payment of all bills was, by government, postponed for three weeks, from February 28: a farther extension of the time of payment for a month after March 20, has been petitioned for by eight hundred of the first bankers and merchants in Paris. This amounts to a declaration of a general public and private insolvency. Overwhelmed by the difficulties of his situation, the first minister of finance has resigned; the second, M. Garnier Pages, has published a financial account, which exhibits so deplorable a state of the finances, that it may almost be said to amount to an admission of national bankruptcy. Despite all the efforts made to uphold them, the French three per cents, on this publication, fell to forty-seven. The terrors of the holders of stock are extreme.

An able eye-witness gives the following account of the state of Paris, amidst this terrible social and financial crisis.—

“I have seen daily and intimately persons of all parties; Legitimatists, Conservateurs, or adherents of the late government—adherents of the Molé Ministry of half-an-hour—adherents of the Barrot Ministry, equally short-lived—friends and intimates of members of the Provisional Government. I can most truly and distinctly affirm, that I saw and heard nothing from any of them but alarm and consternation; mingled with the strongest condemnation of the two conflicting parties whose obstinacy had brought about a collision which every body had feared, though no one’s fears had come within the widest range of the reality. I heard only expressions of the conviction that the present order of things could not last; that, in spite of the heroic efforts, the excellent intentions, and the acknowledged talents of several members of the government, it had undertaken to construct an edifice which must fall and crush them under its ruins; that it was now forced by fear upon promises, and would be forced upon acts utterly inconsistent with the stability of any government whatever. In short, the profoundest anxiety and alarm sit at the heart of the educated classes of France, of whatever party—and, not the least, of those who have undertaken the awful task of ruling her. Of that you may be fully assured.

“English Liberals will perhaps say ‘This we expected; but the people?’ Well, I must affirm that, if by ‘people’ they mean the industrious, quiet working-classes, the real basis of society, the object of the respect and solicitude of all enlightened rulers—if they mean these men, the alarm and consternation are greater among them than in the higher classes, in proportion to the slenderness of the resources they have to fall back upon; in many cases this amounts to a sort of blank despair. The more clear-sighted among them see the terrible chances that await them; they see capital leaving the country, confidence destroyed, and employment suddenly suspended or withdrawn, to an extent never seen before.

“Let me mention a few small but significant facts:—

“My locksmith told me he had always employed four men; he has discharged three. An English pastry-cook, who has constantly employed fifteen journeymen, was about to discharge nearly all. Every body is turning away servants, especially men, as the more expensive. I was told that good carriage-horses had been sold for five hundred francs each. A vast number of houses are becoming tenantless; the removal of the English alone would make a visible change in this respect. And what, think you, are the feelings of all the tribe of water-carriers, washerwomen, and the humble dependents for existence on these houses? Nothing, during the three days, seemed to be more affecting and alarming than the sight of these humblest ministrants to the prime wants of life rushing from door to door, even in the quietest streets, to get their hard labour accomplished in safety. Our porteur d’eau was every morning our earliest informant of the events of the night, and I was struck with the good sense and clearness of his views. ‘Ces messieurs parlent d’égalité,’ he said: ‘est ce qu’ils veulent se faire porteurs d’eau? C’est absurde—ce sont des mensonges.’ (‘These gentlemen talk of equality: will they turn water-carriers? It is absurd—these are lies.’) ‘Ils vont nous ruiner tous.’ (‘They are going to ruin us all.’) These last words I heard frequently repeated by persons of the working classes. A poor commissioner, who, for high pay, and through long détours, conveyed a letter for me on the 23d, came in looking aghast. ‘Nous voilà sans maître.’ (‘Here we are without a master,’) said he. ‘Bon Dieu! qu’est ce que nous allons devenir?’ (‘Good God! what will become of us?’) ‘Un pays sans maître ce n’est plus un pays.’ (‘A country without a master is no longer a country.’) ‘Nous allons retomber dans la barbarie.’ (‘We shall fall back into barbarism.’) This, indeed, was so soon felt by all, that masters were appointed. But has that restored the feeling of reverence for authority, or of confidence in those who wield it, indispensable to civil society?

“I heard with astonishment English people on the road saying, ‘Oh, all is quiet now.’ ‘All is going on very well now.’ From no Frenchman have I heard this superficial view of the case. Paris is indeed quiet enough, but it is the quiet of exhaustion, fear, distrust, and dejection. The absolute silence of the streets at night was awful. But a few nights before the 22d, I had complained of the incessant roll of carriages during this season of balls. From the night of the 26th to the 3d of March, the most retired village could not have been more utterly noiseless. Not a carriage—not a foot-fall—except at intervals the steady and silent step of the patrol of the National Guard, listened for as the sole guarantee for safety. ‘Every man,’ said a grocer, wearing the uniform of the Guard, to me in his shop, ‘must now defend his own. We have no protectors but ourselves; no police, no army.’”—Times, March 8, 1848.

These are sufficiently alarming features in the political and social condition of any country: but they become doubly so, when it is recollected that they coexist with unbounded expectations formed in the labouring masses, in whom supreme power is now both practically and theoretically vested. The Revolution has been the triumph of the workmen over the employers, of the “proletaires” over the “bourgeois,” of labour over capital. How such a triumph is to eventuate with a vehement and indigent population, impelling the government on in the career of revolution, and capital daily leaving the country or hiding itself from the dread of the acts of a government about to be appointed by nine millions of electors, is a question on which it well becomes all the holders of property, in whatever rank, seriously to reflect in this country.

Some idea of the extravagance and universality of their expectations may be formed from the following passage in the description of a still later eye-witness:—

“Paris is to all appearance tranquil; but there is much agitation that does not show itself outwardly. The workmen of all trades are intent on legislation which shall secure more wages for less toil. They beset the Luxembourg with processions, and fill the Chamber of Peers with deputations. Louis Blanc has discovered that to organise labour in a pamphlet and put the theory into practice are two very different things. The walls are covered with the manifestoes of the several branches of occupation; every day sees a new crop; they reveal the existence of dissentions among the workmen themselves, though they are all based on nearly the same principles; the seven-hooped pot is to have ten hoops, and it is to be felony to drink small-beer. The cochers have secured a tariff, with an advance of wages; the tailors are demanding the same; the ‘cheap’ establishments are in despair, for they supply classes that cannot buy at higher prices. An anxious employer placed the difficulty before some of the men; the only answer recorded was the comforting assurance that every body will be able to pay five pounds for his coat ‘as soon as society is regenerated!’ What is to be said to such magnificence of hope? A citoyen coatmaker can only shrug his shoulders and wait for the end. One step has been taken that seems likely to lead to it—the Commission has opened a register of all employments, and all seeking to be employed, in Paris. Not till the stern truth is revealed by figures will the full difficulty be known, and some estimate formed of what a government can not do. All the edicts that can be forced from it by the pressure of the hour will break down under the weight of necessity, as they always have done.

“Parallel with this agitation, which is material, runs another, which is philosophical. The republic is not perfect enough, and some vile distinctions still exist, irritating to the eye of equality. The government is petitioned to abolish all marks of honour for civilians; the names of distinguished citizens can be recorded in a golden book, a livre d’or of the Republic, as the recompense of great services; but no cross or riband is to be worn. Equality devant la mort is also insisted on; the same place in the cemetery and the same bier for all are to render the grave in appearance, as in reality, the great leveller. This proscription of the poor vanities of life and death is made a serious object by some of the active spirits of the time, as if there were any real importance in them.”[8]Times, March 13th, 1848.

If, with material resources continually and rapidly diminishing, capital leaving the country, employment failing, bankruptcies general, the expenditure of the opulent at an end, the finances of the State in hopeless embarrassment, the French Government can satisfy these extravagant wants and expectations without plunging in a foreign war, they will achieve what has never yet been accomplished by man.

Who is answerable for this calamitous Revolution, which has thus arrested the internal prosperity of France, involved its finances in apparently hopeless embarrassment, thrown back for probably half a century the progress of real freedom in that country, and perhaps consigned it to a series of internal convulsions, and Europe to the horrors of general war, for a very long period? We answer without hesitation that the responsibility rests with two parties, and two parties only—the King and the National Guard.

The King is most of all to blame, for having engaged in a conflict, and, when victory was within his grasp, allowing it to slip from his hands from want of resolution at the decisive moment. It is too soon after these great and astonishing events to be able to form a decided opinion on the whole details connected with them; but the concurring statements from all parties go to prove that on the first day the troops of the line were perfectly steady; and history will record that the heroic firmness of the Municipal Guard has rivalled all that is most honourable in French history. The military force was immense; not less than eighty thousand men, backed by strong forts, and amply provided with all the muniments of war. Their success on the first day was unbroken; they had carried above a hundred barricades, and were in possession of all the military positions of the capital. But at this moment the indecision of the King ruined every thing. Age seems to have extinguished the vigour for which he was once so celebrated. He shrunk from a contest with the insurgents, paralysed the troops by orders not to fire on the people, and openly receded before the insurgent populace, by abandoning Guizot and the firm policy which he himself had adopted, and striving to conciliate revolution by the mezzo termine of Count Molé, and a more liberal cabinet. It is with retreat in presence of an insurrection, as in the case of an invading army; the first move towards the rear is a certain step to ruin. The moment it was seen that the King was giving way, all was paralysed, because all foresaw to which side the victory would incline. The soldiers threw away their muskets, the officers broke their swords, and the vast array, equal to the army which fought at Austerlitz, was dissolved like a rope of sand. Louis Philippe fell without either the intrepidity of the royal martyr in 1793, or the dignity of the elder house of Bourbon in 1830; and if it be true, as is generally said, that the Queen urged the King to mount on horseback and die “en roi” in front of the Tuileries, and he declined, preferring to escape in disguise to this country, history must record, with shame, that royalty perished in France without the virtues it was entitled to expect in the meanest of its supporters.

The second cause which appears to have occasioned the overthrow of the monarchy in France, is the general, it may be said universal, defection of the National Guard. It had been openly announced that twenty thousand of that body were to line the Champs Elysés in their uniform on occasion of the banquet; it was perfectly known that that banquet was a mere pretext for getting the forces of this Revolution together; and that the intention of the conspirators was to march in a body to the Tuileries after it was over, and compel the King to accede to their demands. When they were called out in the afternoon, they declined to act against the people, and by their treachery occasioned the defection of the troops of the line, and rendered farther resistance hopeless. They expected, by this declaration against the King of their choice, the monarch of the barricades, to secure a larger share in the government for themselves. They went to the Chamber of Deputies, intending to put up the Duchess of Orleans as Regent, and the Count of Paris as King, and to procure a large measure of reform for the constitution. What was the result? Why, that they were speedily supplanted by the rabble who followed in their footsteps, and who, deriding the eloquence of Odillon Barrot, and insensible to the heroism of the Duchess of Orleans, by force and violence expelled the majority of the deputies from their seats, seized on the President’s chair, and, amidst an unparalleled scene of riot and confusion, subverted the Orleans dynasty, proclaimed a Republic, and adjourned to the Hotel de Ville to name a Provisional Government! The account given of this whole revolt by an eye-witness, which has appeared in the Times, is so instructive, that we make no apology for transferring it to our columns:—

“On the afternoon of Wednesday, Feb. 23, Paris was greatly agitated, but no severe fighting had taken place; a few barricades had been raised and retaken by the troops; the plans of the government were complete—Marshal Bugeaud had been named to the command of the forces in Paris, and M. Guizot informed the King that he was confident that the Executive Government could put down the insurrection. The royal answer was—a dismissal. The King dismissed M. Guizot, and dissolved the Cabinet at that momentous instant, when all the energies of united power were required to fight in the streets a battle which it had itself deliberately provoked.

“Still, however, the mischief might yet have been repaired if vigorous measures had been taken. But, from that hour, nothing but the most extraordinary blunders and pusillanimity marked the conduct of the Court. Count Molé was sent for, and the evening of Wednesday passed in attempts, or no attempts, we hardly know which, on his part to form a semi-Liberal Cabinet. In the city, the fall of the Guizot ministry was hailed with acclamation and illumination, as the first sign of popular victory; and at that same critical juncture the fatal discharge of musketry took place opposite the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which stained the pavement with blood, and inflamed the people to a revolutionary pitch. The night was spent in preparation for a more terrible morrow; but as yet the army had neither fraternised nor laid down its weapons. It was, on the contrary, for the most part prepared to act; but a circumstance occurred at Court which totally paralysed its resistance.

“After Count Molé’s failure, the King sent for M. Thiers. That gentleman may be said to have actually formed a Cabinet in conjunction with M. Odillon Barrot and M. Duvergier de Hauranne, for they instantly proceeded to the discharge of the highest possible duty which could devolve on ministerial responsibility. The one act of their government was the publication of that inconceivable proclamation, stating that no further resistance should be made, and the promulgation of orders to the officers commanding regiments to withdraw them. This was of course the capitulation of the Monarchy. Marshal Bugeaud—who had the command of the troops, had now completed his preparations for the general attack of the barricades, and was confident of success—protested most energetically against this extraordinary order, and said that if it was acted on all was lost. The King’s then ministers, M. Thiers and M. Barrot, insisted; the King took their advice, and Marshal Bugeaud resigned the command of the troops, observing that it was useless for him to retain it if nothing was to be done. General Lamoricière was therefore named to the command of Paris, and M. Thiers and his friends proceeded to effect their pacific arrangements. The effects of their orders were immediately perceptible, although the declaration of their names was certainly not followed by the consequences they had anticipated. The officers of the army, indignant at so unexpected a termination of their duties, sheathed their swords; the men allowed themselves to be disarmed by the mob, whom they had been ordered not to resist, and the people, encountering no serious opposition except from the Municipal Guard, which was cut to pieces, rushed on to the conquest of the Palais-Royal and the Tuileries. To sum up this narrative in two words—the dismissal of the Guizot government rendered it impossible for the Executive Government to act effectually; the subsequent advice of M. Thiers and the resignation of Marshal Bugeaud, rendered it impossible to act at all. If this be, as we have every reason to believe it is, a correct narrative of these transactions, we are not surprised that M. Thiers and his colleagues should not have made themselves conspicuous in the subsequent passage of this Revolution.

“The mob of Paris, at no hour of the day, (the 24th,) was formidable to ten thousand men, much less to a hundred thousand, or at least eighty thousand. On the Thursday (24th) public opinion had abandoned the émeute. The National Guard would now have done any thing to reproduce order, but they had no time; there was no opportunity to reunite themselves; besides which, they wanted courage and support, and did not even dream of the extreme to which things might be pushed. There never was, at any time, any acharnement among the people; the troops were every where well received; not a hostile head looked from a window. It was hoped that something might be done by a demonstration of public opinion, but nothing more. The émeutiers the first and second day simply took advantage of the absence of the National Guard. They were all the time ill looked upon by the real people of Paris, but they were permitted to go on as a means of action on the court and government. The accident, or rather the gross and infamous blunder, committed before the Bureau des Affaires Etrangères (of which the accounts published are erroneous), produced a violent irritation, which was ably worked upon by the Republican committee, who were all along on the watch; but this irritation, which certainly changed the character of the contest, gave no arms to the people; and although it increased their numbers, they were never, even numerically, formidable, as I have said, to ten thousand men. As for the barricades, there was not one that was ever defended except against some weak patrol, and then, after a little popping, it was always abandoned. Literally, there was no fighting; there was skirmishing on the part of the brave Municipals—the only force that acted—and I presume it acted on orders which did not emanate from the chief military authority, but had some separate and general instructions of its own. Literally, I repeat, there was no fighting. How could there be? There were no arms; that is, not a musket to a hundred men, till eleven or twelve o-clock in the day, when the troops, without orders—except “not to fire,” or act against the people—became, in several parts of Paris, mixed up and united with them.”—Times, March 8 and 14, 1848.

Here, then, is the whole affair clearly revealed. It was the timidity of Government, and the defection of the National Guard, which ruined every thing; which paralysed the troops of the line, encouraged the insurgents, left the brave Municipal Guards to their fate, and caused the surrender of the Tuileries. And what has been the result of this shameful treachery on the part of the sworn defenders of order—this “civic” prætorian guard of France? Nothing but this, that they have destroyed the monarchy, ruined industry, banished capital, rendered freedom hopeless, and made bankrupt the state! Such are the effects of armed men forgetting the first of social duties, that of fidelity to their oaths. How soon were these treacherous National Guards passed in the career of revolution by the infuriated rabble! How soon were Odillon Barrot and Thiers supplanted by Lamartine and Arago! How rapidly were the Duchess of Orleans and the Count of Paris expelled at the point of the bayonet from the Chamber of Deputies—the cry for reform drowned in that of revolution! How many of the twenty thousand National Guards, who by their treachery brought about the Revolution, will be solvent at the end of two months? Not a tenth of their number. They will perish deservedly and ignobly; ruined in their fortunes, beggared in their families, despised by their compatriots, execrated by Europe! That they may anticipate what history will say of their conduct, let them listen to the verdict which it has pronounced on the National Guard which, on a similar crisis, 10th August 1792, betrayed Louis XVI., as pronounced by an authority whom they will not suspect of leaning to the Royalist side—M. Lamartine.

“The National Guard, on the 10th August, returned humiliated and in consternation to their shops and counting-houses; they had justly lost the lead of the people. Thenceforth it could no longer aspire but to be the parade force of the Revolution, compelled to assist at all its acts, at all its fêtes, at all its crimes; a vain living decoration of all the mechanists of the Revolution.”[9]

Of which revolution is Lamartine now speaking; of that of 10th August 1792, or of 24th February 1848? Beyond all doubt history will pass a severer judgment on the treachery which overthrew Louis Philippe than on that which consummated the destruction of Louis XVI.: for the former had the example of the latter for its guide; they knew how soon the massacre of September followed the triumph of August, and what incalculable calamities the defection of their predecessors in the Place Carousel brought upon their country and Europe.

What benefit have the working classes derived, or are they likely to derive, from this deplorable convulsion? Great ones they doubtless expect, as it has issued in a triumph of labour over capital. But what has it realised? We shall mention one or two particulars to illustrate the benefits hitherto reaped by this class from its victory.

The savings’ banks of France had prospered immensely under the firm and pacific government of Louis Philippe. The following account of them is derived from official sources.

“The state of the savings’ banks in France at the time of the Revolution indicated an extraordinary degree of confidence in the stability of the late government. In 1834 there were only seventy savings’ banks in France, and the amount of deposits on hand was 34,000,000 francs. In 1839 there were four hundred and four banks, and the deposits had increased to 171,000,000 francs; in 1848, at the moment of the Revolution, the deposits had risen to 355,000,000 francs, or ten times the amount deposited fourteen years before. In 1839 the average value of each deposit was 550 francs, which is probably increased to 600 francs average at the present time. The partial suspension of payment by these institutions must affect at least half a million of persons of the most industrious and economical part of the population, chiefly belonging to the towns, and they are deprived of a large portion of their savings at the very moment they most need them.”—Times, March 14, 1848.

Now, these savings’ banks, holding deposits to the amount of about £14,000,000 at the commencement of the Revolution, and which had increased tenfold during Louis Philippe’s reign, have to all practical purposes been rendered bankrupt. Unable to stand the dreadful run upon them after the outbreak, or to realise the amount of their deposits by the sale of their funded property, in consequence of its prodigious fall, they had no resource but to suspend payment. By a decree of Government, the holders of deposits in the savings’ banks are to receive only a tenth in cash, the remainder being payable six months hence, in a paper now practically worth nothing. By this single result of the Revolution, above five hundred thousand of the most meritorious and hard-working of the operatives of France have been in effect deprived of the savings of a whole lifetime.

Nor is the condition of the labouring population in any degree more favoured. In the Times correspondent from Paris of March 14, we find the following account of their present condition:—

“The financial question, the state of trade and commerce, and the task of providing work and food for the people, with which the government has charged itself, are additional motives for seriousness, however. The credit of more than one banking-house is to-day said to be tottering. One firm, it is openly mentioned, has resolved to stop payment to-morrow. Trade is very bad. Work will soon become scarce, and distress and outcry must be expected; and with the knowledge of all these facts, and with the determination to do every thing possible for the relief of the working classes, possessed by the Provisional Government, this source of uneasiness is menacing to-day. I wish a more cheerful view of the situation of affairs were more general than it is, for it might check the departure of rich natives and foreigners from the capital, who continue to retire from it in alarming numbers, and, obviously, with no view to return, for we hear of sales of carriages and horses, for a fifth part of the value they bore three weeks since. Twelve thousand servants are said to be already discharged in Paris, and many houses or hotels in the fashionable quarters have become literally devoid of occupants.”—Times, 14th March 1848.

That such a state of things must in the end terminate in domestic or foreign war must be evident to all who have looked even on the surface of past events. The causes which at present uphold, and must ere long destroy the Republican Government in France, are thus ably stated by the Paris correspondent of the same well-informed journal:—

“The Provisional Government continues to exist at the moment only from two causes. The first is, that all respectable persons hasten to its support under the influence of fear. The other day every body expected to be robbed and murdered: as the Provisional Government showed a strong desire to preserve order, all those individuals, still surprised to find themselves unplundered and unassassinated, attributed the miracle to the government, and ran to its support in self-defence. The adhesions have been readier and more numerous many times over than in 1830. The second cause which gives a short reprieve to the government is, that it humours the ferocious monster that made it,—and which is ready at any moment to overturn it as it set it up,—by the most absurd indulgences, by still more fatal promises for the future. The same set of ruffians (heroes) who forced the Chamber, and who thrust the Provisional Government on the deputies, are still there to invade the Hotel de Ville, and substitute another idol for Lamartine & Co. Still I believe they will not do so just yet; perhaps we may get on till the constitutional or National Assembly meets, but I doubt it. But then, even then,—what is to take place? Faction, clubs, war to the knife. The French are precisely the same men they were in ‘89—they are not changed in the least. Classes have been modified by wealth, commerce, prosperity, &c.; but these are the quiet classes, who will be swallowed up in the course of the next five years. At the present moment the working, or the soi-disant working classes, who are literally the sovereign power, are looked upon with fear, disgust, and abhorrence by every man in France of a superior condition, including the National Guard; and they are all speculating how to get quit of them; while, on the other hand, Louis Blanc is keeping them quiet by preaching Utopianism. He is doing so, honestly and enthusiastically, it is said; and certain it is, that a great mass of the people is flattered and soothed by the idea of converting work into an amusement, of obtaining perpetual easy employment by the state, and a pension at fifty-five years of age. This pause, however, does not deceive the commerce, the capital, the education of France, and, as I said, the universal consideration is how to throw off the many-headed tyrant. The plan of doing so, most consonant with the French character, is war. The National Guard is convinced they must shortly fight these men themselves, or send them to fight the foreigner; the latter is the expedient that will be hit upon; and unfortunately the state of Europe incites them to interfere in the concerns of others, from whom they will receive invitations which, in the condition of men’s minds in this country, it will be impossible for any government to reject. Besides which, even Frenchmen of the best order are, on questions of national glory or honour, not to be relied on for a moment; the best of them may be carried away by a word, a paragraph, a rumour, and all rave ‘Frontier of the Rhine,’ ‘Waterloo,’ and a thousand other follies, which, however sad, may be excused in the present state of their neighbours, though not for that reason the less to be lamented. In all international questions whatever, the characteristics of the French are arrogance, and susceptibility of so extreme a nature, that no body of Frenchmen can be dealt with by foreigners. A sovereign and a minister or two in cold blood, and with all the weight of undivided responsibility upon them, are difficult enough to manage even by the ablest and most impartial of negotiators; but the masses must always be intractable.

“I give the present Provisional Government immense credit for their efficient exertions, and I have considerable reliance on the good intentions of the majority of them; but they will not last; and, above all, whether they last or not, they must obey and not pretend to guide. Lamartine, by his genius, has now and then gained a point; but he, as well as the rest, have been rather the organs of the sovereign of the day than his directors and guides.”—Times, March 13, 1848.

It is not surprising that views of this description should be entertained by all well-informed persons on the spot in France, for the new “National Assembly,” to whom the formation of a constitution is to be intrusted in that country, is to be composed in such a way, as renders the direct or indirect spoliation of property a matter of almost certainty. The following is the decree of the Provisional Government on the subject:—

French Republic.

Liberty, Equality, Fraternity.

“The Provisional Government of the Republic, wishing to resign, as soon as possible, into the hands of the Definitive Government the powers it exercises in the interest and by the command of the people,


“Article 1.—The electoral assemblies are convoked in each district for the 9th of April next, to elect the representatives of the people in the National Assembly, which is to frame the constitution.

“Article 2.—The election shall have the population for its basis.

“Article 3.—The total number of the representatives of the people shall be 900, including those of Algeria and the French colonies.

“Article 4.—They shall be apportioned by the deputies in the proportion indicated in the annexed table.

“Article 5.—The suffrage shall be direct and universal.

“Article 6.—All Frenchmen, 21 years of age, having resided in the district during six months, and not judicially deprived of or suspended in the exercise of their civic rights, are electors.

“Article 7.—All Frenchmen, 25 years of age, and not judicially deprived of or suspended in the exercise of their civic rights, are eligible.

“Article 8.—The ballot shall be secret.

“Article 9.—All the electors shall vote in the chief town of their district, by ballot. Each bulletin shall contain as many names as there shall be representatives to elect in the department.

“No man can be named a representative of the people unless he obtain 2,000 suffrages.

“Article 10.—Every representative of the people shall receive an indemnity of 25f. per day during the session.”

Here is a tolerably democratic constitution, which will probably excite some little disquietude in the breasts of the holders of French stock and railway shares. Universal suffrage—a single assembly of nine hundred members, each of whom is to be paid a pound a-day during the session. To make the experiment still more perilous, the minister of public instruction to the Provisional Government has issued a circular to the ministers of instruction throughout the country, in which he enjoins them to recommend to the people “to avoid the representatives who enjoy the advantages of education or the gifts of fortune.”[10] This circular excited, as well it might, such a panic in Paris, that the other members of the Provisional Government were obliged to disown it. But that only makes matters worse: it shows what the Provisional Government really meant, and how completely they have already come to stand on the verge of civil war. The projected decree for levelling the National Guard, by distributing the companies of voltigeurs and chasseurs (the élite) through the whole mass, has already produced an address by their battalion, in uniform, to the Provisional Government, which was received at the Hotel de Ville by an immense crowd with cries of “A bas les Aristocrats! on ne passe pas!” It is no wonder the National Guard are at length alarmed. The aristocracies of knowledge and property are to be alike discarded! Ignorance and a sympathy with the most indigent class are to be the great recommendations to the electors! This is certainly making root-and-branch work; it is Jack Cade alive again. Paris, it is expected, will return for its representatives

11 of the Provisional Government,
5 Socialists,
18 Operatives,


Truly the National Guard will soon reap the whirlwind; we are not surprised the French funds have undergone so prodigious a fall. The holders of Spanish bonds and American States’ debts know how universal suffrage assemblies settle with their state-creditors. Sidney Smith has told the world something on the subject.

The “pressure from without” on the Provisional Government becomes every day more severe and alarming as time rolls on: wages cease, stock falls in value, savings’ banks suspend payment, and all means of relief, save such as may be extorted from the fears of the government, disappear. The following is a late account of the state of matters in this important respect, from the French metropolis:—

“France, crowded, impoverished, indebted, and straitened at all points, sees an opening in the exercise of a sovereign people’s will. It gets a glimpse of light and life through the Hotel de Ville. Hence this desperate competition for the national resources; and hence, we grieve to add, this wasteful and improvident distribution.

“These deputations are a congenital evil. They began from the very moment the Provisional Government was proclaimed in the Chamber of Deputies. Its progress thence from the Hotel de Ville was a deputation. The members immediately began to thunder at the doors and clamour for admittance. A club orator has since boasted that, had it not been for this importunity, nothing would have been done—that not a step has been taken without external impulse—and that the people had to wait two hours, on that wonderful Thursday, before the Provisional Government would announce a republic. Since that moment the deputations may be said never to have ceased in Paris. For the first week they did not affect a distinctive character, but came as accident had thrown them together—ten thousand from this quarter, and twenty thousand from that; sometimes the people, and sometimes the National Guard, or a medley of all sorts. In those days they were armed. Lamartine had to turn out six times a-day, make gestures half an hour for a hearing, and then spend his brilliant eloquence on a field of bayonets and blouses. When the poet had sunk from sheer exhaustion, the indefatigable deputation adjourned to the Ministry of the Interior, and drew forth M. Ledru Rollin, who had not learned his way about the apartments, or the names of the officials, before he was required to promulgate, off-hand, a complete system for the internal administration of France. It is possible that his first thoughts might have been as good as his second on this subject; but the demand was nevertheless premature. The stream of deputation has since become less turbid, violent, and full; but it has been quite continuous, and, to all appearance, Labitur et labetur in omne volubilis œvum.

“We believe there is not a single branch of employment or of idleness in Paris, that has not marched en masse to the Hotel de Ville to demand more wages, less work, certainty of employment, and a release from all the rules and restrictions which the experience of their masters had found to be necessary. It is unwise to damp the expectations of five thousand armed men. In some cases, therefore, the government capitulated on rather hard terms. By and by it adopted what we really think the best possible alternative. It requested the trades to nominate their several deputies, and set the operative parliament to adjust all its rival pretensions at the Luxembourg. Then there came deputations of women, of students, of pawnbrokers’ tickets, of bankers, of bread-eaters, of bread-makers, of cabmen, of ’bussmen, of sailors, of porters, of every thing that had, or had not, an office and a name. France, of course, has had the precedence, having, in a manner, the first start; but the nations of the earth are beginning to find room in the endless procession. All the world will run into it in time. The vast column is just beginning to form in Chinese Tartary, and is slowly debouching round the Caspian Sea. Already we see a hundred European sections. They follow in one another’s trail. An Anacharsis Clootz is waiting to receive them at the barriers, and marshal them to the Hotel de Ville.”—Times, March 15, 1848.

This state of matters is certainly abundantly formidable to France and to Europe. A great experiment is making as to the practicability of the working-classes governing themselves and the rest of the state, without the aid of property or education. France has become a huge trades-union, the committee of which forms the Provisional Government, and the decrees of which compose the foundation of the future government of the republic. Such an experiment is certainly new in human affairs. No previous example of it is to be found, at least, in the old world; for it will hardly be said that the republic of 1793, steeped in blood, engrossed in war, ruled with a rod of iron by the Committee of Public Salvation, is a precedent to which the present regeneration of society will refer, in support of the principles they are now reducing to practice. We fear its state has been not less justly than graphically described by one of our most distinguished correspondents, who says—“They are sitting as at a pantomime; every thing is grand and glorious; France is regenerated, and all is flourish of trumpets. Meanwhile France is utterly insane—a vast lunatic asylum without its doctors.”

The present state of Paris, (March 21,) and the germs of social conflict which are beginning to emerge from amidst the triumph of the Socialists, may be judged of from the following extracts of the correspondent of the Morning Chronicle, dated Paris, 18th March:—

“Paris, Friday Evening.—There has been another day of great excitement and alarm in Paris. Upwards of thirty thousand of the working classes congregated in the Champs Elysés, and went in procession to the Hotel de Ville to assure the Government that it might depend upon their assistance against any attempt that might be made to coerce it, from whatever quarter it came. I need hardly inform you that this formidable demonstration is intended as a contre coup to the protest presented by the National Guards yesterday, against M. Ledru Rollin’s decree dissolving the grenadier and light companies of the National Guards. It is not the least alarming feature in this affair, that it exhibits an amount of discipline among the working classes, and a promptitude of execution, which are but too sure indications both of the power and the readiness of the leaders of the movement to do mischief. It was only yesterday that the demonstration took place which displeased the masses; yet, in one short night, the order goes forth, the arrangements are made, and before ordinary mortals are out of their beds, thirty thousand of the working classes are marshalled under their leaders, and on their march to make a demonstration of their force, in presence of the executive government—a demonstration which, on the present occasion, to be sure, is favourable to the Government, but which to-morrow may be against it. Who have the orders proceeded from that drew together these masses? How were they brought together? The affair is involved in mystery, but there is enough in it to show an amount of organisation for which the public was not prepared; and which ought to show all those within its operation that they are sitting upon a barrel of gunpowder. The fact is—and there is no denying or concealing it—Paris is in the possession of the clubs, who rule not only it, but the ostensible government. The National Guards, so powerful only a week ago, are now impotent whether for good or evil. “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” The National Guards have quarrelled. The Chasseurs look with jealousy on the compagnies d’élite—the compagnies d’élite will not fraternise with the Chasseurs. The eighty-four thousand men, who formed the National Guards before the 24th of February, look with contempt on the one hundred and fifty thousand new men thrust into their ranks by M. Ledru Rollin, for election purposes, and call them canaille. The new levies feel that they cannot compete in wealth with the good company in which they so unexpectedly find themselves, and they call the old guards aristocrats. Add to this the discontent of the grenadier and light companies at being deprived of their distinctive associations and dress, the displeasure of the old officers, who are about to be deprived of their epaulettes by their new and democratic associates, and the intriguing of the would-be officers to secure a majority of suffrages in their own favour, and you may arrive at a judgment of the slight chance there is of the National Guards of the present day uniting for any one purpose or object. The result of this is obvious. In case of an outbreak, the National Guards, who were so useful in re-establishing order on the two days after the abdication of Louis Philippe, could no longer be depended on. Paris would be in the possession of the mob, and that mob is under the direction of leaders composed of the worst and the most unscrupulous of demagogues.”

The same correspondent adds:—

“The financial and commercial crisis which has created such ravages here for the last week is rapidly extending. I have already given you a distressing list of private bankers who have been obliged to suspend payment. Another bank, though not one of any great name, was spoken of yesterday as being on the eve of bankruptcy; but on inquiry, I find that the bank is still open this morning, although it is doubtful if it will continue so to the end of the day. I abstain from mentioning the name. The commercial world is just in as deep distress as the financial world. Every branch of trade is paralysed. It is useless to attempt to give particular names or even trades. I shall, therefore, only mention, that in one branch of trade, which is generally considered one of the richest in France, namely, the metal trade, there is an almost total suspension of payments. It is not that the traders have not property, but that they cannot turn it into cash. They have acceptances to meet, and they have acceptances in hand, but they cannot pay what is due by them, for they cannot get what others owe. In short, trade is paralysed, for the medium by which it is ordinarily carried on has disappeared. In other trades precisely the same circumstances occur; but I only mention this one trade as showing the position of all others. How long is this to last? No one can say; but one thing certain is, that no symptom of amelioration has hitherto shown itself.”—Morning Chronicle, March 20.

As the experiment now making in France is new, and in the highest degree important, so it is to the last degree to be wished that it may go on undisturbed. The other powers of Europe cannot be too much on their guard against it; but no armed intervention should be attempted, if France retains the pacific attitude she has hitherto held in regard to other states. The republicans of that country have never ceased to declare that the first Revolution terminated in internal bloodshed, military despotism, and foreign subjugation, because it was not let alone—because the Girondists plunged it into war, in order to provide a vent for the ardent passions and vehement aspirations of the unemployed multitudes in that country. Lamartine admits, in his celebrated circular, that in 1792 “war was a necessity to France.” He disclaims, as every man of the least knowledge on the subject must do, the idea that it was provoked by the European powers, who, it is historically known, were drawn into it when wholly unprepared, and as unwillingly as a conscientious father of a family is forced into a duel. Lamartine says the same necessity no longer exists—that the world has become pacific, and that internal regeneration, not foreign conquest, is the end of this revolution. We hope it is so. We are sure it is ardently desired in this country that pacific relations should not be disturbed with the great republic, provided she keeps within her own territory, and does not seek to assuage her thirst at foreign fountains. By all means let the long wished-for experiment be made. Let it be seen how society can get on without the direction of property and knowledge. Let it be seen into what sort of state the doctrines of the Socialists and St Simonians, the dictates of the trades-unions, the clamour of the working masses, will speedily reduce society. Theirs be the glory and the honour if the experiment succeeds—theirs the disgrace and the obloquy if it fails. Let all other nations stand aloof, and witness the great experiment—“a clear stage and no favour” be the universal maxim. But let every other people abstain from imitating the example, till it is seen how the experiment has succeeded in the great parent republic. It will be time enough to follow its footsteps when experience has proved it is conducive to human happiness and social stability.

But while, as ardently as any Socialist in existence, we deprecate the commencement of hostilities by any European power, and earnestly desire to see the great social experiment now making in France brought to a pacific issue, in order that its practicability and expedience may for ever be determined among men, yet it is evident that things may take a different issue in that country. It is possible—though God forbid we should say it is probable—that the great republic may, from internal suffering, be driven to foreign aggression. This, on Lamartine’s own admission, has happened once: it may happen twice. France has four hundred thousand regular troops under arms; and every man capable of bearing a musket is to be forthwith enrolled in the National Guard. Twenty-five thousand of that body have already been taken into regular and permanent pay, at thirty sous, or about fifteenpence, a-day, and sent to the frontier. It is impossible to say how soon this immense and excited mass, with arms in their hands, and little food in their stomachs, may drive the government, as in 1792 they did that of the Girondists, on Lamartine’s admission, into foreign warfare. It behoves Europe to be on its guard. Fortunately the course which its governments should pursue in such an event lies clear and open. They have only to resume the Treaty of Chaumont, concluded in 1813, to curb the ambition of the great military republic of which Napoleon was the head. Let that treaty be secretly but immediately renewed as a purely defensive league. Let no one think of attacking France; but the moment that France invades any other power, let the four great powers forthwith bring a hundred and fifty thousand each into the field. Let not the wretched mistake be again committed, of the others looking tamely on when one is assailed—“et dum singuli pugnant, universi vincuntur.”[11] The moment the French cross the Rhine or the Alps, the states of Europe must stand side by side as they did at Leipsic and Waterloo, if they would avoid another long period of oppression by the conquering republicans.

Nearly sixty years have elapsed since Mr Burke observed—“The age of chivalry is gone; that of sophists, economists, and calculators has succeeded, and the glory of Europe is extinguished for ever. Never more shall we behold that generous loyalty to rank and sex—that proud submission, that dignified obedience, that subordination of the heart, which kept alive, even in servitude itself, the spirit of an exalted freedom. The unbought grace of life—the cheap defence of nations, the nurse of manly sentiments—is gone. It is gone, that sensibility of principle, that chastity of honour, which felt a stain like a wound, which inspired courage while it mitigated ferocity, which ennobled whatever it touched, and under which vice itself lost half of its evil, by losing all its grossness.”[12] What a commentary on these well-known and long-admired words have recent events afforded! It is indeed gone, the loyalty to rank and sex—the proud submission, the dignified obedience, the subordination of the heart, which formerly characterised and adorned the states of modern Europe. With more courage than the German Empress, the Duchess of Orleans fronted the revolutionary mob in the Chamber of Deputies; but no swords leapt from their scabbards in the Chamber of Deputies when her noble appeal was made to the loyalty of France—no generous hearts found vent in the words, “Moriamur pro rege nostro, Maria Theresa!” It could no longer be said—

“Fair Austria spread her mournful charms—
The Queen, the beauty, roused the world to arms.”

The infuriated rabble pointed their muskets at the royal heroine, and the few loyal members of the assembly were glad to purchase her safety by removing her from the disgraceful scene. Not a shot was thereafter fired; not a show even of resistance to the plebeian usurpation was made. An army of four hundred thousand men, five hundred thousand National Guards, thirty-four millions of men, in a moment forgot their loyalty, broke their oaths, and surrendered their country to the worst of tyrannies, the tyranny of a multitude of tyrants.

“The unbought grace of life,” says Mr Burke, “the cheap defence of nations, is at an end.” What a commentary has the triumph of the Barricades, the government of Louis Philippe, afforded on these words! M. Garnier Pages, in his Financial Report, has unfolded the state of the French finances, the confusion and disastrous state of which he is fain to ascribe to the prodigal expenditure and unbounded corruption of Louis Philippe. He tells us, and we doubt not with truth, that during the seventeen years of his government, the expenditure has been raised from 900,000,000 francs, (£36,000,000,) to 1700,000,000 francs, (£68,000,000;) that the debt has been increased during that period by £64,000,000; and that the nation was running, under his direction, headlong into the gulf of national bankruptcy. He observes, with a sigh, how moderate in comparison, how cheap in expenditure, and pacific in conduct, was the government of Charles X., which never brought its expenditure up to £40,000,000. It is all true—it is what we predicted eighteen years ago would be the inevitable result of a democratic revolt; it is the consummation we invariably predicted of the transports following the fall of Charles X. The republicans, now so loud in reprobation of the expenditure of the Citizen King, forget that his throne was of their own making; that he was a successful democratic usurper; that his power was established to the sound of the shouts of the republicans in all Europe, amidst the smoke of the Barricades. A usurping government is necessarily and invariably more costly than a legitimate one; because, having lost the loyalty of the heart, it has no foundation to rest on, but the terrors of the senses, or the seductions of interest. It was for precisely the same reason that William III. in ten years raised the expenditure of Great Britain from £1,800,000 a year, to £6,000,000; and that, in the first twenty years of the English government subsequent to the Revolution, the national debt had increased from £600,000 to £54,000,000. When the moral and cheap bond of loyalty is broken, government has no resource but an appeal to the passions or interests of the people. The Convention tried an appeal to their republican passions, and they brought on the Reign of Terror. Napoleon tried an appeal to their military passions, and he brought on the subjugation of France by Europe. Louis Philippe, as the only remaining resource, appealed to their selfish interests, and he induced the revolution of 1848. Mankind cannot escape from the gentle influence of moral obligations, but to fall under the reaction of conquest, the debasement of corruption, or the government of force.

But all these governments, say the republicans, fell, because they departed from the principles of the Revolution, and because they became corrupted by power as soon as they had tasted its sweets. But even supposing this were true,—supposing that Mirabeau, Danton, Robespierre, Napoleon, and Louis Philippe were all overthrown, not because they took the only method left open to them to preserve the support of the senators, but because they departed from the principles of the Revolution; do the republicans not see that the very announcement of that fact is the most decisive condemnation of their system of government? Do they expect to find liberals more eloquent than Mirabeau, republicans more energetic than Danton, socialists more ardent than Robespierre, generals more capable than Napoleon, citizen kings more astute than Louis Philippe? Republican power must be committed to some one. Mankind cannot exist an hour without a government: the first act of the infuriated and victorious rabble in the Chamber of Deputies was to name a Provisional one. But if experience has proved that intellect the most powerful, patriotism the most ardent, genius the most transcendent, penetration the most piercing, experience the most extensive, are invariably shipwrecked amidst the temptations and the shoals of newly acquired republican power, do they not see that it is not a form of government adapted for the weakness of humanity; and that if the leaders of revolution are not impelled to destruction by an external and overbearing necessity, they are infallibly seduced into it by the passions which, amidst the novelty of newly acquired power, arise in their own breasts? In either case, a revolution government must terminate in its own destruction,—in private sufferings and public disasters; and so it will be with the government of M. Lamartine and that of the new National Assembly, as it has been with all those which have preceded it.

“Deus patiens,” says St Augustin, “quia æternus.”[13]—What an awful commentary on this magnificent text have recent events afforded! Eighteen years ago Louis Philippe forgot his loyalty and broke his oath; the first prince of the blood elevated himself to power by successful treason; he adopted, if he did not make, a revolution. He sent his lawful monarch into exile; he prevented the placing the crown on the head of his grandson; he for ever severed France from its lawful sovereigns. What has been the result of his usurpation? Where are now his enduring projects, his family alliances, his vast army, his consolidated power? During seventeen years he laboured with indefatigable industry and great ability to establish his newly acquired authority, and secure, by the confirmation of his own power, the perpetual exile of the lawful sovereign of France. Loud and long was the applause at first bestowed by the liberal party in Europe on the usurpation; great was the triumph of the bourgeoisie in every state at seeing a lawful monarch overturned by a well-concerted urban revolt, and the National converted into a Prætorian Guard, which could dispose of crowns at pleasure. But meanwhile the justice of Heaven neither slumbered nor slept. The means taken by Louis Philippe to consolidate his power, and which were in truth the only ones that remained at his disposal, consummated his ruin. His steady adherence to peace dissatisfied the ardent spirits which sought for war; his firm internal government disconcerted the republicans; his vast internal expenditure drew after it a serious embarrassment of finance. He could not appeal to the loyal feelings of the generous, for he was a usurper; he could not rest on the support of the multitude, for they would have driven the state to ruin; he could not rally the army round his throne, for they would have impelled him into war. Thus he could rest only on the selfish interests; and great was the skill with which he worked on that powerful principle in human affairs. But a government which stands on selfish feelings alone is a castle built on sand; the first wind of adversity levels it with the dust. Napoleon’s throne was founded on this principle, for he sacrificed to warlike selfishness; Louis Philippe on the same, for he sacrificed to pacific selfishness. Both have undergone the stern but just law of retribution. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, has been meted out to both. To Napoleon, who had sent so many foreign princes into banishment, and subverted so many gallant states, a defeat in the field, a melancholy exile, and unbefriended death, in a foreign land; to Louis Philippe, who had dethroned his lawful sovereign, and carried the standard of treason into the halls of the Tuilleries, the fate which he allotted to Charles X., that of being expelled with still greater ignominy from the same halls, being compelled to eat the bread of the stranger, and see his dynasty driven from their usurped throne amidst the derision and contempt of mankind.

“If absolute power,” says M. De Tocqueville, “shall re-establish itself in whatever hands, in any of the democratic states of Europe, I have no doubt it will assume a form unknown to our fathers. When the great families and the spirit of clanship prevailed, the individual who had to contend with tyranny never found himself alone—he was supported by his clients, his relations, his friends. But when the estates are divided, and races confounded, where shall we find the spirit of family? What form will remain in the influences of habit among a people changing perpetually, where every act of tyranny will find a precedent in previous disorders, where every crime can be justified by an example; where nothing exists of sufficient antiquity to render its destruction an object of dread, and nothing can be figured so new that men are afraid to engage in it? What resistance would manners afford which have already received so many shocks? What would public opinion do, when twenty persons do not exist bound together by any common tie; when you can no more meet with a man, a family, a body corporate, or a class of society, which could represent or act upon that opinion; where each citizen is equally poor, equally impotent, equally isolated, and can only oppose his individual weakness to the organised strength of the Central Government? To figure any thing equal TO THE DESPOTISM which would then be established amongst us, we would require to recur not to our own annals; we would be forced to go back to those frightful periods of tyranny, when, manners being corrupted, old recollections effaced, habits destroyed, opinions wavering, liberty deprived of its asylum under the laws, men made a sport of the people, and princes wore out the clemency of heaven rather than the patience of their subjects. They are blind indeed who look for democratic equality in the monarchy of Henry IV. and Louis XIV.”[14] What a commentary on this terrible prophecy have recent events supplied! The revolutionists say, that France is entering the last phase of the revolution.—It is true, it is entering it; but it is the last phase of punishment to which it is blindly hurrying. The sins of the fathers are about to be visited on the third generation. To talk of real freedom, stable institutions, protected industry, social happiness, in such a country, is out of the question. With their own hands, in the first great convulsion, they destroyed all the bulwarks of freedom in the land, and nothing remains to them, after the madness of socialism has run its course, but the equality of despotism. They have thrown off the laws of God and man, and Providence will leave their punishment to their own hands. “The Romans,” says Gibbon, “aspired to be equal: they were levelled by the equality of Asiatic bondage.”

Amidst so many mournful subjects of contemplation, there is one consideration which forces itself upon the view, of great importance in the present condition of this country. This revolution in France being a revolt of labour against capital, its first principle is a deadly hostility to the principle of free-trade. The recent barbarous expulsion of the English labourers from France, several thousands in number, after having enriched the country by their labour, and taught it by their example, proves what sympathy foreign industry meets with from the great and fraternising republic. The confiscation of their hard-won earnings by the cessation of the savings’ banks to pay more than a tenth in cash, shows what they have to expect from the justice and solvency of its government. With the rise of the communist and socialist party in France to power, whose abomination is capital, whose idol is labour, it may with certainty be predicted that the sternest and most unbending prohibition of British goods will immediately be adopted by the great philanthropic and fraternising republic. All other countries which follow in any degree the example of the great parent republic, by the popularising of their institutions, will, from the influence of the labour party, do the same. America already draws nineteen million dollars, or nearly £4,000,000 sterling, from its imports, the greater part of which is a direct tax levied on the industry of this country. Reciprocity, always one-sided, will ere long be absolutely isolated. We shall be,

Penitus divisos orbe Britannos,”

even more by our policy than our situation.

What chance there is of free-trade doctrines being adopted by the present socialist and free-trade government in France, may be judged of by the following quotation from the Constitutionnel:—

“Is not, in fact, the consumer, such as the free-traders represent him to us, a strange creation? He is, as he has been wittily described, a fantastic being—a monster who has a mouth and a stomach to consume produce, but who has neither legs to move nor arms to work. We do not fear that the operative classes will suffer themselves to be seduced by those doctrines. We are aware that they have constantly rejected them through the organs of the press more especially charged with the defence of their interests; but it behoves them likewise that the Provisional Government should remain on its guard against principles which would be still more disastrous under existing circumstances. M. Bethmont, the minister of commerce, has declared, in a letter addressed by him to the association for the defence of national labour, that he would never grant facilities of which the consequences would be calculated to injure our manufacturers. We see by this declaration that the dispositions of the Provisional Government are good. The very inquiry which is now being held to devise means to ameliorate the moral and material condition of the operatives, ought to confirm the government in the necessity of maintaining the system which protects industry. Let us inquire what the consequence would be, in fact, if we were so imprudent as to suffer foreign produce to enter France free of duty. Political economy teaches us that wages find their balance in consequence of the competition existing between nations; but they find their equilibrium by falling, and not by rising. If that were not the case, there would be no possibility of maintaining the struggle. Now, if we opened our ports, this cruel necessity would become the more imperious for us, as, being placed opposite to England in conditions of inferiority, greater in respect to capital, to the means of transport, and to the price of matters of the first necessity, we could not redeem those disadvantages except by a reduction of wages. This, in fact, would be the annihilation of the operative.”—Constitutionnel, March 16, 1848.

This is the inevitable result of republican and socialist triumph in the neighbouring kingdom, and the impulse given to liberal institutions, an inlet thereby opened to manufacturing jealousy all over the world. Debarred thus from all possibility of reciprocal advantages; shut out for ever from the smallest benefit in return, is it expedient for Great Britain to continue any longer her concessions to foreign industry, or incur the blasting imputation of a suicidal policy towards her own inhabitants in favour of ungrateful and selfish foreigners, who meet concessions with prohibition, and industrial teaching with savage expulsion from the instructed territory.

“No revolution,” says Madame de Staël, “can succeed in any country, unless it is headed by a portion of the higher, and the majority of the middle classes.” Recent events have afforded another to the many confirmations which history affords of this important observation. Had the National Guard of Paris stood firm, the troops of the line would never have wavered; the government would not have been intimidated; a socialist revolution would have been averted; public credit preserved; the savings’ bank, the place of deposit of the poor—the public funds, the investment of the middle classes—saved from destruction. When we contemplate the dreadful monetary crisis which has been brought on in France by the revolution; when we behold the bank of France suspending payments, and all the chief banks of the metropolis rendered bankrupt by the shock; when we behold wealth in ship-loads flying from its menaced shores, and destitution in crowds stalking through its crowded and idle streets, we are struck with horror, and impressed with a deeper sense of thankfulness at the good sense and patriotic spirit of the middle classes in this country, which has so quickly crushed the efforts of the seditious to involve us in similar calamities. “The unbought loyalty of men,—the cheap defence of nations,”—still, thank God! subsists amongst us. The poison of infidelity has not destroyed the moral bonds of society—the rolling-stone of revolution has not crushed the institutions of freedom amongst us. There are hearts to love their country—arms to defend their Queen—not less among our civil than our military defenders. The pillage of Glasgow on the first outbreak of the disturbances there, their speedy suppression, by the energy of the inhabitants, has not been lost on the empire. It is not in vain that twenty thousand constables came forward to be enrolled in one day in Glasgow, and eleven thousand in Manchester. We see what we have to expect from the seditious; they see what they have to expect from the middle classes of society, and the whole virtuous part of the lower. With such dispositions in both, Great Britain may be exposed to local disorder or momentary alarm, but it can never be seriously endangered, or undergo that worst of horrors—a social revolution. Nor will she, with such dispositions in her people, be less prepared to assert the ancient glory of her arms, should circumstances render that alternative necessary. She has no internal reforms to make that she cannot achieve peaceably, by the means which her constitution affords. Her giant strength slumbers, not sleeps. Our ships of war, in the noble words of Mr Canning, “how soon one of those stupendous masses, now reposing on their shadows in perfect stillness,—how soon, upon any call of patriotism, or of necessity, it would assume the likeness of an animated thing, instinct with life and motion—how soon it would ruffle, as it were, its swelling plumage—how quickly it would put forth all its beauty and its bravery, collect its scattered elements of strength, and awaken its dormant thunder!”—how soon would the flag of Waterloo again be unfurled to the breeze!



The following is a very loose imitation of a popular German air.

While life’s early friends still surround us,
Yet another bright hour let us pass,
And wake the old rafters around us
With the song and the circling glass.
For it cannot thus long hold together
Here under the changeable moon;
To bloom for a time, then to wither,
Is the lot of all, later or soon.
Then here’s to the many good fellows
Who before us have tippled and laugh’d;
Be they under the turf or the billows,
To them let this goblet be quaff’d.
That if, after us, others as merry
Shall keep up as joyous a train,
One bumper of port or of sherry
To us in our turn they may drain—
As they keep up the charter of joyance,
As by us was maintain’d in our day;
Not to drown dull care and annoyance,
Not ignobly to moisten our clay;—
But to raise an extempore shrine,
Where Momus, revisiting earth,
May find humour and whim yet divine,
And the glorious spirit of mirth.
For ’twas not we were reckless of duty,
Or the sterner requirements of life;
’Twas not we were mindless of beauty,
Or are now, of home, children, and wife;
But ’tis,—that the wandering hours
Have a singular frolicsome way
Of scattering the fairest of flowers
O’er moments of fellowship gay;
When fancy leads off to a measure
That youth might mistake for its own,
As its wont were to seek after pleasure,
With feeling and wit for its tone;
And so vivid and bright the ideal
Her fairy-light shows us the while,
That wisdom asks nothing more real,
And genius applauds with a smile.





[When Captain Sherwill and Dr Edmund Clark ascended to the summit of Mont Blanc, they were much surprised to observe the greater apparent distance and feebler splendour of the moon and stars. “The cloudless canopy of heaven was of a very dark blue, but with a slight reddishness in the tinge, so as rather to resemble a beautiful deep violet than indigo.... The vault of heaven appeared prodigiously high and distant. After two days’ march upward, the blue expanse seemed to have receded from us much faster than we had climbed towards it.... Perhaps there are few phenomena (adds Dr Clark,) so calculated to take an impressive hold of the imagination.”]

When bold Emprise, by thrilling hopes and fears
Alternate sway’d, hath each dread peril pass’d,
And Mont Blanc’s snow-bound summit reach’d at last;
Remoter shine th’ eternal starry spheres,
More distant walks the moon ‘mid darkest blue,
Heaven’s cloudless dome dilates, and higher seems;
And way-worn pilgrim sees, with wond’ring view,
Each star decline, and pale its wonted beams!
So, when Ambition hath from life’s low vale
Our footsteps lured, when, danger’s path defied,
We’ve gain’d at length, with fortune’s fav’ring gale,
The “promised land,”—the pinnacle of pride,—
The phantom Bliss thus mocks our cheated eyes,
For, as we mount, the dear delusion flies!

TO ——.

Meekness, Sincerity, and Candour, seem
Enshrined in that sweet smile, and calm, clear brow;
Nor less within thy blue eye’s witching beam,
Affection warm, and Sympathy with wo;
Goodness and Grace ineffable illume
Thy mien:—when Music melts thy thrilling tone,
How could my heart its magic pow’r disown?
Thy siren strains oft snatch me from the gloom,
The dream-like forms, the anguish, and turmoil,
That haunt the Past. Alas! too soon again—
As on yon stormy strand the seas recoil,
Some weed sweeps back into its wave-worn den[15]
Wild Mem’ry’s spells resume their wonted might,
And sternly shroud me from thy world of light!



Lake Champlain was long known to the Dutch, and through them to the English, as the Lake of Corlaer. It seems that one Corlaer was for a long time the great man of a little Dutch settlement on the Mohawk, where for many years he swayed the civic sword so potently and with such terror to evil-doers among the Indians, that they adopted his name into their language to signify a white governor. This doughty Dutchman, therefore, left the title to his successors, and the Corlaers went through their decline and fall with as much dignity, in a small way, as history ascribes to the Pharaohs and the Cæsars. Like the founders of other dynasties, however, the original Van Corlaer came to a remarkable and tragic end; and as this deplorable event took place on the Lake, now known by the name of Champlain, the Dutch stubbornly regarded their own hero as having the best right to name it. For a time it seemed likely that fortune would decide for the Dutch; but, with a fickleness for which the flirt is proverbial, she suddenly declared for the French claim; and time having ratified the award, the name of Corlaer is no more heard among mortals, except when some one of antiquarian tastes, like myself, discovers, with a meditative sigh, that it once could start a ghost as soon as Cæsar, and come very near being “writ in water,” which, strange to say, would have rendered it immortal.

It seems that in those days there was, somewhere in the lake, a remarkable rock which the Mohawks regarded as the dome of a submarine palace, in which dwelt with his mermaids a wicked old Indian enchanter, who ruled over Boreas and Euroclydon. The superstition was quite coincident in its particulars with the more classical and familiar one which is served up in the story of Æneas: but this mischievous king of the winds had the merit of being easily propitiated; and the Indians, as they timidly passed his stronghold, never failed to send down to him the tributary peace offering of a pipe, an arrow, or any thing else, save their bottles of fire-water, of which the old fellow was dexterously cheated. The doughty Van Corlaer, undertaking a voyage to the north, was duly informed of these facts; but he swore “by stone and bone” that he would not pay the tribute, or ask any one’s permission to navigate the lake. I am sorry to add that he would not be argued out of his rash and inconsiderate vow. Tradition relates that, as he approached the rock, his mariners showed signs of fear, which appeared so puerile and idle to the enlarged soul of the hero, that he on the contrary steered close to the fearful citadel, and, shamefully exposing his person, made an unseemly gesture towards the abode of the Indian Æolus, and added some Dutch formula of defiance. It is almost needless to relate that the wrath of his ventose majesty was greatly excited. He scorned, indeed, to make a tempest about it; but despatching several angry little squalls after the insolent admiral, they bored him fore and aft, and beset him from so many quarters at once, in a narrow gorge of the lake, that, in short, he was effectually swamped, and thus made a warning example to all succeeding Van Corlaers. His name, as I said, was for a while bequeathed to the lake; but even this poor recompense for a disaster so terrible has proved as evanescent as the bubbles, in which the last sigh of the unfortunate Dutchman came up from the caves to which, like the great Kempenfelt, he went down in a moment.

The lake, therefore, retains its Gallic appellation, and preserves the name and memory of Samuel de Champlain, a servant of Henry IV., and justly surnamed the father of La Nouvelle France. The expedition in which it first received his name was a romantic one, and so well illustrates what I have already said of the border feuds of the seventeenth century, that I must be excused for relating its story. Champlain had come down to the shores of the lake with a party of Adirondacks, and was advancing through the forest towards the lands of the Iroquois, when suddenly they came in sight of a strong party of that nation, who showed no disposition to decline an encounter. On the contrary, setting up their warwhoop, they advanced pell-mell to the attack. The Frenchmen, betaking themselves to an ambuscade, made ready to receive them with their fusils; while their savage allies awaited the foe with their usual coolness and contempt of danger. The Iroquois were the more numerous, and, elated by their apparent superiority, came down with the sweeping violence of a whirlwind. The Adirondacks seemed in their eyes as chaff; and with howls and hatchets they were just pouncing upon their prey, when the blazing fusils of Champlain and his comrades laid the foremost of the Iroquois warriors in the dust. The remainder fled into the wilderness with the most frantic outcries of astonishment and despair. It was the first volley of fire-arms that ever reached the ear or the heart of an Iroquois—the first that ever startled the echoes of that lake, which was so soon destined to tremble beneath the bellowing thunders of navies. They were defeated they knew not how; but they retired to the depths of the forest, muttering the deadliest vows of revenge. It so happened that another collision of the same kind occurred soon after on the Saurel—a little river, much broken by rapids, through which the waters of the lake make their way to the sea. There was among the Algonquins a bold and dashing chief whose name was Pisquaret. He had made an incursion against the Iroquois, and was laden with the scalps which he had taken from an Indian village which he surprised at night and completely destroyed. As he was navigating the rapids of the Saurel with his Adirondacks and several Frenchmen, he was surprised by a powerful armament of Iroquois, who immediately bore down upon him, with great advantage from the current. The treacherous Algonquins feigned to give themselves up for lost, and, setting up the death-song of the Adirondacks, appeared to await their inevitable fate. The Frenchmen, throwing themselves flat in the batteaux, and resting the muzzles of their carbines upon the gunnels, coolly calculated the effects of the coming discharge; but Pisquaret and his warriors raised their voices in chanting the victories of their tribe, inflaming the Iroquois by vaunts of injuries which they had done them, and defying them in return not to spare any torture in seeing how the Algonquins could die. The exasperated foe was just pealing the war-cry, when the deadly blaze of the carbines changed their exultation in a moment to howls of agony and dismay. But these were tricks which could not be repeated; and, long after, the empire of the Grande Monarque paid dearly for these frolics in the unpruned wilderness. Those who are fond of tracing the greatest political events and changes to accidents inconsiderable in themselves, have maintained that the first volley of fire-arms that startled the echoes of Lake Champlain, decided the fate and fixed the limits of French dominion in America. Nor is this theory to be lightly dismissed as fanciful; for it cannot be doubted that the subsequent spread of the Anglo-Saxon race over the hunting-grounds of the Mohawks, and through them to the further west, was owing to the favourable treaties which the English were able to effect with the Iroquois in the days of their power,—treaties which, had they been secured by the French, would have opened the whole region now called New York to their countrymen, and filled it with a mongrel population under the absolute control of Jesuits and political adventurers. Nor can any thing be ascertained more decisive of what was at first a game and a problem, than the collisions I have described. The Iroquois soon found out the secret of their discomfiture, and associated the name of a Frenchman with that of the Algonquins in their inveterate hatred. And when they in turn found Pale-faces to seek their alliance, and supply them with arms, they became the barrier of British enterprise against the encroachments of France; and so it was that the beautiful vale of Mohawk, the shores of Erie and Ontario, and the rugged mountains of Vermont, came to be filled with the sons of Englishmen, and not with the dwarfish overgrowth of the French Canadian provinces. The laws, civil institutions, and the religion of England thus found a footing in that great territory, which, as more or less influencing all the other members of the American confederacy, is called the empire state:—and perhaps the bells that ring for the English service throughout that region would have been tolling for the Latin mass, but for those early encounters on the shores of Lake Champlain.

Our delay at Whitehall was owing to a blunder of Freke’s. He had assured us that we would certainly arrive in time to take the steamer down the lake to St John’s; but it had been several hours on its way when we arrived at the inn. Since the burning of a steamer several years before, there had been but one on these waters; and as it was now on its downward trip, it could not again leave Whitehall for several days. Here was a pretty mess for some half-dozen of us!

There was nothing for us but bedtime; and poor enough beds it brought us. I was up before the sun had found a chance to send a squint into the town over its rocky eastern wall; and I wonder not that the sun is slow to visit it, for it is altogether a disagreeable hole. For this I was unprepared. Whitehall hath a royal prestige, and the notion of the head of a lake had given me the pleasing expectation of a picturesque little harbour, and a romantic water view. There is nothing of the sort. The harbour is well called the basin; and Wood-creek, the canal, and the lake, just here, are all ditches together. Vessels of different sorts and sizes lie huddled and crowded at their confluence, and the waters are precisely of the colour of café-au-lait! Shade of merry Charles, how came they to change Skenesborough into Whitehall?

I have compared the ditch-water to café-au-lait; but all I can say of my breakfast is, that its coffee was not comparable to ditch-water. Freke was despatched to look us out a vessel willing to take us any where, for staying here was out of the question. He had given us the Indian name of the place as Kaw-ko-kaw-na, assuring us that this euphonious polysyllable was good Iroquois for the place where they catch fish. This little item of knowledge proved to us a dangerous thing, for it suggested a fishing excursion to fill up the hours of Freke’s anticipated absence. We rowed ourselves for some distance along a narrow channel, with marshes on both sides, which looked like the stronghold of that cohort of agues and fevers which, since the days of Prometheus, have delighted in burning and shaking the race of mortals. Wood-creek throws itself into the basin with a foaming cataract of waters; and beyond the marshes are precipitous walls of rocks, that confine the view. These rocks they call the Heights; and I doubt not they would look well at a distance, but the mischief is, there is no viewing them in so favourable a way. They rise like a natural Bastile, and so near your nose, that your only prospect is perpendicular; and you are consequently obliged to think more of your nose than the prospect. In the moonlight, the evening before, I did think there was something magnificent about the Heights; but this impression, like other visions of the night, did not survive the daybreak. I should think a geologist or a stone-mason might find them interesting; and an unprincipled inhabitant of Whitehall, out of patience with life in such a place, or emulous of the Lesbian Sappho, would doubtless find them suitable to the nefarious purpose of breaking his neck. This is all I can say for them; and as for the fishing excursion, we soon gave it up, and paddled back to the quay, out of patience with Freke for his instructions in Indian philology, and heartily tired of attempting to catch fish in Kaw-ko-kaw-na.

Freke, for once in his life, had been employed to some purpose. He met us on the quay, and immediately conducted us to a gay little sloop, to which he had already transferred our luggage, and which was ready for a start down the lake to Plattsburgh. We were introduced to a raw-boned, barethroated Vermonter as “Captain Pusher,” and, ratifying the bargain of our commissary, were soon snugly on board his vessel; of which I regret that I forget the name, though I distinctly remember the letters that shone on the painted sterns we passed—such as the Macdonough, the Congress, the Green-Mountain-Boy, and the Lady of the Lake. Whatever was its name, its deck contained several baskets of vegetables and joints of meat, which gave us promise of a good dinner; and scarcely were we under weigh, before Sambo the cook began to pare turnips, and grin from ear to ear over savoury collops of mutton, which he was submitting to some incipient process of cookery.

We were favoured with a good breeze; but the channel of which I have spoken seemed to drag its length like an Alexandrine. We reached a place where it is so narrow, and makes an angle so abrupt, that there is a contrivance on the bank which steamers are obliged to employ in turning. It is best described by the name which has been given to it by the sailors, from

“A pigmy scraper wi’ his fiddle,
Wha used at tryste and fairs to driddle,
Wi’ hand on haunch, and upward e’e.”

They call it the Fiddler’s Elbow; and as it seems the limit of Whitehall, we were glad to double the cape as speedily as possible. A squadron of ducks that were puddling in the dirty water of the marshes gave point to a quotation from Voltaire, with which one of our company paid his parting compliments to Kaw-ko-kaw-na, as its author did to Holland—Adieu! canards, canailles, canaux.

After clearing this place, we found an object of interest in the decaying hulks of the two flotillas that came to an engagement in Plattsburgh bay, in the year 1814. The British and America galleys lay there rotting together, with many marks of the sharp action in which they had well borne their part. The more imposing proportions of Captain Downie’s flag-ship the Confiance arrested our particular attention. She was a sheer hulk, charred and begrimed by fire, and a verdant growth of grass was sprouting from her seams and honourable scars. A few years before, she was a gallant frigate, cruising upon the open lake, and bearing proudly in the fight the red-cross of St George. Her commander fell upon her deck in the first moment of the action; and after a fierce engagement, during which she received 105 round-shot in her hull, she was surrendered. There was something in the sight of these rival squadrons thus rotting side by side, that might have inspired a moralist. How many brave fellows that once trode their decks were likewise mouldering in the dust of death! But in another view of the matter there was something inspiring. They were a witness of peace between the two nations who hold Lake Champlain between them; and long may it be before either shall wish to recall them from the nothingness into which they have long since crumbled!

The lake becomes gradually wider, and though not remarkable for beauty, affords scenes to engage the eye and occupy the mind. It is rather river scenery, than what we naturally associate with lakes. On the left are the mountain ridges that divide its waters from those of Lake George; on the right, is the rocky boundary of Vermont. The lake occupies the whole defile, lying very nearly due north and south. As we approached Ticonderoga, the region became more mountainous, and the view was consequently more attractive. Before us on the east was Mount Independence, and just opposite, on the west, rose the bold height of Mount Defiance, completely covering the fortress, which we knew lurked behind it to the north. By the help of a good wind, we were not long in reaching the spot where the outlet of Lake George debouches. It comes into Lake Champlain, apparently from the north-west, at the foot of Mount Defiance; the lake making a bend and winding eastward; and between the lake and the outlet, on a sloping and partially wooded promontory of some hundred feet in height, rise the rough but picturesque ruins of Ticonderoga. They present an appearance not usual in American scenery; and having every charm of association which Indian, French, British, and patriotic warfare can throw around such places, are naturally enough endeared to Americans, and gratifying to the curiosity of travellers.

This fortress was originally built by the French, in 1756; and subsequently, until the ascent of Mount Defiance by Burgoyne proved its exposure to attack on that point, it was contested, captured, and recaptured, and held by French, English, and Americans, as a stronghold of mastery and power. It commanded the avenue to the Hudson, and the pass to Lake George. The name Ticonderoga, in which every ear must detect a significant beauty, is said to denote, in the Indian dialect, the noise of the cataracts in the outlet; but the French called the fort Carillon, and afterwards Vaudreuil, in honour of one of their governors in Acadie, the Marquis de Vaudreuil. In 1757, when Montcalm (who fell in the defence of Quebec two years afterwards) was making his expedition against the English forts on Lake George, he remained at this place awaiting that powerful reinforcement of savages, whose treachery and thirst for blood rendered the campaign so lamentably memorable. To one who stands, as I did, on that beautiful peninsula, and surveys the quiet scene of land and water—sails betokening civilised commerce, and a trading village in Vermont, exhibiting every mark of prosperous thrift—it seems incredible that within the lifetime of persons yet surviving, that very scene was alive with savage nations who called it their own, and gave it to whom they would; but of whom nothing remains but wild traditions, and the certainty that they have been. Yet, only forty-three years before British and American flotillas were contending for this lake, in sight of a village with spires, and with none other than civilised arts of war, the same waters were covered with two hundred canoes of Nipistingues, Abnakis, Amenekis, and Algonquins, paddling their way to the massacre of a British force in a fortress at the head of Lake George. From Father Roubaud, a Jesuit priest who accompanied them, the particulars of that expedition have been handed down. He describes the savages as bedaubed with green, yellow, and vermillion; adorned with glistening ornaments, the gifts of their allies; their heads shaven, saving their scalp-locks, which rose from their heads like crests, stiffened with tallow, and decorated with beads and feathers; their chiefs bedizened with finery, and each nation embarked under wild but appropriate ensigns. Such were the Christians with whom Father Roubaud travelled as chaplain, and whom he led against his fellow Christians like another Peter the Hermit pursuing Turks. It is the plague of Popery that it often expends itself in inspiring the deepest religious sentiment, without implanting the least religious principle. The Italian bandit kneels at a wayside crucifix, to praise God and the Virgin for the plunder he has taken with bloodshed; the Irish priest, at the altar, devotes to death his unoffending neighbours, with the very lips which, as he believes, have just enclosed the soul, body, and divinity of the world’s Redeemer; and the Jesuit missionary of New France had no scruple in consecrating with the most awful rites of religion, an expedition whose object was the scalps of baptised men, and whose results were the massacre of women and children. The holy father himself is particular to relate the fact that he celebrated a mass before the embarkation, for the express purpose of securing the Divine blessing, and he compliments the fervour with which the savages assisted at the solemnity! He had described the English to them as a race of blasphemers, and they, at least, were not to blame for embarking in the spirit of crusaders “against black Pagans, Turks, and Saracens.” Daily, for a whole week, as the armament advanced, did the wily Jesuit land them on one of the many isles that gem the lower waters of Lake Champlain, on purpose to renew the august sacrament of the altar before their eyes: and he describes these savages as chanting the praises of the Lamb of God, with a fervour from which he augured the consummation of their character as Christians. At the end of a week, they descried with joy the French lilies as they waved over the walls of Carillon; and in order to make their approach more imposing, they immediately arranged their canoes under their ensigns, and advanced in battle array. From the height on which I stood, Montcalm beheld his allies, on a bright July morning, their hatchets and tomahawks gleaming in the sun; their standards and scalp-locks fluttering in the breeze; and their thousand paddles hurrying them through the waves of that beautiful water: such a sight as no eye will ever see again. To a nobleman fresh from the gallantries of Versailles, it must have been a spectacle full of wild and romantic interest; and the picture is altogether such a one as any imagination may delight to reproduce. Yet, when we reflect that it is even now but fourscore years and ten since such a scene was a terrible reality, how striking the reflection that it has as absolutely vanished from the earth, beyond the possibility of revival, as the display of tournaments, and the more formidable pageants of the Crusades.

The following year an expedition against this fort was made by the gallant Abercrombie, who approached it from Lake George, and endeavoured to take it by storm. It is commonly said that Lord Howe fell in this assault before the walls; but in fact he fell the day before, while leading an advanced guard through the forest. Ticonderoga was garrisoned by about four thousand men—French, Canadians, and Indians—and their entrenchments were defended by almost impregnable outworks. The British troops nevertheless made the attack with the greatest intrepidity, and in spite of a murderous fire, forced their way to the walls, and even scaled them, to be immediately cut down. But after repeated assaults, and the loss of two thousand men, General Abercrombie was forced to desist from the attempt; and the French kept the post for a time. It of course became English in the following year, when the French power in America was destroyed by the taking of Quebec.

I have already referred to its seizure by the eccentric Ethan Allen, on the breaking out of the American war in 1775. This officer was a native of Vermont, who had been an infidel preacher, and was notorious as the editor of the first deistical publication that ever issued from the American press. The revolution was hardly begun, when the province of Connecticut gave him a commission to capture Ticonderoga. With about three hundred of his hardy “Green-mountain-boys,” he was hastening to the spot, when he fell in with Arnold, bearing a similar commission from Massachusetts. After some dispute as to the command, Allen was made leader, and Arnold his assistant. They arrived by night on the Vermont shore, opposite the fort. There they found a lad who had been accustomed to visit the fort every day with provisions and pedlar’s wares, and crossing by his directions, without noise, they were shown a secret and covered entrance into the fort itself. Climbing up through this passage, Allen led his men within the walls, and drew them up in the area of the fortress, having silenced and disarmed the only sentry who guarded the entrance. The commander of the post, who hardly knew there was war, was actually startled from his sleep, by Allen’s demand for its surrender. The drowsy officer inquired—“By what authority?” And was answered by Allen, half in banter and half in bombastic earnest,—“In the name of the Great Jehovah, and of the Continental Congress!” To one in his straits, with a sword at his naked breast, such a reply, however unintelligible, was sufficiently overpowering, and the post was surrendered without resistance. Its reduction in 1777, by Burgoyne, has been already described; but Ticonderoga is for ever endeared to Americans from the fact, that the flag of their independence was so early given to the breeze from its summit.

A guide, who called himself Enoch Gold, led me over the ruins. He pretended to have been with St Clair, and to have seen Burgoyne and his men on Mount Defiance. He showed us the way through which Allen gained his entrance, and took us down into the vaults and magazines. A subterranean apartment was shown as a kitchen, and the old fellow declared he had eaten bread hot out of its ovens. We gave the soi-disant veteran the liberal rewards of a hero; but I suspect we were paying him for his imagination, rather than for his hardships.

The shadows of the fortress were beginning to lengthen on the lake before we returned to our bark. The mountains of Vermont, which are mostly well wooded, looked brightly green in the broad sunshine, and tempted us to wish we had time for an excursion to their heights. It was afterwards my happiness to go into Vermont, on a visit to Lake Dunmore, which lies among its mountains, and supplies delicious fish. I found it a truly Arcadian region, abounding with streams and pasturages, and rich in flocks and herds. It breeds a rugged race of men, with some characteristics decidedly Swiss. It is said, indeed, that a Switzer, who had come to settle in America, preferred these diminutive Alps, with their lakes and mountaineer population, to any other part of the country; and, fixing his dwelling accordingly, soon ceased to be home-sick, and sigh at the ranz des vaches.

Crown Point, the twin sister of Ticonderoga, is only ten miles beyond; but we did not reach it as soon as we had expected, for the wind had changed, and we were obliged to tack. Every now and then, the man at the helm, which was our gallant captain himself, would cry out,—“Heads!” and the boom would come sweeping across the deck, with woe to the head that wore a hat, or did not bow soon enough to save it. Several times I expected to see our friend Freke carried overboard bodily, and engulfed like another Corlaer; for so profoundly was he engaged with his cigar, as he sat, or rather squatted, on the hatches, that the captain’s monotonous warning failed to alarm him till the whole company had echoed “Heads!” and, with other demonstrations of affectionate solicitude, forced him to fall on all-fours.

At Crown Point the lake greatly improves. The water appears much clearer, and the width of the lake is nearly if not quite fourfolded. It continues to expand till it becomes ten or twelve miles in breadth, and islands begin to be numerous. To the northward the higher peaks of the Green Mountains stretch away with magnificent outlines; and on the west, a bleak and craggy range of hills, which are said to harbour even yet the wolf and the bear, approach, and then recede from the shore. Here, as early as 1731, the French built Fort Frederick, as the first move towards the seizure and claim of the whole surrounding territory; and from this point they made their bloody and atrocious incursions into New England, and towards the Mohawk, or dismissed their hireling savages to do it for them. The recesses of Fort Frederick are believed to have rivalled the dungeons of the Inquisition in scenes of misery and crime. In its gloomy cells were plotted the inhuman massacres which drenched the American settlements in blood. There, it is said, the Indian butchers received their commissions to burn, tomahawk, and scalp; and there, in the presence of Jesuit fathers, or at least with their connivance, was the gleaming gold counted down to the savages in return for their infernal trophies of success; the silvery locks of the aged colonist, the clotted tresses of women, and the crimsoned ringlets of the child. In 1759 this detestable hold of grasping and remorseless tyranny was blown up, and abandoned by the French to General Amherst. Soon after, the British Government began to erect a fortification in the vicinity of the ruins, and a noble work it was; though it proved of no use at all, after the enormous sum of two millions sterling had been expended on its walls of granite, and ditches blasted in the solid rock. The exploits of Arnold and Sir Guy Carleton in this vicinity have been already described. Since the close of the war of the Revolution, the costly works at Crown Point have been suffered to fall into decay; and they are now piles of ruin, covered with weeds, among which the red berries of the sumach are conspicuously beautiful in their time.

Though “Captain Pusher” made a landing at this point to procure a little milk for our tea, we did not go ashore, and were soon on our way once more with a freer prospect, and perhaps with somewhat expanded spirits. The setting sun, in the clear climate of America, is in fair weather almost always beautiful; and my recollections of the rosy and purple tints with which it adorned the feathery flakes of cloud that floated around the peaks of the Green Mountains, are to this day almost as bright in memory as when they first made my heart leap up to behold them in the soft summer sky of Vermont. As the lake grew wider and the darkness deeper, there was of course less and less to be seen; and the noble scenery at Burlington, where the width of the lake is greatest, and the shores assume a bolder and higher character of beauty, was to our great regret unavoidably passed in the night. Still, there is something in starlight upon the waters, in new and romantic regions, which peculiarly inspires me. The same constellations which one has long been accustomed to view in familiar scenes and associations, come out like old friends in the heavens of strange and untried lands; shining witnesses to the brotherhood of differing nations, and to the impartial benevolence and unsleeping love of God. But I have no reason to regret that the only night I ever passed on Lake Champlain was mostly spent in watching; for long before I was tired of gazing at Orion and the Pleiads, I was rewarded by the sight of one of the most splendid auroras that I ever beheld. In a moment, the whole northern heaven was illuminated with columnar light; and the zenith seemed to rain it down, so to speak—while the surface of the lake reflecting it, gave us, to our own eyes, the appearance of sailing in some bright fluid, midway between a vault and an abyss of fire. This display of glory continued to flash and quiver above us for several hours. There were, in quick succession, sheets and spires and pencils of variegated light, rolling and tremulous, wavy and flame-like, blazoning heaven’s azure with something like heraldic broidery and colours. Towards morning, the intense cold and heavy mountain dews drove me for a season to my berth; but I was on deck again in time to see the moon make her heliacal rising over the eastern peaks, in the wan paleness of her last quarter. The approach of day was attended with a fog; but it soon thinned off, and we made Plattsburgh in good time. Here we parted with our vessel, and her worthy commander; and though we neither gave him a piece of plate nor voted him an accomplished gentleman, we left him with such wishes as, if they have been fulfilled, have long since removed him from the helm of his sloop, and the waters of Lake Champlain, to a snug little cot at Burlington, and the company of any number of rosy little Green-Mountain boys and their interesting mother.

Plattsburgh is situated on the western bank of the lake, just where the crescent shore of a bold peninsula begins to curve round a broad semicircular bay, several miles in circumference, and of liberal depth. Here the American squadron, under Commodore Macdonough, was anchored on the 11th of September 1814, in order to assist the land forces under General Macomb, in repelling an expected attack from the British troops under Sir George Prevost. The English flotilla had been ordered up from the Isle-aux-Noix to engage Macdonough, and divert his fire from the shore; and accordingly, at about eight o’clock in the morning, was seen off the peninsula of Cumberland Head, and hailed by both armies with vociferous acclamations. The cannonade instantly began from the ships and on the land, and for two hours and twenty minutes the naval engagement was continued with the most stubborn resolution on both sides. Though the battle on shore was sorely contested, the action between the squadrons was anxiously watched by both armies, and by thousands of deeply interested spectators, who surveyed the field and the fleets from the neighbouring heights. Macdonough’s flag-ship, the Saratoga, was twice on fire; and though Downie had fallen in the first moment of the conflict, the Confiance had succeeded in dismantling all the starboard guns of her antagonist, when the bower-cable of the Saratoga was cut, and a stern-anchor dropped, on which she rounded to, and presented a fresh broadside. The Confiance was unable to imitate this manœuvre, and she was obliged to strike, the remainder of the flotilla soon following her example. A few of the British galleys escaped, but as there was not another mast standing in either fleet, they could neither be followed by friends or by foes. The decision of the contest was vociferously cheered from the shore; and Sir George, perceiving the fate of his fleet, commenced a retreat, having suffered the loss of nearly a thousand men. This brilliant action in Cumberland Bay has made the name of Macdonough the pride and glory of Lake Champlain; and deservedly so, for his professional merit appears to have been no greater than his private worth. The brave but unfortunate Downie, who, with a squadron wanting a full third of being as strong as that of his antagonist, maintained this gallant contest, sleeps in a quiet grave at Plattsburgh, under a simple monument erected by the affection of a sister. He is always mentioned with respectful regret; but Macdonough is, of course, the hero of every panegyric. An anecdote which we heard at Whitehall gives me a higher opinion of the latter, however, than all that has been justly said of his merits as an officer. A few minutes before the action commenced, he caused his chaplain to offer the appropriate prayers in the presence of all his fleet—the men standing reverently uncovered, and the commander himself kneeling upon the deck. An officer of the Confiance is said to have observed this becoming, but somewhat extraordinary, devotion through his glass, and to have reported it to Captain Downie, who seemed to be immediately struck with a foreboding of the result. The sailors on our little sloop told us another story of the action with great expressions of delight. It seems the hen-coop of the Saratoga was struck in the beginning of the action, and a cock becoming released flew into the rigging, and, flapping his wings, crowed lustily through the fire and smoke. The gunners gave chanticleer a hearty cheer, and taking the incident as an omen of victory, stood to their guns with fresh spirit and enthusiasm. Smaller things than this have turned the tide of battles far greater, and more important to nations and the world.

We spent a day at Plattsburgh surveying the field and the fort, and picking up stories of the fight. Relics of the battle were every where visible; and grape-shot and cannon-balls were lying here and there in the ditches. The evening was fair, and we drove out to an Indian encampment on the peninsula, the first thing of the kind I ever beheld. Entering one of the wigwams, or huts, I found the squaws engaged in weaving small baskets of delicate withes of elm, dyed and stained with brilliant vegetable-colours. An infant strapped to a flat board, and set like a cane or umbrella against the stakes of the hut, was looking on with truly Indian stoicism. The mother said her child never cried; but whether it runs in the blood, or is the effect of discipline, is more than I could learn. On the beach were canoes of bark, which had been newly constructed by the men. A squaw, who desired us to purchase, lifted one of them with her hand; yet it could have carried six or seven men with safety on the lake. We observed that males and females alike wore crucifixes, and were evidently Christians, however degraded and ignorant. They spoke French, so as to be easily understood, and some English. These poor and feeble creatures were the last of the Iroquois.

Next day, in post-coaches, we came into Canada. At St John’s, where we dined, Freke boisterously drank to his Majesty. So deep were the loyal feelings of our friend, however, that he continued his bumpers to “all the royal family,” which, though not quite so great an achievement then as it would be now, was quite sufficient to consign him to the attentions of our host, where we left him without an adieu. We were much amused by the novelties of our road, so decidedly Frenchified, and unlike any thing in the States. Women, in the costume of French peasants, were at work in the fields; and we saw one engaged in bricklaying at the bottom of a ditch or cellar. The men in caps, smock-frocks, and almost always with pipes in their mouths, drove by in light charettes, or waggons with rails at the sides, drawn by stout little ponies of a plump yet delicate build, and for cart-horses remarkably fleet. For the first time in my life I observed also dogs harnessed in the Esquimaux manner, and drawing miniature charettes, laden with bark or faggots. Every thing reminded us that we were not in England or America, but only in Acadie.

We were jaunting merrily along, when vociferous halloos behind us caused our whip to pull up with a jerk. A Yorkshire man, in terror of footpads, began to bellow Drive on! and our heads were thrust forth in farcical preparation for a stand-and-deliver assault, when a waggon was discovered approaching us, in which were two men, one without a hat, his hair streaming like a meteor, and both bawling Stop, stop! like the post-boy at the heels of John Gilpin. In a moment we recognised Freke. With any thing but a volley of compliments, he assailed the driver for carrying off his luggage, which sure enough was found in the boot, with his splendid initials inscribed in a constellation of brass nails. His hat had been blown off in the pursuit; but after adorning himself with a turban, he was again admitted to our company, though not without some reluctance expressed or understood. The fumes of his dinner had not entirely subsided; and I am sorry to say, that his enthusiasm for his king and country was about in inverse proportion to the honour he did them by his extraordinary appearance. I wish it had exhausted itself in song and sentiment; but it was evident that a strong desire to fight the whole universe was fast superseding the exhilaration of reunion with his friends. Unfortunately a poor Canadian, in passing with his charette, struck the wheels of our coach; and though he alone was the sufferer, being knocked into a ditch instantaneously, Freke was upon him in a second, inflicting such a drubbing as reminded me forcibly of a similar incident in Horace’s route to Brundusium. It was with difficulty that we succeeded in reducing our hero to a sense of propriety, and compelling him to console the astounded provincial with damages. The sufferer, who thanked him in French for the not over generous remuneration, seemed altogether at a loss to know for what he had been beaten; and I am happy to say that the politeness of the peasant seemed to restore our military friend to consciousness, and a fear that he had behaved like a brute. At the next stage he provided himself with a Canadian cap, and on resuming his seat overwhelmed us with apologies; so that we were compelled to forgive the aberration, which was doubtless, as he said, attributable solely to his loyal concern for the health of his Majesty, and to an overflow of spirits at finding himself once more in the pale of the British empire.

It was late in the afternoon when we arrived at Laprairie, that little old Canadian town on the St Lawrence, where passengers take the steamer to Montreal. Here was celebrating some kind of fête which had brought a procession of nuns into the street, around whom were congregated groups of smiling children in their holiday dresses. I entered a church, which I found nearly deserted. A few of the poorer sort of persons were at prayer, saying their aves and paters by the rosary—not, as is sometimes supposed, through voluntary devotion, but in performance of appointed penances, which they make haste to get through. Some funeral ceremony seemed to be in preparation; for the church was dark, and a catafalque near the entrance gave me a startling sensation of awe. All that Laprairie could show us was soon beheld; but our usual fortune had attended us to the last, and we were again too late for the steamer. It would not cross again till the morrow; yet there was the city of Montreal distinctly visible before our eyes. From the quay we could discern, down the river, the tin roof of the convent of Grayfriars, glittering brightly in the descending sun. In fact, the whole city was glittering, for every where its spires and roofs shone with a sheeting of the Cornish material, which somehow or other, in this climate, seems to resist oxidisation. In other respects, the scene was not remarkable, except that there was the river—the broad, free, and magnificent St Lawrence, with its rapids and its isles. Nuns’ Isle was above us, and abreast of the city, with its fortress, was the green St Helen’s, said to be musical with the notes of birds, and fragrant with its flowers and verdure.

We were regretting the premature departure of the steamer, when one of our party came to announce that some Canadian boatmen were willing to take us over in a batteau, if we would embark without delay. It was nine miles, and the rapids were high; but we were informed that our ferrymen were born to the oar, and might confidently be trusted with our lives. We therefore lost no time in stowing ourselves, and part of our luggage, into a mere shell of a boat, manned by half-a-dozen Canadians, who pulled us into deep water with an air and a motion peculiarly their own. Once fairly embarked, there was something not unpleasant in finding ourselves upon the St Lawrence in a legitimate manner; for steamers were yet a novelty in those waters, and were regarded by the watermen with the same kind of contempt which an old English mail-coachman feels, in the bottom of his soul, for stokers and railways. Finding ourselves, by a lucky accident, thus agreeably launched, we naturally desired to hear a genuine Canadian boat-song, and were not long in making the oarsmen understand that an augmentation of their pay would be cheerfully afforded, if they would but favour us with music. Every one has heard the beautiful words of Tom Moore, inspired by a similar adventure. He says of the familiar air to which they are set, that though critics may think it trifling, it is for him rich with that charm which is given by association to every little memorial of by-gone scenes and feelings. I cannot say that the air of our voyageurs was the same; yet I am quite inclined to think that the words which he gives as the burden of the Canadian boat-song which he heard so often, were those to which we were treated. Barbarous, indeed, was their dialect if they attempted to give us any thing so definite as the chanson,

Dans mon chemin j’ai rencontré
Deux cavaliers, trés-bien montés;

but there was a perpetually recurring refrain which sounded like do—daw—donny-day, and which I suppose to be a sort of French fol-de-rol, but which I can easily conceive to have been, as our English Anacreon reports it—

A l’ombre d’un bois je m’en vais jouer,
A l’ombre d’un bois je m’en vais danser.

Rude as was the verse and the music, however, I must own that, in its place on that majestic river, as we were approaching the rapids whose white caps were already leaping about our frail bark, with the meditative light of sunset throwing a mellow radiance over all, there was something that appealed very strongly to the imagination in that simple Canadian air. I am not musical, and cannot recall it; yet even now it will sometimes ring in my ears, when I go back in fancy to that bright season of my life when I too was a voyageur; and I have often been happy that accident thus gave me the pleasure of hearing what I shall never hear again, and what travellers on the St Lawrence are every year less and less likely to hear repeated. Indeed, I am almost able to adopt every word which Moore has so poetically appended to his song. “I remember,” says he, “when we entered at sunset upon one of those beautiful lakes into which the St Lawrence so grandly and so unexpectedly opens, I have heard this simple air with a pleasure which the finest conceptions of the finest masters have never given me; and now there is not a note of it which does not recall to my memory the dip of our oars in the St Lawrence, the flight of our boat down the rapids, and all the new and fanciful impressions to which my heart was alive during the whole of this very interesting voyage.”

But our trip was not all poetry and song. When we were fairly upon those bright-looking rapids, we found our little nutshell quite too heavily loaded, and were forced to feel our evident danger with somewhat of alarm. The billows whirled and tossed us about, till our Canadians themselves became frightened, and foolishly throwing up their oars, began to cross themselves and to call on the Virgin and all the saints. The tutelar of the St Lawrence is said to inhabit hard by, at St Anne’s,—but such was our want of confidence in his power to interfere, that we met this outbreak of Romish devotion with a protest so vehement that it would have surprised the celebrated diet of Spires. Certain it is that, on resuming their oars, the fellows did much more for us than their aspirations had accomplished, when unaided by efforts. We soon began to enjoy the dancing of our batteau, which gradually became less violent, and was rather inspiring. Still, as no one but a coward would sport in safety with dangers which were once sufficient to appal, let me confess that I believe I should be thankful that my journey and my mortal life were not ended together in those dangerous waters. I trust it was not without some inward gratitude to Him who numbers the very hairs of our head, that we found ourselves again in smooth tides, and were soon landed in safety on the quay at Montreal.



The stirring period of the middle ages, rich in examples of bold emprise and events of romantic interest, includes no more striking and remarkable episode than the invasion and conquest, by the brother of St Louis, of the kingdom of the Two Sicilies. As an episode it has hitherto been treated—introduced, and not unfrequently crushed into unmerited insignificance, in works of general history. By both historian and poet fragments have been brought into strong relief; as an independent whole, no writer, until the present time, has ventured and chosen to attempt its delineation. The virtues and misfortunes of the last legitimate descendant of the imperial house of Stauffen, a house once so numerous and powerful, have been wept over by the minstrels to whose fraternity he belonged, vaunted by indignant chroniclers, and sung by the greatest of Italy’s bards. The gallant and successful insurrection by which the brightest gem was wrenched from the French usurper’s fire-new diadem, and set in Arragon’s crown, has been repeatedly recorded and enlarged upon, and not unfrequently mistold. But the integral treatment of the conquest of Naples, in a work devoted to it alone, and worthy of the weight and interest of the subject—the narrative of the ousting of the German dynasty and establishment of a French one, including the circumstances that led to the change, and apart from contemporary and irrelevant history—were left for the elegant and capable pen of an author honourably known for extensive learning and indefatigable research. The puissant rule of Frederick the Hohenstauffe—the heroic virtues and Homeric feats of Charles of Anjou—the precocious talents, fatal errors, and untimely end of the luckless Conradin—have found a fit chronicler in the accomplished Count of St Priest.

Besides acknowledged talents and great industry, this writer has brought to his arduous task a familiar acquaintance—the result of long and assiduous study—with the times and personages of whom he writes, a sound judgment, and an honest desire of impartiality. In his quality of Frenchman the latter was especially essential, to guard him against the natural bias in favour of an illustrious and valiant countryman, that might lead, almost unconsciously, to an undue exaltation of the virtues, and extenuation of the crimes, of the hero of his narrative. Nor was this the only instance in which he was liable to temptation. The circumstances and causes of the massacre known as the Sicilian Vespers, were handed down, in the first instance, by Italian writers, in the adoption of whose views and assertions subsequent historians have perhaps displayed too great servility. If we consider the vindictive and treacherous instincts of the Sicilians, their fierce impatience of foreign domination, and the slight account made of human life by the natives of southern Europe generally, we cannot too hastily reject the assertions and arguments by which M. de St Priest props his opinion, that the vengeance was greater than the offence, the oppressed more cruel than the oppressor. History affixes to an entire nation the stigma of goading a conquered people to madness, by arrogance, injustice, and excess. M. de St Priest takes up the defence, and, without claiming for his client an honourable acquittal, strives, by the production of extenuating circumstances, to induce the world to reconsider its severe and sweeping verdict. He asks whether the evidence has been sufficiently sifted, whether the facts have been properly understood and appreciated, or even known. “I think,” he says, “they have not. The Sicilians themselves acknowledge this. One of their most distinguished writers has suspected falsehood, and sought the truth; but he has done so only in a very exclusive, and consequently a very incomplete point of view. He has aggravated the reproach that rests upon the memory of the French of the thirteenth century. In my turn, I have resumed the debate with a national feeling as strong, but less partial I hope, than that of most of the Italian and German annalists, in whose footsteps our own historians have trodden with undue complaisance. It is time to stand aloof from these, and to reply to them.” It would be inverting the order of our subject, here to dilate upon M. de St Priest’s views concerning the massacre, to which we may hereafter recur. He scarcely makes out so good a case for the French victims to Sicilian vengeance as he does for the most prominent personage of his book, Charles of Anjou, whose character he handles with masterly skill. He admits his crimes—sets off with their acknowledgment; and yet so successfully does he palliate them by the received ideas of the time, by the necessities and perplexities of a most difficult position, that the reader forgets the faults in the virtues of the hero, and receives an impression decidedly favourable to the first French sovereign of Naples. “Had I proposed,”—we quote from the preface—“to write a biography, and not a history, to paint a portrait instead of a picture, I might have recoiled before my hero. The blood of Conradin still cries out against his pitiless conqueror; but the crime of the chief must not be imputed to the army. Aged warriors were seen to weep and pray around the scaffold of a child. The end I propose is not that of a retrospective vindication—an ungrateful, and often a puerile task. Charles of Anjou was guilty. That fact admitted, he still remains the greatest captain, the sole organising genius, and one of the most illustrious princes of a period fertile in great kings. Like his brother Louis IX., from whom, in other respects, he was only too different, he valiantly served France. He carried the French name into the most distant countries. By his political combinations, by the alliances he secured for his family as much as by his victories, Charles I., King of Sicily, seated his lineage upon the thrones of Greece, Hungary, and Poland. Yet more—he saved the western world from another Mahomedan invasion, less perceived, but not less imminent, than the invasions of the eighth and seventeenth centuries. The bust of Charles of Anjou merits a place between the statues of Charles Martel and John Sobieski.”

This high eulogium, at the very commencement of the book, strikes us as scarcely according with the promise of impartiality recorded upon the following page. The meed of praise exceeds that we should be disposed to allot to the conqueror of Naples. Still, upon investigation, it is difficult to controvert his historian’s assertions, although some of them admit of modification. Here M. de St Priest rather veils and overlooks his hero’s faults than denies them to have existed. He says nothing in this place of the misgovernment that lost Sicily, within a few years of its reduction. Yet to such misrule, more even than to the excesses of a licentious soldiery—partly consequent on it—was attributable the temporary separation of that fair island from the Neapolitan dominions. Subsequently he admits the imprudent contempt shown by Charles to this portion of his new kingdom, his injudicious choice of the agents and representatives of his authority, the exclusion of the natives from public offices and employments—filled almost wholly by Frenchmen—with many other arbitrary, oppressive, and unjust measures, sometimes more vexatious in form than efficient for the end proposed; as, for instance, the decree disarming the Sicilians, which must have been wretchedly enforced, since the Palermitans, when the signal for slaughter was given, were at no loss for weapons to exterminate their tyrants. Whilst admitting the skill shown by Charles in his foreign policy, and in the formation of great and advantageous alliances, we must refuse him, upon his advocate’s own showing, the merit of able internal administration. His military virtues are less questionable, although the greatest of his victories, which placed his rival in his power and secured his seat on the Neapolitan throne, was due less to any generalship of his own than to the bold stratagem of a gray-headed crusader.

Apart from its historical importance, M. de St Priest’s work is valuable as exposing and illustrating the peculiar ideas, strange customs, and barbarous prejudices of a remote and highly interesting period, less known than it deserves, and whose annals and archives few have explored more industriously than himself. In this point of view are we disposed, whilst glancing at some of the principal events it records, especially to consider it; and under this aspect it will probably be most prized and esteemed by the majority. A greater familiarity than the general mass of readers possess with the complicated history of the second period of the middle ages is requisite for the due appreciation of the book, and especially of its first volume. This is purely introductory to the conquest. The name of the conqueror is mentioned for the first time upon its last page. The matter it contains is not the less essential. It sketches the establishment of the Norman dynasty in Sicily; the elevation of that country into a monarchy by Duke Roger II.; the fall of the family of Tancred, and the reign of Frederick II., (Emperor of Germany, and grandson of Barbarossa,) who inherited the crown of the Two Sicilies in right of his mother, the posthumous daughter of Roger, and the last of the Norman line. This brings us into the thick of the long-standing feud between the Pope and the Empire, which, after having had the whole of Europe for its battle-field, at last concentrated itself in a single country. “Towards the middle of the thirteenth century it was transported to the southern extremity of Italy, to the rich and beautiful lands now composing the kingdom of Naples. The quarrel of the investitures terminated by the crusade of Sicily; a debate about ecclesiastical jurisdiction ended in a dispute concerning territorial possession. But although reduced to less vast proportions and more simple terms, the antagonism of the pontificate and the throne lost nothing of its depth, activity, and strength. Far from becoming weakened, it assumed the more implacable and rancorous character of a personal encounter. The war became a duel. It was natural that this should happen. So soon as a regular power was founded in the south of Italy, Rome could not permit the same power to establish itself in the north of the peninsula. The interest of the temporal existence of the popedom, the geographical position of the States of the Church, rendered this policy stringent. The Popes could never allow Lombardy and the Two Sicilies to be united under one sceptre. A King of Naples, as King of the Lombards, pressed them on all sides; but as Emperor he crushed them. This formidable hypothesis realised itself. A German dynasty menaced the Holy See, and was broken. A French dynasty was called to replace it, and obtained victory, power, and duration.” When this occurred—when the Pope, beholding from the towers of Civita Vecchia his earthly sway menaced with annihilation, and the Saracen hordes of Sicily’s powerful King ravaging the Campagna, fulminated anathemas upon the impious invaders, and summoned to his aid a prince of France—Manfredi, Prince of Tarento, or Mainfroy, as M. de St Priest prefers to call him, the natural son of Frederick II., was the virtual sovereign of the Two Sicilies. Frederick, who died in his arms, left him regent of the kingdom during the absence in Germany of his legitimate son Conrad—named his heir in preference to his grandson Frederick, the orphan child of his eldest son Henry, who had died a rebel, conquered and captive. This was not all. “The imperial will declared the Prince of Tarento bailiff or viceroy of the Two Sicilies, with unlimited powers and regal rights, whenever Conrad should be resident in Germany or elsewhere. Things were just then in the state thus provided for. Mainfroy became ipso facto regent of the kingdom; and the lucky bastard saw himself not only eventually called to the powerful inheritance of the house of Suabia, but preferred to the natural and direct heir of so many crowns.”

The death of Frederick the Hohenstauffe, who for long after his decease was popularly known—as in our day a greater than he still is—as the Emperor, revived the hopes and courage of Pope Innocent IV., who resolved to strike a decisive blow at the power of the house of Suabia. Mainfroy was then its representative in Italy. He was only nineteen—a feeble enemy, so thought Innocent, whom a word from the pontifical throne would suffice to level with the dust. But where the sanguine Pope expected to find a child, he met a man, in talent, energy, and prudence. These qualities Mainfroy displayed in an eminent degree in the struggle that ensued; and when Conrad landed in his kingdom, which had been represented to him as turbulent and agitated, he was astonished at the tranquillity it enjoyed. He embraced his brother, and insisted on his walking by his side, under the same dais, from the sea to the city. This good understanding did not last long. Conrad was jealous of the man who had so ably supplied his place, and jealousy at last became hatred. He deprived Mainfroy of the possessions secured to him by his father’s will, banished his maternal relatives with ignominy, and did all he could, but in vain, to drive him to revolt. Under these circumstances, it is not surprising that when Conrad died, at the age of twenty-six, leaving Berthold, Margrave of Hohemburg, regent of the kingdom during the minority of his son Conrad V., or Conradin—who had been born since his departure from Germany, and whom he had never seen—there were not wanting persons to accuse Mainfroy as an accessary to his death. Mainfroy had already been charged—falsely, there can be little doubt—of having smothered, under mattresses, his father and benefactor, the Emperor Frederick. There was more probability, if not more truth, in the accusation of fratricide; for, if Conrad had lived, doubtless Mainfroy would, sooner or later, have been sacrificed to his jealousy or safety. “The majority of chroniclers assign to Mainfroy, as an accomplice, a physician of Salerno; and add, with the credulity of the times, that he killed the King of the Romans by introducing diamond dust, an infallible poison, into his entrails. Others, bolder or better informed, give the name of the poisoner, and call him John of Procida.” Whether this death resulted from poison or disease, it was hailed as a happy event by the Italians, and with a great burst of laughter by the Pope, who at once renounced his project of calling a foreign prince to the throne of Sicily, and resumed, with fresh ardour, his plans of conquest and annexation. Advancing to the Neapolitan frontier, he was there met by the Prince of Tarento and the Margrave of Hohemburg, who came to place themselves at his disposal, and to supplicate him on behalf of the infant Conradin. The Pope, who saw a proof of weakness in this humility, insisted that the Two Sicilies should be delivered up to the Church; saying that he would then investigate the rights of Conradin, and admit them if valid. The Margrave, alarmed at the aspect of things, made over the regency to Mainfroy, who accepted it with affected repugnance. A powerful party called this prince to the throne: it was the aristocratic and national party, averse alike to papal domination and to the government of a child. They entered into an agreement with Mainfroy, by which they swore to obey him as regent, so long as the little King should live; stipulating that if he died a minor, or without direct heirs, the Prince of Tarento should succeed him as sovereign. The Margrave of Hohemburg, faithless to the trust reposed in him by Conrad, agreed to these conditions, and promised to deliver up to Mainfroy the late King’s treasures. Instead of so doing, the double traitor made his escape with them, leaving the new regent in such poverty that, in order to pay his German mercenaries, he was compelled to sell the hereditary jewels and gold and silver vases of his mother’s family.

If Mainfroy had made good fight in defence of Conrad’s rights, we may be sure he did not less strenuously strive when his own claim was to be vindicated. Unfortunate at first, and about to succumb to papal power and intrigues, he, as a last resource, threw himself into the arms of the Saracens of Lucera. These unbelievers had been greatly encouraged by his father, who was passionately addicted to things oriental. “From his infancy,” M. de St Priest says of Frederick, “he lived surrounded with astrologers, eunuchs, and odaliques. His palace was a seraglio, himself a sultan. This was quite natural. In Sicily all visible objects were Asiatic. The external form of the houses, their internal architecture, the streets, the baths, the gardens, even the churches, bore the stamp of Islamism. The praises of God are still to be seen engraved in Arabic on marble columns; and in the same language were they traced, in gold and diamonds and pearls, upon the mantle and dalmatica of Sicily’s Queens and Kings. Palermo was then called the trilingual city. Latin and Arabic were equally spoken there; and the Italian, the favella volgare, originated at the court of Frederick-Roger, under the Moorish arcades of his palaces at Palermo and Catania. The language of Petrarch was murmured, for the first time, beside the fountains of the Ziza. The outward forms of Islamism were then, in southern Europe, the ensign hoisted by that small number of liberal thinkers, the avowed enemies of ecclesiastical and monkish domination, who willingly assumed the name of Epicureans.” Further on we have the following, explanatory of the peaceable settlement of the infidel in Sicily, and curiously illustrating the contradictions and bigotry of the time. “With an audacity previously unheard-of, Frederick II., after fighting and conquering the Saracens who overran and disturbed Sicily, transported entire colonies of them to Lucera, in the Capitanata, in the immediate vicinity of the patrimony of St Peter, thus planting, in the heart of his kingdom, the Mahomedan standard he was about to combat in Syria. Decrepid though he was, Pope Honorius felt the danger and insult of such proximity. What were the arms of the holy see against an opponent that none of its anathemas could touch? The Pontiff became indignant, vented threats; but was soon appeased. When the wily Frederick saw him angry, he promised a crusade; whereupon the Pope calmed himself, and treated the Emperor as a son.” Subsequent Popes were less easy to pacify, and ban and excommunication were heaped upon the Emperor’s head. Gregory IX., in his bulls, called him “a marine monster, whose jaws are full of blasphemies;” to which complimentary phrase Frederick replied by the epithets of “great dragon, antichrist,” and “new Balaam.” A third extract will complete the sketch of the Saracens, and their position in Sicily. “Surrounded by odaliques and dancing women; giving eunuchs for guards to his wife, the beautiful Isabella Plantagenet, a daughter of the English King; often clothed in oriental robes; in war-time mounted on an elephant; in his palace surrounded by tame lions; always accompanied by a troop of Mussulmans, to whom he showed great indulgence, permitting them the violation of churches and women, debauch and sacrilege,—Frederick II., in the opinion of his subjects, was no longer a Christian prince. During the last ten years of his reign this state of things reached its height. The number of barbarian troops daily increased. Seventeen new companies, summoned from Africa, were dispersed, like an invading army, over the Basilicata and Calabria. Finally, the Emperor went so far as to instal them in the places of masters of ports, and in other offices that gave these Mussulmans jurisdiction over Christian populations.” And when a Saracen captain, named Phocax, in garrison at Trani, ill-treated a citizen of noble birth, Messer Simone Rocca, and grossly outraged his wife, the aggrieved man could obtain no satisfaction. “The Emperor only laughed. ‘Messer Simone,’ he said, to the complainant, ‘dov’è forza non è vergogna. Go, Phocax will not do it again; had he been a native of the country, I would have had his head cut off.’” On the death of this indulgent patron, the Saracen colony in the kingdom of Naples saw its existence menaced. The infidels were lost if Rome became mistress of the country. The triumph of the Pope would be the tocsin of their extermination. They resolved to defend themselves to the last. They held Lucera, Accerenza, and Girafalco, three impregnable fortresses; they also commanded at other points, less strong but still important. They felt themselves numerous, courageous, and determined. Mainfroy could not doubt that they would gladly rally round the banner of their benefactor’s son; and in this hope he set out for Lucera, where John the Moor then commanded. This man, a slave whom the Emperor’s caprice had raised to the highest dignities, promised Mainfroy the best of receptions. But when the Prince of Tarento reached Lucera, the traitor had gone over to the Pope, taking with him a thousand Saracens and three hundred Germans, and leaving the town in the keeping of a man of his tribe, Makrizi by name. On learning this treachery, Mainfroy still did not renounce his project of confiding himself to the Arabs—so cherished by his father, so favoured by himself. Only, instead of approaching the fortress with his little army, as regent of the kingdom, he preferred to go as a knight-errant, attended only by three esquires, like a paladin of the Round Table. This portion of Mainfroy’s life, as well as many other passages in M. de St Priest’s book, reads like an extract from some old romance of chivalry. After wandering about, in the gloom and rain of a November night, and losing his way repeatedly, Adenulfo, one of Mainfroy’s three men-at-arms, and formerly forester to Frederick II., perceived a white object in the darkness, and recognised a hunting-lodge built by the Emperor. He conducted the prince thither, and they lighted a large fire,—a most imprudent act, for the flame was easily perceptible at Foggia, where Otho of Hohemburg was then in garrison with a portion of the papal army. But Mainfroy was young and a poet. At sight of the splendid trees blazing on the hearth, he forgot the present, and thought only of the past; perhaps he recalled the time, not yet very distant, when as a child, on winter nights like that one, and perchance in that very place, he had seen his father, on his return from an imperial hunt, seat himself at that same hearth, and talk familiarly with his attendants of his wars and his amours, singing the praises of the lovely Catalanas,[17] and venting curses on the Pope. The illusion was of short duration. At early dawn Mainfroy and his little escort took horse, and after an hour’s march they beheld, through the misty morning air, the tall hill of Lucera, and on its summit the Saracen citadel and its massive walls, crowned with two-and-twenty towers. But the guardians of the gate refused to open without orders from Makrizi, who moreover, it would appear, had the key in his keeping. Sure that he would deny admittance, they urged the prince to enter as he best might, for that, once within the walls, all would go well. Beneath the gate was a sort of trench, or gutter, to carry off the rain, and through this it was not difficult for a young man of twenty, slender and active like Mainfroy, to squeeze himself. He attempted to do so, but the Saracens could not support the sight of their Emperor’s son grovelling on the ground like a reptile. “Let us not,” they exclaimed, “allow our lord to enter our walls in this vile posture. Let his entrance be worthy of a prince! Let us break the gates!” In an instant these were overthrown; Mainfroy passed over their ruins, and was carried upon the shoulders of the Saracens to the public market-place, surrounded by a joyous multitude. He met Makrizi, who, furious at the news of his entrance, was summoning the garrison to arms. “Makrizi! Makrizi!” cried the Saracens and the people, “get off your horse, and kiss the prince’s feet!” The Arab obeyed, and prostrated himself. Mainfroy had valiantly played his last stake, and fortune favoured his audacity. In Lucera he found the treasures of Frederick II., of King Conrad, of the Margrave Berthold, and of John the Moor. Then, as ever, money was the sinew of war. Its possession changed the aspect of affairs. In less than a month, the proscribed and fugitive Mainfroy had dispersed the Pope’s army, taken and executed John the Moor, and marched upon Naples to seize a crown. And now, for many years, his career of success was unchequered by a reverse. His arms were uniformly triumphant in the field; he was the most magnificent prince, and passed as the richest sovereign, in Europe. At last the marriage of his daughter Constance with the Infante Don Pedro, son of King James of Arragon, crowned his prosperity. Concluded in defiance of the court of Rome, this marriage allied the bastard Prince of Tarento with the French royal family; for Isabella of Arragon, sister of his son-in-law Don Pedro, became the wife of Philip, son of Louis IX., and heir apparent to the crown of France. This last piece of good fortune nearly turned Mainfroy’s head. Instead of defending himself against the Holy See, he assumed the offensive, and invaded its territories. Moreover, he now openly professed, and established as a principle, that the right to dispose of the imperial diadem was not vested in the Popes, but in the senate and people of Rome. “It is time,” he added, “to put an end to this usurpation.” Such maxims, thus publicly proclaimed, rendered the Pope irreconcilable. The papal dream of annexing the Two Sicilies to the pontificate had long melted into air before the sun of Mainfroy’s arrogant prosperity; and Urban IV., convinced that the Church had need of a valiant and devoted defender, turned his eyes northwards, whilst his lips pronounced the name of Charles of Anjou.

Charles, the good Count of Anjou, as some of the chroniclers call him, was married to Beatrix of Savoy, Countess of Provence, whose hand he obtained in preference to two formidable rivals,—Conrad, son of the Hohenstauffe, and Pedro of Arragon. The latter we have just referred to as having subsequently married a daughter of Mainfroy. Through life Peter and Charles were destined to be rivals; and if the latter had the advantage at the outset, his competitor afterwards in some degree balanced the account by robbing him of the island of Sicily. In 1248, soon after his marriage, Charles embarked at Aiguesmortes with his brother Louis and their wives, on a crusade,—was sick to death at the island of Cyprus, but recovered, and performed prodigies of valour in fight with the Saracen. It seemed as if the scent of battle sufficed to restore him his full vigour; and he displayed a furious impetuosity and reckless daring that almost surpass belief. On arriving off Damietta, and at sight of the Saracen army waiting on the shore, he and St Louis sprang from their galley, and waded to land, with the water to their waists. Surrounded by the enemy, Charles raised a wall of corpses around him, until his knights came up to the rescue. Heading them, he charged the infidel host, ordering to strike at the horses’ breasts. The noble Arab chargers fell by hundreds; the Saracens fled; Louis and Charles pursued; Damietta was the prize of the Christians. “The adventurous prince feared the elements as little as he did man. One day the Saracens threw Greek fire upon the crusaders’ tents. Struck with surprise at sight of this mysterious enemy, the Christians were so terrified that they dared not attempt to extinguish the flames. ‘I will go,’ cried the Count of Anjou. They tried to retain him by force, but he broke from them like a madman, and succeeded in his design. At another time, St Louis, from the top of a hill, saw him engaged single-handed with a whole troop of Saracens, who hurled at him darts with flaming flags, which stuck into and burnt his horse’s crupper. Thus did Charles display the first symptoms of a will incapable of receding even before impossibilities,—a dangerous application of a great virtue; but then, these feats of the Count of Anjou delighted every body. Other exploits followed. Like a Christian Horatius, Charles one day stopped the whole Mussulman army upon a wooden bridge.” This great bravery was accompanied by pride, egotism, and hardness of heart, and these qualities caused bickerings between him and St Louis. Nevertheless, the brothers were fondly attached to each other; and when Charles returned to Provence he displayed a depth of emotion on parting from his king that surprised the army, which did not give him credit for so much fraternal affection. There was great contrast of character between him and his royal brother. “They had in common,” says M. de St Priest, “military courage, chastity, probity, and respect to their plighted word.... St Louis was a Frenchman, Charles of Anjou a Spaniard. St Louis had that communicative disposition, that taste for social enjoyment, that necessity of expansion and gentle gaiety, generally attributed to our nation. He was evidently the man born beside the waters of Loire or Seine. Charles, on the other hand, seemed to have received life upon the rugged rocks of Toledo, or in the naked and melancholy plains of Valladolid. He was proud and gloomy; no smile ever curved his lips. Uncommunicative, he confided his designs to no one. Although hasty, violent, and passionate, he strove to conceal his emotions. He slept little, spoke less; never forgot a service or an injury. His indulgence for his partisans and servants was unbounded: if he was passionately fond of gold, it was especially that he might shower it upon them. Charles and Louis were a contrast even in form and colour of face. Louis was fair and ruddy; Charles had black hair, an olive skin, nervous limbs, and a prominent nose. Goodness was the characteristic of the king, severity of the count. Both of imposing aspect,—one as a father, the other as a master—Louis inspired respect and love, Charles respect and terror. By the admission of all his contemporaries, nothing could be more majestic than the look, gait, and stature of the Count of Anjou. In an assemblage of princes he eclipsed them all. A poet who knew him well, and who calls him the most seignorial of men, shows him to us at the court of France in the midst of his brothers, and characterises him by this energetic line—

‘Tous furent filz de roy, mais Charles le fut mieux.’”

Such was the man who, on the 15th May 1265, embarked at Marseilles for Rome, with a thousand chosen knights upon thirty galleys, leaving the main body of his army at Lyons to cross the Alps with the Countess Beatrix, under the nominal command of the young Robert de Bethune Dampierre, heir to the county of Flanders, and the real guidance of Gilles de Traisignies, constable of France. At the moment of his departure, timid counsellors magnified the peril of the enterprise, and the superiority of the hostile fleet that watched to intercept him; but nothing could shake the determination of the Count of Anjou. “Good conduct,” he said, as he put foot on his galley’s deck, “overcomes ill fortune. I promised the Pope to be at Rome before Pentecost, and I will keep my word.” If fortune had not favoured him, however, it is doubtful if he would have succeeded in running the gauntlet through the sixty Sicilian galleys, manned with the practised mariners of Pisa, Naples, and Amalfi, that waited to pounce, like hawk on sparrow, upon his feeble armament. Independently of this formidable squadron, the entrance of the port of Ostia was encumbered, by Mainfroy’s order, with beams and huge stones, against which the French ships were expected inevitably to shatter themselves. Altogether, the marine preparations were so formidable, they were proclaimed with such ostentation, and Mainfroy appeared so convinced of their efficacy, that at Rome the partisans of Charles and the Pope lost courage. The decisive moment arrived, and no fleet appeared; when suddenly a rumour spread that Charles was shipwrecked and drowned. The Ghibellines, or imperialists, hailed the report with delight, the Guelfs with terror. Friends and enemies alike believed the fatal intelligence, when at break of day, on the eve of Pentecost, a boat, containing ten men, entered the Tiber. Amongst these ten men was Charles of Anjou. He owed his safety to his peril; deliverance had grown out of impending destruction. A violent storm had had a double result: Mainfroy’s fleet, which for some days past had blockaded the Tiber, was compelled to put to sea, and the thirty Provençal galleys were dispersed in view of Pisa. Charles was wrecked on the coast of Tuscany; to escape capture by one of Mainfroy’s lieutenants, he threw himself into a skiff, and the wind guided him into the Tiber, which he entered unperceived by the Sicilian admiral. Such was the fortunate chance that served him. Men believed him at the bottom of the sea, and at that moment he landed in Italy.

Mainfroy prepared for defence, affecting boundless confidence in the result of the approaching strife, but in reality uneasy at the approach of his formidable foe. His hatred found vent in sarcasm and abusive words. “Although the name of the terrible Charles of Anjou did not encourage childish diminutives, Mainfroy and his flatterers never spoke of him otherwise than as Carlotto” (Charley.) This was not very dignified or in good taste. But Charles was at no loss for a retort. When his wife had joined him, at the head of thirty thousand men, and the royal pair had been crowned in the Church of the Lateran, in sight and amidst the acclamations of an immense multitude, King and Queen of Sicily, he marched upon Naples. At the frontier, Mainfroy, after a vain attempt to intimidate the Pope, endeavoured to delay his progress by negotiation. “Tell the Sultan of Lucera,” replied Charles to the Swabian envoys, “that between us there can be neither peace nor truce; that soon he shall transport me to paradise or I will send him to hell.” And having thus branded his opponent as an infidel, and his opponent’s cause as unjust, he resolutely entered the Neapolitan states. The first barrier to his progress, the fortified bridge of Ceprano, was opened to him by Riccardo d’Aquino, Count of Caserte, out of revenge for the alleged seduction or violation of his wife by Mainfroy. The count was about to defend the post, when news of his dishonour reached him. He vowed a terrible revenge; but, scrupulous even in his anger, he sent to consult the casuists of the French camp, whether a vassal had the right to punish the liege lord who had outraged him in his honour. The casuists made an affirmative reply, and Caserte gave free passage to Charles of Anjou. History is more positive of the count’s treason than of the outrage said to have induced it. The occupation of the bridge was but a small step towards the conquest of the Two Sicilies. Charles’s path was beset with obstacles, augmented by the difficulty of transporting his warlike engines, and by fierce dissensions in his army. These alone were sufficient to ruin the enterprise; but the valour and military science of the French prince supplied all deficiencies. His operations were sometimes, however, a little impeded from pious scruples; as, for instance, when he put off the assault of a town for two days, in order not to fight on Ash Wednesday. Nevertheless his progress was rapid and triumphant, and soon the silver fleur-de-lis of France, and the crimson ones of the Guelfs, floated above the walls or over the ruins of Mainfroy’s strongest forts. All the Saracens who fell into Charles’s hands were immediately put to the sword. At last, in the valley of Santa Maria de Grandella, and at four miles from the town of Benevento, the French army—to which were now united the levies of many disaffected Neapolitan nobles—came in sight of Mainfroy’s host, drawn up in order of battle. The strength of the two armies is variously stated, but it appears certain that the numerical advantage was considerably on the side of Charles. Before engaging, each leader made a speech to his troops. That of Charles reminds us of Cromwell’s well-known exhortation to his men, to trust in God and keep their powder dry. “Have confidence in God,” said the valiant and pious Frenchman, “but neglect not human means; and be attentive, when battle begins, to what I now tell you: strike at the horses rather than at the men, not with edge, but with point; so that, falling with his horse and being unable to rise quickly, on account of the weight of his armour, the cavalier may immediately have his throat cut by the ribauds. Let each of you be always accompanied by one of those varlets, and even by two. Forget not that, and march!” The manœuvre prescribed by Charles of Anjou, and which he had already essayed in Palestine, was forbidden by chivalrous etiquette, which stigmatised as disloyal the act of striking at the horses’ heads. But Charles was not at a tournament. His aim was victory, and his injunction was well received by his knights, whom his words excited, says a chronicler, as the huntsman excites the dogs. There was neither blame nor murmur. Nevertheless his chevaliers were the flower of nobility; but they did not hold themselves engaged in a regular war; they looked upon the expedition as a crusade against infidels. The bishop of Auxerre gave a final benediction; the trumpets sounded, and the signal of battle echoed through both camps.

Neither army had left its ground when the clamour of many thousand voices was heard; and, like a whirlwind, the Saracen archers from Lucera poured upon the field. Crossing the little river Calora, they fell upon the French infantry with a discharge of arrows. The French, with loud cries of “Down with the Saracens! Down with the swine!” rushed furiously to meet them. The medley was terrible, and at first victory favoured the turban. Charles’s troops broke and fled, when Ruggiero San Severino rallied them, waving, by way of banner, a bloody shirt, stripped from a soldier’s corpse. Philip de Montfort brought up the reserve, and threw himself upon the Saracens, whom he cut to pieces with cries of “Montfort, chevaliers!” “Swabia, chevaliers!” replied Gualvano Lancia, who, without waiting orders from Mainfroy, hurried forward a thousand men of the best German troops. He fell upon the French, who were weary with striking, and made a great slaughter of them. Charles of Anjou, who in his part of the field performed, as usual, prodigies of valour, now left the wing he commanded and attacked Gualvano Lancia. The Germans and Saracens were cut to pieces and dispersed; but the Italian battalions, commanded by nobles of the country, had not yet shared the combat. Mainfroy had kept them as a reserve, and now called upon them to follow him. Instead of so doing, they turned their backs and fled. At the same moment a silver eagle, surmounting Mainfroy’s helm, fell and broke in pieces. At this evil omen, the son of the Hohenstauffe felt himself lost. He turned towards the faithful few who still stood by him, and said in the words of the Catholic Church: Hoc est signum Dei. Then, followed by Tibaldo Annibaldi, he plunged into the thickest of the hostile squadrons, and was seen no more alive. For three days nothing was heard of him, and Charles of Anjou thought he had escaped, when a soldier led his war-horse past the window of Gualvano Lancia and two other Ghibelline prisoners. On recognising the steed, the captives burst into tears, and implored the soldier, a Picard, to tell them the fate of its rider, whether prisoner, slain, or fugitive. “The Picard, having learned who the prisoners were, replied thus: ‘I will tell you the truth; during the fight, the man who mounted this horse came up, uttering terrible cries. He rushed into the mêlée, followed by another cavalier much less than himself, and fell upon us with such courage that, had he been supported by others as brave, he would have beaten us or given us much to do. I showed front to this knight and wounded his charger in the head with a lance-thrust; the horse, feeling itself wounded, threw its rider; then the ribauds despoiled him of his arms and made an end of him. As his scarf was very beautiful, I took it, as well as his horse; and here they both are.’ Such was the noble end of Manfred, or Machtfried, of Stauffen, whom the French were wont to call Mainfroy of Sicily.” With great difficulty, the royal corpse was found, amidst heaps of slain, and the French chevaliers entreated Charles to allow it honourable burial. “Willingly,” replied Charles, “were he not excommunicated.” The new King of Sicily could not reasonably be expected to grant ecclesiastical interment to the man, whom he had fought and supplanted on the sole ground of his being out of the pale of the church. So a trench was dug at the foot of the bridge over the Calora, the body was laid in it, the army filed by, and each soldier, as he passed, threw a stone upon the unconsecrated grave. As great warriors have had worse monuments. But papal hatred followed Mainfroy even beyond the tomb. Under pretence that the remains of the excommunicated hero infected the pontifical soil, Clement IV.’s nuncio had them unearthed and dragged at night, without torches, to the banks of the Garigliano. There they were abandoned to the pelting storm and prowling beast of prey. “Whilst a savage fanaticism thus insulted the ashes of Sicily’s King, poetry prepared him a glorious revenge. Eight months before the battle of Benevento, a child was born at Florence, in May 1265, whose name was Dante Alighieri. Dante protected the memory of Mainfroy.”

For eight days the unfortunate town of Benevento was abandoned to the horrors of the sack. At the end of that time Charles called his greedy soldiers from pillage and excess, rallied them round his standard and marched to Naples. The magnificence of his entrance dazzled and delighted the people, surpassing even the vaunted splendour of the proud Hohenstauffen. In every respect Charles’s victory was complete. The Anjevine banner floated throughout the kingdom of Naples; and after very slight resistance on the part of Gualvano Lancia and of Conrad of Antioch, an illegitimate grandson of the Emperor Frederick, Sicily and Calabria were also reduced and tranquillised. But the triumphant king was still surrounded with difficulties. His pecuniary obligations were numerous and heavy, and his new kingdom offered no resources for their acquittal. The population was greatly reduced, agriculture had disappeared, commerce was at the very lowest ebb, the nobility were ruined, and revenue there was none. On the other hand, Charles’s troops were clamorous for arrears; and the Pope, who had pledged the treasures of the Roman churches to Tuscan bankers for funds to carry on the war, was urgent in his demands of repayment, and went so far as to threaten his debtor with excommunication. Charles the First was in great perplexity. The clergy, who alone had some means, he was forbidden to tax, by the terms of his treaty with the Pope. In this dilemma, the King was compelled to resort to imposts and extortions, which rendered him odious to his subjects. In this respect he was no worse, perhaps, than his immediate predecessors, who seldom scrupled to raise a forced contribution, even by the armed hand; but his manner of procuring his supplies was particularly obnoxious to the Neapolitans. He reduced it to a regular system, based upon the French fiscal forms. The people preferred the occasional swoop of a party of Saracens to the tax-gatherer’s systematic spoliation. The irritation became general. Murmurs and complaints were heard on all sides, mingled with regrets for Mainfroy. The Pope, unwilling to share Charles’s unpopularity, dissatisfied at the nonpayment of his advances, and but slightly appeased by the present of a golden throne and candelabra sent him from the sack of Benevento, wrote harsh letters to his ally, and sent him long lectures and instructions as to how he should govern, bidding him, above all things, to be amiable. This was not much in Charles’s way; neither did his political views at all agree with those of his Holiness Clement IV. He was certainly by no means amiable, and, moreover, he committed a grievous blunder, common enough with his countrymen, and which alienated the affections of his subjects. He tried to Frenchify his new dominions. Obstinately bent on moving the mountain, he would not even meet it half-way. He scorned to take a lesson from the Norman founders of the kingdom, who “governed Sicily not as conquerors but as old hereditary sovereigns,” and were cautious of the too sudden introduction of foreign innovations. His object, according to M. de St Priest’s own showing, was at least as much the increase of the power and importance of France, as the happiness of the people he had come to reign over. His historian admires him for this, and for his wish “to make half Europe, not a vassal, but a dependency of France.” He introduced the forms of French administration, abolished the offices and etiquette that had existed since the days of King Roger, and replaced them by those of the court of Vincennes, changes which excited great hatred and dislike to their author. He abandoned the Castel Capuano, the residence of Frederick II., and built the Castel Nuovo, on the model of the Paris Bastile. The copy has survived the original. But we must pass over, for the present, the merits and errors of Charles, and his ambitious designs upon Italy and the East, to bring upon the scene the last heir of the house of Stauffen.

Conrad, known in history by the diminutive of Conradin,[18] was born at Landshut, in Bavaria, on the 25th of March 1252, and was hailed in his cradle by the high-sounding titles of king of Jerusalem and Sicily, king of the Romans, future emperor, &c. Not one of these imaginary crowns did he ever enjoy; even his paternal heritage was wrested from him whilst yet an infant; the grandson of Frederick II. knew want and poverty, and was more than once indebted to faithful friends and adherents for a roof to cover his head. The events of his life were as remarkable as the years composing it were few. “Born in 1252, he died in 1268. The interval embraces but sixteen years, and yet that short period is animated by all the passions, emotions, and tumult of a virile mind. We find in it, in a high degree, ambition, courage, friendship, and, in a more doubtful perspective—love. In reality, Conradin had no childhood. His life had nothing to do with the laws regulating human growth. From the cradle his existence was one of agitation.”

An anecdote, whose truth modern writers have contested, but to which M. de St Priest gives credit, confirms, in conjunction with many other circumstances, the child’s extraordinary precocity of intelligence and feeling. Considering his mother as widow of an emperor, although his father had never legally borne the imperial title, since he had not been crowned at Rome, Conradin treated her with the utmost ceremony and observance of etiquette. Suddenly, weary of living in dependence at the court of her brother, Louis the Severe, Duke of Bavaria, Queen Elizabeth-Margaret married Meinhard de Gorice, brother of the Count de Tirol, and from queen became a mere countess.[19] This alliance, unequal but not low, greatly shocked Conradin: in the words of a chronicler, he was moved by it beyond power of expression, and from that moment he abstained from paying his mother the usual honours. She asked him the reason. “Mother,” replied Conradin, “I rendered you the homage due to an emperor’s widow; now you are married to one less than him, and I, a king and an emperor’s son, can no longer render you the honours due to an empress.” He who spoke this was but seven years old, and hence many writers have treated the words as fiction. But it must be borne in mind that from his very cradle he had been nourished with the hopes of his party, whose pretensions and dreams of triumph had been unceasingly instilled into him. The talk of all around him had been of sceptres to reconquer, victories to win, rebels to chastise; and the pathetic but deceitful picture of an oppressed people, sighing for his return, had been kept continually before his eyes. Every act of his life was premature. Brought up in a political hot-bed, he showed early symptoms of imperfect mental growth, and was crushed and annihilated by the first storm. Whilst yet a very young child, he was surrounded by the empty forms of sovereignty, and made to think himself both a man and a king. His uncle and stepfather dragged him from town to town, dressed in regal robes, and compelled him to hold provincial diets. Whilst thus parading, they unscrupulously despoiled him. Before he was ten years old, the Duke of Bavaria made him sign a will bequeathing to him the whole of his possessions, in case of his death without heirs. Even this did not satisfy the greedy Bavarian, who soon afterwards extracted from him, by manner of donation, some of his richest domains in Rhineland and the Palatinate. The example found imitators. Princes, bishops, cities, and abbeys fell tooth and nail upon the heritage of the unfortunate child. The bishops of Augsburg and Constance, the counts of Wurtemburg, the burgraves of Nuremberg, the king of Bohemia, and several others, shared the spoils. The houses of Austria and Prussia date their rise from that time—the nucleus of the two monarchies was formed by fragments of Conradin’s dominions; and the whole of Germany as it now appears, in its kingdoms and divisions, may be traced back to the fragments of this total wreck and infamous spoliation. Thus plundered, nothing remained but to start the victim on his travels; a royal Quixote in search of a crown. At first he showed small disposition to such an adventure, and more than one deputation of Ghibellines, and even of Guelfs, departed unsuccessful from before the young king’s footstool; until at last Gualvano Lancia, Mainfroy’s relative and faithful adherent, and Corrado and Marino Capece, presented themselves at the gate of the ancient castle of Hohenschwangau. Lancia had been amnestied after the battle of Benevento, at the request of the Pope, but much against the will of Charles of Anjou. He took the oaths to the new king, but soon afterwards left the kingdom, and now appeared before Conradin as deputy from the whole body of Ghibellines, which had reconstituted itself throughout the entire kingdom of the Sicilies, and sent to the grandson of the Emperor Frederick assurances of its devotion, the promise of an army, and considerable sums of money. Lancia was the bearer of one hundred thousand gold florins. Thus was it, says the chronicler, Saba Malaspina, that the little sleeping dog was roused up: “ad suscitandum catulum dormientem.” In spite of the tears and entreaties of his mother, who had a foreboding of his fate, and urged him to remain with her, Conradin published a lengthy manifesto, asserting his rights to the crown of Sicily, put himself at the head of ten thousand men, hired by Ghibelline gold, and entered Italy, full of confidence, hope, and enthusiasm, accompanied by his bosom friend, Frederick, Duke of Austria, son of the Margrave of Baden, and followed by the Duke of Bavaria, and by other nobles, who promised him support, but shamefully abandoned him at Verona, upon the most absurd and frivolous pretexts. The poor boy was born to be every body’s dupe. He believed implicitly the hypocritical professions of his treacherous kinsman, made over to him one of the last shreds of his German possessions, and parted from him with tears in his eyes, remaining alone at Verona, with Frederick of Austria, who was only three years his senior, for sole ally—his troops reduced by the defection of his uncle and the others to about three thousand men. Instead of marching at once to Pisa, and taking ship for Sicily, whose inhabitants were ripe for insurrection, he sent Corrado Capece thither, and himself lingered two months in total inaction. Pisa was devoted to the house of Swabia; Capece had no difficulty in obtaining a galley (Conradin would have found a fleet as easily), and after calling at Tunis for the Spanish Infante Don Fadrique, with four hundred Spaniards and Saracens, he landed at Sciacca, gained an advantage over the French, and saw the greater part of Sicily declare for Conradin. After a while, Conradin, having raised money from the Ghibelline towns, and recruited his forces, moved forward to Pavia; whilst Charles of Anjou, advancing northward to meet his rival, entered Pisa sword in hand, upset its towers and ruined its port. It would lead us too far, and be of no great interest, to trace the singular complications of Italian affairs at this moment, and the perplexities of the Pope, who was at least as jealous of the abode of Charles in Tuscany, as of the feeble attempt of the old German dynasty to regain its seat upon the Neapolitan throne. We must confine ourselves to the career of Conradin, and follow his fortunes, now drawing to a lamentable close. There was a bright flash, however, before the final setting of his star. He occupied Pisa—still the first port in Italy—in spite of the devastations of Charles of Anjou; on all sides the Ghibelline party raised its head, and his enterprise assumed a serious aspect. Clement IV. became alarmed, and sent, for the third time, an order to Conradin to lay down his arms, and appear in person before the pontifical chair to justify his conduct, under pain of all manner of excommunication. Conradin, who seems to have inherited a wholesome contempt for the Pope, replied by despatching a fleet of four-and-twenty Pisan galleys to Sicily. This was another blunder. He should have gone himself, with all his forces, and certain success awaited him. Charles of Anjou absent, his troops dispersed and surprised, Sicily was lost to the French dynasty. But Conradin, like a child as he was, thought only of a triumphant march on Rome and Naples. For a paltry pageant, he threw away a kingdom. Whilst his adherents gained ground in Sicily, Apulia, Calabria, and other provinces, he nullified their advantages by folly and delay. His only forced marches were upon the road to ruin. A successful but unimportant ambuscade, in which fifty of the enemy were cut off, completely turned his head. The prisoners were conducted in triumph to Sienna; and Conradin and his army, brimful of confidence, scoffing at pontifical anathemas, and followed by a crowd of Ghibellines which every hour augmented, marched upon Rome, taking the longest route by way of Viterbo, in order to show themselves to Clement IV., then resident in that city. They passed under its walls, crowned with verdure and flowers, more like bacchanals and vintagers than men-at-arms. From the window of his palace Clement witnessed the loose array. “Behold!” said he, “the sheep led to the slaughter!” The prelates surrounding him remained silent, in respectful doubt. The pontiff, penetrating their thoughts, persisted in his assertion. “Truly,” he said, “in eight days nothing will remain of that army.” His firm voice, his imposing countenance, his fervent piety, impressed the hearers with a conviction that he spoke prophetically. The event justified the prediction, the result of political clear-sightedness rather than of divine inspiration.

Conradin’s reception at Rome completed his intoxication. He was accompanied into the city by a chorus of young girls, singing and tambourine-playing in the midst of the soldiers. Magnificently dressed ladies showed themselves at the windows of the palaces; the people thronged the streets. Every where he passed under triumphal arches, hastily raised in his honour. They consisted of cords tied across the street, and supporting, instead of the usual garlands of laurels and flowers, the most precious objects the Romans possessed; rich furs and garments, bucklers, rings, bracelets, arms and jewellery of all kinds. Amidst public acclamations in honour of his courage and beauty, Conradin ascended to the Capitol, escorted by the most illustrious Romans of the Imperial party. What head of sixteen would not have been turned by such incense! At last he quitted Rome at the head of five thousand German and Italian men-at-arms, and of nine hundred Spanish cavaliers; surrounded and pressed on all sides by a clamorous and jubilant multitude. He had formed a plan which showed resolution and some military skill. Instead of marching to Ceprano, the usual route of the conquerors of Naples, and in which direction he was persuaded Charles (then besieging Lucera) would advance to meet him, he conceived the bold project of turning his enemy’s flank by penetrating into the Abruzzi, effecting a junction with the Saracens of Lucera, and thence proceeding to Naples. But Charles was too old a soldier to be easily outwitted. Advised from Rome of Conradin’s departure and route, he abruptly raised the siege he was engaged in, and marched day and night to Aquila, the key of the Abruzzi. Thence he pushed on to the heights of Androssano, near the ruins of the old Roman town of Alba, and appeared before the astounded Conradin, who thus suddenly beheld in his immediate front an enemy he deemed far in his rear. A day passed without blows: Charles made a reconnaissance; Conradin, to frighten his opponent, to whom the fidelity of the inhabitants of Aquila was most important, caused false deputies to be introduced into his camp, dressed in municipal robes, and bearing apparently the keys of their town. Informed of this event, Charles felt very uneasy, but concealed his anxiety from all but three knights, with whom he set out at nightfall and galloped to Aquila. He arrived at midnight; the inhabitants were asleep. He struck upon the gates of the citadel, and cried with a loud voice, “For whom do you hold this fort?” “For King Charles,” replied the sentinel. “Then open, for I am the king!” Reassured by the joyful reception he met, Charles returned to his camp, weary with a ride that had lasted all night. But he had little time for repose. Both armies were early afoot: on the one side the flower of French and Provençal chivalry; on the other a medley of Germans, Spaniards, and Italians. The forces were very unequal. Conradin brought 6,000 horsemen into the field; Charles only half the number. On both sides were equal fury, hatred, and eagerness to commence the fray. Charles of Anjou’s audacity and impetuosity might possibly have had disastrous results, but for the opportune arrival of Erard de Valéry, constable of Champagne, his earliest friend and companion in arms. “Erard was then very old, but still full of vigour. His colossal stature, herculean vigour, and white hair gave him resemblance to the centenary giant of an Arabian tale. Formerly he had refused to become a priest, that he might remain in the society of princes and noble ladies. Now, a true Christian soldier, he lived only in God. The old chevalier was on his way from the Holy Land, returning to France with a hundred good knights in his train. Whilst traversing the kingdom of Naples, he heard of the king’s presence, and would not proceed without visiting him.” Charles urged him to take part in the approaching fight. Erard refused, alleging his age, his wish to die in peace far from human turmoil, and, finally, a vow to fight only against infidels. Charles overruled all objections, replying to the last one that his opponents were excommunicated, and consequently worse than infidels. Then the wary old chief arranged an ambush, which would have been utterly unsuccessful with an ordinarily prudent foe, but which answered well enough with the unlucky Conradin, who had not even made the necessary reconnaissances. Charles, who had great deference for the Sire de Valéry, willingly put himself under his orders, leaving him the direction of all things. The army was divided into three bodies, of which the strongest, commanded by Charles himself, was placed in ambush behind a hill in rear of the Neapolitan position. The other two, sent forward against Conradin, were beaten and cut to pieces, after a combat that lasted from sunrise till six in the evening. Henry de Cousance, a French marshal, who resembled Charles in stature and appearance, and who, with a purple mantle over his armour and a crown upon his helm, took post in the centre of the army, to personate the king, was killed early in the action. “Meanwhile Charles of Anjou, in ambuscade with Erard de Valéry and his eight hundred knights, trembled with rage. Burning with eagerness to strike in, he rode up and down in rear of the hill, like a lion in his cage; he was dying with impatience and grief, (moriva di dolore, says Villani, vedendo la sua gente cosi barattare.) With inflamed eyes, he from time to time looked Valéry in the face, thus silently demanding permission to show himself and fight. He might have foreseen the massacre of his two squadrons. The plan of battle adopted was likely to entail this disaster. But what he had not foreseen was that it would be impossible for him to support such a sight.” When the gallant Cousance fell, pierced with a thousand blows, and Conradin’s army made the welkin ring with exulting shouts of “Victory! the tyrant is dead!” Charles wept with rage. But his promise to Valéry chained him to his rock of agony. What follows is highly romantic and chivalrous. The knights who surrounded him said, ‘So noble a fate is it to die for the justice of a royal cause, that we would infinitely rejoice thus to lose our lives. Be well assured, sire, that we will follow you every where, even to death.’ With feverish impatience they waited the signal of Erard de Valéry, who remained imperturbable. Suddenly Guillaume de l’Estendard (one of the commanders of the troops already engaged) crossed the battle-field at speed, feigning to fly, in order to draw the Spaniards on. They followed. Then the old knight raised his enormous head and gigantic person above the brow of the little hill, and said to the King, ‘Marchons!’ Charles was off like a dart, followed by Valéry and the eight hundred chevaliers; they swept across the plain, and found Conradin, Gualvano Lancia, and Frederick of Austria seated unhelmed and unarmed on the bank of the little river Salto, like conquerors reposing; whilst the German mercenaries were dispersed in search of booty, stripping the dead and loading the spoils on carts. Charles and his reserve of fresh and picked men had a cheap bargain of them, as also of the Spaniards, who were taken prisoners, on their return from the pursuit of Estendard, almost to a man. A complete victory, alloyed only by a heavy loss of brave and devoted followers, remained to Charles of Anjou. “Such,” says M. de St Priest, “was the celebrated battle of Alba, improperly named the battle of Tagliacozzo, after a village more than six miles from the scene of action. It is one of those deeds of arms of which history will ever preserve the memory, less on account of the greatness of the result, than for the dramatic interest attaching to the quarrel and the men. On the one hand we see a young prince in the flush of youth and brilliant valour, full of conviction of his good right, the noblest and most unfortunate of pretenders; on the other, a warrior terrible even to ferocity, but not less convinced of the legitimacy of his cause, one of the greatest princes, and, beyond contradiction, the greatest captain of his time.” M. de St Priest proceeds to attribute the chief merit of the victory to his hero. “In this bloody game at bars, full of snares, traps, surprises, where we see these terrible condottieri, covered with blood, running after each other like schoolboys at play, success was due less to the odd stratagem of Valéry than to the rapid march, the four days’ race in the mountains, from Lucera to Aquila. If Charles showed himself a great general, it was less when in ambuscade behind the hill of Capello, than when, like a bird of prey hovering above the wild Abruzzi, he fell with a swoop upon the imprudent band, who deemed him astray in the defiles, lost in the ravines, or fallen amongst precipices.”

Meanwhile Conradin, his army destroyed, his hopes shattered, was a fugitive, with scarcely a follower. One or two days he abode in Rome, protected by the Ghibellines; then, driven forth by the return of the Guelfs, consequent on the ruin of his cause, he fled with Frederick of Austria and a few Italian nobles, to the sea-coast, near the castle of Astura, a fortress of the Frangipani family. Hiring a boat, they set sail for Pisa, but were pursued and overtaken by a fast galley, whose commander summoned them to bring to, and ordered the passengers to repair to his quarter-deck. Conradin asked in astonishment who this man was, and heard in reply that it was Giovanni Frangipani, master of the neighbouring castle. At this name Conradin was overjoyed. “Giovanni is a Roman,” he said; “his family have always been devoted to the house of Swabia; they have been loaded with benefits by the Emperor Frederick; a Frangipani will assuredly defend and befriend me.” Full of confidence, he went on board the galley. “I am King Conrad V.,” was his hasty speech to the lord of Astura, “and I have sought to reconquer the kingdom of my ancestors.” Frangipani made no reply: the prince was astonished at his silence, asked him to assist his flight, descended at last to entreaties, offered, it is said, to marry his daughter; but the stern pirate remained mute, and on reaching land, threw the prince and his companions into a dungeon. Delivered up to Charles, they were led to Rome on foot and in chains. “Oh, my mother!” cried Conradin, with bitter tears, “you foretold this, and I was deaf to your words. Oh, my mother! what grief for your old age!” He did nothing but sob the whole of the road, Saba Malaspina tells us, and seemed half dead, and as if out of his senses. But this weakness, which, in such misfortune and in a mere child, was not unnatural, soon gave way to tranquil fortitude and Christian resignation.

The ashes of the fires lighted in Rome to celebrate Conradin’s triumphant passage had scarcely cooled, when he re-entered the walls of the Eternal City, a fettered captive marching to his doom. Thence he was taken to Naples, where an imposing and numerous tribunal assembled to judge him. Many of its members were for a mild punishment, some for none at all; others remained silent; one only opined for the death of the accused. But Charles had determined on his young rival’s destruction; he threw his word and influence into the scale, and sentence of decapitation was pronounced on Conradin of Swabia, Frederick of Baden, known as Duke of Austria, and the barons taken in their company. The two princes had not expected such severity, and were playing at chess in their prison when it was announced to them. They piously confessed, were absolved by the Pope, who relented at this extreme moment, and were led to the scaffold, which was covered with a red cloth in honour of the victims’ royal blood. The executioner was there, with naked arms and feet, and axe in hand. Conradin embraced him, having previously done the same by his friend Frederick and the other sufferers—then laid his head upon the block. When the axe rose, the French chevaliers who stood around the scaffold fell upon their knees and prayed; and as they did so, the head of Conradin rolled upon the crimson cloth. At this sight the Duke of Austria started up as if crazed with despair; he was seized and executed, uttering horrible cries. This butchery at last roused the indignation of the French knights. Robert de Béthune threw himself upon the prothonotary, who had read Conradin’s sentence, and with a blow of his sword cast him down half dead from his platform. This strange and unreasonable act, proceeding from a generous but savage impulse, was greatly applauded by the spectators. Even Charles himself was compelled to feign approval of his son-in-law’s violence.

No funeral honours were paid to Conradin and his companions. They were buried secretly in the sand, on the shore of the sea, at the mouth of the river Sebeto. Of their captivity, judgment, and death, M. de St Priest declares himself to have given, with the fidelity of a conscientious historian, an exact and truthful account. At the same time, he subjoins various details that have obtained more or less credence, but which he treats as fables. It has been said, that when Conradin embarked at Astura, he gave a ring in payment of his passage; that the boatmen who received the jewel took it to Frangipani, and that the fugitive was recognised and arrested upon this romantic indication. According to traditions, the Duke of Austria was executed the first, and Conradin kissed his head, which, all severed and bleeding as it was, still invoked the Holy Virgin. Robert de Béthune killed, it has been affirmed, the prothonotary Robert de Bari, whose signature is found, however, in many subsequent acts. And to crown all these marvels, it has been confidently asserted that, after the execution of the two princes, a masked stranger stabbed the headsman. Very recent and trustworthy writers have recorded as fact, that Conradin, just before receiving the fatal blow, threw a glove amongst the crowd, to be taken to Peter of Arragon, to whom he bequeathed his vengeance and crown. A German chevalier, Truchsess de Waldburg, (M. de St Priest calls him Waldburg de Truchsess,) gathered up the gage, and with much risk and difficulty bore it to its destination. The present historian discredits the whole of this glove-story—a fiction, he says, of the invention of Sylvius Piccolomini. He is more unwilling to doubt the following touching tradition:—“One day the inhabitants of Naples beheld in their bay a vessel of strange form and colour; hull, sails, and rigging were all black. A woman in deep sables left the ship,—it was Queen Elizabeth-Margaret, Conradin’s mother. At the rumour of her son’s captivity she embarked all her treasures, and, gaining intrepidity from her maternal love, this Elizabeth, previously so feeble and fearful that she dared not leave her castles in Swabia and the Tyrol, exposed herself to the perils of the sea, as bearer of her child’s ransom. But it was too late. When she reached Naples, Conradin was dead. Then the unhappy mother implored a single favour: she desired to erect a monument to him she wept, on the spot where he had perished. Charles would not consent, although he authorised the erection of a church upon the place of execution, and contributed a considerable sum towards the work,—an expiatory offering which, in conjunction with the useless ransom, attested at once the grief of an inconsolable mother, and the tardy remorse of a pitiless victor.” The church is to be seen at Naples, upon the square of Santa Maria del Carmine; beneath its altar is the tomb, with its inscription; the statue of Elizabeth stands there with a purse in its hand. Surely this is confirmation strong of the truth of the tradition! Unfortunately, church, inscription, and statue are all of a recent date.

The events just detailed left Charles of Anjou at the pinnacle of power and greatness. The magnitude of the danger he had run added to the lustre of his triumph. Nothing now resisted him; he might almost be styled the master of Italy. Every where the Guelfs drove the Ghibellines before them; every where the Swabian eagle fled before the red and silver lilies. The cause of the Ghibellines was lost. The fortunate conqueror was on every point successful. His domestic prosperity kept pace with his political and military success. Charles, then forty-two years old, beheld himself surrounded by a numerous posterity. He had two sons and three daughters. His queen, Beatrix of Provence, was dead; but soon he contracted a second marriage with the young and beautiful Margaret of Burgundy. Nature herself seemed to favour him; for in the short space of three years, all his enemies, in any way formidable, disappeared from the scene. Amongst others, the valiant and adventurous Corrado Capece, taken prisoner by the implacable Guillaume de l’Estendard, had his eyes put out, and was hung upon a gibbet of extraordinary altitude, erected for the purpose upon the coast of Catania. The Saracens of Lucera still held out. Besieged by a powerful army, with Charles at its head, they resisted for six months, till reduced to eat hay and roots. The bodies of stragglers from the town being opened by the besiegers, only grass was found in their bellies. At last they gave in. Charles, with a wise policy, showed them mercy, contenting himself with banishing them from Lucera, and distributing them amongst the towns of the interior. Although the piety of the first French king of Sicily was carried almost to an exaggerated extent, it did not degenerate into fanaticism; at least not into that fanaticism which engenders persecution. He never adopted the prejudices of the time against the Jews; on the contrary, he delivered them from the hands of state inquisitors, and suppressed the distinctive mark they were compelled to wear upon their garments. Financial considerations may not improbably have stimulated, at least as much as the dictates of reason and humanity, this enlightened spirit of tolerance; but still it is to the credit of Charles that he did not, like many very Christian kings and nobles of his and subsequent centuries, smite the Israelite with one hand whilst stripping him with the other. The King of Jerusalem was merciful to his subjects. Charles it was who first added this title to that of King of Sicily, by purchase from the old Princess Mary of Antioch, who called herself Mademoiselle de Jerusalem, and claimed that crown, then little more than a name. When Charles, for a pension of four thousand livres tournois, acquired her rights, he hastened to vindicate them. They were disputed by Henry, King of Cyprus, who had the advantage of possession; for he held Ptolemais, the last fragment of the christian kingdom of Palestine. The Knights of St John supported him; Venice and the Templars backed King Charles. The latter carried the day.

Master of southern Italy, armed protector of the north, Charles I. had no longer aught to check him; the East was open before him. Already he occupied a part of Greece. All that mountainous coast of Albania, celebrated in our days for the devotedness of the Suliots, belonged to him by the death of Helena Comnenus, Mainfroy’s widow, daughter of the despot of Thessaly and Epirus. He also held the island of Corfu, that natural bridge thrown between Italy and the East. The town of Durazzo revolted in his favour, and called him within its walls. He swayed Achaia and the Morea, and had constituted himself candidate for the throne of Constantinople by marrying his daughter to Philip de Courtenay, nominal heir to the Latin Empire, but living in reality on the alms of his father-in-law. It seemed, then, that he had nothing to do but to bid his fleet sail for Byzantium. But in the midst of his ambitious projects he was interrupted by the new crusade, the last undertaken, got up by Saint Louis, and in which Charles could not refuse to join. The death of St Louis terminated the expedition; and after dictating terms of peace to the sultan of Tunis, in whose dominions the adventurers had landed, their return to Europe, by way of Sicily, was decided upon. It was not consistent with Charles’s character to forget or abandon an enterprise he had once decided upon; and on landing at Trapani, he assembled the council of crusading kings and princes, and proposed to them to re-embark for Constantinople. It was a bold and sagacious idea to take advantage of this unusual assemblage of naval forces to establish French power in the East; but Charles, indefatigable himself, spoke to disheartened and disgusted men. All refused, and Edward Plantagenet (afterwards Edward I. of England) rejected with insulting energy his uncle’s proposition, declaring that he would winter in Sicily, and afterwards return to Syria, which he did, without other result than the wound cured by the well-known trait of conjugal affection and courage of the virtuous and intrepid Eleanor of Castile. Subsequently, the realisation of Charles’s ambitious designs upon the East, long entertained, was continually prevented by one circumstance or another, until at last the affairs of Sicily gave him occupation at home, effectually precluding aggrandisement abroad. Essentially a man of war, he nevertheless, in time of peace, showed skill, intelligence, and activity in the administration of the kingdom of Naples. Had the distant provinces of his dominions been as well governed, M. de St Priest affirms that the Two Sicilies would not, during more than two centuries, have been sundered and at enmity. But Charles abandoned the island Sicily to his lieutenants. He positively disliked and ill-treated it, and determined to dispossess Palermo of its title of capital, in favour of the city of Naples, of which he was enthusiastically fond. Palermo was too devoted to the house of Swabia; and, moreover, to maintain correspondence with the north of Italy, with Rome, and especially with France, it suited Charles far better to fix his headquarters and seat of government at Naples. From the very first moment, he had been greatly struck by the aspect of the latter city. The bright sky and sunny sea and mountain amphitheatre that still charm and fascinate the tourist, had a far stronger effect upon the prince whom conquest rendered their master. He at once mentally fixed upon Naples as his capital, and gradually accomplished his project—without, however, announcing it by public declaration, and even continuing to give to Palermo the titles establishing its supremacy. But, whilst retaining the empty name of superiority, the Sicilian city felt itself substantially fallen; and this may have been a cause, and no slight one, that its inhabitants were the first to rise in arms against the galling yoke and insolent neglect of their French rulers.

M. de St Priest’s third volume brings Charles to the zenith of his fortunes. Invested for life with the high dignity of sole Roman senator, he had the full support and hearty alliance of Martin IV.—a French pope, whose election had been compelled from the conclave by the intimidation of the sword. It was the first time since Charles had entered Italy that the pontifical chair had been occupied by a man on whose docility he could entirely reckon. Papal mistrust and jealousy had been the bane of many of his projects. All apprehensions from that quarter were now removed, and, strong in this holy alliance, he again prepared for his eastern expedition. All was ready; at the head of five thousand men, without counting infantry, and of a hundred and thirty ships, he had only to give the order to steer for the Bosphorus. But in Sicily, the storm, long brewing, was on the eve of bursting forth; and the powerful armament intended for distant conquest, was found insufficient to retain present possessions. The decline of Charles’s life was also that of his power: his last days were days of heaviness, disaster, and grief.



People wander into Wales principally in search of health and amusement; a few for business; many without any purpose whatever, except the desire of changing place and doing something. Any one who finds himself in either of these classes need not fear being disappointed in the results of his visit; for there is motion and change enough throughout the country; sufficient business to make it worth the while of those who know how to buy and sell; amusement for all who are worth amusing, and health enough for all the world. Let no man, however, deceive himself with the vain expectation that he shall have no ups and downs in his pilgrimage through the country; let no one suppose that it is perpetual sunshine there; nor let any one fondly think that, because he does himself the honour of whipping a stream with fly and line, therefore, at every throw a sixpound trout is sure to swallow his bait. Far otherwise. The tourist in Wales must not be a man of many expectations, and then he will not be disappointed; he must be content to go many a weary mile to see some choice bit of scenery, and then to come as many or more miles home again; he must make up his mind to have plenty of rain, wind and cold, in the hottest day in summer; and he may cast his fly all the way up from Conwy to Penmachno without having “one single glorious rise.” In fact, he must be a patient reasonable man, and then he may adventure himself in Taffyland without fear.

But if he is an acute observer of nature—if he loves to see the wildest forms that mountains, and streams, and lakes can assume—if he likes to make himself a denizen of the clouds, and to hold converse with the children of the mist—if he can appreciate primitive national manners—if he has ever so small a smattering of English history—if he can listen to simple, plaintive music, and can be content to see birds, beasts, and fishes all enjoying themselves in their original freedom, then let him hasten to the mountain side, wander up the valley, stroll along the river, or dream away his day by the shingle bank on the sea shore; he will never repent of a visit to Wales.

The old road from Chester to Holyhead has been, and now is more than ever, the main line of entry for Saxons and other foreigners into the Cimbric land; but there are others quite as good. From Salop to Bangor by Telford’s Parliamentary road, through some of the finest scenery the country affords; or from Wrexham by Llangollen’s Vale and Bala’s Lake, athwart the land to Dolgelly; or from Aberystwyth, creeping along the sea-coast by Barmouth and Tremadoc to Caernarvon; or from Liverpool by the fast-going steamers close under Orme’s Head to the Menai Bridge; any of these ways is good. The main thing is once to get the foot fairly planted on Welsh soil; the natural attractions of the country will be sure to lead the traveller onward, and can scarcely lead him amiss.

Let no one come into Wales with a superfluity of luggage; the lighter the impediments of travelling, the quicker and the cheaper is that travelling performed. Let no one, unless absolutely forced to it, pretend to travel alone; solitude is sweet no doubt, but Montaigne remarks that it is still sweeter if there be somebody to whisper this to; add to which that society enlivens the journey, and, as the Scotch song has it,

“Company is aye the best, crossing owre the heather.”

Seeing too that conveyances are not so plentiful in the principality as they might be; and that a car or chaise costs no more for four than it does for one; let all those who are wise in their designs of Welsh travel come by pairs, or double couples. Four is an excellent number for a travelling party, since in case of dispute the votes are either even, or are three to one; four make up a parti carré at dinner; four balance a car well; four can split into two parties if need be; and four coming together to an inn are sure to fare much better than one solitary traveller.

Don’t go to Wales in July, the wettest and windiest month of the twelve that the principality has the honour of knowing. May is a sweet month; the colours of the woods and mountains gay and delicate, with little rain, and generally as much sun as is wanted. In June, every thing is in full perfection, and there are long days to boot, and you may then remain out under a rock all night without damage. August corresponds to June, but the days are shorter, and the company to be met with is commonly more select. September is generally the equivalent of May, but the colours are glowing with the rich tints of autumn; and though the days are still shorter, yet the sights to be seen in them will make up for this falling off. No person goes among the mountains in winter, except those who cannot help it; yet this is not their least advantageous period for being witnessed; and those who can brave frost and snow, and the unchained force of all the winds of heaven, will be repaid for the labours and discomforts of such a visit.

For those who are fond of the rod, the gun, and the chase, North Wales is a land of choice. Whether they bob for whales in Bardsey Sound, or hunt up the brooks and prattling streams of Merionethshire, or seek the banks of many a glassy mountain pool, they will find enough to repay them for their trouble. The shooter will find, from the grouse of Montgomeryshire and Caernarvonshire to the partridges and the snipes of Anglesey, abundant occupation for his gun. And the huntsman, though he cannot gallop over Caddir-Idris, will find many a wily fox more than a match for him and all his dogs, among the desolate cairns of the mountain tops, or may find hares as big as sheep, and fleet enough to try the mettle of the best horse he will dare to ride after them.

Whenever a tourist wishes to pass his summer months healthily and agreeably, but is in doubt whither to go, let him start off for Wales—North Wales—forthwith; and let him not return till wood and water, and hill and dale have ceased to call forth his admiration.

Do not trust too implicitly to guidebooks, good traveller; take them and consult them; but beware of their lying propensities. They have inveigled many a loving subject of her Majesty’s into a scrape, and have proved the dearest things he ever admitted into his pocket. Go with your eyes open; go with a little common sense; go to be pleased: don’t go to find fault. Make up your mind to rough it if need be; and don’t give yourself the airs of my Lord Duke at every little wayside inn that your dignity may be forced to put up at. You may then travel smoothly and cheerfully through the Cimbric territory.

Take also this along with you. The Welsh are tremendously slow coaches. Indolent, pig-headed, and careless, the dolce far niente is their motto throughout life; and, were they left to themselves, they would positively retrograde through unwillingness to go a-head. It is of no use hurrying them; a Welshman was never in a hurry in his life; time, like water, is to him of little value; he has plenty and to spare of it, and the waste of either commodity is not thought of. In Wales, they let both run away often to little purpose; they have fewer “water privileges” than any one could imagine; and they turn their privilege of an ad libitum supply of leisure to very poor account. So do not hurry a Welshman; for you will not gain any of his time, but will only lose some of your own, by so doing.

The true way to enjoy Wales, and to understand the country, is to go and fix your quarters at some quiet little country inn in a spot to your taste; and remain there for a fortnight—a month—or as long as your gusto endures; walking up the whole country around, until you know every crook and cranny of it, until it becomes in fact your “ancient neighbourhood.” Many, or rather innumerable are the spots where you may so fix yourself, and where your enjoyments, though simple, may be extreme. If you are a bachelor, you can get clean beds, sheets of driven snow, plenty of good milk, mountain mutton, and bread and butter à discrétion; and what the deuce does a man want more? If he is young, and in good health and spirits, and cannot fare upon this, let him put up his traps and go to the antipodes. Or, if you are in the softer predicament of having with you what, when you and I were young, you know, used to be called poetice, the “girl of your heart”—but what now in Polichinellic phraseology is termed the “wife of your bussum”—why, even in this extremity, you may find room for two in any inn that you venture to light upon. The lady must not be too fine in her notions, it is true; she must be of that breed and mettle that will enable her to face the mountain breeze, and wipe with hasty foot—as friend Gray says,—the dews of the upland lawn; to meet the sun or the moon, or any other natural phenomenon that is to be encountered on the hill-side. In short, she must be the sort of girl that can mount a rough pony, or scramble over a stone wall, and not care for her bonnet or her locks in a pelting shower, but must be content to follow her liege lord, and love him—and love his pursuits too, whether by the purling brook, or on the misty height. Be sure of it, my friend, that with such a companion as this, Welsh scenery—mountain scenery—nay, any scenery, will have for you a double—ay, a tenfold charm.

Men enjoy mountains: women enjoy waterfalls. There is no saying why it is; but the fact is positive. Perhaps it may be that men can toil up the rugged steep with greater ease, and therefore enjoy themselves the more when they reach the top. Perhaps it is that there is something grand, and bold, and rough, and dangerous, in the very nature of a mountain, which the masculine mind is alone capable of fully understanding. In waterfalls, there is all the beauty of form, and light and graceful motion, and harmonious sound, and cooling freshness, and ever-changing variety that woman always loves; and there are overshadowing trees, and an escape from the noontide sun, and the hum of insect life, and moss-grown stones, and soft grassy banks. Waterfalls and their adjuncts have a kind of mystic influence about them that acts with all-persuasive energy on the female mind: hearts like stones are worn down by their action, and the swain has often been indebted to the Naiad for the granting of his prayer.

Well; wherever you may be, whether single or double, any where in Wales, the first thing to do is to make a bargain with your landlady, (Welsh inns are always kept by women,) whereby you may be “boarded and lodged and done for” at so much a day, or a week, or a month, or whatever time it may please you to stay. This is the very best of all plans for “taking your pleasure in your inn;” you know then the exact cost of your stay—the precise damage done to your pocket; you dine comfortably, without fearing that you are swallowing a five shilling piece in the midst of each chop, and you can witness the last day of your sojourn arrive without dread of that unpleasant winding up—the bill. You may get boarded and lodged comfortably, nay luxuriously, as far as mountain luxury goes, for a pound a-week: you may take your full swing of the house for this; and your landlady will ask for a repetition of the honour next year when you depart. So let no man say that living in Wales is extravagant; it is only the savoir vivre that is the scarce commodity.

And if you would know where to go and find comfortable quarters of this kind, and at this rate, then take our advice, gentle reader, and listen to a few experiences. Go to Bala, and fish the lake there till not a trout is left in it, and cut away at mine host’s mutton and beef, when you come back from your day’s excursion, as though you had not eaten for a week; and turn in by ten at night,—not later, mind; and be up again by five, and out on the mountain side, or amid the woods by six, and home again by seven to your morning fare. So shall you have health and happiness, and freedom from ennui the livelong day.

Or go to Ffestiniog, up among its mountains, and ramble over to the lakes below Snowdon, and visit the company at Beddgelert and Tan-yBwlch—rather aristocratic places in their way, and made for travellers with long purses. At Ffestiniog you are in the neighbourhood of the best mountain scenery of Wales; and as for vales and streams, you have such as you will never see elsewhere.

Or else go to Bettws-y-Coed near Llanrwst, the village of the confluence of so many streams and valleys; that sweet woodland scene, that choice land of waterfalls, and sunny glades, and wood-clad cliffs. Here you may have variety of scenery in the greatest perfection; and here you may enjoy the happiest admixture of the wild and the beautiful that the principality can boast of. It is indeed a lovely spot; and, provided the visitor has some intellectual resources and amusements within himself, one that the tourist can never get tired of. It will bear visiting again and again. Decies repetita placebit.

But, dear sir, if you are bent upon making the grand tour, and if you positively will see the whole of the country, then by all means start from Chester, and make a continual round until you arrive at Shrewsbury; so shall you see the whole length and breadth,—the bosom and the very bowels of the land. You must go and see Conwy, Penmaen Mawr, and “the Bridge,” as it is still emphatically called—Telford’s beautiful exemplification of the catenary curve—and then go and hunt out Prince Edward’s natal room in Caernarvon’s towers; and then clamber up Snowdon; and then go down again to Capel Curig and Beddgelert, and so pass by Pont Aberglaslyn to Tan-y-Bwlch, Ffestiniog and Dolgelly; and then mount Cadair Idris; and then run up to Bala and Llangollen, and so stretch away to the abode of the “proud Salopians.” And a very agreeable tour you will have made, no doubt; but you will not know Wales for all that. You have not been along the byeways, nor over the dreary heath, nor into the river’s bed, nor under the sea-crag’s height: you will not have seen a tithe of the wonders of the country. You must see all these great places of course: but you ought to look after much more than this; you must wander over the broad lands of the Vale of Clwyd, and look up all its glorious little trout streams; you must go to the solitary heights of Carnedd Llewelyn, and the Glidr above Nant Francon; and you must get up to Llyn Idwal, and have nerve enough to climb over and under the rocks of the Twll Du; and you must go to the very end of Llŷn, or else you will never know what it is to lie down flat at the edge of the Parwyd precipice, and look down six hundred feet sheer into the sea, with not a blade of grass nor a stone between you and the deep blue waters fresh from the Atlantic. And you must climb over the bleak Merionethshire hills to seaward, and hunt up the lonely fishing pools that abound in their recesses; and you must dive into the green wooded valleys of Montgomeryshire, and learn whence the Severn draws all its peat-brown waters. There is occupation enough in this for the longest summer that ever yet shone on Wales; you may start on your pilgrimage with the first green bud of spring, and end it with the sere and yellow leaf of autumn: but it is only in such lengthened and lonely rambles as these that the real beauties of the country are to be seen, and that the full loveliness of nature—unsophisticated nature—is to be perceived.

Take your fishing rod with you, take your sketch book; explore the whole country; bring it away with you both in mind and on paper: leave care and trouble behind you; banish all reminiscences of town; go and be a dweller with the birds and the dumb animals, with the leaves and the stones, with the oak in the forest and the carn on the mountain, and gain thereby a fund of health and satisfaction, that shall endure for many a long day and year, nor be exhausted even then.

You are too old a traveller, we will suppose, to need many instructions as to the general apparatus required; only mind and err rather on the side of scantiness than otherwise; you can get all you really want at the first town you come to. Who is the rash man that would risk a good hat or a good coat on a Welsh mountain? Alas! he shall soon know the end of his gear, and lament over the loss of his pence. The very idea of going into cloud-land with anything on that you care about spoiling, or rather that can by any possibility be spoiled! Is it not your privilege, your aim, your pride, when you get among the mountains, to be able to go right on end, through stream and bog, over rock and swamp, without stopping to think of habilimentary consequences? You may tell an old traveller by the “cut of his jib;” it is only your thorough cockney that comes down in his new green shooting coat, and his bright shepherd’s plaid trowsers, just out of the tailor’s hands, and a hat with the shine not yet taken out of it. Look at that tall, thin, bony, sinewy man, going along the road there with an easy gait, neither stiff nor lax, neither quick nor slow, but always uniform, whether up hill or down hill, or on level ground, always at the same pace; his knees never tightened, his instep never approaching to a hop; but in all weathers and in all seasons, over rough or smooth, never falling under three nor quite coming up to four miles an hour. And look at his low-crowned felt hat,—he wears a Jim-Crow one, by the way, in very hot weather,—why, you would not give it to a pig-driver, so brown and battered it seems: and look at his funny little coat; neither a coat nor a jacket,—neither black, nor brown, nor blue, but a mixture of all colours, just as the rain may have been pleased to leave portions of its dye remaining. And his trowsers, shrunk to mid-leg proportions, are just covering the tops of his gaiters, yet allowing a bit of his gray worsted socks to appear. A stout stick which he twirls merrily in his hand, and a light leathern wallet, not bigger than your letter-bag, thrown over one shoulder,—or else his fishing-basket coming snugly under his elbow. He is the true pedestrian,—he is the ancient traveller,—he is the lover of the Cymro and the Cymraeg,—he is the man that enjoys himself thoroughly in Wales.

Once upon a time, dear friend, we found ourselves coming over Moel Siabod, that wild and beautiful hill rising over the eastern side of Capel Curig; swinging away in our simplicity of heart, and purposing to reach the lonely fastness of Dolwyddelan by noon, on a piping hot July day. We had crowned the mountain ridge, and had come half-way down the eastern slope, when we found ourselves at the edge of a great peat bog, with never a path, nor a stone, nor any thing to guide us through it. Beyond and below it lay the valley for which we were making, green, smiling, and beautiful, as Welsh valleys generally are. Above and behind us rose the bare crags of the mountain, darkening into a purple crest as their summits reached the fleecy clouds. We had nothing to do but to adopt the glorious old rule of following our nose; and so, without further ado, we tried to pick our way across the bog. We have a reminiscence of sundry skippings from tuft to tuft of heather, and of wonderful displays of agility; and at last we began to congratulate ourselves on the immense display of juvenile vigour which we were making. One more leap on to a fine bright piece of green grassy sward, and we were safe. Beyond it lay a ridge of rock and terra firma to carry us onward. One more spring and we should have crossed the bog. So now here goes for it; three paces backwards, a good swing with the arms,—one, two, three, and away!—plump into the very middle of the green sward,—and through it, down, down, down, until our hat and stick alone remained aloft! Why, ’twas the most treacherous place of the whole; a kind of syren’s isle that tempted men to destruction by the beauty of outward form,—though beauty of sound, indeed, there was none. How we got out has always remained a mystery; but we floundered and tumbled about, and cut more extraordinary figures with our arms than we had done at any time the last ten days with our legs, until at length we seemed to crawl out like a fly out of a treacle pot, and to attain some drier ground. Our black velvet shooting coat, and our nice white ducks had never made such an approximation of colour before: we had put on the sad and sober russet brown in which dame nature so much delights, and we came forth from our grassy bed a good specimen of the tints of the mountain dye-house. It was enough; our resolution was taken:—half an hour’s sharp walking down the descent brought us to the banks of the Lledr; we were not five minutes in selecting a proper spot; and there we immediately converted ourselves into our own washerwoman, after the most primitive fashion that any antenoachite ever adopted. In another half hour we were beginning to look whitish again; and by the end of the sixty minutes we were clad in garments on the most approved hydropathic principles; wet bandages we had plenty of,—for if any one had offered us the wealth of India, we could not at that moment have produced a single dry thread on our body. But here our pedestrian resources again came to our aid; the sun shone more bright than ever; we were in the bottom of the valley: the heat was intense. The village was still four miles off, and by the time we arrived abreast of the welcome notification of “Cwrw dda,” we were dried, ironed, mangled, folded, and plaited, more commodiously, (though less uniformly,) than ever our buxom little laundress could have done for us.

Once and again we got into a brown predicament in Wales, not so easily got rid of, nor leaving so few disagreeable reminiscences. You will excuse us for mentioning it, if you please; but our tableau de mœurs would not be complete without it. And here we beg leave to give notice that fastidious readers may at once close their eyes and read no more, or else skip over this page and try another. If they become offended, ‘twill be their own fault; what business have they to be prying into our secrets?

Once upon a time we did a rash thing: we made up our mind—and also our knapsack—to go to Bardsey Island. Now, ’tis a hundred to one that you never heard of Bardsey Island; and that, though your careful parents may have paid many a guinea per quarter for you, while at school, to learn Geography and the use of the Globes, you never yet were questioned by your usher as to where Bardsey Island was, nor what sort of a place it might be. Know, then, that it lies, a solitary green isle, some three miles or so from the extreme south-western point of Caernarvonshire,—a sort of avant-poste to Wales, like the Scilly Isles to Cornwall. On it live some five-score of inhabitants, real natives, supporting themselves on oysters and lobsters, and other marine monsters. An occasional dog-fish is there reckoned a luxury. ’Tis a vastly curious place,—the oddest kinds of sea-birds to be found there of any spot under the sun,—at least in these latitudes; the rarest shells; the most unique sea-weeds; the greatest pets of periwinkles; and such loves of limpets! We were off, then, for Bardsey:—do not go there, dear reader—take our warning by the way, and remain rather at home. We got to a place with a most out-of-the-way name—Pwllheli; a sort of ne plus ultra of stupidity and dulness; and from thence we made our way in a car to one of more euphonious denomination, Aberdaron. This was really a lovely spot, embosomed in a deep valley, at the corner of a romantic bay, with an expanse of snow-white sand, sufficient to accommodate all the bathers in England,—the sea of as deep a blue as at Madeira, and rocks like those of Land’s End, with the eternal spray of the ocean playing over them. A picturesque old church, partly converted into a school, partly into a pigeon-house—and the main entry to which was by one of the windows, stands at one end of the village with a miserable pot-house at the other. There is a stream and a bridge for loungers to lean and spit over; but other amusement in the place is none. As for public accommodation, it has not yet been thought of; strangers do not come there. None but the adjoining boors come thither to sot and gossip;—and as for our dear mellifluous Anglo-Saxon tongue, ’tis a thing never heard of. On arriving there and exploring the localities, and arranging for a boat to Bardsey next morning, we began to think about a bed, and soon perceived, on reflection, the total absence of any suitable accommodation within the limits of the village. But mark you the excellence of Welsh hospitality. The grocer of the place, the man of “the shop” par excellence, hearing of, or rather seeing us in a quandary, sent us his compliments, with a polite request that we would take up our quarters under his roof for the night. This was genuine hospitality; we hesitated not; and a better turn out in the way of feeding we have not often met with. Broiled steaks of salmon, fresh caught in the adjoining stream, fowls, and a good slice of Cheshire cheese, soon set our gastronomic capabilities at ease. Porter—some of Guinness’s best—and a glorious jorum of whisky and water, moistened our clay, and comforted our inward man. None of your wishy-washy whisky, or poor pale limpid compound, such as you buy in London; but some of the real potheen, just arrived from Wicklow—thick, yellow, oily, and slow to come out of its narrow-necked bottle. And then such a bouquet!—none but a genuine smuggler ever tasted the like. ’Twas a thing to be tasted, not described,—the real nectar of the Druids—if not of the Gods. Being somewhat fortified by these stout appliances, and having discussed half-a-dozen of Pontet’s best Havannahs, we mounted the rickety stairs that led through the lofts of our host’s dwelling to a goodly dormitory at the further end. And here the worthy man had really set out for us his best bed: all the little china and plaster images were ranged in prime order on the mantel-piece; and pictures of the Queen of Sheba and the Prodigal Son adorned the walls with unfading brilliancy. The bed looked as clean as ever we saw a bed in our lives; there was an odour of lavender about the room, and we were soon between the sheets, lost in dreamy oblivion.

We awoke: ’twas a lovely morning, with the earliest sun shining brightly in through the lattice; and we thought in our emotion to spring out of bed. Off went the bed-clothes at a bound, and we sat erect!—but how shall we describe our horror? We had gone to bed more or less white—more or less European in the tinge of our skin: we awoke of a glaring red, or, where the crimson dye was less vivid, we bore a mottled appearance, like a speckled toad. And, as Gulliver once lay among the Lilliputians, who ran from him, on his stirring, in frightened thousands, so there were now our accursed night visitants scampering away from us in every direction, possible and impossible, by thousands—nay, by myriads. The bed was literally brown with them; and ever, as we moved a limb, fresh gangs of latent devourers fled from beneath, and scoured across the sheets. They had lost the supernatural form our dreams had given them, and assumed the more homely one of ordinary fleas—of fleas of all sizes from a pea to a pin’s head! Old Nereus gave us some relief, for we rushed into his arms as soon as doors could be opened, and bolts forced out of their sockets; but, for many a long day after, we bore about us a vivid impression of our visitants at Aberdaron.

Do not, therefore, venture to sleep in a Welsh cottage; nor scarcely in a farm-house: trust yourself only to an inn,—your chances of sound rest and an untenanted bed are at least more favourable there;—but if ever you are benighted and forced to remain away from headquarters, make up your mind fairly to bivouac it amid the fern and the heather, or else sit up at your vigils by your host’s fire-side. The chirping cricket and the purring cat shall then be your sole companions.

We might detain you till doomsday with these “incidents of travel;” but we shall leave you to make your own experiments;—yet, ere you venture into the wilds of Taffyland, peruse and carry with you for your use and edification the following:—


Three mountains that every body goes up: Snowdon, Cadair Idris, and Penmaen Mawr.

Three mountains that nobody will repent going up: Holyhead Mountain, Carn Madryn, and the Breiddin.

Three mountains that nobody goes up: Plinlimmon, Arrenig, and Carnedd Llewelyn.

Three castles that every body sees: Caernarvon, Conwy, and Harlech.

Three castles that every body ought to see: Beaumarais, Criccaeth, and Denbigh.

Three castles that nobody sees: Flint, Dolwyddelan, and Castell Prysor.

Three wells that every body should go and drink from: Holywell, Wygfair, and Ffynnon Beuno.

The three great waterfalls of Caernarvonshire: Rhaiadr-y-Wenol, the Falls of the Conwy, and the Falls of the Ogwen.

The three great waterfalls of Merionethshire: Pistill-y-Cain, Rhaiadr-y-Mawddach, and Rhaiadr ddu.

The three grandest scenes in Wales: Llyn Idwal, Y-Glas Llyn, and Pen-y-Cil.

The three sweetest scenes in North Wales: Beddgelert, Tan-y-Bwlch, and the Banks of the Menai.

The three beautiful lakes: Llyn Gwynant, Llyn Peris, and Llyn Tegid.

Three vales that every body ought to see: the Vale of Ffestiniog, the Vale of Llanrwst, and the Vale of Dolgelly.

The three rich vales: the Vale of the Clwyd, the Vale of the Dee, and the Vale of the Severn.

Three passes that every body ought to go through: the Pass of Llanberis, the Pass of Pont Aberglaslyn, and the Pass of Nantfrancon.

Three good pools for anglers: Llyn Tegid, Lyn Ogwen, and Llyn Cwlid.

Three good rivers for fishermen: the Dee, the Conwy, and the Vyrniw.

The three finest abbeys of North Wales: Valle Crucis, Cymmer, and Basingwerk.

The three finest churches in North Wales: Wrexham, Gresford, and Mold.

The three bridges of North Wales: Conwy Bridge, Menai Bridge, and Llanrwst Bridge.

Three out-of-the-way places that people should go to: Aberdaron, Amlwch, and Dinas Mowddwy.

Three islands that are worth visiting; Puffin Island, Bardsey Island, and the South Stack.

Three places that no man dares go to the end of; Twll Du in the Llidr, Cilan Point in Llyn, and Sarn Badric off Barmouth.

Three things that nobody knows the end of; a Welchman’s pedigree, a Welchwoman’s tongue, and the landlord’s bill at ——.

Three things, without which no pedestrian should adventure into Wales; a stout pair of shoes, a light wallet, and a waterproof cape. (Some learned travellers have proposed to substitute “stick” for “wallet” in this Triad, but the fact is that, when you go to Wales, you may cut your stick.)

The three companions of the Welsh tourist; a telescope, a sketch book, and a fishing rod.

The three luxuries of travelling in Wales; a stout pony, a pleasant companion, and plenty of money.

Three things which, who ever visits Wales, is sure to take away with him; worn-out shoes, a shocking bad hat, and a delightful recollection of the country.

Three things without which no man can enjoy travelling in Wales; good health, good spirits, and good humour.

The three nastiest things in Wales; buttermilk, cwrw dda, and bacon and eggs.

Three things that the tourist should. not do; travel in the dark—wait in doors because it may be a rainy day—and try and keep his feet dry.

The three qualifications for properly pronouncing the Welsh language; a cold in the head, a knot in the tongue, and a husk of barley in the throat.

The three languages which a man may speak in Wales when he does not know Welsh: that of the Chinese, that of the Cherokees, and that of the Houhnyhms.

The three languages which will carry a man all over Wales without knowing a word of Welsh; that of the arms, that of the eyes, and that of the pocket—Farewell! dear reader, nos-dda-wch!



The Law of England forms the most remarkable characteristic of the country. The Law is the spirit of the national liberty, the guardian of the national religion, and the foundation of the national government. Britain has the proud distinction of being almost the only country on earth, where no act of arbitrary power can be suffered—where no man’s person, property, or conscience, can be subjected to insult with impunity—and where every man has rights, and all are alike under the safeguard of Law.

We propose to give a rapid sketch of the history of this great principle in England.

It is singular that the most intellectual nation of the ancient world—Greece—has not left us any system of law. Cicero speaks with professional scorn of all jurisprudence except the Roman. He would not have spoken thus of the Mosaic law, if he had known it. But one of the most extraordinary circumstances of the Hebrew commonwealth, is the general ignorance of its incomparable institutions, which prevailed among the most active inquirers of the northern world. But law existed from the earliest periods in Greece, though its name was often and curiously changed. In the time of Homer, the name of law was Themis, or establishment. In the time of Hesiod, the name was Nomos, or distribution. In after times, it was Dikè, or justice. The cause of the Greek want of system was said to be the number of judges in their courts, which rendered the decision rather matter of popular sentiment than of fixed rule.

The systematic nature of the Roman law arose from there being in general but one judge in each court. The two prætors—the one for the city, and the other for the external jurisdiction—were annually appointed, and were accustomed, on entering on their offices, to state the rules on which they intended to act. Those rules became gradually embodied, and finally formed the groundwork of the Roman law.

In the language of Rome, Law was Lex, from Lego, as the proposal of the rule was read by the magistrate to the assembly of the people. The Anglo-Saxon name was Laga, from Legen, to lay down—from which comes our word Law.

Law in England ascends as high as the time of the Druids, who, however, had no written code. But they seem to have left us the custom of Gavelkind—the division of the property of an intestate between the widow and the children, and the burning of a widow found guilty of her husband’s murder.

The Roman, Pictish, and Saxon invasions, with the Heptarchy, filled the country with a general confusion of laws, until the time of Alfred. This great king and man of genius undertook to remodel the whole constitution of the West-Saxon monarchy—a design, for whose execution he has been praised by all the philosophic lawyers, as exhibiting the highest sagacity.

The principle of his reform was, to make every man answerable to an immediate superior for his personal conduct, and that of his neighbourhood. For this purpose, England was divided into tithings and hundreds, and perhaps into counties, all being under a supreme magistrate—the king. He also collected into a volume all the customs of the various districts, which he issued for the guidance of the several country courts. Those in their turn were liable to account to the king’s courts, which were kept in the royal household, and which travelled with this great king, whose life seems to have been chiefly occupied in traversing the kingdom as high minister of law, and teaching its principles to his people.

The Danish invasions shook this code, but had not the power to crush it. It was renewed by King Edgar, a man of vigour and talents. The digest was completed by his grandson, Edward the Confessor—the whole forming the common law, or law common to the whole realm.

The principles of the Saxon law, which were the principles of their fathers in the German forests, and were the principles of truth and nature, were briefly these:—The establishment of the Wittena-gemote, or assembly of wise men—a species of parliament, without which no new law could be made, or old one changed; the election of all magistrates by the people; the hereditary descent of the crown; the commutation of capital punishments, on the first offence, for a fine; military service in proportion to land; forfeiture of land for treason, but not corruption of blood; the descent of lands to all the male’s equally, without right of primogeniture, (a rule unworthy of Saxon wisdom;) the use of county courts in ordinary cases, with courts held before the king in the higher; last, and most important of all, trial by jury (though trial was also held by ordeal.)

Of those principles, some were evidently unfit for subsequent civilisation; and some refined themselves. But the whole system, when compared with the old Roman code, and with many of the codes of Europe which followed it, exhibits an extraordinary evidence of the manliness of feeling, and justness of conception, existing among the Saxon ancestry of England.

In the eleventh century, the Norman Conquest burst in upon the country with the force of an inundation, and swept before it throne, liberty, and laws. The influence of Rome now began to act powerfully on the people. Ecclesiastical courts were formed, separate from the civil, and the Romish priesthood were gradually exempted from the secular power.

Another formidable innovation was in the “royal forests.” The Norman kings were “mighty hunters,” and whole counties were stripped of their population, to give room for beasts of chase. They transplanted the forest laws of the Continent into England, and the penalties of their game laws were terrible. In the Saxon times, though no man was allowed “to kill the king’s deer,” yet every man was allowed to kill the game on his own estate. But the Norman law made the king the proprietor of all game, and no man could kill bird of the air, or beast of the field, without express royal license, by a grant of free-warren, which was more for the purpose of preserving the game than giving a right to the subject.

With one exception, the Norman invasion was an unequivocal calamity. That exception was the right of primogeniture—a right essential to the establishment of a nobility, to the permanence of families in a condition of honour, and to the prevention of a gradual pauperism and degradation of society, as the lands became divided more and more. In all others, it was a sudden and mischievous extinction of all popular rights, and of all the principles of national progress. It made law arbitrary by curtailing the power of the county courts, and giving it to the king’s Norman justiciers, who thus became masters of every thing, and, by their Norman subtleties, altogether confused the national law. It introduced the feudal law, which was tyrannical in its essence. It almost excluded the national language from all public use, Norman-French alone being used in all the courts. It introduced the trial by combat, the origin of that custom which, under the name of duelling, authorises murder, provided the murdered man has previously had formal notice that his murder was intended; and also, that he had a chance of adding the murder of his adversary to his own. And to this Norman tyranny was due the whole long series of ruinous wars, which involved both England and France in infinite wretchedness, for little less than a hundred and fifty years.

The Saxon law continued in this state of humiliation until the reign of John, with slight occasional advances towards freedom. But, in this reign, the severity of the forest laws roused the barons into insurrection, and the King was forced to sign the two famous regulations, the Forest Charter, and the Great Charter. The former diminished some of the cruelties of the forest law, and the latter laid the foundations of the Constitution, by restoring the general principles of the Saxon law. It protected the subject from the severity of royal fines and royal loans, and considerably narrowed the wasteful expenditure of the throne. In private rights, it established the testamentary power of the husband over part of his estates, and the law of dowery. In public police, it established a uniformity of weights and measures, gave protection to commercial strangers, and forbade the alienation of lands by mortmain. In matters of public justice, it forbade all denials and delays of justice, established the court of Common Pleas at Westminster, to relieve the suitor from following the courts round the country; directed assizes and annual circuits to be held, and appointed inquests. It established the liberties of London, and of all the cities, towns, and ports of England. And finally, and by its noblest act of power, it declared the protection of every man in his life, liberty, and property, unless convicted by the judgment of his peers, or the law of the land. This was perhaps the noblest document ever published by a people, and well deserves its name of Magna Charta.

In the Popish controversy of our day, the existence of Magna Charta has been adduced as a proof of the freedom encouraged under Popery. But it is forgotten that the whole proceeding was instantly denounced by the Pope, and laid under anathema. It was a recurrence to the laws of their Saxon ancestors, demanded by the severe necessities of the time, and originating in impulses of human nature too strong for the bondage of the national superstition.

The glorious Reformation in the sixteenth century produced a hidden and powerful change in the aspect of English law. The Papal supremacy fell, and relieved the law of a most intolerable obstruction. The crown became the true head of the government. Man no longer gave a divided allegiance to an English monarch and an Italian monk; and the appointment of the bishops was thenceforth taken from foreign hands, and invested in the sovereign of the realm. Freedom now began to make palpable progress; for although the prerogative was still unabated, and was often tyrannical in the reigns of Henry, Mary, and Elizabeth, there was a growing tendency to its abatement; and its use by Elizabeth was in general so lenient, as to be scarcely perceptible.

A general change in English society also powerfully co-operated with this progress. Peace had brought commerce, and commerce wealth to the merchant: the lower orders, of course, shared in the general prosperity, and their condition became more important in the national eyes, and in their own. The nobles, disdaining commerce, became unable to compete with the new generation of opulence, and dissipated their estates, which fell into the hands of the citizens. On the other hand, the throne, enriched by the confiscation of the monasteries, became hourly more independent of the barons; and the contest for power was evidently to be thenceforth determined between the throne and the people.

The glories of Elizabeth, her services to religion, and her gentle exercise of the sceptre, had reconciled the nation to the prerogative. But the accession of James awoke the nation: his manners were offensive, his habits were unmanly, he wanted the dignity of Elizabeth on the throne, and he wanted the spirit of her government among the people. His death left a legacy of revolution. His son had been intended by nature for private life, but he was marked by misfortune to be a king. Brave without fortitude, and graceful without sincerity, he would have made an incomparable figure in his own court, if he had not been encumbered with the high duties of a throne. Charles was destined to be undone, from the time when he began to revive the obsolete statutes of the forest law, sustain the severities of the Star Chamber and High Commission courts, and raise arbitrary taxes in the shape of tonnage and poundage. The disuse of parliaments alienated from him every lover of liberty. Hampden, a name deserving of all honour in the history of freedom, struck the first blow at the new fabric of tyranny, by his resistance to ship-money. The King himself hurried on his ruin, by concessions as precipitate as his demands had been unjustifiable; and this most melancholy of all struggles ended in the most melancholy of all consummations—a military tyranny.

The restoration of the Stuarts gave us the Habeas Corpus Act—an illustrious memorial of national good sense, and of national security. Magna Charta had gone no further than to forbid imprisonment, contrary to law. The Habeas Corpus gave the man power to release himself, and punish his injurers.

The glorious Revolution of 1688 gave another impulse to the whole system of English liberty. It pronounced the authority of law to be supreme. It gave us the Bill of Rights, the Toleration Act, and the Act of Settlement. It justified the doctrine of necessary resistance; it regulated trials for high treason; it modelled the Civil List; it made the administration of the income accountable to parliament; and constituted the judges independent of the throne.

The constitution was now complete, or if not, all the improvements still necessary to make it such, were prepared in the nature of the noble plan which was thus laid down by the nation. The changes which have since occurred in the general law have been scarcely more than attempts to simplify its proceedings. The changes in parliamentary law have been more perilous, through the Reform Bill of 1831 following the Popish Bill of 1829. The change in international law has been marked by a feature whose peril seems too imminent, yet whose practical effect is still to be ascertained,—the establishment of direct diplomatic intercourse with the Popedom. Protestantism is justly alarmed at this sudden abandonment of one of the fundamental principles of 1688; at the direct encouragement which it must give to all the demands of Popery in England; at the triumph which, for the first time in two centuries, it gives to the factious spirit of Popery; at the aid which it may give to its superstition; and at the national hazards which may be involved in the rash attempt to subdue Irish violence by Papal instrumentality, and even at the political perils which may result from the authorised presence of a Popish Italian at the court of a Protestant sovereign. The palliatives of the measure are certainly trifling. The ambassador is not to be an ecclesiastic, and the Pope is not to be called the “sovereign pontiff.” But a Jesuit may be the same in a plain coat and in a red hat, and the Pope is the master of the Papist, call him by what name we will. Such is statesmanship in the nineteenth century!

The Lord Chancellor Hardwicke was the son of a country attorney, who was probably a respectable man——for he was needy, though the town-clerk, and seems to have had some friends, though in the profession of the law. The biographer labours hard to prove that he had ancestors—a matter which may be conceded to all men—and that, if some of them were poor, some were rich; a point perfectly within the possibilities of human things. He contends further, that a branch of the name of Yorke had held the mayoralty of Calais in the fifteenth century. But as he gives us no knowledge of the distance of that branch from the trunk, and as all have had kings as well as beggars among their progenitors, being the common descendants of Adam, there is not much use in those discoveries, and not the slightest balm to the hurt pride of the Hardwickes; for the whole dwindles down to the distressful but common conclusion, that in the seventeenth century the family were on the decline, and all their honours were diminished into the humility of a provincial solicitor.

But we come to wiser information. The first mention of the future chancellor is in the following document in his personal journal:—

“Philip Yorke, born at Dover the 1st day of December 1690, and baptised on Thursday 9th of December.”

The learned biographer wastes some more of his paragraphs in proving “that poverty is no disgrace;” but it must be acknowledged that it is neither comfort nor credit, and that it would have done no harm whatever to the attorney, if he had been in possession of a clear thousand a-year.

His son Philip was naturally intended to follow his own profession, and about his sixteenth year was sent to learn it in the office of a solicitor of the name of Salkeld, brother of the celebrated sergeant. It was a rather curious circumstance, that of the young men then in Salkeld’s office, there were two future Lord Chancellors, a Master of the Rolls, and a future Lord Chief Baron: Jocelyn, subsequently Chancellor of Ireland; Strange, Master of the Rolls; Parker, Chief of the Exchequer; and Yorke, who was destined to act as high a part in administration as in law.

There are some slight suspicions that young Yorke had been articled to Salkeld, and a clerk to his brother the sergeant. But against these imputations the biographer battles with a desperate fidelity. It is a pity to see so much zeal thrown away; for the Great Chancellor, as he was deservedly called, would not have been an atom the less great if he had been articled to the one brother and clerk to the other. He might have been only the more entitled to praise for the eminence to which he rose. We respect the aristocracy so far as it ought to be respected; but we are not at all inclined to look for the pedigree of talents in the dusty records of a worn-out genealogy, or feel that the slightest degree of additional honour attaches to learning and integrity, by the best blazonry of the Herald’s Office.

The young student must have soon given evidence of his capacity; for Salkeld, a man sagacious in his estimate of his pupils, recommended that he should try the larger branch of the profession, and put his name on the books of the Temple, which was done Nov. 29, 1708. We have then a dissertation on the propriety of keeping Terms by dining in the hall of the Temple. This, too, is so much wisdom thrown away. A good dinner is, under all circumstances, a good thing. It requires as little apology as any conceivable act of human existence. In the hall, the young barrister is at least in the company of gentlemen, which he perhaps would not be, but for that contingency; if he does not learn much law, he at least learns something of life; and if he has a spark of ambition in his frame, it may be blown into a flame by the sight of so many portly Chief Justices, and Lord Chief Barons, with an occasional glimpse of a retired Lord Chancellor, reposing on a sinecure of £5000 a-year.

Another weakness of the biographer is an eloquent effort to prove that a barrister, whose talents raise him to the summit of his profession, is but little the worse for the want of a university education. It would have been quite sufficient to say, that Philip Yorke rose to be the first lawyer of his age, and Lord Chancellor, without having ever set foot within the walls of a college.

Yorke, at the commencement of his career, was fortunate in an introduction through Parker, one of his fellow-students at Salkeld’s, to Lord Macclesfield, Lord Chief Justice, to whose son it is said that he was engaged as law-tutor. The Chief Justice received him at his table, took an evident interest in his progress, and patronised him on every important occasion. Yorke’s manners were as gentle as his intellect was acute; and such a man would naturally be received with favour at the table of a person so high in rank as Lord Macclesfield. But it has never been said that he humiliated himself for that honour; and through life he had a quiet way of gaining his point, of which a curious instance was given in his earliest days.

The wife of Salkeld was a thrifty personage, who, evidently thinking that her husband’s pupils might be employed in other operations than scribbling parchments, occasionally sent him on her messages, and even to execute some of her commissions in Covent Garden Market. Yorke obeyed, but on giving in the account of his expenditure on those occasions, there appeared frequent entries of coach hire, for “celery and turnips from Covent Garden,” a “barrel of oysters from the fishmonger’s,” &c. &c. Salkeld, perceiving this, remarked to his wife on the expensive nature of this “saving,” and Yorke was no longer employed as her conveyancer of celery and turnips.

He had also some pleasantry as well as point, of which an anecdote was told by the late Jeremy Bentham. Powis, one of the judges of the King’s Bench, one day at a lawyers’ dinner expressed to Yorke his “surprise” at his having got into so much business in so short a period. “I conceive,” said the old fool, “that you must have published some book, or be about publishing something; for look, d’ye see? (which seems to have been a favourite phrase of his,) there is scarcely a cause before the court but you are employed in it.” Yorke answered with a smile, “that he had indeed some thoughts of publishing, but that he had yet made no progress in his book. Powis, priding himself on his sagacity, begged to know its nature. He was answered that it was a “Versification of Coke upon Littleton.” The judge begged a specimen, on which Yorke recited—

“He that holdeth his lands in fee
Need neither to quake nor to shiver,
I humbly conceive; for look, do you see,
They are his and his heirs for ever.”

It may fairly be presumed that a laugh went round the table; but Powis was so fully convinced that he had hit upon the true reason, that on meeting Yorke some months after, he inquired gravely about the progress of his volume.

However, Powis seems to have been a mark for the wits, as we find by some lines on the Bench, by the memorable Duke of Wharton:—

“When Powis sums up a cause without a blunder;
And honest Price shall trim and truckle under;
When Eyre his haughtiness shall lay aside,
And Tracy’s generous soul shall swell with pride,
Then will I cease my charmer to adore,
And think of love and politics no more.”

Yorke was now beginning to feel his way in his profession; and if poverty had been his original stimulus, he had a fair prospect of exchanging it for wealth. The dictum of Thurlow on this subject is proverbial. When asked by some friend to advise his son as to “the way he should go” to rise at the bar, that rough functionary said, “Let him spend all his fortune—then marry, and spend his wife’s fortune; and then let him return to his books, and he may have some chance of business.”

But Yorke, without spending either his or his wife’s fortune, had already taken the first step to official distinction by entering Parliament, May 2, 1719. He was chosen member for Lewes in Sussex. The simplicity of this transaction affords a curious contrast to the performances of the present day. The Duke of Newcastle sent a letter to the “free and independent electors,” evidently directing them to elect his friend Mr Yorke. The letter was duly answered by an address from one hundred and thirty-two electors, in this style:—

“We, whose names are hereunto subscribed, the constables and inhabitants of the borough of Lewes, having heard your Grace’s letter publicly read, do not only herein return your Grace our hearty thanks for the honour you have done us in recommending so fit a person as Mr Yorke, to serve as one of our representatives in parliament for this town, for the present vacancy, but also beg leave to assure your Grace, that we do unanimously and entirely approve of him, and shall be ready on all occasions to show the regard we have to the favour your Grace has pleased to lay upon us.

“Your Grace’s most obliged and
“Obedient humble servants.”

The orthography of those honest people differs from modern penmanship,—but the principle of the affair, even in our polished day of liberalism, probably differs no more than a close borough of the year 1719 differs from an open borough of 1848. The successful barrister, and promising member of parliament, now made the most important step which any man can make, and took to himself a wife. It would be unfair to say that in this instance he was guided by the calculations which are so often charged upon his profession. But there can be no doubt, that whatever might be the pleasure of his new connexion, it had all the merit of prudence. The lady was a widow, young and pretty, and with a fortune of £6000, which at that time was probably equal to twice the sum in our day. But probably a charm of no inferior importance was her being the niece of Sir Joseph Jekyll, Master of the Rolls. The whole transaction was sufficiently juridical. Sir Joseph had sent a letter with Yorke, to be presented to Mr Charles Cox, the father of the lady, who had married Mary, the eldest daughter of Lord Somers. On reading the letter, the old gentleman desired Yorke to “leave his rental and writings” with him; and upon Yorke’s acknowledging that he had neither, Cox expressed his astonishment that his brother-in-law, Sir Joseph, “should have recommended such a person to him.” On writing to Sir Joseph on the subject, he received an answer, “not to hesitate a moment in accepting the offer, for that the gentleman who made it, and was now content with his daughter’s £6000, would in another year expect three or four times the sum with a wife!” The letter had its effect, and the marriage took place.

Yorke then took a house in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, and began to go circuit; there his biographer stoutly and justly defends him against the imputation of “intriguing for business,” alleged in Lord Campbell’s “Lives of the Chancellors;” an imputation which has not been sustained by any part of his subsequent conduct. For, though charged with singular anxiety to realise a fortune, there is no evidence of any meanness in its pursuit. And his professional distinction, his natural talent, and his rank as a member of parliament, (a matter of high consideration in those days) rendered his possession of business natural and easy.

But he was soon to have official distinction. When going the Western Circuit, he received a letter from the Lord Chancellor, announcing to him “his Majesty’s pleasure to select him for Solicitor General;” an office into which he was sworn in March 1720, at the age of thirty!

Much professional dissatisfaction was exhibited on this promotion of so young a member of the bar; and for some period the attorneys exhibited an equal reluctance to employ him in important causes. But, as a leader, he soon showed qualities which had been partially concealed in his inferior rank, and reconciled at once the public and the profession to his precedency. It has been remarked, that some of the most distinguished judges have not been successful in the lower rank of their profession, while it has not rarely happened that the most distinguished advocates have failed as judges. The qualifications for the bench, and those for the bar, or even for the leadership of the bar, have considerable differences, and the management of the great principles of law is evidently a separate task from the dexterity of detail.

The father of the Solicitor General, who had the happiness to see his son’s promotion, died in the following year. It appears that Yorke, who was now Sir Philip, kept up a constant and kind correspondence with his family, which was, of course, strengthened by his having obtained the recordership of Dover, an appointment which he valued very highly, and retained through life.

The volume contains some striking remarks on the often discussed question—“why lawyers seldom succeed as parliamentary speakers.” And the reason assigned, and truly assigned, is, that lawyers have something else to do. The man who is occupied all day in the courts, has no time for parliamentary subjects. He comes into the House fatigued, and unsupplied with the detail which is necessary to give effect to any address in so business-like an assembly. He merely gives an opinion and sits down. If he attempts more, he generally fails; or his best success is an escape. Thus the two greatest advocates whom England and Ireland have ever seen, Erskine and Curran, were ineffective in parliament—the only distinction being, that Erskine was laughed at, while Curran was laughed with. With these extraordinary men, who had every quality of the orator, and whose vigour of argument took the bench by storm, while the flashes of their imagination threw brilliancy over the dreariest topics, there could be no conceivable source of failure, except in their want of preparation for the peculiar objects of debate.

But there is also another, and an obvious consideration. There are but few orators in the world, and these few are not always either lawyers or members of parliament. But, when the true orator appears, he is felt, and he would be felt in an assembly of Esquimaux. He requires no complacency in his audience; he communicates with their spirit, at once. He touches strings which, however unawakened before, are in every living bosom; he finds echoes in the heart, which a thousand other voices might have called on in vain.

At the same time it must be admitted, that the knowledge which law demands, is of high importance to any success which hopes to be permanent in the House; that its nature in the questions constantly coming before an assembly of lawmakers, is indisputable; and that the perfection of a debater would consist in his possessing the knowledge of a lawyer, combined with the taste, talent, and expansive views of a statesman. The lawyers in parliament have always possessed great weight; and though the instances of their arriving at the Premiership are remarkably few, (we recollect but one, the late Mr Perceval,) they have always possessed a large share of parliamentary power.

A case of some peculiarity occurred at this time—it was the proposal to commute the sentence of death on some criminals, on condition of their submitting to inoculation for the small-pox. The case was laid before Raymond and Yorke, the Attorney and Solicitor General; whose answer was in this form;

“The lives of those persons being in the power of his majesty, he may grant a pardon to them on such lawful condition as he may think fit. And, as to this particular condition, we have no objection in point of law; the rather, because the carrying on this practice to perfection, may lead to the general benefit of mankind.”

The small-pox was then almost a plague: it assailed all classes; and some of the royal children, and many of those of the nobility died of it. Its extraordinary power of disfiguring the features of the survivors made it scarcely less dreaded than its mortality. In tropical climates it swept off the population by thousands. Mankind, in our age, cannot be too grateful to the good fortune, or rather to that interposition of providence, which, by giving us the discovery of Vaccination, has at length comparatively freed the world from this most afflicting and most fatal disease.

But Yorke was soon called on to perform other and more difficult duties than those of humanity. The influence of the exiled Stuarts was still powerful. Superstition and self-interest had sustained a close connexion in Great Britain. The manners of the Brunswick line had their share in sustaining this influence. They were singularly unpopular. The first George was coarse in manners, and vulgar in mind. All about him, even to his follies, was imported from Hanover; and he was never able to discover the distinction between an empire and an electorate. The second George was a man of ability; but while he was superior to the habits of his predecessor, he had equally repulsive habits of his own. The king was at once subtle and uncouth, artificial in his designs, yet rude in their execution; clear-headed in his views, yet confused in his government. Germanism clung to him, to the last. He, too, could not discover the distinction between the throne of the first country of Europe, and the sovereignty of a German province. The private history of his court, also, was the reverse of flattering to the morals of his country; and the public feeling often rebuked them with singular vigour of tone.

On the other hand, the misfortunes of the Stuarts, though most amply deserved, had thrown a tinge of romance over their fate; and even their insults to its freedom in religion and constitution were partially forgotten. The chivalric character of the Prince threw an additional interest on his story; and the contrast between a gallant young man, determined to struggle for the throne of his forefathers, and the crafty and egoistical character of the king, offered strong probabilities for the success of an enterprise worthy of a competitor for the crown of England.

On the 12th of May 1722, an announcement appeared in the newspapers, stating that the “Lord Mayor of London had received a letter from Lord Townshend, one of his Majesty’s principal Secretaries of State, informing him, that the king had received intelligence of a conspiracy, in concert with traitors abroad, to raise a rebellion in favour of the Pretender.”

A few days before, a proclamation had appeared, offering a reward of £500 for the apprehension of one Weston, formerly clerk to Gray’s Inn Chapel. Warrants were immediately issued for the apprehension of many other persons, of whom the principal was Atterbury, the Bishop of Rochester, who was arrested at his deanery in Westminster, carried before the Council, and committed to the Tower.

Shortly after, Lords North and Grey were arrested in the Isle of Wight; and about the same time the principal agent, one Layer, a barrister, was also seized. North was committed to the Tower, where, on his lady’s desiring admission to him, and being refused, he exhibited a specimen of that pleasantry which seems to have belonged to the name. Opening his window, “Madam,” said he, “this is a convent for men, and not for your sex.”

Layer’s trial soon followed. The evidence proved that he had been engaged in a plan for a general insurrection, for the overthrow of the established government, and for bringing in the Chevalier. The king, the prince, and the ministers, were to be seized, the Tower was to be taken, and the army was to be bought over. The correspondence on this subject had been seized at Layer’s chambers, in Southampton Buildings, and was in his handwriting.

An instance of what may be regarded as the etiquette of English law, was given on his trial. The prisoner had been carried to the court at Westminster in fetters, of which he complained to the Chief Justice as an insult. To this it was replied, that he had made an attempt to escape; on which the judge said, that the use of the fetters was justifiable. But, on his being brought into court, his counsel applied to have the fetters taken off; to which the judge replied, “The irons must be taken off: we shall not stir until the irons are taken off.”

The Solicitor General spoke with great effect in reply to the prisoner’s counsel, and Layer was found guilty. He was several times reprieved, in the hope of obtaining evidence sufficient to implicate persons of higher rank, who were strongly suspected, Layer being evidently but an agent. However, he was at length executed.

A bill of pains and penalties was then brought in against the Bishop of Rochester. Among the witnesses in his favour was the celebrated Alexander Pope, who came forward to depose to the Bishop’s domestic habits and studies. But it was remarked, that his performance on this occasion only showed that his abilities were not formed for exhibition in a court of justice. He made but an indifferent figure as a witness: he had but little to say, and that little he blundered.

Atterbury himself, however, made a better display. It having been insinuated that Sir Robert Walpole had tampered with the Bishop’s witnesses, for the purpose of involving other persons of condition, Walpole appeared in person to disavow the charge. Atterbury fastened on him, and exerted all his dexterity to make him contradict himself. “A greater trial of skill,” observed Speaker Onslow, “than this scarcely ever happened between two such combatants,—the one fighting for his reputation, the other for his acquittal.” The bill of pains and penalties was brought in by eighty-seven peers to forty-three. Atterbury was banished; and the following paragraph in one of the journals gives the account of his departure:—

“June 19, 1723.—Yesterday, between twelve and one, the deprived Bishop of Rochester set out from the Tower in the navy barge, and was delivered up to Captain Laurence, commander of the Aldborough man-of-war, lying in Long Reach. Two footmen in purple liveries attended him, himself being in a lay habit of gray cloth. Great numbers of people went to see him take water, many of whom accompanied him down the river in barges and boats. We hear that two messengers went on board the man-of-war, to see him set on shore at Ostend, whence, it is said, he will proceed to Aix-la-Chapelle, after staying some time at Brussels.”

The Bishop, however, was set on shore at Calais, from the violence of the weather, which made the passage to Ostend dangerous; and on being told at landing, that Bolingbroke had received the king’s pardon, and had arrived at the same place on his return to England, he pleasantly said, “Then I am exchanged.” Pope observed that “the nation was afraid of being overrun with too much politeness, and could not gain one great genius, but at the expense of another.”

That Bolingbroke was a man of remarkable talent, must be believed from the evidence of his public career. But the fame of Atterbury seems to have had no firmer foundations than his being the intimate of Pope, and a Jacobite. He had the scholarship of an academic, but he gave no exhibition of ability in public life. His sermons are extant, and are trifling. As a Jacobite, he must have been incapable of comprehending the value of liberty, regardless of Protestantism, and faithless to his king. His mitre alone probably saved him from a severer punishment than exile. But the simple fact that a Protestant bishop conspired to bring back a dynasty pledged to Popery, and notorious for persecution, is enough to consign his memory to historic shame.

Another curious instance, involving a bishop, occurred about this period. Wilson, the Bishop of Sodor and Man, in consequence of his refusal of the holy sacrament to the wife of the governor of the island, was thrown by him into prison, and fined. The bishop appealed to the Privy Council, by whom he was released, on the opinion of the Attorney and Solicitor Generals, and the fine was remitted. The Earl of Derby, the “sovereign” of the island, contended that it was a “free nation.” But he was not able to show that its freedom implied the power of controlling the spiritual functions of the bishop.

On this subject, however, it must be acknowledged that the right of refusing the sacrament to individuals who might be disapproved of by the clergy, was obviously dangerous, and, though retained in words, is justly abandoned in practice by the Establishment. Such a practice would imply that the clergyman could penetrate the secrets of the heart: it would also give a most offensive power of public insult, a strong temptation to private revenge, and might inflict an irreparable injury on personal character, without any public trial, or any means of personal defence. It is also observable, that no man can ascertain how suddenly and effectually conversion may change the whole tenor of the mind; while the mere fact of coming to the communion-table naturally implies a returning sense of duty. Some of the half Popish disciplinarians of our day, who talk much more of the church than they think of Christianity, have attempted to renew this harsh and hazardous practice. But the man of sense will avoid the insult; and the Christian will acknowledge that, if rebuke is to be administered at all, it ought to be in the shape of private exhortation, and not in the arbitrary and exasperating form of public shame.

The most painful part in the office of Attorney General is the duty of prosecuting high criminals. The Earl of Macclesfield now put this duty to the test. A charge was laid against the Chancellor for corruption in the sale of masterships in Chancery, and the embezzlement of the suitors’ money in their hands. He was impeached by the Commons, and tried by the Lords, was found guilty, and fined £30,000. But on the questions being put that he should be rendered incapable of serving the king, or sitting in parliament, both were negatived; but, for the honour of parliament, the one only by forty-two to forty-two, the Speaker giving, of course, the vote in his favour; and the latter by forty-five to thirty-nine. The trial lasted twenty days, and naturally excited great attention. The ground of his escape from official ruin, (for nothing could save him from public shame,) was probably his favouritism at St James’s—a favouritism which, unluckily for the honour of the courtiers, seems to have remained undiminished.

The conduct of the Attorney General has been censured, as ungrateful to his early patron; but the censure is unfounded. He did all that he could: he refused to join in the prosecution, and avoided this duty with some difficulty. The Earl’s guilt was notorious; nothing could save him. It was no part of the Attorney General’s virtues to thwart public justice, nor was it in his power. He simply consulted the delicacy of old friendship, by refusing to urge its progress. It has been even asked, Why did he not resign? Such is the absurdity of querists. His resignation could not have saved the Chancellor, who, after all, escaped with the easy sacrifice of a comparatively small sum from a purse believed to be plethoric with the public money.

Yorke still continued to advance in reputation and office. The deaths of the Chancellor and the Chief Justice were followed by the appointment of Talbot to the woolsack, and of Yorke to the Chief Justiceship, with an increase of the salary from £2000 to £4000 a-year, and the peerage, by the title of Baron Hardwicke, from an estate which he had purchased in the county of Gloucester.

He was now on the verge of his highest promotion. The Chancellor Talbot died in February 1736, after five days’ illness, at the age of fifty-three.

An entry in Lord Hardwicke’s private journal gives a curious and characteristic account of his promotion. “On Monday the 14th of February, about five in the morning, died Charles Talbot, Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain. The same forenoon, being at the sittings in Westminster Hall, I received a letter from Sir Robert Walpole, desiring to speak with me on the event of that morning, and wishing that I would dine with him that day in private. I went accordingly, and after dinner he proposed the Great Seal to me in the king’s name. Thereupon I took occasion to state to him, that I was now in a quiet situation, which, by practice, was become easy to me; that I had no ambition to go higher; and, though I had the most grateful sense of his majesty’s goodness, desired to be left where I was.”

Sir Robert perfectly understood this “nolo episcopari” style, and pressed the appointment. We are a little ashamed for the delicacy of the future Chancellor; for he now told the minister, that the Chief Clerkship of the King’s Bench being likely to fall soon into his gift, which he might grant for two lives for the benefit of his family, he must have an equivalent! After some bargaining, Yorke offered to take the reversion of the Tellership of the Exchequer for his eldest son. Walpole objected, that the king “disliked reversions.” And well he might; for the Tellership of the Exchequer was said to have amounted (in subsequent times) to £40,000 a-year! The bargain was at length struck—the Tellership was given, and Hardwicke was Chancellor. A note in Horace Walpole’s Memoirs adds point to the transaction: it says that “Walpole, finding it difficult to make Hardwicke give up the Chief Justiceship, told him that, if he refused, he would give the Seals to Fazakerly. ‘What!’ exclaimed Hardwicke, ‘Fazakerly! he is a Tory, perhaps a Jacobite.’ ‘All very true,’ replied Walpole; ‘but if by one o’clock you do not accept my offer, Fazakerly, by two, becomes Lord Keeper of the Great Seal, and one of the stanchest Whigs in England!’”

The Chancellor, as a scholar and a man of the world, was consulted by his friends on occasional rules of life; and, in answer to a request of the Marchioness of Annandale to give his opinion on the course of education proper for her son, Hardwicke, in giving a detail of the studies proper for a nobleman, as classics, mathematics, law, &c., alludes to foreign travel.

He observes “that, in former times, the people of Britain were observed to return home with their affections more strongly engaged towards the well-tempered constitution and liberty of their own country, from having observed the misery resulting from the military governments abroad. But, by an unlucky reverse, it (now) sometimes happens that, from being taught to like the fashions and manners of foreign countries, people are led to have no aversion to their political institutions, and their methods of exercising civil power.”

He then adverts to the still more serious evil which our own generation feel every day:

“The Protestant religion being established here, is one great security, not only of our religious, but also of our civil liberty. That ocular demonstration of the gross superstitions and absurdities of Popery which travelling furnishes, was formerly thought to fix the mind in a more firm attachment to the former, and abhorrence of the latter.” He then adverts to the culpable change frequently wrought by foreign life on this wise and salutary feeling. “I fear the case is now somewhat otherwise; with this further ill consequence, that many of our young men, by a long interruption of the exercise of their own religion, become absolutely indifferent to all.”

The truth of the case, however, is, that travelling is not the source of the injury done to the habits and principles of the English: it is residence abroad that does the irreparable mischief. Travelling enlarges the mind; residence abroad narrows, degrades, and vitiates it. No Englishman who has long resided in a foreign city, (except, perhaps, in a university, for the pursuit of learning,) is ever fit for any thing when he returns: he is a practical idler, and pitiful lounger round coffee-houses and gaming-tables. He discovers that his “feelings are too refined” for the roughness of English life—that his frame is “too delicate for anything but a southern climate”—boasts of his sensibilities, while he is leading a life of the most vulgar and gross vice—until, beggared by debauchery, or worn out with disease, he drops into the tomb, without leaving a regret or a manly recollection behind him. For all the higher purposes of life he had long been ruined—without country, without public spirit, without a sense of duty, he has lived only to eat and drink, to retail the gossip of the hour, and yawn through the day. He has abandoned all religion, and professes to think all creeds alike. His morals are of the same quality with his religion, and he creeps through society as worthless as the worm that shall soon feed on his better half—his body—in the grave.

Lord Hardwicke had now full opportunity for the display of all his talents; and their combination in one man was certainly an extraordinary evidence of the powers of discipline and nature. He was at once a first-rate lawyer, a first-rate statesman, and a first-rate public speaker. Any one of those high attainments might bring sufficient to make the business of a life—in him they were the easy attributes of a master-mind.

His oratory was not of the school which afterwards gave such eminence to Chatham. It had none of the brilliant impetuosity of that Demosthenes of English orators; but it had a captivation—the captivation of eloquence and grace—which gave interest even to the driest details of the tribunal. Lord Camden, himself a powerful public speaker, thus described Hardwicke on the bench:—

“In the Court of Chancery, multitudes would flock to hear the Lord Chancellor, as to hear Garrick. His clearness, arrangement, and comprehension of his subject, were masterly. But his address in the turn which he gave to all, whether he was in the right, or was ‘to make the worse appear the better reason,’ was like magic.”

His high employments now brought opulence with them; and he purchased from Lord Oxford the fine estate of Wimpole, in Cambridgeshire, which had come into the Oxford family by marriage with the Duke of Newcastle’s heiress. In 1740, Philip Yorke, the Chancellor’s eldest son, married the daughter of Lord Breadalbane, and grand-daughter of the Duke of Kent. Horace Walpole, in his correspondence with Conway, thus smartly sums up the good fortune of this most prosperous family:

“Harry, what luck the Chancellor has! first, indeed, to be in himself so great a man. But then, in accidents. He is made Chief Justice and Peer, when Talbot is made Chancellor and Peer. Talbot dies in a twelvemonth, and leaves him the Seals, at an age when others are scarcely made solicitors. Then he marries his son into one of the first families of Britain, obtains a patent for a marquisate, and eight thousand pounds a-year, after the Duke of Kent’s death. The Duke dies in a fortnight, and leaves them all! People talk of fortune’s wheel that is always rolling; troth, my Lord Hardwicke has overtaken her wheel, and rolled along with it.”

The present attempt to give legislative power to the Jews, an attempt whose success would inevitably change the Christian character of the legislature, gives a revived interest to the following decision of the great Chancellor. A legacy of £12,000 having been left by a Jew, “for establishing an assembly for reading and improving the Jewish law,” and the case having been brought into court, the Chancellor decided against the application of the legacy. The note of this judgment, recorded in his own note-book, is as follows:—

“I was of opinion, that this appeared to be a charitable bequest or fund for promoting and propagating the Jewish religion, and consequently contrary to law. For that the Christian religion is part of the law of the land, and involved in the constitution of this kingdom, according to my Lord Hale in Taylor’s case, 1 Ventr., and my Lord Raymond in Wolston’s case; and that it differed widely from the cases of charitable benefactions to the meeting-houses or congregations of Protestant dissenters, which are tolerated, and regulated by the Toleration Act. Therefore, I refused to decree for this charity.”

In March 1745, died the celebrated Sir Robert Walpole: of all the ministers of George the Second the most trusted, and of all the ministers of England the most unpopular; of all the statesmen of his day the most successful, and certainly, of all the public men of England, regarded, in his own time, as the most unscrupulous. If it be doubted that he was personally more unprincipled than other ministers, to him unquestionably was due the practice of corruption as an established principle of government. That any minister could have dared to adopt such a system in England, is to be accounted for only by the rapid changes of party since the beginning of the century, the changes of the Succession, the timidity of the press, yet but in its infancy, and the unsettled nature of the Brunswick throne.

In late years, Burke, inflamed with the love of splendid paradox, and delighting in the novelty of imagining personal virtue in the midst of public vice, amused his genius with throwing a factitious lustre over the memory of Walpole. But the voice of contemporary writers has been since amply echoed by the judgment of history. Walpole was a corrupter; and, if the progress of his system had not been broken short by his fall, and by the hurried successions of ministers from each side of the House alternately, the government would perhaps have perished, or could have purified itself only by a revolution.

Walpole was a first-rate man of craft; his sagacity was vigilant; his industry was indefatigable; his speech plausible, and his management of the uncouth and suspicious King dexterous in a remarkable degree. But he lowered the whole tone of public life. No act of magnanimous policy ever originated with Walpole. He made no attempt, or but of the feeblest order, to add to the national intelligence. He encouraged none of the higher provinces of the arts, learning, or science; and, though he gave mitres to Butler, Gibson, and Sherlock, yet the religion of England languished scarcely less than its philosophy. It was what Burke himself subsequently termed its succeeding period, “burgomaster age,” and parliament was scarcely more than a Dutch council, until Chatham came and startled it again into life. Walpole obtains credit with posterity for the moderation of his wealth. But, beginning as the son of a country gentleman, he purchased a fine estate; he built a magnificent mansion, Houghton; he collected one of the finest private picture-galleries in Europe; and he always lived, so far as we can learn, in great affluence and expenditure.

But the country was suddenly to be tried by a new and most formidable hazard. News arrived in London that the Prince Charles Edward, the eldest son of the Pretender, had landed in Scotland, had raised the standard of the Stuarts, had been joined by some of the clans, and was determined on marching to the metropolis. This part of the Memoir is peculiarly interesting, from its giving the private impressions of individuals of rank and importance, on the everyday movements of the time.

On the 1st of August, Lady Hardwicke, who was, of course, acquainted with all the opinions of government, writes to her son Philip Yorke, who was then out of town:—“My heart is very heavy. Our folks are very busy at this time, by fresh alarms of the Pretender being in Scotland. But I believe the ship Captain Bret fought was the ship he was in. If it be so, he is not yet got there; which may give a little more time to prepare for him. The French disclaim sending him there; but that is nothing. They are to take Ostend; while Spain sends troops thence, to the other end of the kingdom, to distract our measures. This is my opinion, God grant I may be in the wrong. In the mean time, our king’s abroad, and our troops also. There comes out a proclamation this day, offering a reward for the Pretender, as I am informed.”

Lord Hardwicke had been appointed one of the Regency, on the King’s absence in Germany. And his views of the crisis were gloomy enough. In a letter to Lord Glenorchy (August 15) he says, “On Tuesday last we received advice from the Duke of Argyle and my Lord Justice Clerk, that the young Pretender was landed in the north-west parts of the Highlands. He is said to have come in a single ship of 16 or 18 guns, attended by about 70 persons, among whom are Lord Tullibardine and old Lochiel. When I look round me, and consider our whole situation, our all appears to be at stake.”

“The yachts sailed this morning for the King, who has declared he will set out from Hanover, as soon as he has heard they have arrived on the other side.”

This was desponding language from so eminent a person, but it was produced by deeper feelings than alarm at the landing of a few people in the north, though with a prince at their head. The plain truth, and no man was better aware of it than Hardwicke, was, that the conduct of the late Cabinet had utterly disgusted the nation. The contempt justly felt for Walpole had spread to higher objects; and the nation looked with an ominous quietude on the coming struggle between the young Chevalier and the possessor of the throne. As if the factions of parliament had been preparing for the success of the Stuarts, all their efforts for the last ten years had been directed to dismantle the country; all their harangues were turned to extinguishing the army, which they described as at once ruinous to the finances, and dangerous to the liberties of the country. Probably there was not a man of all those declaimers who believed a single syllable which he uttered; but “Reduction” was the party cry. With France in immense military power; with the Stuarts living under its protection; with the whole force of Popery intriguing throughout the country; and with a great number of weak people, who thought that their consciences called for the return of the exiled dynasty in the person of the Pretender, the reduction of the national defences by the ministry fell little short of treason. But when the intelligence of the prince’s arrival was brought to London, the kingdom seems to have been left almost without a soldier; every battalion being engaged in the lingering war in Germany. The King had not added to the strength of his government; his passion for going to Hanover had occasioned obvious public inconvenience, and his absence at the moment of public peril was felt with peculiar irritability. The Chancellor, on this subject, after alluding to his recovery from a slight illness, says, “Would to God, the state of our affairs were as much mended; but the clouds continue as black as ever; and how soon the storm may burst on us, we know not.”

On the first news of the Chevalier’s landing, a message had been sent to the King, to return with all haste, which he did, as is mentioned in a letter of the Chancellor to the Archbishop of York. After speaking of the difficulties of government, the letter closes with, “I had writ thus far, when a messenger from Margate brought the good news that the King landed there about half an hour after three this morning, and would be at Kensington within two hours. Accordingly, his Majesty arrived there about two o’clock, in perfect health. I really think I never saw him look better in my life. He appears also to be in very good humour, and to value himself upon the haste he has made to us, when there was any apprehension of danger affecting this country.”

In another letter, he sadly laments the absence of all public interest in the event of the Rebellion. “Can you tell what will make double hearts true?... I have not slept these two nights; but sweat and prayed.... The Duke of Argyle is come to town, and done nothing; and Duke Athol is gone to a town in the Highlands, and does nothing neither. He has had Glengarrie with him, whose clan has joined the Pretender, and he is gone from him. In short, every thing is in a strange way, and nobody, hardly, is affected as they ought; at least as I am.... This is the real state of things, however they may be disguised, and I fear Sir J. Cope’s not equal to his business. God alone can save us, to whose merciful judgment we trust.”

The late Sydney Smith’s pleasantries on the novelty of invasion ideas in the brains of John Bull, and the difficulty of convincing him of the possibilities of such a thing, were fully exemplified in the cabinet, as well as in the people. The cabinet did little more than send for the King, and the King did little more than send an incompetent officer with a small detachment of troops to put down a rebellion which might have already enlisted the whole martial population of Scotland; even the Chancellor could not restrain himself from running down to one or other of his country houses, for two or three days at a time, while the government was actually trembling from hour to hour on the verge of the scaffold. This childish inability of self-control disparages the conduct of so distinguished a person. But with all his “sweating and praying,” he seems to have been totally incapable of denying himself this pitiful indulgence, when a week might see the Stuarts on the throne. At length troops were ordered from Germany, and six thousand arrived with General Ligonier. Some Dutch regiments followed; five men-of-war returned from the Mediterranean, and the British regiments were on their march through Holland. In the mean time came the startling announcement that the Pretender was in Edinburgh, that he was proclaimed there, and that he was royally lodged in Holyrood House. The Chancellor’s fears of Cope’s inefficiency were soon shown to have been prophetic. Cope had been sent to save Edinburgh,—the clans outmarched him, and Cope had no resource but to land at Dunbar. At Haddington he suddenly found the clans to the south of his force. They were about three thousand, half armed, to his two thousand two hundred disciplined troops; the Highlanders rushed upon him and routed him in a moment. The Chevalier returned to Edinburgh with a hundred pipers leading the march, and playing, “The king shall have his own again.”

The person who figures mainly at this period, and who appears to have shown alike good sense and courage, was Herring, Archbishop of York, an old friend of the Chancellor, who had recommended him to the government when but preacher at Lincoln’s Inn, obtained for him a bishopric, and pushed him forward into the Archbishopric of York. Herring was afterwards promoted to Canterbury, perhaps as a reward of his loyalty and manliness in this delicate and difficult time. Herring was evidently a sensible and high-minded man, and his letters to the Chancellor figure conspicuously among the mass of correspondence received by Hardwicke. On the battle of Prestonpans, this vigorous prelate thus wrote:—

“I conceal it, but I own I conceive terrible apprehensions from the affair at Prestonpans, where the conduct of our general, &c., was —— I won’t give it the right name, but that of the rebels excellent; and, from what I can collect, and the judgment which I form upon the opinion of the soldiers here, they are admirably disciplined, and, our soldiers have felt, well armed. They showed resolution and conduct in taking the little battery, and as they are vigorous and savage, their leaders well know how to point their strength properly and effectually. There is something, too, in their artful taciturnity that alarms one. They say it is a fact that from their setting out to this hour it is not easy to say who leads them, nor are they seen in a manner till they are felt, so silent and well conceived are their motions. I hope all this is known above much better than it is here, and that it is now seen that this rebellion is not to be quashed by small pelotons of an army, but must be attended to totis viribus. Who can say what will be the consequence of such an advantage gained in England?” In another letter Herring mentions that a meeting of the county was held at York, at which he presided.

London was of course full of rumours, and a letter from Lady Hardwicke gives them in grave yet ridiculous detail. After saying that the merchants had stopped the run upon the bank, she mentions a report that the Chancellor was turned out; that the Duke of Newcastle and his brother had run away, some said, to the Pretender; and others, that Lestock, the Admiral, had produced three letters from him forbidding him to fight; and these reports gained a universal run. People were told at the turnpikes as they passed through, that London was in an uproar and his Grace fled. Nay, the mobs gathered in crowds about his house, and saw some of the shutters unopened, whence they concluded he was gone; and when he went out they surrounded his chariot, and looked him in the face and said, “It is he! he is not gone. What is our condition, when such monstrous lies are spread to increase the terrors of honest minds?”

The Archbishop’s exertions gave great satisfaction to the King, whom he had so worthily and courageously served; and the Chancellor immediately wrote him an account of an interview which he had with his Majesty on the occasion. “I own,” said he, “I feel a particular pleasure in the great and noble part which your Grace has taken on this occasion, and in the gallant, wise, and becoming manner in which you have exerted yourself. I was so full of it, that I went immediately to Kensington, and gave the King an ample account of it in his closet. I found him apprised of it in the Lord Lieutenant’s letters, which he had received from the Duke of Newcastle; but he was so pleased with it that he was desirous of hearing it over again. I informed his Majesty of the substance of your letter, the sermon your Grace had preached last Sunday, and with such prodigious expedition printed and dispersed; and when I came to your speech, he desired me to show it him. His Majesty read it over from beginning to end, gave it the just praise it so highly deserves, and said it must be printed. I told him I believed it was printing at York, but it is determined to print it in the Gazette. When I had gone through this part, I said, your Majesty will give me leave to acquaint my Lord Archbishop that you approve his zeal and activity in your service—to which the King answered quick, My lord, that is not enough; you must also tell the Archbishop that I heartily thank him for it. His Majesty also highly applauded the affection, zeal, and unanimity which had appeared in the several lords and gentlemen on this occasion.”

The Chancellor also informs him that ten British regiments had arrived from Flanders, and that eight battalions more, and 1500 dragoons were ordered to embark. He then makes a natural and just remark on the faction that had clamoured against putting the country into a state of defence. “I know some friends of yours who had talked themselves hoarse in contending for this measure, and whose advice, if followed some time ago, might have prevented, in all human probability, this dismal scene. But the conduct of some persons on this occasion has been infamous.” He then marks the true conduct to be adopted in all instances of civil war. “A great body of forces will forthwith be sent to the North. I contend every where, that they must be a great body, for the protection of the King’s crown and his people. The work of the Revolution, which has been building up these seven-and-fifty years, must not be risked upon an even chance.” Such is true policy. The defence of an empire must not be risked upon a chance; the benighted and dishonest theorists, who would enfeeble the defences of England in our day, for the sake of gaining the clamour of a mob, would be the first to fly in the hour of danger; and although the certainty of a French war from the ambition of the monarchy, is at an end, and the Prince de Joinville is not likely to realise the suggestions of his detestable pamphlet, and have the honour of pouncing on our sea-coast villages; a Republic is a neighbour to which we have not been accustomed for a long while, and which, with the best intentions for the present, may very suddenly change its mind.

Another letter from Herring shows the gallant spirit which may exist under lawn sleeves. “I purposed,” said he, “to have set out for London on Wednesday; but I have had a sort of remembrance from the city here (York) that it will create some uneasiness. There is a great matter in opinion; and if my attendance at Bishopsthorpe serves to support a spirit, or to preserve a union, or that the people think so, I will not stir.... I have therefore put off my journey, but ordered my affairs so, that at the least intimation from your Lordship, I can vasa conclamare, and set out in an hour. To talk in the style military, (though my red coat is not made yet,) the first column of my family went off a week ago, the second moves on Wednesday, and the third attends my motions. I purpose to leave my house in a condition to receive the Marshal, if he pleases to make use of it. And there is a sort of policy in my civility, too; for while he occupies it, it cannot be plundered. I know your Lordship has ever an anxiety for your friends. But, if I must fly, the General and his hussars have offered to cover my retreat. But enough of this; I had rather laugh when the battle is won, and could not help putting up an ejaculation at the pond-side to-night,—Heaven grant I may feed my swans in peace!”

The mention of the red coat was probably suggested by a report that the Archbishop had been seen in uniform. And the “hussars” were a troop of young gentlemen, whom General Oglethorpe had embodied at York.

The prelate was somewhat of a humorist; and he thus writes on his military reputation:—“I find I must go into regimentals, in my own defence, in a double sense; for an engraver has already given me a Saracen’s head, surrounded with a chevalier in chains, and all the instruments of war, and the hydra of rebellion at my feet. And I see another copperplate promised, where I am to be exhibited in the same martial attitude, with all my clergy with me. By my troth, as I judge from applications made to me every day, I believe I could raise a regiment of my own order. And I had a serious offer the other day from a Welch curate, from the bottom of Merionethshire, who is six feet and a half high, that, hearing that I had put on scarlet, he was ready to attend me at an hour’s warning, if the Bishop of Bangor did not call upon him for the same service.”

The disregard of all preparation had left the whole English border defenceless. Hull and Carlisle were the only towns which had any means of resistance. York had walls, but they were in a state of decay, and had not a single piece of artillery. Thus the invaders were enabled to pursue any road which they pleased. But their entrance into England should have taught them that their enterprise had become hopeless. The country people every where fled before them—the roads were filled with the carriages and waggons of the gentry hurrying to places of safety. No gentleman of rank joined them. One army was on their rear, and the main army, under the Duke of Cumberland, was between them and London.

In the metropolis, the spirit of the people, always slow, until the danger is visible, now awoke. The lawyers, in a procession of two hundred and fifty carriages, carried up an address to the King, assuring him of their loyalty. The trained bands were summoned. Troops were sent to the coast to watch the French, if they should attempt invasion; alarm-posts and signals were appointed in case of tumults in London, and the capital was at length in safety against a much superior force to that of the Chevalier. But in December the gratifying news came, that on the 5th the invaders had retired from Derby, and were rapidly returning to the North.

The disorder and exhaustion of those gallant but unfortunate men, must have left them an easy prey to the superior forces which were now on their track, when the pursuit was suddenly stopped by an alarm of French invasion. Twelve thousand men had suddenly been collected; the Duke of Richelieu, with the Pretender’s second son, had come to Dunkirk; transports were gathered along the coast; and the invasion would probably have been attempted, but for a storm which drove many of their ships ashore near Calais. The troops in London were but six thousand! The 16th of April, at Culloden, closed this most unhappy struggle, and gave an internal peace to England which has never been broken.

The remarks in the memoir on this daring enterprise seem to be imperfect. The first is, that if England was to have been invaded at all, the effort should have been made before the army could be brought from Flanders. The second is, that the retreat from Derby should have been exchanged for a march on London. But the former would have required a totally different plan of operations. The Prince should have landed in Kent, if his object was to take London by surprise. But, as his only troops must be the clans, he must look for them in the North; and it would have been impossible to march an army from the Highlands to the metropolis in less than a fortnight. On the second point, the retreat from Derby was obviously necessary. The clans were already diminishing—every step must be fought for—they were but half armed—and the King’s troops were increasing day by day.

In one remark we agree, that the Chevalier should never have attempted more than the possession of Scotland. He should have remained in Holyrood House. There he had a majority of the nation in his favour,—the heads of the clans, and the old romantic recollections of his ancestral kings, all tending to support his throne. A French force might have been easily summoned to his assistance, and for a while he might have maintained a separate sovereignty. It is, on the other hand, not improbable that the Scottish nation might have looked on the sovereignty of a son of James, the persecutor, with jealousy; Protestantism would have dreaded a French alliance; and the expulsion of the Chevalier would have been effected in Scotland on the model of the English expulsion of James. Still, the experiment was feasible for the claimant of a crown; and the success of the adventure might have continued long enough to produce great evil to both countries.

We have found these volumes highly interesting, not merely from the importance of their period, but from their containing events so curiously parallel to those of our own time. Among the rest was the appointment to the Archbishopric of Canterbury. A letter from Charles Yorke thus says:—“The Archbishop of Canterbury died suddenly on Saturday. The Bishop of London has declined the offer of succeeding. It is now offered to the Bishop of Salisbury, who has not yet returned an answer. If he refuses, which some say he will, the Archbishop of York will be the man.”

The reasons for these refusals were probably the reluctance to change, at the advanced age of these bishops,—Sherlock, of Salisbury, being seventy, and Gibson probably about the same age. The fees for possession are also immense, and we have heard them rated at little short of £20,000.

The Lord Chancellor announced the offer to the Archbishop of York, who returned the following remarkable answer:—“I am honoured with your Lordship’s of the 13th inst., which I embrace with all my heart, as a new instance of that friendship and affection for me which for so many years have been the support, and credit, and comfort of my life.

“I have considered the thing, my best friend and my most honoured Lord, with all deliberation and compass of thought that I am master of, and am come to a very firm and most resolved determination not to quit the See of York on any account or on any consideration.... I am really poor; I am not ambitious of being rich, but have too much pride, with, I hope, a small mixture of honesty, to bear being in debt. I am now out of it, and in possession of a clear independency of that sort. I must not go back, and begin the world again at fifty-five.

“The honour of Canterbury is a thing of glare and splendour, and the hopes of it a proper incentive to schoolboys to industry. But I have considered all its inward parts, and examined all its duties, and if I should quit my present station to take it, I will not answer for it that in less than a twelvemonth I did not sink and die with regret and envy at the man who should succeed me here, and quit the place in my possession, as I ought to do, to one better and wiser than myself.”

This language might have been received with some suspicion in other instances; but Herring was a straightforward as well as a very able man, and there can be no doubt that he spoke what he thought. But he seems to have mistaken the position of the Primate as one of splendour, for we certainly have seen instances in which it displayed any thing but splendour, and in which the great body of the clergy knew no more of the halls of Lambeth, shared no more of its due hospitality, and enjoyed no more of the natural and becoming intercourse with their metropolitan, than if he had been a hermit. This grievous error, which has the necessary effect of repelling and ultimately offending and alienating the whole body of the inferior clergy, a body who constitute the active strength of the Establishment, we must hope to see henceforth totally changed. In the higher view of the case, an Archbishop of Canterbury possesses every advantage for giving an honourable and meritorious popularity to the Church. By his rank, entitled to associate with the highest personages of the empire, he may more powerfully influence them by the manliness and intelligence of his opinions: a peer of parliament, he should be a leader of council, the spokesman of the prelacy, the guide of the peers on all ecclesiastical questions, and the courageous protector of the Establishment committed to his charge. In his more private course, he ought to cultivate the association of the learned, the vigorous, and the active minds of the country. He ought especially to be kind to his clergy, not merely by opening his palace and his hospitalities to them all, but by personal intercourse, by visiting their churches, by preaching from time to time in their pulpits, by making himself known to them in the general civilities of private friendliness, and by the easy attentions which, more than all the formalities of official condescension, sink into the hearts of men. It is absurd and untrue to say that an archbishop has no time for all these things. These things are of the simplest facility to any man whose heart is in the right place; and if, instead of locking himself up with two or three dreary effigies of man, in the shape of chaplains, and freezing all the soul within him by a rigid and repulsive routine, he shall “do as he would be done unto” if he had remained a country curate, an Archbishop of Canterbury might be the most beloved, popular, and for all the best purposes, the most influential man in the kingdom.

Old age was now coming on Lord Hardwicke, and with it the painful accompaniment of the loss of his old and intimate associates through public and private life; his own public career, too, was come to its close. In 1756 the Newcastle ministry was succeeded by that of the celebrated William Pitt, (Lord Chatham,) and Lord Hardwicke resigned the Great Seal. The note in his private journal states, “19th November 1756, resigned the Great Seal voluntarily into his Majesty’s hands at St James’s, after I had held it nineteen years, eight months, and ten days.”

All authorities since his day appear to have agreed in giving the highest tribute to this distinguished man. His character in the Annual Register says, “In judicature, his firmness and dignity were evidently derived from his consummate knowledge and talents; and the mildness and humanity which tempered it from the best heart.... His extraordinary despatch of the business of the court, increased as it was in his time beyond what had been known in any former, on account of his established reputation there, and the extension of the commerce and riches of the nation, was an advantage to the suitor, inferior only to that arising from the acknowledged equity, perspicuity, and precision of his decrees.... The manner in which he presided in the House of Lords added order and dignity to that assembly.” Lord Campbell, in his late “Lives of the Chancellors,” characterises Lord Hardwicke as “the man universally and deservedly considered the most consummate judge who ever sat in the Court of Chancery.”

An instance of his grace of manner even in rebuke, amply deserves to be recorded. A cause was argued in Chancery, in which a grandson of Oliver Cromwell, and bearing the same name, was a party. The opposing counsel began to cast some reflections on the memory of his eminent ancestor; on which the Chancellor quietly said, “I observe Mr Cromwell standing outside the bar, inconveniently pressed by the crowd; make way for him, that he may sit by me on the Bench.” This had the effect of silencing the sarcasms of the advocate. Lord Hardwicke seems to have excited a professional deference for his legal conduct and abilities, which at this distance of time it is difficult even to imagine. But the highest names of the Bar seem to have exhausted language in his panegyric. Lord Mansfield thus spoke of him on being requested by a lawyer to give him materials for his biography. The answer is worth retaining for every reason.

“My success in life is not very remarkable. My father was a man of rank and fashion. Early in life I was introduced into the best company, and my circumstances enabled me to support the character of a man of fortune. To these advantages I chiefly owe my success. And therefore my life cannot be very interesting. But if you wish to employ your abilities in writing the life of a truly great and wonderful man in our profession, take the life of Lord Hardwicke for your object. He was indeed a wonderful character. He became Chief Justice of England and Chancellor from his own abilities and virtues; for he was the son of a peasant!”

Not exactly so, as we have seen; for his father was a respectable man, who gave him a legal education. But the great Chancellor certainly owed but little to birth or fortune.

We have heard much of the elegance and polish of Mansfield’s style, but, from the imperfect reports of public speeches a hundred years ago, have had but few evidences of its charm. One precious relic, however, these volumes have preserved. On his taking leave of the society of Lincolns Inn, (on his being raised to the Bench,) the usual complimentary address was made by Mr Charles Yorke. The reply, of which we give but a sentence, was as follows:—

“If I have had in any measure success in my profession, it is owing to the great man who has presided in our highest courts of judicature the whole time I attended the bar. It was impossible to attend him, to sit under him every day, without catching some beams from his light. The disciples of Socrates, whom I will take the liberty to call the great lawyer of antiquity, since the first principles of all law are derived from his philosophy, owe their reputation to their having been the repeaters of the sayings of their great master. If we can arrogate nothing to ourselves, we can boast of the school we were brought up in. The scholar may glory in his master, and we may challenge past ages to show us his equal.”

After brief allusions to the three great names of Bacon, Clarendon, and Somers, all of whom he regarded as inferior either in moral or natural distinctions, he said,—“It is the peculiar felicity of the great man of whom I am speaking, to have presided for nearly twenty years, and to have shone with a splendour that has risen superior to faction, and that has subdued envy.”

The melancholy case of Admiral Byng occurred in this year, (1757) and is well reasoned in this work. The writer thinks that the execution was just. A death by law is naturally distressing to the feelings of humanity, and the degradation or banishment of the unfortunate admiral might possibly have had all the effects of the final punishment, without giving so much pain to the public feelings. Still, the cabinet might justly complain of the clamour raised against their act, by the party who arraigned them for the death of Byng. In command of a great fleet on a most important occasion, he had totally failed, and failed in despite of the opinions of his own officers. He had been sent for the express purpose of relieving the British garrison of Minorca, and he was scared away by the chance of encountering the French fleet: the consequence was, the surrender of the island, and the capture of the garrison. On his return to England, he was tried and found guilty by a court-martial: he was found guilty by the general opinion of the legislature and the nation; and though the court-martial recommended him to mercy, on the ground that his offence was not poltroonery, but an “error in judgment;” yet his reluctance to fight the French had produced such ruinous consequences, and had involved the navy in such European disgrace, that the King determined on his death, and he died accordingly. An error in judgment which consists in not fighting, naturally seems, to a brave people, a wholly different offence from the error which consists in grappling with the enemy. And, though Voltaire’s sarcasm, that Byng was shot pour encourager les autres, had all the pungency of the Frenchman’s wit, and though British admirals could require no stimulant to their courage from the fear of a similar fate, there can be but little doubt that this execution helped to make up the decisions of many a perplexed mind in after times. The man who fights needs have no fear of court-martials in England. This was a most important point gained. The greatest of living soldiers has said, that the only fault which he had to find with any of his generals, was their dread of responsibility. The court-martial of Byng taught the British captains, in the phrase of the immortal Nelson, that “the officer who grapples with his enemy, can never be wrong.”

On the 25th of October King George II. died. He had been in good health previously, had risen from bed, taken his chocolate, and talked of walking in the gardens of Kensington. The page had left the room, and hearing a noise of something falling, hurried back. He found the King on the floor, who only said, “Call Amelia,” and expired. He was seventy-seven years old, and had reigned thirty-four years.

The King left but few recollections, and those negative. He had not connected himself with the feelings of the country; he had not patronised the fine arts, nor protected literature. He was wholly devoted to continental politics, and had adhered to some continental habits, which increased his unpopularity with the graver portion of the people of England.

In 1763 Lord Hardwicke’s health began visibly to give way. He had lost his wife, and had lost his old friend the Duke of Newcastle. Death was every where among the circle of those distinguished persons who had been the companions of his active days. He had great comfort, however, in that highest of comforts to old age, the distinctions and talents of his sons, who had all risen into public rank. But the common fate of all mankind had now come upon him; and on the 6th of March he breathed his last. “Serene and composed, I saw him in his last moments, and he looked like an innocent child in its nurse’s arms,” is the note of his son. He was seventy-four. His remains were interred in the parish church of Wimpole.

The peerage and estates still continue in the family, and are now represented by the estimable and intelligent son of the late Admiral Sir Joseph Yorke. On the death of the Chancellor’s eldest son, who had succeeded to the title, the eldest son of Mr Charles Yorke became Lord Hardwicke. This nobleman, who was remarkable for scholarship and refinement of taste, had held the anxious office of Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in the year of the Rebellion 1798. His son, Lord Royston, a very accomplished person, being lost by shipwreck in the seas, the son of the well-known admiral, who had been so unhappily killed by a flash of lightning in a boat off Portsmouth, became the heir.

It is in the history of men like Lord Hardwicke that England justly prides herself. Here is an instance of the prizes which lie before the vigour, talents, and principles of her great men. The son of a country solicitor rises to the highest rank of a subject, forces his way through all the obstacles of narrow means, professional prejudice, learned difficulty, and humble birth; takes his place among the first ranks of the aristocracy, guides the law, shares in the first influence of the state, is the pillar of government, and chief councillor of his king; accumulates a vast fortune, becomes master of magnificent estates, and founds a family holding in succession distinguished offices in church and state, and still forming a portion of the nobility of England. And all this was done by the talents of a single individual. Long may the constitution live which offers such triumphs to integrity and learning, and glory be to the country which has such men, and fixes her especial renown on their fame!

The biography is vigorous, intelligent, and remarkably interesting. No historian can in future write the “Reign of George II.” without it. It passes through times of singular importance: and while the volumes are essential to the student of legal history, they offer a high gratification to the general reader.




I like political ovations. It is a very pleasant thing to perambulate Europe in the guise of a regenerator, sowing the good seed of political economy in places which have hitherto been barren, and enlightening the heathen upon the texture of calico, and the blessings of unreciprocal free-trade. I rather flatter myself that I have excited considerable sensation in certain quarters of Europe, previously plunged in darkness, and unillumined by the argand lamp of Manchester philosophy. Since September last, I have not been idle, but have borne the banner of regeneration from the Baltic to the shores of the Bosphorus.

As the apostle of peace and plenty, I have every where been rapturously greeted. Never, I believe, was there a sincerer, a more earnest wish prevalent throughout the nations for the maintenance of universal tranquillity than now; never a better security for that fraternisation which we all so earnestly desire; never a more peaceful or unrevolutionary epoch. Such, at least, were my ideas a short time ago, when, after having fulfilled a secret mission of some delicacy in a very distant part of the Continent, I turned my face homewards, and retraced my steps in the direction of my own Glaswegian Mecca. In passing through Italy, I found that country deeply engaged in plans of social organisation, and much cheered by the sympathising presence of a member of her Britannic Majesty’s cabinet. It was delightful to witness the good feeling which seemed to prevail between the British unaccredited minister and the scum of the Ausonian population,—the mutual politeness and sympathy exhibited by each of the high contracting parties,—and the perfect understanding on the part of the Lazzaroni, of the motives which had induced the northern peer to absent himself from felicity awhile, and devote the whole of his vast talents and genius to the cause of foreign insurrection. I had just time to congratulate Pope Pius upon the charming prospect which was before him, and to say a few hurried words regarding the superiority of cotton to Christianity as a universal tranquillising medium, when certain unpleasant rumours from the frontier forced their way to the Eternal City, and convinced me of the propriety of continuing my retreat towards the land of my nativity. Not that I fear steel, or have any abstract repugnance to grape, but my mission was emphatically one of peace; I had a great duty to discharge to my country, and that might have been lamentably curtailed by the bullet of some blundering Austrian.

Behold me, then, at Paris—that Aspasian capital of the world. I had often visited it before in the character of a tourist and literateur, but never until now as a politician. True, I was not accredited: I enjoyed neither diplomatic rank, nor the more soothing salary which is its accompaniment. But, in these times, such distinctions are rapidly fading away. I had seen with my own eyes a good deal of spontaneous diplomacy, which certainly did not seem to flow in the regular channel; and, furthermore, I could personally testify to the weight attached abroad to private commercial crusades. I needed no official costume; I was the representative of a popular movement; I was the champion of a class; and my name and my principles were alike familiar to the ears of the illuminati of Europe. Formerly I had been proud of associating with Eugène Sue, Charles Nodier, Paul de Kock, and other characters of ephemeral literary celebrity; I had wasted my time in orgies at the Café de Londres, or the Rocher de Cancale, and was but too happy to be admitted to those little parties of pleasure in which the majority of the cavaliers are feuilletonists, and the dames, terrestrial stars from the constellation of the Théatre des Variétés. Now I looked back on this former phase of my existence with a consciousness of having wasted my energies. I had shot into another sphere—was entitled to take rank with Thiers, Odillon Barrot, Crémieux, and other champions of the people; and I resolved to comport myself accordingly. I do not feel at liberty to enter into the exact details of the public business which detained me for some time in Paris. It is enough to say, that I was warmly and cordially received, and on the best possible terms with the members of the extreme gauche.

One afternoon about the middle of February, I was returning from the Chamber of Deputies, meditating very seriously upon the nature of a debate which I had just heard, regarding the opposition of ministers to the holding of a Reform banquet in Paris, and in which my friend Barrot had borne a very conspicuous share. At the corner of the Place de la Concorde, I observed a tall swarthy man in the uniform of the National Guard, engaged in cheapening a poodle. I thought I recognised the face—hesitated, stopped, and in a moment was in the arms of my illustrious friend, the Count of Monte-Christo, and Marquis Davy de la Pailleterie!

Capdibious!” cried the author of Trois Mousquetaires—“Who would have thought to see you here? Welcome, my dear Dunshunner, a thousand times to Paris. Where have you been these hundred years?”

“Voyaging, like yourself, to the East, my dear Marquis,” replied I.

“Ah, bah! That is an old joke. I never was nearer Egypt than the Bois de Boulogne; however, I did manage to mystify the good public about the baths of Alexandria. But how came you here just now? Dix mille tonnerres! They told me you had been made pair d’Angleterre.”

“Why, no; not exactly. There was some talk of it, I believe. But jealousy—jealousy, you know—”

“Ah, yes,—I comprehend! Ce vilain Palmerston, n’est-ce pas? But that is always the way; ministers are always the same. You will hardly credit it, my dear friend, but I—I with my ancient title—and the most popular author of France, am not even a member of the Chamber of Deputies!”

“You amaze me!”

“Yes—after all, you manage better in England. There is that little D’Israeli—very clever man—Monceton Milles, Bourring, bien mauvais poètes, and Wakeley, all in the legislature; while here the literary interest is altogether unrepresented.”

“Surely, my dear Marquis, you forget—there’s Lamartine.”

“Lamartine! a mere sentimentalist—a nobody! No, my dear friend; France must be regenerated. The daughter of glory, she cannot live without progression.”

“How, Marquis? I thought that you and Montpensier”—

“Were friends! True enough. It was I who settled the Spanish marriages. There, I rather flatter myself, I had your perfidious Albion on the hip. But, to say the truth, I am tired of family alliances. We want something more to keep us alive—something startling, in short—something like the Pyramids and Moscow, to give us an impulse forward into the dark gulf of futurity. The limits of Algeria are too contracted for the fluttering of our national banner. We want freedom, less taxation, and a more extended frontier.”

“And cannot all these,” said I, unwilling to lose the opportunity of converting so remarkable man as the Count of Monte-Christo to the grand principles of Manchester—“Cannot these be attained by more peaceful methods than the subversion of general tranquillity? What is freedom, my dear Marquis, but an unlimited exportation of cotton abroad, with double task hours of wholesome labour at home? How will you diminish your taxation better, than by reducing all duties on imports, until the deficit is laid directly upon the shoulders of a single uncomplaining class? Why seek to extend your frontier, whilst we in England, out of sheer love to the world at large, are rapidly demolishing our colonies? Did you ever happen,” continued I, pulling from my pocket a bundle of the Manchester manifestos, “to peruse any of these glorious epitomes of reason and of political science? Are you familiar with the soul-stirring tracts of Thompson and of Bright? Did you ever read the Socialist’s scheme for universal philanthropy, which Cobden”—

Peste!” replied the illustrious nobleman, “what the deuce do we care for the opinions of Monsieur Tonson, or any of your low manufacturers? By my honour, Dunshunner, I am afraid you are losing your head. Don’t you know, my dear fellow, that all great revolutions spring from us, the men of genius? It is we who are the true rousers of the people; we, the poets and romancers, who are the source of all legitimate power. Witness Voltaire, Rousseau, De Beranger, and—I may say it without any imputation of vanity—the Marquis Davy de la Pailleterie!”

“Yours is a new theory!” said I, musingly.

“New! Pray pardon me—it is as old as literature itself! No revolution can be effectual unless it has the fine arts for its basis. Simple as I stand here, I demand no more time than a month to wrap Europe in universal war.”

“You don’t say so seriously?”

“On my honour.”

“Give me leave to doubt it.”

“Should you like a proof?”

“Not on so great a scale, certainly. I am afraid the results would be too serious to justify the experiment.”

“Ah, bah! You are a philanthropist. What are a few thousand lives compared with the triumph of mind?”

“Not much to you, perhaps, but certainly something to the owners. But come, my dear friend, you are jesting. You don’t mean to insinuate that you possess any such power?”

“I do indeed.”

“But the means? Granting that you have the power—and all Europe acknowledges the extraordinary faculties of the author of Monte-Christo—some time would be required for their development. You cannot hope to inoculate the mind of a nation in a moment.”

“I did not say a moment—I said a month.

“And dare I ask your recipe?”

“A very simple one. Two romances, each in ten volumes, and a couple of melodramas.”

“What! of your own?”

“Of mine,” replied the Marquis de la Pailleterie.

“I wish to heaven that I knew how you set about it. I have heard G. P. R. James backed for a volume a month, but this sinks him into utter insignificance.”

“There is no difficulty in explaining it. He writes,—I never do.

“You never write?”


“Then how the mischief do you manage?”

“I compose. Since I met you, I have composed and dictated a whole chapter of the Memoirs of a Physician.”


“To be sure. It is already written down, and will be circulated throughout Paris to-morrow.”

“Monsieur le Marquis—have I the honour to hold an interview with Satan?”

Mon cher, vous me flattez beaucoup! I have not thought it necessary to intrust my experiences to the sympathising bosom of M. Frédéric Soulié.”

“Have you a familiar spirit, then?” said I, casting a suspicious glance towards the poodle, then vigorously engaged in hunting through its woolly fleece.

The Marquis smiled.

“The ingenuity of your supposition, my dear friend, deserves a specific answer. I have indeed a familiar spirit—that is, I am possessed of a confidant, ready at all times, though absent, to chronicle my thoughts, and to express, in corresponding words, the spontaneous emotions of my soul. Nay, you need not start. The art is an innocent one, and its practice, though divulged, would not expose me in any way to the censures of the church.”

“You pique my curiosity strangely!”

“Well, then, listen. For some years I have paid the utmost attention to the science of animal magnetism, an art which undoubtedly lay at the foundation of the ancient Chaldean lore, and which, though now revived, has been debased by the artifices and quackery of knaves. I need not go into details. After long search, I have succeeded in finding a being which, in its dormant or spiritual state, has an entire affinity with my own. When awake, you would suppose Leontine Deschappelles to be a mere ordinary though rather interesting female, endowed certainly with a miraculous sensibility for music, but not otherwise in any way remarkable. But, when asleep, she becomes as it were the counterpart or reflex of myself. Every thought which passes through my bosom simultaneously arises in hers. I do not need even to utter the words. By some miraculous process, these present themselves as vividly to her as if I had bestowed the utmost labour upon composition. I have but to throw her into a magnetic sleep, and my literary product for the day is secured. I go forth through Paris, mingle in society, appear idle and insouciant; and yet all the while the ideal personages of my tale are passing over the mirror of my mind, and performing their allotted duty. I have reached such perfection in the art, that I can compose two or even three romances at once. I return towards evening, and then I find Leontine, pale indeed and exhausted, but with a vast pile of manuscript before her, which contains the faithful transcript of my thoughts. Now, perhaps, you will cease to wonder at an apparent fertility, which, I am aware, has challenged the admiration and astonishment of Europe.”

All this was uttered by Monte-Christo with such exemplary gravity, that I stood perfectly confounded. If true, it was indeed the solution of the greatest literary problem of the age; but I could hardly suppress the idea that he was making me the victim of a hoax.

“And whereabouts does she dwell, this Demoiselle Leontine?” said I.

“At my house,” he replied: “she is my adopted child. Poor Leontine! sometimes when I look at her wasted cheek, I feel a pang of regret to think that she is paying so dear for a celebrity which must be immortal. But it is the fate of genius, my friend, and all of us must submit!”

As the Marquis uttered this sentiment with a pathetic sigh, I could not refrain from glancing at his manly and athletic proportions. Certainly there was no appearance of over-fatigue or lassitude there. He looked the very incarnation of good cheer, and had contrived to avert from his own person all vestige of those calamities which he was pleased so feelingly to deplore. He might have been exhibited at the Frères Provençaux as a splendid result of their nutritive and culinary system.

“You doubt me still, I see,” said De la Pailleterie. “Well, I cannot wonder at it. Such things, I know, sound strange in the apprehension of you incredulous islanders. But I will even give you a proof, Dunshunner, which is more than I would do to any other man—for I cannot forget the service you rendered me long ago at the Isle de Bourbon. You see this little instrument,—put it to your ear. I shall summon Leontine to speak, and the sound of her reply will be conveyed to you through that silver tube, which is in strict rapport with her magnetic constitution.”

So saying, he placed in my hand a miniature silver trumpet, beautifully wrought, which I immediately placed to my ear.

Monte-Christo drew himself up to his full height, fixed his fine eyes earnestly upon vacuity, made several passes upwards with his hand, and then said,

“My friend, do you hear me? If so, answer.”

Immediately, and to my unexpected surprise, there thrilled through the silver tube a whisper of miraculous sweetness.

“Great master! I listen—I obey!”

“May St Mungo, St Mirren, St Rollox, and all the other western saints, have me in their keeping!” cried I. “Heard ever mortal man aught like this?”

“Hush—be silent!” said the Marquis, “or you may destroy the spell. Leontine, have you concluded the chapter?”

“I have,” said the voice: “shall I read the last sentences?”

“Do,” replied the adept, who seemed to hear the response simultaneously with myself, by intuition.

The voice went on. “At this moment the door of the apartment opened, and Chon rushed into the room. ‘Well, my little sister, how goes it?’ said the Countess. ‘Bad.’ ‘Indeed!’ ‘It is but too true.’ ‘De Noailles?’ ‘No.’ ‘Ha! D’Aiguillon?’ ‘You deceive yourself.’ ‘Who then?’ ‘Philip de Taverney, the Chevalier Maison-Rouge!’ ‘Ha!’ cried the Countess, ‘then I am lost!’ and she sank senseless upon the cushions.”

“Well done, Leontine!” exclaimed De la Pailleterie; “that is the seventh chapter I have composed since morning. Are you fatigued, my child?”

“Very—very weary,” replied the voice, in a melancholy cadence.

“You shall have rest soon. Come hither. Do you see me?”

“Ah! you are very cruel!”

“I understand. Cease to be fatigued—I will it!”

“Ah! thanks, thanks!”

“Do you see me now?”

“I do. Oh, how handsome!”

The Marquis caressed his whiskers.

“Where am I?”

“At the corner of the Place de la Concorde, near the Tuilleries’ gardens. Ah, you naughty man, you have been smoking!”

“Who is with me?”

“A poodle-dog,” replied the voice. “What a pretty creature! he is just snapping at a fly. Come here, poor fellow!”

The poodle gave an unearthly yell, and rushed between the legs of Monte-Christo, thereby nearly capsizing that extraordinary magician.

“Who else?” asked the Marquis.

“A tall man, with sandy-coloured hair. La, how funny!”

“What now?”

“I am laughing.”

“At what?”

“At his dress.”

“How is he dressed?”

“In a blue coat with gilt buttons, a white hat, and such odd scarlet-and-yellow trowsers!”

I stood petrified. It was quite true. In a moment of abstraction I had that morning donned a pair of integuments of the M’Tavish tartan, and my legs were of the colour of the flamingo.

“Is he handsome?”

I did not exactly catch the response.

“That will do, my dear Marquis,” said I, returning him the trumpet. “I am now perfectly convinced of the truth of your assertions, and can no longer wonder at the marvellous fertility of your pen—I beg pardon—of your invention. Pray, do not trouble your fair friend any further upon my account. I have heard quite enough to satisfy me that I am in the presence of the most remarkable man in Europe.”

“Pooh! this is a mere bagatelle. Any man might do the same, with a slight smattering of the occult sciences. But we were talking, if I recollect right, about moral influence and power. I maintain that the authors of romance and melodrama are the true masters of the age: you, on the contrary, believe in free-trade and the jargon of political economy. Is it not so?”

“True. We started from that point.”

“Well, then, would you like to see a revolution?”

“Not on my account, my dear Marquis. I own the interest of the spectacle, but it demands too great a sacrifice.”

“Not at all. In fact, I have made up my mind for a bouleversement this spring, as I seriously believe it would tend very much to the respectability of France. It must come sooner or later. Louis Philippe is well up in years, and it cannot make much difference to him. Besides, I am tired of Guizot. He gives himself airs as an historian which are absolutely insufferable, and France can submit to it no longer. The only doubt I entertain is, whether this ought to be a new ministry, or an entire dynastical change.”

“You are the best judge. For my own part, having no interest in the matter further than curiosity, a change of ministers would satisfy me.”

“Ay, but there are considerations beyond that. Much may be said upon both sides. There is danger certainly in organic changes, at the same time we must work out by all means our full and legitimate freedom. What would you do in such a case of perplexity?”

Victor Hugo’s simple and romantic method of deciding between hostile opinions, as exemplified in his valuable drama of Lucrèce Borgia, at once occurred to me.

“Are you quite serious,” said I, “in wishing to effect a change of some kind?”

“I am,” said the Marquis, “as resolute as Prometheus on the Caucasus.”

“Then, suppose we toss for it; and so leave the question of a new cabinet or dynasty entirely to the arbitration of fate?”

“A good and a pious idea!” replied the Marquis de la Pailleterie. “Here is a five-franc piece. I shall toss, and you shall call.”

Up went the dollar, big with the fate of France, twirling in the evening air.

“Heads for a new ministry!” cried I, and the coin fell chinking on the gravel. We both rushed up.

“It is tails!” said the Marquis devoutly. “Destiny! thou hast willed it, and I am but thine instrument. Farewell, my friend; in ten days you shall hear more of this. Meantime, I must be busy. Poor Leontine! thou hast a heavy task before thee!”

“If you are going homewards,” said I, “permit me to accompany you so far. Our way lies together.”

“Not so,” replied the Marquis thoughtfully. “I dine to-day at Véfour’s, and in the evening I must attend the Théatre de la Porte St Martin. I am never so much alone as in the midst of excitement. O France, France! what do I not endure for thee!”

So saying, Monte-Christo extended his hand, which I wrung affectionately within my own. I felt proud of the link which bound me to so high and elevated a being.

“Ah, my friend!” said I, “ah, my friend! there is yet time to pause. Would it not be wiser and better to forego this enterprise altogether?”

“You forget,” replied the other solemnly. “Destiny has willed it. Go, let us each fulfil our destiny!”

So saying, this remarkable man tucked the poodle under his arm, and in a few moments was lost to my view amidst the avenues of the garden of the Tuilleries.


Several days elapsed, during which Paris maintained its customary tranquillity. The eye of a stranger could have observed very little alteration in the demeanour of the populace; and even in the salons, there was no strong surmise of any coming event of importance. In the capital of France one looks for a revolution as quietly as the people of England await the advent of “the coming man.” The event is always prophesied—sometimes apparently upon the eve of being fulfilled; but the failures are so numerous as to prevent inordinate disappointment. In the Chamber there were some growlings about the Reform banquet, and the usual vague threats if any attempt should be made to coerce the liberties of the people; but these demonstrations had been so often repeated, that nobody had faith in any serious or critical result.

Little Thiers, to be sure, blustered; and Odillon Barrot assumed pompous airs, and tried to look like a Roman citizen, at our small patriotic cosmopolitan reunions; but I never could believe that either of them was thoroughly in earnest. We all know the game that is played in Britain, where the doors of the ministerial cabinet are constructed on the principle of a Dutch clock. When it is fair weather, the ambitious figure of Lord John Russell is seen mounting guard on the outside—when it threatens to blow, the small sentry retires, and makes way for the Tamworth grenadier. Just so was it in Paris. Guizot, if wheeled from his perch, was expected to be replaced by the smarter and more enterprising Thiers, and slumbrous Duchatel by the broad-chested and beetle-browed Barrot.

At the same time, I could not altogether shut my eyes to the more active state of the press. I do not mean to aver that the mere political articles exhibited more than their usual vigour; but throughout the whole literature of the day there ran an under-current of revolutionary feeling which betokened wonderful unanimity. Less than usual was said about Marengo, Austerlitz, or even the three glorious days of July. The minds of men were directed further back, to a period when the Republic was all in all, when France stood isolated among the nations, great in crime, and drunken with her new-won freedom. The lapse of half a century is enough to throw a sort of halo around the memory of the veriest villain and assassin. We have seen Dick Turpin and Jack Sheppard exhumed from their graves to be made the heroes of modern romance; and the same alchemy was now applied to the honoured ashes of Anacharsis Clootz, and other patriots of the Reign of Terror.

All this was done very insidiously, and, I must say, with consummate skill. Six or seven simultaneous romances reminded the public of its former immunity from rule, and about as many melodramas denounced utter perdition to tyranny. I liked the fun. Man is by nature a revolutionary animal, especially when he has nothing to lose; and it is needless to remark that a very small portion indeed of my capital was invested in the foreign funds.

I saw little of my friend the Marquis, beyond meeting him at the usual promenades, and bowing to him at the theatres, where he never failed to present himself. A casual observer would have thought that De la Pailleterie had no other earthly vocation than to perambulate Paris as a mere votary of pleasure. Once or twice, however, towards evening, I encountered him in his uniform of the National Guard, with fire in his eye, haste in his step, and a settled deliberation on his forehead; and I could not help, as I gazed upon him, feeling transported backwards to the period of Athos, Porthos, and Aramis.

At length I received the expected billet, and on the appointed evening rendered myself punctually at his house. The rooms were already more than half filled by the company.

“Are the Ides of March come?” said I, pressing the proffered hand of Monte-Christo.

“Come—but not yet over,” he replied. “You have seen the new play which has produced such a marked sensation?”

“I have. Wonderful production! Whose is it?”

A mysterious smile played upon the lip of my friend.

“Come,” said he, “let me introduce you to a countryman, a sympathiser; one who, like you, is desirous that our poor country should participate in the blessings of the British loom. Mr Hutton Bagsby—Mr Dunshunner.”

Bagsby was a punchy man, with a bald head, and a nose which betokened his habitual addiction to the fiery grape of Portugal.

“Servant, sir!” said he. “Understand you’re a free-trader, supporter of Cobden’s principles, and inclined to go the whole hog. Glad to see a man of common understanding here. Damme, sir, when I speak to these French fellows about calico, they begin to talk about fraternity; which, as I take it, means eating frogs, for I don’t pretend to understand their outlandish gibberish.”

“Every nation has its hobby, you know, Mr Bagsby,” I replied. “We consider ourselves more practical than the French, and stick to the main chance; they, on the other hand, are occupied with social grievances, and what they call the rights of labour.”

“Rights of labour!” exclaimed Bagsby. “Hanged if I think labour has got any rights at all. Blow all protection! say I. Look after the interests of the middle classes, and let capital have its swing. As for those confounded working fellows, who cares about them? We don’t, I can answer for it. When I was in the League, we wanted to bring corn down, in order to get work cheaper; and, now that we’ve got it, do you think we will stand any rubbish about rights? These French fellows are a poor set; they don’t understand sound commercial principles.”

“Ha! Lamoricière!” said our host, accosting a general officer who just then entered the apartment; “how goes it? Any result from to-day’s demonstration at the Chamber?”

Ma foi! I should say there is. The banquets are forbidden. There is a talk about impeaching ministers; and, in the meantime, the artillery-waggons are rumbling through the streets in scores.”

“Then our old friend Macaire is likely to make a stand?”

“It is quite possible that the respectable gentleman may try it,” said the commandant, regaling himself with a pinch. “By the way, the National Guard must turn out to-morrow early. The rappel will be beat by daybreak. There is a stir already in the Boulevards; and, as I drove here, I saw the people in thousands reading the evening journals by torch-light.”

“Such is liberty!” exclaimed a little gentleman, who had been listening eagerly to the General. “Such is liberty! she holds her bivouac at nightfall by the torch of reason; and, on the morrow, the dawn is red with the brightness of the sun of Austerlitz!”

A loud hum of applause followed the enunciation of this touching sentiment.

“Our friend is great to-night,” whispered Monte-Christo; “and he may be greater to-morrow. If Louis Philippe yields, he may be prime minister—if firing begins, I have a shrewd notion he won’t be any where. Ah, Monsieur Albert! welcome from Cannes. We have been expecting you for some time, and you have arrived not a moment too soon!”

The individual thus accosted was of middle height, advanced age, and very plainly dressed. He wore a rusty gray surtout, trousers of plaid check, and the lower part of his countenance was buried in the folds of a black cravat. The features were remarkable; and, somehow or other, I thought that I had seen them before. The small gray eyes rolled restlessly beneath their shaggy pent-house; the cheek-bones were remarkably prominent; a deep furrow was cut on either side of the mouth; and the nose, which was of singular conformation, seemed endowed with spontaneous life, and performed a series of extraordinary mechanical revolutions. Altogether, the appearance of the man impressed me with the idea of strong, ill-regulated energy, and of that restless activity which is emphatically the mother of mischief.

Monsieur Albert did not seem very desirous of courting attention. He rather winked than replied to our host, threw a suspicious look at Bagsby, who was staring him in the face, honoured me with a survey, and then edged away into the crowd. I felt rather curious to know something more about him.

“Pray, my dear Marquis,” said I, “who may this Monsieur Albert be?”

“Albert! Is it possible that you do not—but I forget. I can only tell you, mon cher, that this Monsieur Albert is a very remarkable man, and will be heard of hereafter among the ranks of the people. You seem to suspect a mystery? Well, well! There are mysteries in all great dramas, such as that which is now going on around us; so, for the present, you must be content to know my friend as simple Albert, ouvrier.”

“Hanged if I haven’t seen that fellow in the black choker before!” said Mr Bagsby; “or, at all events, I’ve seen his double. I say, Mr Dunshunner, who is the chap that came in just now?”

“I really cannot tell, Mr Bagsby. Monte-Christo calls him simply Mr Albert, a workman.”

“That’s their fraternity, I suppose! If I thought he was an operative, I’d be off in the twinkling of a billy-roller. But it’s all a hoax. Do you know, I think he’s very like a certain noble—”

Here an aide-de-camp, booted and spurred, dashed into the apartment.

“General! you are wanted immediately: the émeute has begun, half Paris is rushing to arms, and they are singing the Marseillaise through the streets!”

“Any thing else?” said the General, who, with inimitable sang froid, was sipping a tumbler of orgeat.

“Guizot has resigned.”

“Bravo!” cried the little gentleman above referred to—and he cut a caper that might have done credit to Vestris. “Bravo! there is some chance for capable men now.”

“I was told,” continued the aide-de-camp, “as I came along, that Count Molé had been sent for.”

“Molé! bah! an imbecile!” muttered the diminutive statesman. “It was not worth a revolution to produce such a miserable result.”

“And what say the people?” asked our host.

Cela ne suffira pas!

Ah, les bons citoyens! Ah, les braves garçons! Je les connais!” And here the candidate for office executed a playful pirouette.

“Nevertheless,” said Lamoricière, “we must do our duty.”

“Which is?” interrupted De la Pailleterie.

“To see the play played out, at all events,” replied the military patriot; “and therefore, messieurs, I have the honour to wish you all a very good evening.”

“But stop, General,” cried two or three voices: “what would you advise us to do?”

“In the first place, gentlemen,” replied the warrior, and his words were listened to with the deepest attention, “I would recommend you, as the streets are in a disturbed state, to see the ladies home. That duty performed, you will probably be guided by your own sagacity and tastes. The National Guard will, of course, muster at their quarters. Gentlemen who are of an architectural genius will probably be gratified by an opportunity of inspecting several barricades in different parts of the city; and I have always observed, that behind a wall of this description, there is little danger from a passing bullet. Others, who are fond of fireworks, may possibly find an opportunity of improving themselves in the pyrotechnic art. But I detain you, gentlemen, I fear unjustifiably; and as I observe that the firing has begun, I have the honour once more to renew my salutations.”

And in fact a sharp fusillade was heard without, towards the conclusion of the General’s harangue. The whole party was thrown into confusion; several ladies showed symptoms of fainting, and were incontinently received in the arms of their respective cavaliers.

The aspiring statesman had disappeared. Whether he got under a sofa, or up the chimney, I do not know, but he vanished utterly from my eyes. Monte-Christo was in a prodigious state of excitement.

“I have kept my word, you see,” he said: “this may be misconstrued in history, but I call upon you to bear witness that the revolution was a triumph of genius. O France!” continued he, filling his pocket with macaroons, “the hour of thine emancipation has come!”

Observing a middle-aged lady making towards the door without male escort, I thought it incumbent upon me to tender my services, in compliance with the suggestions of the gallant Lamoricière. I was a good deal obstructed, however, by Mr Hutton Bagsby, who, in extreme alarm, was cleaving to the skirts of my garments.

“Can I be of the slightest assistance in offering my escort to madame?” said I with a respectful bow.

The lady looked at me with unfeigned surprise.

“Monsieur mistakes, I believe,” said she quietly. “Perhaps he thinks I carry a fan. Look here”—and she exhibited the butt of an enormous horse-pistol. “The authoress of Lélia knows well how to command respect for herself.”

“George Sand!” I exclaimed in amazement.

“The same, monsieur; who will be happy to meet you this evening at an early hour, behind the barricade of the Rue Montmartre.”

“O good Lord!” cried Mr Hutton Bagsby, “here is a precious kettle of fish! They are firing out yonder like mad; they’ll be breaking into the houses next, and we’ll all be murdered to a man.”

“Do not be alarmed, Mr Bagsby; this is a mere political revolution. The people have no animosity whatever to strangers.”

“Haven’t they? I wish you had seen the way the waiter looked this morning at my dressing case. They’d tie me up to the lamp-post at once for the sake of my watch and seals! And I don’t know a single word of their bloody language. I wish the leaders of the League had been hanged before they sent me here.”

“What! then you are here upon a mission?”

“Yes, I’m a delegate, as they call it. O Lord, I wish somebody would take me home!”

“Where do you reside, Mr Bagsby?”

“I don’t know the name of the street, and the man who brought me here has just gone away with a gun! Oh dear! what shall I do?”

I really felt considerably embarrassed. By this time Monte-Christo and most of his guests had departed, and I knew no one to whom I could consign the unfortunate and terrified free-trader. I sincerely pitied poor Bagsby, who was eminently unfitted for this sort of work; and was just about to offer him an asylum in my own apartments, when I felt my shoulder touched, and, turning round, recognised the intelligent though sarcastic features of Albert the ouvrier.

“You are both English?” he said in a perfectly pure dialect. “Eh bien, I like the English, and I wish they understood us better. You are in difficulties. Well, I will assist. Come with me. You may depend upon the honour of a member of the Institute. Workman as I am, I have some influence here. Come—is it a bargain? Only one caution, gentlemen: remember where you are, and that the watchwords for the night are fraternité, égalité! You comprehend? Let us lose no time, but follow me.”

So saying, he strode to the door. Bagsby said not a word, but clutched my arm. But as we descended the staircase, he muttered in my ear as well as the chittering of his teeth would allow:—

“It is him—I am perfectly certain! Who on earth would have believed this! O Lord Harry!”


The streets were in a state of wild commotion. Every where we encountered crowds of truculent working fellows, dressed in blouses and armed with muskets, who were pressing towards the Boulevards. Sometimes they passed us in hurried groups; at other times the way was intercepted by a regular procession bearing torches, and singing the war-hymn of Marseilles. Those who judge of the physical powers of the French people by the specimens they usually encounter in the streets of Paris, are certain to form an erroneous estimate. A more powerful and athletic race than the workmen is scarcely to be found in Europe; and it was not, I confess, without a certain sensation of terror, that I found myself launched into the midst of this wild and uncontrollable mob, whose furious gestures testified to their excitement, and whose brawny arms were bared, and ready for the work of slaughter.

Considering the immense military force which was known to be stationed in and around Paris, it seemed to me quite miraculous that no effective demonstration had been made. Possibly the troops might be drawn up in some of the wider streets or squares, but hitherto we had encountered none. Several bodies of the National Guard, it is true, occasionally went by; but these did not seem to be considered as part of the military force, nor did they take any active steps towards the quelling of the disturbance. At times, however, the sound of distant firing warned us that the struggle had begun.

Poor Bagsby clung to my arm in a perfect paroxysm of fear. I had cautioned him, as we went out, on no account to open his lips, or to make any remarks which might serve to betray his origin. The creature was quite docile, and followed in the footsteps of Monsieur Albert like a lamb. That mysterious personage strode boldly forward, chuckling to himself as he went, and certainly exhibited a profound knowledge of the topography of Paris. Once or twice we were stopped and questioned; but a few cabalistic words from our leader solved all difficulties, and we were allowed to proceed amidst general and vociferous applause.

At length, as we approached the termination of a long and narrow street, we heard a tremendous shouting, and the unmistakable sounds of conflict.

“Here come the Municipal Guards!” cried M. Albert, quickly. “These fellows fight like demons, and have no regard for the persons of the people. Follow me, gentlemen, this way, and speedily, if you do not wish to be sliced like blanc-mange!”

With these words the ouvrier dived into a dark lane, and we lost no time in following his example. I had no idea whatever of our locality, but it seemed evident that we were in one of the worst quarters of Paris. Every lamp in the lane had been broken, so that we could form no opinion of its character from vision. It was, however, ankle-deep of mud—a circumstance by no means likely to prolong the existence of my glazed boots. Altogether, I did not like the situation; and, had it not been for the guarantee as to M. Albert’s respectability, implied from his acquaintance with Monte-Christo, I think I should have preferred trusting myself to the tender mercies of the Municipal Guard. As for poor Bagsby, his teeth were going like castanets.

“You seem cold, sir,” said Albert, in a deep and husky voice, as we reached a part of the lane apparently fenced in by dead walls. “This is a wild night for a Manchester weaver to be wandering in the streets of Paris!”

“O Lord! you know me, then?” groaned Bagsby, with a piteous accent.

“Know you? ha, ha!” replied the other, with the laugh of the third ruffian in a melodrama; “who does not know citizen Bagsby, the delegate—Bagsby, the great champion of the League—Bagsby, the millionnaire!”

“It’s not true, upon my soul!” cried Bagsby; “I am nothing of the kind. I haven’t a hundred pounds in the world that I can properly call my own.”

“The world wrongs you, then,” said Albert; “and, to say the truth, you keep up the delusion by carrying so much bullion about you. I should say, now, that the chain round your neck must be worth some fifty louis.”

Bagsby made no reply, but clutched my arm with the grasp of a cockatoo.

“This is a very dreary place,” continued Albert, in a tone that might have emanated from a sepulchre. “Last winter, three men were robbed and murdered in this very passage. There is a conduit to the Seine below, and I saw the bodies next morning in the Morgue, with their throats cut from ear to ear!”

From a slight interjectional sound, I concluded that Bagsby was praying.

“These,” said the ouvrier, “are the walls of a slaughter-house: on the other side is the shed where they ordinarily keep the guillotine. Have you seen that implement yet, Mr Bagsby?”

“Mercy on us, no!” groaned the delegate. “Oh, Mr Albert, whoever you are, do take us out of this place, or I am sure I shall lose my reason! If you want my watch, say so at once, and, upon my word, you are heartily welcome.”

“Harkye, sirrah,” said Monsieur Albert: “I have more than half a mind to leave you here all night for your consummate impertinence. I knew you from the very first to be a thorough poltroon; but I shall find a proper means of chastising you. Come along, sir; we are past the lane now, and at a place where your hands may be better employed for the liberties of the people than your head ever was in inventing task-work at home.”

We now emerged into an open court, lighted by a solitary lamp. It was apparently deserted, but, on a low whistle from Monsieur Albert, some twenty or thirty individuals in blouses rushed forth from the doorways and surrounded us. I own I did not feel remarkably comfortable at the moment; for although it was clear to me that our guide had merely been amusing himself at the expense of Bagsby, the apparition of his confederates was rather sudden and startling. As for Bagsby, he evidently expected no better fate than an immediate conduct to the block.

“You come late, mon capitaine,” said a bloused veteran, armed with a mattock. “They have the start of us already in the Rue des Petits Champs.”

“Never mind, grognard! we are early enough for the ball,” said M. Albert. “Have you every thing ready as I desired?”

“All ready—spades, levers, pickaxes, and the rest.”


“Enough to serve our purpose, and we shall soon have more. But who are these with you?”

“Fraternisers—two bold Englishmen, who are ready to die for freedom!”

Vivent les Anglais, et à bas les tyrans!” shouted the blouses.

“This citizen,” continued Albert, indicating the unhappy Bagsby, “is a Cobdenist and a delegate. He has sworn to remain at the barricades until the last shot is fired, and to plant the red banner of the emancipated people upon its summit. His soul is thirsting for fraternity. Brothers! open to him your arms.”

Hereupon a regular scramble took place for the carcass of Mr Hutton Bagsby. Never surely was so much love lavished upon any human creature. Patriot after patriot bestowed on him the full-flavoured hug of fraternity, and he emerged from their grasp very much in the tattered condition of a scarecrow.

“Give the citizen delegate a blouse and a pickaxe,” quoth Albert, “and then for the barricade. You have your orders—execute them. Up with the pavement, down with the trees; fling over every omnibus and cab that comes in your way, and fight to the last drop of your blood for France and her freedom. Away!”

With a tremendous shout the patriots rushed off, hurrying Bagsby along with them. The unfortunate man offered no resistance, but the agony depicted on his face might have melted the heart of a millstone.

Albert remained silent until the group were out of sight, and then burst into a peal of laughter.

“That little man,” said he, “will gather some useful experiences to-night that may last him as long as he lives. As for you, Mr Dunshunner, whose name and person are well known to me, I presume you have no ambition to engage in any such architectural constructions?”

I modestly acknowledged my aversion to practical masonry.

“Well, then,” said the ouvrier, “I suppose you are perfectly competent to take care of yourself. There will be good fun in the streets, if you choose to run the risk of seeing it; at the same time there is safety in stone walls. ’Gad, I think this will astonish plain John! There’s nothing like it in his Lives of the Chancellors. I don’t want, however, to see our friend the delegate absolutely sacrificed. Will you do me the favour to inquire for him to-morrow at the barricade down there? I will answer for it that he does not make his escape before then; and now for Ledru Rollin!”

With these words, and a friendly nod, the eccentric artisan departed, at a pace which showed how little his activity had been impaired by years. Filled with painful and conflicting thoughts, I followed the course of another street which led me to the Rue Rivoli.

Here I had a capital opportunity of witnessing the progress of the revolution. The street was crowded with the people shouting, yelling, and huzzaing; and a large body of the National Guard, drawn up immediately in front of me, seemed to be in high favour. Indeed, I was not surprised at this, on discovering that the officer in command was no less a person than my illustrious friend De la Pailleterie. He looked as warlike as a Lybian lion, though it was impossible to comprehend what particular section of the community were the objects of his sublime anger. Indeed, it was rather difficult to know what the gentlemen in blouses wanted. Some were shouting for reform, as if that were a tangible article which could be handed them from a window; others demanded the abdication of ministers—rather unreasonably I thought, since at that moment there was no vestige of a ministry in France; whilst the most practical section of the mob was clamorous for the head of Guizot. Presently the shakos and bright bayonets of a large detachment of infantry were seen approaching, amidst vehement cries of “Vive la Ligne!” They marched up to the National Guard, who still maintained their ranks. The leading officer looked puzzled.

“Who are these?” he said, pointing with his sword to the Guard.

“I have the honour to inform Monsieur,” said Monte-Christo, stepping forward, “that these are the second legion of the National Guard!”

“Vive la Garde Nationale!” cried the officer.

“Vive la Ligne!” reciprocated the Marquis.

Both gentlemen then saluted, and interchanged snuff-boxes, amidst tremendous cheering from the populace.

“And who are these?” continued the officer, pointing to the blouses on the pavement.

“These are the people,” replied Monte-Christo.

“They must disperse. My orders are peremptory,” said the regular.

“The National Guard will protect them. Monsieur, respect the people!”

“They must disperse,” repeated the officer.

“They shall not,” replied Monte-Christo.

The moment was critical.

“In that case,” replied the officer, after a pause, “I shall best fulfil my duty by wishing Monsieur a good evening.”

“You are a brave fellow!” cried the Marquis, sheathing his sabre; and in a moment the warriors were locked in a brotherly embrace.

The effect was electric and instantaneous. “Let us all fraternise!” was the cry; and regulars, nationals, and blouses, rushed into each others’ arms. The union was complete. Jacob and Esau coalesced without the formality of an explanation. Ammunition was handed over by the troops without the slightest scruple, and in return many bottles of vin ordinaire were produced for the refreshment of the military. No man who witnessed that scene could have any doubt as to the final result of the movement.

Presently, however, a smart fusillade was heard to the right. The cry arose, “They are assassinating the people! to the barricades! to the barricades!” and the whole multitude swept vehemently forward towards the place of contest. Unfortunately, in my anxiety to behold the rencontre in which my friend bore so distinguished a part, I had pressed a little further forwards than was prudent, and I now found myself in the midst of an infuriated gang of workmen, and urged irresistibly onwards to the nearest barricade.

“Thou hast no arms, comrade!” cried a gigantic butcher, who strode beside me armed with an enormous axe; “here—take this;” and he thrust a sabre into my hand; “take this, and strike home for la Patrie!”

I muttered my acknowledgments for the gift, and tried to look as like a patriot as possible.

Tête de Robespierre!” cried another. “This is better than paying taxes! A bas la Garde Municipale! à bas tous les tyrans!

Tête de Brissot!” exclaimed I, in return, thinking it no unwise plan to invoke the Manes of some of the earlier heroes. This was a slight mistake.

Quoi? Girondin?” cried the butcher, with a ferocious scowl.

Non; corps de Marat!” I shouted.

Bon! embrassez-moi donc, camarade!” said the butcher, and so we reached the barricade.

Here the game was going on in earnest. The barricade had been thrown up hastily and imperfectly, and a considerable body of the Municipal Guard—who, by the way, behaved throughout with much intrepidity—was attempting to dislodge the rioters. In fact, they had almost succeeded. Some ten of the insurgents, who were perched upon the top of the pile, had been shot down, and no one seemed anxious to supply their place on that bad eminence. In vain my friend the butcher waved his axe, and shouted “En avant!” A considerable number of voices, indeed, took up the cry, but a remarkable reluctance was exhibited in setting the salutary example. A few minutes more, and the passage would have been cleared; when all of a sudden, from the interior of a cabriolet, which formed a sort of parapet to the embankment, emerged a ghastly figure, streaming with gore, and grasping the drapeau rouge. I never was more petrified in my life—there could be no doubt of the man—it was Hutton Bagsby!

For a moment he stood gazing upon the tossing multitude beneath. There was a brief pause, and even the soldiers, awed by his intrepidity, forebore to fire. At last, however, they raised their muskets; when, with a hoarse scream, Bagsby leaped from the barricade, and alighted uninjured on the street. Had Mars descended in person to lead the insurrection, he could not have done better.

Ah, le brave Anglais! Ah, le député intrépide! A la rescousse! was the cry, and a torrent of human beings rushed headlong over the barricade.

No power on earth could have resisted that terrific charge. The Municipal Guards were scattered like chaff before the wind; some were cut down, and others escaped under cover of the ranks of the Nationals. Like the rest, I had leaped the embankment; but not being anxious to distinguish myself in single combat, I paused at the spot where Bagsby had fallen. There I found the illustrious delegate stretched upon the ground, still grasping the glorious colours. I stooped down and examined the body, but I could discover no wound. The blood that stained his forehead was evidently not his own.

I loosened his neckcloth to give him air, but still there were no signs of animation. A crowd soon gathered around us—the victors were returning from the combat.

“He will never fight more!” said the author of the Mysteries of Paris, whom I now recognised among the combatants. “He has led us on for the last time to victory! Alas for the adopted child of France! Un vrai héros! Il est mort sur le champ de bataille! Messieurs, I propose that we decree for our departed comrade the honours of a public funeral!”


“How do you feel yourself to-day, Mr Bagsby?” said I, as I entered the apartment of that heroic individual on the following morning; “you made a very close shave of it, I can tell you. Eugène Sue wanted to have you stretched upon a shutter, and carried in procession as a victim through all the streets of Paris.”

“Victim indeed!” replied Bagsby manipulating the small of his back, “I’ve been quite enough victimised already. Hanged if I don’t get that villain Albert impeached when I reach England, that’s all! I worked among them with the pickaxe till my arms were nearly broken, and the only thanks I got was to be shot at like a popinjay.”

“Nay, Mr Bagsby, you have covered yourself with glory. Every one says that but for you the barricade would inevitably have been carried.”

“They might have carried it to the infernal regions for aught that I cared,” replied Bagsby. “Catch me fraternising again with any of them; a disreputable set of scoundrels with never a shirt to their back.”

“You forget, my dear sir,” said I: “Mr Cobden is of opinion that they are the most affectionate and domesticated people on the face of the earth.”

“Did Cobden say that?” cried Bagsby: “then he’s a greater humbug than I took him to be, and that is saying not a little. He’ll never get another testimonial out of me, I can tell you. But pray, how did I come here?”

“Why, you were just about to be treated to a public funeral, when very fortunately you exhibited some symptoms of resuscitation, and a couple of hairy patriots carried you to my lodgings. Your exertions had been too much for you. I must confess, Mr Bagsby, I had no idea that you were so bloodthirsty a personage.”

“Me bloodthirsty!” cried Bagsby, “Lord bless you! I am like to faint whenever I cut myself in shaving. Guns and swords are my perfect abomination, and I don’t think I could bring myself to fire at a sparrow.”

“Come, come! you do yourself injustice. I shall never forget the brilliant manner in which you charged down the barricade.”

“All I can tell you is, that I was deucedly glad to hide myself in one of the empty coaches. But when a bullet came splash through the pannel within two inches of my ear, I found the place was getting too hot to hold me, and scrambled out. I had covered myself with one of their red rags by way of concealment, and I suppose I brought it out with me. As to jumping down, you will allow it was full time to do that, when fifty fellows were taking a deliberate aim with their guns.”

“You are too modest, Mr Bagsby; and, notwithstanding all your disclaimers, you have gained a niche in history as a hero. But come; this may be a busy day, and it is already late. Do you think you can manage any breakfast?”

“I’ll try,” said Bagsby; and, to do him justice, he did.

Our meal concluded, I proposed a ramble, in order to ascertain the progress of events, of which both of us were thoroughly ignorant. Bagsby, however, was extremely adverse to leaving the house. He had a strong impression that he would be again kidnapped, and pressed into active service; in which case he positively affirmed that he would incontinently give up the ghost.

“Can’t you stay comfortably here,” said he, “and let’s have a little bottled porter? These foreign chaps can surely fight their own battles without you or me; and that leads me to ask if you know the cause of all this disturbance. Hanged if I understand any thing about it!”

“I believe it mainly proceeds from the King having forbidden some of the deputies to dine together in public.”

“You don’t say so!” cried Bagsby: “what an old fool he must be! Blowed if I wouldn’t have taken the chair in person, and sent them twelve dozen of champagne to drink my health.”

“Kings, Mr Bagsby, are rarely endowed with a large proportion of such sagacity as yours. But really we must go forth and look a little about us. It is past mid-day, and I cannot hear any firing. You may rely upon it that the contest has been settled in one way or another—either the people have been appeased, or, what is more likely, the troops have sided with them. We must endeavour to obtain some information.”

“You may do as you like,” said Bagsby, “but my mind is made up. I’m off for Havre this blessed afternoon.”

“My dear sir, you cannot. No passports can be obtained just now, and the mob has taken up the railroads.”

“What an idiot I was ever to come here!” groaned Bagsby. “Mercy on me! must I continue in this den of thieves, whether I will or no?”

“I am afraid there is no alternative. But you judge the Parisians too hastily, Mr Bagsby. I perceive they have respected your watch.”

“Ay, but you heard what that chap said about the slaughter-house lane. I declare he almost frightened me into fits. But where are you going?”

“Out, to be sure. If you choose to remain—”

“Not I. Who knows but they may take a fancy to seek for me here, and carry me away again! I won’t part with the only Englishman I know in Paris, though I think it would be more sensible to remain quietly where we are.”

We threw ourselves into the stream of people which was rapidly setting in towards the Tuilleries. Great events seemed to have happened, or at all events to be on the eve of completion. The troops were nowhere to be seen. They had vanished from the city like magic.

Bon jour, Citoyen Bagsby,” said a harsh voice, immediately behind us. “I hear high accounts of your valour yesterday at the barricades. Allow me to congratulate you on your first revolutionary experiment.”

“I turned round, and encountered the sarcastic smile of M. Albert the ouvrier. He was rather better dressed than on the previous evening, and had a tricolored sash bound around his waist. With him was a crowd of persons evidently in attendance.

“Should you like, Mr Bagsby, to enter the service of the Republic? for such, I have the honour to inform you, France is now,” continued the ouvrier. “We shall need a few practical heads—”

“Oh dear! I knew what it would all come to!” groaned Bagsby.

“Don’t misapprehend me—I mean heads to assist us in our new commercial arrangements. Now, as free-trade has succeeded so remarkably well in Britain, perhaps you would not object to communicate some of your experiences to M. Crémieux, who is now my colleague?”

“Your colleague, M. Albert?” said I.

“Exactly so. I have the honour to be one of the members of the Provisional Government of France.”

“Am I in my senses or not?” muttered Bagsby. “Oh, sir, whoever you are, do be a good fellow for once, and let me get home! I promise you, I shall not say a word about this business on the other side of the Channel.”

“Far be it from me to lay any restraint upon your freedom of speech, Mr Bagsby. So, then, I conclude you refuse? Well, be it so. After all, I daresay Crémieux will get on very well without you.”

“But pray, M. Albert—one word,” said I. “You mentioned a republic—”

“I did. It has been established for an hour. Louis Philippe has abdicated, and in all probability is by this time half a league beyond the barrier. The Duchess of Orleans came down with her son to the Chamber of Deputies, and I really believe there would have been a regency; for the gallantry of France was moved, and Barrot was determined on the point. Little Ledru Rollin, however, saved us from half measures. Rollin is a clever fellow, with the soul of a Robespierre; and, seeing how matters were likely to go, he quietly slipped to the door, and admitted a select number of our friends from the barricades. That put a stop to the talking. You have no idea how quiet gentlemen become in the presence of a mob with loaded muskets. Their hearts failed them; the deputies gradually withdrew, and a republic was proclaimed by the sovereign will of the people. I am just on my way to the Hotel de Ville, to assist in consolidating the government.”

Bon voyage, M. Albert!”

“Oh, we shall do it, sure enough! But here we are near the Tuilleries. Perhaps, gentlemen, you would like to enjoy the amusements which are going on yonder, and to drink prosperity to the new Republic in a glass of Louis Philippe’s old Clos Vougeot. If so, do not let me detain you. Adieu!” And, with a spasmodic twitch of his nose, the eccentric ouvrier departed.

“Well! what things one does see abroad, to be sure!” said Bagsby: “I recollect him quite well at the time of the Reform Bill—”

“Hush, my dear Bagsby!” said I, “This is not the moment nor the place for any reminiscences of the kind.”

Certainly the aspect of what was going forward in front of the Tuilleries was enough to drive all minor memories from the head of any man. A huge bonfire was blazing in the midst of the square opposite the Place du Carrousel, and several thousands of the populace were dancing round it like demons. It was fed by the royal carriages, the furniture of the staterooms, and every combustible article which could in any way be identified with the fallen dynasty. The windows of the palace were flung open, and hangings, curtains, and tapestries of silk and golden tissue, were pitched into the square amidst shouts of glee that would have broken the heart of an upholsterer. It was the utter recklessness of destruction. Yet, with all this, there was a certain appearance of honesty preserved. The people might destroy to any amount they pleased, but they were not permitted to appropriate. The man who smashed a mirror or shattered a costly vase into flinders was a patriot,—he who helped himself to an inkstand was denounced as an ignominious thief. I saw one poor devil, whose famished appearance bore miserable testimony to his poverty, arrested and searched; a pair of paste buckles was found upon him, and he was immediately conducted to the gardens, and shot by a couple of gentlemen who, five minutes before, had deliberately slit some valuable pictures into ribbons! Every moment the crowd was receiving accession from without, and the bonfire materials from within. At last, amidst tremendous acclamations, the throne itself was catapulted into the square, and the last symbol of royalty reduced to a heap of ashes.

The whole scene was so extremely uninviting that I regretted having come so far, and suggested to Bagsby the propriety of an immediate retreat. This, however, was not so easy. Several of the citizens who were now dancing democratic polkas round the embers, had been very active partisans at the barricade on the evening before, and, as ill-luck would have it, recognised their revivified champion.

Trois mille rognons!” exclaimed my revolutionary friend the butcher, “here’s the brave little Englishman that led us on so gallantly against the Municipal Guard! How is it with thee, my fire-eater, my stout swallower of bullets? Art thou sad that there is no more work for thee to do? Cheer up, citizen! we shall be at the frontiers before long; and then who knows but the Republic may reward thee with the baton of a marshal of France!”

Plus de maréchaux!” cried a truculent chiffonier, who was truculently picking a marrow-bone with his knife. “Such fellows are worth nothing except to betray the people. I waited to have a shot at old Soult yesterday, but the rascal would not show face!”

“Never mind him, citizen,” said the butcher, “we all know Père Pomme-de-terre. But thou lookest pale! Art thirsty? Come with me, and I will show thee where old Macaire keeps his cellar. France will not grudge a flask to so brave a patriot as thyself.”

“Ay, ay! to the cellar—to the cellar!” exclaimed some fifty voices.

Silence, mes enfans!” cried the butcher, who evidently had already reconnoitred the interior of the subterranean vaults. “Let us do all things in order. As Citizen Lamartine remarked, let virtue go hand in hand with liberty, and let us apply ourselves seriously to the consummation of this great work. We have now an opportunity of fraternising with the world. We see amongst us an Englishman who last night devoted his tremendous energies to France. We thought he had fallen, and were about to give him public honours. Let us not be more unmindful of the living than the dead. Here he stands, and I now propose that he be carried on the shoulders of the people to the royal—peste!—I mean the republican cellar, and that we there drink to the confusion of all rank, and the union of all nations in the bonds of universal brotherhood!”

“Agreed! agreed!” shouted the mob; and for the second time Bagsby underwent the ceremony of entire fraternisation. He was then hoisted upon the shoulders of some half-dozen patriots, notwithstanding a melancholy howl, by which he intended to express disapprobation of the whole proceeding. I was pressed into the service as interpreter, and took care to attribute his disclaimer solely to an excess of modesty.

“Thou also wert at the barricade last night,” said the butcher. “Thou, too, hast struck a blow for France. Come along. Let us cement with wine the fraternity that originated in blood!”

So saying, he laid hold of my arm, and we all rushed towards the Tuilleries. I would have given a trifle to have been lodged at that moment in the filthiest tenement of the Cowcaddens; but any thing like resistance was of course utterly out of the question. In we thronged, a tumultuous rabble of men and women, through the portal of the Kings of France, across the halls, and along the galleries, all of them bearing already lamentable marks of violence, outrage, and desecration. Here was a picture of Louis Philippe, a masterpiece by Horace Vernet, literally riddled with balls; there a statue of some prince, decapitated by the blow of a hammer; and in another place the fragments of a magnificent vase, which had been the gift of an emperor. Crowds of people were sitting or lying in the state apartments, eating, drinking, smoking, and singing obscene ditties, or wantonly but deliberately pursuing the work of dismemberment. And but a few hours before, this had been the palace of the King of the Barricades!

Down we went to the cellars, which by this time were tolerably clear, as most of the previous visitors had preferred the plan of enjoying the abstracted fluid in the upper and loftier apartments. But such was not the view of Monsieur Destripes the butcher, or of his friend Pomme-de-terre. These experienced bacchanals preferred remaining at headquarters, on the principle that the séance ought to be declared permanent. Bagsby, as the individual least competent to enforce order, was called to the chair, and seated upon a kilderkin of Bordeaux, with a spigot as the emblem of authority. Then began a scene of brutal and undisguised revelry. Casks were tapped for a single sample, and their contents allowed to run out in streams upon the floor. Bottles were smashed in consequence of the exceeding scarcity of cork-screws, and the finest vintage of the Côte d’Or and of Champagne, were poured like water down throats hitherto unconscious of any such generous beverage.

I need not dwell upon what followed—indeed I could not possibly do justice to the eloquence of M. Pomme-de-terre, or the accomplishments of several poissardes, who had accompanied us in our expedition, and now favoured us with sundry erotic ditties, popular in the Faubourg St Antoine. With these ladies Bagsby seemed very popular: indeed, they had formed themselves into a sort of body-guard around his person.

Sick of the whole scene, I availed myself of the first opportunity to escape from that tainted atmosphere; and, after traversing most of the state apartments, and several corridors, I found myself in a part of the palace which had evidently been occupied by some of those who were now fleeing as exiles towards a foreign land. The hand of the spoiler also had been here, but he was gone. It was a miserable thing to witness the desolation of these apartments. The bed whereon a princess had lain the night before, was now tossed and tumbled by some rude ruffian, the curtains were torn down, the gardes-de-robe broken open, and a hundred articles of female apparel and luxury were scattered carelessly upon the floor. The setting sun of February gleamed through the broken windows, and rendered the heartless work of spoliation more distinct and apparent. I picked up one handkerchief, still wet, it might be with tears, and on the corner of it was embroidered a royal cypher.

I, who was not an insurgent, almost felt that, in penetrating through these rooms, I was doing violence to the sanctity of misfortune. Where, on the coming night, might rest the head of her who, a few hours before, had lain upon that pillow of down? For the shelter of what obscure and stifling hut might she be forced to exchange the noble ceiling of a palace? This much I had gathered, that all the royal family had not succeeded in making their escape. Some of the ladies had been seen, with no protectors by their side, shrieking in the midst of the crowd; but the cry of woe was that day too general to attract attention, and it seemed that the older chivalry of France had passed away. Where was the husband at the hour when the wife was struggling in that rout of terror?

I turned into a side passage, and opened another door. It was a small room which apparently had escaped observation. Every thing here bore token of the purity of feminine taste. The little bed was untouched: there were flowers in the window, a breviary upon the table, and a crucifix suspended on the wall. The poor young inmate of this place had been also summoned from her sanctuary, never more to enter it again. As I came in, a little bird in a cage raised a loud twittering, and began to beat itself against the wires. The seed-box was empty, and the last drop of water had been finished. In a revolution such as this, it is the fate of favourites to be neglected.

The poor thing was perishing of hunger. I had no food to give it, but I opened the cage and the window, and set it free. With a shrill note of joy, it darted off to the trees, happier than its mistress, now thrown upon the mercy of a rude and selfish world. I looked down upon the scene beneath. The river was flowing tranquilly to the sea; the first breezes of spring were moving through the trees, just beginning to burgeon and expand; the sun was sinking amidst the golden clouds tranquilly—no sign in heaven or earth betokened that on that day a mighty monarchy had fallen. The roar of Paris was hushed; the work of desolation was over; and on the morrow, its first day would dawn upon the infant Republic.

“May Heaven shelter the unfortunate!” I exclaimed; “and may my native land be long preserved from the visitation of a calamity like this!”


I awoke upon the morrow impressed with that strange sensation which is so apt to occur after the first night’s repose in a new and unfamiliar locality. I could not for some time remember where I was. The events of the two last days beset me like the recollections of an unhealthy dream, produced by the agency of opiates; and it was with difficulty I could persuade myself that I had passed the night beneath the roof of the famous Tuilleries.

“After all,” thought I, “the event may be an interesting, but it is by no means an unusual one, in this transitory world of ours. Louis XVI., Napoleon, Charles X., Louis Philippe, and Dunshunner, have by turns occupied the palace, and none of them have had the good fortune to leave it in perpetuity to their issue. Since abdication is the order of the day, I shall even follow the example of my royal predecessors, and bolt with as much expedition as possible; for, to say the truth, I am getting tired of this turmoil, and I think, with Sir Kenneth of Scotland, that the waters of the Clyde would sound pleasant and grateful in mine ear.”

A very slight toilet sufficed for the occasion, and I sallied forth with the full intention of making my immediate escape. This was not so easy. I encountered no one in the corridors, but as I opened the door of the Salle des Trophées, a din of many voices burst upon my ears. A number of persons occupied the hall, apparently engaged in the discussion of an extempore breakfast. To my infinite disgust, I recognised my quondam acquaintances of the cellar.

“Aha! thou art still here then, citizen?” cried Monsieur Destripes, who was inflicting huge gashes upon a ham, filched, probably, from the royal buttery. “By my faith we thought thou had’st given us the slip. Never mind—we are not likely to part soon; so sit thee down and partake of our republican cheer.”

“I am afraid,” said I, “that business requires my presence elsewhere.”

“Let it keep till it cool then,” replied the other. “Suffice it to say, that no man quits this hall till the whole of us march out en masse. Say I right, brother Pomme-de-terre?”

“Just so,” replied the chiffonier, tossing off his draught from an ornament of Venetian glass. “We have built up a second barricade, and have sworn never to surrender.”

“How is this, gentlemen?” said I.

“You must know, sir,” replied a meagre-looking personage, whom I afterwards ascertained to be a barber, “that the liberty of the people is not yet secure. Last night, when we were in the cellar, a large body of the National Guard came, by orders of the Provisional Government, and ejected the whole of our compatriots from the upper stories of the Tuilleries. This we hold to be a clear infraction of the charter, for all public buildings are declared to be the property of the people. Fortunately we escaped their notice, but being determined to reassert the rights of France, we have barricaded the staircase which leads to this hall, and are resolved to maintain our post.”

“Bravely spoken, old Saigne-du-nez!” cried the butcher; “and a jollier company you won’t find any where. Here are ladies for society, wine for the drinking, provisions to last us a week; and what would you wish for more? Cent mille haches! I doubt if Louis Philippe is enjoying himself half so much.”

“But really, gentlemen—”

Sacre, no mutiny!” cried the butcher; “don’t we know that the sovereign will of the people must be respected? There is thy friend there, as happy as may be; go round and profit by his example.”

Sure enough I discovered poor Bagsby extended in a corner of the hall. The orgies of last evening were sufficient to account for his haggard countenance and blood-shot eyes, but hardly for the multitudinous oaths which he ejaculated from time to time. Beside him sat a bloated poissarde, who was evidently enamoured of his person, and tended him with all that devotion which is the characteristic of the gentler sex. As it was beyond the power of either to hold any intelligible conversation, the lady contrived to supply its place by a system of endearing pantomime. Sometimes she patted Bagsby on the cheek, then chirupped as a girl might do when coaxing a bird to open its mouth, and occasionally endeavoured to insinuate morsels of garlic and meat between his lips.

“Oh, Mr Dunshunner! save me from this hag!” muttered Bagsby. “I have such a splitting headach, and she will insist on poisoning me with her confounded trash! Faugh, how she smells of eels! Oh dear! oh dear! is there no way of getting out? The barricades and the fighting are nothing compared to this!”

“I am afraid, Mr Bagsby,” said I, “there is no remedy but patience. Our friends here seem quite determined to hold out, and I am afraid that they would use little ceremony, did we make any show of resistance.”

“I know that well enough!” said Bagsby: “they wanted to hang me last night, because I made a run to the door: only, the women would not let them. What do you want, you old harridan? I wish you would take your fingers from my neck!”

Ce cher bourgeois!” murmured the poissarde: “c’est un méchant drôle, mais assez joli!

“Upon my word, Mr Bagsby, I think you have reason to congratulate yourself on your conquest. At all events, don’t make enemies of the women; for, heaven knows, we are in a very ticklish situation, and I don’t like the looks of several of those fellows.”

“If ever I get home again,” said Bagsby, “I’ll renounce my errors, turn Tory, go regularly to church, and pray for the Queen. I’ve had enough of liberty to last me the rest of my natural lifetime. But, I say, my dear friend, couldn’t you just rid me of this woman for half an hour or so? You will find her a nice chatty sort of person; only, I don’t quite comprehend what she says.”

“Utterly impossible, Mr Bagsby! See, they are about something now. Our friend the barber is rising to speak.”

“Citizens!” said Saigne-du-nez, speaking as from a tribune, over the back of an arm-chair—“Citizens! we are placed by the despotism of our rulers in an embarrassing position. We, the people, who have won the palace and driven forth the despot and his race, are now ordered to evacuate the field of our glory, by men who have usurped the charter, and who pretend to interpret the law. I declare the sublime truth, that, with the revolution, all laws, human and divine, have perished! (Immense applause.)

“Citizens! isolated as we are by this base decree from the great body of the people, it becomes us to constitute a separate government for ourselves. Order must be maintained, but such order as shall strike terror into the breasts of our enemies. France has been assailed through us, and we must vindicate her freedom. Amongst us are many patriots, able and willing to sustain the toils of government; and I now propose that we proceed to elect a provisional ministry.”

The motion was carried by acclamation, and the orator proceeded.

“Citizens! amongst our numbers there is one man who has filled the most lofty situations. I allude to Citizen Jupiter Potard. Actor in a hundred revolutions, he has ever maintained the sublime demeanour of a patriot of the Reign of Terror. Three generations have regarded him as a model, and I now call upon him to assume the place and dignity of our President.”

Jupiter Potard, a very fine-looking old man, with a beard about a yard long,—who was really a model, inasmuch as he had sat in that capacity for the last thirty years to the artists of Paris,—was then conducted, amidst general applause, to a chair at the head of the table. Jupiter, I am compelled to add, seemed rather inebriated; but, as he did not attempt to make any speeches, that circumstance did not operate as a disqualification.

The remainder of the administration was speedily formed. Destripes became Minister of the Interior: Pomme-de-terre received the Portfolio of Justice. A gentleman, who rejoiced in the sobriquet of Gratte-les-rues, was made Minister of War. Saigne-du-nez appointed himself to the Financial Department, and I was unanimously voted the Minister of Foreign Affairs. These were the principal offices of the Republic, and to us the functions of government were confided. Bagsby, at the request of the poissardes, received the honorary title of Minister of Marine.

A separate table was ordered for our accommodation; and our first decree, countersigned by the Minister of the Interior, was an order for a fresh subsidy from the wine-cellar.

Here a sentry, who had been stationed at a window, announced the approach of a detachment of the National Guard.

“Citizen Minister of War!” said Saigne-du-nez, who, without any scruple, had usurped the functions of poor old Jupiter Potard, “this is your business. It is my opinion that the provisional government cannot receive a deputation of this kind. Let them announce their intentions at the barricade without.”

Gratte-les-rues, a huge ruffian with a squint, straightway shouldered his musket, and left the room. In a few minutes he returned with a paper, which he cast upon the table.

“A decree from the Hotel de Ville,” he said.

“Is it your pleasure, citizen colleagues, that this document should now be read?” asked Saigne-du-nez.

All assented, and, as Minister of Foreign Affairs, the following document was placed in my hands. It was listened to with profound attention.

“Unity is the soul of the French nation; it forms its grandeur, its power, and its glory; through unity we have triumphed, and the rights of the people have been vindicated.

“Impressed with these high and exalted sentiments, and overflowing with that fraternity which is the life-blood of our social system, the Provisional Government decrees:—

“I. That the Tuilleries, now denominated the Hôpital des Invalides Civiles, shall be immediately evacuated by the citizens who have so bravely wrested it from the tyrant.

“II. That each patriot, on leaving it, shall receive from the public treasury the sum of five francs, or an equivalent in coupons.

“III. The Minister of the Interior is charged with the execution of this decree.



Dupont, (de l’Eure.)
Garnier Pages.
Ledru Rollin.
Louis Blanc.
Albert, (ouvrier.)”

Sang de Mirabeau!” cried Destripes, when I had finished the perusal of this document, “do they take us for fools! Five francs indeed! This is the value which these aristocrats place upon the blood of the people! Citizen colleagues, I propose that the messenger be admitted and immediately flung out of the window!”

“And I second the motion,” said Pomme-de-terre.

“Nay, citizens!” cried Saigne-du-nez,—“no violence. I agree that we cannot entertain the offer, but this is a case for negotiation. Let the Minister of Foreign Affairs draw up a protocol in reply.”

In consequence of this suggestion I set to work, and, in a few minutes, produced the following manifesto, which may find a place in some subsequent collection of treaties.

“France is free. The rights of every Frenchman, having been gained by himself, are sacred and inviolable; the rights of property are abrogated.

“Indivisibility is a fundamental principle of the nation. It applies peculiarly to public works. That which the nation gave the nation now resumes.

“We protest against foreign aggression. Satisfied with our own triumph, we shall remain tranquil. We do not ask possession of the Hotel de Ville, but we are prepared to maintain our righteous occupation of the Tuilleries.

“Impressed with these high and exalted sentiments, the Provisional Government of the Tuilleries decrees:

“I. That it is inexpedient to lessen the glory of France, by entrusting the charge of the Tuilleries to any other hands, save those of the brave citizens who have so nobly captured it.

“II. That the Provisional Government do not recognise coupons as a national medium of exchange.

“III. The Minister of Foreign Affairs is charged with the execution of this decree.

Mort aux tyrans!


Bagsby (tisserand.)”

This document was unanimously adopted as the true exponent of our sentiments; and I was highly complimented by my colleagues on my diplomatic ability. I took occasion, however, to fold up the following note along with the despatch.

“If Citizen Albert has any regard for his English friends, he will immediately communicate their situation to the citizen Monte-Christo. Here, affairs look very ill. The public tranquillity depends entirely upon the supply of liquor.”

This business being settled, we occupied ourselves with more industrial duties. The finance was easily disposed of. There were but four francs, six sous, leviable among the whole community; but Gratte-les-rues, with instinctive acuteness, had discovered the watch and chain of the unfortunate Minister of Marine, and these were instantly seized and confiscated as public property.

On investigation we found that the larder was but indifferently supplied. Due allowance being made for the inordinate appetite of the poissardes, of whom there were about ten in our company, it was calculated that our stock of food could not last for more than a couple of days. On the other hand, there was a superabundance of wine.

We then proceeded to adjust a scheme for the future regulation of labour throughout France; but I do not think that I need trouble my readers with the detail. It did not differ materially from that propounded by M. Louis Blanc, and the substance of it might shortly be stated as—three days’ wage for half-a-day’s labour. It was also decreed, that all servants should receive, in addition to their wages, a proportion of their master’s profits.

After some hours of legislation, not altogether harmonious—for Destripes, being baulked in a proposition to fire the palace, threatened to string up old Jupiter Potard to the chandelier, and was only prevented from doing so by the blunderbuss of Saigne-du-nez—we grew weary of labour, and the orgies commenced anew. I have neither patience nor stomach to enter into a description of the scene that was there and then enacted. In charity to the human race, let me hope that such a spectacle may never again be witnessed in the heart of a Christian city.

Poor Bagsby suffered fearfully. The affection of the poissarde had gradually augmented to a species of insanity, and she never left him for a moment. The unhappy man was dragged out by her to every dance; she gloated on him like an ogress surveying a plump and pursy pilgrim; and at the close of each set she demanded the fraternal salute. He tried to escape from his persecutor by dodging round the furniture; but it was of no use. She followed him as a ferret follows a rabbit through all the intricacies of his warren, and invariably succeeded in capturing her booty in a corner.

At length night came, and with it silence. One by one the revellers had fallen asleep, some still clutching the bottle, which they had plied with unabated vigour so long as sensibility remained, and the broad calm moon looked on reproachfully through the windows of that desecrated hall. There was peace in heaven, but on earth—oh, what madness and pollution!

I was lying wrapped up in some old tapestry, meditating very seriously upon my present precarious situation, when I observed a figure moving amidst the mass of sleepers. The company around was of such a nature, that unpleasant suspicions naturally occurred to my mind, and I continued to watch the apparition until the moonlight shone upon it, when I recognised Bagsby. This poor fellow was a sad incubus upon my motions; for although I had no earthly tie towards him, I could not help feeling that in some measure I had been instrumental in placing him in his present dilemma, and I had resolved not to escape without making him the partner of my flight. I was very curious to know the object of his present movements, for the stealthy manner in which he glided through the hall betokened some unusual purpose. I was not long left in doubt. From behind a large screen he drew forth a coil of cord, formerly attached to the curtain, but latterly indicated by Destripes as the implement for Potard’s apotheosis; and approaching a window, he proceeded to attach one end of it very deliberately to a staple. He then gave a cautious glance around, as if to be certain that no one was watching him, and began to undo the fastenings of the window. A new gleam of hope dawned upon me. I was about to rise and move to his assistance, when another figure glided rapidly through the moonshine. In an instant Bagsby was clutched by the throat, and a low voice hissed out—

Ah traître! monstre! polisson! vous voulez donc fuir? Vous osez mépriser mon amour!

It was the poissarde. Nothing on earth is so wakeful as a jealous woman. She had suspected the designs of the wretched Minister of Marine, and counterfeited sleep only to detect him in the act of escaping.

Not a moment was to be lost. I knew that if this woman gave the alarm, Bagsby would inevitably be hanged with his own rope, and I stole towards the couple, in order to effect, if possible, a reconciliation.

“Ah, citizen, is it thou?” said the poissarde more loudly than was at all convenient. “Here is thy fellow trying to play me a pretty trick! Perfidious monster! was this what thou meant by all thy professions of love?”

“For heaven’s sake, take the woman off, or she will strangle me!” muttered Bagsby.

“Pray, hush! my dear madam, hush!” said I, “or you may wake some of our friends.”

“What care I,” said the poissarde; “let them wake, and I will denounce the villain who has dared to trifle with my affections!”

“Nay, but consider the consequences!” said I. “Do, pray, be silent for one moment. Bagsby, this is a bad business!”

“You need not tell me that,” groaned Bagsby.

“Your life depends upon this woman, and you must appease her somehow.”

“I’ll agree to any thing,” said the terrified Minister of Marine.

“Yes! I will be avenged!” cried the poissarde; “I will have his heart’s blood, since he has dared to deceive me. How! is this the way they treat a daughter of the people?”

“Citoyenne!” I said, “you are wrong—utterly wrong. Believe me, he loves you passionately. What proof do you desire?”

“Let him marry me to-morrow,” said the poissarde, “in this very room, or I shall immediately raise the alarm.”

I tried to mitigate the sentence, but the poissarde was perfectly obdurate.

“Bagsby, there is no help for it!” said I. “We are in the midst of a revolution, and must go along with it. She insists upon you marrying her to-morrow. The alternative is instant death.”

“I’ll do it,” said Bagsby, quietly; “any thing is better than being murdered in cold blood.”

The countenance of the poissarde brightened.

“Aha!” said she, taking the submissive Bagsby by the ear, “so thou art to be my republican husband after all, coquin? Come along. I shall take care that thou dost not escape again to-night, and to-morrow I shall keep thee for ever!”

So saying, she conducted her captive to the other end of the hall.


“This is great news!” said Destripes, as we mustered round the revolutionary breakfast table. “Hast heard, citizen? Our colleague the Minister of Marine is about to contract an alliance with a daughter of the people. Corbleu! There is no such sport as a regular republican marriage!”

“In my early days,” said Jupiter Potard, “we had them very frequently. The way was, to tie two young aristocrats together, and throw them into the Seine. How poor dear Carrier used to laugh at the fun! Oh, my friends! we shall never see such merry times again.”

“Come, don’t be down-hearted, old fellow!” cried Destripes. “We never can tell what is before us. I don’t despair of seeing something yet which might make the ghost of Collot d’Herbois rub its hands with ecstasy. But to our present work. Let us get over the business of the day, and then celebrate the wedding with a roaring festival.”

“But where are we to find a priest?” asked Saigne-du-nez. “I question whether any of our fraternity has ever taken orders.”

“Priest!” cried Destripes ferociously. “Is this an age of superstition? I tell thee, Saigne-du-nez, that if any such fellow were here, he should presently be dangling from the ceiling! What better priest would’st thou have than our venerable friend Potard?”

“Ay, ay!” said Pomme-de-terre, “Potard will do the work famously. I’ll warrant me, with that long beard of his, he has sate for a high-priest ere now. But look at Citoyenne Corbeille, how fond she seems of her bargain. Ventrebleu! our colleague is sure to be a happy man!”

Whatever happiness might be in store for Bagsby hereafter, there was no appearance of it just then. He sate beside his bride like a criminal on the morning of his execution; and such efforts as he did make to respond to her attentions were rueful and ludicrous in the extreme.

Breakfast over, we proceeded to council; but as we had no deputations to receive, and no fresh arrangements to make, our sitting was rather brief. Bagsby, in order, as I supposed, to gain time, entreated me to broach the topics of free-trade and unrestricted international exchange; but recent events had driven the doctrines of Manchester from my head, and somewhat shaken my belief in the infallibility of the prophets of the League. Besides, I doubted very much whether our Provisional Ministry cared one farthing for duties upon calico and linen, neither of these being articles in which they were wont exorbitantly to indulge; and I perfectly understood the danger of appearing over tedious upon any subject in a society so strangely constituted. I therefore turned a deaf ear to the prayers of Bagsby, and refused to enlighten the council at the risk of the integrity of my neck. No reply whatever had been made by the authorities without, to our communication of the previous day.

One o’clock was the hour appointed by the Provisional Government for the nuptial ceremony, which was to be performed with great solemnity. About twelve the bride, accompanied by three other poissardes, retired, in order to select from the stores of the palace a costume befitting the occasion. In the meantime, I had great difficulty in keeping up the courage of Bagsby,—indeed, he was only manageable through the medium of doses of brandy. At times he would burst out into a paroxysm of passion, and execrate collectively and individually the whole body of the Manchester League, who had sent him upon this unfortunate mission to Paris. This profanity over, he would burst into tears, bewail his wretched lot, and apostrophise a certain buxom widow, who seemed to dwell somewhere in the neighbourhood of Macclesfield. As for the French, the outpourings from the vial of his wrath upon that devoted nation were most awful and unchristian. The plagues of Egypt were a joke to the torments which he invoked upon their heads; and I felt intensely thankful that not one of our companions understood a syllable of English, else the grave would inevitably have been the bridal couch of the Bagsby.

It now became my duty to see the bridegroom properly attired; for which purpose, with permission of our colleagues, I conducted Bagsby to a neighbouring room, where a full suit of uniform, perhaps the property of Louis Philippe, had been laid out.

“Come now, Mr Bagsby,” said I, observing that he was about to renew his lamentations, “we have had quite enough of this. You have brought it upon yourself. Had you warned me of your design last night, it is quite possible that both of us might have escaped; but you chose to essay the adventure single-handed, and, having failed, you must stand by the consequences. After all, what is it? Merely marriage, a thing which almost every man must undergo at least once in his lifetime.”

“Oh! but such a woman—such a she-devil rather!” groaned Bagsby. “I shouldn’t be the least surprised if she bites as bad as a crocodile. How can I ever take such a monster home, and introduce her to my friends?”

“I see no occasion for that, my good fellow. Why not stay here and become a naturalised Frenchman?”

“Here? I’d as soon think of staying in a lunatic asylum! Indeed I may be in one soon enough, for flesh and blood can’t stand this kind of torture long. But I say,” continued he, a ray of hope flashing across his countenance, “they surely can’t make it a real marriage after all. Hanged if any one of these blackguards is a clergyman; and even if he was, they haven’t got a special license.”

“Don’t deceive yourself, Mr Bagsby,” said I; “marriage in France is a mere social contract, and can be established by witnesses, of whom there will be but too many present.”

“Then I say they are an infernal set of incarnate pestiferous heathens! What! marry a man whether he will or not, and out of church! It’s enough to draw down a judgment upon the land.”

“You forget, Mr Bagsby. You need not marry unless you choose; it is a mere question of selection between a wedding and an execution,—between the lady and a certain rope, which, I can assure you, Monsieur Destripes, or his friend Gratte-les-rues, will have no hesitation in handling. Indeed, from significant symptoms, I conclude that their fingers are itching for some such practice.”

“They are indeed two horrid-looking blackguards!” said Bagsby dolefully. “I wish I had pluck enough to be hanged: after all, it could not be much worse than marriage. And yet I don’t know. There may be some means of getting a divorce, or she may drink herself to death, for, between you and me, she seems awfully addicted to the use of ardent spirits.”

“Fie! Mr Bagsby; how can you talk so of your bride upon the wedding-day! Be quick! get into those trousers, and never mind the fit. It may be dangerous to keep them waiting long; and, under present circumstances, it would be prudent to abstain from trying the temper of the lady too severely.”

“I never thought to be married this way!” sighed Bagsby, putting on the military coat, which, being stiff with embroidery, and twice too big for him, stuck out like an enormous cuirass. “If my poor old mother could see me now, getting into the cast-off clothes of some outlandish Frenchman—”

“She would admire you exceedingly, I am sure. Do you know you look quite warlike with these epaulets! Come now—on with the sash, take another thimble-ful of brandy, and then to the altar like a man!”

“I daresay you mean well, Mr Dunshunner; but I have listened to more pleasant conversation. I say—what is to prevent my getting up the chimney?”

“Mere madness! The moment you are missed they will fire up it. Believe me, you have not a chance of escape; so the sooner you resign yourself to your inevitable destiny the better.”

Here a loud knocking was heard at the door.

“Citizen Minister of Marine, art thou ready?” cried the voice of Pomme-de-terre. “Thy bride is waiting for thee, the altar is decked, and Père Potard in his robes of office!”

“Come, then,” said I, seizing Bagsby by the arm. “Take courage, man! In ten minutes it will all be over.”

Our colleagues had not been idle in the interim. At one end of the hall they had built up an extempore altar covered with a carpet, behind which stood Jupiter Potard, arrayed in a royal mantle of crimson velvet, which very possibly in former days might have decorated the shoulders of Napoleon. Indeed the imperial eagle was worked upon it in gold, and it had been abstracted from one of the numerous repositories of the palace. Jupiter, with his long beard and fine sloping forehead, looked the perfect image of a pontiff, and might have been appropriately drawn as a principal figure in a picture of the marriage of Heliogabalus.

Gratte-les-rues and Pomme-de-terre, being of bellicose temperament, had encased themselves in suits of armour, and stood, like two champions of antiquity, on each side of the venerable prelate. Destripes, who had accepted the office of temporary father to Demoiselle Corbeille, appeared as a patriot of the Reign of Terror. His brawny chest was bare; his shirt-sleeves rolled up to the shoulder; and in his belt was stuck the axe, a fitting emblem alike of his principles and his profession.

At his right hand stood the bride, bedizened with brocade and finery. From what antiquated lumber-chest they had fished out her apparel, it would be utterly in vain to inquire. One thing was clear, that the former occupant of the robes had been decidedly inferior in girth to the blooming poissarde, since it was now necessary to fasten them across the bosom by a curious net-work of tape. I am afraid I have done injustice to this lady, for really, on the present occasion, she did not look superlatively hideous. She was a woman of about forty-five, strong-built, with an immense development of foot and ancle, and arms of masculine proportion. Yet she had a pair of decidedly fine black eyes, betokening perhaps little of maiden modesty, but flashing with love and triumph; a nez retroussé, which, but for its perpetual redness, might have given a piquant expression to her countenance; a large mouth, and a set of prodigious teeth, which, to say the truth, were enough to justify the apprehensions of the bridegroom.

“Silence!” cried Jupiter Potard as we entered; “let the present august solemnity be conducted as befits the sovereignty of the people! Citizen Saigne-du-nez, advance!”

Saigne-du-nez was clad in a black frock, I suppose to represent a notary. He came forward:—

“In the name of the French nation, one and indivisible, I demand the celebration of the nuptials of Citizen Hutton Bagsby, adopted child of France, and Provisional Minister of her Marine in the department of the Tuilleries, and of Citoyenne Céphyse Corbeille, poissarde, and daughter of the people.”

“Is there any one here to gainsay the marriage?” asked Jupiter.

There was no reply.

“Then, in the name of the French nation, I decree that the ceremony shall proceed. Citizen Minister of Marine, are you willing to take this woman as your lawful wife?”

A cold sweat stood upon the brow of Bagsby, his knees knocked together, and he leaned the whole weight of his body upon my arm, as I interpreted to him the demand of Jupiter.

“Say any thing you like,” muttered he; “it will all come to the same thing at last!”

“The citizen consents, most venerable President.”

“Then nothing remains but to put the same question to the citoyenne,” said Potard. “Who appears as the father of the bride?”

Chûte de la Bastille! that do I,” cried Destripes.

“Citizen Destripes, do you of your own free will and accord—”

Here a thundering rap was heard at the door.

“What is that?” cried Destripes starting back. “Some one has passed the barricade!”

“In the name of the Provisional Government!” cried a loud voice. The door was flung open, and to my inexpressible joy, I beheld the Count of Monte-Christo, backed by a large detachment of the National Guard.

“Treason! treachery!” shouted Destripes. “Ah, villain, thou hast neglected thy post!” and he fetched a tremendous blow with his axe at the head of Gratte-les-rues. It was fortunate for that chief that his helmet was of excellent temper, otherwise he must have been cloven to the chin. As it was, he staggered backwards and fell.

The National Guard immediately presented their muskets.

“I have the honour to inform the citizens,” said Monte-Christo, “that I have imperative orders to fire if the slightest resistance is made. Monsieur, therefore, will have the goodness immediately to lay down that axe.”

Destripes glared on him for a moment, as though he meditated a rush, but the steady attitude of the National Guard involuntarily subdued him.

“This is freedom!” he exclaimed, flinging away his weapon. “This is what we fought for at the barricades! Always deceived—always sold by the aristocrats! But the day may come when I shall hold a tight reckoning with thee, my master, or I am not the nephew of the citizen Samson!”

“Pray, may I ask the meaning of this extraordinary scene?” said Monte-Christo, gazing in astonishment at the motley group before him. “Is it the intention of the gentlemen to institute a Crusade, or have we lighted by chance upon an assemblage of the chivalry of Malta?”

“Neither,” I replied. “The fact is, that just as you came in we were engaged in celebrating a republican marriage.”

“Far be it from me to interfere with domestic or connubial arrangements!” replied the polite Monte-Christo. “Let the marriage go on, by all means; I shall be delighted to witness it, and we can proceed to business thereafter.”

“You will see no marriage here, I can tell you!” cried Bagsby, who at the first symptom of relief had taken shelter under the shadow of the Marquis. “I put myself under your protection; and, by Jove, if you don’t help me, I shall immediately complain to Lord Normanby!”

“What is this?” cried Monte-Christo. “Do I see Monsieur Bagsby in a general’s uniform? Why, my good sir, you have become a naturalised Frenchman indeed! The nation has a claim upon you.”

“The nation will find it very difficult to get it settled then!” said Bagsby. “But I want to get out. I say, can’t I get away?”

“Certainly. There is nothing to prevent you. But I am rather curious to hear about this marriage.”

“Why,” said I, “the truth is, my dear Marquis, that the subject is rather a delicate one for our friend. He has just been officiating in the capacity of bridegroom.”

“You amaze me!” said Monte-Christo; “and which, may I ask, is the fair lady?”

Here Demoiselle Céphyse came forward.

“Citizen officer,” she said, “I want my husband!”

“You hear, Monsieur Bagsby?” said Monte-Christo, in intense enjoyment of the scene. “The lady says she has a claim upon you.”

“It’s all a lie!” shouted Bagsby. “I’ve got nothing to say to the woman. I hate and abhor her!”

Monstre!” shrieked the poissarde, judging of Bagsby’s ungallant repudiation rather from his gestures than his words. And she sprang towards him with the extended talons of a tigress. Bagsby, however, was this time too nimble for her, and took refuge behind the ranks of the National Guard, who were literally in convulsions of laughter.

“I will have thee, though, polisson!” cried the exasperated bride. “I will have thee, though I were to follow thee to the end of the world! Thou hast consented to be my husband, little tisserand, and I never will give thee up.”

“Keep her off! good, dear soldiers,” cried Bagsby: “pray, keep her off! I shall be murdered and torn to pieces if she gets hold of me! Oh, Mr Dunshunner! do tell them to protect me with their bayonets.”

“Be under no alarm, Mr Bagsby,” said Monte-Christo; “you are now under the protection of the National Guard. But to business. Which of the citizens assembled is spokesman here?”

“I am the president!” hiccupped Jupiter Potard, who, throughout the morning, had been unremitting in his attentions to the bottle.

“Then, you will understand that, by orders of the Provisional Government, all must evacuate the palace within a quarter of an hour.”

“Louis Philippe had seventeen years of it,” replied Jupiter Potard. “I won’t abdicate a minute sooner!”

“And I,” said Pomme-de-terre, “expect a handsome pension for my pains.”

“Or at least,” said Saigne-du-nez, “we must have permission to gut the interior.”

“You have done quite enough mischief already,” said Monte-Christo; “so prepare to move. My orders are quite peremptory, and I shall execute them to the letter!”

“Come along, then, citizens!” cried Destripes. “I always knew what would come of it, if these rascally bourgeoisie got the upper hand of the workmen. They are all black aristocrats in their hearts. But, by the head of Robespierre, thou shalt find that thy government is not settled yet, and there shall be more blood before we let them trample down the rights of the people!”

So saying, the democratic butcher strode from the apartment, followed by the rest of the Provisional Government and their adherents, each retaining the garb which he had chosen to wear in honour of the nuptials of Bagsby. The poissarde lingered for a moment, eying her faithless betrothed as he stood in the midst of the Guard, like a lioness robbed of her cub: and then, with a cry of wrath, and a gesture of menace, she rushed after her companions.

“Thank Heaven!” cried Bagsby, dropping on his knees, “the bitterest hour of my whole existence is over!”


“And so you received the message from M. Albert?” said I to Monte-Christo, as we walked together to the Hotel de Ville,

“I did; and, to say the truth, I was rather apprehensive about you. Revolutions are all very well: but it is a frightful thing when the dregs of the population get the upper hand.”

“I am glad to hear you acknowledge so much. For my part, Marquis, having seen one revolution, I never wish to witness another.”

“We could not possibly avoid it,” said Monte-Christo. “It was a mere question of time. No one doubts that a revolutionary spirit may be carried too far.”

“Can’t you contrive to write it down?” said I.

“Unfortunately, the majority of gentlemen with whom you have lately been associating, are not strongly addicted to letters. I question whether M. Destripes has even read La Tour de Nêsle.”

“If he had,” said I, “it must have tended very greatly to his moral improvement. But how is it with the Provisional Government?”

“Faith, I must own they are rather in a critical position. Had it not been for Lamartine—who, I must confess, is a noble fellow, and a man of undaunted courage—they would have been torn to pieces long ago. Hitherto they have managed tolerably by means of the National Guard; but the atmosphere is charged with thunder. Here we are, however, at the Hotel de Ville.”

Not the least curious of the revolutionary scenes of Paris was the aspect of the seat of government. At the moment I reached it, many thousands of the lower orders were assembled in front, and one of the Provisional Government, I believe Louis Blanc, was haranguing them from a window. Immense crowds were likewise gathered round the entrance. These consisted of the deputations, who were doing their very best to exhaust the physical energies, and distract the mental powers, of the men who had undertaken the perilous task of government.

Under conduct of my friend, I made my way to the room where the mysterious ouvrier was performing his part of the onerous duty. He greeted me with a brief nod and a grim smile, but did not pretermit his paternal functions.

The body which occupied his attention at this crisis of the commonwealth, was a musical deputation, which craved sweet counsel regarding some matter of crochets or of bars. It is not the first time that music has been heard in the midst of stirring events. Nero took a fancy to fiddle when Rome was blazing around him.

I could not but admire the gravity with which Albert listened to the somewhat elaborate address, and the dexterity with which he contrived to blend the subjects of pipes and patriotism.

“Citizens!” he said, “the Provisional Government are deeply impressed with the importance of the views which you advocate. Republican institutions cannot hope to exist without music, for to the sound of music even the spheres themselves revolve in the mighty and illimitable expanse of ether.

“At this crisis your suggestions become doubly valuable. I have listened to them with emotions which I would struggle in vain to express. Oh, that we may see the day when, with a glorious nation as an orchestra, the psalm of universal freedom may rise in a swell of triumphant jubilee!

“And it will come! Rely upon us. Return to your homes. Cherish fraternity and music. Meantime we shall work without intermission for your sake. Harmony is our sole object: believe me that, in reconstituted France, there shall be nothing but perfect harmony!”

The deputation withdrew in tears; and another entered to state certain grievances touching the manufacture of steel beads. I need not say that in this, as in several other instances, the ouvrier comported himself like an eminent member of the Society of Universal Knowledge.

“That’s the last of them, praise be to Mumbo Jumbo!” said he, as the representatives of the shoeblacks departed. “Faith, this is work hard enough to kill a horse. So, Mr Dunshunner! you have been getting up a counter-revolution at the Tuilleries, I see. How are Monsieur Potard and all the rest of your colleagues?”

“I am afraid they are finally expelled from paradise,” said I.

“Serve them right! a parcel of democratic scum. And what has become of Citizen Bagsby?”

“I have sent him to my hotel. He was in reality very near becoming an actual child of France.” And I told the story of the nuptials, at which the ouvrier nearly split himself with laughter.

“And now, Mr Dunshunner,” said he at length, “may I ask the nature of your plans?”

“These may depend a good deal upon your advice,” said I.

“I never give advice,” replied the ouvrier with a nasal twitch. “Sometimes it is rather dangerous. But tell me—what would you think of the state of the British government, if Earl Grey at a cabinet-council were to threaten to call in the mob, and if Lord Johnny Russell prevented him by clapping a pistol to his ear?”

“I should think very badly of it indeed,” said I.

“Or if Incapability Wood should threaten, in the event of the populace appearing, to produce from the Earl’s pocket a surreptitious order on the treasury for something like twelve thousand pounds?”

“Worse still.”

“Well, then; I don’t think you’ll find that sort of thing going on in London, at all events.”

“Have you any commands for the other side of the Channel?”

“Oh, then, you are determined to leave? Well, perhaps upon the whole it is your wisest plan. And—I say—just tell them that if things look worse, I may be over one of these fine mornings. Good-bye.”

And so, with a cordial pressure of the hand, we parted.

“Monte-Christo,” I said, as that very evening I bundled Bagsby into a fiacre on our way to the railroad station—“Monte-Christo, my good fellow, let me give you a slight piece of advice, which it would be well if all of our craft and calling would keep in memory,—‘Think twice before you write up another revolution.’”




“Sir—sir—it is a boy!”

“A boy,” said my father, looking up from his book, and evidently much puzzled; “what is a boy?”

Now, my father did not mean by that interrogatory to challenge philosophical inquiry, nor to demand of the honest but unenlightened woman who had just rushed into his study, a solution of that mystery, physiological and psychological, which has puzzled so many curious sages, and lies still involved in the question, “What is man?” For, as we need not look farther than Dr Johnson’s Dictionary to know that a boy is “a male child”—i. e., the male young of man; so he who would go to the depth of things, and know scientifically what is a boy, must be able first to ascertain “what is a man?” But, for aught I know, my father may have been satisfied with Buffon on that score, or he may have sided with Monboddo. He may have agreed with Bishop Berkeley—he may have contented himself with Professor Combe—he may have regarded the genus spiritually, like Zeno, or materially, like Epicurus. Grant that boy is the male young of man, and he would have had plenty of definitions to choose from. He might have said, “Man is a stomach—ergo, boy a male young stomach. Man is a brain,—boy a male young brain. Man is a bundle of habits—boy a male young bundle of habits. Man is a machine—boy a male young machine. Man is a tail-less monkey—boy a male young tail-less monkey. Man is a combination of gases—boy a male young combination of gases. Man is an appearance—boy a male young appearance,” &c. &c., and etcetera, ad infinitum! And if none of these definitions had entirely satisfied my father, I am perfectly persuaded that he would never have come to Mrs Primmins for a new one.

But it so happened that my father was at that moment engaged in the important consideration whether the Iliad was written by one Homer—or was rather a collection of sundry ballads, done into Greek by divers hands, and finally selected, compiled, and reduced into a whole by a Committee of Taste, under that elegant old tyrant Pisistratus; and the sudden affirmation “It is a boy,” did not seem to him pertinent to the thread of the discussion. Therefore he asked, “What is a boy?”—vaguely, and, as it were, taken by surprise.

“Lord, sir!” said Mrs Primmins, “what is a boy? Why, the baby!”

“The baby!” repeated my father, rising. “What, you don’t mean to say that Mrs Caxton is—eh—?”

“Yes I do,” said Mrs Primmins, dropping a curtsey; “and as fine a little rogue as ever I set eyes upon.”

“Poor, dear woman!” said my father with great compassion. “So soon too—so rapidly!” he resumed in a tone of musing surprise. “Why, it is but the other day we were married!”

“Bless my heart, sir,” said Mrs Primmins, much scandalised, “it is ten months and more.”

“Ten months!” said my father with a sigh. “Ten months! and I have not finished fifty pages of my refutation of Wolfe’s monstrous theory! In ten months a child!—and I’ll be bound complete—hands, feet, eyes, ears, and nose!—and not like this poor Infant of Mind (and my father pathetically placed his hand on the treatise)—of which nothing is formed and shaped—not even the first joint of the little finger! Why, my wife is a precious woman! Well, keep her quiet. Heaven preserve her, and send me strength—to support this blessing!”

“But your honour will look at the baby?—come, sir!” and Mrs Primmins laid hold of my father’s sleeve coaxingly.

“Look at it—to be sure,” said my father kindly; “look at it, certainly, it is but fair to poor Mrs Caxton; after taking so much trouble, dear soul!”

Therewith my father, drawing his dressing robe round him in more stately folds, followed Mrs Primmins up stairs, into a room very carefully darkened.

“How are you, my dear?” said my father, with compassionate tenderness, as he groped his way to the bed.

A faint voice muttered, “Better now,—and so happy!” And, at the same moment, Mrs Primmins pulled my father away, lifted a coverlid from a small cradle, and, holding a candle within an inch of an undeveloped nose, cried emphatically, “There—bless it!”

“Of course, ma’am, I bless it,” said my father rather peevishly. “It is my duty to bless it;—Bless it! And this, then, is the way we come into the world!—red, very red,—blushing for all the follies we are destined to commit.”

My father sat down on the nurse’s chair, the women grouped round him. He continued to gaze on the contents of the cradle, and at length said musingly:—“And Homer was once like this!”

At this moment—and no wonder, considering the propinquity of the candle to his visual organs—Homer’s infant likeness commenced the first untutored melodies of nature.

“Homer improved greatly in singing as he grew older,” observed Mr Squills, the accoucheur, who was engaged in some mysteries in a corner of the room.

My father stopped his ears:—“Little things can make a great noise,” said he, philosophically; “and the smaller the thing the greater noise it can make.”

So saying, he crept on tiptoe to the bed, and, clasping the pale hand held out to him, whispered some words that no doubt charmed and soothed the ear that heard them, for that pale hand was suddenly drawn from his own, and thrown tenderly round his neck. The sound of a gentle kiss was heard through the stillness.

“Mr Caxton, sir,” cried Mr Squills, in rebuke, “you agitate my patient—you must retire.”

My father raised his mild face, looked round apologetically, brushed his eyes with the back of his hand, stole to the door, and vanished.

“I think,” said a kind gossip seated at the other side of my mother’s bed, “I think, my dear, that Mr Caxton might have shown more joy,—more natural feeling, I may say,—at the sight of the baby: and such a baby! But all men are just the same, my dear—brutes—all brutes, depend upon it.”

“Poor Austin!” sighed my mother feebly—“how little you understand him.”

“And now I shall clear the room,” said Mr Squills.—“Go to sleep, Mrs Caxton.”

“Mr Squills,” exclaimed my mother, and the bed-curtains trembled, “pray see that Mr Caxton does not set himself on fire;—and, Mr Squills, tell him not to be vexed and miss me.—I shall be down very soon—shan’t I?”

“If you keep yourself easy you will, ma’am.”

“Pray say so;—and, Primmins,—”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“Every one, I fear, is neglecting your master. Be sure,—(and my mother’s lips approached close to Mrs Primmins’ ear,)—be sure that you—air his nightcap yourself.”

“Tender creatures those women,” soliloquised Mr Squills, as, after clearing the room of all present, save Mrs Primmins and the nurse, he took his way towards my father’s study. Encountering the footman in the passage,—“John,” said he, “take supper into your master’s room—and make us some punch, will you?—stiffish!”


“Mr Caxton, how on earth did you ever come to marry?” asked Mr Squills, abruptly, with his feet on the hob, while stirring up his punch.

That was a home question, which many men might reasonably resent. But my father scarcely knew what resentment was.

“Squills,” said he, turning round from his books, and laying one finger on the surgeon’s arm confidentially,—“Squills,” said he, “I should be glad to know myself how I came to be married.”

Mr Squills was a jovial good-hearted man—stout, fat, and with fine teeth, that made his laugh pleasant to look at as well as to hear. Mr Squills, moreover, was a bit of a philosopher in his way;—studied human nature in curing its diseases;—and was accustomed to say, that Mr Caxton was a better book in himself than all he had in his library. Mr Squills laughed and rubbed his hands.

My father resumed thoughtfully, and in the tone of one who moralises:—

“There are three great events in life, sir; birth, marriage, and death. None know how they are born, few know how they die. But I suspect that many can account for the intermediate phenomenon—I cannot.”

“It was not for money,—it must have been for love,” observed Mr Squills; “and your young wife is as pretty as she is good.”

“Ha!” said my father, “I remember.”

“Do you, sir?” exclaimed Squills, highly amused. “How was it?”

My father, as was often the case with him, protracted his reply, and then seemed rather to commune with himself than to answer Mr Squills.

“The kindest, the best of men,” he murmured,—“Abyssus Eruditionis: and to think that he bestowed on me the only fortune he had to leave, instead of to his own flesh and blood, Jack and Kitty. All at least that I could grasp deficiente manu, of his Latin, his Greek, his Orientals. What do I not owe to him!”

“To whom?” asked Squills. “Good Lord, what’s the man talking about?”

“Yes, sir,” said my father rousing himself, “such was Giles Tibbets, M.A., Sol Scientiarum, tutor to the humble scholar you address, and father to poor Kitty. He left me his Elzevirs; he left me also his orphan daughter.”

“Oh! as a wife—”

“No, as a ward. So she came to live here. I am sure there was no harm in it. But my neighbours said there was, and the widow Weltraum told me the girl’s character would suffer. What could I do?—Oh yes, I recollect all now! I married her, that my old friend’s child might have a roof to her head, and come to no harm. You see I was forced to do her that injury, for after all, poor young creature, it was a sad lot for her. A dull book-worm like me—cochleæ vitam agens, Mr Squills—leading the life of a snail. But my shell was all I could offer to my poor friend’s orphan.”

“Mr Caxton, I honour you,” said Squills emphatically, jumping up and spilling half a tumbler-full of scalding punch over my father’s legs. “You have a heart, sir! and I understand why your wife loves you. You seem a cold man; but you have tears in your eyes at this moment.”

“I dare say I have,” said my father, rubbing his shins: “it was boiling!”

“And your son will be a comfort to you both,” said Mr Squills, reseating himself, and, in his friendly emotion, wholly abstracted from all consciousness of the suffering he had inflicted. “He will be a dove of peace to your ark.”

“I don’t doubt it,” said my father ruefully, “only those doves, when they are small, are a very noisy sort of birds—non talium avium cantus somnum reducunt. However, it might have been worse. Leda had twins.”

“So had Mrs Barnabas last week,” rejoined the accoucheur. “Who knows what may be in store for you yet? Here’s a health to Master Caxton, and lots of brothers and sisters to him!”

“Brothers and sisters! I am sure Mrs Caxton will never think of such a thing, sir,” said my father almost indignantly. “She’s much too good a wife to behave so. Once, in a way, it is all very well; but twice—and as it is, not a paper in its place, nor a pen mended the last three days: I, too, who can only write ‘cuspide duriusculâ’—and the Baker coming twice to me for his bill too! The Ilithyiæ are troublesome deities, Mr Squills.”

“Who are the Ilithyiæ,” asked the accoucheur.

“You ought to know,” answered my father, smiling. “The female dæmons who presided over the Neogilos or New-born. They take the name from Juno. See Homer, book XI. By the bye, will my Neogilos be brought up like Hector or Astyanax,—videlicet, nourished by its mother or by a nurse?”

“Which do you prefer, Mr Caxton?” asked Mr Squills, breaking the sugar in his tumbler. “In this I always deem it my duty to consult the wishes of the gentleman.”

“A nurse by all means, then,” said my father. “And let her carry him upo kolpo, next to her bosom. I know all that has been said about mothers nursing their own infants, Mr Squills; but poor Kitty is so sensitive, that I think a stout healthy peasant woman will be best for the boy’s future nerves, and his mother’s nerves, present and future too. Heigh-ho!—I shall miss the dear woman very much; when will she be up, Mr Squills?”

“Oh, in less than a fortnight!”

“And then the Neogilos shall go to school! upo kolpo—the nurse with him, and all will be right again,” said my father, with a look of sly mysterious humour, which was peculiar to him.

“School! when he’s just born?”

“Can’t begin too soon,” said my father positively; “that’s Helvetius’ opinion, and it’s mine too!”


That I was a very wonderful child, I take for granted; but, nevertheless, it was not of my own knowledge that I came into possession of the circumstances set down in my former chapters. But my father’s conduct on the occasion of my birth made a notable impression upon all who witnessed it; and Mr Squills and Mrs Primmins have related the facts to me sufficiently often, to make me as well acquainted with them as those worthy witnesses themselves. I fancy I see my father before me, in his dark-gray dressing-gown, and with his odd, half sly, half innocent twitch of the mouth, and peculiar puzzling look, from two quiet, abstracted, indolently handsome eyes, at the moment he agreed with Helvetius on the propriety of sending me to school as soon as I was born. Nobody knew exactly what to make of my father—his wife excepted. Some set him down as a sage, some as a fool. As Hippocrates, in his well-known letter to Damagetes, saith of the great Democritus, he was contemptu et admiratione habitus—accustomed both to contempt and admiration. The neighbouring clergy respected him as a scholar, “breathing libraries;” the ladies despised him as an absent pedant, who had no more gallantry than a stock or a stone. The poor loved him for his charities, but laughed at him as a weak sort of man, easily taken in. Yet the squires and farmers found that, in their own matters of rural business, he had always a fund of curious information to impart; and whoever, young or old, gentle or simple, learned or ignorant, asked his advice, it was given with not more humility than wisdom. In the common affairs of life, he seemed incapable of acting for himself; he left all to my mother; or, if taken unawares, was pretty sure to be the dupe. But in those very affairs—if another consulted him—his eye brightened, his brow cleared, the desire of serving made him a new being: cautious, profound, practical. Too lazy or too languid where only his own interests were at stake—touch his benevolence, and all the wheels of the clockwork felt the impetus of the master-spring. No wonder that, to others, the nut of such a character was hard to crack! But, in the eyes of my poor mother, Augustine (familiarly Austin) Caxton was the best and the greatest of human beings; and certainly she ought to have known him well, for she studied him with her whole heart, knew every trick of his face, and, nine times out of ten, divined what he was going to say, before he opened his lips. Yet certainly there were deeps in his nature which the plummet of her tender woman’s wit had never sounded; and, certainly, it sometimes happened that, even in his most domestic colloquialisms, my mother was in doubt whether he was the simple straightforward person he was mostly taken for. There was, indeed, a kind of suppressed subtle irony about him, too unsubstantial to be popularly called humour, but dimly implying some sort of jest, which he kept all to himself; and this was only noticeable when he said something that sounded very grave, or appeared to the grave very silly and irrational.

That I did not go to school—at least to what Mr Squills understood by the word school—quite so soon as intended, I need scarcely observe. In fact, my mother managed so well—my nursery, by means of double doors, was so placed out of hearing—that my father, for the most part, was privileged, if he so pleased, to forget my existence. He was once dimly recalled to it on the occasion of my christening. Now, my father was a shy man, and he particularly hated all ceremonies and public spectacles. He became uneasily aware that a great ceremony, in which he might be called upon to play a prominent part, was at hand. Abstracted as he was, and conveniently deaf at times, he had heard significant whispers about “taking advantage of the bishop’s being in the neighbourhood,” and “twelve new jelly glasses being absolutely wanted,” to be sure that some deadly festivity was in the wind. And, when the question of godmother and godfather was fairly put to him, coupled with the remark that this was a fine opportunity to return the civilities of the neighbourhood, he felt that a strong effort at escape was the only thing left. Accordingly, having, seemingly without listening, heard the day fixed, and seen, as they thought, without observing, the chintz chairs in the best drawing-room uncovered, (my dear mother was the tidiest woman in the world,) my father suddenly discovered that there was to be a great book sale, twenty miles off, which would last four days, and attend it he must. My mother sighed; but she never contradicted my father, even when he was wrong, as he certainly was in this case. She only dropped a timid intimation that she feared “It would look odd, and the world might misconstrue my father’s absence—had not she better put off the christening?”

“My dear,” answered my father, “it will be my duty, by-and-by, to christen the boy—a duty not done in a day. At present, I have no doubt that the bishop will do very well without me. Let the day stand, or, if you put it off, upon my word and honour I believe that the wicked auctioneer will put off the book sale also. Of one thing I am quite sure, that the sale and the christening will take place at the same time.”

There was no getting over this; but I am certain my dear mother had much less heart than before in uncovering the chintz chairs, in the best drawing-room. Five years later this would not have happened. My mother would have kissed my father and said “Stay,” and he would have staid. But she was then very young and timid; and he, wild man, not of the woods but the cloisters, nor yet civilised into the tractabilities of home. In short, the post-chaise was ordered and the carpet-bag packed.

“My love,” said my mother, the night before this Hegira, looking up from her work—“my love, there is one thing you have quite forgot to settle—I beg pardon for disturbing you, but it is important!—baby’s name; shan’t we call him Augustine?”

“Augustine,” said my father, dreamily; “why, that name’s mine.”

“And you would like your boy’s to be the same?”

“No,” said my father, rousing himself. “Nobody would know which was which. I should catch myself learning the Latin accidence or playing at marbles. I should never know my own identity, and Mrs Primmins would be giving me pap.”

My mother smiled; and, putting her hand, which was a very pretty one, on my father’s shoulder, and looking at him tenderly, she said, “There’s no fear of mistaking you for any other, even your son, dearest. Still, if you prefer another name, what shall it be?”

“Samuel,” said my father. “Dr Parr’s name is Samuel.”

“La, my love! Samuel is the ugliest name—”

My father did not hear the exclamation, he was again deep in his books; presently he started up:—“Barnes says Homer is Solomon. Read Omeros backwards, in the Hebrew manner—”

“Yes, my love,” interrupted my mother. “But baby’s christian name?”


“Solomo! shocking,” said my mother.

“Shocking, indeed,” echoed my father; “an outrage to common sense.” Then, after glancing again over his books, he broke out musingly—“But, after all, it is nonsense to suppose that Homer was not settled till his time.”

“Whose?” asked my mother, mechanically.

My father lifted up his finger.

My mother continued, after a short pause, “Arthur is a pretty name. Then there’s William—Henry—Charles—Robert. What shall it be, love?”

“Pisistratus?” said my father, (who had hung fire till then,) in a tone of contempt—“Pisistratus indeed!”

“Pisistratus! a very fine name,” said my mother joyfully—“Pisistratus Caxton. Thank you, my love: Pisistratus it shall be.”

“Do you contradict me? Do you side with Wolf and Heyne, and that pragmatical fellow Vico? Do you mean to say that the Rhapsodists?”—

“No, indeed,” interrupted my mother. “My dear, you frighten me.”

My father sighed, and threw himself back in his chair. My mother took courage and resumed.

“Pisistratus is a long name too! Still, one could call him Sisty.”

“Siste, Viator,” muttered my father; “that’s trite!”

“No, Sisty by itself—short. Thank you, my dear.”

Four days afterwards, on his return from the book sale, to my father’s inexpressible bewilderment, he was informed that “Pisistratus was growing quite the image of him.”

When at length the good man was made thoroughly aware of the fact, that his son and heir boasted a name so memorable in history as that borne by the enslaver of Athens, and the disputed arranger of Homer—and it was insisted that it was a name he himself had suggested—he was as angry as so mild a man could be. “But it is infamous!” he exclaimed. “Pisistratus christened! Pisistratus! who lived six hundred years before Christ was born. Good heavens, madam! You have made me the father of an anachronism.”

My mother burst into tears. But the evil was irremediable. An anachronism I was, and an anachronism I must continue to the end of the chapter.


“Of course, sir, you will begin soon to educate your son yourself?” said Mr Squills.

“Of course, sir,” said my father, “you have read Martinus Scriblerus?”

“I don’t understand you, Mr Caxton.”

“Then you have not read Martinus Scriblerus, Mr Squills!”

“Consider that I have read it, and what then?”

“Why then, Squills,” said my father familiarly, “you would know, that though a scholar is often a fool, he is never a fool so supreme, so superlative, as when he is defacing the first unsullied page of the human history, by entering into it the commonplaces of his own pedantry. A scholar, sir, at least one like me, is of all persons the most unfit to teach young children. A mother, sir, a simple, natural, loving mother, is the infant’s true guide to knowledge.”

“Egad, Mr Caxton, in spite of Helvetius, whom you quoted the night the boy was born—egad, I believe you are right!”

“I am sure of it,” said my father; “at least as sure as a poor mortal can be of any thing. I agree with Helvetius, the child should be educated from its birth; but how?—there is the rub: send him to school forthwith! Certainly he is at school already with the two great principles, Nature and Love. Observe, that childhood and genius have the same master organ in common—inquisitiveness. Let childhood have its way, and as it began where genius begins, it may find what genius finds. A certain Greek writer tells us of some man, who, in order to save his bees a troublesome flight to Hymettus, cut their wings, and placed before them the finest flowers he could select. The poor bees made no honey. Now, sir, if I were to teach my boy, I should be cutting his wings and giving him the flowers he should find himself. Let us leave Nature alone for the present, and Nature’s living proxy, the watchful mother.”

Therewith my father pointed to his heir sprawling on the grass and plucking daisies on the lawn; while the young mother’s voice rose merrily, laughing at the child’s glee.

“I shall make but a poor bill out of your nursery, I see,” said Mr Squills.

Agreeably to these doctrines, strange in so learned a father, I thrived and flourished, and learned to spell, and make pothooks, under the joint care of my mother and Dame Primmins. This last was one of an old race fast dying away—the race of old faithful servants—the race of old tale-telling nurses. She had reared my mother before me; but her affection put out new flowers for the new generation. She was a Devonshire woman—and Devonshire women, especially those who have passed their youth near the sea-coast, are generally superstitious. She had a wonderful budget of fables. Before I was six years old, I was erudite in that primitive literature, in which the legends of all nations are traced to a common fountain—Puss in Boots, Tom Thumb, Fortunio, Fortunatus, Jack the Giant-killer—tales like proverbs, equally familiar, under different versions, to the infant worshipper of Budh and the hardier children of Thor. I may say, without vanity, that in an examination in such works of imagination, I could have taken honours!

My dear mother had some little misgivings as to the solid benefit to be derived from such fantastic erudition, and timidly consulted my father therein.

“My love,” answered my father, in that tone of voice which always puzzled even my mother, to be sure whether he was in jest or earnest—“in all these fables, certain philosophers could easily discover symbolical significations of the highest morality. I have myself written a treatise to prove that Puss in Boots is an allegory upon the progress of the human understanding, having its origin in the mystical schools of the Egyptian priests, and evidently an illustration of the worship rendered at Thebes and Memphis to those feline quadrupeds, of which they made both religious symbols and elaborate mummies.”

“My dear Austin,” said my mother opening her blue eyes, “you don’t think that Sisty will discover all those fine things in Puss in Boots!”

“My dear Kitty,” answered my father, “you don’t think, when you were good enough to take up with me, that you found in me all the fine things I have learned from books. You knew me only as a harmless creature, who was happy enough to please your fancy. By-and-by you discovered that I was no worse for all the quartos that have transmigrated into ideas within me—ideas that are mysteries even to myself. If Sisty, as you call the child, (plague on that unlucky anachronism! which you do well to abbreviate into a dissyllable,) if Sisty can’t discover all the wisdom of Egypt in Puss in Boots, what then? Puss in Boots is harmless, and it pleases his fancy. All that wakes curiosity is wisdom, if innocent—all that pleases the fancy now, turns hereafter to love or to knowledge. And so, my dear, go back to the nursery.”

But I should wrong thee, O best of fathers, if I suffered the reader to suppose, that because thou didst seem so indifferent to my birth, and so careless as to my early teaching, therefore thou wert, at heart, indifferent to thy troublesome Neogilos. As I grew older, I became more sensibly aware that a father’s eye was upon me. I distinctly remember one incident, that seems to me, in looking back, a crisis in my infant life, as the first tangible link between my own heart and that calm great soul.

My father was seated on the lawn before the house, his straw hat over his eyes (it was summer) and his book on his lap. Suddenly a beautiful delf blue-and-white flower-pot, which had been set on the window-sill of an upper storey, fell to the ground with a crash, and the fragments spluttered up round my father’s legs. Sublime in his studies as Archimedes in the siege, he continued to read “Impavidum feriunt ruinæ!

“Dear, dear!” cried my mother, who was at work in the porch, “my poor flower-pot that I prized so much! Who could have done this? Primmins, Primmins!”

Mrs Primmins popped her head out of the fatal window, nodded to the summons, and came down in a trice, pale and breathless.

“Oh!” said my mother, mournfully, “I would rather have lost all the plants in the greenhouse in the great blight last May,—I would rather the best tea-set were broken! The poor geranium I reared myself, and the dear, dear flower-pot which Mr Caxton bought for me my last birth-day! That naughty child must have done this!”

Mrs Primmins was dreadfully afraid of my father—why, I know not, except that very talkative social persons are usually afraid of very silent shy ones. She cast a hasty glance at her master, who was beginning to evince signs of attention, and cried promptly, “No, ma’am, it was not the dear boy, bless his flesh, it was I!”

“You! how could you be so careless? and you knew how I prized them both. Oh, Primmins!”

Primmins began to sob.

“Don’t tell fibs, nursey,” said a small shrill voice; and Master Sisty (coming out of the house as bold as brass) continued rapidly—“don’t scold Primmins, mamma: it was I who pushed out the flower-pot.”

“Hush!” said nurse, more frightened than ever, and looking aghast towards my father, who had very deliberately taken off his hat, and was regarding the scene with serious eyes wide awake.

“Hush! And if he did break it, ma’am, it was quite an accident; he was standing so, and he never meant it. Did you, Master Sisty? Speak! (this in a whisper) or Pa will be so angry.”

“Well,” said my mother, “I suppose it was an accident; take care in future, my child. You are sorry, I see, to have grieved me. There’s a kiss, don’t fret.”

“No, mamma, you must not kiss me, I don’t deserve it. I pushed out the flower-pot on purpose.”

“Ha! and why?” said my father, walking up.

Mrs Primmins trembled like a leaf.

“For fun!” said I, hanging my head—“just to see how you’d look, papa; and that’s the truth of it. Now beat me, do beat me!”

My father threw his book fifty yards off, stooped down, and caught me to his breast. “Boy,” he said, “you have done wrong: you shall repair it by remembering all your life that your father blessed God for giving him a son who spoke truth in spite of fear! Oh! Mrs Primmins, the next fable of this kind you try to teach him, and we part for ever!”

From that time I first date the hour when I felt that I loved my father, and knew that he loved me; from that time too, he began to converse with me. He would no longer, if he met me in the garden, pass by with a smile and nod; he would stop, put his book in his pocket, and though his talk was often above my comprehension, still somehow I felt happier and better, and less of an infant, when I thought over it, and tried to puzzle out the meaning; for he had a way of suggesting, not teaching, putting things into my head, and then leaving them to work out their own problems. I remember a special instance with respect to that same flower-pot and geranium. Mr Squills, who was a bachelor, and well to do in the world, often made me little presents. Not long after the event I have narrated, he gave me one far exceeding in value those usually bestowed on children,—it was a beautiful large domino-box in cut ivory, painted and gilt. This domino-box was my delight. I was never weary of playing at dominoes with Mrs Primmins, and I slept with the box under my pillow.

“Ah!” said my father one day when he found me ranging the ivory squares in the parlour, “ah! you like that better than all your playthings, eh?”

“Oh yes, papa.”

“You would be very sorry if your mamma was to throw that box out of the window, and break it for fun.” I looked beseechingly at my father, and made no answer.

“But perhaps you would be very glad,” he resumed, “if suddenly one of these good fairies you read of could change the domino-box into a beautiful geranium in a beautiful blue-and-white flower-pot, and that you could have the pleasure of putting it on your mamma’s window-sill.”

“Indeed I would!” said I, half crying.

“My dear boy, I believe you; but good wishes don’t mend bad actions,—good actions mend bad actions.”

So saying, he shut the door and went out. I cannot tell you how puzzled I was to make out what my father meant by his aphorism. But I know that I played at dominoes no more that day. The next morning my father found me seated by myself under a tree in the garden; he paused and looked at me with his grave bright eyes very steadily.

“My boy,” said he, “I am going to walk to —— (a town about two miles off,) will you come? and, by the bye, fetch your domino-box: I should like to show it to a person there.” I ran in for the box, and, not a little proud of walking with my father upon the high-road, we set out.

“Papa,” said I by the way, “there are no fairies now.”

“What then, my child?”

“Why—how then can my domino-box be changed into a geranium and a blue-and-white flower-pot?”

“My dear,” said my father, leaning his hand on my shoulder, “every body who is in earnest to be good, carries two fairies about with him—one here,” and he touched my heart; “and one here,” and he touched my forehead.

“I don’t understand, papa.”

“I can wait till you do, Pisistratus! What a name!”

My father stopped at a nursery gardener’s, and, after looking over the flowers, paused before a large double geranium. “Ah, this is finer than that which your mamma was so fond of. What is the cost, sir?”

“Only 7s. 6d.,” said the gardener.

My father buttoned up his pocket.

“I can’t afford it to-day,” said he gently, and we walked out.

On entering the town, we stopped again at a china-warehouse. “Have you a flower-pot like that I bought some months ago? Ah, here is one, marked 3s. 6d. Yes, that is the price. Well, when your mamma’s birth-day comes again, we must buy her another. That is some months to wait. And we can wait, Master Sisty. For truth, that blooms all the year round, is better than a poor geranium; and a word that is never broken, is better than a piece of delf.”

My head, which had drooped before, rose again; but the rush of joy at my heart almost stifled me.

“I have called to pay your little bill,” said my father, entering the shop of one of those fancy stationers common in country towns, and who sell all kinds of pretty toys and nicknacks. “And by the way,” he added, as the smiling shopman looked over his books for the entry, “I think my little boy here can show you a much handsomer specimen of French workmanship than that work-box which you enticed Mrs Caxton into raffling for, last winter. Show your domino-box, my dear.”

I produced my treasure, and the shopman was liberal in his commendations. “It is always well, my boy, to know what a thing is worth, in case one wishes to part with it. If my young gentleman gets tired of his plaything, what will you give him for it?”

“Why, sir,” said the shopman, “I fear we could not afford to give more than eighteen shillings for it, unless the young gentleman took some of these pretty things in exchange.”

“Eighteen shillings!” said my father; “you would give that. Well, my boy, whenever you do grow tired of your box, you have my leave to sell it.”

My father paid his bill, and went out. I lingered behind a few moments, and joined him at the end of the street.

“Papa, papa!” I cried, clapping my hands, “we can buy the geranium—we can buy the flower-pot.” And I pulled a handful of silver from my pockets.

“Did I not say right?” said my father, passing his handkerchief over his eyes—“You have found the two fairies!”

Oh! how proud, how overjoyed I was, when, after placing vase and flower on the window-sill, I plucked my mother by the gown, and made her follow me to the spot.

“It is his doing, and his money!” said my father; “good actions have mended the bad.”

“What!” cried my mother, when she had learned all; “and your poor domino-box that you were so fond of! We will go back to-morrow, and buy it back, if it costs us double.”

“Shall we buy it back, Pisistratus?” asked my father.

“Oh no—no—no! It would spoil all,” I cried, burying my face on my father’s breast.

“My wife,” said my father solemnly, “this is my first lesson to our child—the sanctity and the happiness of self-sacrifice—undo not what it should teach to his dying day!”

And that is the history of the broken flower-pot.


When I was between my seventh and my eighth year, a change came over me, which may perhaps be familiar to the notice of those parents who boast the anxious blessing of an only child. The ordinary vivacity of childhood forsook me; I became quiet, sedate, and thoughtful. The absence of playfellows of my own age, the companionship of mature minds alternated only by complete solitude, gave something precocious, whether to my imagination or my reason. The wild fables muttered to me by the old nurse in the summer twilight, or over the winter’s hearth—the effort made by my struggling intellect to comprehend the grave, sweet wisdom of my father’s suggested lessons—tended to feed a passion for reverie, in which all my faculties strained and struggled, as in the dreams that come when sleep is nearest waking. I had learned to read with ease, and to write with some fluency, and I already began to imitate, to reproduce. Strange tales, akin to those I had gleaned from fairyland—rude songs, modelled from such verse-books as fell into my hands, began to mar the contents of marble-covered pages, designed for the less ambitious purposes of round text and multiplication. My mind was yet more disturbed by the intensity of my home affections. My love for both my parents had in it something morbid and painful. I often wept to think how little I could do for those I loved so well. My fondest fancies built up imaginary difficulties for them, which my arm was to smoothe. These feelings, thus cherished, made my nerves over-susceptible and acute. Nature began to affect me powerfully; and from that affection rose a restless curiosity to analyse the charms that so mysteriously moved me to joy or awe, to smiles or tears. I got my father to explain to me the elements of astronomy; I extracted from Squills, who was an ardent botanist, some of the mysteries in the life of flowers. But music became my darling passion. My mother (though the daughter of a great scholar—a scholar at whose name my father raised his hat, if it happened to be on his head) possessed, I must own it fairly, less book-learning than many a humble tradesman’s daughter can boast in this more enlightened generation; but she had some natural gifts which had ripened, Heaven knows how! into womanly accomplishments. She drew with some elegance, and painted flowers to exquisite perfection. She played on more than one instrument with more than boarding-school skill; and though she sang in no language but her own, few could hear her sweet voice without being deeply touched. Her music, her songs, had a wondrous effect on me. Thus, altogether, a kind of dreamy yet delightful melancholy seized upon my whole being; and this was the more remarkable, because contrary to my earlier temperament, which was bold, active, and hilarious. The change in my character began to act upon my form. From a robust and vigorous infant, I grew into a pale and slender boy. I began to ail and mope. Mr Squills was called in.

“Tonics!” said Mr Squills; “and don’t let him sit over his book. Send him out in the air—make him play. Come here, my boy—these organs are growing too large;” and Mr Squills, who was a phrenologist, placed his hand on my forehead. “Gad, sir, here’s an ideality for you; and, bless my soul, what a constructiveness!”

My father pushed aside his papers, and walked to and fro the room with his hands behind him; but he did not say a word till Mr Squills was gone.

“My dear,” then said he to my mother, on whose breast I was leaning my aching ideality—“my dear, Pisistratus must go to school in good earnest.”

“Bless me, Austin!—at his age?”

“He is nearly eight years old.”

“But he is so forward.”

“It is for that reason he must go to school.”

“I don’t quite understand you, my love. I know he is getting past me; but you who are so clever—”

My father took my mother’s hand—“We can teach him nothing now, Kitty. We send him to school to be taught—”

“By some schoolmaster who knows much less than you do—”

“By little schoolboys, who will make him a boy again,” said my father, almost sadly. “My dear, you remember that, when our Kentish gardener planted those filbert-trees, and when they were in their third year, and you began to calculate on what they would bring in, you went out one morning, and found he had cut them down to the ground. You were vexed, and asked why. What did the gardener say? ‘To prevent their bearing too soon.’ There is no want of fruitfulness here—put back the hour of produce, that the plant may last.”

“Let me go to school,” said I, lifting my languid head, and smiling on my father. I understood him at once, and it was as if the voice of my life itself answered to him.


A year after the resolution thus come to, I was at home for the holidays.

“I hope,” said my mother, “that they are doing Sisty justice. I do think he is not nearly so quick a child as he was before he went to school. I wish you would examine him, Austin.”

“I have examined him, my dear. It is just as I expected; and I am quite satisfied.”

“What! you really think he has come on?” said my mother joyfully.

“He does not care a button for botany now,” said Mr Squills.

“And he used to be so fond of music, dear boy!” observed my mother with a sigh. “Good gracious! what noise is that?”

“Your son’s pop-gun against the window,” said my father. “It is lucky it is only the window; it would have made a less deafening noise, though, if it had been Mr Squills’ head, as it was yesterday morning.”

“The left ear,” observed Squills; “and a very sharp blow it was, too. Yet you are satisfied, Mr Caxton?”

“Yes; I think the boy is now as great a blockhead as most boys of his age are,” observed my father with great complacency.

“Dear me, Austin—a great blockhead!”

“What else did he go to school for?” asked my father; and observing a certain dismay in the face of his female audience, and a certain surprise in that of his male, he rose and stood on the hearth, with one hand in his waistcoat, as was his wont when about to philosophise in more detail than was usual to him.

“Mr Squills,” said he, “you have had great experience in families.”

“As good a practice as any in the county,” said Mr Squills proudly: “more than I can manage. I shall advertise for a partner.”

“And,” resumed my father, “you must have observed almost invariably that, in every family, there is what father, mother, uncle and aunt, pronounce to be one wonderful child.”

“One at least,” said Mr Squills, smiling.

“It is easy,” continued my father, “to say this is parental partiality,—but it is not so. Examine that child as a stranger, and it will startle yourself. You stand amazed at its eager curiosity, its quick comprehension, its ready wit, its delicate perception. Often, too, you will find some faculty strikingly developed; the child will have a turn for mechanics, perhaps, and make you a model of a steamboat,—or it will have an ear tuned to verse, and will write you a poem like that it has got by heart from ‘The Speaker,’—or it will take to botany, (like Pisistratus) with the old maid its aunt,—or it will play a march on 524its sister’s pianoforte. In short, even you, Squills, will declare that it is really a wonderful child.”

“Upon my word,” said Mr Squills thoughtfully, “there’s a great deal of truth in what you say; little Tom Dobbs is a wonderful child—so is Frank Steppington—and as for Johnny Styles, I must bring him here for you to hear him prattle on Natural History, and see how well he handles his pretty little microscope.”

“Heaven forbid!” said my father. “And now let me proceed. These thaumata or wonders last till when, Mr Squills?—last till the boy goes to school, and then, somehow or other, the thaumata vanish into thin air, like ghosts at the cockcrow. A year after the prodigy has been at the academy, father and mother, uncle and aunt, plague you no more with his doings and sayings; the extraordinary infant has become a very ordinary little boy. Is it not so, Mr Squills?”

“Indeed you are right, sir. How did you come to be so observant; you never seem to—”

“Hush!” interrupted my father; and then, looking fondly at my mother’s anxious face, he said, soothingly—“be comforted: this is wisely ordained—and it is for the best.”

“It must be the fault of the school,” said my mother, shaking her head.

“It is the necessity of the school, and its virtue, my Kate. Let any one of these wonderful children—wonderful as you thought Sisty himself—stay at home, and you will see its head grow bigger and bigger, and its body thinner and thinner—Eh, Mr Squills?—till the mind take all nourishment from the frame, and the frame, in turn, stint or make sickly the mind. You see that noble oak from the window—if the Chinese had brought it up, it would have been a tree in miniature at five years old, and at an hundred, you would have set it in a flower-pot on your table, no bigger than it was at five—a curiosity for its matureness at one age—a show for its diminutiveness at the other. No! the ordeal for talent is school; restore the stunted mannikin to the growing child, and then let the child if it can, healthily, hardily, naturally, work its slow way up into greatness. If greatness be denied it, it will at least be a man, and that is better than to be a little Johnny Styles all its life—an oak in a pill-box.”

At that moment I rushed into the room, glowing and panting, health on my cheek, vigour in my limbs—all childhood at my heart. “Oh! mamma, I have got up the kite—so high!—come and see. Do come, papa.”

“Certainly,” said my father; “only, don’t cry so loud—kites make no noise in rising—yet, you see how they soar above the world. Come, Kate, where is my hat? Ah—thank you, my boy.”

“Kitty,” said my father, looking at the kite which, attached by its string to the peg I had stuck into the ground, rested calm in the sky, “never fear but what our kite shall fly as high; only, the human soul has stronger instincts to mount upward than a few sheets of paper on a framework of lath. But, observe, that to prevent its being lost in the freedom of space, we must attach it lightly to earth; and, observe again, my dear, that the higher it soars, the more string we must give it.”

Printed by William Blackwood and Sons, Edinburgh.

1. “On the French Revolutions,” Nos. I.–V. Jan.–May, 1831.

2. 5,468,000 in 1836, which must be at least 6,000,000 in 1848.—Statistique de la France—(Agriculture, 84–89.)

3. Democratie Pacifique, 1st March 1848.

4. Democratie Pacifique, 1st March, 1848, p. 1.

5. Ibid.

6. Democratie Pacifique, March 1, 1848.

7. Democratie Pacifique, March 2, 1848.

8. The present state of the finances of France is thus explained by the Finance Minister:—

“On the 1st of January 1841, the capital of the public debt, the government stock belonging to the sinking fund being deducted, was 4,267,315,402 francs. On the 1st of January 1848, it amounted to 5,179,644,730 francs. Far from taking advantage of so long a peace to reduce the amount of the debt, the last administration augmented it in those enormous proportions,—912,329,328 francs in seven years.


“The budgets followed the progression of the debt.

“Those of 1829 to 1830 amount to 1,014,914,000 francs. The entire of the credits placed at the disposal of the fallen government to the year 1847 amounts to 1,712,979,639f. 62c. Notwithstanding the successive increase of the receipts, the budgets presented each year a considerable deficit. The expenses from 1840 to 1847 inclusively, exceeded the receipts by 604,525,000 francs. The deficit calculated for the year 1848 is 48,000,000 francs, without counting the additional chapter of supplementary and extraordinary credits, which will raise the total amount of the budgets to the charge of the last administration to 652,525,000 francs.


“The public works heedlessly undertaken simultaneously, at all points of the territory, to satisfy or to encourage electoral corruption, and not with that reserve which prudence so imperiously commanded, have raised the credits to 1,081,000,000 francs. From this sum are to be deducted the sums reimbursed by the companies, amounting to 160,000,000 francs; the last loan, 82,000,000 francs, making together 242,000,000 francs, and leaving a balance of 839,000,000 francs. Out of this sum, 435,000,000 francs has been expended out of the resources of the floating debt, and 404,000,000 francs still remain to be expended on the completion of the works.


“The floating debt increased in proportions not less considerable. At the commencement of 1831 it reached an amount of about 250,000,000 francs. At the date of the 26th of February last it exceeded 670,000,000 francs, to which is to be added the government stock belonging to the savings’ banks, 202,000,000 francs, making altogether 972,000,000 francs. Under such a system the position of the central office of the Treasury could not often be brilliant. During the two hundred and sixty-eight last days of its existence, the fallen government expended more than 294,800,000 francs beyond its ordinary resources, or 1,100,000 francs per day.”—Report of Finance Minister, March 9, 1848.

9. Lamartine, “Histoire des Girondins,” iii. 244, 245.

10. “La plus grande erreur contre laquelle il faille premunir la population de nos campagnes, c’est que pour être representant il soit nécessaire d’avoir de l’éducation ou de la fortune.”—Circulaire du Ministre d’Instruction publique, Mars 9 et 6, 1848.

11. Tacitus.

12. Burke’s Works.

13. “God is patient because eternal.”

14. De Tocqueville, Democratie en Amerique, ii. 268.

15. These lines were composed on the north coast of Scotland, in view of a wild sea-cave, the extent of which has never been ascertained. The Atlantic rolls into it with such fury during a tempest, that the spray rises like smoke from an orifice in the rock resembling a chimney, at some distance from the mouth of the cave. This singular and startling effect has no doubt given rise to the popular name of this remarkable cavern—Hell’s Lum. Scott would have been pleased with it, and its romantic legends of mermaids, &c.

16. Histoire de la Conquête de Naples par Charles d’Anjou, frère de St Louis. Par le Comte Alexis de St Priest, Pair de France. 4 vols. 8vo. Paris, 1848. Vols. i. to iii.


“Plasmi el cavalier Frances
E la donna Catalana,” &c., &c.

A well-known song which Voltaire rightly attributes to Frederick II., and which Guinguené, who is here wrong in his criticism of Voltaire, gives to Frederick Barbarossa.


Der wart auch Chunrad genant
Doch ner alle Welhesche Lannd
Da nannten die Lewt in
Nicht anders denn Chunradin.
Ottakher’s Austriæ Chronicon Germanicum.

19. In the middle ages remarried queens lost their title. Conradin, in his edicts, never called his mother otherwise than comitissa.

20. The Life of Lord Chancellor Hardwicke; with Selections from his Correspondence, Diaries, Speeches, and Judgments. By George Harris, Esq., Barrister at Law. In 3 vols. London: Moxon.

Page Changed from Changed to
439 when Conrad died, at the of twenty-six when Conrad died, at the age of twenty-six
441 allowed our lord to enter our walls allow our lord to enter our walls
442 with the Infante Don Pedro, daughter with the Infante Don Pedro, son
497 intrépide! A la recousse!” was intrépide! A la rescousse!” was
504 Liberté—Fraternité—Egalité Liberté—Fraternité—Égalité
506 Ah traitre! monstre! polisson Ah traître! monstre! polisson
  1. Typos fixed; non-standard spelling and dialect retained.
  2. Used numbers for footnotes, placing them all at the end of the last chapter.