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Title: Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. 327
       Vol. 53, January, 1843

Author: Various

Release Date: February, 2006 [EBook #9992]
[Yes, we are more than one year ahead of schedule]
[This file was first posted on November 6, 2003]

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*** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK EDINBURGH MAGAZINE, NO. 327 ***




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BLACKWOOD'S  EDINBURGH MAGAZINE

NO. CCCXXVII.   JANUARY, 1843.   VOL. LIII.




CONTENTS


    GREAT BRITAIN AT THE COMMENCEMENT OF THE YEAR 1843
    LESURQUES; OR, THE VICTIM OF JUDICIAL ERROR
    CALEB STUKELY
      PART X.
    IMAGINARY CONVERSATION. BY WALTER SAVAGE LANDOR
      TASSO AND CORNELIA
    THE WORLD OF LONDON
      SECOND SERIES, PART I.
    THE DREAM OF LORD NITHSDALE
    TWO HOURS OF MYSTERY
    THE EAST AND SOUTH OF EUROPE
    THE CURSE OF GLENCOE. BY B. SIMMONS
    THE MARTYRS' MONUMENT. A MONOLOGUE
    TASTE AND MUSIC IN ENGLAND




GREAT BRITAIN AT THE COMMENCEMENT OF THE YEAR 1843.


Great Britain, at the present moment, occupies a position of dignity, of
grandeur, and of RESPONSIBILITY, unparalleled in either her own history,
or that of any other nation ancient or modern. Let him who is inclined
to doubt this assertion, of whatever country he may be, and whether
friendly, hostile, or indifferent to England, glance for a moment at a
map of the world, and having at length found out our little island,
(which, perhaps, he may consider a mere fragment chipped off, as it
were, from the continent of Europe,) turn to our stupendous possessions
in the east and in the west--in fact, all over the world--and he may be
apt to think of the fond speculative boast of the ancient geometrician,
"[Greek: Dos pou sto, chai ton chosmon chinaeso]," and to paraphrase and
apply it thus--"Give the genius of Great Britain but where she may place
her foot--some mere point peeping above the waves of the sea--and she
shall move the world." Is not this language warranted by recent facts?
While our irritable but glorious neighbour France--_pace tantae
gentis!_--is frittering away her warlike energies in Algeria, and Russia
is worried by her unsuccessful and unjust attempts upon Circassia,
behold the glorious monarch of this little island, Queen Victoria,
roused by indignities and injuries offered to her most distant subjects
in the East, strike single-handed a blow there, which shakes a vast and
ancient empire to its very foundations, and forces its haughty emperor
from his throne, to assume the attitude of a suppliant for peace,
yielding her peremptory but just demands, even at the cannon's mouth,
and actually relinquishing to her a large portion of his dominions.
Events, these, so astonishing, that their true character and
consequences have not yet been calmly considered and appreciated by
either ourselves or other nations. Look, again, at recent occurrences in
British India--that vast territory which only our prodigious enterprise
and skill have acquired for us, and nothing but profound sagacity can
preserve to the British crown--and observe, with mixed feelings, two
principal matters: a perilous but temporary error of overweening
ambition on the part of Great Britain, yet retrieved with power and
dignity; and converted into an opportunity of displaying--where, for the
interests of Great Britain, it was imperiously demanded--her
irresistible valour, her moderation, her wisdom; exhibiting, under
circumstances the most adverse possible, in its full splendour and
majesty, the force of that OPINION by which alone we can hold India.
Passing swiftly over to the Western Continent, gaze at our vast
possessions _there_ also--in British North America--containing
considerably upwards of four millions of square geographical miles of
land; that is, nearly a ninth part of the whole terrestrial surface of
the globe![1]--besides nearly a million and a half miles of water--five
hundred thousand of these square miles being capable, and in rapid
progress, of profitable cultivation! at more than three thousand miles'
distance from the mother country, and in immediate juxtaposition to the
territory of our distinguished but jealous descendants and rivals--a
rising nation--the United States! Pausing here in the long catalogue of
our foreign possessions, let our fancied observer turn back his eye
towards the little island that owns them; will he not be filled with
wonder, possibly with a conviction that Great Britain is destined by
Almighty God to be the instrument of effecting His sublime but hidden
purposes with reference to humanity? Assume, however, our observer to be
actuated by a hostile and jealous spirit, and to regard our foreign
possessions, and the national greatness derived from them, as only
nominal and apparent--to insinuate that we could not really hold them,
or vindicate our vaunted supremacy if powerfully challenged and
resented. Let him then meditate upon the authentic intelligence which we
have just received from the East: what must then be his real sentiments
on this the 1st day of January 1843? Let us ask him, in all manly
calmness, whether England has not _done_ what he doubted or denied her
ability to do? whether she has not shown the world that she may, indeed,
do what she pleases among the nations, so long as her pleasure is
regulated and supported by her accustomed sagacity and spirit? She has,
however, recently had to pass through an awful ordeal, principally
occasioned by the brief ascendency of incompetent councils; and while
expressing, in terms of transport, our conviction that, "out of this
nettle danger, we have plucked the flower safety"--we cannot repress our
feelings of indignation against those who precipitated us into that
danger, and of gratitude towards those who, under Divine Providence,
have been instrumental in extricating us from it, not only rapidly, but
with credit; not merely with credit, but with glory. To appreciate our
present position, we must refer to that which we occupied some twelve or
eighteen months ago; and that will necessarily involve a brief
examination of the policy and proceedings of the late, and of the
present Government. We shall speak in an unreserved and independent
spirit in giving utterance to the reflections which have occurred to us
during a watchful attention paid to the course of public affairs, both
foreign and domestic, in the interval alluded to; though feeling the
task which we have undertaken both a delicate and a difficult one.

    [1] Malte Brun, xi. 179. Alison, x. 256.

After a desperate tenacity in retaining office exhibited by the late
Government, which was utterly unexampled, and most degrading to the
character and position of public men engaged in carrying on the Queen's
Government, Sir Robert Peel was called to the head of affairs by her
Majesty, in accordance with the declared wishes of a triumphant majority
of her subjects--of a perfectly overwhelming majority of the educated,
the thinking, and the monied classes of society. When he first placed
his foot upon the commanding eminence of the premiership, the sight
which presented itself to his quick and comprehensive glance, must have
been, indeed, one calculated to make

    --"the boldest hold his breath
    For a time."

What appalling evidence in every direction of the ignorance and madness
of his predecessors! An exchequer empty, exactly at the moment when it
ought to have been fullest, in order to support our tremendous
operations in the East and elsewhere: in fact, a prospect of immediate
national insolvency; all resources, ordinary and extraordinary,
exhausted; all income anticipated: an average deficiency of revenue,
actual and estimated, in the six years next preceding the 5th of January
1843, of L.10,072,000! Symptoms of social disorganization visible on the
very surface of society: ruin bestriding our mercantile interests,
palsied every where by the long pressure of financial misrule: credit
vanishing rapidly: the working-classes plunged daily deeper and deeper
into misery and starvation, ready to listen to the most desperate
suggestions: and a Government bewildered with a consciousness of
incompetency, and of the swiftly approaching consequences of their
misrule, at the eleventh hour--on the eve of a general election--
suddenly resolving (in the language of their own leader) to stir society
to its foundations, by proposing a wild and ruinous alteration in the
Corn-Laws, declaring that it, and it only, would bring cheap bread to
the doors of the very poorest in the land:--after the manner of giving
out ardent spirits to an already infuriated mob. In Ireland, crime and
sedition fearfully in the ascendant; treasonable efforts made to
separate her from us; threats even held out of her entering into a
foreign alliance against us. So much for our domestic--now for our
foreign condition and prospects. He would see Europe exhibiting serious
symptoms of distrust and hostility: France, irritated and trifled with,
on the verge of actual war with us: our criminally neglected differences
with America, fast ripening into the fatal bloom of war: the very
existence of the Canadas at stake. In India, the tenure by which we hold
it in the very act of being loosened; our troops shedding their blood in
vain, in the prosecution of as mad and wicked an enterprise as ever was
undertaken by a civilized nation; the glory of our hitherto invincible
arms tarnished; the finances of India deranged and wasted away in
securing only fresh accessions of disgraceful defeat. In China, we were
engaged, in spite of the whisper of our guardian angel, Wellington, in a
_little war_, and experiencing all its degrading and ruinous
consequences to our commerce, our military and naval reputation, our
statesmanship, our honour. Did ever this great empire exhibit such a
spectacle before as that which it thus presented to the anxious eye of
the new Premier? Having concluded the disheartening and alarming survey,
he must have descended to his cabinet oppressed and desponding,
enquiring who is sufficient for these things? With no disposition to
bestow an undue encomium on any one, we cannot but say, happy was Queen
Victoria in having, at such a moment, such a man to call to the head of
her distracted affairs, as Sir Robert Peel. He was a man preeminently
distinguished by caution, sobriety, and firmness of character--by
remarkable clear-sightedness and strength of intellect--thoroughly
practical in all things--of immense knowledge, entirely at his
command--of consummate tact and judgment in the conduct of public
affairs--of indefatigable patience and perseverance--of imperturbable
self-possession. He seemed formed by nature and habit to be the leader
of a great deliberative assembly. Add to all this--a personal character
of unsullied purity, and a fortune so large as to place him beyond the
reach of suspicion or temptation. Such was the man called upon by his
sovereign and his country, in a most serious crisis of her affairs. He
was originally fortunate in being surrounded by political friends
eminently qualified for office; from among whom he made, with due
deliberation, a selection, which satisfied the country the instant that
their names were laid before it. We know not when a British sovereign
has been surrounded by a more brilliant and powerful body of ministers,
than those who at this moment stand around Queen Victoria. They
constitute the first real GOVERNMENT which this country has seen for the
last twelve years; and they instantly addressed themselves to the
discharge of the duties assigned to them with a practised skill, and
energy, and system, which were quickly felt in all departments of the
State. In contenting himself with the general superintendance of the
affairs of his government, and devolving on another the harassing office
of Chancellor of the Exchequer, which, till then, had been conjoined
with that of the First Lord of the Treasury, Sir Robert Peel acted with
his usual judgment, and secured, in particular, one capital
object--_unity of action._

As soon as the late Ministry and their adherents perceived that Sir
Robert Peel's advent to power was inevitable, they clamorously required
of him a full preliminary statement of the policy he intended to adopt
on being actually installed in office! By those who had floundered on,
session after session, from blunder to blunder, from folly to
folly--each more glaring and destructive than the preceding one--he was
modestly expected to commit himself _instanter_ to some scheme struck
off, to please them, at a heat! A cut-and-dried exposition of his plans
of domestic and foreign policy, before it was even certain that he would
ever be called on to frame or act on them; before he had had a glimpse
of the authentic and official _data_, of which none but the actual
adviser of the crown could be in possession. This was doubtless _their_
notion of statesmanship, and faithfully acted on from first to last; but
Sir Robert Peel and his friends had been brought up in another school,
whose maxim was--_priusquam incipias, consulta--sed ubi consulueris,
mature facto, opus est_. The Premier stood unmoved by the entreaties,
the coaxings, and the threatenings of those wriggling before him in
miserable discomfiture and restlessness on the abhorred benches of
Opposition; calmly demonstrating to them the folly and injustice of
which they were guilty. Yet the circumstances of the country made his
adherence to this first determination exquisitely trying. He relied,
however, on the cautious integrity of his purposes, and the necessity of
the case; and amidst the silent agitation of friends, and the frenzied
clamour of opponents, and with a dreadful prospect before the country in
the ensuing winter--maintained the silence he had imposed upon himself,
and, with his companions, entered forthwith on a searching and complete
investigation of the affairs of the nation. Not seduced by the
irrepressible eagerness of friends, or dismayed by the dark threats and
dismal predictions of enemies, who even appealed direct to the throne
against them, Ministers pursued their course with calmness and
determination, till the legitimate moment had arrived for announcing to
the country their thoroughly considered plans for the future. Sir Robert
Peel is undoubtedly entitled to the credit of resuscitating and
re-organizing the great party all but annihilated by the passing of the
Reform Bill. It is under vast obligations to him; but so is he to it.
What fortitude and fidelity have been theirs! How admirable their
conduct on the occasion we are alluding to! And here let us also pay a
just tribute of respect to the Conservative newspaper press, both in the
metropolis and in the country. To select particular instances, would be
vain and invidious; but while the whole country has daily opportunities
of judging of the assistance afforded to the Conservative cause by the
powerful and independent metropolitan press, few are aware, as we are,
of the very great ability generally displayed by the provincial
Conservative press. Their resolute and persevering exposure of the
dangerous false doctrines of our unscrupulous adversaries, and eloquent
advocacy of Conservative principles, are above all praise, and are
appreciated in the highest quarters.

The winter was at length nearly passed through when Parliament
assembled. The distress which the people had suffered, and continued to
suffer, no pen can adequately describe, or do justice to the touching
fortitude with which those sufferings were borne. It wrung the hearts of
all who had opportunities of personally observing it. They resisted,
poor famishing souls! all the fiendish attempts that were systematically
made to undermine their loyalty, to seduce them into insubordination and
rebellion. Let us, by and by, see how far the result has justified this
implied confidence of theirs in the power, the wisdom, and the integrity
of the new Government. After all the boasting of the Opposition--in
spite of their vehement efforts during the recess, to concert and mature
what were given out as the most formidable system of tactics ever
exhibited in parliament, for the dislodgement of a Ministry denounced as
equally hateful to the Queen and to the country, the very first division
utterly annihilated the Opposition. So overwhelming was the Ministerial
majority, that it astonished their friends as much as it dismayed their
enemies: and to an accurate observer of what passed in the House of
Commons, it was plain that the legitimate energies of the Opposition
were paralyzed thenceforth to the end of the session. Forthwith, there
sprung up, however, a sort of conspiracy to _annoy_ the triumphant
Ministers, to exhaust their energies, to impede all legislation, as far
as those ends could be attained by the most wicked and _vulgar_ faction
ever witnessed within the House of Commons!

The precise seat of Sir Robert Peel's difficulty at home was, that his
immediate predecessors had (whether wilfully or otherwise signifies
nothing for the present) raised expectations among the people, which _no
party_ could satisfy; while their measures has reduced the people to a
state in which the disappointment of those expectations seemed to
excuse, if not justify, even downright rebellion. They arrayed the
agricultural and manufacturing interests in deadly hostility against
each other; they sought to make the one responsible for the consequences
springing only from the reckless misconduct of the other. The farmers
must be run down and ruined in order to repair the effects of excessive
credit and over-trading among the manufacturers; the corn-grower must
smart for the sins of the cotton-spinner. Such were some of the fierce
elements of discord in full action, when the affairs of the nation were
committed by her Majesty to her present Ministers, on whom it lay to
promote permanent domestic tranquillity, amidst this conflict between
interests which had been taught that they were irreconcilable with each
other; to sustain the public credit at once, without endangering our
internal peace and safety, or compromising the honour of the nation in
its critical and embarrassing foreign relations. How were they to effect
these apparently incompatible objects? "See," said the enemies of the
Ministry, "see, by and by, when parliament assembles, a cruel specimen
of _class legislation_--the unjust triumph of the landed interest--the
legitimate working of the Chandos clause in the Reform Bill!" But bear
witness, parliamentary records, how stood the fact!

That the present Ministry are mainly indebted for their accession to
power, to the prodigious exertions of the agricultural interest during
the last general election, is, we presume, undeniable. It was talked of
as their mere tool or puppet. Their first act is to lower the duties on
the importation of foreign cattle! "We are ruined!" cried the farmers in
dismay; and the Duke of Buckingham withdrew from the Cabinet. "This is a
step in the right way," said the opponents of Ministers, "but it will
clearly cost Peel his place--then _we_ return, and will go the rest of
the journey, and quickly arrive at the goal of free-trade in corn, and
every thing else, except those particular articles in which _we_ deal,
and which must be protected, for the benefit of the country, against
foreign competition." Then the Radical journals teemed with joyful
paragraphs, announcing that Sir Robert Peel's ministry was already
crumbling to pieces! The farmers, it would seem, were every where up in
arms; confusion (and something a vast deal worse!) was drunk at all
their meetings, to Peel! Nevertheless, these happy things came not to
pass; Sir Robert Peel's Ministry _would_ not fall to pieces; and the
curses of the farmers came not so fast or loud as their eager
disinterested friends could have wished! To be serious, the alteration
of the Corn-Laws was undoubtedly a very bold one, but the result of most
anxious and profound consideration. A moment's reflection of the
character and circumstances of the Ministry who proposed it, served
first to arrest the apprehensions entertained by the agricultural
interest; while the thorough discussions which took place in Parliament,
demonstrating the necessity of _some_ change--the moderation and caution
of the one proposed--several undoubted and very great improvements in
details, and, above all, _a formal recognition of the principle of
agricultural protection_, still further allayed the fears of the most
timorous. To _us_ it appears, that the simple principle of a scale of
duties, adapted to admit foreign corn when we want it, and exclude it
when we can grow sufficient ourselves, is abundantly vindicated, and
will not be disturbed for many years to come, if even then. Has this
principle been surrendered by Sir Robert Peel? It has not; and we
venture to express our confident belief, that it never will. He cannot,
of course, prevent the subject from being mooted during the ensuing
session, because there are persons, unfortunately, sent to Parliament
for the very purpose; but while he is listening with a calm smile, and
apparently thoughtfully, to the voluble tradesmen who are haranguing him
upon the subject, it is not improbable that he will be revolving in his
mind matters much more personally interesting and important to them;
viz. how he shall put a stop to the monstrous joint-stock banking system
frauds, as exhibited at this moment at Manchester, in the Northern and
Central Banking Company, and other similar establishments, blessed with
the disinterested patronage of the chief member of the "Anti-Corn-Law
League." The mention of that snug little speculation of two or three
ingenious and enterprising Manchester manufacturers, forces from us an
observation or two, viz. that the thing _will not do_, after all. There
is much cry, and little wool; very little corn, and a great deal of
cotton. They have a smart saying at Manchester, to the effect, that it
is no use whistling against thunder; which we shall interpret to mean,
that all their "great meetings," speechifyings, subscriptions, and so
forth, will fail to kindle a single spark of real enthusiasm in their
favour, among those who are daily becoming more and more personally
sensible, first, of the solid benefits conferred by the wise policy of
the present Administration; secondly, of the want of personal
respectability among the leaders of the League; and lastly, the
necessity and vast advantage of supporting the agriculture of Old
England. The recent discussions on the Corn-Laws, in Parliament and
elsewhere, the masterly expositions of the true principles on which they
are really based, have thrown a flood of light on the subject, now made
visible and intelligible to the lowest capacity. That some further
alteration may not erelong be made on the scale of duties, no one can
assert, though we have no reason to believe that any such is at present
contemplated; but that the principle of the "sliding scale," as it is
called, will be firmly adhered to, we entertain no doubt whatever. The
conduct of the agricultural interest, with reference to subjects of such
vital importance to them as the Corn-Law Bill and the Tariff, has been
characterized by signal forbearance and fortitude; nor, let them rest
assured, will it be lost upon the Ministry or the country.

The next step in Sir Robert Peel's bold and comprehensive policy, was to
devise some method of recruiting _forthwith_ its languishing vital
energies--to rescue its financial concerns from the desperate condition
in which he found them. With an immediate and perspective increase of
expenditure that was perfectly frightful--in the meditation and actual
prosecution of vast but useless enterprises--of foreign interference and
aggrandizement, to secure a little longer continuance of popular favour,
they deliberately destroyed a principal source of revenue, by the
reduction of the postage duties, in defiance of the repeated protests
and warnings of Sir Robert Peel, when in Opposition. They had, in fact,
brought matters to such a pitch, as to render it almost impossible for
even "a heaven-born minister" to conduct the affairs of the nation, with
safety and honour, without inflicting grievous disappointment and
sufferings, and incurring thereby a degree of obloquy fatal to any
Ministry. They seemed, in fact, to imagine, as they went on, that the
day of reckoning could never arrive, because they had resolved to stave
it off from time to time, however near it approached, by a series of
desperate expedients, really destructive of the national prosperity, but
provocative of what served their purposes, viz. temporary popular
enthusiasm. What cruelty! what profligacy! what madness! And all under
the flag on which were inscribed "_Peace! Retrenchment! Reform!_" Acting
on the salutary maxim, that the knowledge of the disease is half the
cure, Sir Robert Peel resolved to lay before the nation _the whole
truth_, however appalling. Listen to the following pregnant sentences
which he addressed to the House of Commons, within a few moments after
he had risen to develope his financial policy, we mean on the 11th of
March 1842:--"It is sometimes necessary, on the occasion of financial
statements of this kind, to maintain great reserve, and to speak with
great caution. A due regard for the public interest, may impose on a
Minister the duty of only partially disclosing matters of importance.
But I am hampered by no fetters of official duty. I mean to lay before
you the truth--the unexaggerated truth, but to conceal nothing. I do
this, because in great financial difficulties, the first step towards
improvement is to look those difficulties boldly in the face. This is
true of individuals--it is true also of nations. There can be no hope of
improvement or of recovery, _if you consent to conceal from yourselves
the real difficulties with which you have to contend_."[2] There was no
gainsaying the facts which, amidst an agitated and breathless silence,
he proceeded to detail with dreadful clearness and brevity; and out of
which the question instantly sprung into the minds of every one--_are we
not on the very verge of national insolvency_? He proceeded to
demonstrate that his predecessors had exhausted every device which their
financial ingenuity could suggest, down to their last supposed
master-stroke, the addition of 10 per cent to the assessed taxes--thus
adding very nearly the last straw which was to break the camel's
back--the last peculiarly cruel pressure on the lower orders.

    [2] Hansard, vol. lxi. col. 423.

"Shall we persevere," he continued, "in the system on which we have been
acting for the last five years? Shall we, in time of peace, have
recourse to the miserable expedient of continued loans? Shall we try
issues of Exchequer bills? Shall we resort to Savings' banks?--in short,
to any of those expedients which, _call_ them by what name you please,
are neither more nor less than a permanent addition to the public debt?
We have a deficiency of nearly L.5,000,000 in the last two years: _is
there a prospect of reduced expenditure?_ Without entering into details,
but looking at your extended empire, at the demands which are made for
the protection of your commerce, and the general state of the world, and
calling to mind the intelligence which has lately reached us," [from
Affghanistan,] "can you anticipate for the year after the next, the
possibility, consistent with the honour and safety of this country, of
greatly reducing the public expenses? I am forced to say, I cannot
calculate on that.... Is the deficiency I have mentioned a casual
deficiency? Sir, it is not; it has existed for the last seven or eight
years. At the close of 1838, the deficiency was L.1,428,000; of 1839,
L.430,000; of 1840, L.1,457,000; of 1841, L.1,851,000. I estimate that
the deficiency of 1842 will be L.2,334,030; and that of 1843,
L.2,570,000; making an aggregate deficiency, in six years, of
L.10,072,000! ... With this proof that it is not with an occasional or
casual deficiency that we have to deal, will you, I ask, have recourse
to the miserable expedient of continued _loans_? It is impossible that I
could be a party to a proceeding which, I should think, might perhaps
have been justifiable at first, _before you knew exactly the nature of
your revenue and expenditure_; but with these facts before me, I should
think I were degrading the situation which I hold, if I could consent to
such a paltry expedient as this. I can hardly think that Parliament will
adopt a different view. I can hardly think that you, who inherit the
debt contracted by your predecessors--when, having a revenue, they
reduced the charges of the post-office, and inserted in the preamble of
the bill a declaration that the reduction of the revenue should be made
good by increased taxation--will now refuse to make it good. The effort
having been made, but the effort having failed, that pledge is still
unredeemed. _I advised you not to give that pledge_; but if you regard
the pledges of your predecessors, it is for you now to redeem them.... I
apprehend that, with almost universal acquiescence, I may abandon the
idea of supplying the deficiency by the miserable desire of fresh loans,
of an issue of Exchequer bills. Shall I, then, if I must resort to
taxation, levy it _upon the articles of consumption_, which constitute,
in truth, almost all the necessaries of life? _I cannot consent to any
proposal for increasing taxation on the great articles of consumption by
the labouring classes of society_." [Is it the friend or the enemy _of
the people_, that is here speaking?] "I say, moreover, I can give you
conclusive proofs that you have arrived at the limits of taxation on
articles of consumption."[3] Sir Robert Peel then proceeded, with
calmness and dignity, to encounter the possible, if not even _probable_
fatal unpopularity of proposing that which he succeeded in convincing
_Parliament_ was the only resource left a conscientious Minister--an
INCOME TAX.

    [3] Hansard, vol. lxi. col. 429, 430, 431.

"I will now state what is the measure which I propose, under a sense of
public duty, and a deep conviction that it is necessary for the public
interest; and impressed at the same time with an equal conviction"--
[mark, by the way, the exquisite judgment with which this suggestion was
_here_ thrown in!]--"that the present sacrifices which I call on you to
make, will be amply compensated, ultimately, in a pecuniary point of
view, and _much more_ than compensated, by the effect which they will
have in maintaining public credit and the ancient character of this
country. Instead of looking to taxation on consumption--instead of
reviving the taxes on salt or on sugar--it is my duty _to make an
earnest appeal to the possessors of property_, for the purpose of
repairing this mighty evil. I propose, for a time at least, (and I never
had occasion to make a proposition with a more thorough conviction of
its being one which the public interest of the country required)--I
propose _that, for a time to be limited, the income of this country
should be called on to contribute a certain sum for the purpose of
remedying this mighty and growing evil_, ... should bear a charge not
exceeding 7d. in the pound, which will not amount to 3 per cent, but,
speaking accurately, L.2, 18s. 4d. per cent--for the purpose of not only
supplying the deficiency in the revenue, but of enabling us, with
confidence and satisfaction, to propose great commercial reforms, which
will afford a hope of reviving commerce, and such an improvement in the
manufacturing interests as will re-act on every other interest in the
country; and by diminishing the prices of the articles of consumption
and the cost of living, will, in a pecuniary point of view, compensate
you for your present sacrifices; whilst you will be, at the same time,
relieved from the contemplation of a great public evil."[4]

    [4] Hansard, vol, lxi. col. 439.

We have quoted the very words of Sir Robert Peel, because they are every
way memorable and worthy of permanent conspicuousness. In point, for
instance, of mere oratorical skill, observe the matchless tact of the
speaker. Conscious that he was about to propose what would come like a
clap of thunder on all present, and on the country, he prepares the way
for its favourable reception, by pointing out the almost necessarily
_direct pecuniary benefit_ ultimately derivable from his unpalatable
tax; and the instant that he has disclosed his proposal, in the same
breath carries our attention to a similar topic--an assurance calculated
to arouse the self-interest and excite the approbation first of the
commercial classes, and then of all classes, by the means this tax will
give the Minister of proposing "great commercial reforms," and "reducing
the cost of living." No power of description we possess can adequately
set before the reader the effect produced on the House of Commons by the
delivery of the passage above quoted, and which was shared, as the
intelligence was communicated, by the country at large. One thing was
plain, that the Minister, disdaining personal considerations of
unpopularity, had satisfied the nation that a desperate disease had been
detected, which required a desperate remedy. It was--it is, in vain to
disguise that an income-tax has many disgusting, and all but absolutely
intolerable, incidents and characteristics, and which were instantly
appreciated by all who heard or read of the proposal for its adoption,
and these topics were pounced upon by the late Ministers and their
supporters, with eager and desperate determination to make the most of
them. To give effect to their operations, they secured an immediate and
ample interval for exasperating popular feeling against Ministers and
their abominable proposition! But it was all in vain. There was a bluff
English frankness about the Minister that mightily pleased the country,
exciting a sympathy in every right-thinking Englishman. _Here was no
humbug of any sort_, no obtaining of money under false pretences. At
first hearing of it, honest John Bull staggered back several paces, with
a face rueful and aghast; buttoned up his pockets, and meditated
violence even; but, in a few moments, albeit with a certain sulkiness,
he came back, presently shook hands with the Minister, and getting
momentarily more satisfied of his honesty, and of the necessity of the
case, only hoped that a little breathing-time might be given him, and
that the thing might be done as quietly and genteelly as possible! To be
serious, however.

By whom, let us ask, had this Minister been brought into power? by whom
most furiously and unscrupulously opposed? The former were those on whom
he instantly imposed this very severe and harassing tax; the latter,
those whom he entirely exempted from it: the former, those who _could_,
with a little inconvenience, make the effort requisite to protect
themselves in the tranquil enjoyment of what they possessed, the latter,
those who were already faint, oppressed, and crushed beneath _burdens
they were unable to bear_. Was this justice, or injustice? It then
_must_ be very contradistinctive--was the Minister, in this instance,
the poor man's friend, or the rich man's friend? Was he exhibiting
ingratitude and insanity, or a truly wise and honest statesmanship? We
need _not_ "pause for a reply." It has been sounding ever since in our
ears, in the accents of national concord, and of admiration of the
Minister who, in his very zenith of popularity and success, perilled
all, to obey the dictates of honour and conscience, fearlessly proposed
a measure which seemed levelled directly at those gifted and powerful
classes by whom he had been so long and enthusiastically supported; of
the Minister who, in fine, looked, and made the country look, a
frightful danger full in the face--till it turned and fled. In spite of
all that could be done by his bitter unscrupulous factious opponents in
the House of Commons, and of the eloquent and conscientious opposition
of Lord Brougham in the House of Lords, backed, all the while, by the
immediate self-interest of those who were to smart under the tax, Sir
Robert Peel carried his great and salutary measure in triumph through
both Houses, without one single material alteration, till it became the
law of the land, amidst the applause of the surrounding nations; for
even those, alas! too frequently bitter and jealous censors of English
conduct and character, the French, "owned that the English people had
exhibited a signal and glorious instance of virtue, of fortitude, of
self-denial, and sagacity." We have reason to believe that, on quitting
the House of Commons after hearing the speech of Sir Robert Peel, from
which we have been quoting, Lord John Russell asked a gentleman of
brilliant talent and independent character, but of strong liberal
opinions, "what he thought of Peel's financial scheme?" The answer was,
"It is so fine a thing, that I only wish it had been prepared by Lord
John Russell instead of Sir Robert Peel!" On which, unless we are
mistaken, Lord John shrugged his shoulders in silence. His opposition to
the income-tax, on going into, and while the bill was in, committee, was
temperate, and even languid; and he stood in the dignified attitude
worthy of his ancient name, and of personal character, far aloof from
those who, throughout the session, pursued a line of conduct
unprecedented in parliamentary history, degrading to the House of
Commons, but possibly in keeping with all that might have been expected
from them. We are vastly mistaken if Lord John does not regard them with
secret scorn, and experience a shudder of disgust from any momentary
contact with them; and shall not be surprised if, during the ensuing
session, he should be at no particular pains to conceal the state of
his mind.

One circumstance highly honourable to the national character, in
relation to the income-tax, should not escape observation: that
comparatively little or no real opposition, certainly no clamorous
opposition, has been offered to the _principle_ of the tax, and the
policy of its imposition, by those on whom its pressure falls heaviest,
namely, the great capitalists and landed proprietors of the kingdom.
"The grasshopper," said Mr Burke, "fills the whole field with the noise
of its chirping, while the stately ox browses in silence." The clamour
against the income-tax comes mainly from those who are unscathed by it;
those who suffer most severely from it, suffer in silence. The inferior
machinery of the income-tax is unquestionably very far from attaining
that degree of perfection, which we had a right to look for from the
able and practised hands which framed it. The outcry raised, however,
against the income-tax on this score, particularly on the ground of the
heedlessness of subordinate functionaries, is subsiding. There is
evident, as far as the Government itself is concerned, an anxious desire
to enforce the provisions of the act with the greatest possible degree
of delicacy and forbearance, consistent with the discharge of a painful
but imperative duty. We repeat that the outcry in question, however,
was principally occasioned by those who had least real cause, on
personal grounds, to complain; who (unfortunately, it may be, for
themselves) never yet approached, nor have any prospect of infringing
upon, the fatal dividing point of L. 150 a-year, in spite of their long
and zealous literary services, under the very best-conducted and _truly
liberal_ Radical newspapers, which they have filled, with persevering
ingenuity, day after day, with eloquent descriptions of the awful state
of feeling in the country on this most atrocious subject. Where,
patriotic, but most imaginative gentlemen! where have been the great
meetings summoned to condemn the principle of the tax? The great
landholders, the great capitalists, the great merchants, are pouring
their contributions into the exhausted Treasury, with scarce a murmur at
the temporary inconvenience it may occasion them!--thus nobly responding
to the appeal so earnestly and nobly made to them by the Prime Minister.
So, moreover, are the vast majority of those persons on whom the tax
falls with peculiar severity--we allude to the occupants of schedule
D--who must pay this tax out of an income, alas! evanescent as the
morning mist; which, on the approach of sickness or of death is
instantly annihilated. These also suffer with silent fortitude; and we
think we have heard it upon sufficient authority, that it was on these
persons that Ministers felt the greatest reluctance in imposing the
tax--at least to its present extent, only under an absolute compulsion
of state policy. The total, or even partial exemption of this class of
persons from the operation of the income-tax, would have been attended
with consequences that were not to be contemplated for a moment, and
into which it is impracticable here satisfactorily to enter. The tax
undoubtedly pinches severely men of small and uncertain incomes, who are
striving, on slender means, to maintain a respectable station in
society; the man who, with a large family to be supported _and
educated_, and who moves in a respectable sphere of society, has to pay
his L.9 or L.12 out of his precarious L.300 or L.400 a-year, is an
object of most earnest sympathy. Still, let him not lose sight of the
undoubted hardships borne by his wealthier brethren. Is it nothing for a
man--say the Duke of Buccleuch, the Marquis of Westminster, the Duke of
Sutherland, or Lord Ashburton, or Mr Rothschild--to have to pay down
their L.3000, L.4000, or L.5000 clear per annum, as the per-centage on
their magnificent incomes, in sudden and unexpected addition to the
innumerable and imperative calls upon them already existing, such as
compulsory upholding of many great establishments in different parts of
the country--various members of their families--married and single--to
support in a style adequate to their rank and position in the country?
It is needless, however, to pursue the matter further. The plain truth
is, there is no help for it; the burthen is one that must be borne, and
it is being borne bravely.

_But why_ must this dreadful income-tax be borne? What has led to it?
The vast majority of honest and thinking men in the nation have but one
answer to give to the question. That the income-tax is the penalty the
nation must pay for its weakness and folly, in permitting a Whig
Ministry to get into power, and continue in power, "playing such
fantastic tricks" as theirs, for the last ten years, both at home and
abroad, as the nation _ought to have foreseen_ would be inevitably
followed by some such grievous results as the present. This income-tax,
however, let our opponents know, will serve for many years to come, long
after it may have been removed, as a memento to prevent the country from
tolerating the return to power of men whose reluctant and compulsory
exit from power, after again doing enormous mischief, will be followed
by a similar result--will impose on their Conservative successors the
bitter necessity of imposing another income-tax. "The evil that they
do," does indeed "live after them;" and without any "good, interred with
their bones!" With the frightful deficit exhibited by Sir Robert Peel
still staring us in the face; the war in the East yet to be paid for;
faith to be kept with the public creditor both at home and abroad: a
revenue of a _million a-year_ recklessly sacrificed in reducing the
postage duties:[5] a deficiency in the last quarter's revenue, that
tells its own frightful story as to its cause, and an all but certain
heavy deficiency to be looked for, we fear, in the ensuing quarter: with
all this before him, will any _member or supporter of the late
Government_--of all other persons--be found hardy enough to rise in his
place next session, and bait Sir Robert Peel about the repeal of the
income-tax? The country will not tolerate such audacity. We shall not
reason with _them_; but to those who, like ourselves, are smarting under
the effects of the late Ministry's misconduct, who have a right to
complain loudly and indignantly, and enquire with eager anxiety when
their suddenly augmented pressure is to cease, we feel compelled to
express our opinion, founded on a careful observation of our present
financial position and prospects, that we see no chance of being
relieved from the burden of the income-tax, before the period originally
fixed by Sir Robert Peel. Till then we must submit with what fortitude
and cheerfulness we may. Under, however, a year or two's steady and
enlightened administration of public affairs, matters may mend with
unexpected rapidity; but it is not in the ordinary course of human
affairs, that evils, the growth of many years, can be remedied in a
moment. A chronic disease of the body requires a patient course of
abstinence and skilful treatment, to afford a chance of the system's
getting once again into a permanent state of health; even as with
individuals, so is it with nations. That the sudden cessation of the
drain upon our resources from the East, and the partial reimbursement we
have already realized, will sensibly lighten the burthens under which
the Minister has hitherto laboured, and make him with joy to realize the
expectations which, in proposing the income-tax, he so distinctly, yet
cautiously, held out, as to the period of its duration, we may consider
as indisputable. Add to this the pacific policy which Sir Robert Peel
and his Cabinet are bent upon maintaining, as far as is consistent with
a jealous regard to our national honour, (and which our late resplendent
successes are calculated to facilitate,) and the revival, erelong, of
the revenue, concurrently with that of trade and commerce, which may be
confidently anticipated under our present firm, cautious, and
experienced councils, and we may give to the winds our fears as to the
continuance of the income-tax one instant after it can be prudently
dispensed with. What, however, as a matter of _mere speculation_, if the
nation should by and by, when familiarized with the character and
working of the income-tax, become more reconciled to it, and prefer its
retention as a substitute for _the Assessed Taxes_, which at present
press so heavily on all, but particularly on the working-classes! But
while Sir Robert Peel was remodelling the Corn-Laws, and creating a new
source of direct revenue, he also undertook another task--a herculean
task, one utterly hopeless, and beyond the reach or even conception of
any but a Minister conscious of occupying an impregnable position in the
confidence of the country: we allude to his reconstruction of our entire
commercial system, as represented by his _new Tariff_. What courage was
requisite to grapple with this giant difficulty! What practical skill;
what patience and resolution; what exact yet extensive acquaintance with
mercantile affairs; what a comprehensive discernment of consequences;
what firm impartiality in deciding between vast conflicting interests,
were here evinced! And observe--all these great measures, effecting a
complete revolution in our domestic economy and policy--the fruits of
only a few months accession to office of a Conservative Ministry! All
the while that the Radical press was assailing them on the ground of
their insolent and cruel disregard of their duty, and of the sufferings
of the people, they were engaged upon the united labours of enquiry and
reflection, on which alone can have been safely based the great measures
which we have been briefly reviewing! "But all these," says some
faithful mourner after the deceased Ministry, "they intended to have
done, and would have done, _if they could_." Ay, to be sure. Admit it,
for the nonce; 'twas easy to _say_ it, but the thing was _to do
it_--quoth Mr Blewitt! That same _doing_, is what we are congratulating
the present Ministry upon. Yes, it has been done--the great experiment
is being tried; may it prove as safe and successful, as it is bold and
well meant. It must be regarded, however, as only a part of the entire
scheme proposed by Sir Robert Peel, and judged of accordingly, with
reference also to the necessity of his position, arising from the last
acts of his predecessors--from the spirit and temper of the age. The
long-continued languor and prostration of our commerce, undoubtedly
required some decisive, but cautious and well-considered movement, in
the _direction_ of free-trade. How far we shall be met, in the same
spirit, by France, Germany, Russia, and America, as has been long
confidently predicted by those whose opinions have been perseveringly
and vehemently urged upon the public, now remains to be seen. _Felix
faustumque sit!_ But at present, at all events, our example seems not
likely to be followed by those on whom we most calculated, and time
alone can decide between our course and theirs--between the doctrines of
the old and of the new school of political economy--as to which is the
short-sighted and mischievous--which the sagacious and successful
policy. The powerful protection afforded by the new Tariff to our
colonial produce, is one of its most interesting and satisfactory
features. That, however, which has justly attracted to it incomparably
the greatest share of public attention and discussion, is the
introduction of foreign cattle. This topic is one requiring to be spoken
of in a diffident spirit, and most guarded language. Whether it will
effect its praiseworthy object of lowering the price of animal food,
without being overbalanced by its injurious effects upon our
all-important agricultural interests, we shall not for some considerable
time be in a condition to determine. At present, it would appear, that
the alarm of the farmers on this score was premature and excessive, and
is subsiding. The combined operation of this part of the new Tariff, and
of the reduction in the duties on the importation of foreign corn, may
ultimately have the effect of lowering the rent of the farmer, and of
stimulating him into a more energetic and scientific cultivation of the
land; and generally, of inducing very important modifications in the
present arrangements between landlords and tenants. In some of the most
recent agricultural meetings, speeches have been made, from which many
journalists have inferred the existence of rapidly-increasing
convictions on the part of the agricultural interest, that a sweeping
alteration in the Corn-Law is inevitable and immediate. They are,
however, attaching far too much weight to a few sentences uttered,
amidst temporary excitement, by a few country gentlemen, in some eight
or ten places only in the whole kingdom. Let them _pause_, at all
events, till they shall have more authentic _data_, viz. what the
agricultural members of Parliament will say in their places, in the
ensuing session. Much of the sort of panic experienced by the country
gentlemen alluded to, may be referred to a recent paragraph in the
_Globe_ newspaper, confidently announcing the intention of Ministers to
propose a fixed duty on corn. The glaring improbability, that even
_were_ such a project contemplated by Ministers, they would (forgetting
their characteristic caution and reserve) agitate the public mind on so
critical a question, and derange vast transactions and arrangements in
the corn trade by its premature divulgement; and, above all, constitute
the _Globe_ newspaper their confidential organ upon the occasion, should
alone have satisfied the most credulous of its unwarrantable and
preposterous character. We acquit the _Globe_ newspaper of intentional
mischief, but charge it with great _thoughtlessness_ of consequences. To
return, however, for a moment, to that topic in the new Tariff most
important to farmers. We believe that, since the day (9th July 1842) in
which the new Tariff became the law of the land, the entire importation
of cattle from the Continent, has fallen far short of a single
fortnight's sale at Smithfield; but whether this will be the state of
things two years, or even a twelvemonth hence, is another matter. At
present, at all events, the new Tariff has had the beneficial effect of
really lowering the price of provisions, and of other articles of
consumption, essentially conducing to the comforts of the labouring
classes. May _this_, in any event, be a _permanent_ result; and who
could have brought it about, except such a Ministry as that of Sir
Robert Peel, possessing their combined qualifications means, and
opportunities, and equally bent upon using them promptly and honestly?

    [5] Year ending 5th January 1840, L.2,390,764!--1841,
    L.1,342,604!--1842, L.1,495,540!--(_Finance Accounts_, 1842,
    p. 2.)

No sooner had that Parliament which had passed, in its first session,
such a number of great measures, having for their object the immediate
benefit of the lower orders, (and, it may really be said, almost wholly
at the expense of the higher orders,) separated, after its exhausting
labours, than there occurred those deplorable and alarming outrages in
the principal manufacturing districts, which so ill requited the
benevolent exertions of the Legislature in their behalf. They exhibited
some features of peculiar malignity--many glaring indications of the
existence of a base and selfish hidden conspiracy against the cause of
law, of order, and of good government. Who were the real originators and
contrivers of that wicked movement, and what their objects, is a
question which we shall not here discuss, but leave in the hands of the
present keen and vigilant Government, and of the Parliament, so soon to
be assembled. If a single chance of bringing the really guilty parties
to justice--of throwing light on the actors and machinery of that
atrocious conspiracy shall be thrown away, the public interests will
have been grievously betrayed. On this subject, however, we have no
apprehensions whatever, and pass on heartily to congratulate the country
on possessing a Government which acted, on the trying occasion in
question, with such signal promptitude, energy, and prudence. Not one
moment was lost in faltering indecision; never was the majesty of the
law more quickly and completely vindicated, never was there exhibited a
more striking and gratifying instance of a temperate and discriminating
exercise of the vast powers of the executive. The incessant attention of
all functionaries, from the very highest to the lowest, by night and by
day, on that occasion, at the Home-Office, (including the Attorney and
Solicitor-General,) would hardly be credited; _mercy to the misguided_,
but instant vengeance upon the guilty instigators of rebellion, was
then, from first to last, the rule of action. The enemies of public
tranquillity reckoned fearfully without their host, in forgetting who
presided at the Home-Office, and who at the Horse Guards. Nothing could
be better than the Government examination into the real causes of the
outbreak, instituted upon the spot the very moment it was over, while
evidence was fresh and accessible, and of which the guilty parties
concerned have a great deal yet to hear. The Special Commission for the
trial of the rioters, was also issued with salutary expedition. The
prosecutions were carried on by the Attorney and Solicitor-General, on
the part of the Crown, in a dignified spirit at once of forbearance and
determination, and with a just discrimination between the degree of
culpability disclosed. The merciful spirit in which the prosecutions
were conducted by the law-officers of the Crown, was repeatedly pointed
out to the misguided criminals by the Judges; who, on many occasions,
intimated that the Government had chosen to indict for the minor offence
only, when the facts would have undoubtedly warranted an indictment for
high treason, with all its terrible consequences. Before quitting this
incidental topic of legal proceedings, let us add a word upon the
substantial improvements effected in the administration of justice
during the late session, and of which the last volume of the
statute-book affords abundant evidence, principally under the heads of
bankruptcy, insolvency, and lunacy. Great and salutary alterations have
been effected in these departments, as well as various others; the
leading statutory changes being most ably carried into effect by the
Lord Chancellor, who continues to preside over his court, and to
discharge his high and multifarious duties with his accustomed dignity
and sagacity. His recent bankruptcy appointments have certainly been
canvassed by the Radical press with sufficient freedom, but on very
insufficient grounds. _No_ appointments could have been made against
which unscrupulous faction might not have raised a clamour. That
temporarily excited in the present instance, has quite died away. The
appointments in question have undoubtedly been made with a due regard to
the public interest; but did the intelligent censors of the Radical
press expect that those appointments of L.1500 a-year would be sought
for or accepted by men at the bar, already making their L.3000, L.5000,
L.8000, or L.10,000 a-year, and aspiring to the very highest honours of
their profession? The gentlemen who have accepted these appointments,
are many of them personally known to us as very acute and able practical
men, who will be found to give the utmost satisfaction in the discharge
of their duties to both the profession and the public. The two
Vice-Chancellors, Sir James L. Knight Bruce, and Sir James Wigram, are
admirable appointments. Each must have resigned a practice very far
exceeding--perhaps doubling, or even trebling--their present salaries of
office. The transference to the former, without any additional salary,
of the office of Chief Judge in Bankruptcy, (vacant by the recent death
of Sir John Cross,) was a highly advantageous and economical arrangement
for the public, at the willing expense of Vice-Chancellor Knight Bruce.

May we here be allowed to allude for an instant to a very delicate
topic--the new Poor-Law--simply to call attention to the resolute
support of it by the present Government (whether right or wrong), as at
least a pretty decisive evidence of their uprightness and independence.
On this sore subject we shall not dwell, nor do we feel bound to offer
any opinion of our own as to the alleged merits or demerits of the new
Poor-Law; but it certainly looks as though Ministers had resolved to do
what they _believed_ to be right, _ruat caelum_. What other motive they
can have, is to us, at least, inconceivable.

Let us again point with undisguised triumph to IRELAND, as a very
striking instance of the results of a sound and firmly-administered
Conservative policy. The late Government misgoverned Ireland, in order
that they might be allowed to continue misgoverning England. Their
memory will ever be execrated for their surrender of that fair portion
of the empire into the hands of a political reprobate and impostor, of
whom we cannot trust ourselves to speak, and the like of whom has never
yet appeared, and it is to be hoped never will again appear, in British
history. Immediately before and after their expulsion from office, they
pointed to this scene of their long misconduct, and, with a sort of
heartless jocularity, asked Sir Robert Peel "What he meant to do with
Ireland?"--adding, that whatever else he might be able to do, by the aid
of intrigue and corruption, "he could _never_ govern Ireland." How
_now_, gentlemen? What will you find to lay to the charge of Ministers
in the coming session? What has become of your late patron, Mr O'Connel?
Is "his occupation gone?" Is he spending the short remainder of his
respectable old age at Darrynane, even (begging pardon of the noble
animal for the comparison)

    --"like a worn-out lion in a cave,
    That goes not out to prey?"

What can you any longer do, or affect to do, old gentleman, to earn your
honourable wages? Is there not (as the lawyers would style it) a failure
of consideration? If you go on any longer collecting "the rent," may you
not be liable to an indictment for obtaining money under false
pretences? Poor old soul! his cuckoo cry of Repeal grows feebler and
feebler; yet he must keep it up, or starve. _Tempus abire senex! satis
clamasti!_ That Ireland is still subject to great evils, recent
occurrences painfully attest. Mr Pitt, in 1799, (23d January,) pointed
out what may still be regarded as their true source:--"I say that
Ireland is subject to great and deplorable evils, which have a deep
root: for they lie in the nature of the country itself in the present
character, manners, and habits of its people; in their want of
intelligence, or, in other words, in their ignorance; in the unavoidable
separation of certain classes; in the state of property; in its
religious distinctions; in the rancour which bigotry engenders, and
superstition rears and cherishes."[6] How many of these roots of evil
are still in existence!

    [6] Parliamentary History, vol. xxxiv. p. 271.

But consider what we have done, even already, for Ireland, by giving her
the blessings of a strong and honest Government; what a blow we have
aimed at absenteeism, in a particular provision of our income-tax! _Nil
desperandum_, gentlemen, give us a little time to unravel your long
tissue of misgovernment; and, in the mean time, make haste, and go about
in quest of a _grievance_, if you can find one, against the ensuing
session. Depend upon it, we will redress it!

       *       *       *       *       *

The present aspect of foreign affairs is calculated to excite mixed
feelings of pain and exultation in the breast of a thoughtful observer.
The national character of Great Britain had unquestionably fallen in
European estimation, and lost much of the commanding influence of its
mere name, during the last few years preceding the accession to office
of the present Government. That was an event--viz. the formation of a
Cabinet at St James's, containing Sir Robert Peel, the Duke of
Wellington, Lord Aberdeen, and Lord Stanley--which justly excited an
instant and great sensation in all foreign courts, regard being had to
the critical circumstances of the times. Every one, both at home and
abroad, knew well that if WAR was at hand, here was a Government to
conduct it on the part of Great Britain, even under the most adverse
circumstances imaginable, with all our accustomed splendour and success.
But all knew, at the same time, that imminent as was the danger, if a
profound statesmanship could avert it, consistently with the
preservation of the national honour, that danger would promptly
disappear. The new Cabinet instantly proclaimed themselves "lovers of
peace, but not afraid of war;" and an altered tone of feeling and policy
was quickly observable on the Continent.

The peculiar position and interests of Great Britain impose upon her one
paramount obligation--to interfere as little as possible with the
affairs of other nations, especially in Europe--_never_, except upon
compulsion--when bound by treaty, or when the eye of a profound and
watchful statesmanship has detected in existence unquestionable elements
of danger to the general peace and welfare of the world. To be always
scrutinizing the movements of foreign states, with a view to convicting
them of designs to destroy the balance of power (as it is called) in
Europe, and thereupon evincing a disposition to assume an offensively
distrustful and hostile attitude, requiring explanations, and
disclaimers, and negotiations, which every one knows the slightest
miscarriage may convert into inevitable pretexts and provocatives of
war--is really almost to court the destruction of our very national
existence. If there was one principle of action possessed by the late
Government to be regarded as of more importance than another, it was
that of maintaining peace, and non-intervention in the affairs of other
nations. This, indeed, was emblazoned upon the banner unfurled by Lord
Grey, on advancing to the head of affairs. Can it, however, be necessary
to show how systematically--how perilously--this principle was set at
nought by the late Government? As represented by Lord Palmerston, Great
Britain had got to be regarded as the most pestilent, intrusive,
mischief-making of neighbours. A little longer, and our name would have
actually _stunk in the nostrils_ of Europe. Some began to hate us;
others, to despise us!! all, to cease _dreading_ us. In the language of
a powerful journalist, (the _Spectator_,) opposed on most points to the
present Government, "the late Ministers commenced a career, perilous in
the extreme to all the best interests of the nation--demoralizing public
opinion, wasting public resources, and entangling the country in
quarrels alike endless and aimless; and all this with a labouring after
melodramatic stage effect, and a regardlessness of consequences
perfectly unprecedented." We were, in the words of truth and soberness,
fast losing our moral ascendency in Europe--by a series of querulous,
petty, officious, needless, undignified interpositions; by the
exhibition of a vacillating and short-sighted policy; by appearing
(novel position for Great Britain) "willing to wound, but yet afraid to
strike;" by conceiving and executing idle and preposterous schemes of
aggrandizement and conquest. To go no further in Europe than our
immediate neighbour, France, let us ask whether Lord Palmerston did not
bring us to the very verge, and keep us at it for many months, of actual
war with that power, which is always unhappily eager to "cry hurra, and
let slip the dogs of war;" and with reference to _us_, to go out of
their way to create occasions for misunderstanding, and hostilities?
Were we not really on the verge of war?--of a war which would have
instantly kindled all over Europe a war of extermination? Not, however,
to descend to the discussion of recent occurrences familiar to every
body, we shall very briefly advert to the state of our relations with
America, with China, and of our affairs in British India, when Sir
Robert Peel assumed the direction of affairs. Lord Palmerston has never
been sufficiently called to account for his long, most disgraceful, and
perilous neglect of our serious differences with America; and which had
brought us to within a hair's-breadth of a declaration of war, which,
whatever might have been its issue, (possibly not difficult to have
foreseen,) would have been disastrous to both countries, and to one of
them utterly destructive. It is notorious that within the last eighteen
or twenty months, every arrival from the west was expected to bring
intelligence of the actual commencement of hostilities. The state of
public feeling towards us in America was being every hour more
exasperated and malignant. The accession of the present Government
opened, however, a bright and happy prospect of an adjustment of all
difficulties; honourable to both parties. How long had they been in
power, before they had earned universal applause by their prompt and
masterly move, in dispatching Lord Ashburton to America on his delicate,
difficult, and most responsible mission? Was ever man selected for a
great public duty so peculiarly and consummately fitted for it? And how
admirably has he discharged it! as our opponents may hear for themselves
early in the ensuing session. Do Ministers deserve no credit for hitting
on this critical device? Was it no just cause of congratulation, to be
able to find such a person amongst the ranks of their own immediate and
most distinguished supporters? We are now, happily, at perfect peace
with America; and, notwithstanding some present untoward appearances,
trust that both countries will soon reap the advantages of it. Of what
real _value_ that peace may be, however, with reference to their
extensive commercial relations with us, is another question, dependent
entirely on the character which they may vindicate to themselves for
honour and fidelity in their pecuniary transactions. That rests with
themselves alone: whether they will go forward in a career of
improvement and greatness, or sink into irretrievable disgrace and ruin,
REPUDIATED and scouted by all mankind. We cannot quit America without a
very anxious allusion to late occurrences in Canada. We feel words
inadequate to express our sense of the transcendent importance of
preserving in their integrity our Canadian possessions. No declaration
of her Majesty since her accession gave greater satisfaction to her
subjects, than that of her inflexible determination to preserve
inviolate her possessions in Canada. We are of opinion that Lord Durham
did incalculable, and perhaps irreparable, mischief there. We have no
time, however, to enter into details concerning either his policy and
proceedings, or those of Lord Sydenham; and we are exceedingly anxious
also to offer no observations on the recent movements of Sir Charles
Bagot, beyond a frank expression of the profound anxiety with which we
await Ministerial explanations in the ensuing session. Before these
pages shall have met the reader's eyes, Sir Charles Bagot may be no
longer numbered among men. We therefore withhold all comment on his late
proceedings, which we are satisfied have originated in an anxious desire
to serve the best interests of his country. We confidently believe that
Ministers will be able abundantly to satisfy the country upon this
subject; and that, in the event of the necessity arising, they will
choose a successor to Sir Charles Bagot every way qualified for his very
responsible post, thoroughly instructed as to the line of policy he is
to adopt, and capable of carrying it out with skill and energy. It is
impossible to turn to India, for the purpose of taking a necessarily
rapid and general view of the course of recent events there, without
experiencing great emotion, arising from conflicting causes. We have
already said, that our vast and glorious Indian empire is indeed the
wonder of the world. Every one of our countrymen is aware of the means
by which we originally acquired it, and that have subsequently augmented
and retained it by an almost inconceivable amount of expenditure and
exertion--by the display of overwhelming civil and military genius. If,
moreover, he has entered into Indian history with proper feeling and
intelligence, he will be able to appreciate the truth and force of the
celebrated saying of one who contributed immensely to our ancient
greatness in India, viz.--that _we hold India by_ OPINION _only:_ the
opinion which is there entertained of our greatness of national
character, intellectual and moral--of our wisdom, our justice, our
power. If this fail us, our downfall in India inevitably follows; and
memorable and tremendous indeed will be such an event, amongst all
nations, and at all future times, till the name of England is blotted
from the recollection of mankind. Therefore it is that we all regard the
administration of affairs in India with profound anxiety, justly
requiring, in those to whom it is entrusted, an intimate practical
acquaintance with Indian character and manners, with Anglo-Indian
history, and a clear view of the policy to be ever kept in sight, and
ability and determination to carry it out to the uttermost. When Lord
Auckland went to India, under the Whig Government, in 1836, he found
both its foreign and domestic affairs in a satisfactory state--peaceful
and prosperous--with, upon the whole, a sufficient military force,
notwithstanding the immense reduction of Lord William Bentinck. How did
he leave it to his successor, Lord Ellenborough, in 1841? The prospect
which awaited that successor was indeed dark, troubled, and bloody. An
army, alas! dreadfully defeated in one quarter, and dangerously
disaffected in another; a war of extermination in Affghanistan; probable
hostilities with Burmah and Nepaul; an almost hopelessly involved
foreign policy; and, moreover, under these desperate circumstances, with
a treasury _empty!_

We shall confine ourselves to one topic, the war in Affghanistan--which
we fearlessly, and with deep indignation, pronounce to have inflicted
almost irreparable injury on the British nation--an almost indelible
stain on the British character--and to have shaken the whole of our
Eastern possessions. Lord Auckland, in listening, and his superiors at
home in instructing him to listen, to the representations of Shah
Soojah, and to be persuaded by him to embark in the late disastrous and
disgraceful campaign, were guilty either of an incredible weakness and
ignorance of the nature of the cause they were espousing, together with
an inconceivable degree of short-sightedness as to the most obvious
consequences of it, or of infamous hypocrisy in making the restoration
of Shah Soojah only the pretext and stepping-stone to the conquest of
Affghanistan, in the most criminal and reckless spirit of imaginary
aggrandizement and extension of territory that ever has actuated the
rules of India. Will they pretend that it was really designed, and
necessarily so, solely for the purpose of defeating subtle and dangerous
intrigues on the part of Russia and Persia? Listen to the language of
one of the responsible authors of the policy since followed by such
fearful consequences, Sir John Hobhouse--who, on the 11th July 1840, on
the occasion of a dinner given to their richly and prematurely rewarded
hero, Lord Keane, thus poured forth his insane, exulting avowal of the
real object they had had in view:--

    "The gallant officer had alluded to the late addition made to
    the vast territory of the East India Company. _It was just
    possible_ that that territory had _at that moment_ received a
    further and important increase. _It is just possible,_ that
    since he (Sir John Hobhouse) last met the Directors at the
    festive board--now about six months since--the Government of
    India _has been enabled to make an addition to its territory,
    the vast consequences of which could scarcely be imagined in
    the wildest dream of fancy_, and which for centuries would be
    of advantage to the empire!!! In the history of the world there
    was no instance of yearly sovereigns (as the Directors of the
    Company were) having conquered so vast a territory as that of
    India. There was no instance of such successive success. To
    them the happiness belonged of giving to the vast country under
    their control the blessing of education. It was owing to God's
    ministering hand, by which successive Directions had sprung up
    to spread the benefits of light and knowledge in India, and
    among a people enshrouded in darkness and idolatry. It was
    scarcely a hundred years ago since the power of the East India
    Company was felt in India; their banners were now flying from
    the Indus to the Burrampooter. He would say emphatically, go on
    in the great work of extending the religion, civilization, and
    education of India; for the wishes of the good are with you--go
    on in your great work, for the sake of India, and Great
    Britain itself."

What must _now_ be the feelings of Sir John Hobhouse and his brother
ex-Ministers on this paragraph catching his eyes; when they reflect on
the frightful sacrifice of life, British and Affghan--the defeat of our
arms while engaged in a shameful and wicked cause--with its perilous
effects upon the stability of our tenure of India--which have directly
resulted from the measures thus vaingloriously vaunted of! A thousand
reflections here occur to us upon the subject of the insane (or guilty)
conduct of the late Government in India; but the extent to which this
article has already reached, compels us to suppress them. We the less
regret this circumstance, however, because there really seems but one
opinion upon this topic among well-informed persons. After the last
intelligence from India, it is idle, it is needless, to attempt
reasoning on the subject; to ask how we should have strengthened
ourselves by the destruction of a powerful and (according to authentic
intelligence) a really friendly chief in Dost Mahommed; how we could
even have _occupied_ Affghanistan without a ruinous expenditure,
continual alarm and danger from a perpetual series of treachery and
insurrection; and to what purpose, after all, of solid advantage! The
whole policy of Lord Auckland was incontestably one of mad encroachment,
conquest, and aggrandizement, in utter ignorance of the character and
exigencies of the times; the Duke of Wellington's memorable prediction
is now far more than fulfilled! "_It will not be till Lord Auckland's
policy has reached the zenith of apparent success, that its difficulties
will begin to develope themselves._" Begin to develope themselves! What
would have become of us, had the councils originating that policy still
been in the ascendant, we tremble to contemplate. The exulting French
press, on hearing of our recent disasters, thus expressed themselves:[7]
"_England is rich and energetic. She may re-establish her dominion in
India for some time longer; but the term of her Indian empire is marked,
it will conclude before the quarter of a century._" Such has been the
anticipated--such would have been the inevitable result of the policy
which Sir Robert Peel's Government, guided by the profound sagacity of
the Duke of Wellington, made it their first business _totally to
reverse_; not, however, till they had completely re-established the old
terror of our arms, convincing the natives of India that what we were of
yore, we still are; that our punishment of treachery is instant and
tremendous; that we can act with irresistible vigour and complete
success, at one and the same moment, both in India and in China. In
their minds, may the splendour of our recent victories efface the
recollection of our previous bloody and disgraceful defeats! And if we
cannot make them _forget_ the wickedness--the folly--the madness which
originally dictated our invasion of Affghanistan, at least we have shown
them how calmly and magnanimously we can obey the dictates of justice
and of prudence, _in the very moment of, fierce and exciting military
triumph_. May, indeed, such be the effect of all that has recently
occurred, whether adverse or prosperous, in India! For the former, the
guilty councils of the late Government are alone answerable; for the
latter, we are exclusively indebted to the vigour and sagacity of our
present Government. The proclamation in which Lord Ellenborough
announces our abandonment of Affghanistan will probably excite great
discussion, and possibly (on the part of the late Government) furious
objurgation, in the ensuing session of Parliament. We are so delighted
at the achievement which was the subject of that proclamation, that even
were there valid grounds of objection to its taste and policy, we should
entirely overlook them. If even Lord Ellenborough, in the excitement of
the glorious moment in which he penned the proclamation, departed from
the style of all previous state documents of that character, was it not
very excusable? But we are disposed to vindicate the propriety of the
step he took. It may be said that it was highly impolitic to make so
frank an avowal to the natives of India, that a mere change of Ministry
at home may be attended with a total and instant revolution in our
native policy, to place on record a formal and humiliating confession of
our errors and misconduct. But let it be borne in mind how potent and
glaring was already that error, that misconduct, with all its alarming
consequences; and that one so intimately acquainted as Lord Ellenborough
with the Indian character, may have seen, _then and there_, reasons to
recommend the course he has adopted, which may not occur to us at home.
That document will truly purport, in all time to come, to have been
issued in a spirit of remarkable wisdom and justice, at the very moment
of our having achieved the proudest triumph we could have desired for
our arms. But, above all, what does that striking document tell, but
_the truth_, and nothing but _the truth_? Let us, however, now
confidently rely on the vast advantages which we cannot but derive from
a prudent and vigorous administration of the affairs of India. We trust
that Lord Ellenborough will persevere in the admirable line of conduct
which he has hitherto adopted, turning neither to the right hand nor the
left, disturbed by no sinister hopes or fears. Let his grand object be,
by every legitimate means at his command, _to Anglicize India_; to
encourage the adoption of English habits of thought, the practical
appreciation of English principles of government; in short, thoroughly
to identify the people of India with the people of England, in all their
partialities, and prejudices, and interests. Every thing he has hitherto
done in India, we rejoice to observe, tends this way. Let him but
persevere, and he will acquire imperishable renown, and reflect
permanent splendour on the Government which appointed him. In a
confident and well-founded reliance upon his fitness for his post, upon
his capacity for thoroughly carrying out the policy of a strong and
enlightened Conservative government, which has entrusted to him the
management of such vast and splendid national interests--the nation now
looks with a bright untroubled eye towards India.

    [7] The _Siecle_. (See No. cccxxi. p. 112.)

    --"Now is the winter of our discontent
    Made glorious summer!
    And all the clouds that lour'd upon our house
    In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.
    Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths,
    Our bruised arms hung up for monuments,
    Our stern alarums changed to merry meetings,
    Our dreadful marches to delightful measures!"

Our allotted space is well-nigh exhausted, and we have only now reached
the confines of CHINA!--a topic on which we had prepared ourselves for a
very full expression of our opinions. We are compelled, however, now to
content ourselves with a mere outline of our intended observations on a
subject--our victory over the Emperor of China--which is pregnant with
matter for long and profound reflection. Abstractly, our triumphant
assault on these distant and vast dominions, affords matter for national
pride and exultation, as far as concerns our naval and military renown;
and the names of Parker and Gough will never be forgotten in British
history. The submission of the Emperor of China to our arms, is an event
calculated of itself to distinguish the reign of our glorious sovereign,
Queen Victoria, far beyond those of most of her predecessors. It is an
event that concerns and affects the prospects and interests of the whole
world, and though it is at this moment occupying the thoughts of all the
statesmen of Europe, with reference to its contingent effects upon their
respective countries, not the most experienced and sagacious of them can
predict with safety what will be its effects within even the next year
or two. As for ourselves, our present prevalent feeling seems to be in
accordance with our daring military character, which would say merely--

    "Why then, _China's_ our oyster
    Which we with sword have open'd."

But to those in England who are accustomed to regard occurrences with
reference to their probable consequences, the recent events in China
afford matter for the most anxious reflection of which thinking men are
capable--whether in the character of philosophers, of statesmen, of
warriors, or of merchants. Were we justified in our attack upon the
Emperor of China? We have no hesitation whatever in expressing our
opinion, after having had our attention for some years directed to the
subject of our relation with China, in the affirmative. From the moment
of our first intercourse with that people, we have had to submit to a
series of indignities sufficient to kindle into fury the feelings of any
one who merely reads any authentic account of those indignities. The
Chinese have long derived an immense revenue, together with other great
advantages, from us; encouraging us to embark a vast capital in our
trade with them, and to form great permanent establishments dependent
upon it. Language cannot describe the degrading circumstances under
which we have been forced to carry on our commercial intercourse with
the Chinese; our long submission to such conduct having, of course,
insured its continual aggravation. The Opium trade, perhaps
beneficially, brought matters to a crisis. It was alleged on behalf of
the Emperor, that we were surreptitiously, and from motives of gain,
corrupting and destroying his people, by supplying them with opium; but
it is easily demonstrable that this was only a pretence for endeavouring
to effect a change in the medium of our dealings with them, vastly
beneficial to the Emperor, and disadvantageous to us. We might have been
permitted to quadruple our supply of opium to his subjects, if we would
have been content to be paid, _not in bullion_, but by taking Chinese
goods in exchange; in a word, to change the basis of our dealings from
_sale_ to _barter_; and all this from a totally groundless notion of the
Emperor and his advisers, that we were draining his kingdom of silver
--in their own words, "causing the Sycee silver to ooze out of the
dominions of the Brother of the Sun and the Moon." Their desperate
anxiety to carry this point, led them to take the decisive step of
seizing a vast quantity of our opium, under circumstances perfectly
familiar to every body; constituting a crowning indignity and injury,
which, without reference to the original legality or illegality of the
opium trade, gave us an unquestionable cause for war against the
Emperor. He seized the person of her Majesty's representative, and those
of many of her principal subjects in China; and under the threat of
inflicting death upon them, extorted a delivery of an enormous amount of
property belonging to her Majesty's subjects. If this was not a cause of
war with any nation, whether civilized or uncivilized, there never was
one; and without going into further detail, we have stated sufficient to
justify, beyond all doubt, our commencement of hostilities against
China. But this occurred so long ago as the month of March 1839; yet, to
the eternal scandal of the then existing Government, no effectual
warlike demonstration was made to redress this flagrant unparalleled
outrage on the British nation, till better councils, those of the
present Government, were had recourse to by her Majesty; and which led
to the quick triumphant result with which the world is now ringing. Till
the present vigorous Government took the affair in hand, we were
_pottering_ about the extremities of the empire, month after month, even
year after year, at a ruinous expense, in a way justly calculated to
excite the derision of even the Chinese--of the whole world who had
heard of our mode of procedure. It will be in vain for the late
Government to endeavour meanly to make Captain Elliot their scapegoat.
Let them, if they can, satisfy the nation that, in all he appears to
have done so ineffectually and disgracefully, he did not act according
to the strict orders of the late Government; that in all he would have
done, and wished to have done, viz. to carry hostilities at once, with
an adequate force, to the right point of attack, he was not either
positively overruled, or left without advice and authority. Owing to
their own want of forethought, of energy, and of practical knowledge,
and their financial mismanagement, even if they had contemplated the
plan of operations which led ultimately to the successful enterprize on
which we are now justly congratulating ourselves, they _could_ not, they
_did not_ act upon them. No, it was left for the present Government,
under the auspices of him who told us that "England _could_ not carry on
a little war," amidst all the embarrassments and dangers which they had
just inherited from their predecessors, to send out the peremptory
instructions which have been so ably acted upon; and _above all_, a
naval and military force fully adequate for the occasion. This done,
China succumbed; and we understand that poor Lord Palmerston is pluming
himself on being able to produce, next session, a despatch which he
issued to Sir Henry Pottinger, chalking out the very line of operations
which was adopted with such supreme success. We, of course, cannot
officially know that such is the fact: but even admitting it, why did
not Lord Palmerston do this far earlier? What excuse can be offered for
this vacillation and procrastination in an affair of such vast urgency?
"We had not the means to equip a sufficient force," his lordship may
reply, in his usual strain of bitter flippancy. And why had he not the
means? The extravagance and profligacy of his Government had deprived
him of them; his exchequer was empty; and had he, or they, the boldness
or the virtue to propose what has been demonstrated to have been the
only mode of meeting the exigency, an income-tax? In vain, therefore,
may his lordship and his friends declaim in the ensuing session, and
with our bombardment of China in his ears, say "that is _my_ thunder."
They will be only laughed at and despised. No, no, Lord Palmerston;
_palmam qui meruit, ferat._ Let the nation decide.

The late military and naval proceedings against China, reflect permanent
glory upon the arms of England, naval and military, and we earnestly
hope--we confidently believe--that those concerned in them will soon
receive substantial and enduring marks of national gratitude. But what
is the real value, what will be the consequences, of our victory? We are
very anxious to take the earliest opportunity of placing on record our
views upon this all-important subject, with a view of moderating the
expectations, and allaying the excitement, which prevails upon the
subject of the commercial advantages anticipated to follow immediately
on the final ratification of the treaty. Let us take a sober and
common-sense view of the affair, and reason thus:--

First of all, we must bear in mind the long-cherished hatred borne by
the Emperor and his court to all barbarians, particularly towards us;
exasperated now, doubtless, to a pitch of extreme intensity and
malignity, by the signal humiliation and injury we have inflicted upon
him. Can we expect that this will be suddenly and permanently altered?
It is not in human nature, which is the same every where. With the
thunder of our cannon in his ears, the supplies of his whole empire at
our immediate mercy, his armies scattered like dust, and his forts and
walled cities crumbling to pieces under our artillery, the necessity of
his position forced him to buy peace on almost any terms. We have
exacted from him what is at variance with the fixed Chinese policy of
ages. The more he, by and by, reflects upon it, in the absence of our
awe-inspiring military and naval forces, the more galling and
intolerable will become the contemplation of what he has been compelled
to concede and sacrifice. Who knows what artful falsehoods may not be
perseveringly poured into his ear, day after day, month after month,
year after year, to our disadvantage and disparagement in his
estimation? He may not dare, perhaps, to resort to open hostility,
directly to provoke our tremendous vengeance; but those best acquainted
with China, know what countless facilities exist for his doing
indirectly what he dares not, or may choose not, to do openly. We are
not without fear, from our knowledge of the Chinese character, and of
their long-established mode of procedure, that every chicane and evasion
will be resorted to, in order to neutralize and nullify, as far as
possible, the commercial advantages which we have, at the cannon's
mouth, extorted from them. A great deal, at all events, will depend on
the skill, firmness, and vigilance, of the consuls to be appointed at
the five opened ports of China. We rely, also, greatly on the
unquestionable eagerness of the _Chinese_ people to enter into trading
relations with us. The Emperor, however, and those by whose counsels he
is guided, are Tartars, between whom and the Chinese there is a
long-cherished and bitter hostility, which may eventually operate in our
favour. Adverting, for a moment, to the proceedings of Sir Henry
Pottinger, we feel very great doubt, indeed, whether our forces should
not, either with or without the consent of the Chinese, have gone on to
Pekin, and insisted on the negotiations being carried on _there_. What a
prodigious effect would not thereby have been produced, not only on the
mind of the Emperor, but of the whole nation! The painful but salutary
truth of their own weakness, and our power, would have been thus
"brought home to their businesses and bosoms,"--there could never
afterwards have been any pretence for his or their saying, that they had
been deceived in any part of the proceedings. Doubtless, however, Sir
Henry Pottinger acted advisedly in abstaining from penetrating to Pekin,
and also from stipulating for the residence of a British ambassador at
Pekin. How such a proposal would have been received--or how, if adopted
and carried into effect, it would have answered our expectations--it is
difficult to say; but we have several letters lying before us, from
peculiarly well-informed persons on the spot, in all of which the
absence of this stipulation from the treaty is very greatly regretted.
"I am afraid," says one, "we shall be again left to the tender mercies
of the local mandarins, and that their old habits of arrogance and
deceit and extortion, will be resumed. For what are _consuls?_ They have
no power of communicating even with the provincial officers: or if this
should now be conceded, they have none with the government at Pekin: and
may we not fear that the Chinese will continue to force away gradually,
by effectual but invisible obstacles, the trade from the ports now
ostensibly opened to us?" The gentleman, from whose long and very able
letter we have quoted this paragraph, takes a somewhat disheartening
view of the treaty, and its probable observance and consequences. He is
on the spot, and has access to the best sources of knowledge; but we
confess, that for our own part, we do not share his apprehensions.
Whatever disposition to do so the Emperor or his people may entertain,
we believe they will neither dare at all to offend or injure us openly,
or persevere long in attempting to do so indirectly. It may be a work of
time but as soon as they perceive the steady benefits derivable from a
prudently-conducted course of dealing with them, we think it likely that
a sense of self-interest will lead them to encourage our intercourse and
augment our dealings. On one thing we regret to feel certain that we
must calculate--namely, on an enormous overstocking of the Chinese
market with articles of British merchandize, long before any sensible,
or at least important, demand for them shall have been created; which
will of course lead to serious loss on the part of the adventurers. We
must also expect Hong-Kong, and the five open ports, to be forthwith
flooded with commercial adventurers. To all such we would earnestly
say--"pause. Consider the circumstances of China--how capricious and
perfidious its people are by nature--the _possibility_, at all events,
of their acting on the hostile policy we have above alluded to, and
discouraging your trade; or if not so, still do not imagine that the
vast empire of China is standing agape for any sort of goods you may
send or take out." We must, however, pass on to allude briefly to a
subject both important and difficult--the opium trade with China. This
is a subject imperatively demanding the best consideration of the
Government. A careful examination of the subject, in all its bearings,
induces us, with due diffidence, to express an opinion that the
Government sale of opium in India should cease. We cannot, of course,
prevent the poppy's being grown in India--nor, on the other hand, should
a great source of revenue be easily parted with. Let their opium be
produced and sold as before, and subject to such a tax as may appear
expedient to the Government. With reference to the policy and propriety
of our continuing to supply opium to the Chinese, we have already
expressed our opinion as to the true ground of objection to it by the
Emperor of China, namely, simply a financial, not a moral or religious
one. We have reason to believe that Sir Henry Pottinger most
strenuously, and, in our opinion, most judiciously, urged upon the
imperial commissioners the expediency of the raising a revenue from
opium, by legalizing its importation. To this they replied, however,
"that they did not dare, _at present_, to bring the painful subject to
the Emperor's notice." We are, notwithstanding, very strongly of opinion
that the opium trade will, at no distant period, be legalized, as soon
as the Emperor can be made to understand the great profit he will derive
from it. In any event, it will be obviously nugatory for the Government
directly to prohibit British subjects from importing opium into China.
The only effect of such a measure would be, that they could carry on the
trade through the intervention of foreigners.

Many other topics, such as the opportunity now afforded for the
introduction of the Christian religion into China, the extent to which
we shall be permitted to acquire a knowledge of the habits, the economy,
the literature, and the science, of China; the exertions which may be
expected from other nations to share in the advantages which we have, by
our own unassisted efforts, secured--we must pass over, as inconsistent
with the limits assigned us, or, indeed, the scope of this article.

Whatever may be the ultimate effects of the blow we have struck in
China, there can be no doubt that it has prodigiously extended the
reputation, and augmented the influence of Great Britain, especially
coupled as it is with our contemporaneous brilliant successes in India,
and our satisfactory adjustment of our differences with America. We are
now, thank God, at peace with all the world, to whose counsels soever it
is to be attributed. Let us now endeavour to make the most of the
blessings which the Divine favour vouchsafes to us. Let us cultivate
virtue--let us cherish religion. Let us, as a nation, give up all idle
and dangerous dreams of foreign conquest, satisfied that we already
possess as much as it is possible for us to hold, with safety and
advantage. Let us _honour all men_. At home, let us bear with
cheerfulness the burthens necessarily imposed to support the state, and
each do all that lies in us to extinguish party animosities; generously
and cordially co-operating with, and supporting those whom we believe
honestly striving to carry on the government of this great country, at a
very critical conjuncture of affairs, with dignity and prudence. Let us
discourage faction, and each, in our several spheres exert ourselves to
ameliorate the condition of the inferior classes of society. May the
ensuing session of Parliament commence its labours auspiciously, and in
due course bring them to a peaceful and happy close, in a spirit of good
will towards all men of loyalty to our Queen, and piety towards God!

       *       *       *       *       *




LESURQUES; OR, THE VICTIM OF JUDICIAL ERROR.


    [Many as are the frightful cases of error recorded in the
    annals of every judiciary court, there are few more striking of
    the uncertainty of evidence respecting personal identity, and
    of the serious errors based upon it, than are to be read in the
    curious trial we are about to relate; and which has, for forty
    years, been the subject of parliamentary appeals in the country
    where it took place. The recent death of the widow of the
    unhappy sufferer excites a fresh interest in her wrongs, so
    strangely left unredressed by the very government that was the
    unwitting cause of them.]


I.--THE FOUR GUESTS.


On the 4th Floreal of the 4th year of the Republic, one and indivisible,
(23d April 1796,) four young men were seated at a splendid breakfast in
the Rue des Boucheries at Paris. They were all dressed in the costume of
the _Incroyables_ of the period; their hair _coiffes en cadenettes_ and
_en oreilles de chien_, according to the fantastic custom of the day;
they had all top-boots, with silver spurs, large eyeglasses, various
watch-chains, and other articles of _bijouterie_; carrying also the
little cane, of about a foot and a half in length, without which no
dandy was complete. The breakfast was given by a M. Guesno, a
van-proprietor of Douai, who was anxious to celebrate the arrival at
Paris of his compatriot Lesurques, who had recently established himself
with his family in the busy capital.

"Yes, _mon cher_ Guesno," said Lesurques, "I have quitted for ever our
good old town of Douai; or, if not for ever, at least until I have
completed in Paris the education of my children. I am now thirty-three
years of age. I have paid my debt to my country by serving in the
regiment of Auvergne, with some distinction. On leaving the ranks I was
fortunate enough to make my services of some slight use, by fulfilling,
gratuitously, the functions of _chef de bureau_ of the district. At
present, thanks to my patrimony and the dowery of my wife, I have an
income of fifteen thousand francs (L.600) a-year, am without ambition,
have three children, and my only care is to educate them well. The few
days that I have been at Paris have not been wasted; I have a pretty
apartment, Rue Montmartre, where I expect to be furnished, and ready to
receive you in my turn, with as much comfort as heartiness."

"Wisely conceived," interrupted one of the guests, who, till this
moment, had maintained a profound silence; "but who can count upon the
morrow in such times as these? May your projects of peace and
retirement, Monsieur, be realized: if so, you will then be the happiest
man in the Republic; for during the last five or six years, there has
been no _citoyen_, high or low, who could predict what the next week
would decide for him."

The speaker uttered this with a tone of bitterness and discouragement
which contrasted strangely with the flaunting splendour of his toilet,
and the appetite with which he had done honour to the breakfast. He was
young, and would have been remarkably handsome, had not his dark eyes
and shaggy brows given an expression of fierceness and dissimulation to
his countenance, which he vainly endeavoured to hide, by never looking
his interlocutor in the face. His name was Couriol. His presence at this
breakfast was purely accidental. He had come to see M. Richard, (the
proprietor of the house where M. Guesno alighted on his journey to
Paris, and who was also one of the guests,) just as they were about to
sit down to table, and was invited to join them without ceremony.

The breakfast passed off gaily, in spite of the sombre Couriol; and
after two hours' conviviality, they adjourned to the Palais Royal,
where, after taking their cafe at the _Rotonde du Caveau_, they
separated.


II.--THE FOUR HORSEMEN.


A few days afterwards, on the 8th Floreal, four men mounted on dashing
looking horses, which, however, bore the unequivocal signs of being
hired for the day, rode gaily out of Paris by the barrier of Charenton;
talking and laughing loudly, caracoling with great enjoyment, and
apparently with nothing but the idea of passing as joyously as possible
a day devoted to pleasure.

An attentive observer, however, who did not confine his examination to
their careless exteriors, might have remarked that, beneath their long
_levites,_ (a peculiar cloak then in fashion,) they carried each a
sabre, suspended at the waist, the presence of which was betrayed from
time to time by a slight clanking, as the horses stumbled or changed
their paces. He might have further remarked a sinister pre-occupation
and a brooding fierceness in the countenance of one, whose dark eyes
peeped out furtively beneath two thick brows. He took but little share
in the boisterous gaiety of the other three, and that little was forced;
his laugh was hollow and convulsive. It was Couriol.

Between twelve and one, the four horsemen arrived at the pretty village
of Mongeron, on the road to Melun. One of them had preceded them at a
hand-gallop to order dinner at the _Hotel de la Poste_, kept by the
Sieur Evrard. After the dinner, to which they did all honour, they
called for pipes and tobacco--(cigars were then almost unknown)--and two
of them smoked. Having paid their bill, they proceeded to the Cassino,
where they took their cafe.

At three o'clock they remounted their horses, and following the road,
shaded by stately elms, which leads from Mongeron to the forest of
Lenart, they reached Lieursaint; where they again halted. One of their
horses had cast a shoe, and one of the men had broken the little chain
which then fastened the spur to the boot. The horseman to whom this
accident had happened, stopped at the entrance of the village at Madame
Chatelain's, a _limonadiere_, whom he begged to serve him some cafe, and
at the same time to give him a needleful of strong thread to mend the
chain of his spur. She did so, but observing the traveller to be rather
awkward in his use of the needle, she called her servant, _la femme_
Grossetete, who fixed the chain for him, and helped him to place it on
his boot. The other three travellers had, during this time, alighted at
the inn kept by the Sieur Champeaux, where they drank some wine; while
the landlord himself accompanied the traveller and his unshod horse to
the farrier's, the Sieur Motteau. This finished, the four met at Madame
Chatelain's, where they played at billiards. At half-past seven, after a
parting cup with the Sieur Champeaux, whither they returned to re-saddle
their horses, they set off again in the direction of Melun.

The landlord stood at his door watching the travellers till out of
sight, and then turning into his house again, he saw on the table a
sabre, which one of his guests had forgotten to fasten to his belt; he
dispatched one of his stable-boys after them, but they were out of
sight. It was not till an hour afterwards, that the traveller who had
had his spur-chain mended, returned at full gallop to claim his sabre.
He drank a glass of brandy, and having fastened his weapon securely,
departed at furious speed in the direction taken by his comrades.


III.--THE ROBBERY AND MURDER.


At the same time that the horseman left Lieursaint for Paris, the Lyons
mail arrived there from Paris, and changed horses. It was about
half-past eight, and the night had been obscure for some time. The
courier, having charged horses and taken a fresh postilion, set forth to
traverse the long forest of Senart. The mail, at this epoch, was very
different from what it is at present. It was a simple post-chaise, with
a raised box behind, in which were placed the despatches. Only one
place, by the side of the courier, was reserved for travellers, and
that was obtained with difficulty. On the night in question this seat
was occupied by a man of about thirty, who had that morning taken it for
Lyons, under the name of Laborde, a silk-merchant; his real name was
Durochat; his object may be guessed.

At nine o'clock, the carriage having descended a declivity with great
speed, now slackened its course to mount a steep hill which faced it; at
this moment four horsemen bounded into the road--two of them seizing the
horses' heads, the two other attacked the postilion, who fell lifeless
at their feet, his skull split open by a sabre-cut. At the same
instant--before he had time to utter a word--the wretched courier was
stabbed to the heart by the false Laborde, who sat beside him. They
ransacked the mail of a sum of seventy-five thousand francs (L.3000) in
money, _assignats_, and bank-notes. They then took the postilion's horse
from the chaise, and Durochat mounting it, they galloped to Paris, which
they entered between four and five in the morning by the Barrier de
Rambouillet.


IV.--THE ARREST.


This double murder, committed with such audacity on the most frequented
route of France, could not but produce an immense sensation, even at
that epoch so fertile in brigandage of every sort, where the exploits of
_la Chouannerie_, and the ferocious expeditions of the _Chauffeurs_,[8]
daily filled them with alarm. The police were at once in pursuit. The
post-horse ridden by Durochat, and abandoned by him on the Boulevard,
was found wandering about the Palais Royale. It was known that four
horses covered with foam had been conducted at about five in the morning
to the stables of a certain Muiron, _Rue des Fosse's,
Saint-Germain-l'Auxerrois_, by two men who had hired them the day
before: these men were Bernard and Couriol; the former of whom was
immediately arrested, the second had, with the other accomplices,
taken flight.

    [8] An atrocious gang of thieves, who adopted the unnecessary
    brutality of burning the unfortunate victims they intended
    to rob.

The research was pursued with great activity at Paris, as well as at the
scene of the crime, and along the route which the assassins had twice
travelled. The information obtained showed that there were five
culprits. The description of the four horsemen who rode from Paris,
stopping at Mongeron and Lieursaint, was furnished with as much
precision as concordance by the various witnesses who had seen and
spoken to them on the road, and in the inns and cafes. The description
of the traveller, who, under the name of Laborde, had taken the seat
beside the courier, was furnished with equal exactitude by the clerks,
from whom he had retained the place, and by those who saw him mount.
Couriol, recognized as having with Bernard conducted back the horses to
Muiron, after the crime, had left Paris for Chateau-Thierry, where he
was lodged in the house of Citoyen Bruer, where also Guesno had gone on
some business. The police followed Couriol, and arrested him. They found
upon him a sum in money and assignats, nearly equivalent to a fifth
share of what the courier had been robbed. Guesno and Bruer were also
arrested, and had their papers seized; but they so completely
established their _alibi_, that they were at once dismissed on their
arrival at Paris. At the epoch of which we write, the examination of
judicial affairs followed a very different course from the one now
traced by the French code. It was to the Citoyen Daubenton, justice of
the peace of the division of Pont Neuf, and officer of the _police
judiciare_, that the Central Bureau confided the examination of this
affair. This magistrate having ordered the dismissal of Guesno, told him
that he might present himself at his _cabinet_ on the morrow, for the
papers which had been seized at Chateau-Thierry; at the same time he
ordered an officer, Hendon, to start at once for Mangeron and
Lieursaint, and to bring back the witnesses, whose names he gave him,
so that they might all be collected the next day at the Bureau for
examination.

Guesno, desirous of having his papers as soon as possible, went out
early, and directed his steps towards the Central Bureau, which he had
just reached when he encountered his compatriot Lesurques; having
explained to him the motive that called him to the Bureau, he proposed
to him that they should go together. Lesurques accepted, and the Citizen
Daubenton not having yet arrived, they sat down in the antechamber, in
order to see him as he passed, and thus expedite the matter.

About ten o'clock the judge, who had entered his cabinet by a back door,
was interrupted in his examination of the documents, previous to
interrogating the witnesses, by the officer Hendon, who demanded leave
to make an important communication. "Amongst the witnesses," said he,
"now waiting in the antechamber, are two women--one, _la femme_ Santon,
servant to Evrard the innkeeper at Mongeron--the other, _la fille_
Grossetete, servant to Madame Chatelain the _limonadiere_ at Lieursaint,
who assert in the most positive manner, that two of the assassins are
there, waiting like them to be admitted. These women declare that they
cannot deceive themselves, for one of them served the four travellers at
Mongeron, and the other spoke to them at Lieursaint, and stayed an hour
in the billiard-room while they were playing."

The judge could not admit the probability of two of the assassins thus
voluntarily placing themselves within the grasp of the law, yet he
ordered the women to be shown into his presence. On interrogation, they
persisted in their statements, declaring that it was impossible they
could deceive themselves. Guesno was then introduced to the judge's
presence, the women being continued to examine him strictly before
finally pronouncing as to his identity.

"What brings you to the Central Bureau?" demanded the judge.

"I come to receive my papers," replied Guesno, "as you promised me
yesterday that I should have them on application."

"Are you alone?"

"I have a compatriot with me, one Joseph Lesurques, whom I met on the
way here."

The judge then ordered the second individual designated by the women to
be introduced. It was Lesurques. He spoke to Lesurques and to Guesno for
a few minutes, and then begged them to return into the antechamber,
where their papers would be sent to them. An order was given, however,
to the officer, Hendon, not to lose sight of them.

On their leaving the room, M. Daubenton again demanded of the women, if
they persisted in their declarations as to the identity of these men
with the criminals they were in search of. They replied, without
hesitation, that they were certain of it; that they could not be
deceived. The magistrate was then forced to receive their depositions in
writing, and to order the arrest of Guesno and Lesurques.

From the moment of their arrest, the examination proceeded with great
rapidity. Guesno and Lesurques were confronted with the witnesses
brought from Mongeron and Lieursaint, and were recognised by all
of them!

_La femme_ Santon deposed, that Lesurques was the one who, after the
dinner at Mongeron, wanted to pay in _assignats_, but that the big dark
man (Couriol) paid in money. She was positive as to Lesurques being
the man.

Champeaux and his wife, who kept the inn at Lieursaint, were equally
positive as to Lesurques being the one whose spur wanted mending, and
who came back to fetch the sabre which he had forgotten. Lafolie, groom
at Mongeron, and _la femme_ Alfroy, also recognised him; and Laurent
Charbaut, labourer, who dined in the same room with the four horsemen,
recognised Lesurques as the one who had silver spurs fastened by little
chains to his top-boots. This combination of testimony, respecting one
whom they had seen but a few days before, was sufficient to leave little
doubt in the mind of any one. The trial was therefore fixed on.

The day of his arrest, Lesurques wrote the following letter to one of
his friends, which was intercepted, and joined to the documentary
evidence to be examined on the trial:--

    "My dear Friend,--I have met with nothing but unpleasantries
    since my arrival at Paris, but I did not--I could not
    anticipate the misfortune which has befallen me to-day. You
    know me--and you know whether I am capable of sullying myself
    with a crime--yet the most atrocious crime is imputed to me.
    The mere thought of it makes me tremble. I find myself
    implicated in the murder of the Lyons' courier. Three women and
    two men, whom I know not--whose residence I know not--(for you
    well know that I have not left Paris)--have had the impudence
    to swear that they recognise me, and that I was the first of
    the four who presented himself at their houses on horseback.
    You know, also, that I have not crossed a horse's back since my
    arrival in Paris. You may understand the importance of such an
    accusation, which tends at nothing less than my judicial
    assassination. Oblige me by lending me the assistance of your
    memory, and endeavour to recollect where I was and what persons
    I saw at Paris, on the day when they impudently assert they saw
    me out of Paris, (I believe it was the 7th or 8th,) in order
    that I may confound these infamous calumniators, and make them
    suffer the penalty of the law."

In a postscript he enumerates the persons he saw on that day: Citoyen
Tixier, General Cambrai, 'Demoiselle Eugenie, Citoyen Hilaire Ledru, his
wife's hairdresser, the workmen in his apartments, and the porter of
the house.


V.--THE TRIAL, AND THE BLINDNESS OF ZEAL.


MM. Lesurques, Guesno, Couriol, Bernard, Richard, and Bruer, were
summoned before the tribunal of justice; the three first as authors or
accomplices of the murder and robbery--Bernard as having furnished the
horses--Richard as having concealed at his house Couriol--and his
mistress, Madelaine Breban, as having received and concealed part of the
stolen goods--and Bruer as having given Couriol refuge at
Chateau-Thierry.

The witnesses persisted in their declarations as to the identity of
Guesno and Lesurques. But Guesno established beyond all doubt the fact
of his _alibi_; and Bruer easily refuted every charge that concerned
himself. Lesurques had cited fifteen witnesses--all respectable men--and
presented himself at the bar with a calmness and confidence which
produced a favourable impression. Against the positive testimony of the
six witnesses who asserted him to have been at Mongeron and Lieursaint
on the 8th Floreal, he had brought a mass of testimony to prove
an _alibi._

Citoyen Legrand, a rich jeweller and goldsmith, compatriot of Lesurques,
was first examined. He deposed, that on the 8th Floreal--the day on
which the crime had been committed--Lesurques had passed a portion of
the morning with him.

Aldenof, a jeweller, Hilaire Ledru, and Chausfer, deposed, that on that
day they dined with Lesurques in the _Rue Montorgueil;_ that, after
dinner, they went to a cafe, took some liqueur, and went home with him.

Beudart, a painter, deposed that he was invited to the dinner, with
Lesurques and his friends, but that, as one of the national guard, he
was that day on service, and so was prevented attending; but that, he
had gone to Lesurques that very evening in his uniform, and had seen him
go to bed. In support of his deposition he produced his _billet de
garde_, dated the 8th.

Finally, the workmen employed in the apartment that Lesurques was having
fitted up, deposed that they saw him at various times during the 8th and
9th Floreal.

No further doubt of his innocence now remained; the _alibi_ was so
distinctly proved, and on such unquestionable testimony, that the jury
showed in their manner that they were ready to acquit him, when a fatal
circumstance suddenly changed the whole face of the matter.

The jeweller Legrand, who had manifested such zeal in the establishment
of his friend's innocence, had, with an anxiety to avail himself of
every trifle, declared, that to prove the sincerity of his declaration,
he would cite a fact which prevented his being mistaken. On the 8th
Floreal, he had made before dinner an exchange of jewellery with the
witness, Aldenof. He proposed that his ledger should be sent for, as its
entry there would serve to fix all recollections.

As a matter of form, the ledger was sent for. At the first glance,
however, it was evident that the _date_ of the transaction, mentioned by
Legrand, had been _altered!_ The exchange had taken place on the 9th,
and an alteration, badly dissimulated by an erasure, had substituted the
figure 8 for the original figure 9.

Murmurs of surprise and indignation followed this discovery, and the
President, pressing Legrand with questions, and unable to obtain from
him any satisfactory answer, ordered his arrest. Legrand then, trembling
and terrified, retracted his former deposition, and declared that he was
not certain he had seen Lesurques on the 8th Floreal, but that he had
altered his book in order to give more probability to the declaration he
had determined to make in his friend's favour--of whose innocence he was
so assured, that it was only the conviction that he was accused
erroneously, which made him perjure himself to save that innocent head.

From this moment, the jury received the depositions in favour of
Lesurques with extreme prejudice--those already heard seemed little
better than connivance, and those yet to be heard were listened to with
such suspicion as to have no effect. The conviction of his guilt was
fixed in every mind. Lesurques, despairing to get over such fatal
appearances, ceased his energetic denials, and awaited his sentence in
gloomy silence. The jury retired.

At this moment a woman, agitated with the most violent emotions,
demanded to speak to the President. She said that she was moved by the
voice of conscience, and wished to save the criminal tribunal from a
dreadful error. It was Madelaine Breban, the mistress of Couriol.
Brought before the President, she declared that she knew positively
Lesurques was innocent, and that the witnesses, deceived by an
inexplicable resemblance, had confounded him with the real culprit, who
was called Dubosq.

Prejudiced as they were against Lesurques, and suspicious of all
testimony after the perjury they had already detected, the tribunal
scarcely listened to Madelaine Breban; and the jury returned with their
verdict, in consequence of which, Couriol, Lesurques, and Bernard were
condemned to death; Richard to four-and-twenty years' imprisonment;
Guesno and Bruer were acquitted.

No sooner was the sentence passed, than Lesurques rose calmly, and
addressing the Judges, said, "I am innocent of the crime of which I am
accused. Ah! citoyens, if it is horrible to murder on the high-road, it
is not less so to murder by the law!"

Couriol, condemned to death, rose and said, "Yes, I am guilty--I avow
it. But Lesurques is innocent, and Bernard did not participate in
the murder."

Four times he reiterated this declaration; and, on entering his prison,
he wrote to the judge a letter full of sorrow and repentance, in which
he said, "I have never known Lesurques; my accomplices are Vidal, Rossi,
Durochat, and Dubosq. The resemblance of Lesurques to Dubosq has
deceived the witnesses."

To this declaration of Couriol was joined that of Madelaine Breban, who,
after the judgment, returned to renew her protestation, accompanied by
two individuals, who swore that, before the trial, she had told them
Lesurques had never had any relations with the culprits; but that he was
a victim of his fatal likeness to Dubosq. These testimonies threw doubt
in the minds of the magistrates, who hastened to demand a reprieve from
the Directory, which, terrified at the idea of seeing an innocent man
perish through a judicial error, had recourse to the _Corps Legislatif;_
for every other resource was exhausted. The message of the Directory to
the Five Hundred was pressing; its aim was to demand a reprieve, and a
decision as to what course to pursue. It ended thus: "Must Lesurques
perish on the scaffold because he resembles a villain?"

The _Corps Legislatif_ passed to the order of the day, as every
condition had been legally fulfilled, that a particular case could not
justify an infraction of decreed laws; and that, too, on such
indications, to do away with a condemnation legally pronounced by a
jury, would be to overset all ideas of justice and equality before
the law.

The right of pardon had been abolished; and Lesurques had neither
resources nor hope. He bore his fate with firmness and resignation, and
wrote, on the day of his execution, this note to his wife:--

"_Ma bonne Amie_,--There is no eluding ones destiny, I was fated to be
judicially murdered. I shall at least bear it with proper courage. I
send you my locks of hair; when our children are grown up, you will
divide it among them; it is the only heritage I can leave them."

He addressed also a letter to Dubosq through the newspapers. "You, in
whose place I am about to perish, content yourself with the sacrifice of
my life. Should you ever be brought to justice, remember my three
children covered with opprobrium--remember my wife reduced to despair
and do not longer prolong their misfortunes."


VI.--THE EXECUTION.


The 10th March 1797, Lesurques was led to the scaffold. He wished to be
dressed completely in white, as a symbol of his innocence. He wore
pantaloons and frock-coat of white cotton, and his shirt-collar turned
down over his shoulders. It was the day before Good Friday, and he
expressed regret that he had not to die on the morrow. In passing from
the prison _de la Conciergerie_ to the _Place de la Greve_, where the
execution took place, Couriol, placed beside Lesurques in the cart,
cried out to the people in a loud voice, "Citoyens, I am guilty! I am
guilty! but Lesurques is innocent."

On arriving at the platform of the guillotine, already stained with the
blood of Bernard, Lesurques exclaimed, "I pardon my judges; I pardon the
witnesses through whose error I die; and I pardon Legrand, who has not a
little contributed to my judicial assassination. I die protesting my
innocence." In another instant he was no more.

Couriol continued his declarations of Lesurques's innocence to the foot
of the scaffold; and, after a final appeal, he, too, delivered himself
to the executioner. The drop fell on a guilty neck, having before been
stained with the blood of two innocent men.

The crowd retired with a general conviction that Lesurques had perished
guiltless; and several of the judges were seriously troubled by the
doubts which this day had raised in their minds. Many of the jury began
to repent having relied so on the affirmations of the witnesses from
Mongeron and Lieursaint, precise as they had been. M. Daubenton, the
magistrate who had first ordered the arrest, went home a thoughtful man,
and determined to lose no opportunity of getting at the truth, which the
arrest of the three accomplices mentioned by Couriol could alone
bring to light.


VII.--THE PROOFS


Two years passed on without affording any clue to the conscientious
magistrate. One day, however, he heard that a certain Durochat was
arrested for a recent robbery, and was confined in the Sainte Pelagie;
and remembering that Durochat was the name of the one designated by
Couriol as having taken the place beside the courier, under the false
name of Laborde. At the epoch of the trial of Lesurques, it came out
that several persons, amongst them an inspector of the _administration
des postes_, had seen the false Laborde at the moment that he was
awaiting the mail, and had preserved a distinct recollection of
his person.

M. Daubenton, on ascertaining the day of Durochat's approaching trial
for robbery, went to the _administration des postes_, and obtained
through the _Chef_ the permission to send for the inspector who had seen
the false Laborde, and who was no longer in Paris.

The _juges du tribunal_ had also been warned of the suspicions which
rested on Durochat. The day of trial arrived, and he was condemned to
fourteen years' imprisonment, and was about being led from the court
when the inspector arrived, and declared that Durochat was the man whom
he had seen on the 8th Floreal mount beside the courier under the false
name of Laborde. Durochat only opposed feeble denials to this
declaration, and was consequently taken to the _Conciergerie_.

On the morrow, Durochat was transferred to Versailles, where he was to
be judged. Daubenton and a huissier departed with the prisoner and four
gendarmes. As they reached the village of Grosbois he demanded some
breakfast, for he had eaten nothing since the preceding day. They
stopped at the first _auberge_, and there Durochat manifested a desire
to speak to the magistrate in private.

Daubenton ordered the gendarmes to leave them together, and even the
huissier, though he made him understand by a sign the danger of being
alone with so desperate a villain, was begged to retire. A breakfast was
ordered for the two. It was brought--but, by order of the huissier, only
_one_ knife was placed on the table. Daubenton took it up, and began
carelessly to break an egg with it.

Durochat looked at him fixedly for a moment, and said,

"Monsieur le juge, you are afraid?"

"Afraid!" replied he calmly, "and of whom?"

"Of me," said Durochat.

"Folly!" continued the other, breaking his egg.

"You are. You arm yourself with a knife," said he sarcastically.

"Bah!" replied Daubenton, presenting him the knife, "cut me a piece of
bread, and tell me what you have to communicate to me respecting the
murder of the courier of Lyons."

There is something in the collected courage of a brave man more
impressive than any menace; and courage is a thing which acts upon all
natures, however vile. Strongly moved by the calm audacity of the
magistrate the ruffian, who had seized the knife with menacing vivacity,
now set it down upon the table, and with a faltering voice said, "_Vous
etes un brave, citoyen_!" then after a pause, "I am a lost man--it's all
up with me; but you shall know all."

He then detailed the circumstances of the crime, as we have related them
above, and confirmed all Couriol's declarations, naming Couriol, Rossi,
Vidal, and Dubosq, as his accomplices. Before the tribunal he repeated
this account, adding, "that he had heard an individual named Lesurques
had been condemned for the crime, but that he had neither seen him at
the time of the deed, nor subsequently. He did not know him."

He added, that it was Dubosq whose spur had been broken, and was mended
where they had dined; for he had heard them talk about it, and that he
had lost it in the scuffle. He had seen the other spur in his hand, and
heard him say that he intended throwing it in the river. He further gave
a description of Dubosq's person, and added, that on that day he wore a
flaxen peruke.

Towards the end of the year 8--four years after the murder of the
courier of Lyons--Dubosq was arrested for robbery; and was transferred
to Versailles, there to be judged by the _Tribunal Correctionnel_. The
president ordered that he should wear a flaxen peruke, and be confronted
with the witnesses from Mongeron and Lieursaint, who now unanimously
declared that he was the man they had seen. This, coupled with the
declarations of Couriol, Durochat, and Madelaine Breban, sufficed to
prove the identity; and he did not deny his acquaintance with the other
culprits. He was therefore condemned, and perished on the scaffold for
the crime.

Vidal was also arrested and executed, though persisting in his
innocence; and, finally, Rossi was shortly after discovered and
condemned. He exhibited profound repentance, and demanded the succours
of religion. To his confessor he left this declaration--"I assert that
Lesurques is innocent; but this must only be made public six months
after my death."

Thus ends this strange drama; thus were the proofs of Lesurques's
innocence furnished beyond a shadow of doubt; and thus, we may add, were
seven men executed for a crime committed by five men; two therefore were
innocent--were victims of the law.


VIII.--THE WAY IN WHICH FRANCE RECTIFIES AN ERROR.


It is now forty years since the innocence of Lesurques has been
established, and little has been done towards the rehabilitation of his
memory, the protection of his children, and the restitution of his
confiscated goods! Forty years, and his wretched widow has only recently
died, having failed in the object of her life! Forty years has the
government been silent.

M. Daubenton, who took so honourable and active a part in the detection
of the real criminals, consecrated a great part of his life and fortune
to the cause of the unfortunate widow and her children. The declaration
he addressed to the Minister of Justice commenced thus:--

"The error, on which was founded the condemnation of Lesurques, arose
neither with the judges nor the jury. The jury, convinced by the
depositions of the witnesses, manifested that conviction judicially; and
the judges, after the declaration of the jury, pronounced according
to the law.

"The error of his condemnation arose from the mistake of the
witnesses--from the fatal resemblance to one of the culprits not
apprehended. Nothing gave reason to suspect at that time the cause of
the error in which the witnesses had fallen."

We beg to observe that the whole trial was conducted in a slovenly and
shameful manner. A man is condemned on the deposition of
witnesses;--witnesses, be it observed, of such dulness of perception,
and such confidence in their notions, that they persisted in declaring
Guesno to be one of the culprits as well as Lesurques. Yet the _alibi_
of Guesno was proved beyond a doubt. How, then, could the jury, with
this instance of mistake before their eyes, and which they themselves
had condemned as a mistake by acquitting Guesno--how could they place
such firm reliance on those self-same testimonies when applied to
Lesurques? If they could convict Lesurques upon such evidence, why not
also convict Guesno on it? Guesno proved an _alibi_--so did Lesurques;
but because one foolish friend perjured himself to serve Lesurques, the
jury hastily set down all his friends as perjurers; they had no evidence
of this; it was a mere indignant reaction of feeling, and, as such, a
violation of their office. The case ought to have been sifted. It was
shuffled over hastily. A verdict, passed in anger, was executed, though
at the time a strong doubt existed in the minds of the judges as to its
propriety!

Neither the Directory nor the Consulate, neither the Empire nor the
Restoration, paid attention to the widow's supplications for a revision
of the sentence, that her husband's name might be cleared, and his
property restored. In vain did M. Salgues devote ten years to the
defence of the injured family; in vain did M. Merilhou, in an important
_proces_, warmly espouse the cause; the different governments believed
themselves incapable of answering these solicitations.

Since 1830 the widow again supplicated the _Tribune des Chambres_. Few
sessions have passed without some members, particularly from the
_department du Nord_, calling attention to the subject. All that has
been obtained is a restitution of part of the property seized by the
_fisc_ at the period of the execution.

Madame Lesurques has died unsuccessful, because a judicial error cannot
be acknowledged or rectified, owing to the insufficiency of the Code. A
French journal announces that the son and daughter of Lesurques, still
living, pledged themselves on the death-bed of their mother to continue
the endeavour which had occupied her forty long years--an endeavour to
make the law comprehend that nothing is more tyrannous than the strict
fulfilment of its letter--an endeavour to make the world at large more
keenly feel the questionable nature of evidence as to personal identity
in cases where the witnesses are ignorant, and where the evidence
against their testimony is presumptive.

       *       *       *       *       *




CALEB STUKELY.


PART X.

THE REVULSION.


"_The companion of the wise shall be wise_." A six months' residence
with the religious and self-renouncing minister could not be without its
effect on the character and disposition of the disciple, newly released
from sin and care, and worldly calamity. The bright example of a good
man is much--that of a good and _beloved_ man is more. I was bound to Mr
Clayton by every tie that can endear a man to man, and rivet the ready
heart of youth in truthful and confiding love. I regarded my preserver
with a higher feeling than a fond son may bear towards the mere author
and maintainer of his existence. For Mr Clayton, whose smallest praise
it was that he had restored to me my life, in addition to a filial love,
I had all the reverence that surpassing virtue claims, and lowly piety
constrains. Months passed over our head, and I was still without
occupation, though still encouraged by my kind friend to look for a
speedy termination to my state of dependence. Painful as the thought of
separation had become to Mr Clayton, my situation was far from
satisfactory to myself. I knew not another individual with whom I could
have established myself under similar circumstances. The sense of
obligation would have been oppressive, the conviction that I was doing
wrong intolerable to sustain; but the simplicity, the truth, the
affectionate warmth of my benevolent host, lightened my load day after
day, until I became at last insensible to the burthen. At this period of
my career, the character of Mr Clayton appeared to me bright and fixed
as a spotless star. He seemed the pattern of a man, pure and perfect.
The dazzling light of pious fervour consumed within him the little
selfishness that nature, to stamp an angel with humanity, had of
necessity implanted there. He was swallowed up in holiness--his thoughts
were of heaven--his daily conduct tinged and illumined with a heavenly
hue. Nothing could surpass the intense devotedness of the child of God,
except perhaps the self-devotion, the self-renunciation, and the
profound humility which distinguished him in the world, and in his
conversation amongst men. "_The companion of the wise shall be wise_." I
observed my benefactor, and listened to his eloquence; I pondered on his
habitual piety, until, roused to enthusiasm by the contemplation of the
matchless being, I burned to follow in his glorious course, to revolve
in the same celestial orbit, the most distant and the meanest of his
satellites. The hand of Providence was traceable in every act, which, in
due course, and step by step, had brought me to the minister. It could
not be without a lofty purpose that I had been plucked a brand, as it
were, from the burning; it was not an aimless love that snatched me from
death to life--from darkness to mid-day light--from the depths of
despondency to the heights of serenity and joy. It was that I might
glorify the hand that had been outstretched on my behalf, that I might
carry His name abroad, proclaim His wondrous works, sing aloud His
praises, and in the face of men, give honour to the everlasting Giver of
all good. It was for this and these that I had been selected from
mankind, and made the especial object of a Father's grace. I believed it
in all the simplicity and ingenuousness of a mind awakened to a sense of
religion and human responsibility. I could not do otherwise. From the
moment that I was convinced of the obligation under which I had been
brought, that I could feel the force of the silent compact which had
been effected between the unseen Power and my own soul, it would have
been as easy for me to annihilate thought, to prevent its miraculous
presence in the mind, as to withstand the urgent prickings of my
conscience. I believed in my divine summons, and I was at once ready,
vehement, and impatient to obey it. Had I followed the dictates of my
will, I would have walked through the land, and preached aloud the
wonderful mercies of God, imploring my fellow-creatures to repentance,
and directing them to the fount of all their blessings and all their
happiness. I would have called upon men to turn from error and dangerous
apathy, before their very strongholds. Powerful in the possession of
truth, I would have thundered the saving words before their marketplaces
and exchanges--at the very fortresses in which the world deems itself
chiefly secure, with Mammon at its head, Satan's chief lieutenant. I
would have called around me the neglected and the poor, and in the
highways and in the fields disclosed to them the tenderness and
loving-kindness that I had found, that they might feel, in all their
fulness, if they would turn from sin, and place their trust in heaven.
It was pain and anguish to be silent. Not for my own sake did I yearn to
speak. Oh no! There was nothing less than a love of self in the panting
desire that I felt to break the selfish silence. It was the love of
souls that pressed me forward, and the confidence that the good news
which it was my privilege to impart would find in every bosom a welcome
as warm and ready as it would prove to be effectual. To walk abroad in
silence, feeling myself to be the depositary of a celestial revelation,
and believing that to communicate it to mankind would be to ensure their
participation in its benefits, was hardly to be borne. There was not a
man whom I encountered in the street, to whom I did not secretly wish to
turn, and to pour into his ear the accents of peace and consolation; not
one whom I did not regard as a witness against me on that great day of
trial, when every man shall be judged according to his opportunities. I
spoke to Mr Clayton. He encouraged the feeling by which I was actuated,
but he dissuaded me from the manifestation of it in the form which
I proposed.

"There was no doubt," he said, "that every place was consecrated where
truth was spoken, and the Spirit made itself apparent. No one could deny
it. Much fruit, he did believe, might follow the sowing of the seed,
whose hand soever scattered it. Still there were other and nearer roads
to the point I aimed at. There were the sick and the needy around us--
many of his own congregation--with whom I might reciprocate sweet
comfort, and at whose bedside I might administer the balm that should
serve them in the hardest hour of their extremity. It should be his
office to conduct me to their humble habitations: it would be
unspeakable joy to him to behold me well and usefully employed."

And it was with eagerness that I accepted the touching invitation. I was
not loth or slow to take advantage of it. To serve mankind, to evince my
gratitude for mercies great and undeserved, was all I asked. To know
that I had gratified my wish, was peace itself. Highly as I had
estimated the character of Mr Clayton, I had yet to learn his real
value. I had yet to behold him the dispenser of comfort and contentment
in the hovels of the wretched and the stricken--to see the leaden eye of
disease grow bright at his approach, and the scowl of discontent and
envious repining dissolve into equanimity, or mould itself in smiles. I
had yet to see him the kind and patient companion of the friendless and
the slighted--slighted, because poor; the untired listener to long tales
of misery--so miserable, that they who told them could not track their
dim beginnings, or fix the time in distant childhood when wretchedness
was not. I had yet to find him standing at the beggar's pallet, giving
encouragement, inciting hope, and adding to the counsel of a guide the
solid evidences of a brother's love. With what a zeal did I attempt to
follow in my patron's steps--with what enthusiasm did I begin the course
which his sanction had legalized and rendered holy--and how, without a
doubt as to my title, or a reflection on the propriety of the step,
impelled by religious fervour, did I assume the tone and authority of a
teacher, and arrogate to myself the right of determining the designs of
the Omnipotent, and of appointing the degree of holy warmth below which
no believer could be sure of forgiveness and salvation!

In no transaction of my life have I ever been more sincere--have I acted
with a more decided assurance of the justice and necessity of the task,
than at this critical moment of my career. If Divine goodness had not
been specially vouchsafed to me, it was not that the conviction of my
appointment was not as clear and firm as the liveliest impressions of
the inmost heart could make it. To labour for the souls of the poor--to
teach them their obligations--to point out to them the way of safety--it
was this view of my delegated office that raised me to ecstasy, and
compelled from me the strangest ebullitions of passion. I pronounced the
change in my habits of thought to be "the dawning of the day, and the
sudden rising of the day-star in my heart;" and, dwelling with intensity
on my future labours, I could exclaim, with trembling emotion,--"Oh the
exceeding excellency and glory and sweetness of the work! The smile of
heaven is upon it--the emphatic testimony of my own conscience approves
and hallows it." I reflect at this moment with wonder upon the almost
supernatural ardour and devotion by which I was elevated and abased when
I first became thoroughly convinced of my mission, and declared aloud
that my only business now upon earth was that of the lowest and readiest
of servants, whose joy consists in the pleasure of their Master. The
strangeness, the excitement that accompanied the adoption of my new
character, had nearly overthrown me. Wild with gladness, before I
visited a human being, I took a journey of some twenty miles from the
metropolis. I do not remember now the name of the village at which I
stopped, from which I hurried, and whose fields I scoured with the
design of finding some covert, unfrequented spot, where I might
unmolested and unobserved pour forth the prayers and hymns of praise
with which my surcharged heart was teeming. Until nightfall I remained
there, nor did I leave the place until calmly and deliberately I begged
permission to devote myself to the glory and honour of Him, whose
favoured child I was. I walked a few miles on my return homeward. I
passed a church, that in the stillness of night reared its dark form,
and seemed, solemnly and pensively, like a thing of life, to stand
before me. The moon rose at its full over the venerable wall, and
scattered its bright cool light across the tall and moss-grown windows.
Oh! every thing in life that wondrous night stirred up my soul to pious
resolutions, and gave a wing to thought that could not find repose but
in the silent and eternal sky.

The impetuosity with which I entered upon my scheme of usefulness,
forbade preparation of any kind, had I not believed that any previous
qualification was not essential to my purpose; or if essential, had been
miraculously implanted in me. I was soon called upon to make my first
visitation. Never will it be forgotten. It was to the work-house. Mr
Clayton had been called thither by an old communicant, of whom he had
not heard before for years. "He was ill, and he desired to speak with
his still beloved minister."

Such was the message which reached my friend at the moment of his
quitting his abode, on an errand of still greater urgency. "Go, Caleb,"
said Mr Clayton, "visit and comfort the poor sufferer; and may grace
accompany your first labour of love." I proceeded to the place, and,
arriving there, was ushered into a small close room--to recoil at once
from the scene of misery which was there presented. Lying, with his hat
and clothes upon the bed, dying, was the man himself; his wife was busy
in the room, cleaning it, quietly and indifferently, as though the sleep
of healthy life had closed her partner's eye, and nothing worse. On the
threshold was a girl, the daughter of them both, twenty years of age or
more, _an idiot_, for she laughed outright when I approached her. I had
come to the house with my heart full of precious counsel, and yearning
to communicate the message with which I knew myself to be charged. But
in a moment I was brought to earth, shocked by the sight which I beheld,
wounded in my nature, and I had not a word to say. The hardened woman
looked at me for a moment, and calling me to myself by the act, I
mentioned the name of Mr Clayton, and was again silent.

"What! can't he come, sir?" asked the beldame. "Well, it don't much
matter. It's all over with 'un, I fear. Come, Jessie, can't you speak to
the gentleman? What can you make of her, sir?"

The daughter looked at me again, and sickened me with her unmeaning
laughter. I remembered the object of my visit, and struggled for
composure. Had I become a recreant so quickly? Had I not a word to say
for my Master? Nothing to offer the needy creatures, perishing, perhaps,
of spiritual want? Alarmed at my own apathy, and eager to throw it off,
I turned to the poor girl, and spoke to her. I asked her many questions
before I could command attention. She could only look at me wildly,
blush, laugh, and make strange motions to her mother. At length
I said--

"Tell me, Jesse, tell your friend, who came into the world to save
sinners?"

"Him, him, him," she answered hastily, and gabbled as before.

"Ah," said the mother, "the poor cretur does sometimes talk about
religion, but it's very seldom, and uncertain like, and I can't help
her either."

"Let me read to _you_," said I.

"Lor' bless you, sir," she answered, "it wouldn't do me no good. I am
too old for that. Now, get out of the way there--do, you simpleton," she
added, turning to the idiot; "just let me pass--don't you see I am
wanting to fetch up water."

She left the room immediately, and her daughter ran after her, screaming
a wild and piercing note. I moved to the dying man. He was insensible to
anything I could say. Fretted and ashamed of myself, I hurried from the
house, and, returning home, rushed to my room, fell upon my knees, and
implored my Father to inflict at once the punishment due to lukewarmness
and apostasy. How vain had been all my previous desire to distinguish
myself--how arrogant my pretensions--how inefficient my weak attempts! I
was not worthy of the commission with which I had been invested, and I
besought heaven to degrade the wretch who could not speak at the
seasonable moment, and to bestow it upon one worthier of its love, and
abler to perform his duty. I passed a miserable night of remorse, and
bitter self-accusation, and in the morning was distracted by the
battling feelings that were marshalled against each other in my soul.
Now, a sense of my unworthiness was victorious over every other thought,
and I resolved to resign my trust, and think of it no more; then the
belief in my election, the animating thought that I was chosen, and must
still go forward or stand condemned, hated by myself, rejected by my
God;--this gained the mastery next, and I was torn by sore perplexity. I
appealed to my benefactor. As usual, balm was on his lips, and I found
encouragement and support.

"I was yet young in the faith," he said, "and the abundance of heavenly
grace was not yet manifested. It would come in due time; and, in the
mean while, I must persevere, and a blessing would unquestionably
follow."

Much more he added, to reconcile me to the previous day's defeat, and to
animate me to new trials. Never did I so much need incentive and
upholding, never before had I esteemed the value of a spiritual
counsellor and friend.

In a small cottage, distant about three miles from the residence of Mr
Clayton, there lodged, at this time, an old man with his sister, a blind
woman about seventy years of age. He had communicated with Mr Clayton's
church for many years. He was now poor, and had retired from the
metropolis, to the hut, for the advantage of purer air, and in the hope
of prolonging the short span within which his earthly life had been
brought. To this humble habitation I was directed by Mr Clayton.

"The woman," said the minister, "is without any comfortable hope; but
the prospects of the brother are satisfactory and most cheering. Go to
the benighted woman. Her's is a melancholy case. Satan has a secure
footing in her heart, and defeats every effort and every motive that I
have brought to bear against it. May you be more fortunate--may her
self-deceived and hardened spirit melt before the force and earnestness
of your appeals!"

I ventured for a second time on sacred and interdicted ground, and
visited the cottage. The unhappy woman, to whom I had specially come,
was smitten indeed. She was blind and paralyzed, and on the extreme
verge of eternity. Yet, afflicted as she was, and as near to death as
the living may be, she enjoyed the tranquillity and the gentleness of a
child, ignorant of sin, and, in virtue of her infancy, confident of her
inheritance. I could discover no evidence of a creature alarmed with a
sense of guilt, loathing itself, conscious of its worthlessness. Her
nature, in truth, seemed to have usurped a sweetness and placidity, the
possession of which, as Mr Clayton afterwards observed, was justifiable
only in those who could find nothing but vileness and depravity in
every thought and purpose of their hearts.

It was a beautiful day in summer, and Margaret was sitting before the
cottage porch, feeling the sun's benevolent warmth, and tempering, with
the closed lid, the hot rays that were directed to her sightless orbs.
She had no power to move, and was happy in the still enjoyment of the
lingering and lovely day. She might have been a statue for her
quietness--but there were curves and lines in the decrepit frame that
art could never borrow. Little there seemed about her to induce a love
of life, and yet a countenance more bright with cheerfulness and mild
content I never met. The healthy and the young might read a lesson on
her blanched and wrinkled cheek. Full of my errand, I did not hesitate
at once to engage her mind on heavenly and holy topics. She did not, or
she would not, understand me. I spoke to her of the degradation of
humanity, our fallen nature, and the impossibility of thinking any thing
but sin--and a stone could not be more senseless than the aged listener.

"Was I sure of it?" she asked. "Did my Bible say it? Much she doubted
it, for she had sometimes, especially since her blindness, clear and
beautiful thoughts of heaven that could not be sinful, they rendered her
so happy, and took away from her all fear. It was so shocking, too," she
thought, "to think so ill of men--our fellow-creatures, and the
creatures of a perfect Father. She loved her brother--he was so
simple-minded, and so kind to her, too; how _could_ she call him wicked
and depraved!"

"Do you feel no load upon your conscience?" I enquired.

"Bless the good man's heart!" she answered, "why, what cares have I? If
I can hear his friendly voice, and know he is not heavy-burthened, I am
happy. Brother is all to me. Though now and then I'm not well pleased if
the young children keep away who play about me sometimes, as if they did
not need a playfellow more gay than poor blind Margaret."

"Have you no fear of death?" said I.

"Why should I have?" she answered quietly; "I never injured another in
my life."

"Can that take off the sting?" I asked.

"And I have tried," continued she, "as far as I was able, to please the
God who made me."

"Did you never think yourself the vilest of the vile?"

"Bless you! never, sir. How could I? If I had been, you may be sure Mr
Clayton and the visiting ladies would never have been so kind to me and
Thomas as they have--and how could we expect it? I was only thinking,
sir, before you came up, that if I had been wicked when I was young, I
would never have been so easy under blindness. Now, it doesn't give me
one unquiet hour."

"Margaret, I would you were more anxious."

"It wouldn't do, sir, for the blind to be anxious," she replied. "They
must do nothing, sir, but wait with patience. Besides, Thomas and I need
no anxiety at all. God gives us more than we require, and it would be
very wicked to be restless and unquiet."

"Margaret," I said impressively, "there is heaven!"

"Yes," she answered quickly, "that I'm sure of. I read of it before I
lost my eyes; and since my blindness I have seen it often. God is very
good to the afflicted, and none but the afflicted know how He makes up
for what He takes away. I have seen heaven, sir, though I have not sight
enough to know your face. Do you play dominoes, Mr--what did you say
your name was, sir?"

"You trifle, Margaret."

"Oh, no indeed, sir. But how wonderful and quick my touch has got, and
how kind is heaven there, sir! I can see the dominoes with my
fingers--touch is just as good as sight. Just think how many hours a
poor blind creature has, that must be filled up some way or another! I
like to keep to myself, and think, and think; but not always--and
sometimes I want Thomas to read to me; and when that's over, I feel a
want of something else. I'll tell you what it is--my eyes they want to
open. When that's the case, I always play at dominoes, and then the
feeling goes away. Thomas can tell you that, for he plays with me."

I continued the conversation for an hour, and with the same result. I
grew annoyed and irritated--not with the deluded sinner, as I deemed
her, but with myself, the feeble and unequal instrument. For a second
time I had attempted to comply with the instructions of my master, and
for a second time had I been foiled, and driven back in melancholy
discomfiture. The imperturbability and easy replies of the woman
harassed and tormented me in the extreme. I had been too recent a pupil
to be thoroughly versed in all the subtleties and mysteries of my
office. Silence was painful to me, and reply only accumulated difficulty
and vexation. She seemed so happy, too; in the midst of all her heresy
and error there existed an unaffected tranquillity and repose which I
would have purchased at any cost or sacrifice. I blushed and grew
ashamed, and for a moment forgot that the bereaved creature was unable
to behold the confusion with which defeat and exposure had covered me.
At length I spoke imperfectly, loosely, and at random. The woman
detected me in an untenable position--checked me--and in her artless
manner, laid bare the fallacy of an inconsiderate assertion. In an
instant I was aware of my conviction, I retracted my expression, and
involved myself immediately in fresh dilemma. Again, and as gently as
before, she made the unsoundness of a principle evident and glaring. How
I closed the argument--the conversation and the interview--and escaped
from her, I know not. Burning with shame, despising myself, and desirous
of burying both my disgrace and self deep in the earth, where both might
be forgotten, I was sensible of hurrying homeward. I reached it in
despair, satisfied that I had become a coward and a renegade, and that I
was lost, hopelessly and utterly here upon earth, and eternally
in heaven!

I had resolved, upon the day succeeding this adventure, to restore to my
benefactor the credentials with which be had been pleased to entrust me.
Satisfied of the truth of my commission, I could only deplore my
inability to execute it faithfully. In spite of what had passed at the
cottage-door, the doctrines which I had advocated there lost none of
their character and influence upon my own mind. Falling from the lips of
others, they dropped with conviction into my _own_ soul. Nothing could
shake my _own_ unbounded reliance on their saving efficacy and heavenly
origin. It was only when _I_ spoke of them, when _I_ attempted to
expound and teach them, that clouds came over the celestial truths, and
the sun's disk was dimmed and troubled. The moment that I ceased to
speak, light unimpaired, and bright effulgence, were restored. It was
enough that I could feel this. Grace and a miracle had made the
startling fact palpable and evident. This assurance followed easily. No
oral communication could have satisfied me more fully of the importance
and necessity of an immediate resignation of my trust. It was a
punishment for my presumption. I should have rested grateful for the
interposition which had rescued me from the jaws of hell, and left to
others, worthy of the transcendent honour, the glorious task of saving
souls. What was I, steeped in sin, as I had been up to the very moment
of my conversion--what was I, insolent, pretending worm, that I should
raise my grovelling head, and presume upon the unmerited favour that had
been showered so graciously upon me? It remained for those--purest and
best of men, whose lives from childhood onward had been a lucid
exposition of the word of truth--whose deeds had given to the world an
assurance of their solemn embassy; it was for them to feel the strength
the countenance, and support of heaven, and to behold with gratitude and
joy their labours crowned with a triumphant issue and success. This was
the new train of feeling suggested by new circumstances. I resigned
myself to its operation as quickly as I had adopted my previous
sentiments; and, a few days before, I was not more anxious to commence
my sacred course than I was now miserable and uneasy until I turned from
it once and for ever. Mr Clayton had placed in my hands a list of
individuals whom he transferred to my care. It was oppressive to know
that I possessed it, and my first step was to place it again at his
disposal. The interview which I obtained for this purpose was an
important one--important in itself--marvellous and astounding in its
consequences.

Mr Clayton spent many hours daily in a small room, called _a study_. It
was a chamber sacred to the occupation followed there. I had not access
to it--nor had any stranger, with the exception of two ill-favoured men,
whom I had found, for weeks together, constant attendants upon my
benefactor. For a month at a time, not a single day elapsed during which
they were not closeted for a considerable period with the divine. A
three weeks' interval of absence would then take place; Mr Clayton
prosecuted his studies alone and undisturbed, and no strange foot would
cross the threshold until the ill-looking men returned, and passed some
five weeks in the small sanctuary as before. Who could they be? I had
never directly asked the question, curious as I had been to know their
history and the purpose of their visits. Had I not learned from Mr
Clayton the impropriety and sinfulness of judging humanity by its looks,
I should have formed a most uncharitable opinion of their characters.
They were hard-featured men, sallow of complexion, rigid in their looks.
I knew that, attached to the church of Mr Clayton, were two
missionaries--men of rare piety, and some of humble origin--small
boot-makers, in fact; sometimes I believed that the visiters and they
were the same individuals. Circumstances, however, unfavourable to this
idea, arose, and I turned from one conjecture to another, until I
reposed, at length, in the belief that they were sinners--sinners of the
deepest dye--such as their ill-omened looks betrayed--and that they
sought the kind and ever-ready minister to obtain his counsel, and to
share his prayers. At all events, this was a subject upon which I
received no enlightening from their confidant. Once I took occasion to
make mention of it; but, in an instant, I perceived that my enquiry was
not deemed proper to be answered. It was to this forbidden closet--the
scene of so much mystery--that, to my great surprize, I found myself
invited by my benefactor, when I implored him to release me from the
obligation in which I had too hastily involved myself.

"Be seated, Caleb," said Mr Clayton, as we entered the room in company.
"Be seated, and be tranquil. You are excited now."

I was, in truth, and not more so than deeply mortified and humbled.

"You alarm me, dear young friend," continued the good minister. "You
alarm and grieve me. I tremble for you, when I behold your versatility.
Tell me, how is this? Can you not trust yourself? Can I trust you?"

I did not answer.

"I have been careful in not thwarting your own good purposes. I have
been most anxious to give your feelings their full bent. Has your
conversion been too sudden to endure? Have you so soon regretted the
abandonment of the great world and all its pleasures--such as they were
to you? Has a life of usefulness and peace no charms? Alas! I had hoped
otherwise."

I assured my friend that he had mistaken the motive which had compelled
me to forsake, at least for the present, the intention that I had
entertained honestly--though, I felt, erroneously--for the last few
days. Nothing was further from my thoughts than a desire to mix again in
a world of sinfulness and trouble. His precepts and bright example had
won me from it; and I prayed only to be established in the principles,
in the true knowledge of which I knew my happiness to consist. I was not
equal to the task which I had proposed to myself, and he had kindly
permitted me to assume. I wished to be his meanest disciple--to acquire
wisdom from his tuition--and, by the labour of years, to prepare myself
finally for that reward which he had so often announced to me as the
peculiar inheritance of the faithful and the righteous. I ceased. My
auditor did not answer me immediately. He sat for some minutes in
silence, and closed his eyes as if absorbed in thought. At length, he
said to me--

"You do not surprize me, Caleb. I am prepared for this. I perceived
your difficulties from afar. It was inevitable. Self-confidence has
placed you where you are. Be happy, and rejoice in your weakness--but
turn now to the strong for strength. The work that has begun in your
heart must be completed. It shall be so--do not doubt it."

The minister hesitated, looked hard at me, and endeavoured, as I
imagined, to find, in the expression of my countenance, an index to my
thoughts. I said nothing, and he proceeded.

"There are the appointed means. His way is in the sanctuary. He shall
feed his flock like a shepherd. There is but one refuge for the outcast.
I have but one alleviation to offer you. It is all and every thing. Are
you prepared to accept it?"

"You are my friend, my guardian, and my father," I replied.

"You have wandered long in the wilderness," continued the minister. "You
have fed with the swine and the goats. You have found no nourishment
there. All was bleak, and barren, and desolate there. The living waters
were dried up, and the bread of life was denied to the starving
wayfarer."

"What must be done, sir?"

"You MUST ENTER THE FOLD--and have communion with the chosen people of
the Lord. Are you content to do it?"

"Oh, am I worthy," I exclaimed, "to be reckoned in the number of those
holy men?"

"I cannot doubt it; but your own spirit shall bear witness to your
state. To-morrow is our next church-meeting. There, if it be your wish,
I will propose you; messengers will be appointed to converse with you.
They will come to you, and gather, from your experience, the evidences
of your renewed, regenerated character."

"What shall I say, sir?" I asked in all simplicity.

"What says the drowning man to the hand that brings him to the shore?
Your beating heart will be too ready to acknowledge the mighty work that
has been already done on your behalf. Have you forgotten the way you
have been led? Point it out to them. Have you been plucked as a brand
from the burning? Acknowledge it to them in strains of liveliest
gratitude. Does not your soul at this moment overflow at the vivid
recollection of all the Lord has done for it and you? Will it not yearn
to sing aloud His praise when strangers come to listen to the song? Then
speak aloud to them. Do you not feel, have not a hundred circumstances
all concurred to prove, that you exist a vessel chosen to show forth His
praise? Show it to them, and let them carry back the certain proofs of
your redemption--let them convey the sweet intelligence of a brother's
safety--and let them bid the church prepare to welcome him with hymns of
praise into her loving bosom."

Within a week of the above conversation, two respectable individuals
called upon me at Mr Clayton's house--the accredited messengers of the
church in which my eternal safety was about to be secured. One was a
thickset man, with large black whiskers and corresponding eyebrows. His
countenance had a stern expression--the eye especially, which lay
couched like a tiger beneath its rugged overhanging brow. You did not
like to look at it, and you could not meet it without unpleasantness and
awe. The gentleman was very tall and sturdy--evidently a hairy person;
he was unshaven, and looked muscular. Acting under the feeling which led
him to despise all earthly grandeur and distinction, and which, no doubt
influenced his conduct throughout life, he was remarkable for a
carelessness and uncleanness of attire, as powerful and striking as the
odour which exhaled from his broad person, and which explained the
profession of the gentleman to be--a working blacksmith. His companion
was thin, and neat, and dapper. There was an air about _him_ that could
not have been acquired, except by frequent intercourse with the polished
and the rich. He was delicacy itself, incapable of a strong expression,
and happier far when he could hint, and not express his sentiments. Had
I been subject only to his examination, my ordeal would not have been
severe. It was the blacksmith whom I found hard and unimpressible as his
own anvil, dark as his forge, and as unpitying as its flames. The thin
examiner held the high office of deacon of the church. Whether it was
the particularly dirty face of his friend that set him off to such
advantage, or whether he had inherent claims to my respect, I cannot
tell; well I know, throughout the scrutiny that soon took place, many
times I should have fallen beneath the blacksmith's hammer, but for the
support and mild encouragement that I found in him. He was most
becomingly dressed. He wore a white cravat, and no collar. He had light
hair closely cut, and his face was as smooth as a woman's. His shirt was
whiter than any shirt I have ever seen before or since, and it was made
of very fine material. He carried an agreeable smirk upon his
countenance, and he disinterred, now and then, some very long and
extraordinary word from the dictionary, when he was particularly
desirous either to make himself understood or conceal his meaning. I had
almost omitted to add, that he was a ladies' haberdasher.

I received the deputation with a trembling and apprehensive heart. I
knew my faith to be sincere, and I believed it to be correct, according
to the views of the church of which my revered friend was the minister
and organ. Still, I could not be insensible to the importance of the
step which I was about to take, and to the high tone of piety which the
true believers demanded from all who joined their ranks and partook of
their exclusive privileges.

It will not be necessary to repeat in detail the course of my
examination. At the close of two hours it was concluded, and I am at
this moment willing to confess that it was, upon the whole,
satisfactory. I mean to myself--for by my questioners, and by the
little haberdasher more particularly, the conference was pronounced most
gratifying and comforting in every way. I say _upon the whole_, for I
could not, even at that early period of my initiation, and with all my
excitement and enthusiasm, prevent the intrusion of some disturbing
thoughts--some painful impressions that were not in harmony with the
general tenor of my feelings. I had prepared myself to meet and deal
with the appointed delegates of heaven, and I had encountered _men_,
yes, and men not entitled to my reverence and regard, except as the
chosen ambassadors of the church. One was low, ignorant, and vulgar. He
took no pains to conceal the fact; he rather gloried in his native and
offensive coarseness. The other was a smoother man, scarcely less
destitute of knowledge, or worthier of respect. Looking back, at this
distance of time, upon this strange interview, I am indeed shocked and
grieved at the part which I then and there permitted myself to
undertake. The scene has lost the colours which gave it a false and
superficial lustre, and I gaze on the melancholy reality chidden, and,
let me say, instructed by the sight. I can now better appreciate and
understand the self-confident tone which pronounced upon my state in the
eye of heaven--the canting expressions of brotherly love--the irreverent
familiarity with which Scripture was quoted, garbled, and tortured to
justify dissent, and render disobedience holy--the daring assumption of
inquisitorial privileges, and the scorn, the illiberality and
self-righteousness, with which my angry, bigoted, and vulgar questioners
decided on the merits of every institution that eschewed their fanciful
vagaries and most audacious claims. I do not wonder that, overtaken in a
career of misery, the consequence of my own imprudence, I should have
been arrested by the voice, and smitten by the eloquence, of Mr Clayton.
I do not wonder that I listened to his arguments, and observed his
conduct, until I was reduced to passiveness, and my mind was willing to
be moulded to his purposes. But I do wonder and lament that any
obscuration of my judgment, any luxuriance of feeling, should have
permitted my youthful understanding for an instant to believe that to
such men as my examiners the keys of heaven were entrusted, and that on
them, and on their voice, depended the reception of a broken-hearted
penitent at the mercy-seat of God.

A few words from the haberdasher-deacon, at the breaking up of the
convocation, or whatever else it might be termed, were satisfactory, in
so far as they showed that my temporal prospects were not entirely
neglected by those who had become so deeply interested in my spiritual
welfare. The blacksmith had hardly brought to a close a somewhat lengthy
and very ungrammatical exhortation, that wound up the day's proceedings,
when the dapper Jehu Tomkins, jumping at once from the carnival to the
revel, shook me cordially by the hand, and most kindly suggested to me
that, under the patronage of so important and religious a connexion as
that into which I was about to enter, I could not fail to succeed,
whatever might be the plan which I had laid down for my future support.

"I have heard all about you," added Jehu, "from our respected minister,
and you'll soon get into something now. It's a good congregation, sir--
wealthy and influential. I should say we have richer people in our
connexion than in any about London. Mr Clayton is a very popular man,
sir--very good, and speaks the truth."

"He is good indeed," I answered.

"Sir, grace is sure to follow you now. It is fifteen years since I first
sat under Mr Clayton! Ah, I remember the night I was converted, as if it
were yesterday. I always felt, up to that very time, the need of
something better than I had got. Business had gone wrong ever since I
opened shop, and my mind was quite unsettled. Satan tried very hard at
me, but it wouldn't do. Sometimes, when my boy had gone home, and shop
was shut up, the Tempter would whisper in my ears words like
these--'Jehu, you're insured, over and over again, for your stock; let a
spark fall on the shavings, and your fortune's made.' Well, sir, once or
twice--will you believe it?--the Devil had nearly got it all his own
way; but grace prevented, and I was saved. I owe it all to Mr Clayton. I
was told by one or two of my customers to go and hear him, but somehow
or other I never did. Satan kept me back. At last the gentleman as was
the deacon--him as built the chapel--Mrs Jehu Tomkin's father--comes to
my shop with his daughter, Mrs Jehu as is now, and spoke to me about the
minister. Well, I heard the old gentleman was very rich and pious, and I
went the next Sabbath-day as was, with his family, into his pew. I never
went any where else after that. He seemed to hit the nail just on the
head, and I was convinced--oh, quite wonderful!--all on a sudden. I was
married to Mrs Jehu before that day twelvemonth. So you see grace
followed me throughout, as it will you, my dear brother, if you only
mind what you are about, and don't be a backslider."

"Mr Clayton," said I, "has kindly promised to procure employment for
me."

"Ah! and he'll do it, if he says so," rejoined Mr Tomkins. "That's your
man. You stick to him, and you won't hurt. He's a chosen vessel, if ever
there was one. What do you say, brother Buster?"

Brother Buster simply groaned his assent, and scowled. He had been for
some time anxious to depart, and he now took his leave without
further ceremony.

"You wouldn't think that man was a saint to look at him, would you?"
asked the deacon, as soon as his friend was gone. "He is though. He is
riper in spiritual matters than any man I know. Ah! the Establishment
would give something for a few like him. He'll be taken from us, I fear.
We make a idol of him, and that's sure to be punished. It's wonderful
what he knows; and how it has come to him we can't tell."

I received a pressing invitation from Mr Tomkins to visit his "small and
'appy family," as he was pleased to call it, on any evening after eight
o'clock, which was his latest business hour. "Mrs Jehu," I was assured,
"was just like her father, and his four small Jehus as exactly like
their grandfather, and he wished to say no more for them. After
business his family enjoyed invariably a little spiritual refreshment,
and that and a hymn made the time pass very agreeably till supper-time
at nine, when he had a 'ot collation, at which he should be most proud
to see me."

To all the charges that have been at various times, with more or less
virulence and disinterestedness, brought against the Church of England,
that of assuming to itself the divine attribute of searching the secret
heart of many has, I believe, never been superadded. It has remained for
men very far advanced indeed in spiritual knowledge and perfection, to
assert the bold prerogative, and to venture, unappalled, beneath the
frown of heaven. The close scrutiny, on the part of Mr Buster, proper as
it was as a step preliminary, was by no means sufficient to procure for
me an easy and unquestioned admission into the church which the
blacksmith had so ably represented. There was yet another trial to
ensue, and another jury to pronounce upon the merits of the anxious
candidate. He had yet to prove to the perfect satisfaction of the
self-constituted junto, that styled itself a _church_, how God had
mercifully dealt with him--to detail, with historic accuracy, the method
and procedure of his regeneration, and to find evidence of a spiritual
change, that carried on its front the proof of his conversion and his
accepted state. All this was to be done before I could be _entitled_ to
the privileges which Messrs Buster, Tomkins, and the rest, had it in
their power to bestow. The manner in which this delicate investigation
was carried on, its indecorum and profaneness, I never can forget; nor
can I, in truth, remember it without humiliation and deep sorrow.
Against the indiscreet, illegal exhibition, I set off my ignorance,
simplicity, and desire of serving heaven; and in these I place my hope
of pardon for the share I had in such proceedings.

I received, in due form, a requisition to appear before the body of the
_church_, at its general meeting. I appeared. The chapel was thronged,
the majority of members being women. In the hands of nearly every third
person was a printed paper. I was not then aware of its contents; if I
had been, the ceremony would, in all probability, have concluded with my
entrance. Will it be believed, that this paper contained a printed
formula of the questions which were to test the quality of my faith, and
to pronounce upon the vitality and worth of my spiritual pretensions!
Any person present was at liberty to address me, and to form his own
opinion of my case from the manner and the matter which their ingenuity
elicited. At the suggestion of Mr Tomkins, who, in his capacity of
deacon, was remarkably active on this occasion, it was deemed proper
that I should enter upon my "experience" at once. My heart fluttered as
I rose to comply with the demand, and the chapel was hushed. It will be
sufficient to say, that I repeated my entire history, and secured the
attention of my auditory until I had spoken my last word. There were
parts of the narrative which I could, with a glance, perceive to be
peculiarly _piquant_ and acceptable. As these occurred, a rustling and a
murmur expressed the subdued applause. When, for instance, I mentioned
the disgust which I had conceived for the University upon losing the
scholarship, and the uneasiness which I afterwards felt as long as I
continued a member of that community, a few of the most acute looked at
one another, and shrugged mysteriously, as who should say, "How wondrous
are the ways of Providence!" and when I arrived at the point of my
deliverance by the hand of their own minister, there would have been, I
thought, no end to the gesticulations, expressions of gratitude and joy,
that burst from the "church," in spite of the praiseworthy efforts of
the minister to control and keep them down. When I had concluded, and
whilst the half-suppressed rejoicing still buzzed in the chapel, the
stern Buster rose, and presented to me the unmitigated force of his
unpleasant eye. Silence prevailed immediately.

"Now, sir," said my old friend, "what makes you think yourself a child
of grace? Speak out, if you please; I'm rather deaf."

"The loathing that I feel of what I was."

"Good!" said Jehu Tomkins, with strong emphasis, and loud enough to be
heard by every one.

"When did you feel the fetters fust busting from your spirit?"

"Not till I heard the minister's kind voice," was the reply.

"Do you always feel as strong upon the subject? Do you feel your spirit
always willing?"

"Oh, no," I answered; "there are dreadful fluctuations, and there is
nothing so uncertain as self-dependence. I have dark and bitter moments,
when I feel, in all its power, the melancholy truth--'When I would do
good, evil is present with me.'"

"Capital sign!--capital sign!" exclaimed Jehu Tomkins again; "quite
sufficient!--quite sufficient!"

Yes, it was so. A few questions were put to me by individuals, rather
for the sake of gratifying an impertinent curiosity, than that of
elucidating further proof of my proficiency, and the ceremony was
finished by my formal reception into the body of the church. A prayer
was offered, an address delivered, a hymn sung--the eyes of many ladies
were turned with smiling interest upon me--and the meeting separated.
Jehu Tomkins was the first to congratulate me upon the happy issue of
my trial.

"You are a made man, sir, depend upon it," said he, with his first
salutation. "You can't fail. There--do you see that fat man that's just
going out--him as has got on the Indy 'ankycher?--I sold him that--he
came on purpose to hear you, and if he found you up to the mark, he's
going to provide for you. He belongs to all our societies, and just does
what he pleases. His word's a law. We've a boiled leg of mutton at nine
to-night. Suppose you come to us, and finish the day there? Bless me,
what a full meeting we've had! Here's a squeezing!" There was certainly
some difficulty in our egression. The people had gathered into a crowd
at the small doorway, and men jostled and made their way without regard
to others in their vicinity. Lost as I was in the indiscriminate host, a
few observations fell upon my ear that were not, I presume, especially
intended for it.

"Well," said a greasy youth, not many yards distant from me, "I doubt
his having had a call. There wasn't life enough in it for me. I
shouldn't be surprised if he's a black sheep after all. I wish I had put
a question or two to him. I think I could have shown Satan in his heart
pretty quick."

"Now you say it," replied the person addressed, "I did think him very
backward and lukewarm. I didn't like his tone altogether. Ah! what a
thing experimental religion is! You know what it is, and so do I; but I
werry much fear that delooded young man is as carnal-minded as my mother
was, that went to hell, though I say it, as contented and unconcerned as
if she was going to the saints in glory."

The information conveyed to me by Mr Tomkins as we issued from the
chapel was not unfounded. The very day subsequent to my admittance into
the bosom of the church, I was requested to attend the minister in the
_sanctum_ already referred to. Upon reaching it, I discovered the fat
gentleman of the preceding evening, dressed as he was on the previous
occasion, and still adorned with Jehu's India handkerchief. Both he and
Mr Clayton were seated at table, and writing materials were before them.
The moment I entered the apartment, the fat gentleman held out his hand,
and shook mine with much stateliness. My friend, however, addressed me.

"Caleb," said he, "we are at length able to fulfil our promise. It is my
pleasure to announce to you that a situation is procured for you,
suitable to your talents, and agreeable to your feelings. We are both of
us indebted to this good gentleman. In your name I have already thanked
him, and in your name I have accepted the office which he has been at
some pains to obtain for you."

I looked towards the stout gentleman, and bowed in grateful
acknowledgment.

"Tell him the duties, Clayton," requested my new-found influential
friend.

"Mr Bombasty," proceeded the minister, "feels a warm interest in your
welfare. The happy result of yesterday's trial has secured for you a
friendship which it will be your duty and study to deserve. There is
established, in connexion with our church, a Christian instruction
society, of which Mr Bombasty is the esteemed and worthy president. The
appointment of a travelling secretary rests with him, and he has this
very day nominated you to that distinguished office. I have tendered
your thanks. You can now repeat them."

"Tell him the salary," interrupted the president.

"You will receive one hundred and fifty pounds per annum," continued Mr
Clayton, "in addition to your travelling charges; apartments likewise, I
believe"--He hesitated as if uncertain, and looked towards the
president.

"Yes," replied that gentleman, "go on--coals and candles. You answer for
him, Clayton--eh?"

"As I told you, sir," said my friend, "I will pledge myself for his
trustiness and probity."

The remembrance of Mr Chaser's cold-hearted cruelty occured to my mind
as my benefactor spoke, and tears of gratitude trembled in my eyes. The
fat gentleman remarked the expression of feeling, and brought the
interview to a close.

"Well, Clayton," said he, "you can talk to him. I've twenty places to go
to yet. Get the paper signed, and he may begin at once. Let a lawyer
draw it up. Just make yourself security for a thousand pounds--I don't
suppose he'll ever have more than half that at a time in his
possession--and that'll be all the society will require. He can come to
me to-morrow. Now I'm off. Good-bye, my friend--'morning, young man."
The last adieu was accompanied with a patronizing nod of the head,
which, with the greeting on my first appearance, constituted the whole
of the intercourse that passed between me and my future principal. The
moment that he departed, I turned to Mr Clayton, and thanked him warmly
and sincerely for all that he had accomplished for me.

"I shall leave you, sir," I added, "with mingled feelings of regret and
satisfaction--regret in separating from the purest and the best of men,
my friend, my counsellor, and father--but joy, because I cease to be a
burden upon your charity and good nature. I carry into the world with me
the example of your daily life, and my own sense of your dignified and
exalted character. Both will afford me encouragement and support in the
vicissitudes which yet await me. Tell me how I may better evince my
gratitude, and let me gratify the one longing desire of my
overflowing heart."

"Caleb," replied the minister, with solemnity, "it is true that I have
been permitted to protect and serve you. It is true that, but for me, at
this moment you would be beyond the reach of help and man's regard. I
have brought you from the grave to life. I have led you to the waters of
life, of which you may drink freely, and through which you will be made
partaker with the saints, of glory everlasting. This I have done for
you. Do I speak in pride? Would I rob Heaven and give the praise and
honour to the creature? God forbid. _I_ have accomplished little. _I_
have done nothing good and praiseworthy but as the instrument of Him
whose servant and whose minister I am. Not for myself, but for my
Master's sake, I demand your friendship and fidelity. If I have been
accounted worthy to save your soul, I am not unworthy of your loyalty
and love."

"They are yours, sir. It is my happiness to offer them."

"Caleb," continued my friend, in the same tone, "you have lived with me
many months. Mine is a life of privacy and retirement compared with that
of other men. I strive to be useful to my fellow-creatures, and am happy
if I succeed. If any one may claim immunity from slander and reproach,
it is I, who have avoided diligently all appearance of offence. Yet I
have not succeeded. You are about to mix again with men. You have joined
the church, and you will not fail to hear me spoken of harshly and
injuriously."

"Impossible!" I exclaimed.

"Yes, it would seem so, and it would _be_, if justice in this world
accompanied men's acts. I tell you," continued Mr Clayton, flushing as
he raised his voice, "there are men living now whom I have raised from
beggary and want--men, indebted to me for the air they breathe, who
calumniate and defame me through the world, and who will not cease to do
so till I or they are sleeping in the dust. They owed me every thing,
like you--their gratitude was unbounded, even as yours. What assurance
have I that you will not deal as hardly by your friend as they have
done, and still do?"

"Mr Clayton," I answered, eagerly, "I would lay down my life to serve
you."

"I believe you to be frank and honest, Caleb. I should believe it; for I
am about to pledge a heavy sum upon your integrity--and, indeed, I can
but ill spare it. You ask me how I would have you show your thankfulness
for what I have accomplished for you. I answer, by giving me your
_friendship_. It is a holy word, and comprehends more than is supposed.
A friend believes not ill that is spoken of him to whom he is united by
mutual communion and interest; he is faithful to the end, through good
report and evil, and falls, if need be, with the man to whom he has
engaged his troth and given his heart."

"I am unworthy, sir," I said, "to stand in this relation with one so
good, so holy as yourself. I have but a word to say--trust and confide
in me. I will never deceive you."

"Let us pray," said Mr Clayton, after a long pause, sighing as he spoke,
and speaking very softly--and immediately he fell upon his knees, and I,
according to a practice which I had acquired at the chapel, leaned upon
a chair, and turned my face to the window.

It was about a month after my installation into my new office, that
business connected with the society carried me to the village of
Highgate. It was late in the evening when my commission was completed,
and I was enabled, after a day of excessive fatigue, to direct my steps
once more homeward. The stage-coach, which set out from the village for
London twice during the day, luckily for me, was appointed to make its
last journey about half an hour after my engagements had set me at
liberty. A mile, across fields, intervened between me and the
coach-office. Short as the distance was, it was any thing but an
agreeable task to get over it, with the rain spitting into my face, the
boisterous wind beating me back, and the darkness of a November night
confounding me at every turn. In good time, however, I reached the inn.
Providence favoured me. There were but two seats unoccupied in the
coach; one was already engaged by a gentleman who had requested to be
taken up a mile forward; the other had just been given up by a lady who
had been frightened by the storm, and had postponed her return to London
to the following day. This seat I immediately secured, and in a few
minutes afterwards we were on our way towards Babylon. We made but
little progress. The breed of coach horses has been much improved since
the period of which I write, and a journey from Highgate to London was a
much more important event than a railway conductor of the present day
would suppose. My companions were all men. Their conversation turned
upon the topics of the day. A monetary crisis had taken place in the
mercantile world, and for many days I had heard nothing spoken of but
the vast losses which houses and individuals of high character and
standing had incurred, and the bankruptcy with which the community had
become suddenly threatened. The subject had grown stale and wearisome to
me. It had little interest, in fact, for one whose humble salary of one
hundred and fifty pounds per annum depended so little upon the great
fluctuations of commerce, and I accordingly disposed myself for sleep as
soon as the words _bills_, _money_, and _bankruptcy_, became the staple
matter of discourse. I had scarcely established a comfortable doze
before the coach stopped suddenly, and awoke me. It had halted for the
last inside. A gentleman, apparently stout and well wrapped up--it was
impossible to speak positively on the subject, the night was so very
dark--trod his way into the vehicle over the toes of his
fellow-passengers, and took his seat. The coach was once more moving
towards the metropolis, and again I endeavoured to lull myself to sleep.
The same expressions proceeded from the lips of the travellers, and they
were growing more and more indistinct and shadowy, when I was startled
all on a sudden by one of the most palpable sounds that had ever
disturbed and confounded a dreamer. I sat up and listened, coughed to
convince myself that I was certainly awake, and the sounds were repeated
as clear and as audible as before. I would have sworn that Mr Clayton
was the gentleman whom we had last picked up--that he was now in the
coach with me--and was now talking, if the words which fell from the
traveller had not been such as he would never have used, and the subject
on which he spoke had not been one upon which Mr Clayton, I believed,
was as ignorant as a child. The resemblance between the voices was so
great, that I pronounced the phenomenon the most extraordinary that had
ever occurred to me; and growing quite wakeful from the incident, I
continued to listen to the accents of the speaker until once or twice I
had almost thought it my duty to acquaint him with the remarkable fact,
which he was now living to illustrate. But I held my peace, and the
conversation proceeded without interruption.

"You may depend upon it," said one gentleman, "things must get worse
before they'll mend. Half the mischief isn't done yet. There's a report
to-day that ---- cannot hold out much longer. It will be a queer thing
if they smash. Many petty tradesmen bank with that house, who will be
ruined if they go. Things are certainly in a very sweet state."

"You do not mean," said _the voice_, trembling with emotion or alarm,
"that the house of ---- threatens to give way? I have been in the city
to-day, and did not hear a syllable of this. I think you must he
mistaken. Good God, how frightful!"

Well, it was really wonderful! I could have sworn that Mr Clayton was
the speaker. Had he not concluded with the ejaculation, my doubt would
certainly have ceased. That exclamation, of course, removed the
supposition entirely.

"You'll find I'm right, sir," was the reply of the traveller who spoke
first. "At least, I fear you will. I hope I may be wrong. If you have
any thing in their hands, you would find it worth your while, I think,
to pay them an early visit to-morrow morning. If there's a run upon
them, nothing in the world can save them."

"And is it true," asked _the voice_, "that ---- stopped payment
on Tuesday? I came to town from Warwickshire only yesterday, and this
is the first news that I heard."

"Oh, there's no doubt about that," answered a third person; "but that
surprized nobody. The only wonder is, how he managed to keep afloat so
long. He has been up to the chin for the last twelvemonth and more. I
hope you don't lose there, sir?"

"Mine has been the devil's luck this year," continued _the voice_, in a
bitter savage tone, that never belonged to Mr Clayton. "Yes, gentlemen,
I lose heavily by them both. But never mind, never mind, _one_ shall
wince for it, if he has been playing ducks and drakes with my good
money. He shall feel the scourge, depend upon it. I'll never leave him
till he has paid me back in groans. Heaven, what a sum!"

_The voice_ said no more during the journey. The other gentlemen having
lost nothing by the various failures, discussed matters with philosophy
and praiseworthy decorum. Sometimes, indeed, "the third person" grew
slightly facetious and jocose when he represented to himself what he
termed "the queer cut" that some old friend would display on presenting
his cheque for payment at the rickety counter of Messrs ---- & Co.; but
no deeper expression of feeling escaped one of those who spoke so long
and volubly on what concerned themselves so very little. I was puzzled
and disturbed. The stranger had returned from Warwickshire the day
before. Twice during my residence with the minister, business of
importance had carried him to that county. It was certainly a curious
coincidence, but coincidences more curious pass by us every day
unheeded. It would have been absurd to conclude from that the identity
of the stranger; yet the fact, coupled with _the voice_, staggered and
confounded me. I said nothing, but determined, as soon as we reached the
public streets, to call to my aid the light--feeble as it was--of the
dimly-burning lamps, which, at the time I speak of, were placed at a
considerable distance from each other along the principal streets of
London, scattering no light, and looking like oil lamps in the last
stage of a lingering consumption. These afforded me little help. The
weakest effort of illumination imaginable strayed across the coach
window as we passed a burner, about as serviceable as the long interval
of darkness that ensued, and far more tantalizing. We were driving
through the city. I was still brooding over the singular occurrence,
when the coach stopped. The stranger alighted. I endeavoured to obtain
sight of him, but he was so wrapped and clothed that I did not succeed.
The coach was on its way again, and I had just opportunity enough to
discover that we had halted at the corner of the street in which Mr
Clayton resided. I had been so intent upon scanning the figure of the
traveller, that the fact had escaped me. Had I been aware of it, I would
certainly have followed the man, and seen him at all events safely
beyond the door of the minister. Now it was too late.

I could not repress the desire which I felt to visit Mr Clayton on the
following morning. I went to him at an early hour. If he and the
stranger were one and the same person, I should be made aware of it at a
glance. The cause that had affected him so deeply in the stage-coach
existed still, and his manner must betray him. My suspicions were, thank
Heaven, instantly removed. I found my friend tranquil as ever, busy at
his old occupation, and welcoming me with his usual smile of
benevolence. He was paler than usual, I thought; but this impression
only convinced me how difficult it is to be charitable and just, when
bias and prejudice once take possession of us. My friend was, if any
thing, kinder and more affectionate than ever. He spoke to me about my
new employment, gave me his advice on points of difficulty, and bade me
consult him always, and without hesitation, when doubt might lead me
into danger. He could not tell me how happy he had been made by having
secured a competency for me; and he hoped sincerely that no act of mine
would ever cause him to regret the step that he had taken.

"Indeed," said he, "I have great confidence in you, Caleb. I do not know
another person in the world upon whose character I would have staked so
large a sum. In truth, I should not have been justified. A thousand
pounds is a heavy venture for one so straitened as I am. But you are
worthy of it all. You are a faithful and good boy, and will never give
me reason to repent my generosity. Will you, child?"

"No, sir," I replied; "not if I am master of myself."

"It is strange," continued the good man, "how we attach ourselves to
individuals! There are some men who repel you at first sight--with whom
your feelings are at variance as oil with water. Others again, who win
us with a look--to whom we could confide the secrets of our inmost
heart, and feel satisfied of their losing nothing of their sacredness.
Have you never experienced this, Caleb?"

"I could speak to you, sir," said I, in return, "as unreservedly as to
myself."

"Yes, and I to you. It is a strange and beautiful arrangement.
Providence has a hand in this, as in all other sublunary dispensations.
We were created to be a comfort and a joy to one another, and to
reciprocate confidence and love. Such instances are not confined to
modern times. History tells us of glorious friendships in the ancient
world. The great of old--of Greece and Rome--they who advanced to the
very gate and threshold of TRUTH, and then despairingly turned
back--they have honoured human nature by the intensity and permanency of
their attachments. But what is a Pagan attachment in comparison with
that which exists amongst believers, and unites in bonds that are
indissoluble, the faithful hearts of pious Christians?"

"Ah, what indeed, sir!"

"Come to me to-morrow, Caleb," continued my friend, changing the
subject. "Let me see you as often as your duties will permit you. We
must not be strangers. I did not intend to give you up so easily. It is
sweet and refreshing to pursue our old subjects of discourse. You are
not tired of them?"

"Oh, no, sir."

"Come, then, to-morrow."

It was truly delightful to listen to the minister. I had never known him
more sweetly disposed and more calm than on this occasion. He was
unruffled by the presence of one anxious thought. Ah, how different
would he have been if he had really proved to be my coach acquaintance!
How I despised myself for the one unkind half suspicion which I had
entertained so derogatory to the high character of the saint. But it was
a great comfort to me, nevertheless, to be so satisfied of my delusion,
and to feel so easy and so happy in my mind at the close of our long
interview. According to my promise, I saw the minister on the following
day. He was as peaceful and heavenly-minded as before. Another
appointment was made and kept--another succeeded to that--and for one
fortnight together, I spent many hours daily in the society of my
respected friend.

In pursuance of an arrangement which we had made, I called one afternoon
at Mr Clayton's house, and was distressed to hear that he was confined
to his bed by a sudden attack of illness. He had directed his servant to
acquaint all visiters with his condition, and to admit no one to him,
with the exception of the medical attendant and myself. I was eager to
profit by my privilege, and was in a few seconds at the bedside of my
benefactor. He was reading when I approached him, and he looked flushed
and agitated. He put his book away from him, and held out his hand to
me. I pressed it most affectionately.

"I have been ill, Caleb," he began, "but I am better now, and I shall be
quite well soon. Do not be alarmed."

"How did it happen, sir?" I asked.

"We are in the flesh now, dear boy, and are subject to the evils of the
flesh. Hereafter it will be otherwise. Sorrow and distress, we are told,
shall be no more. Oh, happy time for sinners! I have grievously
offended. This very day I have permitted worldly thoughts to disturb and
harrass me, and to shake the fleshly tabernacle. It was wrong,
very wrong."

"What has happened, sir?" I enquired.

The minister looked hard and tenderly upon me, pressed my hand again,
and bade me take a chair.

"Bring it near to the bed, Caleb," said Mr Clayton; "I like to have you
near me. I am better since you came. To see you is always soothing to my
mind. I am reminded, then, that I am not altogether so worthless and
insignificant a worm as I believe myself, since I have been able to do
so much for you. Tell me, do you still like the employment that I
procured for you?"

"I would not resign it for any other that I know of. It is every thing
to me. I feel my independence, and I have been told that I am useful to
my fellow-creatures. It would be a bitter hour to me, sir, that should
find me deprived of my appointment."

"And that hour is very distant, Caleb, if you are sensible of your duty,
and grateful to the instruments which Heaven has raised for you. You
shall always feel your independence, and always hear that you are useful
and respected. Be but faithful. It is a lesson that I have repeated to
you many times--it cannot be told too often."

"You are a patient and a kind instructor, sir."

"Come closer to me, Caleb, and now listen. But first--look well at me,
and tell me what you see."

I looked as he required, but gave no answer.

"Tell me, do you see the lines and marks that beggary and ruin bring
upon the countenance of men? Does poverty glare from any one expression?
_I am a lost and ruined man._"

"You, sir?"

"Yes. The trifling pittance upon which I lived, and barely lived, and
yet from which I could still extract enough to do a little good--to
feed, perhaps, one starving throat--is wrested, torn from me, and from
those who shared in what it might obtain. I am myself a beggar."

Mr Clayton became agitated as he spoke, and I implored him to compose
himself.

"Yes--it is that I wish to do. I should be above the influence of dross.
And for myself I am. Would that I might suffer alone! And this is not
all. The man who has effected my ruin owes every thing to me. I found
him penniless, and raised him to a condition that should have inspired
him with regard and gratitude. I would have trusted that man with
confidence unbounded. I did entrust him with my all, and he has beggared
and undone me."

"Take it not to heart, sir," I said, soothing the afflicted man; "things
may not be so bad as you suppose."

"They cannot be worse," was the reply; "but I will _not_ take it to
heart. The blow is hard to bear--the carnal man must feel it--yet I am
not without my solace. Read to me, Caleb."

I read a chapter from the work that was lying on the bed. It was called
"_The Good Man's Comfort in Affliction_." It was effectual in restoring
my friend to composure. He spoke afterwards with his usual softness
of manner.

"This bad man, Caleb," he resumed, "is a member of our church. I am
sorry for it--grievously, bitterly sorry for it. The scandal must be
removed. Personally, I would be as passive and forbearing as a child,
but the church suffers whilst one such member is permitted to profane
her ordinances. He must be cut off from her. It must be done. The church
must disavow the man who has betrayed her minister and disgraced
himself. I have been your friend, Caleb--you must now prove mine."

"Most willingly," said I.

"This business must be brought before a general meeting of the church.
From me the accusation will come with ill grace, and yet a public charge
must be preferred. You must be the champion of my cause. Your's shall be
the task of conferring a lasting obligation on your friend--your's shall
be the glory of ridding the sanctuary of defilement."

"How am I to act, sir?"

"Your course is very easy, child. A meeting shall be convened without
delay. You shall attend it. You shall be made master of the case. You
must propose an examination of his affairs on the part of the church.
The man has failed--he is a bankrupt--our church is pure, and demands an
investigation into the questionable conduct of her children. This you
shall do. The church will do the rest."

I know not how it was--I cannot tell what led to it--but a cold shudder
crept through my body, and a sudden sickness overcame me. I thought of
the coach scene--_the voice_ seemed more like than ever--the tones were
the very same. I seemed unexpectedly enclosed and entangled in some
dreadful mystery. I could not conceive why I should hesitate to accept
the invitation of my friend with alacrity and pleasure. He was my
benefactor, preserver, best and only friend.

He had been defrauded, and he called upon me now to perform a simple act
of justice. A man under much less obligation to the minister would have
met his wishes joyfully; but I _did_ hesitate and hold back. A natural
suggestion, one that I could not control or crush, told me as loudly as
a voice could speak, not to commit myself by an immediate and rash
consent. It must have been the _coach_; for, previously to that
adventure, had the minister commanded me to accuse a hundred men, a hint
would have sufficed for my obedience. But that unfortunate occurrence,
now revived by the manner of my friend--by the expressions which he
employed--by the charge which he adduced against the unhappy member of
his church--filled me with doubt, uncertainty, and alarm. Mr Clayton was
not slow to remark what was passing in my mind.

"How is this, Caleb?" he enquired. "You pause and hesitate."

"What has he done sir?" I asked, in my confusion, hardly knowing what I
said.

"Done!" exclaimed the minister, with an offended air. "Caleb, he has
ruined the man who has made you what you are."

It was too true. Mr Clayton had indeed made me what I was. It was a just
reproof. It was ingratitude of the blackest character, to listen so
coldly to his wishes. For months I had received daily and hourly the
most signal benefits from his hands. He had never till now called upon
me to make the shadow of a return for all his disinterested
love--_disinterested_, ah, was it so? I hated myself for the momentary
doubt--and yet the doubt returned upon me. If I had not heard his voice
in the coach, such a suspicion would have been impossible. _Now_, any
thing seemed possible--nothing was too extraordinary to happen. Well, it
was little that the minister requested me to do. I had but to demand an
investigation into the man's affairs. It was easily done, and without
any cost or sacrifice of principle. But why could not the minister
demand the same himself? "It would be unseemly," he asserted. Well, it
might be--why had he not selected an elder member of the Church?
Because, as he had often told me, there was none so dear to him. This
was plain and reasonable, and all this passed through my brain with the
rapidity of thought in an instant of time.

"You may command me, sir," I said at length.

"No, Caleb, I will not _command_ you. To serve your friend would have
been, I deemed, a labour of love. I did not _command_ you, and I now
retract the trifling request which I find I was too bold to make."

"Do not talk so to me, Mr Clayton, I entreat you. I am disturbed and
unwell to-day. Your illness has unsettled me. Pray command me. Speak to
me as is your wont--with the same kindliness and warmth--you know I am
bound to you. Let me serve you in any way you please."

"We will speak of it some other time. Let us change the subject now.
There are twenty men who will be eager to comply with the wishes of
their minister. An intimation will suffice."

"But why, sir," I returned--"why should others be privileged to do your
bidding, and I denied? Forgive my apparent coldness, and give me my
instructions."

"Not now," said Mr Clayton, softened by my returning warmth. "Let us
read again. Some other time."

In a few days the subject was again introduced, and I put in possession
of the history of the unfortunate man who was so soon to be brought
under the anathema of the church. According to the statement of the
minister, the guilty person had received at various times from him as a
loan, no less a sum than four thousand pounds, the substance of his
wealth, besides an equal amount from other sources, for which Mr Clayton
had made himself accountable. Mr Clayton had implicated himself so
seriously, as he said, for the advantage of the man whom he had known
from boyhood, and raised from beggary, simply on account of the love he
bore him, and in consideration of his Christian character. Of every
farthing thus advanced, the minister had been defrauded, and within a
month the trader had declared himself a bankrupt. That the minister
should have acted so inconsiderately and prodigally, might seem strange
to any one who did not thoroughly understand the extreme unselfishness
of his disposition. Towards me he had behaved with an equal liberality,
and I, at least, had no right to question the truth of every word he
spoke. The conduct of the man appeared odious and unpardonable, and I
regretted that I should have doubted, for one moment, the propriety of
assisting so manifest an act of justice. Let me acknowledge that there
was much need of self-persuasion to arrive at this conclusion. I wished
to believe that I felt _urged_ to my determination; but the necessity
that I experienced of working myself up to a conviction of the justice
of the case, militated sadly against so pleasing a delusion.

The second church meeting in which it fell to my lot to perform a
distinguished character, took place soon after the communication which I
received from my respected friend. It was convened with the especial
object of inquiring into the circumstances connected with the failure of
Mr George Whitefield Bunyan Smith. The chapel was, if possible, fuller
than on the former evening, and the majority of members was, as before,
women. A movement throughout the assembly--a whispering, and a ceaseless
expectoration, indicated the raciness and interest which attached to the
matter in hand, and every eye and mouth seemed opened in the fulness of
an anxious expectation. I sat quietly and uncomfortably, and my heart
beat palpably against my clothes. I endeavoured to paint the villany of
Mr Smith in the darkest colours, and by the contemplation of it, to
rouse myself to self-esteem--but the effort was a failure. I could see
nothing but the man in the coach, and hear nothing but _the voice_,
which sounded in my ears louder than ever, _and far more like_; and I
became at length perfectly satisfied that I had no business to stand in
the capacity of Mr Smith's accuser. It was too late to recant. The bell
had rung--the curtain was up and the performances were about to begin.

A hymn, as usual, ushered in the proceedings of the day. The
fifty-second psalm was then read by the minister, in the beautiful tone
which he knew so well how to assume, and reverence and awe accompanied
his emphatic delivery. Ah, could I ever forget the hour when those
accents first dropped with medicinal virtue on my soul--when every
syllable from his lips brought unction to my bruised nature--and the
dark shadows of earth were dissipated and destroyed, beneath the clear,
pure light of heaven that he invoked and made apparent! Why passed the
syllables now coldly and ineffectually across the heart they could not
penetrate? Why glittered they before the eye with phosphorescent lustre,
void of all heat and might? I could not tell. The charm was gone. It was
misery to know it. The minister having concluded, "Brother Buster was
requested to engage in prayer." That worthy rose _instanter_. First, he
coughed, then he made a face--an awful face--then closed his eyes--then
opened them again, looked up, and stretched forth his arms. At last he
spoke. He prayed for the whole world, including the islands recently
discovered, "even from the river to the oceans of ages"--then for
Europe, and "more especially" for England, and London "in particular,"
but "chiefly" for the parish in which the chapel stood, and
"principally" for the Chosen People then and there assembled, and,
"above all," for the infatuated man upon whose account they had been
brought together. "Oh, might the delooded sinner repent _off_ his sin,
and, having felt the rod, turn from the error _off_ his ways. Oh might
the Church have grace to purify itself; and oh might the vessel wot was
chosen this night to bring the criminal to justice, be hindood with
strength for the work; and oh, might the criminal be enabled to come out
of it with clean hands, (which he very much doubted;) and oh, might the
minister be preserved to his Church for many years to come; and oh,
might he himself be a door-keeper in heaven, rather than dwell in the
midst of wickedness and sinners!" This was the substance of the divine
supplication, offered up by Jabez Buster, in the presence of the
congregation, and listened to with devout respect and seriousness by the
refined and intellectual Mr Clayton. Another hymn succeeded immediately.
It must have been written for the occasion, for the sentiment of it was
in accordance with the prayer. It was a wail over the backsliding of a
fallen saint. To the assembly thus prejudiced--an assembly made up of
men of business and their wives, mechanics, dressmakers, servant-maids,
and the like, an address suitable to their capacities was spoken. Mr
Clayton himself delivered it.--He trembled with emotion when he referred
to the painful duty which he was now called upon to perform. "Dear
brethren," said he, "you are all aware of the unhappy condition of that
brother who has long been bound to us by every tie that may unite the
brethren in cordial and in Christian love. Truly, he has been dear to
all of us; and for myself, I can with sincerity aver, that no creature
living was dearer to me in the flesh, than him upon whose conduct we are
met this night in Christian charity to adjudicate. Yes, he was my equal,
my guide, and my acquaintance. We took sweet council together, and we
walked to the house of prayer in company. I hope, I pray--would that I
might add, that I believe!--the sin that has been committed in the face
of the Church, and before the world, may be found not to lie at the door
of him we loved and cherished. We are not here to take cognizance of the
temporal concerns of every member of our congregation. We have no right
to do this, so long as the Church is kept pure, and suffers not by the
delinquencies of her children. If the limb be unworthy and unsound, let
it be lopped off. You have heard that the worldly affairs of our brother
are crushed; it is whispered abroad that there is reason to fear the
commission of discreditable acts. Is this so? If it be true, let the
whisper assume a bolder form, and pronounce our brother unworthy of a
place with the elect. If it be false, let every evil tongue be silenced,
and let us rejoice exceedingly, yea, with the timbrel and dance, with
stringed instruments and loud-sounding cymbals. For my own part, I will
not believe him guilty, until proof positive has made him so. His
accuser is here this night. From what I know of our young brother, I am
satisfied he will proceed most cautiously. Should he suggest simply an
investigation into the recent transactions of the unfortunate man, it
will be our duty to act upon that suggestion. If he comes armed with
evidences of guilt, they must be examined with a kind but still
impartial spirit. I know not to what extent it is proposed to proceed.
It is not for me to know it. I am not his prosecutor. I shall not
pronounce upon him. It is for you to judge. If he be proved culpable in
this most melancholy business, and, alas! I fear he must be, if reports
are true--though you must be careful to discard reports and look to
testimony only--our course is plain and easy. Pardon is not with us; it
must be sought elsewhere. I will not detain you longer. Brother Stukely,
the Church will listen to your charge."

But Brother Stukely had been for some time rendered incapable of speech.
He was staggered and overwhelmed. He distrusted his eyes, his ears, and
every sense that he possessed. What?--was _this_ Mr Clayton, the meek,
the pious, the good, the benevolent, the just, the truth-telling, the
Christian, and the minister? What?--could he assert that he was
satisfied of his victim's innocence, until I should prove him guilty--I,
who knew nothing of the man and his affairs, but what I gathered from
his own false lips? There was some terrible mistake here. I dreamt, or
raved. What!--had the history of the last twelvemonth been a cheat--a
fable?--How was it--where was I? What!--could Mr Clayton talk
thus--could HE descend to falsehood and deceit--HE, the immaculate and
infallible? What a moral earthquake was here! What a re-enacting of the
fall of man! But every eye was upon me, and the Church was silent as
death, waiting for my rising. The chapel commenced swimming round me. I
grew sick, and feared that I was becoming blind, for a mist came before
my eyes, and confounded all things. At length I was awakened to
something like consciousness, by a rapid and universal expectoration. I
rose, and became painfully distressed by a conflict of opposing
feelings. I remembered, in spite of the present obliquity of the
minister, his great kindness to me--I remembered it with gratitude--this
urged me to speak aloud, whilst a sense of justice as strongly demanded
silence, and pity for the man whom I had undertaken to accuse, but who
had never offended me, cried shame upon me for the words I was about to
utter. For a second, I stood irresolute, and a merciful interference was
sent to rescue me.

"Why," exclaimed a voice that came pleasing to my ears,--"why are you
going to accuse this here brother? Harn't twenty men failed afore, and
you never thought of asking questions?"

I looked round, and my friend Thompson of happy memory nodded
familiarly, and by no means disconcertedly to me. I had never seen him
in the chapel before. I did not know that he was a member. Here was
another mystery! His words were the signal for loud disapprobation. He
had marred the general curiosity at an intensely interesting moment, and
the anger that was conceived against him was by no means partial. The
minister rose in the midst of it. He looked very pale and much annoyed,
but his manner was still mild, and his expressions as full of charity
and kind feeling as ever.

"It was a proper enquiry," he said; "one that should immediately be
answered." Heaven forbid that their conduct, in one particular, should
savour of injustice. In due time the explanation would have been
offered. Had their brother waited for that time, he would have found
that his harsh observation might have been withheld. The unfortunate man
needed not the champion who had stood so irreverently forward. "I can
assure our brother, that there is one who will hear of his innocence
with greater joy than any other man may feel for him." But it was his
duty to state, and publicly, that there were circumstances connected
with this failure, that unfavourably marked it from every other that had
taken place amongst them. These must be enquired into. Their brother
Stukely had been interrupted in the charge which he was about to make.
He repeated that he knew not how far that charge might have been brought
home. He would propose now, that two messengers be appointed to wait
upon the bankrupt, and to examine thoroughly his affairs, and that,
previous to their report, no further proceedings should take place. The
purity and disinterestedness of their conduct should be made apparent.
Brothers Buster and Tomkins were the gentlemen whom he proposed for the
delicate office, with the full assurance that they would execute their
commission with Christian charity, tempering justice with
heavenly mercy.

The assembly gave a reluctant consent to this arrangement. "Such
things," it was argued, "were better settled at once; and it would have
been far more satisfactory if the bankrupt's matters had been disclosed
to the meeting, who had come on purpose to hear them, and had neglected
important matters at home, rather than be disappointed." The meeting,
however, dissolved with a hymn, sung without spirit or heart. At the
close of it, the minister retired. He passed me on his way; looked at me
coldly, and I thought a frown had settled on his brow almost in spite of
him. I was scarcely in the open street again, before Thompson was at my
side, shaking my hand with the greatest heartiness.

"Well," said he, "I should much sooner have thought of seeing the d----l
in that chapel than you, any how. Why, what does it all mean? I thought
you were in Brummagem."

"Ah! Thompson," I exclaimed sighing, "I wish I were! It is a long
history."

"Well, do let's have it. I _am_ astonished."

I put him in possession of my doings since we parted at the Bull's Head
Inn in Holborn. I had not finished when we arrived at my lodgings. I
invited my old friend to supper, and after that meal, he heard the
conclusion of the narrative.

"Well," said he at last, "some people don't believe in sperits. Now I
do. I believe that a sperit has brought you and me together again.
You've told me a good deal. Now, I'll tell you something. Clayton's an
out-and-outer."

"He's a mysterious and unintelligible being," I exclaimed.

"Yes," answered Thompson, "you were always fond of them fine words.
P'raps you mean the same as me after all. What I mean is, that fellow
beats all I ever came near. Talk of the Old Un! He's a babby to him."

"I can believe any thing now," I answered.

"I don't complain; because I think it serves me right. I did very well
at our parish church, and had no business to leave it; and I shouldn't
either, if I hadn't been a easy fool all my life. I went on right well
there, and understood the clergyman very well, and I should have done to
this day, if it hadn't been for my missus; she's always worriting
herself about her state, and she happened to hear this Mr Clayton, and
nothing would please her but we must join his congregation, the whole
biling lot of us, and get elected, as they call it. She said all was
cold in the church, and nothing to catch hold on there. I'm blessed if I
havn't catched hold of a good deal more than I like in this here chapel.
They call one another brothers--sich brothers I fancy as Cain was to
Abel. They are the rummest Christians you ever seed. Just look at the
head of them--that Mr Clayton, rolling in riches"----

"In what?" said I, interrupting him. "You mistake. The little that he
had is lost."

"Oh, don't you be gammoned," was the reply. "What he has lost wont hurt
him. He's got enough now to buy this street, out and out. He's the
greediest fellow for money this world ever saw."

"I am puzzled, Thompson," said I.

"Yes, perhaps you are, and you'll be more puzzled yet when you know all.
Why, what is all this about poor Smith? I knew him before Clayton ever
got hold of him, when the chap hadn't a halfpenny to fly with, but was a
most ordacious fellow at speculating and inventions, and was always up
to something new. One day he had a plan for making moist sugar out of
bricks--then soap out of nothing--and sweet oil out of stones. At last
Clayton hears of him, and hooks him up, gets him to the chapel; first
converts him, and then goes partners with him in the spekylations--let's
him have as much money as he asks for, and because soap doesn't come
from nothing, and sugar from bricks, and sweet oil from stones, he stops
short, sews him up, drives him into the Gazette, and now wants to throw
him into the world a beggar, without name and character, and with ten
young 'uns hanging about his widowed arm for bread"

"Oh, it's dreadful, if it's true," said I; "but if he has robbed the
minister, whatever Mr Clayton may be, he ought to be punished."

"But it isn't true, and there's the villany of it. Smith's a fool; you
never see'd a bigger in your life, and though he thinks himself so
clever in his inventions and diskiveries, he's as simple as a child in
business. Why, he gave three thousand pounds for the machinery wot was
to make soap out of nothing; and so all the money's gone. How sich a
deep 'un as Clayton ever trusted him, I can't tell. He's wexed with
himself now, and wants to have his spite upon his unfortunate tool."

"I can hardly believe it," said I.

"No; and do you think I would have believed it the first day as missus
made me come to listen to that out and outer? and, do you think if I had
known about it, they would ever have lugged me in to be a brother? You
shall take a walk with me to-morrow, if you please, and if you don't
believe it then of your own accord, why I sha'n't ask you."

"He has been so kind, so generous to me. He has behaved so unlike a
mercenary man."

"Yes; that's just his way. That's what he calls, I suppose, _sharpening
his tools_. He's made up his mind long ago to have out of you all he
gave you, and a little more besides. Why, what did you get up for in the
chapel? Didn't he say it was to bring a charge against Smith? Why, what
do you know of Smith? Can't you see, with half an eye, he's been feeding
of you to do his dirty work; and if you had turned out well, wouldn't it
have been cheap to him at the price?"

"What is it," said I, "you propose to do to-morrow?"

"To take a walk; that's all. Don't ask questions. If you go with me,
I'll satisfy your doubts."

"Surely," said I, "his congregation must have known this; and they would
not have permitted him"----

"Ah, my dear sir, you don't know human nature. Wait till you have lived
as long as I have. Now, there's my wife; she knows as much as I do about
the man, and yet I'm blowed if she doesn't seem to like him all the
better for it! She calls him a chosen wessel, and only wishes I was half
as sure of salvation. As for the congregation, they are a complete set
of chosen wessels together, and the more you blow 'em up, the better the
wessels like it. If what they call the world didn't speak agin 'em,
they'd be afraid they were going wrong. So you never can offend them."

Thompson continued in the same strain for the rest of the evening,
bringing charge after charge against the minister, with the view of
proving him to be a hypocrite of the deepest dye. As he had fostered and
protected me, Thompson explained that he had previously maintained and
trained up Smith, whom he never would have deserted had all his
speculations issued favourably. The loss of his money had so enraged
him, that his feelings had suddenly taken a different direction, and he
would now not stop until he had thoroughly effected the poor man's ruin.
He (Thompson) knew Smith well; he had seen his books; and the man was as
innocent of fraud as a child unborn. Clayton knew it very well, and the
trick of examining the books was all a fudge. "That precious pair of
brothers, Bolster and Tomkins, knew very well what they were about, and
would make it turn out right for the minister somehow. As for hisself,
he stood up for the fellow, because he hadn't another friend in the
place. He knew he should be kicked out for his pains, but that would be
more agreeable than otherways." From all I gathered from Thompson, it
appeared that the pitiable man--the audacious minister of God--was the
slave of one of the most corroding passions that ever made shipwreck of
the heart of man. _The love of money_ absorbed or made subservient every
other sentiment. To heap up riches, there was no labour too painful, no
means too vicious, no conduct too unjustifiable. The graces of earth,
the virtues of heaven, were made to minister to the lust, and to conceal
the demon behind the brightness and the beauty of their forms. There is
no limit to the moral baseness of the man of avarice. There was none
with Mr Clayton. He lived to accumulate. Once let the desire fasten,
anchor-like, with heavy iron to the heart, and what becomes of the
world's opinion, and the tremendous menaces of heaven? Mr Clayton was a
scholar--a man of refinement, eloquent--an angel not more winning--he
was self-denying in his appetites, humble, patient--powerful and
beautiful in expression, when the vices of men compelled the unwilling
invective. Witness the burst of indignation when he spoke of Emma
Harrington, and the race to which it was her misery to belong. He was,
to the eyes of men, studious and holy as an anchorite. But better than
his own immortal soul, he loved and doated upon _gold!_ That love
acknowledged, fed, and gratified, when are its demands appeased?--when
does conscience raise a barrier against its further progress? It is a
state difficult to believe. Could I have listened with an ear of
credulity to the tale of Thompson--could I have borne to listen to it
with patience, had I not witnessed an act of turpitude that ocular
demonstration could only render credible--had I not been prepared for
that act by the tone, the manner, the expressions of the minister, when
we passed an hour together, ignorant of each other's presence? It was a
dreadful conviction that was forced upon me, and as wonderful as
terrible. Self-delusion, for such it was, so perfect and complete, who
could conceive--hypocrisy so super-eminent, who could conjecture! There
was something, however, to be disclosed on the succeeding day. Thompson
was very mysterious about this. He would give no clue to what he
designed. I should judge from what I saw of the truth of his
communications. Alas! I had seen enough already to mourn over the most
melancholy overthrow that had ever crushed the confidence, and bruised
the feelings, of ingenuous youth.

I passed a restless and unhappy night. Miserable dreams distressed me. I
dreamed that I was sentenced to death for perjury--that the gallows was
erected--and that Buster and Tomkins were my executioners. The latter
was cruelly polite and attentive in his demeanour. He put the rope round
my neck with an air of cutting civility, and apologized for the whole
proceeding. I experienced vividly the moment of being turned off. I
suffered the horrors of strangulation. The noose slipped, and I was
dangling in the air in excruciating agony, half-dead and half-alive.
Buster rushed to the foot of the scaffold, and with Christian charity
fastened himself to my legs, and hung there till I had breathed my last.
Whilst he was thus suspended, he sang one of his favourite hymns with
his own rich and effective nasal vigour. Then I dreamed I was murdering
Bunyan Smith in his sleep. Mr Clayton was pushing me forward, and urging
a dagger into my hand. Just as I had killed him, I was knocked down by
Thompson, and Clayton ran off laughing. Then I woke up, thank Heaven,
more frightened than hurt, with every limb in my body sore and aching.
Then, instead of going to sleep again, which I could not do, I lay
awake, and reflected on what had taken place, and I thought all I had
heard against Mr Clayton, and all I had seen in the chapel, was a
dream, like the execution and the murder. One thing seemed just as real
and as likely as the other. Then I became uneasy in my bed, got up, and
walked about the room, and wondered what in the world I should do, if
Mr Clayton deprived me of my situation, and I was thrown out of bread
again. Then I recollected his many hints concerning fidelity and
friendship, and what he had said about my being in no danger, so long as
I was faithful, and the rest of it; and then I wished I had thrown
myself over Blackfriars' Bridge as I had intended, and so put an end to
all the trials that beset my path. But this wish was scarcely felt
before it was regretted and checked at once. Mr Clayton had taught me
wisdom, which his own bad conduct could not sully or affect. It was not
because under the garb of religion he concealed the tainted soul of the
hypocrite, that religion was not still an angel of light, of purity, and
loveliness. Her consolations were not less sweet--her promises not less
sure. It would have been an unsound logic that should have argued, from
the sinfulness of the minister, the falseness of that faith whose simple
profession, and nothing more, alas! had been enough to hide foulest
deformity. No! the vital spark that Mr Clayton had kindled, burned still
steadily and clear. I could still see by its holy light the path of
rectitude and duty, and thank God the while, that in the hour of
temptation he gave me strength to resist evil, and the faculty of
distinguishing aright between _the unshaken testimony_ and _the
unfaithful witness_. I did not, upon reflection, regret that I had not
recklessly destroyed myself; but I prayed on my knees for direction and
help in the season of difficulty and disappointment through which I was
now passing.

Thompson came early on the following day, punctual to his appointment.
He was accompanied by poor Bunyan Smith, and a voluminous statement of
his affairs. I looked over them as well as I was able; for the
unfortunate man was all excitement, and, faithful to the description of
Thompson, sanguine in the extreme. He interrupted me twenty times, and,
as every new speculation turned up, had still something to say why it
had not succeeded according to his wishes. Although he had failed in
every grand experiment, there was not one which would not have realized
his hopes a hundredfold, but for the occurrence of some unfortunate
event which it was impossible to foresee, but which could not possibly
take place again, had he but money to renew his trials. His bankruptcy
had not subdued him, nor in the least diminished his belief in the
efficacy of his great discoveries. There was certainly no appearance of
fraud in the account of his transactions, but it was not Mr Smith's
innocence I was anxious to establish. It was the known guilt of Mr
Clayton that I would have made any sacrifice to remove.

It was in the afternoon that Thompson and I were walking along the
well-filled pavement of Cheapside, on our way to what he called "the
best witness he could bring to speak in favour of all that he had said
about the minister." He still persisted in keeping up a mystery in
respect of this same witness. "He might be, after all," he said,
"mistaken in the thing, and he didn't wish to be made a fool of. I don't
expect I shall, but we shall see." We reached Cornhill, and were
opposite the Exchange.

"That's a rum place, isn't?" asked Thompson, looking at the
building--"Have you ever been inside?"

"Never," I replied.

"Suppose we just stroll in then? What a row they are kicking up there!
And what a crowd! There's hardly room to move."

The area was, as he said, crowded. There was a loud continued murmur of
human voices. Traffic was intense, and had reached what might be
supposed its acme. It seemed as if business was undergoing a paroxysm,
or fit, rather than pursuing her steady, healthful course. Bodies of men
were standing in groups--some were darting from corner to corner, pen in
mouth--a few were walking leisurely with downcast looks--others quickly,
uneasy and excited. A stout and well-contented gentleman or two leaned
against the high pillars of the building, and formed the centre of a
human circle, that smiled as he smiled, and stopped when he stopped.

"Nice place to study in, sir," said Thompson, as we walked along.

I smiled.

"I mean it though," said he. "I see a man now that comes here on purpose
to study--as clever a man at his books as ever I saw, and as fine a
fellow to talk as you know--there, just look across the road--under that
pillar--near the archway. There, just where them two men has left a open
space. Tell me, who do you see there, sir?"

"Why, Mr CLAYTON!" I replied, astonished at the sight.

"Yes, and if you'll come here every day of your life, there you'll find
him. I've watched him often, since Smith first put me up to his tricks,
and I have never missed him. There he is making money, and wearing his
soul out because he can't make half enough to satisfy his greedy maw.
His covetousness is awful. There's nothing that he doesn't speckylate
in; there's hardly a man of business in his congregation that he
doesn't, either by himself or others, lend money out at usury. I mean
such on 'em as he knows are right; for catch him, if he knows it,
trusting the rotten brothers. Smith says he has got something to do with
every one of the stocks. I don't know whether that is any thing to eat
and drink or not, but I think they call this here bear-garden the Stock
Exchange, and here the out-and-outer spends more than half his days."
Whilst Thompson spoke, one of the two men, whom I have mentioned as
being for many hours together closeted with the minister in his private
study, and whom I set down as missionaries--came up in great haste to Mr
Clayton, and communicated to him news, apparently, of importance. The
latter immediately produced a pocket-book, in which he wrote a few words
with a pencil, and the individual departed. The information, whatever it
may have been, had deeply affected the man to whom it had been brought.
He did not stand still, as before, but walked nervously about, looked
pale, care-worn, and miserably anxious. He referred to his book a dozen
times--restored it frequently to his pocket, and had it out again
immediately for surer satisfaction, or for further calculations. In
about ten minutes, "_the missionary_" returned. This time he was the
bearer of a better tale. The minister smiled--his brow expanded, and his
eye had the vivacity and fire that belonged to it in the pulpit. Another
memorandum was written in the pocket book, and the two gentlemen walked
quickly, and side by side, along the covered avenue. I had seen
sufficient.

"Let us go," I said to Thompson.

"Why, you don't mean to say you have had enough!" returned he; "oh, wait
a bit, and see the other boy. They make a precious trio."

I declined to witness the melancholy spectacle any longer. I was
oppressed, grieved, sickened, at the sad presentation of humanity. What
an overthrow was this! What a problem in the moral structure of man! I
could not understand it. I had no power to enquire into it. Against all
preconceived notions of possibility, there existed a palpable fact. What
could reason do in a case in which the senses almost refused to
acknowledge the evidence which they themselves had produced?

Thompson was delighted at the result of our "voyage of discovery," and
continued to be facetious at the expense of the unhappy minister. I
implored him to desist.

"Say no more, Thompson. This is no subject for laughter. I have suffered
much since your brother carried me to Birmingham. This is the hardest
blow yet. I believe now that all is a dream. This is not Mr Clayton. It
is a cheat of Satan. We are deluded and made fools in the hands of the
Wicked One."

"You'll excuse me, sir," said Thompson, "but if I didn't know you
better, I should say, to hear you talk in that uncommonly queer way,
that you were as big a wessel as any of 'em. Don't flatter yourself you
are dreaming, when you never were wider awake in all your life."

It is perhaps needless to say, that I had no heart to present myself
again before my friend and benefactor--the once beloved, and still
deeply compassionated minister of religion. I pitied him on account of
the passion which had overmastered him, and trembled for myself when I
contemplated the ruins of such an edifice. But I could visit him no
longer. What could I say to him? How should I address him? How could I
bear to meet his eye--I did not hate him sufficiently to inflict upon
him the shame and ignominy of meeting mine. I avoided the house of Mr
Clayton, and absented myself from his chapel. But I was not content with
the first view that had been afforded me at the Exchange. I was
unwilling to decide for ever upon the character of my former friend
without a complete self-justification. I went again to the house of
commerce, and alone. Again I beheld Mr Clayton immersed in the doings of
the place. For a week I continued my observation. Proofs of his
worldliness and gross hypocrisy came fast and thick upon each other. I
no longer doubted the statement of Thompson and the speculator Smith. I
resolved upon seeing my preserver no more. I could not think of him
without shuddering, and I endeavoured to forget him. One evening, about
ten days after the chapel scene, sitting alone in my apartment, I was
attracted by a slight movement on the stairs. A moment afterwards there
was a knock at my door. The door opened, and Mr Clayton himself walked
into the room. I trembled instantly from head to foot. The minister had
a serious countenance, and was very placid. He took a chair, and I
waited till he spoke.

"You have not visited me of late, Caleb," he began. "You have surely
forgotten me. You have forgotten your promise--our friendship--your
obligations--gratitude--every thing. How is this?"

Still I did not speak.

"Tell me," he continued, "who has taught you to become a spy? Who has
taught you that it is honourable and just to track the movements and to
break upon the privacy of others. I saw you in the Exchange this
morning--I saw you yesterday--and the day before. Tell me, what took
you there?"

I gave no answer.

"Your Bible, Caleb, gives no encouragement to the feeling which has
prompted you to act thus. You have read the word of truth imperfectly.
There is a holiness--a peculiar sanctity"----

"For heaven's sake, Mr Clayton," I cried out, interrupting him, "do not
talk so. Do not deceive yourself. Do not attempt to bewilder me. Do not
provoke the wrath of heaven. You have been kinder to me than I can
express. The recollection of what you have done is ever present to me.
Oh, would that I owed you nothing! Would that I could pay you back to
the last farthing, and that the past could be obliterated from my mind.
I would have parted with my life willingly, gladly, to serve you. Had
you been poor, how delightful would it have been to labour for my
benefactor! I will not deceive you. I lave learnt every thing. Such
miserable knowledge never came to the ears of man, save in those regions
where perdition is first made known, and suffered everlastingly. I dare
not distrust the evidence of my eyes and ears. The bitterest hour that I
have known, was that in which you fell, and I beheld your fall. Whom can
I trust now? Whom shall I believe? To whom attach myself? Mr Clayton, it
seems incredible to me that I can talk thus to you. It is indeed, and I
tremble as I do so. But what is to be done? I can respect you no longer,
however my poor heart throbs towards you, and pities"----

I burst into tears.

"Spare your pity, boy," said Mr Clayton, coldly; "and spare those hollow
tears. You acknowledge that there exists a debt between us. Well have
you attempted to repay it! Listen to me. I have been your friend. I am
willing to remain so. Come to me as before, and you shall find me as I
have ever been--affectionate and kind. Avoid me--place yourself in the
condition of my opponent, and _beware_. In a moment, by one word, I can
throw you back into the slough from whence I dragged you. To-morrow
morning, if I so will it, you shall wander forth again, an outcast,
depending for your bread upon a roadside charity. It is a dreadful thing
to walk a marked and branded man through this cold world; yet it is only
for me to say the word, and _infamy_ is attached to your name for ever.
And what greater crime exists than black ingratitude? It is our duty to
expose and punish it. It is for you to make the choice. If you are wise,
you will not hesitate. If Christianity has worked"----

"Sir, what has _Christianity_ to do with this? Satan must witness the
compact that you would have us make. I cannot sell myself?"

"Your new companions have taught you these fine phrases, Caleb. They
will support you, no doubt, and you will remain faithful to them, until
a fresh acquaintance shall poison your ear against them, as they have
corrupted it to win you from the man whom you have sworn to serve. I
have nothing more to say. You promised to be faithful through good
report and evil. You have broken your plighted word. I forgive you, if
you are sorry for the fault, and my arms are ready to receive you.
Punishment shall follow--strict justice, and no mercy--if you persist in
evil. Within a week present yourself at my abode, and every thing is
forgotten and forgiven. I am your friend for ever. Do not come, be
obstinate and unyielding, and prepare yourself for misery."

The minister left me. The week elapsed, and at the end of it, I had not
presented myself at his residence. But, in the mean while, I had been
active in taking measures for the security of the office which I held,
and whose duties I had hitherto performed to the perfect satisfaction of
my employers. I had been given to understand that it remained with Mr
Bombasty to continue my appointment, or to dismiss me at once; that he
was in the hands of Mr Clayton; and that if the latter desired my
dismissal, and could bring against me the shadow of a complaint to
justify Mr Bombasty in the eye of the Society, nothing could save me
from ejection. It was proposed to me by a fellow-servant of the Society,
to place myself as soon as possible beyond the reach and influence of Mr
Clayton. He advised me to secede at once from the Church, and to attach
myself to another, professing the same principles, and like that in
connexion with the Society. By this means, Clayton and I would be
separated, and his power over me effectually removed. Exclusion was to
me starvation, and I eagerly adopted the counsel of my companion. To be,
however, in a condition to join another church, it was necessary to
procure, either by personal application, or at the instance of the
minister of the new church, _a letter of dismission_, which letter
should contain an assurance of the candidate's previous good conduct and
present qualification. In my case, the minister himself proposed to
apply for my testimonials. He did apply, and at the end of a month, no
answer had been returned to his communication. He wrote a second, and
the second application met with no greater respect than the first. At
length I received a very formal and polite letter from Mr Tomkins,
informing me that "a church-meeting had been convened for the purpose of
considering the propriety of affording Brother Stukely the opportunity
of joining another connexion, by granting him a letter of dismission,"
and that my presence was requested on that very important occasion.

If there was one thing upon earth more than another which at this
particular time of my life I abominated with unmitigated and ineffable
disgust, it was the frequent recurrence of these eternal
church-meetings. Nothing, however trifling, could be carried forward
without them; no man's affairs, however private and worldly, were too
uninteresting for their investigation. My connexion with the church had
hardly commenced, before two had taken place, principally on my account,
and now a third was proposed in order to enable the minister to write a
letter of civility, and to state the simple fact of my having conducted
myself with propriety and decorum. Still it was proper that I should
attend it; I did so, accompanied by Thompson, and a crowded assembly, as
befitted the occasion, welcomed us amoungst them, with many short
coughs, and much suppressed hissing. There was the usual routine. The
hymn, the portion of Scripture, and the prayer of Brother Buster. In the
latter, there were many dark hints that were intended to be appropriate
to my case, and were, to all appearance, well understood by the
congregation at large. They did not frighten me. I was guilty of no
crime against their church. They could bring no charge against me. The
prayer concluded, Mr Clayton coldly requested me to retire. I did so. I
passed into the vestry, which was separated from the main building by a
very thin partition, that enabled me to hear every word spoken in the
chapel. Mr Clayton began. He introduced his subject by lamenting, in the
most feeling terms, the unhappy state of the brother who had just
departed from the congregation--(the crocodile weeping over the fate of
the doomed wretch he was about to destroy!) He had hoped great things of
him. He had believed him to be a child of God. It was not for him to
judge their brother now; but this was a world of disappointment, and the
fairest hopes were blasted, even as the rose withereth beneath the
canker. They all knew--it was not for him to disguise or hide the
fact--that their brother had not realized the ardent expectations that
one and all had formed of him. Their brother himself carried about with
him this miserable consciousness, and under such circumstances it was
that he proposed to withdraw from their communion, and to receive a
dismission that should entitle him to a seat elsewhere. It was for them
to consider how far they were justified in complying with his request.
As for himself, he was sorely distressed in spirit. His carnal heart
urged him to listen to the desire of his brother in the flesh, and that
heart warred with his spiritual conviction. To be charitable was one
thing, to involve one's self in guilt, to encourage sinfulness, and to
reward backsliding--oh, surely, this was another! He had no right in his
high capacity to indulge a personal affection. It was his glory that he
could sacrifice it at the call of duty. Accordingly, in the answer to
the application that he had received, he had humbly attempted rather to
embody the views of the church, than the suggestions of his own weak
bosom. That answer he would now submit to them, and their voice must
pronounce upon its justice. He did not fear for them. They were highly
privileged; they had been wonderfully directed hitherto, and they would,
adorned as they were with humility and faith, be directed even unto
the end.

"Ha-men," responded Buster very audibly, and the minister forthwith
proceeded to his letter.

It was my honour to be represented in it as a person but too likely to
disturb the peace of any church; whose conduct, however exemplary on my
first joining the congregation, had lately been such as to give great
reason to fear that I had been suddenly deprived of all godliness and
grace; who had caused the brethren great pain; and whom recent
circumstances had especially rendered an object of suspicion and alarm.
There was much more to the same effect. There was no distinct
charge--nothing tangible, or of which I could defy them to the proof.
All was dark doubt and murderous innuendo. There was nothing for which I
could claim relief from the laws of my country--more than enough to
complete my ruin. I burned with anger and indignation; forgot every
thing but the cold-blooded designs of the minister; and, stung to action
by the imminent danger in which I stood, I rushed at once from the
vestry into the midst of the congregation. Thompson was already on his
legs, and had ventured something on my behalf, which had been drowned in
loud and universal clamour. Silence was, in measure, restored by my
appearance, and I took the opportunity to demand from the minister a
reperusal of the letter that had just been read.

He scowled upon me with a natural hate, and refused to comply with my
request.

"What!" I asked aloud, "am I denied the privilege that is extended to
the vilest of his species? Will you condemn me unheard? Accuse me in my
absence--keep me in ignorance of my charge--and stab me in the dark?"

I received no answer, and then I turned to the congregation. I implored
them--little knowing the men to whom I trusted my appeal--to save me
from the persecution of a man who had resolved upon my downfall. "I
asked nothing from them, from him, but the liberty of gaining, by daily
labour, an honourable subsistence. Would they deny it me?"--

I was interrupted by groans and hisses, and loud cries of "Yes, yes,"
from Brother Buster.

I addressed the minister again.

"Mr Clayton," said I, "beware how you tread me down. Beware how you
drive me to desperation. Cruel, heartless man! What have I done that you
should follow me with this relentless spite? Can you sleep? Can you walk
and live without the fear of a punishment adequate to your offence? Let
me go. Be satisfied that I possess the power of exposing unheard-of
turpitude and hypocrisy, and that I refrain from using it. Dismiss me;
let me leave your sight for ever, and you are safe--for me."

"Viper!" exclaimed the minister rising in his seat, "whom I have warmed
and nourished in my bosom; viper! whom I took to my hearth, and kept
there till the returning sense of life gave vigour to your blood, and
fresh venom to your sting! Is it thus you pay me back for food and
raiment--thus you heap upon me the expressions of a glowing
gratitude!--with threats and deadly accusations? Spit forth your malice!
Pile up falsehoods to the skies!--WHO WILL BELIEVE THE TALE OF
PROBABILITY? Brethren! behold the man whose cause I pleaded with
you--for whom my feelings had well-nigh mastered my better judgment.
Behold him, and learn how hard it is to pierce the stony heart of him
whose youth has passed in dissolute living, and in adultery. Shall I
approach thy ear with the voice of her who cries from the grave for
justice on her seducer? Look, my beloved, on the man whom I found
discarded by mankind, friendless and naked whom I clothed and fostered,
and whom I brought in confidence amongst you. Look at him, and oh,
be warned!"

The hissing and groaning were redoubled. Thompson rose a dozen times to
speak, but a volley assailed him on each occasion, and he was obliged to
resume his seat. He grew irritated and violent, and at length, when the
public disapprobation had reached its height, and for the twenty and
first time had cut short his address almost before he spoke, unable to
contain himself any longer, he uttered at the top of his stentorian
voice a fearful imprecation, and recommended to the care of a gentleman
who had more to do with that society than was generally supposed--Mr
Clayton, and every individual brother in the congregation.

Jabez Buster, after looking to the ceiling, and satisfying himself that
it had not fallen in, rose, dreadfully distressed.

"He had lived," he said, "to see sich sights, and hear sich language as
had made his nature groan within him. He could only compare their
beloved minister to one of them there ancient martyrs who had died for
conscience-sake before Smithfield was a cattle market; but he hoped he
would have strength for the conflict, and that the congregation would
help him to fight the good fight. He called upon 'em all now to do their
duty, to exclude and excommunicate for ever the unrighteous
brethren--and to make them over to Satan without further delay."

The shout with which the proposition was received, decided the fate of
poor Thompson and myself. It was hardly submitted, before it was carried
_nemine contradicente_; and immediately afterwards, Thompson buttoned
his coat in disgust, and was hooted out of the assembly. I followed him.

       *       *       *       *       *




IMAGINARY CONVERSATION.

BY WALTER SAVAGE LANDOR.


TASSO AND CORNELIA.


_Tasso_.--She is dead, Cornelia--she is dead!

_Cornelia_.--Torquato! my Torquato! after so many years of separation do
I bend once more your beloved head to my embrace?

_Tasso_.--She is dead!

_Cornelia_.--Tenderest of brothers! bravest and best and most
unfortunate of men! What, in the name of heaven! so bewilders you?

_Tasso_.--Sister! sister! sister! I could not save her.

_Cornelia_.--Certainly it was a sad event; and they who are out of
spirits may be ready to take it for an evil omen. At this season of the
year the vintagers are joyous and negligent.

_Tasso_.--How! what is this?

_Cornelia_.--The little girl was crushed, they say, by a wheel of the
car laden with grapes, as she held out a handful of vine-leaves to one
of the oxen. And did you happen to be there just at the moment?

_Tasso_.--So then the little too can suffer! the ignorant, the indigent,
the unaspiring! Poor child! She was kind-hearted; else never would
calamity have befallen her.

_Cornelia_.--I wish you had not seen the accident.

_Tasso_.--I see it? I? I saw it not. There is but one crushed where I
am. The little girl died for her kindness!--natural death!

_Cornelia_.--Be calm, be composed, my brother!

_Tasso_.--You would not require me to be composed or calm if you
comprehended a thousandth part of my sufferings.

_Cornelia_.--Peace! peace! we know them all.

_Tasso_.--Who has dared to name them? Imprisonment, derision, madness.

_Cornelia_.--Hush! sweet Torquato! If ever these existed, they are past.

_Tasso_.--You do think they are sufferings? ay?

_Cornelia_.--Too surely.

_Tasso_.--No, not too surely: I will not have that answer. They would
have been; but Leonora was then living. Unmanly as I am! did I complain
of them? and while she was left me?

_Cornelia_.--My own Torquato! is there no comfort in a sister's love? Is
there no happiness but under the passions? Think, O my brother, how many
courts there are in Italy; are the princes more fortunate than you?
Which among them all loves truly, deeply, and virtuously? Among them all
is there any one, for his genius, for his generosity, for his
gentleness, ay, or for his mere humanity, worthy to be beloved?

_Tasso_.--Princes! talk to me of princes! How much coarse-grained wood a
little gypsum covers! a little carmine quite beautifies! Wet your
forefinger with your spittle; stick a broken gold-leaf on the sinciput;
clip off a beggar's beard to make it tresses, kiss it; fall down before
it; worship it. Are you not irradiated by the light of its countenance?
Princes! princes! Italian princes! Estes! What matters that costly
carrion? Who thinks about it? (_After a pause_.) She is dead! She
is dead!

_Cornelia_.--We have not heard it here.

_Tasso_.--At Sorrento you hear nothing but the light surges of the sea,
and the sweet sprinkles of the guitar.

_Cornelia_.--Suppose the worst to be true.

_Tasso_.--Always, always.

_Cornelia_.--If she ceases, as then perhaps she must, to love and to
lament you, think gratefully, contentedly, devoutly, that her arms had
encircled your neck before they were crossed upon her bosom, in that
long sleep which you have rendered placid, and from which your
harmonious voice shall once more awaken her. Yes, Torquato! her bosom
had throbbed to yours, often and often, before the organ-peel shook the
fringes round the catafalc. Is not this much, from one so high, so
beautiful?

_Tasso_.--Much? yes; for abject me. But I did so love her! so love her!

_Cornelia_.--Ah! let the tears flow: she sends thee that balm from
heaven.

_Tasso_.--So loved her did poor Tasso! Else, O Cornelia, it had indeed
been much. I thought in the simplicity of my heart that God was as great
as an emperor, and could bestow, and had bestowed on me as much as the
German had conferred, or could confer on his vassal. No part of my
insanity was ever held in such ridicule as this. And yet the idea
cleaves to me strangely, and is liable to stick to my shroud.

_Cornelia_.--Woe betide the woman who bids you to forget that woman who
has loved you: she sins against her sex. Leonora was unblameable. Never
think ill of her for what you have suffered.

_Tasso_.--Think ill of her? I? I? I? No; those we love, we love for
every thing; even for the pain they have given us. But she gave me none:
it was where she was not, that pain was.

_Cornelia_.--Surely, if love and sorrow are destined for companionship,
there is no reason why the last comer of the two should supersede
the first.

_Tasso_.--Argue with me, and you drive me into darkness. I am easily
persuaded and led on while no reasons are thrown before me. With these,
you have made my temples throb again. Just heaven! dost thou grant us
fairer fields, and wider, for the whirlwind to lay waste? Dost thou
build us up habitations above the street, above the palace, above the
citadel, for the Plague to enter and carouse in? Has not my youth paid
its dues, paid its penalties? Cannot our griefs come first, while we
have strength to bear them? The fool! the fool! who thinks it a
misfortune that his love is unrequited. Happier young man! look at the
violets until thou drop asleep on them. Ah! but thou must wake!

_Cornelia_.--O heavens! what must you have suffered. For a man's heart
is sensitive in proportion to its greatness.

_Tasso_.--And a woman's?

_Cornelia_.--Alas! I know not; but I think it can have no other. Comfort
thee--comfort thee, dear Torquato!

_Tasso_.--Then do not rest thy face upon my arm; it so reminds me of
her. And thy tears, too! they melt me into her grave.

_Cornelia_.--Hear you not her voice as it appeals to you: saying to you
as the priests around have been saying to _her_, Blessed soul! rest
in peace?

_Tasso_.--I heard it not; and yet I am sure she said it. A thousand
times has she repeated it, laying her hand on my heart to quiet
it--simple girl! She told it to rest in peace, and she went from me!
Insatiable love! ever self-torturer, never self-destroyer! the world,
with all its weight of miseries, cannot crush thee, cannot keep thee
down. Generally mens' tears, like the droppings of certain springs, only
harden and petrify what they fall on; but mine sank deep into a tender
heart, and were its very blood. Never will I believe she has left me
utterly. Oftentimes, and long before her departure, I fancied we were in
heaven together. I fancied it in the fields, in the gardens, in the
palace, in the prison. I fancied it in the broad daylight, when my eyes
were open, when blessed spirits drew around me that golden circle which
one only of earth's inhabitants could enter. Oftentimes in my sleep also
I fancied it--and sometimes in the intermediate state--in that serenity
which breathes about the transported soul, enjoying its pure and perfect
rest, a span below the feet of the Immortal.

_Cornelia_.--She has not left you; do not disturb her peace by these
repinings.

_Tasso_.--She will bear with them. Thou knowest not what she was,
Cornelia; for I wrote to thee about her while she seemed but human. In
my hours of sadness, not only her beautiful form, but her very voice
bent over me. How girlish in the gracefulness of her lofty form! how
pliable in her majesty! what composure at my petulance and reproaches!
what pity in her reproofs! Like the air that angels breathe in the
metropolitan temple of the Christian world, her soul at every season
preserved one temperature. But it was when she could and did love me!
Unchanged must ever be the blessed one who has leaned in fond security
on the unchangeable. The purifying flame shoots upward, and is the glory
that encircles their brows when they meet above.

_Cornelia_.--Indulge in these delightful thoughts, my Torquato! and
believe that your love is and ought to be imperishable as your glory.
Generations of men move forward in endless procession to consecrate and
commemorate both. Colour-grinders and gilders, year after year, are
bargained with to refresh the crumbling monuments and tarnished
decorations of rude unregarded royalty, and to fasten the nails that
cramp the crown upon the head. Meanwhile, in the laurels of my Torquato,
there will always be one leaf, above man's reach, above time's wrath and
injury, inscribed with the name of Leonora.

_Tasso_.--O Jerusalem! I have not then sung in vain the Holy Sepulchre.

_Cornelia_.--After such devotion of your genius, you have undergone too
many misfortunes.

_Tasso_.--Congratulate the man who has had many, and may have more. I
have had, I have, I can have--one only.

_Cornelia_.--Life runs not smoothly at all seasons, even with the
happiest; but after a long course, the rocks subside, the views widen,
and it flows on more equably at the end.

_Tasso_.--Have the stars smooth surfaces? No, no; but how they shine!

_Cornelia_.--Capable of thoughts so exalted, so far above the earth we
dwell on, why suffer any to depress and anguish you?

_Tasso_.--Cornelia, Cornelia! the mind has within it temples, and
porticoes, and palaces, and towers: the mind has under it, ready for the
course, steeds brighter than the sun, and stronger than the storm; and
beside them stand winged chariots, more in number than the Psalmist hath
attributed to the Almighty. The mind, I tell thee again, hath its
hundred gates, compared whereto the Theban are but willow wickets; and
all those hundred gates can genius throw open. But there are some that
groan heavily on their hinges, and the hand of God alone can close them.

_Cornelia_.--Torquato has thrown open those of his holy temple; Torquato
hath stood, another angel, at his tomb; and am I the sister of Torquato?
Kiss me, my brother, and let my tears run only from my pride and joy!
Princes have bestowed knighthood on the worthy and unworthy; thou hast
called forth those princes from their ranks, pushing back the arrogant
and presumptuous of them like intrusive varlets, and conferring on the
bettermost crowns and robes, imperishable and unfading.

_Tasso_.--I seem to live back into those days. I feel the helmet on my
head; I wave the standard over it; brave men smile upon me; beautiful
maidens pull them gently back by the scarf, and will not let them break
my slumber, nor undraw the curtain. Corneliolina!----

_Cornelia_.--Well, my dear brother! Why do you stop so suddenly in the
midst of them? They are the pleasantest and best company, and they make
you look quite happy and joyous.

_Tasso_.--Corneliolina, dost thou remember Bergamo? What city was ever
so celebrated for honest and valiant men, in all classes, or for
beautiful girls? There is but one class of those: Beauty is above all
ranks; the true Madonna, the patroness and bestower of felicity, the
queen of heaven.

_Cornelia_.--Hush, Torquato, hush! talk not so.

_Tasso_.--What rivers, how sunshiny and revelling, are the Brembo and
the Serio! What a country the Valtellina! I went back to our father's
house, thinking to find thee again, my little sister--thinking to kick
away thy ball of yellow silk as thou went stooping for it, to make thee
run after me and beat me. I woke early in the morning; thou wert grown
up and gone. Away to Sorrento--I knew the road--a few strides brought me
back--here I am. To-morrow, my Cornelia, we will walk together, as we
used to do, into the cool and quiet caves on the shore; and we will
catch the little breezes as they come in and go out again on the backs
of the jocund waves.

_Cornelia_.--We will, indeed, to-morrow; but before we set out we must
take a few hours' rest, that we may enjoy our ramble the better.

_Tasso_.--Our Sorrentines, I see, are grown rich and avaricious. They
have uprooted the old pomegranate hedges, and have built high walls to
prohibit the wayfarer from their vineyards.

_Cornelia_.--I have a basket of grapes for you in the bookroom that
overlooks our garden.

_Tasso_.--Does the old twisted sage-tree grow still against the window?

_Cornelia_.--It harboured too many insects at last, and there was always
a nest of scorpions in the crevice.

_Tasso_.--O! what a prince of a sage-tree! And the well too, with its
bucket of shining metal, large enough for the largest cocomero[9] to
cool in it for dinner!

[9] Water-melon.

_Cornelia_.--The well, I assure you, is as cool as ever.

_Tasso_.--Delicious! delicious! And the stone-work round it, bearing no
other marks of waste than my pruning-hook and dagger left behind?

_Cornelia_.--None whatever.

_Tasso_.--White in that place no longer? There has been time enough for
it to become all of one colour; grey, mossy, half-decayed.

_Cornelia_.--No, no; not even the rope has wanted repair.

_Tasso_.--Who sings yonder?

_Cornelia_.--Enchanter! No sooner did you say the word _cocomero_, than
here comes a boy carrying one upon his head.

_Tasso_.--Listen! listen! I have read in some book or other those verses
long ago. They are not unlike my _Aminta_. The very words!

_Cornelia_.--Purifier of love, and humanizer of ferocity! how many, my
Torquato, will your gentle thoughts make happy!

_Tasso_.--At this moment I almost think I am one among them.[10]

    [10] The miseries of Tasso arose not only from the imagination
    and the heart. In the metropolis of the Christian world, with
    many admirers and many patrons, cardinals and princes of all
    sizes, he was left destitute, and almost famished. These are
    his own words.--"_Appena_ in questo stato ho comprato _due
    meloni_: e benche io sia stato _quasi sempre infermo_, molte
    volte mi sono contentato del' manzo e la ministra di latte o di
    zucca, _quando ho potuto averne_, mi e stata in vece di
    delizie." In another part he says that he was unable to pay the
    carriage of a parcel, (1590:) no wonder; if he had not
    wherewithal to buy enough of zucca for a meal. Even had he been
    in health and appetite, he might have satisfied his hunger with
    it for about five farthings, and have left half for supper. And
    now a word on his insanity. Having been so imprudent not only
    as to make it too evident in his poetry that he was the lover
    of Leonora, but also to signify (not very obscurely) that his
    love was returned, he much perplexed the Duke of Ferrara, who,
    with great discretion, suggested to him the necessity of
    feigning madness. The lady's honour required it from a brother;
    and a true lover, to convince the world, would embrace the
    project with alacrity. But there was no reason why the
    seclusion should be in a dungeon, or why exercise and air
    should be interdicted. This cruelty, and perhaps his
    uncertainty of Leonora's compassion, may well be imagined to
    have produced at last the malady he had feigned. But did
    Leonora love Tasso as a man would be loved? If we wish to do
    her honour, let us hope it: for what greater glory can there be
    than to have estimated at the full value so exalted a genius,
    so affectionate and so generous a heart!

_Cornelia_.--Be quite persuaded of it. Come, brother, come with me. You
shall bathe your heated brow and weary limbs in the chamber of your
boyhood. It is there we are always the most certain of repose. The child
shall sing to you those sweet verses; and we will reward him with a
slice of his own fruit.

_Tasso_.--He deserves it; cut it thick.

_Cornelia_.--Come then, my truant! Come along, my sweet smiling
Torquato!

_Tasso_.--The passage is darker than ever. Is this the way to the little
court? Surely those are not the steps that lead down toward the bath? Oh
yes! we are right; I smell the lemon-blossoms. Beware of the old wilding
that bears them; it may catch your veil; it may scratch your fingers!
Pray, take care: it has many thorns about it. And now, Leonora! you
shall hear my last verses! Lean your ear a little toward me; for I must
repeat them softly under this low archway, else others may hear them
too. Ah! you press my hand once more. Drop it, drop it! or the verses
will sink into my breast again, and lie there silent! Good girl!

    Many, well I know, there are
    Ready in your joys to share,
    And (I never blame it) you
    Are almost as ready too.
    But when comes the darker day,
    And those friends have dropt away;
    Which is there among them all
    You should, if you could, recall?
    One who wisely loves, and well,
    Hears and shares the griefs you tell;
    Him you ever call apart
    When the springs o'erflow the heart;
    For you know that he alone
    Wishes they were _but_ his own.
    Give, while these he may divide,
    Smiles to all the world beside.

_Cornelia_.--We are now in the full light of the chamber: cannot you
remember it, having looked so intently all around?

_Tasso_.--O sister! I could have slept another hour. You thought I
wanted rest: why did you waken me so early? I could have slept another
hour, or longer. What a dream! But I am calm and happy.

_Cornelia_.--May you never more be otherwise! Indeed, he cannot be whose
last verses are such as those.

_Tasso_.--Have you written any since that morning?

_Cornelia_.--What morning?

_Tasso_.--When you caught the swallow in my curtains, and trod upon my
knees in catching it, luckily with naked feet. The little girl of
thirteen laughed at the outcry of her brother Torquatino, and sang
without a blush her earliest lay.

_Cornelia_.--I do not recollect it.

_Tasso_.--I do.

    Rondinello! rondinello!
    Tu sei nero, ma sei bello.
    Cosa fa se tu sei nero?
    Rondinello! sei il premiero
    De' volanti, palpitanti
    (E vi sono quanti quanti!)
    Mai tenuto a questo petto,
    E percio sei il mio diletto.[11]

    [11] The author wrote the verses first in English, but he found
    it easy to write them better in Italian. They stood in the text
    as below:--

        Swallow! swallow! though so jetty
        Are your pinions, you are pretty:
        And what matter were it though
        You were blacker than a crow?
        Of the many birds that fly
        (And how many pass me by!)
        You're the first I ever prest,
        Of the many, to my breast:
        Therefore it is very right
        You should be my own delight.

_Cornelia_.--Here is the cocomero; it cannot be more insipid. Try it.

_Tasso_.--Where is the boy who brought it? where is the boy who sang my
Aminta? Serve him first; give him largely. Cut deeper; the knife is too
short: deeper, mia brave Corneliolina! quite through all the red, and
into the middle of the seeds. Well done!

       *       *       *       *       *




THE WORLD OF LONDON. SECOND SERIES.


PART I.

ARISTOCRACIES OF LONDON LIFE.


OF ARISTOCRACIES IN GENERAL.


The cumulative or aggregative property of wealth and power, and in a
less degree of knowledge also, make up in time a consolidation of these
elements in the hands of particular classes, which, for our present
purposes, we choose to term an aristocracy of birth, wealth, knowledge,
or power, as the case nay be. The word aristocracy, distinctive of these
particular classes, we use in a conventional sense only, and beg leave
to protest, _in limine_, against any other acceptation of the term. We
use the word, because it is popularly comprehensive; the [Greek: hoi
aristoi], distinguished from the [Greek: hoi polloi]: "good men," as is
the value of goodness in the city; "the great," as they are understood
by penners of fashionable novels; "talented," or "a genius," as we say
in the _coteries_; but not a word, mark you, of the abstract value of
these signs--their positive significations; good may be bad, great mean,
talented or a genius, ignorant or a puppy. We have nothing to do with
that; these are thy terms, our Public; thou art responsible for the use
made of them. Thou it is who tellest us that the sun rises and sets,
(which it does not,) and talkest of the good and great, without knowing
whether they are great and good, or no. Our business is to borrow your
recognized improprieties of speech, only so far as they will assist us
in making ourselves understood.

When Archimedes, or some other gentleman, said that he could unfix the
earth had he a point of resistance for his lever, he illustrated, by a
hypothesis of physics, the law of the generation of aristocracies.
Aristocracies begin by having a leg to stand on, or by getting a finger
in the pie. The multitude, on the contrary, never have any thing,
because they never _had_ any thing, they want the _point d'oppui_, the
springing-ground whence to jump above their condition, where,
transformed by the gilded rays of wealth or power, discarding their
several skins or sloughs, they sport and flutter, like lesser insects,
in the sunny beams of aristocratic life.

Indeed, we have often thought that the transformation of the insect
tribes was intended, by a wise Omnipotence, as an illustration (for our
own benefit) of the rise and progress of the mere aristocracy of
fashionable life.

The first condition of existence of these diminutive creatures, is the
egg, or _embryo_ state; this the anxious parent attaches firmly to some
leaf or bough, capable of affording sufficient sustenance to the future
grub, who, in due course, eats his way through the vegetable kingdom
upon which he is quartered, for no merit or exertion of his own; and
where his career is only to be noted by the ravages of his insatiable
jaws. After a brief period of lethargy or _pupa_ state, this
good-for-nothing creature flutters forth, powdered, painted, perfumed,
scorning the dirt from which he sprung, and leading a life of
uselessness and vanity, until death, in the shape of an autumnal shower,
prostrates himself and his finery in the dust.

How beautiful and how complete is the analogy between the insect and his
brother butterfly of fashionable life! While yet an _embryo_, a worm, he
_grubs_ his way through a good estate, and not a little ready money.
Then, after a long sojourn in the _pupa_ or _puppy_ state--longer far
than that of any other maggot--he emerges a perfect butterfly, vain,
empty, fluttering, and conceited, idling, flirting, flaunting,
philandering, until the summer of his _ton_ is past, when he dies, or is
arrested, and expiates a life of puerile vanity in Purgatory or the
Queen's Bench.

Let the beginning once be made--the point of extreme depression once be
got over: the cares of the daily recurring poor necessities of
life--shelter, clothing, food, be of no moment: let a man taste, though
it were next to nothing, of the delicious luxury of accumulation, let
him, with every hoarded shilling, or half-crown, or pound, carry his
head higher, smiling in secret at the world and his friends, and the
aristocrat of wealth is formed: he is removed for ever from the
hand-to-mouth family of man, and thenceforth represents his
breeches pocket.

It is the same with the aristocrat of birth: some fortunate
accident--some well-aimed and successful stroke of profligacy, or more
rarely of virtue, redeems an individual from the common herd: the rays,
mayhap, of royal favour fall upon him, and he begins to bloat; his
growth is as the growth of the grain of mustard-seed, and in a little
while he overshadoweth the land: Noble and Right Honourable are his
posterity to the end of time.

There is a poor lad sitting biting his nails till he bites them to the
quick, wearing out his heart-strings in constrained silence on the back
benches of Westminster Hall: he maketh speeches, eloquent, inwardly, and
briefless, mutely bothereth judges, and seduceth innocent juries to his
_No_-side: he findeth out mistakes in his learned brethren, and
chuckleth secretly therefor: he scratcheth his wig with a pen, and
thinketh by what train of circumstantial evidence he may be able to
prove a dinner: he laugheth derisively at the income-tax, and the
collectors thereof: yet, when he may not have even a "little brown" to
fly with, haply, some good angel, in mortal shape of a solicitor, may
bestow on him a brief: rushing home to his chambers in the Temple, he
mastereth the points of the case, cogitating _pros_ and _cons_: he
heareth his own voice in court for the first time: the bottled
black-letter of years falleth from his lips, like treacle from a pipkin:
he maketh good his points, winneth the verdict and the commendations of
the judge: solicitors whisper that there is something in him, and clerks
express their conviction that he is a "trump:" the young man eloquent is
rewarded in one hour for the toil, rust, and enforced obscurity of
years: he is no longer a common soldier of the bar; he steppeth by right
divine, forth of the ranks, and becometh a man of mark and likelihood:
he is now an aristocrat of the bar--perhaps, a Lyndhurst.

Again, behold the future aristocrat of literary life: to-day regard him
in a suit of rusty black, a twice-turned stock, and shirt of Isabella
colour, with an affecting hat: in and out of every bookseller's in the
Row is he, like a dog in a fair: a brown paper parcel he putteth into
your hand, the which, before he openeth, he demands how much cash down
you mean to give for it: then, having unfolded the same, giveth you to
understand that it is such a work as is not to be seen every day, which
you may safely swear to. He journeyeth from the east to the west, from
the rising of the sun to the setting thereof, manuscript in hand: from
Leadenhall Street, where Minerva has her press, to the street hight
Albemarle, which John Murray delighteth to honour, but to no purpose:
his name is unknown, and his works are nothing worth. Let him once make
a _hit,_ as it is termed, and it is no longer hit or miss with him: he
getteth a reputation, and he lieth in bed all day: he shaketh the
alphabet in a bag, calling it his last new work, and it goeth through
three editions in as many days: he lordeth it over "the trade," and will
let nobody have any profit but himself: he turneth up his nose at the
man who invites him to a plain dinner, and utterly refuseth evening
parties: he holdeth _conversaziones_, where he talks you dead: he
driveth a chay, taketh a whole house, sporteth a wife and a minute
tiger: in brief, he is now an aristocrat of letters.

The materials for the growth and preservation of these several
aristocracies abound in London; and no where on the earth have we the
same facilities for the study and investigation of their family
likenesses and contrasts, their points of contact and repulsion.


THE ARISTOCRACY OF FASHION.


Approach, reader, but _awful_, as Pope says--approach "with mincing
steps and bow profound;" we are about to introduce you to persons
of quality.

It is an extraordinary fact, illustrative how far the ignorance of a
discerning public will carry those who make a living by practising upon
their credulity, that notwithstanding there is an immense number of
books annually presented to the do-nothing world, under the
curiosity-provoking title of fashionable novels, we have hardly more
than one or two generally recognised true and faithful pictures of
really fashionable life. The caricatures of caricatures of this Elysian
state are numberless--imagination has been exhausted, sense confounded,
grammar put on the rack, the "well of English undefiled" stirred up from
the very dregs, to give the excluded pictures of the life of the
exclusives--yet, what have we? You will excuse us, reader, disturbing
the current of our thoughts, by recollecting any of this forty
novel-power of inanity, vulgarity, and pertness; but if you take up any
of the many volumes in marbled boards, with calf backs, that you will
find in cart-loads at the circulating libraries, and look over a page of
the fashionable "_lingo_" the Lord Jacob talks to the Lady Suky, or the
conversation between Sir Silly Billy and the Honourable Snuffy Duffy; or
what the Duke of Dabchick thinks of the Princess Molly; and when you are
satisfied, which we take it will be in the course of two pages, if you
do not throw down the book, and swear by the Lord Harry--why then, read
on and be jolly!

The indescribable absurdities, vices, and follies of the bulk of that
class of literature called the fashionable novel, are past the power of
catalogue-makers to record; but perhaps overwhelming ignorance of the
peculiar class they pretend to describe is not the least conspicuous.
Next to lack of knowledge, or sound materials deduced from actual
observation, we may place want of taste. There are writers to write the
exclusives up, and writers to write them down; one raises our envy, and
makes us miserable, because we are not permitted to enter their paradise
of social life; another devotes three volumes post octavo, in
exemplification of the not altogether forgotten moral fiction of the fox
and the sour grapes.

The writers of fashionable novels may be divided, as to their social
positions, into the tolerated fashionable novel writers, and the
intolerable fashionable novel writers; the first, moving in phases more
or less equivocal round their centre and their deity, the exclusive set;
the last, desperate from the fact of their total and permanent exclusion
from society, but still moving round the outside of the boundary wall,
and peeping through chinks in the palings. From the former we have the
eulogistic, from the latter the depreciatory fashionable novels; these
make us familiar with the celestial attributes of countesses-dowager,
and the amiability of their pugs. They are slavering, servile,
self-degrading productions, and only serve the exclusives as
provocatives to laughter; they are usually written by tutors, ladies who
have married tutors, or superannuated governesses, patronized by some
charitable member of some distinguished family.

The depreciatory or vilificatory fashionable novel delights in exposing
the peccadilloes, or imagined peccadilloes, (for it is all the same,) of
young or old people of fashion: a _gourmand_ peer, a titled demirep, a
"desperate dandy," a black-leg, and a few such other respectable
characters, are dialogued through the customary number of chapters, and
conducted to the usual catastrophe: virtue is triumphant, vice abashed,
towards the latter end of the last volume; and some low-born hero and
heroine, introduced to exhibit, by contrast, the vices of the
aristocracy, suddenly, and without any effort of their own, acquire
large fortunes, perhaps titles, which it would have been just as easy to
have given them at first--go to church in an orthodox manner, and set up
a virtuous aristocracy of their own.

We are indebted for this class of fashionable novel to outlaws of both
sexes; persons who might have held, but for their own misconduct,
respectable positions in society; persons of this sort have the
impudence, with their no-characters staring them in the face, to set up
as public instructors, and to give us ensamples, drawn from their own
perverted imaginations, of a class of which they might have known
something, but which it is now past human possibility they can
ever know.

These people are not merely not in society--which implies no crime--but
they are, notwithstanding their nominal rank or title, _out_ of society,
for reasons well and thoroughly known: they are those not merely who
cannot come in, but those who, if they did intrude, would be immediately
turned out.

Next, ascending from this equivocal class, we have the fashionable novel
writers of fashionable life. I do not mean exclusive fashionable life,
for there are no writers of these works in that class; but I allude to
those who mingle with general fashionable society upon such terms, that
if they possessed the talent, they might have supplied with ease the
want of which the world complains--that of a just and natural picture of
the lives of those forming the Corinthian capital of society in London.

Take, for example, a noble and late viceregal lord and his brother, the
Honourable Edmund Phipps. These gentlemen have written fashionable
novels, and ought to have written good ones; yet we don't know how it
is, but whenever we send to a circulating library to enquire whether
they have "YES AND NO," the noes have it; and when we venture to ask for
the "FERGUSONS," we find that the three post octavo gentlemen of that
title not only do not lodge here or there, but that they don't lodge
_any where_.

The fact is, opportunity of observation will do little or nothing
without _faculty_ of observation: though the whole social world, old or
new, lay bare under the eyes of some men, not one idea could they
extract from it; and who, wanting also the descriptive power, still more
rare, fail in any attempt to give to the world the results of their
experience.

Of this class is the larger number of writers of the better sort, in the
line we are talking of: they go into society as they go to galleries,
not to copy pictures, but to enjoy them. They enter into the amusements
and dissipation of their class, not to look on merely, but to play
the game.

In addition to all this, there is a point of honour involved, we think
an erroneous one, among persons of quality, as to violating the
freemasonry, the signs, ceremonies, and absurdities, of their privacy.
Now, this applies only so far as individuals are indicated, and it is so
far right. But fashionable classes are fair game, if not shot at
sitting; or poached, or snared, or bagged, in any ungentlemanlike,
unsportsmanlike fashion. They belong to human character, and human
nature; and the reason they have seldom been painted well is, that they
have seldom been painted after nature; and any artist will inform you,
that whatever is painted to the life, must be painted from the life.

They have not been painted by themselves, because they would have their
lives, like the walls that encircle their town houses, impervious to the
curious excursive eye; they have not been painted by themselves,
because, secondly, the power of depicting graphically what they are in
the daily habit of seeing, is not in them, not having been cultivated by
study and practice; and thirdly, not being stimulated to literary
activity by that Muse of the imperative mood, Necessity, they find more
pleasure in having these things brought under their eyes, results of the
mental toil and culture of others.

There is a vulgar error uppermost in the minds of some men, which is
this: the world of fashion has not hitherto been painted with effect,
for the same reason that nobody thinks it worth while to describe a
ditch; both being, in the estimation of these persons, stagnant perfumed
entities, rich in peculiarly useless vegetation, abounding in vermin and
animalculae, and diffusing a contagious effluvia over the surface of
society. This error, like many other errors, is an excuse for ignorance,
and only shows the innate uncharitableness of some men; they run down,
like other sceptics, what they do not know and cannot understand, nor
will they believe there can be any good therein; forgetting, knaves and
fools as they are, that the aristocratic classes are human beings, with
the same intermingled elements of good and ill as themselves, modified
by accidental circumstances, which, as the Parliamentary people say,
they cannot control, and possessing at least as much of the ordinary
good principles and feelings of our common nature, as any other class of
our graduated social scale.

Can any thing be more illiberal, more ignorant, more stupid, than for a
low man to turn leveller, because he is a low man, and attack, without
ceremony and without mercy, people of whom he can by any possibility
know no more than the worst side, that is to say, the _outside_: and
whom he considers, like the gilt gingerbread he sees in his biennial
visit to Greenwich Fair, as vastly fine, but exceedingly unwholesome?

The truth is, fashionable life has been exalted above its just and
proper level, and depressed below it, by the slaverers and the
vituperaters, solely because they cannot get at it; the former are
idolatrous from hope, the latter devilish in despair; and the result we
are familiar with, in caricatures portraying this sort of life
alternately as a Heaven and a Hell.

The peculiarities of fashionable life are, it is true, few, but they are
characteristic, and we now proceed to--

_You_ proceed to--! Now, my good fellow, tell us, will you, how such a
person as you, a garreteer, confessing to dining upon the heel of a
twopenny loaf and half an onion; making no secret of running up beer
scores at public houses, when they will trust you; retailing your nasty
scenes of low life, creatures dying in hospitals, work-house funerals,
the adventures of street apple-women, and matters and things
incomprehensible to genteel families like ourselves living in Russell
Square; an outlaw, living from tavern to tavern, from pot-house to
pot-house, without name, residence, or station; a mere fellow,
subsisting on the misplaced indulgence of an undiscerning public, and
one who, if gentlemen and ladies (like ourselves) would only condescend
to write, would find his appropriate circle in a work-house, unless he
escaped it by dying in an hospital. _You_ proceed to----! What, in the
name of gentility, can _you_ know of fashionable life?

Sir, or madam, have mercy, or at least have manners. How astonished you
will be--we say, how astonished you _will_ be--if in the fulness of time
our title shall dignify the title-page; when it might appear, that by
the pen of a peer these papers were made apparent; when, instead of the
sort of person you have chosen to imagine your caterer for the good
things of fashionable life in London, you may discern to your dismay
that a lord--a real lord, alive and kicking, has made a Bude-light of
himself, illuminating the shadows of your ignorance: you may read a
preparatory memoir, informing you how these ideas of ours were collected
in a coach and four, and transmitted to paper in a study overlooking the
Green Park; with paper velvet-like, and golden pen ruby-headed, upon
rose-wood desk inlaid with ivory, you may find that these essays have
been transcribed: you will grovel, you will slaver, you will rub your
nose in the pebbles, like a salmon at spawning-time, when this very
immortal work shall come out, clothed in purple morocco, our arms
emblazoned on the covers, and coroneted on the back, after the manner of
publication of the works of royal and noble authors. Then, what running
to Debrett for our genealogy, our connexions, our _set_, and all that
customary inquisition of the affairs of the great which makes the
delight of the little: the "Book of Beauty," and "Pictures of the
Nobility," will be ransacked, of course, for verses by our lordship, or
portraits of our lordship's ladyship, or of the ladies Exquisitina or
Nonsuchina, daughters of our lordship, with slavering verses by
intolerable poets; then it will be discovered, and the discovery duly
recorded, that our lordship's eldest son, Viscount Ne'er-do-weel, and
the Honourable Mr Nogo, are pursuing cricket and pie-crust (commonly
called their _studies_) at Eton or Harrow, but are expected at our
lordship's seat in Some-Shire for their holidays: then we will be
proposed, seconded, and elected, like other noblemen equally
undistinguished in the world of science, a fellow of the Royal Society
and a fellow of the Society of Arts--and for the same good reason,
because we may be a lord; and you, and all the world, will say it was
very proper that I should have been elected, though knowing no more of
science than that acoustics (if we mistake not) means a pump; or of
arts, than that calico-printing and letterpress printing are, somehow or
other, not exactly one and the same thing.

Then, sir, we shall hear no more of the bread and cheese and onions,
pot-house scores, and low company, with which you have so
unceremoniously taxed our lordship. You will drive your jumped-up coach,
with your awkward wives and dowdy daughters, and your tawdry liveries,
all the way from Russell Square to the Green Park, to catch the chance
of a glimpse of our lordship. You find out from our lordship's footman
that our lordship wears a particular collar to his coat, and you will
move heaven and earth to find out our lordship's tailor. When you apply
to him to make a coat in our lordship's style, our tailor, who sees at a
glance that you are not fit to be his customer, will tell you with an
air, that he "declines to execute."

You will discover, from the same authority, that our lordship smokes a
particular tobacco, to be had only at a particular shop; and forthwith
even real Havannah stinks in your nostrils, and you apply to Pontet.
Pontet gives you a tobacco, (_not_ our tobacco,) and you go away in the
innocent consciousness of smoking the exclusive weed of a man
of fashion.

Prithee, fool, mind thy own business, and stick to thy shop or thy
station, whatever it may be; to which while thou stickest, thou must be
respectable, but which when thou wouldst quit, desperately to seize the
hem of our lordship's garment, thou becomest the laughing-stock of us
and of our class, and we cannot choose but despise thee thoroughly.

When we look at the shelves of a circulating library, groaning beneath
that generally despicable class of volumes called fashionable novels,
when we take up, only to lay down in disgust, "NOTORIETY, OR
FASHIONABLES UNVEILED," "PAVILION, OR A MONTH AT BRIGHTON," "MEMOIRS OF
A PEERESS," "MARRIAGE IN HIGH LIFE," "ALMACK S REVISITED," or some such
stuff, we cannot but infer, that it is not the vices or absurdities of
what is ignorantly called fashionable life that creates this
never-ceasing demand for trash and nonsense, but rather a morbid
appetite for vapidity and small-talk, a lady's-maid's curiosity of the
secrets of her betters, a servile love of imitating what is unworthy
imitation, and of following that which is not worth following, simply
because it is supposed that these ridiculous caricatures represent the
real life of

    "The twice ten thousand for whom earth was made,"

When we recollect, to our shame, that not only these swarms of trashy
volumes, which penetrate even into the back-slums, and may be seen
unfolded in the paper-patched windows of eighteen-penny milliners in
the lowest quarters of our metropolis, find a never-failing succession
of ravenous readers, but that newspapers--Sunday newspapers,
forsooth--devoted to smutty epigrams, low abuse, vile insinuations, and
openly indecent allusion to the connexions, habits of life, and even
personal appearance, of fashionable and _pseudo_-fashionable people,
receive a disgraceful and dangerous support; we must come to the
conclusion, that in this, as in all other merchandize, the demand
creates the supply, and that it is among the lower orders of the middle
classes that these caricaturers by profession of the upper, their
slanderers and their eulogists, find sympathy and encouragement.

There is a sort of "hero-worship," as Mr Carlyle would term it,
attaching to the most absurd, ridiculous, and even vicious doings of
people who _might be_ fashionable; a counter-jumper, barber's clerk,
medical student, or tailor's apprentice, adores the memory of that great
man whom we are happy to be able to style the _late_ "markis." The
_pave_ of the Haymarket he considers classic ground, and the "Waterford
Arms" a most select wine-bibbing establishment. If he does not break a
dozen bells or wrench three or four brace of knockers in the season,
this penny-cigar-smoking creature hardly thinks he attains to his
fractional proportion of humanity.

This may be relied on, that the great inducement of young scapegraces of
fashion to the committal of their diurnal and nocturnal outrages upon
propriety, is the mischievous gratification they derive from the awkward
imitation of their inferiors; and the most effectual method of bringing
these aristocratic pranks into disrepute, will be, to treat them as
merely vulgar outrages, and punish the perpetrators accordingly.

If, indeed, the small-fry of society would set themselves to imitate all
that is worthy imitation in the better sort of their betters, following
good examples instead of bad, it would be something to talk of. But
since it is not to be expected that they will pursue virtue, piety, good
sense, and good breeding for their own sakes, and as these attributes,
when they exist in fashionable life--and they _do_ exist among the most
fashionable of fashionable people--are in their nature retiring and
unobtrusive, while all that is bad in good society is pushed into
notoriety, for the example of the mob, we must take pains to point out
at some length the difference between really "good society" and what is
vulgarly called good society; that is, in fact, the difference between
good and bad, and to mark the distinguishing characteristics of the
truly fashionable and the vulgarly fashionable man, as wide and deep as
is the gulf between a gent and a gentleman.

If the fashionable world be truly represented, as it is not, in the
swarms of so-called fashionable novels, gleaned from the sloppy
conversation of footmen's ordinaries, or the retail tittle-tattle of
lady's-maids in waiting at the registry-offices, how little is it to the
credit of the mass of the reading public that they peruse such stuff; or
would it be perused at all, but for that vulgar love, so prevalent about
town, of imitation of the Lady Fannys and Lady Mary Dollymops, their
_nonchalance_, their insipidity, their studied ease, and their
affectation of being unaffected?

We therefore desire, before we begin, that our young lady readers, our
jury of maidens, will do us the favour to dismiss from their
recollection all that they may have heard and read of the fashionable
world; that they will not believe the exclusives to be as dull as so
many bottles of stale small-beer, or as lively as Seltzer water from the
spring, with a dash of brandy in it; that they will forget that there
is, in fashionable life, any thing worthy their imitation or adoption,
unless it should otherwise appear by the evidence; and that they will
not once take up a professedly fashionable novel till they have
carefully studied and slept upon what we are going to say.

The word "world" is a comprehensive term, and should be taken in all its
relations with great latitude, whether with adjectives or without. For
example, the "fashionable world" is far from being an integral quantity,
or capable of being reasoned upon as if it were as definite in its
relations and proportions as an equilateral triangle. It contains within
itself a complete gradation from fashionable excellence to fashionable
villany; from fashionable virtue to fashionable vice; fashionable ladies
and gentlemen, fashionable pimps, demireps, and profligates. It must be
individualized if we wish to treat it fairly, as judges try prisoners
severally, not in a lump. But our impressions of the fashionable world,
as a class, must be taken from the general preponderating
characteristics of good or evil of the whole.

Hast ever been, reader, to Bartlemy fair? If you have, you may have
seen--nay, you _must_ have seen--Richardson's immortal show. You must
have seen a tall platform in front of the migratory edifice, and on that
platform you must have delighted your visual orb with the clown, the
pantaloon, the harlequin, the dancing ladies, the walking dandy, the
king with his crown, the queen in her rabbit-skin robes, the
smock-frocked countryman, the top-booted jockey, and all the _dramatis
personae_ of the performance that every moment of every day, during every
fair, is for ever "going to begin." You may hardly have observed,
sliding quietly through all this tinselled and spangled poverty, a plain
carpenter-like man, in a decent suit, who looks as if he had never seen
a performance in the whole course of his life, and as if he never cared
to see one. This man is, or rather was, the late Mr Richardson, who died
worth thirty thousand pounds, and all the clowns, harlequins,
pantaloons, dancing ladies, walking dandies, kings with their crowns,
and queens in their rabbit-skins, and the rest, are poor pinch-bellied
devils, caricaturing humanity for some twelve or fourteen shillings
a-week, finding their own paint and frippery. Now, whenever you wish to
form a correct idea of the two great classes of fashionable life, call
to your remembrance the gentlemen who, like the late lamented Mr
Richardson, are proprietors of shows, and the berouged, bedraggled
creatures who exhibit on the platform outside for their living.

To be sure, there may be a little difference in names. The proprietors
of the show may be dukes, and earls, and marquisses, and so forth. The
mountebanks outside may be called counts, chevaliers, knights of the
order of the golden fleece, or of the thimble, or of Malta. But the
realities are the same. Fashionable life is a show, truly fashionable
people are the proprietors, who are never prominently or ridiculously
seen therein; and these several orders of over dressed, under-fed,
empty-pocketed mountebanks, are the people put on the platform outside,
to astonish the eyes and ears of the groundlings.

The _physique_ of the true fashionable is peculiar and characteristic.
From the toe of his boot to the crown of his hat, there is that
unostentatious, undefinable something about him distinctive of his
social position. Professional men, every body knows, have an expression
common to their profession. A purblind cyclops could never mistake the
expression of an Independent preacher, an universal free-black-nigger
Baptist minister, or a Jesuit. Every body knows an infantry officer,
with his "eyes right" physiognomy, his odious black-stock, and his habit
of treading on his heels, and can distinguish him from the cavalry man,
straddling like a gander at a pond side. Your medical doctor has an
obsequious, mealy-mouthed, hope-I-see-you-better face, and carries his
hands as if he had just taken his fingers from a poultice; while your
lawyer is recognised at once by his perking, conceited,
cross-examination phiz, the exact counterpart to the expression of an
over-indulged jackdaw.

The gentleman of fashion has nothing in common with the professional
gentleman, or any other. He stands alone, "like Adam's recollection of
his fall." He has an air, it is true, but his air is not a breeze, like
the air of a pretender to fashion. The air of the man of fashion is
a zephyr.

The expression of the man of fashion is the more difficult to reduce to
words, in that it is mostly negative. It is easier to say what this
expression is not, than what it is. We can only say, that there is
nothing professionally distinctive about it. It is the expression of a
man perfectly at ease in his position, and so well aware that he is so,
that he does not _seem_ to be aware of it. An absence of all straining
after effect; a solicitude rather to avoid than to court observation. If
there is any thing positively indicative in his expression, by which I
include his manner, it is that of a good-humoured indifference, an
inoffensive, unobtrusive stoicism. He would seem to have adopted the
excellent advice given by the Apostle to the Thessalonians--"STUDY TO BE
QUIET." This is his rule of life, and he acts upon it upon great and
small occasions. He only desires that you will have the goodness to let
him alone. If he is cheated by a man of his own _set_, (for he knows
that he is cheated, as a matter of course, by tradespeople,) he _cuts_
the fellow coolly. If he is insulted, he coolly calls out his man. He
falls in love with coolness, marries coolly, and leads a cool connubial
life. Whether he wins or loses, whatever happens to disturb the world or
himself, he takes coolly, and if he has an aspiration on earth, it is
that he may be cool and comfortable.

His philosophy is the mingled Stoical and Epicurean. With him life is a
trifle to be gracefully played with--a "froward child, to be humoured
till it falls asleep, and all is over." His indifference is imputed to
him as a crime; but it should not be forgotten that, if there be any
fault at all in this indifference, it is the fault of his position.
Fortune is to blame, not he, for setting up a man with no other enemy
than time, and no other business than amusement. We do not say that this
is the true end of life; we do not enter into the enquiry, which might
carry us to leeward of our subject, whether men who have the means of
enjoying life, do not show the truest wisdom in pursuing enjoyment. We
only know that most men similarly circumstanced would act similarly; and
whether there is most vice or greatest misery in the idleness of
fashionable life, or in the business of the busy world, _as it is
carried on in our time_, I leave to those who have experience and
leisure to determine.

Those who wish to study the subject further, may read at their leisure
the pleasant paper in which an agreeable writer, Fontenelle, describes
Aristotle and Anacreon contending for the prize of wisdom; and may
decide with the essayist, giving the prize to the generous old toper of
Scios, as we should have done, or to the beetlebrowed Reviewer,
according to their humour.

The constitutional and habitual indifference of the man of fashion is
generally supposed by those who do not know it, to be an effect of
pride; but it is, generally speaking, a symptom of something more akin
to humility--of timidity, in short. It is part of his system to avoid
contact, save with his fellows; and with those who are not his fellows,
or of his _set_, he is altogether out of his element. Therefore, as he
is afraid of giving, and incapable of taking offence, he entrenches
himself in the unstudied reserve which he finds by experience renders
his individuality least assailable, exactly as he surrounds his
ornamental woods, his shrubberies, and his parterres with fences, not
the less strong because they are invisible.

With adventurers, people who are treading upon his kibes, equivocal
pretenders who are galling his heel, he is hopelessly exclusive,
preserving towards them an armed neutrality. His friendship is extended
to his equals, and to his equals alone: with these his intercourse is
free and unrestrained. These alone see the English man of fashion as he
really exists, denuded of that armour of reserve with which he goes
clothed _cap-a-pie_ in public. Towards others he is distantly polite;
and with such nice tact does he blend a distant manner with politeness,
that you cannot carp at the former, or catch at the latter. He lets you
see that you cannot be _one of them_, but in such a way that you may not
quarrel with the manner in which he conveys his intimation.

With his inferior he will not be intimate, nor towards him will he be
"proudly condescending." He declines to forget himself so far as for a
moment to put you on a level with him; but he will not (as _you_ too
often do) degrade you by sinking you below your own level. He holds the
even tenor of his way whether you trot, spaniel-like, at his heels or
no; nor will he once turn round to bestow upon you either cuffs
or caresses.

Although by leisure, education, and intelligence, he is qualified to
converse with men of genius, he prefers conversing with them through the
medium of their works. He is aware that the days of subscriptions, and
"striking for dedications," are past and gone, and that the public have
taken the place of the patron. He knows that the habits, employments,
and in most instances the circumstances, of intellectual men preclude
their mingling familiarly in fashionable circles, on equal terms, and
that upon no other terms will they consent to be met. He neither
patronizes nor neglects them, but is content to stand in the relation
towards them of one of the reading public.

His indifference to the fate and fortunes of deserving men has been,
among the vulgar, a common imputation upon the man of fashion, of which
class most frequently is the man of power. He is accused of lavishing
his favours only upon the toady and the tuft-hunter, and leaving men of
independent mind to the caprice of fortune.

This complaint comes with a very bad grace from men who would be thought
independent. The man who wants the patronage of the great, must go in
search of it, whether he call himself independent or no. Men in power
are accustomed to be met more than half way; and the independent man,
whether he have merit or no, who expects people of rank to come in
search of him, and to hunt him out of the obscurity of his garret, will
find himself very much mistaken.

None are truly independent while in pursuit of objects which are
attainable only by the pleasure of another. The truly independent are
those who not only do not solicit favours, but those who do not want
them: and there is seen too often, among needy and struggling men of
merit, an irritable pride, a "_fierte_," arising not from a sense of
independence, but a consciousness of neglect; and many men boast of the
pleasure of an independent life, as many ladies exalt the delights of
single blessedness, only because they have never had the offer of
changing their condition.

It is quite as unfair, too, to accuse people of condition of bestowing
all their favours upon toadies, tuft-hunters, and bear-leaders. The
truth is, as they are not in the habit of going into the highways to
lookout for persons whereupon to confer obligations, they are obliged to
take up with such as offer themselves to their notice. While the man of
independence is dreaming away his existence over books and papers in his
closet, and cursing the barbarism of the age that does not take him by
the hand, and set him up in high places, the man of the world is pushing
his fortune in a worldly way, and is content not to talk of independence
until he has secured it. The hard words, tuft-hunter, toady, and so
forth, are applied, it may be, oftener than they are deserved:
led-captain is a term of frequent reproach, but it must always be
considered that that sort of talent will be chiefly noticed and rewarded
which is in demand in certain circles; fashionable people desire neither
to be deafened with wit, nor bewildered with philosophy, nor oppressed
with learning; their business, to which they have been brought up, is to
glide smoothly through life, and their patronage is chiefly extended to
those who offer to relieve them of its petty cares and small annoyances,
which men of solid and sterling merit are not able, and, if they were
able, are not willing to do.

A wealthy cit has as little regard for men of letters as a fashionable,
nor has he the same tact of concealing his indifference; the well-bred
man of fashion, who is alone truly the man of fashion, studies _tact_
above all things, and his tact prevents him ever regarding men of mind
with any thing approaching contempt.

His friendly offices, which his equals never require, he generally
bestows upon men whose position in society is marked and permanent, and
who never can by any possibility compete with him; to these, if they be
_safe_--that is, if they keep quiet, and are content to enjoy a sort of
unpretending familiarity, without boasting or pluming themselves upon
their position, he does the kindest and most liberal things, in the
kindest and most liberal way; in a way that no other man than one truly
fashionable can accomplish. He confers benefits with an affable and
disinterested air, which, while it increases the burden of obligation,
seems to demand no acknowledgement; he bestows without seeming to know
that he is bestowing, and knowing enough of human nature to be aware
that to the deserving, obligations have something humiliating, he wishes
to make the burden as light as possible.

One of the most amiable qualities about the aristocracy is their
liberality and kindness to their dependents; you seldom or never hear
any one who has served them faithfully and long having reason to
complain. To do something for these people is part of their system, and
not to see them neglected or in want, a point of honour. This kindly
feeling they extend, as far as their power or influence extends--to
humble friends, electioneering partizans, poor connexions. They are
always kind and considerate, provided only these persons possess that
unpresuming quietude of manner, which makes up a considerable part of
that character they delight in, and which they call _safe_. If you
introduce to one of these people of fashion, any man who may have an
object in view, the first enquiry is, what are his claims--that is, what
equivalent has he given, or can he give, for the favours he expects? for
it is with the high, as with the low world, nothing for nothing; and
secondly, you must be prepared to answer for his _safety_, so that,
whatever may be said or done, nothing may, by any possibility, leak out
of the _protege_. This accounts for so many perfumed, be-wigged,
purblind, silky fellows being taken in and "done for" by the great; and
although these fellows dress like fools, and look like fools, depend
on't, they are not the fools you take them for: they are aware, that
nothing so effectually throws off their guard and disarms the great, as
a well-carried affectation of gentlemanly effeminacy, and "a still small
voice, like a woman's." We happen to know that some of these people, for
this very delicacy of air and manner picked out of the dirt, and carried
into high places, who are _au naturel_, as we may say, when they go
home, and have laid aside the wigs, silk waistcoats, quizzing-glasses,
and the rest of their disguise, as honest, friendly, and unaffected
fellows, as are in the world--only they do not desire that any body
should say so.

Of a man with a stiff back, black beard, short hair, loud voice, and
buff waistcoat, people of fashion, on the contrary, stand in continual
awe; his tongue is to them a rattlesnake's tail wagging only as a signal
for them to get out of his way; they quiver like an aspen at the sound
of his voice, and for their own particular, would rather hear the
sharpening of a saw: if such a one courts their acquaintance, they are
hopelessly, despairingly polite; if, as is usual, he then waxes
insolent, and, as the fast fellows would call it, _slangs_ them, they
are delighted with the opportunity of displaying that placid
indifference upon which they pride themselves as one of their exclusive
accomplishments.

Another peculiarity of truly fashionable people is, that they never say
or do spiteful, or vindictive things; revenge and spite they consider
_low_, plebeian, and vulgar; besides, vindictiveness of any kind
disturbs their equanimity, puts them out of their way, and levels them
with the people who may have injured or annoyed them; they cannot endure
jaundice of body or mind, and equally abhor any thing that sticks either
in the gall, bladder, or "gizzard." Their defensive armour, than which
none can be less penetrable, is equanimity; their weapons, unstudied
indifference and dignified neglect.

Towards their own "order," they are invariably consistent in kindness
and consideration; they stand by, and stand to, one another with a
paternal amity, which is only _outwardly_ disturbed by politics;
embarrassment or necessity effaces conventional distinctions of
politics, and Whig or Tory is always ready to provide for "honest Jack,"
or "do something" for "poor Fred." But we are not to consider their
exertions in this way, accompanied with any self-sacrifice or
self-denial; holding in their own hands the means of providing for their
friends or relatives, they usually so contrive matters that they lose
nothing by it.

To the peculiar quietude of manner, and characteristic gentleness of
persons of fashion, in their intercourse with each other, we have many
concurring testimonies of impartial observers: of these, the most just
at once, and eloquent, that we remember to have read, is that contained
in an ever-memorable letter from a Mr Tomkins to a Mrs Jenkins,
attributed (with what justice, deponent knoweth not) to a noble and
learned lord, supreme in natural theology and excitability, remarkable
for versatile nose and talents, and distinguished for chequered
fortunes, and "inexpressibles" to match. This learned lord, or Tomkins
aforesaid, or whoever may have been the inditer of the epistle _ad_
Jenkins, is eloquent exceedingly upon the _narcotine_ of fashionable
life: declares that its soothing influences were unequalled by vapour of
purest mundungus, or acetate of morphia, or even pill of opium, blended
intimately with glass of _eau-de-vie_. Tomkins is quite right: no man,
admitted by whatever door, or ascending by whatever staircase, to the
_salons_ of the great, fails to be impressed with the idea that there
exists among what the _Post_ calls the "gay and fastidious _habitues_"
of the place, every disposition to place him perfectly at his ease: and,
if he cannot be at ease, the fault is in him, not in his entertainers.
To a great _nisi prius_ lawyer, accustomed during a long life to the
discrimination of character in the way of his profession, such a
contrast as is presented by the repose and unobtrusive _politesse_ of
high life, compared with the _brusquerie_ of the world below, must have
been doubly delightful; and we are glad to have upon record the just and
eloquent testimony to its existence and social value from so eloquent
a pen.

The world without is apt to confound reserve and distance among the
great, with pride and insensibility: even those who, admitted by
sufferance to fashionable circles, behold the peculiar charm of high
life through a wintry atmosphere: the free and unrestrained converse of
men of fashion with their equals, none but themselves can know, and none
but themselves describe.

Their habit of living, among themselves, is generally simple, and devoid
of extravagance or ostentation: they have the best of every thing it is
true, but then they have all the advantages of unbounded competition.
and unlimited credit: they pay when they think proper, but no tradesman
ever dares venture to ask them for money: such as have the bad taste to
"dun" are "done:" the patient and long-suffering find their money "after
many days." Their amusements among themselves are inexpensive, almost to
meanness: the subscription to Almacks, that paradise of exclusives, and
envy of the excluded, amounts to not more than half a-guinea a ball, if
so much: a stall at the opera costs a young man of fashion, for the
season, forty, fifty, or sixty pounds, according to position: for this
he is entitled to an ivory ticket, which, when he does not feel inclined
to go himself, he can transfer for the evening to another. If he have
the misfortune to be a younger brother, many little windfalls come to
his share, the results of his relationship. He has an apartment at his
elder brother's town-house, or he resides with the dowager, or with a
maiden aunt; somebody keeps his cab horse, and some other body keeps the
saddle-horse that Lady Mary or Jack Somebody gave him; his "tiger" has
the run of all his friends' kitchens as a matter of course, and, as a
matter of course, himself has two or three invitations a-day during the
season; though, like other poor men, he prefers dining independently at
his club. He is on very good terms with the "girls" of his _set_, and is
allowed a little innocent flirtation, because he is known to have _tact_
enough not to compromise himself or them by falling in love, or paying
"ridiculous" addresses: although a little "fast" perhaps, he is
perfectly _safe_, and is on good terms with every body except his eldest
brother: he is the idol of countesses-dowager, who hand him a few
hundreds whenever he is short, pay his debts for him--give him good
advice, and call him "Freddy dear:" in short, although he has nothing,
excepting his boot-hooks, that he can possibly call his own, he is a
merry, good-natured, honest, harmless fellow, a favourite with every
body, and envied for his light-heartedness even by his more fortunate
elder brother.

In a book published some five-and-thirty years ago, is an account of the
then prevailing method of killing a fashionable day: as the pursuit of
inanity and folly has a tedious sameness about it, this picture will
answer, with a few variations, for the man of fashion of to-day.

"About twelve, he (the man of fashion) rises, lolls upon a sofa, skims
the newspaper, and curses its stupidity. He is particularly angry if he
does not find in it a paragraph which he sent to the agent of a
fashionable newspaper, generally the _Morning Post_, who lives by
procuring such sort of intelligence, containing an account of his having
dined at some titled man's table the day before, with whom, if he has no
rank himself, he is particularly anxious to mingle. After swallowing
several cups of tea and cocoa, and slices of foreign sausages and fowls,
he assumes his riding coat, and sallies out to his stables to inspect
his horses, and chat with his coachman and grooms.

"Having finished this review and audience, he orders his curricle, and,
followed by a couple of grooms, he dashes through most of the principal
streets, and calls upon the most celebrated coach and harness makers; at
the latter he is shown several new bits for his approbation. He then
proceeds to his breeches-maker, thence to Tattersall's, where he is sure
to meet a great number of friends, with whom he kills another hour
discussing the merits of the different animals he meets with there.
These important duties being done, he strolls to an exhibition, or to a
print-shop, and looks over a portfolio of caricatures; thence he keeps
on moving to a fashionable hotel, to take white spruce beer(!) and
sandwiches; here, after arranging his parties for the evening, be
returns home to dress. After looking over the cards which have been left
for him, he proceeds to his _toilette_ with his valet, and is dressed
about seven, when his chariot is at the door, and he drives either to
some family to dinner, or to the hotel he visited in the morning, when
he perhaps formed a party of four. At ten o'clock he enters the Opera,
and like a butterfly moves from box to box; thence behind the scenes;
after which he proceeds to one or two routs, or some fashionable
gaming-house, and about four is in bed, to recruit himself for a
repetition of the same course the next day.

"These loungers have a phraseology peculiar to themselves. A short time
since, if one of them was asked how he was, the answer would have been,
'we are in _force_ to-day;' if his wife was enquired after, 'she is in
high preservation;' if asked how often he had been at the opera, 'it is
my _second_ opera.' They also say, perhaps, speaking of some illustrious
hero, 'he's a fine brave fellow, but he ties his handkerchief most
shockingly.' I also remember being one day in Hyde Park, when a
gentleman rode up to one of these loungers, and after exchanging
salutations, the former said to the latter, I wish much to have the
pleasure of seeing you--are you engaged next Wednesday? Upon which the
other turned round to a little half starved groom, and said, 'John, am I
engaged next Wednesday?'

"The women of fashion," observes this writer, "are just as great and as
insipid idlers, in their way, as are the male triflers. They seldom walk
in the streets, but are almost always cooped up in their carriages,
driving about the streets, and leaving their cards at the houses of
their friends, whom they never think of seeing, although they may be at
home at the time; thence they proceed to the most expensive jewellers,
where they order a piece of plate or a trinket; thence to some
fashionable milliner."

This picture is not altogether like, but some of the features may
certainly be easily reorganized; if we substitute sherry, a chop, and a
club in Pall-Mall, for white spruce beer, sandwiches, and a tavern;
replacing the curricle and footman by a cab and tiger, the remainder,
with trivial alterations, may stand good of the fashionable idler of
to-day, as of him of the last century.

In childhood, nay, even in infancy, for all I can see to the contrary,
the _physique_ of persons of fashion is sufficiently distinctive and
characteristic of the class. If you walk in the parks and gardens, and
notice these young thoroughbreds exercising under the care of their
nurses, their tutors, and their nursery governesses, you will be
perfectly convinced that they are as easily to be distinguished in all
their points and paces from the children of the _mobility_, as is a
well-blooded Arabian from a Suffolk punch.

The small oval head, clustered with _rippling_ ringlets, as Alfred
Jennyson calls them; the clear laughing eye, the long fair neck, the
porcelain skin, warmed with the tenderest tinge of pink, so transparent
withal that you almost see the animal spirit careering within; the
_drooping_ shoulder, the rounded bust, clean limbs, well-turned ankle,
fine almost to a fault, the light springy step, the graceful easy
carriage, the absence of sheepishness or shyness, an air cheerful
without noise, a manner playful without rudeness, and you have the true
son or daughter of the Englishman of fashion.

Then, how characteristic of the class of which these children are the
rising hope, is the taste displayed in their dress; they are attired
with costly simplicity; or, if a fond mamma indulges in any little
extravagance of childish costume, you see that it is the extravagance of
taste; there is no tawdriness, no over-dressing, no little ones in
masquerade, they dress appropriately, and, at the same time,
distinctively.

Pretty souls! Many a time and oft have we wandered forth of the
turbulent town, less to brace our unstrung nerves by the elastic
air--less to bathe our wearied eyes in the green light of earth's bosom,
than to drive away sad thoughts in the contemplation of your innocent
gambols; with our stick; delight we to launch your mimic barks from the
sandy shores of Serpentine; with you, glad are we to make haste,
expecting the fastest sailer on the further shore; with you, we exult,
once more a boy, in the speed of our trim-built favourite.

We love the old Newfoundland dog, ay, and the old footman, as much as
you do, and could hang like you about both their necks; we wish you
would not think us too big a boy to "stop" for you at single-wicket;
imaginary hoops we trundle in your gleesome train; like you, we have a
decided aversion to "taw," considering it not young-gentleman-like; we,
too, forgetting that the governess is single and two-and-thirty, wonder
on earth what _can_ make governess so cross; we love you, when we see
you hand in hand squiring your little sister, saluting your little
sister's little friends, carrying their little parasols, and helping
them over little stony places, like little gentlemen. Happy, happy dogs!
we envy neither your birth nor the fortune that awaits you, nor repine
we that our fate condemns us to tug the unremitting oar against that
tide of fortune upon which, with easy sail, you will float lightly down
to death; the whole heart, the buoyant spirit, the conscience yet
unstung by mute reproach of sin; these things we envy you--not the
things so mean a world can give, but the things which, though it cannot
give, soon--alas, how soon--it takes away!

Contrast these children with the children of Mr Deputy Stubbs of the
ward of Farringdon Within, or common Councillor Muggs of Bassishaw; they
really do not look like animals of the same species.

The rising Stubbses and Muggses have heads shaped like a China orange,
croppy hair, chubby chins, chubby cheeks, and blazing red and chubby
noses--short, pursy, apoplectic necks, like their fathers--squab,
four-square figures, mounted upon turned legs, with measly skins; so
that, taken altogether, they are exceedingly offensive and disagreeable.
Then they eat, these young, Stubbses and Muggses, how they _do_ eat!
then they are dressed, how they _are_ dressed! five different tartans,
four colours in velvet, seven sorts of ribbons, and a woolpack of fleecy
hosiery, as if there wasn't another Stubbs or Muggs in existence; then
how they annoy and infest, with bad manners and noise, the deputies and
common-councilmen who visit at Stubbses and Muggses; how the maids "drat
them" all day long, and how Mrs Stubbs and Mrs Muggs _hate_ Mr
Sucklethumb, the butterman, because he never "notices the child."

Another extraordinary phenomenon you cannot fail to observe in the
children of the aristocracy; they seem to skip over the equivocal
period, the neutral ground of human life, and emerge from the chrysaloid
state of childhood, into the full and perfect _imago_ of little lords
and gentlemen, and little ladies, without any of those intermediate
conditions of laddism, hobble-de-hoyism, or bread-and-butterishness, so
prominently characteristic of the approaching puberty of the rest of the
rising generation. Your Eton boy is not a boy, he is a young gentleman;
your Lady Louisa is not a girl, she is only not yet "come out;" how to
account for the peculiarity I know not, except the knowledge of the
fact, that attention to the _petites morales_ forms so great a part of
the education of our rising aristocracy, and is considered so vitally
important to their proper carriage, as well in their _set_ as out of it,
that their children are as far advanced in this particular at fifteen,
as the children of middling people at twenty-five. The petticoat-string
by which the youth of the non-fashionable class is tied to their mother,
is a ligature not in use among the fashionable world; from the earliest
period professional persons are employed in their education, and the
_mother_ never shows in the matter. Whether this, or any other
peculiarity of the class, be an advantage or a disadvantage, natural or
unnatural, right or wrong, it is not for the writer to say; he only
points out what he has observed; and if he has failed to state it
properly, let him be properly corrected.

Our aristocratic youth we take the liberty to classify, as they do
coaches, of which they are so passionately fond, into

    1. FAST,

    2. SLOW.

The fast youths have several degrees of swiftness, from the railway
pace, down through imperceptible gradations, to ten miles an hour, at
which rate of going the fast fellows end, and the slow fellows begin.

Of these last there are also many varieties, from the tandem and
tax-cart down to the waggon and dog-truck; and it cannot be denied, that
as regards the former more especially, there is a great similarity
between the youths themselves and the vehicles they govern; they go very
fast, don't know what they are driving at, are propelled in any
direction by much more sagacious animals than themselves, and are
usually empty inside. The fast fellows are divided, moreover, into the
occasional and permanently fast; and first of the occasional fast
fellows:--

These form a very considerable proportion of our fashionable youth, and
combine the gentleman with a dash of the _petit-maitre_, overlaying a
naturally good disposition with a surface of scampishness, which,
however, they lay down when they marry, and thenceforward they belong
altogether to the slow school.

The permanently fast fellows deserve a more detailed notice, since they
are always before the police magistrates and the public, in one shape or
another; and although often committing themselves, are seldom or never
committed.

The members of this class it is who furnish the democratic Sunday papers
with a never-ending succession of articles, headed "THE ARISTOCRACY
AGAIN," "BRUTALITY OF THE HIGHER CLASSES," "DEPRAVITY OF THE NOBBY
ONES," and the like and it is from these fast fellows, unfortunately,
that a great many ignorant people draw their conclusions of fashionable
life and conversation in general, extending the vices of a few shameless
profligates to the entire of the little world, commonly called
the great.

The permanently fast fellows, or, as we think their general demeanour
entitles them to be called, "Blackguard Nobs," are a lot of little,
scrubby, bad-blooded, groom-like fellows, who have always, even from
childhood, been incorrigible, of whom nursery governesses could make
nothing, and whose education tutors abandoned in despair; expelled from
Eton, rusticated at Cambridge, good for nothing but mischief in boyhood,
regularly bred scamps and profligates in youth, and, luckily for
mankind, generally worn-out before they attain the wrong side of forty.
A stable is their delight, almost their home, and their olfactories are
refreshed by nothing so much as by the smell of old litter, to which
attar of roses is assafoetida in comparison.

Their knowledge of horses, which they get at second-hand from Field, or
some of the other _crack_ veterinaries, is their only pride, and indeed
the only thing they imagine any man ought to be proud of; they reverence
a fellow who has a good seat in his saddle, and delight in horsemanship,
because horsemanship requires no brains; driving a "buggy" in good style
is respectable, but "shoving along" a four-in-hand the highest exercise
of human intellect, as for Milton and Shakspeare, and such inky-fingered
old prigs, who never had a good horse in their lives, they despise such
low fellows thoroughly. Their chief companions, or rather, their most
intimate friends, are the fellows who hang about livery stables,
betting-rooms, race-courses, and hippodromes; crop-eared grooms,
_chaunters_, dog-stealers, starveling jockeys, blacklegs, foreign
counts, breeders, feeders; these are all "d--d honest fellows," and the
"best fellows in the world," although they get their living by cheating
the fast fellows, who patronize them.

Of money, they know no more than that it is a necessary instrument of
their pleasures, and must be got some how or anyhow; accordingly, they
are on intimate terms with a species of shark called a bill-discounter,
who commits upon them every sort of robbery, under the sanction of the
law; and who also is always a "d--d honest fellow."

They can be sufficiently liberal of their money, whenever they have any,
to all who do not want, or who do not deserve it; if a prize-fighter
becomes embarrassed in his circumstances, or a jockey is "down upon his
luck," it is quite refreshing to see the madness with which the fast
fellows strike for a subscription; an opera-dancer out of an engagement,
or an actress in the same interesting condition, provided they are not
modest women, have, they think, a claim upon their generosity--and
perhaps they have.

They think it ungentlemanly to cheat, or, as they call it, "_stick_" any
of their own set, except in matters of horse-flesh; but "sticking" any
body out of their own set, especially tradesmen, is considered an
excellent joke, and the "sticker" rises several degrees in public
estimation.

We should be doing great injustice to the fast fellows if we omitted a
brief notice of their accomplishments. Driving is, of course, the chief;
and, by long experience and impunity, wonderfully grand exploits are
achieved by the fast fellows in this department.

One of the most original is to get into a strong cab, with a very
powerful horse, lamps lit, tiger inside, and to go quietly along,
keeping a sharp look-out for any night cabman who may be "lobbing," as
the phrase is, off his stand, the moment the "game," who is generally
one part asleep and three parts drunk, is espied, put your horse to full
gallop, and, guiding your vehicle with the precision fast fellows alone
attain, whip inside the cabwheel, and take it off. The night cab comes
down by the run, the night cabman tumbles off, breaking his nose or
neck, as it may happen, and you drive off as if the devil kicked you.
When you have gone a couple of miles, make a circumbendibus back again
to the night-house frequented by your set, and relate the adventure,
with the same voice and countenance as a broker quotes the price of
stocks; then order a cool bottle of claret with the air of a man who has
done a meritorious action!

Another accomplishment, at which not a few of the fast fellows excel, is
that of imitating upon a key-bugle various animals, in an especial
manner the braying of an ass: when the fast fellows drive down to the
Trafalgar at Greenwich, the Toy at Hampton Court, or the Swan at Henley
upon Thames, the bugle-player mounts aloft, the rest of the fast fellows
keeping a lookout for donkeys; when one is seen, a hideous imitative
bray is set up by the man of music, and his quadrupedal brother,
attracted by the congenial sound, rushes to the roadside--mutual
recognition, with much merriment, is the result.

The fast fellow who does this best, is considered one of the immortals;
and we are not without expectation, in due time, of seeing his talent
rewarded by a pension.

Breaking bells, twisting knockers, and "knapping" rail-heads, has
descended so low of late that the fast fellows are ashamed of it, and
have resigned it to the medical students, patriotic young members of
Parliament, and others of the imitative classes; but there yet exists,
or very lately existed, a collection of these and various other
surreptitiously acquired properties, known among the fast fellow by the
title of ----'s Museum, every article being ticketed artistically, and
the whole presenting an example of devotion to the cause of science, we
believe, without a parallel.

These are a few of the comparatively innocent amusements of the fast
fellows; others there are of graver character, which we need not refer
to, especially as the fast school is fast wearing itself out, and many
of the fast fellows already begin to "put on the drag," and go at a more
reasonable pace.

Their ignorance, with the single exception of horse-flesh, is appalling.
Nobody who does not know the fast fellows, would credit that men could
by any possibility grow up in such absolute ignorance of whatever a
gentleman is expected to know; whatever a gentleman is expected not to
know, they have at their tongues' and fingers' ends.

Intellectual men, of whatever description, they regard with the most
perfect indifference--an indifference too passive for contempt; they
affect to wonder, or probably do wonder, what such men are for, or why
people sometimes talk about them. Books they find convenient for putting
under the legs of barrack-room tables, to bring them to a level, and
think they are made of different sizes for that purpose; but no fast
fellow was ever yet detected in looking into one of them, to see whether
there was any thing inside. Such as have been taught to spell, employ
part of the Sunday in deciphering the smutty jokes of the _Satirist_,
and pronounce the jokes "d--d good," and the paper "a d--d honest
paper." If they happen, by any chance, to come into contact with one of
the slow school, or any body who has been taught to read, they have a
method of silencing his battery, which they think "capital." If a man
should say in their company, that Chaucer was a great poet, one will
immediately enquire, "_how much?_" while another wishes to know if
Chaucer is entered for the "Derby?" "How much?" is the invariable slang,
whenever a man gets the bit out of his mouth, or, in other words, talks
of any thing but horses.

There is no novelty in this; it is only a second edition of Dean Swift's
"new-fashioned way of being witty," which, in his fashionable day, was
called "a bite." "You must ask a bantering question," he informs Stella,
"or tell some damned lie in a serious manner, and then they will answer
or speak as if you were in earnest; then cry you, 'there's a _bite_.' I
would not have you undervalue this, for it is the constant amusement in
court, and every where else among the great people; and I let you know
it, in order to have it obtain amongst you, and teach you a new
refinement."

If they accept an invitation from Lord Northampton to go to one of his
_soirees_, which they sometimes do for a "lark," their antics are vastly
amusing; they put on grave, philosophic faces, and mimic the _savans_ to
the life; if the noble president, thinking he is doing the polite thing,
points out to them a poet, for example, or a professor, they have a
knack of elevating the shoulders, looking at the man with a pitying air,
and whispering the words "_poor beast_," with a tone and manner quite
inimitable. Indeed this is one of the few clever things they do, and on
or off the stage we have never seen any thing like it.

If Dickens were to die--an event that, we hope and trust, may not occur
these fifty years, the fast fellows would have some such conversation
upon the event, as follows:--

A. So, Dickens, I hear, is dead.

B. How much?

C. What's that?

A. Why, Pickwick, to be sure.

B. Oh! Eh? Pickwick--Moses--Bath coach--_I_ know.

C. Pickwick--near Chippenham? Paul Methven lives there--_I_ know.

A. No--no--I tell you, he's a man that writes.

B. Is he? He may be. How should I know?

C. Well--it's a d----d hard case, that, at the beginning of the season,
I should have lost a d----d good tiger. Has any body got a d----d
small tiger for sale?

As we are in the humour for dialogue, we may as well give a _verbatim_
report of our last interview with Lord----, who had been a fast fellow
in his youth. We encountered him on the sunny side of St James's Street,
the other day, tottering to Brookes's: although we don't expect you to
believe it, what passed was, as we recollect it, exactly as follows:--

"Well, my Lord, I hope your gout is better?"

"Eh--how are you? Well, I think I _am_ better, d'ye know."

"Glad to hear it."

"Thankee--thankee--d'ye know, eh, I've changed my doctor?"

"Well, and how d'ye like your new one?"

"Capitally--eh--d'ye know, he's a clever fellow. Young--eh--but
clever--very. D'ye know, eh--he corresponds regularly with--eh--with Sir
_Humphrey_ Newton and Sir _Isaac_ Davy!"

       *       *       *       *       *




THE DREAM OF LORD NITHSDALE. BY CHARLES MACKAY.


    [Lord Nithsdale, as is well known, was condemned to death for
    his participation in the Rebellion of 1715. By the exertions of
    his true-hearted wife, Winifred, he was enabled to escape from
    the Tower of London on the night before the morning appointed
    for his execution. The lady herself--noble soul!--has related,
    in simple and touching language, in a letter to her sister, the
    whole circumstances of her lord's escape. The letter is
    preserved in the Appendix to "Cromek's Remains of Nithsdale and
    Galloway Song," page 313 to 329--London, 1810.]


    "Farewell to thee, Winifred, dearest and best!
      Farewell to thee, wife of a courage so high!--
    Come hither, and nestle again in my breast,
      Come hither, and kiss me again ere I die!--
    And when I am laid bleeding and low in the dust,
      And yield my last breath at a tyrant's decree,
    Look up--be resign'd--and the God of the just
      Will shelter thy fatherless bairnies and thee!"

    She wept on his breast, but, ashamed of her tears,
      She dash'd off the drops that ran warm down her cheek;
    "Be sorrow for those who have leisure for tears--
      O pardon thy wife that her soul was so weak!
    There is hope for us still, and I will not despair,
      Though cowards and traitors exult at thy fate;
    I'll show the oppressors what woman can dare,
      I'll show them that love can be stronger than hate!"

    Lip to lip, heart to heart, and their fond arms entwined,
      He has kiss'd her again, and again, and again;
    "Farewell to thee, Winifred, pride of thy kind,
      Sole ray in my darkness, sole joy in my pain!"
    She has gone--he has heard the last sound of her tread;
      He has caught the last glimpse of her robes at the door;--
    She has gone, and the joy that her presence had shed,
      May cheer the sad heart of Lord Nithsdale no more.

    And the prisoner pray'd in his dungeon alone,
      And thought of the morn and its dreadful array,
    Then rested his head on his pillow of stone,
      And slumber'd an hour ere the dawning of day.
    Oh, balm of the Weary! Oh, soother of pain!
      That still to the sad givest pity and dole;
    How gently, oh sleep! lay thy wings on his brain,
      How sweet were thy dreams to his desolate soul!

    Once more on his green native braes of the Nith,
      He pluck'd the wild bracken, a frolicsome boy;
    He sported his limbs in the waves of the Frith;
      He trod the green heather in gladness and joy;--
    On his gallant grey steed to the hunting he rode,
      In his bonnet a plume, on his bosom a star;
    He chased the red deer to its mountain abode,
      And track'd the wild roe to its covert afar.

    The vision was changed. In a midsummer night
      He roam'd with his Winifred, blooming and young;
    He gazed on her face by the moon's mellow light,
      And loving and warm were the words on his tongue.
    Thro' good and thro' evil, he swore to be true,
      And love through all fortune his Winnie alone;
    And he saw the red blush o'er her cheek as it flew,
      And heard her sweet voice that replied to his own.

    Once more it has changed. In his martial array,
      Lo, he rides at the head of his gallant young men!
    And the pibroch is heard on the hills far away,
      And the clans are all gather'd from mountain and glen.
    For exiled King Jamie, their darling and lord,
      They raise the loud slogan--they rush to the war.
    The tramp of the battle resounds on the sward--
      Unfurl'd is the banner--unsheath'd the claymore!

    The vision has fled like a sparkle of light,
      And dark is the dream that possesses him now;
    The morn of his doom has succeeded the night,
      And the damp dews of death gather fast on his brow.
    He hears in the distance a faint muffled drum,
      And the low sullen boom of the death-tolling bell;
    The block is prepared, and the headsman is come,
      And the victim, bareheaded, walks forth from his cell.--

    No! No! 'twas a vision! his hour was not yet,
      And waking, he turn'd on his pallet of straw,
    And a form by his side he could never forget,
      By the pale misty light of a taper he saw.
    "'Tis I! 'tis thy Winifred!"--softly she said,
      "Arouse thee, and follow--be bold, never fear!
    There was danger abroad, but my errand has sped,
      I promised to save thee--and lo I am here!"

    He rose at the summons, and little they spoke,
      The gear of a lady she placed on his head;
    She cover'd his limbs with a womanly cloak,
      And painted his cheeks of a maidenly red.
    "One kiss, my dear lord, and begone!--and beware!
      Walk softly--I follow!" Oh guide them, and save,
    From the open assault, from the intricate snare,
      Thou, Providence, friend of the good and the brave!

    They have pass'd unsuspected the guard at the cell,
      And the sentinel band that keep watch at the gate;
    One peril remains--it is past--all is well!
      They are free; and her love has proved stronger than hate.
    They are gone--who shall follow?--their ship's on the brine,
      And they sail unpursued to a far friendly shore,
    Where love and content at their hearth may entwine,
      And the warfare of kingdoms divide them no more.

       *       *       *       *       *




TWO HOURS OF MYSTERY.


CHAPTER I.


One bright day, last June, one of the London coaches rattled at an
amazing rate down the main street of a garrison town, and, with a sudden
jerk which threw the smoking horses on their haunches, pulled up at the
door of the Waterloo hotel. A beautiful sight it is--a fine, well
appointed coach, of what we must now call the ancient fashion, with its
smart driver, brilliant harness, and thoroughbred team. Then it is a
spectacle pleasing to gods and men, the knowing and instantaneous manner
in which the grooms perform their work in leading off the horses, and
putting fresh ones to--the rapid diving for carpet-bags and portmanteaus
into the various boots and luggage holes--the stepping down or out (as
the case may be) of the passengers--the tip to the coachman--the touch
of the hat in return--the remounting of that functionary into his chair
of honour--the chick, chick! with which he hints to the pawing greys he
is ready for a start--and, finally, the roll off into dim distance of
the splendid vehicle, watched by the crowd that have gathered round it,
till it is lost from their sight. A steam-coach, with its disgusting,
hissing, sputtering, shapeless, lifeless engine, ought to be ashamed of
itself, and would probably blush for its appearance, if it were not for
the quantity of brass that goes to its composition. On the
above-mentioned bright day in June, only two passengers go out from the
inside of the Celerity. The outsides, who were apparently pushed for
time, urged them to make haste; and the lady, the first who stept on the
pavement, took their admonitions in good part. With only a small basket
on her arm, and a dark veil drawn close down over her face, she dropt
half-a-crown into the hand of the expectant coachman, and walked rapidly
up the street. The gentleman, however, put off a good deal of time in
identifying his carpet-bag--then his pocket seemed to be indefinitely
deep, as his hand appeared to have immense difficulty in getting to the
bottom of it. At last he succeeded in catching hold of some coin, and,
while he dropt it into the extended palm of the impatient Jehu, he sad,
"Hem! I say, coachie, who is that lady? Eh! fine eyes--hem!"

"Can't say, sir--no name in the way-bill--thank ye, sir."

"Then you can't tell me any thing about her? Prettiest critter I ever
saw in my life. As to Mrs Moss"--

But before the inquisitive gentleman, who stood all this time with the
carpet-bag in his hand, had an opportunity of making any further
revelation as to Mrs Moss, or any more enquiries as to his unknown
travelling companion, the coachman had mounted the box, and, after
asserting in a very complacent tone that it was all right, had driven
off, and left him in the same state of ignorance as before.

"Sleep here, sir?--Dinner, sir?--This way to the coffee-room," said a
smart young man, with long hair and a blue coat, with a napkin over
his arm.

"Oh! you're the waiter, I suppose. Now, waiter, I want to find out
something, and I daresay you can help me"--

"This way, sir. You can have a mutton-chop in twenty minutes."

"No--listen to me--I'm going to ask you some questions. Did you see the
lady that got out of the coach when I did? She's a beautiful critter;
such black eyes!--such a sweet voice!--such a small hand! We travelled
together the whole way from town. She spoke very little, and kept her
name a secret. I couldn't find out what she came here for. Do you
understand?"

"Yes, sir--perfectly," said the waiter, at the same time evidently
understanding nothing about it.

"Well, you see, I don't know what you think of it down here; but, for my
part, I think ladies at forty-five are past their prime. Now, my next
neighbour in London--Mrs Moss is her name--she's exactly that age. You
hear what I am saying, waiter?"

"Yes, sir."

"Now, I don't think this young lady, from her eyes and mouth, can be
more than twenty-three--a charming age, waiter--hem! You never saw her
before, did you?"

"No, sir--never."

"Well, its very astonishing what a beautiful girl she is. I am retired
from the lace and ribbon business, waiter, but I think she's the
sweetest specimen of the fair sex I ever saw. And you don't know who she
is, do you?"

"No, sir. You'll sleep here, sir, I think you said? shammaid!"

"No--I haven't said so yet," said the stranger, rather sharply.

"Oh!" said the waiter, who had not attended to a syllable the gentleman
had spoken--and retired under the archway into the hotel.

"The only way to get information," mused the gentleman with the
carpet-bag, still standing on the pavement, "is to have your eyes about
you and ask questions. It's what I always do since I have begun to
travel for improvement--I got all the waiter knew out of him in a
moment--I ought to have been an Old Bailey barrister--there ain't such a
cross-questioner as I am in the whole profession."

The person who possessed such astonishing powers of investigation, was a
man about fifty years of age, little and stout, with a face of perfect
good-nature, and presenting the unmistakeable appearance of a prosperous
man. The twinkle about his eye spoke strongly of the three-and-a-half
per cents, and a mortgage or two might be detected in the puckers round
his mouth. I shouldn't at all care to change banker's books with him
on chance.

"How lucky I haven't proposed to Mrs M.! Charming woman, but
fat--decidedly fat--and a little dictatorial too. Travel, says
she--enlarge your mind--why, how big would she have it?--expand your
intellect--does she think a man's brains are shaped like a fan? I wish
to heaven I could find out who this beautiful"--

But, as if his wish was that moment to be gratified, a small light hand
was laid upon his shoulder, and, on turning round, he saw his fair
fellow-traveller.

"Excuse me, sir," she said, in a very sweet but slightly agitated voice,
"excuse me for addressing you, but I am emboldened by your
appearance to"--

"Oh, ma'am--you're very polite--I feel it a great compliment, I assure
you."

"The benevolent expression of your counternance encourages me to"--

"Oh, ma'am, don't mention it, I beg"--

"To ask your assistance in my present difficulty."

"Now, then," thought the gentleman thus appealed to, "I'll find out all
about her--how I'll question her!"

"You will help me, I feel sure," continued the lady.

"Oh, certainly--how can you doubt it?--(Hem--what white teeth! Mrs. M.
is a martyr to toothache.) How can I be useful, ma'am? Don't you think
it's a curious coincidence we travelled together, ma'am, and both of us
coming to the same town? It strikes me to be very singular; doesn't it
you, ma'am?"

"I shall be glad of it, if"--

"Ah! by-the-bye--another queer thing is your applying to me--a man past
the bloom of boyhood, to be sure, in fact a little beyond"--

"The prime of life," added the lady, not regarding the disappointed look
with which her interpolation was received; "it is for that reason, sir,
I throw myself on your kindness; you have perhaps daughters, sir, or
grandchildren, who"--

"Devil a one. Gad, ma'am, I wish you heard Mrs M., a neighbour of
mine--why, she's always talking of my wildness and juvenile liveliness,
and all that sort of thing; an excellent woman Mrs M., but
stout--certainly stout."

"Are you acquainted with this town, sir?" said the lady.

"God bless ye! read an immense account of it in the Penny Magazine ever
so long ago; but whether it is famous for a breakwater, or a harbour, or
a cliff, or some dock-yard machinery, I can't recollect; perhaps it's
all of them together; we shall find out soon; for travelling, as Mrs M.
says, enlarges the mind, and expands the intellect."

The lady looked in the face of the disciple of Mrs M. with an anxious
expression, as if she repented having addressed him.

"But are you acquainted with the localities here?" she said at last. "As
to myself, I am utterly ignorant of the place I have to go to; and if
you knew what reason I have to"--

"Ah! that's the very thing; give me your confidence, and I can refuse you
nothing."

"My confidence!--alas, the business I come on can only be interesting to
the parties concerned. I came from London for one sole object; and if I
fail, if any delay occurs, the consequences may be--oh, I dread to
think of them!"

"You don't say so? Lord! what a thing it is to travel!"

"It was of the utmost consequence that my journey here should be
unknown. I had no one to trust. Alas, alas! I have no friend in all the
world in whom I could confide!"

"Hem, hem!" said the little man, moved by the earnest sadness of her
tone and looks, "you have one friend, ma'am; you may trust _me_ with any
thing in the world; yes, me, Nicholas Clam, No. 4, Waterloo Place,
Wellington Road, Regent's Park, London. I tell you my name, that you may
know I am somebody. I retired from business some years ago, because
uncle John died one day, and left me his heir; got into a snug cottage,
green verandah, trellice porch, green door, with bell handle in the
wall; next door to Mrs Moss--clever woman, but large--very large. And
now that you know who I am, you will perhaps tell me"--

"I have little to tell, sir; I came here to see an officer who was to
have landed this morning from foreign service; if I don't see him
instantly there will be death--ah!"--

"Soldiers--death--ah!" thought Mr Clam; "wild fellows them
officers--breach of promise--short memories--a lovely critter, but
rather silly I'm afraid; I should like to see a soldier coming the
sentimental over Mrs M. Well, ma'am?"

The lady perceived something in the expression of Mr Clam's face (which
was radiant with the wonderful discovery he thought he had made) which
probably displeased her; for she said, in a very abrupt and almost
commanding manner--

"Do you know the way, sir, to the infantry barracks?"

"Not I, ma'am; never knew a soldier in my life. (Think of Mrs M. paying
a morning visit to the barracks! What a critter this is!")

"Then you can't assist me, sir, as I had hoped, and therefore"--

"Oh, by no means, ma'am; I can find out where the barracks are in a
moment. There's a young officer crossing the street; I'll ask him, and
be back in a minute."

So saying, Mr Clam placed his, carpet-bag in safety inside the archway
of the hotel, and started off in pursuit of information. While her
Mercury was gone on his voyage of discovery, the lady looked at the
officer he was following. He was a young handsome man of two or
three-and-twenty, lounging slowly along with the air of modest
appreciation of his own value to Queen and country--not to mention
private dinner parties and county balls--which seems soon to become a
part of the military character in a garrison town. As he turned round to
speak to Mr Nicholas Clam, the lady half shrieked, and pulled her veil
more carefully over her face.

"I'm lost! I'm lost!" she said; "'tis Chatterton himself! Oh, why did I
allow this talkative old man to trouble himself with my affairs? If the
meeting takes place before I can explain, my happiness is gone
for ever!"

She turned away, and walked as quickly as she could up one of the side
streets. Not daring to turn round, she was alarmed by hearing steps
rapidly nearing her in pursuit; and, from the heaviness of the sound,
concluded at once that there was more than one person close behind. It
turned out, however, to be nobody but her portly, and now breathless
companion, Mr Clan.

"Stop, for heaven's sake, ma'am! that ain't the way," he said. "What a
pace she goes at! Ma'am! ma'am! She's as deaf as a post, and would drive
me into consumption in a week; and this in a hot day in June, too! Mrs
M. has more sense--stop!"

"Have you discovered the way, sir?" she enquired, hurriedly.

"Haven't I? I certainly have the knack of picking up information. I told
the young man I had travelled with you from London; that you had some
secret business at the barracks; that I didn't know what it was; and the
moment I asked him all these questions"--

"Questions, sir?" said the lady, spitefully; "it strikes me you were
telling every thing, and asking nothing"--

"The moment he found out, I say, that there was a lady in the case, and
that you wanted to know the way to the barracks, he insisted on coming
to show you the way himself--a civil young man."

"Oh, why did you speak to him?" exclaimed the lady, still hurrying on;
"to him of all men? you have ruined me!"

"Me ruined you! That's going it a little too strong. I never ruined any
body in my life. How did I know you knew the man? There's some awful
mystery in this young woman," muttered Mr Clam, puffing like a
broken-winded coach horse, "and if I live I'll find it out. There's
nothing improves the mind, as Mrs M. says, so much as curiosity."

"Is it far to the barracks, sir?"

"This ain't the way, ma'am; you're making it further every minute; and,
besides, you're running away from the young officer."

"I _mustn't_ meet him, sir--do you hear me?--I _must_ not be
recognized."

"Well, ma'am," said Mr Clam, "there's no great harm done yet; I did
every thing for the best--following the dictates of an unbiassed
judgment, as Mrs M. says; and if I've brought you into a scrape, I'll
get you out of it. Take my arm, ma'am, turn boldly round, and I'll soon
set him about his business."

The lady did as she was told, and they retraced their steps. The young
officer now approached, and touching his hat with an air of unspeakable
elegance, and then swinging his cane, said, "You asked me, sir, to show
the way to the barracks."

"Quite a mistake, sir," replied Mr Clam, drily; "we know the way
perfectly well ourselves."

"It isn't far," pursued the officer; "and I shall be delighted to
accompany you. Any thing that you, sir, or your beautiful companion, may
require, I shall be happy to procure for you. Is there any one you wish
to see at the barracks?"

This question was addressed to the lady, who drew back, and made no
reply.

"If there's any body we want to see," said Mr Clam, "we'll ask for him;
but we're in a hurry, sir. This lady travelled all the way from London
expressly on purpose to"--

But here a pinch in the arm prevented any further revelation, and made
Mr Clam wince as if he had been stung by an adder.

"You needn't grip, so hard," he said to his companion; "for its my
solemn opinion you've taken the bit out. Let us go, sir," he continued,
addressing the officer once more. "We don't need your assistance."

The young man looked surprised.

"Well, sir," he said, "it was entirely to do you a favour that I came."

"You'll do us a far greater if you'll go," replied Mr Clam, becoming
boisterous and dignified, after the manner of a turkey-cock.

"Sir, I don't understand such language," said the officer.

"Then your education has been neglected, sir. It's English--plain,
downright English. We have no desire for your society, sir.--Right about
wheel--march."

"_You_ are below my notice," said the young man, flushing up; "and your
insolent vulgarity is, therefore, safe. At the same time, if the lady
needs my assistance"--

"She doesn't need your assistance--far from it--she told me she wished
never to"--

Another pinch, more powerful apparently than the former, from the
writhing of the sufferer, interrupted once more the stream of his
eloquence; and he was worked up into a tremendous passion, partly,
perhaps, by the cool contempt of the young officer, and principally by
the pain he suffered in his arm.

"You're an impudent fellow, sir," he said. "I don't care twopence for
all the puppies that ever wore red coats, sir. My name is Nicholas Clam,
Esq., No. 4, Waterloo Place, Wellington Road, Regent's Park, London; and
I can shoot at a popinjay as well as another."

"You shall hear from me, sir," said the officer, biting his lips. "My
name is Chatterton--Lieutenant Chatterton. Good day, sir."

He touched his hat proudly, and walked away.

"A good riddance, ma'am," said Mr Clam. "Them young chaps think to have
it all their own way. I wish I had seen a policeman or a serjeant of
soldiers; I would have charged him, as sure as a gun!"

"Oh, come quick, quick!" exclaimed the lady, pressing more hurriedly on
his arm. "Take me to the barracks! I must see him instantly!"

"Who?" enquired Mr Clam. "I'm all on the teeters to understand what all
this is about. Who is it you must see? Now, for my own part, I don't
want to see any one; only I wish you would tell me what"--

"Oh, spare me the recital at present. I'm so agitated by recent events,
that, that--indeed you must excuse me. Oh come--quickly, quickly, come!"

There was no answer possible to such a request, more especially as by
suiting the action to the word, and drawing her companion forward at a
tremendous rate, she had entirely taken away the quantity of breath
required to carry on a conversation. Mr Clam's cogitations, however,
were deep; and, among them, the most prominent was a doubt as to the
great advantages to be derived from travel, and a firm persuasion that
it is a very foolish thing to become the champion of any lady whatever,
more particularly if she conceals her name, and refuses to satisfy one's
curiosity in the smallest point.


CHAPTER II.


The young man who has been introduced to us as Lieutenant Chatterton,
pursued his way up the main street in no very equable temper. A little,
grey-eyed, snub-nosed civilian, to have insulted an officer and a
gentleman! the disgrace was past all bearing, especially as it had been
inflicted on him in the presence of a lady. Burning with the indignation
befitting his age and profession, and determined to call out the
insulter, his present object was to meet with a friend whom he might
send with the message. Luckily for his purpose, he was met by
Major McToddy.

"Ha! major--never was so happy to see any one in my life," exclaimed
Chatterton, seizing the hand of his friend--a tall, raw-boned, red-faced
man, with a good-natured expression of face, not unmixed with a
considerable share of good sense.

"I really," replied the major, in an accent that was a great deal more
redolent of Renfrew than Middlesex--"I really jist at this moment dinna
happen to have a single guinea aboot me, so ye needna go on wi' your
compliments; but at hame in the kist,--the _arca_, as a body may say"--

"Poh! I don't want to borrow just now--except, indeed, your assistance
in a matter of the highest importance. You have always been so kind, so
obliging, that I am sure you wont refuse."

"Weel, say awa', speak on; _perge, puer_, as a body may say,"
interrupted the major, who seemed resolved to show what command of
language he had, for he uniformly began his speeches in his vernacular,
and translated them, though with an effort, into English, or any other
tongue he chanced to recollect.

"Did you see a lady near the Waterloo? tall, graceful, timid; by
heavens, a shape to dream of, not to see?"

"Then, what for did ye look at it?--answer that if you
please--_responde, s'il vous plait_."

"A creature so sweet, so beautiful; ah, McToddy!"

"What's a' this aboot. What's the meaning of all this? Is't in some wild
play aboot a woman--_une femme,_--a _faemina_, as a body may say, you
want my help? Gae wa' wi' ye--be off with you,--_apage, Sathanas_, as a
body may say--I'm owre auld in the horn for sic nonsense--_non
mihi tantas_."

"I tell you, major, she is the loveliest creature in Europe. Such a foot
--such shoulders--such a walk--by heavens! I'll shoot him as dead as
Julius Caesar."

"Who are you going to shoot?--is't a woman in man's claes?" enquired the
major, astonished.

"I'll shoot him--the cursed, fat, pudgy, beastly rascal, her husband.
I've never seen her face, but"--

"Lord seff us!--heaven preserve us, as a body may say. Is that a
respectable reason for shooting a man that you have never seen his
wife's face? Come, come, be cool, John Chatterton--be cool; _animum
rege_, as a body may"--

"Cool? a pretty thing for a steady old stager like you, to tell me to
be cool. I tell you, I've been insulted, threatened, quizzed,
laughed at."

"Wha laughed at ye?" enquired the major.

"The woman. I'm certain, she must have laughed. How could she avoid it?
I know she laughed at me; for though I couldn't see her face for the
horrid veil she kept over it, I saw from the anxiety she was in to hide
it, from the shaking, of her whole figure, that she was in the
convulsions of a suppressed titter. I'll shoot him as I would a
partridge."

"But ye've nae license, sir, nor nae qualification either that I can
see--for what did the honest man do?" said the major, amazed at the
wrath of his companion.

"Do! He didn't actually call me a puppy, but he meant it. I know he
did--I saw it in the twinkle of his light, prying, silly-looking
eyes--the pucking up of his long, red, sneering lip."

"But ye canna fecht a man--you can't challenge a person, as a body may
say, for having light eyes and long lips--what mair? _quid ultra?_ as
a body"--

"He asked me the way to the barracks."

"Weel, there's no great harm in that--_non nocet_, as a"--

"I told him the way, and offered to escort them there; I offered to be
of any use to them in my power, for I knew every officer in garrison,
you know, except our own regiment, that only came in to-day; and just
when I was going to offer my arm to the lovely creature at his side, he
said that they didn't need my guidance, that they did not desire my
society--that he could shoot at a popinjay; now, what the devil _is_ a
popinjay?"

"I'm thinking jay is the English for some sort of a pyet--a tale-bearer,
as a body may say--a blab."

"A blab!--by heavens, Major M'Toddy, I don't know what to say--if I
thought the fellow really meant to insinuate any thing of that kind, I
would horsewhip him though I met him in a church."

"Oho! so your conscience is pricked at last?--_mens sibi non conscia_,
as a body may say," answered the major. "Noo, I want to speak to you on
a point of great importance to yourself, my young friend, before you get
acquainted with the regiment. Hoo long have you been in the depot here,
John Chatterton?"

"Eighteen months."

"Weel, man, that's a-year-and-a-half, and you must be almost a man noo."

The youth looked somewhat inclined to be angry at this mode of hinting
that he was still rather juvenile--but the major went on.

"And you were engaged, six months ago, to the beauty you used to tell me
so much about, Miss Hope of Oakside."

"Yes--yes--well?" replied the youth.

"And what for have ye broke off in such a sudden manner?--_unde rixa?_
as a body may say."

"I broke off, Major M'Toddy? I tell you _she_ broke off with me."

"Did she tell you so?" enquired the senior.

"No--do you think I would condescend to ask her? No; but doesn't every
body know that she is married?"

"Have you seen the announcement in the papers?"

"I never look at the papers--but I tell you I know from the best
authority, that she is either married, or is going to marry an old
worn-out fellow of the name of Smith. A friend of Smith's told me so,
the last time I came down by the coach."

"A man on the top of the coach told you that she was going to be
married--that is, _in vulgum pargere voces_, as a body may say--capital
authority! And what did you do then?"

"Sent her back her letters--with a tickler to herself on her conduct."

"And was that a'?--did you not write to any of her family?"

"No. Her eldest sister is a very delightful, sensible girl, and I am
certain must have been as angry at Marion's behaviour as I was."

"And now her brother's come home to-day--you're sure to meet him--it'll
be an awkward meeting."

"I can meet him or any man in England," replied the youth. "If there's
any awkwardness about it, it sha'n't be on my side."

"Noo, John Chatterton, my young friend, I'm going to say some words to
you that ye'll no like. Ye're very vain o' yoursel'--but maybe at your
time o' life it's not a very great fault to have a decent bump o'
self-conceit; you're the best-hearted, most honourable-minded,
pleasantest lad I know any where, and very like some nephews of my own
in the Company's service: ye'll be a baronet when your father dies, and
as rich as a Jew. But oh, John Chatterton, ye're an ass--a reg'lar
donkey, as a body may say, to get into tiffs of passion, and send back a
beautiful girl's letters, because some land-louping vagabond on the top
of a coach told you some report or other about a Mr Smith"--

"_Captain_ Smith," said Chatterton, biting his lips; "he's a well known
man; he was an ensign in this very regiment, succeeded to a large
fortune, and retired: he's a very old man."

"He's very fine fellow, and as gallant a soldier as ever lived,"
answered the major; "and if you think that a man of six or
seven-and-thirty is ow'r auld to marry, by my troth, Mister Chatterton,
I tak' the liberty to tell you that you labour under a very
considerable mistake."

Chatterton looked at the irate face of his companion, in which the
crow-feet of forty years were distinctly visible, and perceived that he
had gone on a wrong tack.

"Well, but then, major, what the deuce right had she to marry without
giving me notice of her intentions?"

"Set ye up, and push ye forrit!--marry come up! as a body may say--who
made you the young lassie's guardian? If you were really engaged to her,
why didn't you go to Oakside at once and find out the truth, and then go
instantaneously and kick the fellow you met on the top of the coach,
round and round the barrack yard, till there was not enough of him left
to plant your boot on?"

The young man looked down as if a little ashamed of himself.

"Never mind, major," said he, "it can't be helped now; so do, like a
good fellow, go and find out the little rascal who insulted me so
horribly just now. It would be an immense satisfaction to pull his nose
with a regulation glove on."

"But you must describe him, and tell me his name, for it would be a sad
occurrence if I were to give your message to the wrong man."

"You can't mistake him; the most impudent-looking vulgarian in England.
His name is Nicholas Clam, living in some unheard-of district near the
Regent's Park."

"And the lady is his wife, is she?"

"Of course. Who the devil would walk with such a fellow that wasn't
obliged to do it by law?"

"Well, my young friend, I'll see what's to be done in this matter, and
will bring you, most likely, a solemn declaration that he never shot at
a popinjay in his life. And you're really going to end the conversation
without asking me for a loan? You're not going to be like Virtus, _post
nummos_ after the siller, as a body may say?"

"No, not to-day, thank you. The governor keeps me rather short just now,
and won't come down handsome till I'm married; but"--

"So you've lost that and the girl too--the lass and the tocher, as a
body may say--all by the lies of a blackguard on the top of a coach?
Ye're a wild lad, John Chatterton, and so _vale, et memor esto mei--au
revoir_, as a body may say."

The major turned away on warlike thoughts intent, that is to say, with
the intention of finding out Mr Clam, and enquiring into the
circumstances of the insult to his friend. Mr Chatterton was also on the
point of hurrying off, when a gentleman, who had overheard the last
sentence of the sonorous-voiced major's parting speech, stopped
suddenly, as if struck by what was said, and politely addressed
the youth.

"I believe, sir, I heard the name of Chatterton mentioned by the
gentleman who has just left you?"

"Yes, he was speaking of him."

"Of your regiment, sir?"

"Yes, we have a man of that name," replied Mr Chatterton. "What the
deuce can this fellow want?"

"I am extremely anxious to meet him," continued the stranger, "as I have
some business with him of the highest importance."

"Oh, a dun, by Jupiter!" thought the young soldier. He looked at the
stranger, a very well dressed gentlemanly man--too manlike for a tailor
--too polished for a horse-dealer; his Wellingtons were brightly
polished--he was perhaps his boot-maker. "Oh, you wish to see Mr
Chatterton?" he said aloud.

"Very much," replied the stranger. "I have some business with him that
admits of no delay."

"An arrest at least," thought the youth. "I wish to heaven M'Toddy had
not left me! Is it fair to ask," he continued, aloud, "of what nature
your business is with Mr Chatterton? I am his most intimate
acquaintance; whatever you say to me is sure to reach him."

"I must speak to him myself, sir," replied the stranger, coldly. "Where
am I likely to find him?"

"Oh, most likely at the bankers," said the young man, by way of putting
his questioner on the wrong scent. "He has just stept into an immense
fortune from a maiden aunt, and is making arrangements to pay off all
his debts."

"There are some he will find it difficult to settle," replied the
stranger with a sneer, "in spite of his new-found wealth."

"Indeed, sir! What an exorbitant Jew this fellow is; and yet I never
signed any bond!"

"Yes, sir," continued the other, with a bitterer sneer than before, "and
at the same time such as he can't deny. I have vouchers for
every charge."

"Well, he will not dispute your charges. I daresay they are much the
same as those of other people in the same situation with yourself."

"Are there others in that condition?" enquired the stranger; "what an
unprincipled scoundrel!"

"Who, sir? How dare you apply such language to a gentleman?"

"I did not, sir, apply it to a gentleman; I applied it to Mr
Chatterton."

"To _me_, sir! It was to me! _I'm_ Mr Chatterton, sir; and now, out with
your writ--whose suit? What's the amount? Is it Stulz or Dean?"

The stranger steps back on this announcement, and politely but coldly
lifted his hat.

"Oh, curse your politeness!" exclaimed the young man, in the extremity
of anger. "Where's the bill?"

"I don't know your meaning, sir," answered the stranger, "in talking
about writs and bills; but"--

"Why--are you not a tailor, or a bootmaker, or something of the kind?
Don't you say you have claims on me, and don't you talk of charges with
vouchers, and heaven knows what? Come, let us hear. I'll give you a
promissory note, and I daresay my friend Major M'Toddy will give me his
security."

"I thought you had recently succeeded to a fortune, sir? but that, I
suppose, was only another of your false and unfounded assertions. Do you
know me, sir?"

"No--except that you are the most insulting scoundrel I ever met, and
that I wish you were worth powder and shot."

"Let that pass, sir," continued the stranger, with a bitter smile. "Did
you ever hear of Captain Smith, sir?"

"Of twenty, sir. I know fifteen Captain Smiths most intimately."

"But I happen to be one of the five unhonoured by your acquaintance. You
are acquainted with Mrs Smith; sir?"

"I'm acquainted with three-and-twenty, sir. What then?"

"I was in hopes, that the recollection of Oakside would have induced you
to treat her name with more respect."

Chatterton's brow grew dark with rage. "So, then," he said, lifting his
hat with even more pride and coldness than his adversary--"so, then,
you're the Captain Smith I have heard of, and it was no false report? I
am delighted, sir, to see you here, and to know that you are a
gentleman, that I may, without degradation to her Majesty's commission,
put a bullet or two into your body. Your insulting conduct deserves
chastisement, sir, and it shall have it."

"With all my heart," replied Captain Smith; the pleasure of calling you
to account was the object of my visit. I accept your challenge--only
wondering that you have spirit and honour enough left to resent an
intentional affront. Can we meet to-night?"

"Certainly. I shall send a friend to you in half an hour. He is gone on
a similar message to another person already; and I will let you know at
what hour I shall be disengaged."

"Agreed," said Captain Smith; and the enemies, after a deep and formal
bow on either side, pursued their way in different directions.


CHAPTER III.


In the meanwhile Mr Nicholas Clam, and the lady leaning on his arm, had
proceeded in silence, for the lady's thoughts were so absorbed that she
paid no attention to the many prefatory coughs with which her companion
was continually clearing his throat. He thought of fifty different ways
of commencing a conversation, and putting an end to the rapid pace they
were going at. But onward still hurried the lady, and breathless, tired,
disconcerted, and very much perplexed, Mr Clam was obliged to continue
at her side.

"This all comes of Mrs Moss writing a book," he muttered, "and being a
philosophical character. What business had she to go publishing all that
wonderful big volume above my mantel-piece--'Woman's Dignity; developed
in Dialogues?' Without that she never would have found out that I could
not be a sympathizing companion without the advantages of travel, and I
never should have left number four, to be quarrelled with by every
whipper-snapper of a soldier, and dragged to death by a woman unknown--a
synonymous personage, as Mrs M. would say, that I encountered in a
coach. 'Pon my word, ma'am," he added aloud, driven to desperation by
fear of apoplexy from the speed they were hurrying on with, "this is
carrying matters a little too far, or a great deal too fast at least.
Will you let me ask you one question, ma'am?"

"Certainly, sir," replied the lady; "but oh, do not delay!"

"But I must delay though, for who do you think can have breath enough
both to speak and run? And now, will you tell me, ma'am, what all this
is about--why that young soldier and I were forced to quarrel--what you
came down from London for, and what you are going to do at the
barracks?"

"You will hear it all, sir; you shall know all when we arrive. But do
not harrow my feelings at present, I beseech you. It may all end well,
if we are in time; but if not"--

The look of the lady, and her tone as she said this, did not by any
means contribute to Mr Clam's satisfaction. However, he perceived at
once that further attempts to penetrate the mystery would be useless,
and he kept musing on the strangeness of the circumstance, as profoundly
puzzled as before. On getting into the barrack-yard, the lady muffled
herself in her veil more closely than ever, and asked one of the
soldiers she met in the archway, if Captain Hope "was in his room?"

"He's not come ashore yet, ma'am," said the soldier, "we expect him
every moment with the last detachment from the transport."

"Not come yet?" exclaimed the lady; "which way will they march in?"

"Up the Main Street, and across the drawbridge," said the soldier,
goodnaturedly.

"I wished to see him--to see him alone. Oh, how unfortunate he is not
arrived!"

"Now, 'pon my word," muttered Mr Clam, "this is by no means a favourable
specimen of woman's dignity developed in dialogues. I wish my infernal
thirst for knowledge and swelling-out the intellect hadn't led me into
an acquaintance with a critter so desperate fond of the soldiers; and
Captain Hope, too! Oh, I see how it is--this here lady, in spite of all
her veils and pretences, is no better than she should be; or rather, a
great deal worse. Think of Mrs M. falling into hysterics about a Captain
Hope! It's a case of a breach of promise. What should we do now, ma'am?"
he said, anxious to disengage himself, and a little piqued at the want
of confidence his advances had hitherto been received with. "If you'll
tell me the whole story, I shall be able to advise"--

"Oh, you will know it all ere long. Soldier," she said to the man who
had answered her former questions, "is there any lady in the
barrack--the wife of one of the officers?"

"There's our colonel, ma'am--at least the colonel's wife, ma'am; she's
inspecting the regiments baggage in the inner court"

"Come, come!" said the lady hurriedly, on hearing this, and again Mr
Clam was forced along. In the inner court a stout lady, dressed in a
man's hat and a green riding-habit without the skirts, was busily
employed in taking the numbers of an amazing quantity of trunks and
boxes, and seeing that all was right, with the skill and quickness of
the guard of a heavy coach. She looked up quickly when she saw Mr Clam
and his companion approach.

"I hope you will pardon me, madam, for addressing you," said the
latter, dropping Mr Clam's arm, and lifting her veil.

"Be quick about it," said the colonel's wife; "I've no time to put off.
Hand down that box, No. 19, H. G.," she continued to a sergeant who was
perched on the top of the luggage.

"I wished to see you on a very interesting subject, madam."

"Love, I'll bet a guinea--who has deserted you now?--that green chest,
Henicky, No. 34."

"There is an officer in this regiment of the name of Chatterton?"

"Yes, he's one of my young men, though I've not seen him yet. What
then?"

"Can I speak to you for a minute alone?"

"If it's on regimental business, I shall listen to you, of course; but
if it's some nonsensical love affair, you must go to Colonel Sword. I
never trouble myself about such matters."

"If I could see Colonel Sword, madam"--

"Why can't you see him? Go into the commandant's room. You'll find him
rocking the cradle of Tippoo Wellington, my youngest son! That other
box, Henicky, L. M. And who is this old man with you?" continued Mrs
Sword. "Your attorney, I suppose? See that you aren't ducked at the pump
before you get out, old man; for I allow no lawyers inside these walls."

"Ma'am?" enquired Mr Clam, bewildered at the sudden address of the
officer in command.

"It's a fact, as you'll find; so, make haste, young woman, and Sword
will settle your business."

"Captain Hope is not come on shore yet, I believe?" said the lady.

"Charlie Hope? No! he's bringing the men and baggage. Has _he_ deserted
you too? Go to Sword, I tell you; and let your legal friend retreat
without beat of drum. How many chests is this, Henicky?"

The Amazonian Mrs Sword proceeded with her work, and Mr Clam stood
stupified with surprise. His companion, in the mean time, proceeded as
directed to the commandant's house, and in a short time found herself in
presence of Colonel Sword.

The colonel was a tall thin man, with a very pale face, and a very
hooked nose. He was not exactly rocking the cradle of Tippoo Wellington,
as supposed by his wife, but he was reposing in an easy attitude, with
his head thrown back, and his feet thrown forward, and his hands deeply
ensconced in his pockets. The apparition of a stranger roused him in a
moment. He was as indefatigable in politeness, as his wife had been in
her regimental duties.

"I was in hopes of finding my brother, Captain Hope, in the barracks,
sir," she began; "but as I am disappointed, I throw myself on your
indulgence, in requesting a few minutes' private conversation."

"A sister of Captain Hope? delighted to see you, my dear--did you see
Mrs Sword as you came in?"

"For a minute, but she was busy, and referred me to you."

"She's very good, I am sure," said the colonel.--"How can I be of use?"

"I have a sister, Colonel Sword, very thoughtless, and very young. She
became acquainted about a year ago with Mr Chatterton of your
regiment--they were engaged--all the friends on both sides approved of
the match, and all of a sudden Mr Chatterton wrote a very insulting
letter, and withdrew from his engagement."

"The devil he did? Is your sister like you, my dear?"

"We are said to be like, but she is much younger--only eighteen."

"Then this Chatterton is an ass. Good God! what chances silly fellows
throw away! And what would you have me do?"

"Prevent a duel, Colonel Sword. My brother is hot and fiery; Mr
Chatterton is rash and headstrong. There will be enquiries,
explanations, quarrels, and bloodshed. Oh, Colonel, help me to guard
against so dreadful a calamity. I was anxious to see Charles, to tell
him that the rupture was on Marion's side--that she had taken a dislike
to Chatterton. We have kept it secret from every body yet. I haven't
even told my husband."

"You're married, then?"

"To Captain Smith, once of this regiment."

"Ah, an old friend. Give me your hand, my dear--we must keep those wild
young fellows in order. If I see them look at each other, I'll put them
both in arrest. But what can be the meaning of Chatterton's behaviour? I
hear such good reports of him from all hands! M'Toddy writes me he is
the finest young man in the corps."

"I can't pretend to guess. He merely returned all my sister's letters,
and wished her happy in her new position."

"What position was that?"

"A very unhappy one. She has been ill and nervous ever since."

"So she liked the rascal. Strange creatures you girls are! Well, I'll do
my best. I'll give my wife a hint of it, and you may depend on it, if
she takes it in hand, there will be no quarrelling under her--I mean
under my command. If you go towards the harbour, you'll most likely
encounter your brother. In the meantime, I will go to Chatterton, and
take all necessary precautions. And Captain Smith knows nothing
of this?"

"Nothing.--He was on a visit at Oakside, my sister's home, and I took
the opportunity of his absence, to run down and explain matters to
Charles. I must return to town immediately; for if I am missed, my
husband will make enquiries, and he will be more difficult to pacify
than my brother." So saying, they parted after a warm shake of the
hand--but great events had occurred in the meantime in the barrack-yard.

"Who is that young woman?" said the Colonel's wife, to our astonished
friend Mr Clam. "Have you lost your tongue, sir?--who is she, I say?"

"If you were to draw me with horses, I could'nt tell you, ma'am--'pon my
solemn davit," said Mr Clam.

"Oh, you won't tell, won't you?" returned the lady, cocking her hat, and
leaving the mountain of baggage to the care of her friend Sergeant
Henicky. "I tell you, sir, I insist on knowing; and if you don't confess
this moment, I shall perhaps find means to make you."

"Me, ma'am? How is it possible for me to confess, when I tell you I know
nothing about her? I travelled with her from London in the coach--am
very likely to get shot by a young soldier on her account--brought her
here at a rate that has taken away all my breath--and know no more about
her than you do."

"A likely story!--but it won't do for me, sir; no, sir--I see you are an
attorney--ready to prosecute some of my poor young men for breach of
promise; but we stand no nonsense of that kind in the gallant Sucking
Pidgeons. So, trot off, old man, and take your decoy-duck with you, or I
think its extremely likely you'll be tost in a blanket. Do you hear?--go
for your broken-hearted Desdemona, and double-quick out of the yard.
I'll teach a set of lawyers to come playing the Jew to my young men.
They shall jilt every girl in England if they think proper, and serve
them right too--and no pitiful green-bag rascal shall trouble them about
such trifles--right about face--march"--

"Madam," said Mr Clam, in the extremity of amazement and fear, "did you
ever happen to read 'Woman's Dignity, developed in Dialogues?' It's
written by my friend, Mrs Moss, No. 5, Waterloo Place, Wellington Road,
Regent's Park--in fact, she's my next door neighbour--a clever woman,
but corpulent, very corpulent--you never met with 'Woman's Dignity,
developed in Dialogues?'"

"Woman's idiocy, enveloped in petticoats! Who the devil cares about
woman, or her dignity either? I never could bear the contemptible
wretches. No--give me a man--a good, stout-hearted, front-rank
man--there's some dignity there--with the eye glaring, nostril widening,
bayonet fixed, and double-quick the word, against the enemies' line. But
woman's dignity!--let her sit and sew--work squares for ottomans, or
borders for chair-bottoms--psha!--beat a retreat, old man, or you'll be
under the pump in two minutes. I'll teach you to talk nonsense about
your women--I will--as sure as my name is Jane Sword and I command the
Sucking Pigeons!"

"Pigeons don't suck, ma'am. Mrs M. lent me book of nat'ral history"--

"You'll find they'll bite, tho'--Henicky, take a corporal's guard,
and"--

"Oh no, for heaven's sake, ma'am!" exclaimed Mr Clam. "Your servant,
ma'am. I'm off this moment."

The unhappy victim of Mrs Moss's advice to travel for the improvement of
his mind, thought it best to follow the orders of the military lady in
the riding-habit, and retired as quickly as he could from the barrack
yard. But, on arriving at the outer archway, shame, or curiosity, or
some other feeling, made him pause. "Am I to go away," he thought,
"after all, without finding out who the lady is or what business brought
her here--what she knows about Chatterton--and what she wants with Hope?
There's a mystery in it all. Mrs M. would never forgive me if I didn't
find it out. I'll wait for the pretty critter--for she is a pretty
critter, in spite of her not telling me her story--I think I never saw
such eyes in my life. Yes--I'll wait." Mr Clam accordingly stopped
short, and looked sharply all round, to watch if his fair companion was
coming. She was still detained in the colonel's room.

"Will you pardon me for addressing a stranger, sir?" said a gentleman,
politely bowing to Mr Clam.

"Oh, if it's to ask what o'clock it is, or when the coach starts, or any
thing like that, I shall be happy to answer you, sir, if I can," replied
Mr Clam, whose liking for new acquaintances had not been much increased
by the events of the day.

"I should certainly not have taken the liberty of applying to you,"
continued the stranger, "if it had not been under very peculiar
circumstances."

"Are they very peculiar, sir?" enquired Mr Clam.

"Yes--as you shall have explained to you some other time."

"Oh, you won't tell them now, won't you? Here's another mystery. 'Pon my
word, sir, so many queer things happen in this town, that I wish I had
never come into it. I came down only to-day per coach"--

"That's fortunate, sir; if you are a stranger here, your service to me
will be greater."

"What is it you want? My neighbour in No. 5--a very talented woman, but
big, uncommonly big--says in her book, never purchase the offspring of
the sty enveloped in canvass--which means, never meddle with any thing
you don't know."

"You shall know all--but I must first ask, if you are satisfied, will
you be my friend in a troublesome matter in which I am a party?"

"Oh, you're in a troublesome matter too, are you?--as for me, I came
down from London with such a critter, so pretty, so gentle, such a
perfect angel to look at!"

"Oh, I don't wish to have your confidence in such affairs. I am pressed
for time," replied the stranger, smiling.

"But I tell you, I am trying to find out what the matter is that you
need my help in."

"I beg pardon. I thought you were telling me an adventure of your own"--

"Well sir, this beautiful critter asked my help, just as you're
doing--dragged me hither and thither, first asking for one soldier,
then another."

"And finally, smiling very sweetly on yourself. I know their ways--said
the stranger.

"Do you, now? Not joking?--Oh lord! the sooner the better, for such lips
to smile with, are not met with every day. Well sir, then there came up
a puppy fellow of the name of Chatterton."

"Oh, Chatterton!" said the stranger; "that is curious."

"And insulted us, either her or me I forget which; but I blew him up,
and he said he would send a friend to me"--here a new thought seemed to
strike Mr Clam--his countenance assumed a very anxious expression--
"you're not his friend, sir?" he asked.

"No sir; far from it. He is the very person with whom I have the
quarrel."

"You've quarrelled with him too? Another breach of promise?--a wild dog
that Chatterton."

"Another breach! I did not know that that was _your_ cause of quarrel."

"Nor I; 'pon my solemn davit, I'm as ignorant as a child of what my
quarrel is about; all that I know is, that my beautiful companion seemed
to hate the sight of him."

"Then I trust you won't refuse me your assistance, since you have
insults of your own to chastise. I expect his message every moment. My
name is Captain Smith."

"And mine, Nicholas Clam, No. 4, Waterloo Place, Welling"--

"Then, gentlemen," said Major M'Toddy, lifting his hat, "I'm a lucky
man--_fortunatus nimium_, as a body may say, to find you both together;
for I am charged with an invitation to you from my friend Mr
Chatterton."

"Oh! he wants to make it up, does he, and asks us to dinner? No. I won't
go," said Mr Clam.

"Then you know the alternative, I suppose!" said the Major.

"To pay for my own dinner at the inn," replied Mr Clam; "of course I
know that."

The Major threw a glance at Mr Clam, which he would probably have taken
the trouble to translate into two or three languages, although it was
sufficiently intelligible without any explanations, but he had no time.
He turned to Captain Smith, and said:--

"I'm very sorry, Captain Smith, to make your acquaintance on such a
disagreeable occasion. I've heard so much of you from mutual friends,
that I feel as if I had known you myself, _quod facit per alium facit
per se_--I'm Major M'Toddy of this regiment."

"I have long wished to know you, Major, and I hope even this matter need
not extend any of its bitterness to us."

The gentlemen here shook hands very cordially--

"Well, that's a rum way," said Mr Clam, "of asking a fellow to go out
and be shot at. But this whole place is a mystery. I'll listen, however,
and find out what this is all about."

"And noo, Captain Smith, let me say a word in your private ear."

"Privateer! that's a sort of ship," said Mr Clam.

"I hate eaves-droppers," continued the Major, with another glance at Mr
Clam--"_odi profanum vulgus_, as a body may say--and a minute's talk
will maybe explain matters."

"I doubt the power of a minute's talk for any such purpose," said
Captain Smith, with a smile; "but," going a few yards further from Mr
Clam at the same time--"I shall listen to you with pleasure."

"Weel, then, I canna deny--_convenio_, as a body may say--that in the
first instance, you played rather a severe trick on Mr Chatterton."

"I play a trick!" exclaimed Captain Smith; "I don't understand you. But
proceed, I beg. I will not interrupt you."

"But then, on the other hand, it's not to be denied that Mr Chatterton's
method of showing his anger was highly reprehensible."

"His anger, Major M'Toddy!"

"'Deed ay, just his anger--_ira furor brevis_--and it's really very
excusable in a proud-spirited young man to resent his being jilted in
such a sudden and barefaced manner."

"_He_ jilted! but again I beg pardon--go on."

"Nae doubt--_sine dubio_, as a body may say--the lassie had a right to
change her mind; and if she thought proper to prefer you to him, I canna
see what law, human or divine"--

"Does the puppy actually try to excuse himself on so base a calumny as
that Marion preferred me? Major M'Toddy, I am here to receive your
message; pray deliver it, and let us settle this matter as soon as
possible."

"Whar's the calumny?" said the major. "You wadna have me to believe,
Captain Smith, that the lady does not prefer you to him?"

"Now perhaps she does, for she has sense enough and pride enough, I
hope, to despise him; but never girl was more attached to a man in the
world than she to Chatterton. Her health is gone--she has lost the
liveliness of youth. No, no--I am much afraid, in spite of all that has
passed, she is fond of the fellow yet."

"How long have you suspected this?" enquired the major.

"For some time; before my marriage, of course, I had not such good
opportunities of judging as I have had since."

"Of course, of course," said the major, in a sympathizing tone; "it's
bad business. But if you had these suspicions before, what for did
you marry?"

"Why? Do you think things of that sort should hinder a man from marrying
the girl he likes? Mrs Smith regrets it as much as I do."

"Then what for did she not tell Chatterton she was going to marry you?"

"What right had he to know, sir?"

"A vera good right, I think; or if he hadna, I wad like to know wha
had?"

"There, sir, we differ in opinion. Will you deliver your message, name
your place and hour, and I shall meet you. I shall easily get a friend
in this town, though I thought it better at one time to apply to a
civilian; but I fear," he added, with a smile, "my friend Mr Clam will
scarcely do."

"I really dinna ken--I positively don't know, as a body may say, how to
proceed in this matter. In the first place, if your wife is over fond of
Chatterton."

"My wife, sir?"

"'Deed ay--_placens uxor_, as a body may say--I say if your wife
continues to like Chatterton, you had better send a message to him, and
not he to you."

"So I would, if she gave me occasion, Major M'Toddy; but if your friend
boasts of any thing of that kind, his conduct is still more infamous and
intolerable than I thought it."

"But your ainsel'--your own self told me so this minute."

"You mistake, sir. I say that Marion Hope, my wife's sister, is still
foolish enough to like him."

"Your wife's sister! You didna marry Chatterton's sweetheart?"

"No, sir--her elder sister."

"Oh, lord, if I had my fingers round the thrapple o' that leein'
scoundrel on the tap of the coach! Gie me your hand, Captain Smith--it's
all a mistake. I'll set it right in two minutes. Come with me to
Chatterton's rooms--ye'll make him the happiest man in England. He's wud
wi' love--mad with affection, as a body may say. He thought you had run
off with his sweetheart, and it was only her sister!"

Captain Smith began to have some glimmerings of the real state of the
case; and Mr Clam was on the point of going up to where they stood to
make further enquiries for the improvement of his mind, when his
travelling companion, again deeply veiled, laid her hand on his arm.

"Move not for your life!" she said.

"I'm not agoing to move, ma'am."

"Let them go," she continued; "we can get down by a side street. If they
see me, I'm lost."

"Lost again! The mystery grows deeper and deeper."

"One of these is my husband."

Mr Clam drops her arm. "A married woman, and running after captains and
colonels! Will you explain a little ma'am, for my head is so puzzled,
that hang me if I know whether I stand on my head or my heels?"

"Not now--sometime or other you will perhaps know all; but come with me
to the beach--all will end well."

"Will it?--then I hope to heaven it will end soon, for an hour or two
more of this will kill me."

The two gentlemen, in the meantime, had disappeared, and Mr Clam was on
the eve of being hurried off to the harbour, when a young officer came
rapidly towards them.

"Charles!" cried the lady, and put her arms round his neck.

"There she goes!" said Mr Clam--"another soldier!--She'll know the whole
army soon."

"Mary!" exclaimed the soldier--"so good, so kind of you to come to
receive me."

"I wished to see you particularly," she said, "alone, for one minute."

The brother and sister retired to one side, leaving Mr Clam once more
out of ear-shot.

"More whispering!" muttered that disappointed gentleman. "This can never
enlarge the intellect or improve the mind. Mrs M. is a humbug--not a
drop of information can I get for love or money. Nothing but whisperings
here, closetings there--all that comes to my share is threats of
shootings and duckings under pumps. I'll go back to Waterloo Place this
blessed night, and burn 'Woman's Dignity' the moment I get home."

"Then let us go to Chatterton's rooms," said the young officer, giving
his arm to his sister; "I have no doubt he will explain it all, and I
shall be delighted to see your husband."

"She's going to see her husband! She's the wickedest woman in England,"
said Mr Clam, who caught the last sentence.

"Still here'" said a voice at his ear--"lurking about the barracks!"

He looked round and saw the irate features of the tremendous Mrs Sword.
He made a rapid bolt and disappeared, as if he had a pulk of Cossacks in
full chase at his heels.

The conversation of the good-natured Colonel Sword with Chatterton had
opened that young hero's eye so entirely to the folly of his conduct,
that it needed many encouraging speeches from his superior to keep him
from sinking into despair.--"That I should have been such a fool," he
said, "as to think that Marion would prefer any body to me!" Such was
the style of his soliloquy, from which it will be perceived, that in
spite of his discovery of his stupidity, he had not entirely lost his
good opinion of himself--"to think that she would marry an old fellow of
thirty-six! What will she think of me! How lucky I did not write to my
father that I had broken matters off. Do you think she'll ever forgive
me, colonel?"

"Forgive you, my, dear fellow?" said the colonel; "girls, as Mrs Sword
says, are such fools, they'll forgive any thing."

"And Captain Smith!--a fine gentlemanly fellow--the husband of Marion's
sister--I have insulted him--I must fight him, of course."

"No fighting here, young man; you must apologize if you've done wrong;
if not, he must apologize to you; Mrs Sword would never look over a duel
between two Sucking Pigeons."

"Then _I_ must apologize."

"Ye canna have a better chance--you can't have a better opportunity, as
a body may say," said the bilingual major, entering the room, "for
here's Captain Smith ready to accept it."

"With all his heart, I assure you," said that gentleman, shaking
Chatterton's hand; "so I beg you'll say no more about it."

"This is all right--just as it should be," said the Colonel. "Captain
Smith, you'll plead poor Chatterton's cause with the offended lady."

"Perhaps the culprit had better be his own advocate--he will find the
court very favourably disposed; and as the judge is herself at the
Waterloo hotel"--

"Marion here!" exclaimed Chatterton; "good heavens, what an atrocious
ass I have been!"

"She is indeed," replied the Captain. "I knew she would be anxious to
receive her brother Charles on his landing, and as I had wormed out from
her the circumstances of this lover's quarrel"--

"_Amantium ira amoris redintegratio est_--as a body may say," interposed
Major M'Toddy.

"And was determined to enquire into it, I thought that the pretence of
welcoming Captain Hope would allay any suspicion of my intention; and
so, with her good mother's permission, I brought her down, leaving my
wife in Henley Street"--

"Where she didn't long remain," said no other than Captain Charles Hope,
himself leading in Mrs Smith, the mysterious travelling acquaintance
of Mr Clam.

"Do you forgive me," she said to her husband, "for coming down without
your knowledge?"

"I suppose I must," said Captain Smith, laughing, "on condition that you
pardon me for the same offence?"

"And noo, then," said Major M'Toddy, "I propose that we all, together
and singly, _conjunctim ac separatim_--as a body may say--go down
instanter to the Waterloo Hotel. We can arrange every thing there better
than here, for we must hear the other side--_audi alteram partem_, as a
body may say."

"This will be a regular _jour de noce_, as you would say, Major,"
remarked Colonel Sword, giving his arm to Mrs Smith.

"It's a _nos non nobis_, poor auld bachelors--as a body may say,"
replied the Major, and the whole party proceeded to the hotel.

Mr Clan, on making his escape from the fulminations of Mrs Sword, had
been rejoiced to see his carpet-bag still resting against the wall under
the archway of the inn, as he had left it when he first arrived.

"Waiter!" he cried; and the same long-haired individual in the blue
coat, with the napkin over his arm, came to his call.

"Is there any coach to London this evening?"

"Yes, sir--at half-past six."

"Thank heaven!" exclaimed Mr Clam, "I shall get out of this infernal
town. Waiter!"

"Yes, sir."

"I came from London to-day with a lady--close veiled, all muffled up.
She is a married woman, too--more shame for her."

"Yes, sir. Do you dine before you go, sir." said the waiter, not
attending to Mr Clan's observations.

"No. Her husband doesn't know she's here; but, waiter, Mr Chatterton
does." Mr Clam accompanied this piece of information with a significant
wink, which, however, made no sensible impression on the waiter's mind.

"Yes, Chatterton does; for you may depend on it, by this time he's found
out who she is."

"Yes, sir. Have you secured a place, sir?"

"Now, she wouldn't have her husband know she is here for the world."

"Outside or in, sir? The office is next door"--continued the waiter.

"Then, there's a tall gentleman, who speaks with a curious accent. I
wonder who the deuce _he_ can be."

"No luggage but this, sir? Porter will take it to the office, sir."

"Nor that dreadful he-woman in the hat--who the mischief can _she_ be?
What had Chatterton done?--who is the husband?--who is the lady? Waiter,
is there a lunatic asylum here?"

"No, sir. We've a penitentiary."

"Then, 'pon my davit, the young woman"--

But Mr Clam's observation, whatever it was--and it was evidently not
very complimentary to his travelling companion--was interrupted by the
entrance of the happy party from Chatterton's rooms.

Mr Clam looked first at the colonel and Captain Hope, and Mrs Smith--but
they were so busy in their own conversation, that they did not observe
him. Then followed Major M'Toddy, Captain Smith, and Mr Chatterton.

"Here's our civil friend," said the Major--"_amicas noster_, as a body
may say."

"Oh, by Jove!" said Mr Chatterton, "I ought to teach this fellow a
lesson in natural history."

"He's the scientific naturalist that called you popinjay," continued the
major--"_ludit convivia miles_, as a body may say."

"He's the fellow that refused to be my friend, and told me some foolish
story of his flirtations with a lady he met in the coach," added
Captain Smith.

"Gentlemen," said Mr Clam, "I'm here in search of information; will you
have the kindness to tell me what we have all been fighting, and
quarrelling, and whispering and threatening about for the last two
hours? My esteemed and talented neighbour, the author of 'Women's
Dignity developed in Dialogues'"--

"May gang to the deevil," interposed Major M'Toddy--_abeat in malam
crucem_, as a body may say--We've no time for havers, _i prae, sequar_,
as a body may say. What's the number of her room?"

"No. 14," said the Captain, and the three gentlemen passed on.

"_Her_ room!" said Mr Clam, "another lady! Waiter!"

"Yes sir."

"I'll send you a post-office order for five shillings, if you'll find
out all this, and let me know the particulars--address to me, No. 4,
Waterloo Place, Wellington Road, Regent's Park, London. I've done every
thing in my power to gain information according to the advice of Mrs M.,
but it's of no use. Let me know as soon as you discover any thing, and
I'll send you the order by return of post."

"Coach is coming, sir," said the waiter.

"And I'm going; and very glad I am to get out of the town alive. And as
to the female banditti in the riding habit, with all the trunks and
boxes; if you'll let me know"--

"The coach can't wait a moment, sir."

Mr Clam cast a despairing look as he saw his last hope of finding out
the mystery disappear. He stept into the inside of the coach--

"Coachman," he said, with his foot on the step--"There's no lady inside,
is there?"

"No, sir."

"Then drive on; if there had been, I wouldn't have travelled a mile with
her." The roll of the coach drowned the remainder of Mr Clam's
eloquence; and it is much feared that his enquiries have been
unsuccessful to the present day.

       *       *       *       *       *




THE EAST AND SOUTH OF EUROPE.


    A Steam-voyage to Constantinople, by the Rhine and Danube, in
    1840-41, and to Portugal, Spain, &c. By the Marquis of
    Londonderry. In 2 vols. 8vo.


We have a very considerable respect for the writer of the Tour of which
we are about to give extracts in the following pages. The Marquis of
Londonderry is certainly no common person. We are perfectly aware that
he has been uncommonly abused by the Whigs--which we regard as almost a
necessary tribute to his name; that he has received an ultra share of
libel from the Radicals--which we regard as equally to his honour; and
that he is looked on by all the neutrals, of whatever colour, as a
personage too straightforward to be managed by a bow and a smile. Yet,
for all these things, we like him the better, and wish, as says the
old song--

    "We had within the realm
    Five hundred good as he."

He is a straightforward, manly, and high-spirited noble, making up his
mind without fee or reward, and speaking it with as little fear as he
made it up; managing a large and turbulent population with that
authority which derives its force from good intention; constant in his
attendance on his parliamentary duty; plainspoken there, as he is every
where; and possessing the influence which sincerity gives in every part
of the world, however abounding in polish and place-hunting.

His early career, too, has been manly. He was a soldier, and a gallant
one. His mission to the Allied armies, in the greatest campaign ever
made in Europe, showed that he had the talents of council as well as of
the field; and his appointment as ambassador to Vienna, gave a character
of spirit, and even of splendour, to British diplomacy which it had
seldom exhibited before, and which, it is to be hoped, it may recover
with as little delay as possible.

We even like his employment of his superfluous time. Instead of giving
way to the fooleries of fashionable life, the absurdities of galloping
after hares and foxes, for months together, at Melton, or the patronage
of those scenes of perpetual knavery which belong to the race-course,
the Marquis has spent his vacations in making tours to the most
remarkable parts of Europe. It is true that Englishmen are great
travellers, and that our nobility are in the habit of wandering over the
Continent. But the world knows no more of their discoveries, if they
make such, or of their views of society and opinions of governments, if
they ever take the trouble to form any upon the subject, than of their
notions of the fixed stars. That there are many accomplished among them,
many learned, and many even desirous to acquaint themselves with what
Burke called "the mighty modifications of the human race," beginning
with a land within fifteen miles of our shores, and spreading to the
extremities of the earth, we have no doubt. But in the countless
majority of instances, the nation reaps no more benefit from their
travels than if they had been limited from Bond Street to Berkeley
Square. This cannot be said of the Marquis of Londonderry. He travels
with his eyes open, looking for objects of interest, and recording them.
We are not now about to give him any idle panegyric on the occasion. We
regret that his tours are so rapid, and his journals so brief. He passes
by many objects which we should wish to see illustrated, and turns off
from many topics on which we should desire to hear the opinions of a
witness on the spot. But we thank him for what he has given; hope that
he will spend his next autumn and many others as he has spent the
former; and wish him only to write more at large, to give us more
characters of the rank with which he naturally associates, draw more
contrasts between the growing civilization of the European kingdoms and
our own; and, adhering to his own straightforward conceptions, and
telling them in his own sincere style, give us an annual volume as long
as he lives.

Steam-boats and railways have produced one curious effect, which no one
anticipated. Of all _levellers_ they are the greatest. Their superiority
to all other modes of travelling crowds them with the peer as well as
the peasant. Cabinets, and even queens, now abandon their easy, but
lazy, equipages for the bird-like flight of iron and fire, and though
the "special train" still sounds exclusive, the principle of commixture
is already there, and all ranks will sweep on together.

The Marquis, wisely adopting the bourgeois mode of travelling, set forth
from the Tower Stairs, on a lovely morning at the close of August 1840.
Fifty years ago, the idea of a general, an ambassador, and a peer, with
his marchioness and suite, embarking on board the common conveyance of
the common race of mankind, would have been regarded as an absolute
impossibility; but the common sense of the world has now decided
otherwise. Speed and safety are wisely judged to be valuable
compensations for state and seclusion; and when we see majesty itself,
after making the experiment of yachts and frigates, quietly and
comfortably return to its palace on board a steamer, we may be the less
surprised at finding the Marquis of Londonderry and his family making
their way across the Channel in the steamer Giraffe. Yet it is to be
remarked, that though nothing can be more miscellaneous than the
passengers, consisting of Englishmen, Frenchmen, Germans, and Yankee; of
Jews, Turks, and heretics; of tourists, physicians, smugglers, and all
the other diversities of idling, business, and knavery; yet families who
choose to pay for them, may have separate cabins, and enjoy as much
privacy as is possible with specimens of all the world within
half-an-inch of their abode.

The voyage was without incident; and after a thirty hours' passage, the
Giraffe brought them to the Brill and Rotterdam. It has been an old
observation that the Dutch clean every thing but themselves; and nothing
can be more matter of fact than that the dirtiest thing in a house in
Holland is generally the woman under whose direction all this scrubbing
has been accomplished. The first aspect of Rotterdam is strongly in
favour of the people. It exhibits very considerable neatness for a
seaport--the Wapping of the kingdom; paint and even gilding is common on
the outsides of the shops. The shipping, which here form a part of the
town furniture, and are to be seen every where in the midst of the
streets, are painted with every colour of the rainbow, and carved and
ornamented according to such ideas of taste in sculpture as are
prevalent among Dutchmen; and the whole exhibits a good specimen of a
people who have as much to struggle with mud as if they had been born so
many eels, and whose conceptions of the real colour of the sky are even
a shade darker than our own.

The steam-boats also form a striking feature, which utterly eluded the
wisdom of our ancestors. There are here, bearing all colours, from all
the Rhenish towns, smoking and suffocating the Dutch, flying past their
hard-working, slow-moving craft; and bringing down, and carrying away,
cargoes of every species of mankind. The increase of Holland in wealth
and activity since the separation from Belgium, the Marquis regards as
remarkable; and evidently having no _penchant_ for our cousin Leopold,
he declares that Rotterdam is at this moment worth more solid money than
Antwerp, Brussels, and, he believes, "all Leopold's kingdom together."

At Antwerp, he happened to arrive at the celebration of the fete in
honour of Rubens. "To commemorate the painter may be all very well," he
observes; "but it is not very well to see a large plaster-of-Paris
statue erected on a lofty pedestal, and crowned with laurels, while the
whole population of the town is called out for fourteen days together,
to indulge in idleness and dissipation, merely to announce that Rubens
was a famed _Dutch_ painter in times long past." We think it lucky for
the Marquis that he had left Antwerp before he called Rubens a Dutch
painter. We are afraid that he would have hazarded a summary application
of the Lynch law of the Flemish avengers of their country.

"If such celebrations," says the Marquis, "are proper, why not do equal
honour to a Shakspeare, a Pitt, a Newton, or any of those illustrious
men by whose superior intelligence society has so greatly profited?" The
obvious truth is, that such "celebrations" are not to our taste, that
there is something burlesque, to our ideas, in this useless honour; and
that we think a bonfire, a discharge of squibs, or even a discharge of
rhetoric, and a display of tinsel banners and buffoonery, does not
supply the most natural way of reviving the memory of departed genius.
At the same time, they have their use, where they do not create their
ridicule. On the Continent, life is idle; and the idlers are more
harmlessly employed going to those pageants, than in the gin-shop. The
finery and the foolery together also attract strangers, the idlers of
other towns; it makes money, it makes conversation, it makes amusement,
and it kills time. Can it have better recommendations to ninety-nine
hundredths of mankind?

In 1840, when this tour was written, all the politicians of the earth
were deciding, in their various coffee-houses, what all the monarchs
were to do with the Eastern question. Stopford and Napier were better
employed, in battering down the fortifications of Acre, and the
politicians were soon relieved from their care of the general concerns
of Europe. England settled this matter as she had often done before, and
by the means which she has always found more natural than protocols. But
a curious question is raised by the Marquis, as to the side on which
Belgium might be inclined to stand in case of an European struggle; his
opinion being altogether _for_ the English alliance.

"France could undoubtedly _at first_ seize possession of a country so
close to her empire as to be in fact a province. But still, with Antwerp
and other fortresses, Holland in the rear, and Hanover and Germany at
hand, and, above all, England, aiding perhaps with a British army, the
independence of King Leopold's throne and kingdom might be more
permanently secured by adhering to the Allies, than if he linked himself
to Louis Philippe, in whose power alone, in case of non-resistance to
France, he would ever afterwards remain; and far better would it be, in
my opinion, for this founder of a Belgian monarchy, if he would achieve
for his dynasty an honourable duration, to throw himself into the arms
of the many, and reap advantages from all, than to place his destiny at
the mercy of the future rulers of France."

No doubt this is sound advice; and if the decision were to depend on
himself, there can be as little doubt that he would be wiser in
accepting the honest aid of England, than throwing his crown at the feet
of France. But he reigns over a priest-ridden kingdom, and Popery will
settle the point for him on the first shock. His situation certainly is
a singular one; as the uncle of the Queen of England, and the son-in-law
of the King of France, he seems to have two anchors dropped out, either
of which might secure a throne in ordinary times. But times that are
_not_ ordinary may soon arise, and then he must cut both cables and
trust to his own steerage. If coldness is prudence, and neutrality
strength, he may weather the storm; but it would require other qualities
to preserve Belgium.

Brussels was full of English. The Marquis naturally talks in the style
of one accustomed to large expenditure. The chief part of the English
residents in Brussels, are families "who live there on three or four
thousand a-year--far better as to luxuries and education than they could
in England for half as much more." He evidently thinks of three or four
thousand a-year, as others might think of as many hundreds. But if any
families, possessed of thousands a-year, are living abroad for the mere
sake of _cheaper_ luxuries and _cheaper_ education, we say, more shame
for them. We even can conceive nothing more selfish and more
contemptible. Every rational luxury is to be procured in England by such
an income. Every advantage of education is to be procured by the same
means. We can perfectly comprehend the advantages offered by the
cheapness of the Continent to large families with narrow incomes; but
that the opulent should abandon their country, their natural station,
and their duties, simply to drink champagne at a lower rate, and have
cheaper dancing-masters, we must always regard as a scandalous
dereliction of the services which every man of wealth and rank owes to
his tenantry, his neighbours, and his nation. Of course, we except the
traveller for curiosity; the man of science, whose object is to enlarge
his knowledge; and even the man of rank, who desires to improve the
minds of his children by a view of continental wonders. Our reprobation
is, of the habit of living abroad, and living there for the vulgar and
unmanly purpose of self-indulgence or paltry avarice. Those absentees
have their reward in profligate sons, and foreignized daughters, in
giving them manners ridiculous to the people of the Continent, and
disgusting to their countrymen--morals adopting the grossness of
continental life, and general habits rendered utterly unfit for a return
to their country, and, of course, for any rational and meritorious
conduct, until they sink into the grave.

The Marquis, who in every instance submitted to the rough work of the
road, took the common conveyance by railroad to Liege. It has been a
good deal the custom of our late tourists to applaud the superior
excellence of the continental railroads. Our noble traveller gives all
this praise the strongest contradiction. He found their inferiority
quite remarkable. The materials, all of an inadequate nature, commencing
with their uncouth engine, and ending with their ill-contrived double
seats and carriages for passengers. The attempts made at order and
regularity in the arrangements altogether failed. Every body seemed in
confusion. The carriages are of two sorts--the first class, and the
_char-a-banc_. The latter are all open; the people sit back to back, and
face to face, as they like, and get at their places by scrambling,
squeezing, and altercation. Even the Marquis had a hard fight to
preserve the seats which he had taken for his family. At Malines, the
train changes carriages. Here a curious scene occurred. An inundation of
priests poured into all the carriages. They came so thick that they were
literally thrown back by their attempt to squeeze themselves in; "and
their cocked hats and black flowing robes gave them the appearance of
ravens with their wide-spreading wings, hovering over their prey in the
vehicles."

Travelling, like poverty, brings one acquainted with strange companions;
and, accustomed as the Marquis was to foreign life, one railway
traveller evidently much amused him. This was a personage who stretched
himself at full length on a seat opposite the ladies, "his two huge legs
and thighs clothed in light blue, with long Spanish boots, and heavy
silver spurs, formed the foreground of his extended body. A black satin
waistcoat, overlaid with gold chains, a black velvet Spanish cloak and
hat, red beard and whiskers, and a face resembling the Saracen's on
Snow-Hill, completed his _ensemble_." He was probably some travelling
mountebank apeing the Spanish grandee.

Aix-la-Chapelle exhibited a decided improvement on the City of the
Congress five-and-twenty years ago. The principal streets were now
paved, with fine _trottoirs_, the buildings had become large and
handsome, and the hotels had undergone the same advantageous change.
From Liege to Cologne the country exhibited one boundless harvest. The
vast cathedral of Cologne at last came in sight, still unfinished,
though the process of building has gone on for some hundred years. The
extraordinary attempt which has been made, within the last few months,
to unite Protestantism with Popery, in the completion of this gigantic
building, will give it a new and unfortunate character in history. The
union is impossible, though the confusion is easy, and the very attempt
to reconcile them only shows to what absurdities men may be betrayed by
political theories, and to what trivial and temporary objects the
highest interests of our nature may be sacrificed. Cologne, too, is
rapidly improving. The free navigation of the Rhine has done something
of this, but the free passage of the English has done a great deal more.
A perpetual stream of British travellers, flowing through Germany,
benefits it, not merely by their expenditure, but by their habits. Where
they reside for any length of time, they naturally introduce the
improvements and conveniences of English life. Even where they but pass
along, they demand comforts, without which the native would have plodded
on for ever. The hotels are gradually provided with carpets,
fire-places, and a multitude of other matters essential to the civilized
life of England; for if civilization depends on bringing the highest
quantity of rational enjoyment within the reach of general society,
England is wholly superior in civilization to the shivering splendours
of the Continent. Foreigners are beginning to learn this; and those who
are most disposed to scoff at our taste, are the readiest to follow
our example.

The streets of Cologne, formerly dirty and narrow, and the houses, old
and tumbling down, have given way to wide spaces, handsome edifices, and
attractive shops. The railway, which we have lent to the Continent, will
shortly unite Brussels, Liege, and Cologne, and the three cities will be
thereby rapidly augmented in wealth, numbers, and civilization.

The steam-boats on the Rhine are in general of a good description. The
arrangements are convenient, considering that at times there are two
hundred passengers, and that among foreigners the filthy habit of
smoking, with all its filthy consequences, is universal; but, below
decks, the party, especially if they take the _pavillion_ to themselves,
may escape this abomination. The Rhine has been too often described to
require a record here; but the rapturous nonsense which the Germans pour
forth whenever they write about the national river, offends truth as
much as it does taste. The larger extent of this famous stream is
absolutely as dull as a Dutch pond. The whole run from the sea to
Cologne is flat and fenny. As it approaches the hill country it becomes
picturesque, and its wanderings among the fine declivities of the
Rheingate exhibit beautiful scenery. The hills, occasionally topped with
ruins, all of which have some original (or invented) legend of love or
murder attached to them, indulge the romance of which there is a
fragment or a fibre in every bosom; and the general aspect of the
country, as the steam-boat breasts the upward stream, is various and
luxuriant. But the German architecture is fatal to beauty. Nothing can
be more _barbarian_ (with one or two exceptions) than the whole range of
buildings, public and private, along the Rhine; gloomy, huge, and
heavy--whether palace, convent, or chateau, they have all a prison-look;
and if some English philanthropist, in pity to the Teutonic taste, would
erect one or two "English villas" on the banks of the Rhine, to give
the Germans some idea of what architecture ought to be, he would render
them a national service, scarcely inferior to the introduction of
carpets and coal-fires.

Johannisberg naturally attracts the eye of the English traveller, whose
cellar has contributed so largely to its cultivation. This
mountain-vineyard had been given by Napoleon to Kellerman; but
Napoleon's gifts were as precarious as himself, and the Johannisberg
fell into hands that better deserved it. At the peace of 1814 it was
presented by the Emperor Francis to the great statesman who had taught
his sovereign to set his foot on the neck of the conqueror of Vienna.
The mountain is terraced, clothed with vineyards, and forms a very gay
object to those who look up to it from the river. The view from the
summit of the hill is commanding and beautiful, but its grape is
_unique_. The chief portion of the produce goes amongst the
principalities and powers of the Continent; yet as the Englishman must
have his share of all the good things of the earth, the Johannisberg
wine finds its way across the Channel, and John Bull satisfies himself
that he shares the luxury of Emperors.

The next _lion_ is Ehrenbreitstein, lying on the right bank of the
Rhine, the most famous fortress of Germany, and more frequently
battered, bruised, and demolished, than any other work of nature or man
on the face of the globe. It has been always the first object of attack
in the French invasions, and, with all its fortifications, has always
been taken. The Prussians are now laying out immense sums upon it, and
evidently intend to make it an indigestible morsel to the all-swallowing
ambition of their neighbours; but it is to be hoped that nations are
growing wiser--a consummation to which they are daily arriving by
growing poorer. Happily for Europe, there is not a nation on the
Continent which would not be bankrupt in a single campaign, provided
England closed her purse. In the last war she was the general paymaster:
but that system is at an end; and if she is wise, she will never suffer
another shilling of hers to drop into the pocket of the foreigner.

The Prussians have formed an entrenched camp under cover of this great
fortress, capable of containing 120,000 men. They are obviously right in
keeping the French as far from Berlin as they can; but those enormous
fortresses and entrenched camps are out of date. They belonged to the
times when 30,000 men were an army, and when campaigns were spent in
sieges. Napoleon changed all this, yet it was only in imitation of
Marlborough, a hundred years before. The great duke's march to Bavaria,
leaving all the fortresses behind him, was the true tactic for conquest.
He beat the army in the field, and then let the fortresses drop one by
one into his hands. The change of things has helped this bold system.
Formerly there was but one road through a province--it led through the
principal fortress--all the rest was mire and desolation. Thus the
fortress must be taken before a gun or a waggon could move. Now, there
are a dozen roads through every province--the fortress may be passed out
of gun-shot in all quarters--and the "grand army" of a hundred and fifty
thousand men marches direct on the capital. The _tetes-du-pont_ on the
Niemen, and the entrenched camp which it had cost Russia two years to
fortify, were turned in the first march of the French; and the futility
of the whole costly and rather timorous system was exhibited in the
fact, that the crowning battle was fought within hearing of Moscow.

Beyond Mayence the Rhine reverts to its former flatness, the hills
vanish, the shores are level, but the southern influence is felt, and
the landscape is rich.

Wisbaden is the next stage of the English--a stage at which too many
stop, and from which not a few are glad to escape on any terms. The Duke
of Nassau has done all in his power to make his watering-place handsome
and popular, and he has succeeded in both. The Great Square, containing
the assembly-room, is a very showy specimen of ducal taste. Its
colonnades and shops are striking, and its baths are in the highest
order. Music, dancing, and promenading form the enjoyment of the crowd,
and the gardens and surrounding country give ample indulgence for the
lovers of air and exercise. _The_ vice of the place, as of all
continental scenes of amusement, is gambling. Both sexes, and all ages,
are busy at all times in the mysteries of the gaming-table. Dollars and
florins are constantly changing hands. The bloated German, the meagre
Frenchman, the sallow Russian, and even the placid Dutchman, hurry to
those tables, and continue at them from morning till night, and often
from night till morning. The fair sex are often as eager and miserable
as the rest. It is impossible to doubt that this passion is fatal to
more than the purse. Money becomes the price of every thing; and,
without meaning to go into discussion on such topics, nothing can be
clearer than that the female gambler, in this frenzy of avarice,
inevitably forfeits the self-respect which forms at least the outwork of
female virtue. Though the ancient architecture of Germany is altogether
dungeon-like, yet they can make pretty imitations. The summer palace of
the duke at Biberach might be adopted in lieu of the enormous fabrics
which have cost such inordinate sums in our island. "The circular room
in the centre of the building is ornamented with magnificent marble
pillars. The floor is also of marble. The galleries are stuccoed, with
gold ornaments encrusted upon them. From the middle compartment of the
great hall there are varied prospects of the Rhine, which becomes
studded here with small islands: and the multitudinous orange, myrtle,
cedar, and cypress trees on all sides render Biberach a most
enchanting abode."

The Marquis makes some shrewd remarks on the evident attention of the
Great Powers to establish an interest among the little sovereignties of
Germany. Thus, Russia has married "her eldest daughter to an adopted
Bavarian. The Cesarowitch is married to a princess of Darmstadt," &c. He
might have added Louis Philippe, who is an indefatigable advocate of
marrying and giving in marriage. Austria is extending her olive branches
as far as she can; and all princes, now having nothing better to do, are
following her example.

Yet, we altogether doubt that family alliances have much weight in times
of trouble. Of course, in times of peace, they may facilitate the common
business of politics. But, when powerful interests appear on the stage,
the matrimonial tie is of slender importance; kindred put on their
coats-of-mail, and, like Francis of Austria and his son-in-law Napoleon,
they throw shot and shell at each other without any ceremony. It is only
in poetry that Cupid is more powerful than either Mammon or Mars.

The next _lion_ is Frankfort--a very old lion, 'tis true, but one of the
noblest cities of Germany, connected with high recollections, and doing
honour, by its fame, to the spirit of commerce. Frankfort has been
always a striking object to the traveller; but it has shared, or rather
led the way to the general improvement. Its shops, streets, and public
buildings all exhibit that march, which is so much superior to the
"march of mind," panegyrised by our rabble orators--the march of
industry, activity, and invention; Frankfort is one of the liveliest and
pleasantest of continental residences.

But the Marquis is discontented with the inns; which, undoubtedly, are
places of importance to the sojourner--perhaps of much more importance
than the palaces. He reckons them by a "sliding scale;" which, however,
is a descending one--Holland bad, Belgium worse, Germany the third
degree of comparison. Some of the inns in the great towns are stately;
but it unluckily happens that the masters and mistresses of those inns
are to the full as stately, and that, after a bow or curtsey at the door
to their arriving guests, all their part is at an end. The master and
mistress thenceforth transact their affairs by deputy. They are
sovereigns, and responsible for nothing. The _garcons_ are the cabinet,
and responsible for every thing; but they, like superior personages,
shift their responsibility upon any one inclined to take it up; and all
is naturally discontent, disturbance, and discomfort. We wonder that the
Marquis has not mentioned the German _table-d'hote_ among his
annoyances; for he dined at it. Nothing, in general, can be more adverse
to the quiet, the ease, or the good-sense of English manners. The
_table-d'hote_ is essentially vulgar; and no excellence of _cuisine_, or
completeness of equipment, can prevent it from exhibiting proof of its
original purpose, namely--to give a cheap dinner to a miscellaneous
rabble.

German posting is on a par with German inns, which is as much as to say
that it is detestable, even if the roads were good. The roughness, mire,
and continual ascents and descents of the roads, try the traveller's
patience. The only resource is sleep; but even that is denied by the
continual groanings of a miserable French horn, with which the postilion
announces his approach to every village.

    "Silence, ye wolves, while tipsy Mein-Herr howls,
    Making night hideous; answer him, ye owls."

The best chance of getting a tolerable meal in the majority of these
roadside houses, is, to take one's own provisions, carry a cook, if we
can, and, if not, turn cooks ourselves; but the grand hotels are too
"grand" for this, and they insist on supplying the dinner, for which the
general name is _cochonerrie_, and with perfect justice.

On the 12th of September, the Marquis and his family arrived at
Nuremberg, where the Bavarian court were assembled, in order to be
present at a Camp of Exercise. To the eye of an officer who had been in
the habit of seeing the armies of the late war, the military spectacle
could not be a matter of much importance, for the camp consisted of but
1800 men. But he had been a comrade of the king, when prince-royal,
during the campaigns of 1814 and 1815; and, as such, had helped (and not
slightly) to keep the tottering crown on the brow of Bavaria. He now
sent to request the opportunity of paying his respects; but Germany,
absurd in many things, is especially so in point of etiquette. Those
miraculous productions of Providence, the little German sovereigns, live
on etiquette, never abate an atom of their opportunities of convincing
inferior mortals that they are of a super-eminent breed; and, in part,
seem to have strangely forgotten that salutary lesson which Napoleon and
his captains taught them, in the days when a republican brigadier, or an
imperial aid-de-camp, though the son of a tailor, treated their "Serene
Highnesses" and "High Mightinesses" with as little ceremony as the
thoroughly beaten deserved from the conquerors. In the present instance,
the little king did _not_ choose to receive the gallant soldier, whom,
in days of difficulty, he had been rejoiced to find at his side; and the
ground assigned was, that the monarch received none but in uniform; the
Marquis having mentioned, that he must appear in plain clothes, in
consequence of dispatching his uniform to Munich, doubtless under the
idea of attending the court there in his proper rank of a
general officer.

The Marquis was angry, and the fragment of his reply which we give, was
probably as unpalatable a missive as the little king had received since
the days of Napoleon.

"My intention was, to express my respect for his majesty, in taking this
opportunity to pay my court to him, in the interesting recollection of
the kindly feelings which he deigned to exhibit to me and my _brother_
at Vienna, when Prince Royal of Bavaria.

"I had flattered myself, that as the companion-in-arms of the excellent
Marshal Wrede in the campaigns of 1814 and 1815, his majesty would have
granted this much of remembrance to an individual, without regard to
uniform; or, at least, would have done me the honour of a private
audience. I find, however, that I have been mistaken, and I have now
only to offer my apologies to his majesty.

"The flattering reception which I have enjoyed in other courts, and the
idea that this was connected with the name and services of the
individual, and not dependent on the uniform, was the cause of my
indiscretion. As my profound respect for his majesty was the sole
feeling which led me towards Munich, I shall not _delay a moment_ in
quitting his majesty's territory."

If his majesty had been aware that this Parthian arrow would have been
shot at him, he would have been well advised in relaxing his etiquette.

In the vicinity where this trifling transaction occurred, is the
_locale_ of an undertaking which will probably outlast all the little
diadems of all the little kings. This is the canal by which it is
proposed to unite the Rhine, the Mayne, and the Danube; in other words,
to make the longest water communication in the world, through the heart
of Europe; by which the Englishman embarking at London-bridge, may
arrive at Constantinople in a travelling palace, with all the
comforts--nay, all the luxuries of life, round him; his books, pictures,
furniture, music, and society; and all this, while sweeping through some
of the most magnificent scenery of the earth, safe from surge or storm,
sheltered from winter's cold and summer's sun, rushing along at the rate
of a couple of hundred miles a-day, until he finds himself in the
Bosphorus, with all the glories of the City of the Sultans glittering
before him.

This is the finest speculation that was ever born of this generation of
wonders, steam; and if once realized, must be a most prolific source of
good to mankind. But the Germans are an intolerably tardy race in every
thing, but the use of the tongue. They harangue, and mystify, and
magnify, but they will not act; and this incomparable design, which, in
England, would join the whole power of the nation in one unanimous
effort, languishes among the philosophists and prognosticators of
Germany, finds no favour in the eyes of its formal courts, and threatens
to be lost in the smoke of a tobacco-saturated and slumber-loving
people.

But the chief monument of Bavaria is the Val Halla, a modern temple
designed to receive memorials of all the great names of Germany. The
idea is kingly, and so is the temple; but it is built on the model of
the Parthenon--evidently a formidable blunder in a land whose history,
habits, and genius, are of the north. A Gothic temple or palace would
have been a much more suitable, and therefore a finer conception. The
combination of the palatial, the cathedral, and the fortress style,
would have given scope to superb invention, if invention was to be found
in the land; and in such an edifice, for such a purpose, Germany would
have found a truer point of union, than it will ever find in the absurd
attempt to mix opposing faiths, or in the nonsense of a rebel Gazette,
and clamorous Gazetteers.

Still the Bavarian monarch deserves the credit of an unrivalled zeal to
decorate his country. He is a great builder, he has filled Munich with
fine edifices, and called in the aid of talents from every part of
Europe, to stir up the flame, if it is to be found among his
drowsy nation.

The Val Halla is on a pinnacle of rising ground, about a hundred yards
from the Danube, from whose bank the ascent is by a stupendous marble
staircase, to the grand portico. The columns are of the finest white
stone, and the interior is completely lined with German marbles. Busts
of the distinguished warriors, poets, statesmen, and scholars, are to be
placed in niches round the walls, but _not_ till they are dead. A
curious arrangement is adopted with respect to the living: Persons of
any public note may send their busts, while living, to the Val Halla,
where they are deposited in a certain chamber, a kind of marble
purgatory or limbo. When they die, a jury is to sit upon them, and if
they are fortunate enough to have a verdict in their favour, they take
their place amongst these marble immortals. As the process does not
occur until the parties are beyond the reach of human disappointment,
they cannot feel the worse in case of failure; but the vanity which
tempts a man thus to declare himself deserving of perpetual renown, by
the act of sending his bust as a candidate, is perfectly _foreign_, and
must be continually ridiculous.

The temple has been inaugurated or consecrated by the king in person,
within the last month. He has made a speech, and dedicated it to German
fame for ever. He certainly has had the merit of doing what ought to
have been long since done in every kingdom of Europe; what a slight
retrenchment in every royal expenditure would have enabled every
sovereign to set on foot; and what could be done most magnificently,
would be most deserved, and ought to be done without delay, in England.

At Ratisbon, the steam navigation on the Danube begins, taking
passengers and carriages to Linz, where the Austrian steam navigation
commences, completing the course down the mighty river. The former
land-journey from Ratisbon to Vienna generally occupied six days. By the
steam-boat, it is now accomplished in forty-eight hours, a prodigious
saving of space and time. The Bavarian boats are smaller than those on
the Rhine, owing to the shallows on the upper part of the river, but
they are well managed and comfortable. The steamer is, in fact, a
floating hotel, where every thing is provided on board, and the general
arrangements are exact and convenient. The scenery in this portion of
the river is highly exciting.--"The Rhine, with its hanging woods and
multitudinous inhabited castles, affords a more cultivated picture; but
in the steep and craggy mountains of the Danube, in its wild outlines
and dilapidated castles, the imagination embraces a bolder range. At one
time the river is confined within its narrowest limits, and proceeds
through a defile of considerable altitude, with overhanging rocks
menacing destruction. At another it offers an open, wild archipelago of
islands. The mountains have disappeared, and a long plain bounds on each
side of the river its barren banks."

The steam-boats stop at Neudorf, a German mile from Vienna. On his
arrival, the Marquis found the servants and carriages of Prince
Esterhazy waiting for him, and quarters provided at the Swan Hotel,
until one of the prince's palaces could be prepared for his reception.
The importance of getting private quarters on arriving at Vienna is
great, the inns being all indifferent and noisy. They have another
disqualification not less important--they seem to be intolerably dear.
The Marquis's accommodations, though on a _third_ story of the Swan,
cost him eight pounds sterling a-day. This he justly characterizes as
extravagant, and says he was glad to remove on the third day, there
being an additional annoyance, in a club of the young nobles at the
Swan, which prevented a moment's quiet. The _cuisine_, however, was
particularly good, and the house, though a formidable affair for a
family, is represented as desirable for a "bachelor"--we presume, a
rich one.

Vienna has had her share in the general improvement of the Continent.
She has become commercial, and her streets exhibit shops with gilding,
plate-glass, and showy sign-boards, in place of the very old, very
barbarous, and very squalid, displays of the last century. War is a
rough teacher, but it is evidently the only one for the Continent. The
foreigner is as bigoted to his original dinginess and discomfort, as the
Turk to the Koran. Nothing but fear or force ever changes him. The
French invasions were desperate things, but they swept away a prodigious
quantity of the cobwebs which grow over the heads of nations who will
not use the broom for themselves. Feudalities and follies a thousand
years old were trampled down by the foot of the conscript; and the only
glimpses of common-sense which have visited three-fourths of Europe in
our day, were let in through chinks made by the French bayonet. The
French were the grand improvers of every thing, though only for their
own objects. They made high roads for their own troops, and left them to
the Germans; they cleared the cities of streets loaded with nuisances of
all kinds, and taught the natives to live without the constant dread of
pestilence; they compelled, for example the Portuguese to wash their
clothes, and the Spaniards to wash their hands. They proved to the
German that his ponderous fortifications only brought bombardments on
his cities, and thus induced him to throw down his crumbling walls, fill
up his muddy ditches, turn his barren glacis into a public walk, and
open his wretched streets to the light and air of heaven. Thus Hamburgh,
and a hundred other towns, have put on a new face, and almost begun a
new existence. Thus Vienna is now thrown open to its suburbs, and its
suburbs are spread into the country.

The first days were given up to dinner at the British ambassador's,
(Lord Beauvale's,) at the Prussian ambassador's, and at Prince
Metternich's. Lord Beauvale's was "nearly private He lived on a second
floor, in a fine house, of which, however, the lower part was understood
to be still unfurnished. His lordship sees but few people, and seldom
gives any grand receptions, his indifferent health being the reason for
living privately." However, on this point the Marquis has his own
conceptions, which he gives with a plainness perfectly characteristic,
and very well worth being remembered.

"I think," says he, "that an ambassador of England, at an imperial
court, with _eleven thousand pounds_ per annum! should _not_ live as a
private gentleman, nor consult solely his own ease, unmindful of the
sovereign he represents. A habit has stolen in among them of adopting a
spare _menage_, to augment _private fortune when recalled_! This is
wrong. And when France and Russia, and even Prussia, entertain
constantly and very handsomely; our embassies and legations, generally
speaking, are niggardly and shut up."

However the Lord Beauvale and his class may relish this honesty of
opinion, we are satisfied that the British public will perfectly agree
with the Marquis. A man who receives L. 11,000 a-year to show hospitality
and exhibit state, ought to do both. But there is another and a much
more important point for the nation to consider. Why should eleven
thousand pounds a-year be given to any ambassador at Vienna, or at any
other court of the earth? Cannot his actual diplomatic functions be
amply served for a tenth of the money? Or what is the actual result, but
to furnish, in nine instances out of ten, a splendid sinecure to some
man of powerful interest, without any, or but slight, reference to his
faculties? Or is there any necessity for endowing an embassy with an
enormous income of this order, to provide dinners, and balls, and a
central spot for the crowd of loungers who visit their residences; or to
do actual mischief by alluring those idlers to remain absentees from
their own country? We see no possible reason why the whole ambassadorial
establishment might not be cut down to salaries of fifteen hundred
a-year. Thus, men of business would be employed, instead of the
relatives of our cabinets; dinner-giving would not be an essential of
diplomacy; the ambassador's house would not be a centre for all the
ramblers and triflers who preferred a silly and lavish life abroad to
doing their duty at home; and a sum of much more than a hundred thousand
pounds a-year would be saved to the country. Jonathan acts the only
rational part on the subject. He gives his ambassador a sum on which a
private gentleman can live, and no more. He has not the slightest sense
of giving superb feasts, furnishing huge palaces, supplying all the
rambling Jonathans with balls and suppers, or astonishing John Bull by
the tinsel of his appointments. Yet he is at least as well served as
others. His man is a man of business; his embassy is no showy sinecure;
his ambassador is no showy sinecurist. The office is an understood step
to distinction at home; and the man who exhibits ability here, is sure
of eminence on his return. We have not found that the American diplomacy
is consigned to mean hands, or inefficient, or despised in any country.

The relative value of money, too, makes the folly still more
extravagant. In Vienna, L. 11,000 a-year is equal to twice the sum in
England. We thus virtually pay L. 22,000 a-year for Austrian diplomacy.
In France about the same proportion exists. But in Spain, the dollar
goes as far as the pound in England. There L. 10,000 sterling would be
equivalent to L. 40,000 here. How long is this waste to go on? We
remember a strong and true _expose_, made by Sir James Graham, on the
subject, a few years ago; and we are convinced that, if he were to take
up the topic again, he would render the country a service of remarkable
value; and, moreover, that if he does not, it will be taken up by more
strenuous, but more dangerous hands. The whole system is one of lavish
absurdity.

The Russian ambassador's dinner "was of a different description.
Perfection in _cuisine_, wine, and attendance. Sumptuousness in liveries
and lights; the company, about thirty, the _elite_ of Vienna."

But the most interesting of those banquets, from the character of the
distinguished giver, was Prince Meternich's. The prince was residing at
his "Garten," (villa) two miles out of town. He had enlarged his house
of late years, and it now consisted of three, one for his children,
another for his own residence, and a third for his guests. This last was
"really a fairy edifice, so contrived with reflecting mirrors, as to
give the idea of being transparent." It was ornamented with rare
malachite, prophyry, jasper, and other vases, presents from the
sovereigns of Europe, besides statues, and copies of the most celebrated
works of Italy.

The Marquis had not seen this eminent person since 1823, and time had
played its part with his countenance; the smile was more languid, the
eye less illumined, the person more slight than formerly, the hair of a
more silvery hue, the features of his expressive face more distinctly
marked; the erect posture was still maintained, but the gait had become
more solemn; and when he rose from his chair, he had no longer his
wonted elasticity.

But this inevitable change of the exterior seems to have no effect on
the "inner man." "In the Prince's conversation I found the same talent,
the unrivalled _esprit_. The fluency and elocution, so entirely his own,
were as graceful, and the memory was as perfect, as at any
former period."

This memorable man is fond of matrimony; his present wife, a daughter of
Count Zichy Ferraris, being his third. A son of the second marriage is
his heir, and he has by his present princess two boys and a girl. The
Princess seems to have alarmed her guest by her vivacity; for he
describes her in the awful language with which the world speaks of a
confirmed _blue_:--"Though not so handsome as her predecessor, she
combines a _very spirited_ expression of countenance, with a clever
conversation, a versatility of genius, and a wit rather satirical than
humorous, which makes her _somewhat formidable_ to her acquaintance." We
dare say that she is a very showy tigress.

The Marquis found Vienna less gay than it was on his former visit. It is
true that he then saw it in the height of the Congress, flushed with
conquest, glittering with all kinds of festivity; and not an individual
in bad spirits in Europe, but Napoleon himself. Yet in later times the
court has changed; "the Emperor keeps singularly aloof from society; the
splendid court-days are no more; the families are withdrawing into
coteries; the beauties of former years have lost much of their
brilliancy, and a new generation equal to them has not yet appeared."

This is certainly not the language of a young marquis; but it is
probably not far from the estimate which every admirer of the sex makes,
_after_ a five-and-twenty years' absence. But he gallantly defends them
against the sneer of the cleverest of her sex, Lady Wortley Montagu, a
hundred years ago; her verdict being, "That their costume disfigured the
natural ugliness with which Heaven had been pleased to endow them." He
contends, however, that speaking within the last twenty (he probably
means _five-and-twenty_) years, "Vienna has produced some of the
handsomest women in the world: and in frequenting the public walks, the
Prater, and places of amusement, you meet as many bewitching
countenances, especially as to eyes, hair, and _tournure_, as in any
other capital whatever."

We think the Marquis fortunate; for we must acknowledge, that in our
occasional rambles on the Continent, we _never_ saw beauty in a German
visage. The rotundity of the countenance, the coarse colours, the
stunted nose, and the thick lip, which constitute the general mould of
the native physiognomy, are to us the very antipodes of beauty. Dress,
diamonds, rouge, and lively manners, may go far, and the ball-room may
help the deception; but we strongly suspect that where beauty casually
appears in society, we must look for its existence only among foreigners
to Teutchland. The general state of intercourse, even among the highest
circles, is dull. There are few houses of rank where strangers are
received; the animation of former times is gone. The ambassadors live
retired. The monarch's state of health makes him averse to society.
Prince Metternich's house is the only one constantly open; "but while he
remains at his Garten, to trudge there for a couple of hours' general
conversation, is not very alluring." Still, for a family which can go so
far to look for cheap playhouses and cheap living, Vienna is a
convenient capital.

But Austria has one quality, which shows her common sense in a striking
point of view. She abhors change. She has not a radical in her whole
dominions, except in jail--the only place fit for him. The agitations
and vexations of other governments stop at the Austrian frontier. The
people have not made the grand discovery, that universal suffrage is
meat and drink, and annual parliaments lodging and clothing. They
labour, and live by their labour; yet they have as much dancing as the
French, and better music. They are probably the richest and most
comfortable population of Europe at this hour. Their country has risen
to be the protector of Southern Europe; and they are making admirable
highways, laying down railroads, and building steam-boats, ten times as
fast as the French, with all their regicide plots, and a revolution
threatened once-a-month by the calendar of patriotism. "Like the great
Danube, which rolls through the centre of her dominions, the course of
her ministry and its tributary branches continue, without any deviation
from its accustomed channel." The comparison is a good one, and what can
be more fortunate than such tranquillity?

The two leading ministers, the government in effect, are Metternich and
Kollowrath; the former the Foreign Minister, the latter the Minister of
the Interior. They are understood to be of different principles; the
latter leaning to the "Movement," or, more probably, allowing himself to
be thought to do so, for the sake of popularity. But Metternich is the
true head. A Conservative from the beginning, sagacious enough to see
through the dupery of the pretended friends of the human race, and firm
enough to crush their hypocrisy--Metternich is one of those statesmen,
of whom men of sense never could have had two opinions--a mind which
stamped itself from the beginning as a leader, compelled by
circumstances often to yield, but never suffering even the most
desperate circumstances to make it despair. He saw where the strength of
Europe lay, from the commencement of the Revolutionary war; and, guided
by the example of Pitt, he laboured for a general European alliance.
When he failed there, he husbanded the strength of Austria for the day
of struggle, which he knew would come; and when it came, his genius
raised his country at once from a defeated dependency of France, into
the arbiter of Europe. While this great man lives, he ought to be
supreme in the affairs of his country. But in case of his death, General
Fiquelmont, the late ambassador to Russia, has been regarded as his
probable successor. He is a man of ability and experience, and his
appointment to the court of St Petersburg was probably intended to
complete that experience, in the quarter to which Austria, by her new
relations, and especially by her new navigation of the Danube, must look
with the most vigilant anxiety.

The Austrian army is kept up in very fine condition; but nearly all the
officers distinguished in the war are dead, and its present leaders have
to acquire a name. It is only to be hoped that they will never have the
opportunity. The regimental officers are generally from a higher class
than those of the other German armies.

After remaining for a fortnight at Vienna, the Marquis paid a visit to
his friend Prince Esterhazy.

This nobleman, long known and much-esteemed in England, is equally well
known to be a kind of monarch in Hungary. Whatever novelist shall write
the "Troubles of rank and riches," should take the prince for his hero.
He has eight or nine princely mansions scattered over the empire, and in
each of them it is expected, by his subjects of the soil, that his
highness should reside.

The Marquis made a round of the principal of those mansions. The first
visit was to a castle in the neighbourhood of Vienna, which the prince
has modernized into a magnificent villa. Here all is constructed to the
taste of a statesman only eager to escape the tumult of the capital, and
pining to refresh himself with cooling shades and crystal streams. All
is verdure, trout streams, leafy walks, water blue as the sky above it,
and the most profound privacy and seclusion.

After a "most exquisite entertainment" here, the Marquis and his family
set out early next morning to visit Falkenstein. Every castle in this
part of the world is historical, and derives its honours from a Turkish
siege. Falkenstein, crowning the summit of a mountain of granite, up
which no carriage can be dragged but by the stout Hungarian horses
trained to the work, has been handsomely bruised by the Turkish balls in
its day; but it is now converted into a superb mansion; very grand, and
still more curious than grand; for it is full of relics of the olden
time, portraits of the old warriors of Hungary, armour and arms, and all
the other odd and pompous things which turn an age of barbarism into an
age of romance. The prince and princess are hailed and received at the
castle as king and queen. A guard of soldiers of the family, which the
Esterhazy have the sovereign right to maintain, form the garrison of
this palatial fortress, and it has a whole establishment of salaried
officials within. The next expedition was to two more of those
mansions--Esterhazy, built by one of the richest princes of the house,
and Eisenstadt. The former resembles the imperial palace at Schonbrun,
but smaller. The prince is fitting it up gorgeously in the Louis XIV.th
style. Here he has his principal studs for breeding horses; but
Eisenstadt outshone all the chateaus of this superb possessor. The
splendours here were regal: Two hundred chambers for guests--a saloon
capable of dining a thousand people--a battalion of the "Esterhazy
Guard" at the principal entrances; all paid from the estate. To this all
the ornamental part was proportioned--conservatory and greenhouses on
the most unrivalled scale--three or four hundred orange-trees alone,
throwing the Duke of Northumberland's gardens into eclipse, and
stimulating his Grace of Devonshire even to add new greens and glories
to Chatsworth.

On his return to Vienna, the Marquis was honoured with a private
interview by the emperor--a remarkable distinction, as the ambassador
was informed "that the emperor was too well acquainted with the
Marquis's services to require any presentation, and desired that he
might come alone." He was received with great politeness and
condescension. Next day he had an interview with Prince Metternich, who,
with graceful familiarity, took him over his house in Vienna, to show
him its improvements since the days of Congress. He remarks it as a
strange point in the character of this celebrated statesman, how
minutely he sometimes interests himself in mere trifles, especially
where art and mechanism are concerned. He had seen him one evening
remain for half an hour studiously examining the construction of a
musical clock. The Prince then showed his _cabinet de travail_, which he
had retained unchanged. "Here," said he, "is a spot which is exactly as
it was the last day you saw it." Its identity had been rigidly
preserved, down to the placing of its paper and pencils. All was in the
same order. The Prince evidently, and justly, looked on those days as
the glory of his life.

We regret that the conversation of so eminent a person could not be more
largely given; for Metternich is less a statesman than statemanship
itself. But one remark was at once singularly philosophical and
practical. In evident allusion to the miserable tergiversations of our
Whig policy a couple of years since, he said, "that throughout life, he
had always acted on the plan of adopting the _best determination on all
important subjects_. That to this point of view he had steadfastly
adhered; and that, in the indescribable workings of time and
circumstances, it had _always happened to him_ that matters were
brought round to the very spot, from which, owing to the folly of
misguided notions or inexperienced men, they had for a time taken their
departure." This was in 1840, when the Whigs ruled us; it must be an
admirable maxim for honest men, but it must be perpetually thwarting the
oblique. To form a view on principle, and to adhere to it under all
difficulties, is the palpable way to attain great ultimate success; but
the paltry and the selfish, the hollow and the intriguing, have neither
power nor will to look beyond the moment; they are not steering the
vessel to a harbour; they have no other object than to keep possession
of the ship as long as they can, and let her roll wherever the gale may
carry her.

After all, one grows weary of every thing that is to be had for the mere
act of wishing. Difficulty is essential to enjoyment. High life is as
likely to tire on one's hands as any other. The Marquis, giving all the
praise of manners and agreeability to Vienna, sums up all in one
prodigious yawn. "The _same_ evenings at Metternich's, the _same_
lounges for making purchases and visits on a morning, the _same_
idleness and fatigue at night, the searching and arid climate, and the
clouds of execrable fine dust"--all conspiring to tell the great of the
earth that they can escape _ennui_ no more than the little.

On leaving Vienna, he wrote a note of farewell to the Prince, who
returned an answer, of remarkable elegance--a mixture of the pathetic
and the playful. His note says that he has no chance of going to see any
body, for he is like a coral fixed to a rock--both must move together.
He touches lightly on their share in the great war, "which is now
becoming a part of those times which history itself names heroic;" and
concludes by recommending him on his journey to the care of an officer
of rank, on a mission to Turkey--"Car il scait le Turc, aussi bien que
nous deux ne le scavons pas." With this Voltairism he finishes, and
gives his "Dieu protege."

We now come to the Austrian steam passage. This is the boldest effort
which Austria has ever made, and its effects will be felt through every
generation of her mighty empire. The honour of originating this great
design is due to Count Etienne Zecheny, a Hungarian nobleman,
distinguished for every quality which can make a man a benefactor to his
country. The plan of this steam-navigation is now about ten years old.
The Marquis justly observes, that nothing more patriotic was ever
projected; and it is mainly owing to this high-spirited nobleman that
the great advantage is now enjoyed of performing, in ten or twelve days,
the journey to the capital of Turkey, which some years ago could be
achieved only by riding the whole way, and occupying, by couriers, two
or three weeks. The chief direction of the company is at Vienna. It had,
at the time of the tour, eighteen boats, varying from sixty to one
hundred horse-power, and twenty-four more were to be added within the
year. Some of these were to be of iron.

But the poverty of all foreign countries is a formidable obstacle to the
progress of magnificent speculations like those. The shares have
continued low, the company has had financial difficulties to encounter,
and the popular purse is tardy. However, the prospect is improving, the
profits have increased; and the Austrian archdukes and many of the great
nobles having lately taken shares, the steam-boats will probably become
as favourite as they are necessary. But all this takes time; and as by
degrees the "disagreeables" of the voyage down the Danube will be
changed into agreeables, we shall allude no more to the noble
traveller's voyage, than to say, that on the 4th of November, a day of
more than autumnal beauty, his steamer anchored in the Bosphorus.

Here we were prepared for a burst of description. But the present
describer is a matter-of-fact personage; and though he makes no attempt
at poetic fame, has the faculty of telling what he saw, with very
sufficient distinctness. "I never experienced more disappointment," is
his phrase, "than in my first view of the Ottoman capital. I was bold
enough at once to come to the conclusion, that what I had heard or read
was overcharged. The most eminent of the describers, I think, could
never have been on the spot." Such is the plain language of the last
authority.

"The entrance of the Tagus, the Bay of Naples, the splendid approach to
the grand quays of St Petersburg, the Kremlin, and view of Moscow, all
struck me as far preferable to the scene at the entrance of the
Bosphorus."

He admits, that in the advance to the city up this famous channel, there
are many pretty views, that there is a line of handsome residences in
some parts, and that the whole has a good deal the look of a "drop-scene
in a theatre;" still he thinks it poor in comparison of its
descriptions, the outline low, feeble, and rugged, and that the less it
is examined, probably the more it may be admired. Even the famous
capital fares not much better. "In point of fine architectural features,
monuments of art, and magnificent structures, (excepting only the great
Mosques,) the chisel of the mason, the marble, the granite,
Constantinople is more destitute than any other great capital. But then,
you are told that these objects are not in the style and taste of the
people. Be it so; but then do not let the minds of those who cannot see
for themselves be led away by high-wrought and fallacious descriptions
of things which do not exist." The maxim is a valuable one, and we hope
that the rebuke will save the reading public from a heap of those
"picturesque" labours, which really much more resemble the heaviest
brush of the scene-painter, than the truth of nature.

But if art has done little, nature has done wonders for Constantinople.
The site contains some of the noblest elements of beauty and grandeur;
mountain, plain, forest, waters; its position is obviously the key of
Europe and Asia Minor--even of more, it is the point at which the north
and south meet; by the Bosphorus it commands the communication of the
Black Sea, and with it, of all the boundless region, once Scythia, and
now Russia and Tartary; by the Dardanelles, it has the most immediate
command over the Mediterranean, the most important sea in the world.
Russia, doubtless, may be the paramount power of the Black Sea; the
European nations may divide the power of the Mediterranean; but
Constantinople, once under the authority of a monarch, or a government,
adequate to its natural faculties, would be more directly the sovereign
of both seas, than Russia, with its state machinery in St Petersburg, a
thousand miles off, or France a thousand miles, or England more nearly
two thousand miles. This dominion will never be exercised by the
ignorant, profligate, and unprincipled Turk; but if an independent
Christian power should be established there, in that spot lie the
materials of empire. In the fullest sense, Constantinople, uniting all
the high-roads between east and west, north and south, is the centre of
the living world. We are by no means to be reckoned among the theorists
who calculate day by day on the fall of Turkey. In ancient times the
fall of guilty empires was sudden, and connected with marked evidences
of guilt. But those events were so nearly connected with the fortunes of
the Jewish people, that the suddenness of the catastrophe was essential
to the lesson. The same necessity exists no longer, the Chosen People
are now beyond the lesson, and nations undergo suffering, and approach
dissolution, by laws not unlike those of the decadence of the human
frame; the disease makes progress, but the evidence scarcely strikes the
eye, and the seat of the distemper is almost beyond human investigation.
The jealousy of the European powers, too, protects the Turk. But he must
go down--Mahometanism is already decaying. Stamboul, its headquarters,
will not survive its fall; and a future generation will inevitably see
Constantinople the seat of a Christian empire, and that empire, not
improbably, only the forerunner of an empire of Palestine.

The general view of Constantinople is superb. A bridge has been thrown
across the "Golden Horn," connecting its shores; and from this the city,
or rather the four cities, spread out in lengthened stateliness before
the eye. From this point are seen, to the most striking advantage, the
two mountainous elevations on which Constantinople and Pera are built,
and other heights surrounding. A communication subsists across the
"Golden Horn," not only by water and the bridge, but also by the road,
which by the land is a distance of five or six miles. Viewing
Constantinople as a whole, it strikes one as larger by far than Paris or
London, but they are both larger. The reason of the deception being,
that here the eye embraces a larger space.

The Turks never improve anything. The distinction between them and the
Europeans is, that the latter think of conveniences, the former only of
luxuries. The Turks, for example, build handsome pavilions, plant showy
gardens, and erect marble fountains to cool them in marble halls. But
they never mend a high-road--they never even make one. Now and then a
bridge is forced on them by the necessity of having one, or being
drowned; but they never repair that bridge, nor sweep away the
accumulated abomination of their streets, nor do any thing that it is
possible to leave undone.

Pera is the quarter in which all the Christians even of the highest rank
live; the intercourse between it and Constantinople is, of course,
perpetual, yet perhaps a stone has not been smoothed in the road since
the siege of the city. From Pera were the most harassing trips down
rugged declivities on horseback, besides the awkwardness of the
passage in boats.

One extraordinary circumstance strikes the stranger, that but one sex
seems to exist. The dress of the women gives no idea of the female form,
and the whole population seems to be male.

The masses of people are dense, and among them the utmost silence in
general prevails. About seven or eight at night the streets are cleared,
and their only tenants are whole hosts of growling, hideous dogs; or a
few Turks gliding about with paper lanterns; these, too, being the only
lights in the streets, if streets they are to be called, which are only
narrow passes, through which the vehicles can scarcely move.

The dogs are curious animals. It is probable that civilization does as
much injury to the lower tribes of creation, as it does good to man. If
it polishes our faculties, it enfeebles their instincts. The Turkish
dog, living nearly as he would have done in the wilderness, exhibits the
same sagacity, amounting to something of government. For instance, the
Turkish dogs divide the capital into quarters, and each set has its own;
if an adventurous or an ambitious dog enters the quarters of his
neighbours, the whole pack in possession set upon him at once, and he is
expelled by hue and cry. They also know how to conduct themselves
according to times and seasons. In the daytime, they ramble about, and
suffer themselves to be kicked with impunity; but at night the case is
different: they are the majority--they know their strength, and insist
on their privileges. They howl and growl then at their own discretion,
fly at the accidental stranger with open mouth, attack him singly,
charge him _en masse_, and nothing but a stout bludgeon, wielded by a
strong arm, can save the passenger from feeling that he is in the
kingdom of his four-footed masters.

The Marquis arrived during the Ramazan, when no Turk eats, drinks, or
even smokes, from sunrise to sunset. Thus the Turk is a harder faster
than the papist. The moment the sun goes down, the Turk rushes to his
meal and his pipe, "not eating but devouring, not inhaling but wallowing
in smoke." At the Bajazet colonnade, where the principal Turks rush to
enjoy the night, the lighted coffee-houses, the varieties of costume,
the eager crowd, and the illumination of myriads of paper lanterns, make
a scene that revives the memory of Oriental tales.

Every thing in Turkey is unlike any thing in Europe. In the bazar,
instead of the rapid sale and dismissal in our places of traffic, the
Turkish dealer, in any case of value, invites his applicant into his
shop, makes him sit down, gives him a pipe, smokes him into
familiarity--hands him a cup of coffee, and drinks him into confidence;
in short, treats him as if they were a pair of ambassadors appointed to
dine and bribe each other--converses with, and cheats him.

But the Marquis regards the bazars as contemptible places, says that
they are not to be compared with similar establishments at Petersburg or
Moscow, and recommends whatever purchases are made, to be made at one's
own quarters, "where you escape being jostled, harangued, smoked, and
poisoned with insufferable smells."

One of the curious features of the sojourn at Constantinople, is the
presentation to the Ministers and the Sultan. Redschid Pasha appointed
to see the Marquis at three o'clock, _a la Turque_--which, as those
Orientals always count from the sunset, means eight o'clock in
the evening.

He was led in a kind of procession to the Minister, received in the
customary manner, and had the customary conversation on Constantinople,
England, the war, &c. Then, a dozen slaves entered, and universal
smoking began. "When the cabinet was so full of smoke that one could
hardly see," the attendants returned, and carried away the pipes. Then
came a dropping fire of conversation, then coffee; then sherbet, which
the guest pronounced good, and "thought the most agreeable part of the
ceremonial." The Minister spoke French fluently, and, after an hour's
visit, the ceremony ended--the pasha politely attending his visiter
through the rooms. The next visit was to Achmet Pasha, who had been in
England at the time of the Coronation--had been ambassador at Vienna for
some years--spoke French fluently--was a great friend of Prince and
Princess Metternich, and, besides all this, had married one of the
Sultan's sisters. The last honour was said to be due to his immense
wealth. It seems that the "course of true love" does not run more
smoothly in Turkey than elsewhere--for the young lady was stated to be
in love with the commander-in-chief, an older man, but possessing more
character. Achmet was now Minister of Commerce, and in high favour. He
kept his young wife at his country house, and she had not been seen
since her marriage. When asked permission for ladies to visit her, he
always deferred it "till next spring, when," said he, "she will be
civilized." The third nocturnal interview was more picturesque--it was
with the young Sultana's flame, the Seraskier, (commander-in-chief.) His
residence is at the Porte, where he has one of the splendid palaces.

"You enter an immense court, with his stables on one side and his harem
on the other. A regiment of guards was drawn up at the entrance, and two
companies were stationed at the lower court. The staircase was filled
with soldiers, slaves, and attendants of different nations. I saw
Greeks, Armenians, Sclavonians, Georgians, all in their native costume;
and dark as were the corridors and entrance, by the flashes of my
flambeaux through the mist, the scene struck me as much more grand and
imposing than the others. The Seraskier is a robust, soldier-like man,
with a fierce look and beard, and an agreeable smile." The Minister was
peculiarly polite, and showed him through the rooms and the war
department, exhibiting, amongst the rest, his military council, composed
of twenty-four officers, sitting at that moment. They were of all ranks,
and chosen, as it was said, without any reference as to qualification,
but simply by favour. The Turks still act as oddly as ever. A friend of
the Marquis told him, that he had lately applied to the Seraskier to
promote a young Turkish officer. A few days after, the officer came to
thank him, and said, that though the Seraskier had not given him the
command of a regiment, he had given him "the command of a ship." The
true wonder is, that the Turks have either ships or regiments. But there
is a fine quantity of patronage in this department--the number of clerks
alone being reckoned at between seven and eight hundred.

The opinions of the Marquis on Mediterranean politics are worth
regarding, because he has had much political experience in the highest
ranks of foreign life--because from that experience he is enabled to
give the opinions of many men of high name and living influence, and
because he is an honest man, speaking sincerely, and speaking
intelligibly. He regards the preservation of Turkey as the first
principle of all English diplomacy in the east of Europe, and considers
our successive attempts to make a Greek kingdom, and our sufferance of
an Egyptian dynasty, as sins against the common peace of the world.
Thus, within a few years, Greece has been taken away; Egypt has not
merely been taken away, but rendered dangerous to the Porte; the great
Danubian provinces, Moldavia and Wallachia, have been taken away, and
thus Russia has been brought to the banks of the Danube. Servia, a vast
and powerful province, has followed, and is now more Russian than
Turkish; and while those limbs have been torn from the great trunk, and
that trunk is still bleeding from the wounds of the late war, it is
forced to more exhausting efforts, the less power it retains. But, with
respect to Russia, he does not look upon her force and her ambition with
the alarm generally entertained of that encroaching and immense power.
He even thinks that, even if she possessed Constantinople, she could not
long retain it.  As all this is future, and of course conjectural, we
may legitimately express our doubts of any authority on the subject.
That Russia does not think with the Marquis is evident, for all her real
movements for the last fifty years have been but preliminaries to the
seizure of Turkey. Her exhibitions in all other quarters have been mere
disguises. She at one time displays a large fleet in the Baltic, or at
another sends an army across Tartary; but she never attempts any thing
with either, except the excitement of alarm. But it is in the direction
of Turkey that all the solid advances are made. There she always
finishes her hostility by making some solid acquisition. She is now
carrying on a wasteful war in the Caucasus; its difficulty has probably
surprised herself, but she still carries it on; and let the loss of life
and the expenditure of money be what they will, she will think them well
encountered if they end in giving her the full possession of the
northern road into Asia Minor. Russia, in possession of Constantinople,
would have the power of inflicting dreadful injuries on Europe. If she
possessed a responsible government, her ambition might be restrained by
public opinion; or the necessity of appealing to the national
representatives for money--of all checks on war the most powerful, and
in fact the grand operative check, at this moment, on the most restless
of European governments, France. But with her whole power, her revenues,
and her military means completely at the disposal of a single mind, her
movements, for either good or evil, are wholly dependent on the caprice,
the ambition, or the absurdity of the individual on the throne. The idea
that Russia would weaken her power by the possession of Constantinople,
seems to us utterly incapable of proof. She has been able to maintain
her power at once on the Black Sea, seven hundred miles from her
capital; on the Danube, at nearly the same distance, and on the Vistula,
pressing on the Prussian frontier. In Constantinople she would have the
most magnificent fortress in the world, the command of the head of the
Mediterranean, Syria, and inevitably Egypt. By the Dardanelles, she
would be wholly inaccessible; for no fleet could pass, if the batteries
on shore were well manned. The Black Sea would be simply her wet-dock,
in which she might build ships while there was oak or iron in the north,
and build them in complete security from all disturbance; for all the
fleets of Europe could not reach them through the Bosphorus, even if
they had forced the Dardanelles--that must be the operation of an army
in the field. On the north, Russia is almost wholly invulnerable. The
Czar might retreat until his pursuers perished of fatigue and hunger.
The unquestionable result of the whole is, that Russia is the real
terror of Europe. France is dangerous, and madly prone to hostilities;
but France is open on every side, and experience shows that she never
can resist the combined power of England and Germany. It is strong
evidence of our position, that she has never _ultimately_ triumphed in
any war against England; and the experience of the last war, which
showed her, with all the advantages of her great military chief, her
whole population thrown into the current of war, and her banner followed
by vassal kings, only the more consummately overthrown, should be a
lesson to her for all ages. But Russia has never been effectually
checked since the reign of Peter the Great, when she first began to
move. Even disastrous wars have only hastened her advance; keen intrigue
has assisted military violence, and when we see even the destruction of
Moscow followed by the final subjugation of Poland, we may estimate the
sudden and fearful superiority which she would be enabled to assume,
with her foot standing on Constantinople, and her arm stretching at will
over Europe and Asia. Against this tremendous result there are but two
checks, the preservation of the Osmanli government by the jealousy of
the European states, and the establishment of a Greek empire at
Constantinople: the former, the only expedient which can be adopted for
the moment, but in its nature temporary, imperfect, and liable to
intrigue: the latter, natural, secure, and lasting. It is to this event
that all the rational hopes of European politicians should be finally
directed. Yet, while the Turk retains possession we must adhere to him;
for treaties must be rigidly observed, and no policy is safe that is not
strictly honest. But if the dynasty should fail, or any of those
unexpected changes occur which leave great questions open, the formation
of a Greek empire ought to be contemplated as the true, and the only,
mode of effectually rescuing Europe from the most formidable struggle
that she has ever seen. But the first measure, even of temporary
defence, ought to be the fortification of Constantinople. It is computed
that the expense would not exceed a million and a half sterling.

The Marquis, by a fortunate chance for a looker-on, happened to be in
the Turkish capital at the time when the populace were all exulting at
the capture of Acre. It was admitted that the British squadron had done
more in rapidity of action, and in effect of firing, than it was
supposed possible for ships to accomplish, and all was popular
admiration and ministerial gratitude. In addition to the lighting of the
mosques for the Ramazan, Pera and Constantinople were lighted up, and
the whole scene was brilliant. Constant salvoes were fired from the
ships and batteries during the day, and at night, of course, all was
splendour on the seven hills of the great city.

On the "Seraskier's Square," two of the Egyptian regiments taken at
Beyrout defiled before the commander-in-chief. The Turkish bands in
garrison moved at their head. The prisoners marched in file; and, having
but just landed from their prison-ships, looked wretchedly. Having a red
woollen bonnet, white jackets, and large white trowsers, they looked
like an assemblage of "cricketers." The men were universally young,
slight made, and active, with sallow cheeks, many nearly yellow, orange,
and even black; still, if well fed and clothed, they would make by no
means bad light troops. The Turks armed and clothed then forthwith, and
scattered them among their regiments; a proceeding which shows that even
the Turk is sharing the general improvement of mankind. Once he would
have thrown them all into the Bosphorus.

From this professional display, the Marquis adjourned to the "Grand
Promenade," where the sultanas see the world, unseen themselves, in
their carriages. "Though," as he writes, "I never had an opportunity of
_verifying_ any thing like Miss Pardoe's anecdote of the 'sentries being
ordered to face about when presenting arms,' rather than be permitted to
gaze on the _tempting_ and _forbidden_ fruit; but, on the contrary,
witnessed soldiers escorting all the sultanas' carriages: it is
nevertheless true, that a gruff attendant attacked and found fault with
me for daring to raise my eyes to a beautiful Turkish woman, whom it was
quite impossible I could admire beyond her forehead and two large black
eyes, eyebrows, and lashes, which glanced from under her yashmack." But
the Marquis has no mercy on the performances of poor Miss Pardoe.

The sultana-mother was a personage of high importance at this time, from
her supposed influence over her son. Her equipage was somewhat
European--a chariot, with hammer-cloth, (apparently lately received from
Long-Acre.) The coachman drove four large bay horses, with a plurality
of reins. There were attendants, running Turks, and guards before to
clear the way. Two open barouches, ornamented after the manner of the
country, followed, and the rear of the sultanas' procession was closed
by arebas (or covered and gilded vans) full of women and slaves.

But the most characteristic display of all is the "Cabinet." "On the
side of this drive is a long colonnade of shops; and, at the bottom of
it, a _barber's_, in which all the ministers of the divan and the pasha
assemble! They sit on cushions in grand conclave and conference; and,
while affecting to discuss the affairs of the state, the direction of
their eyes, and their signs to the recumbent houris in the carriages,
show their thoughts to be directed to other objects."

What should we think of the chancellor, the premier, and the three
secretaries of state, sitting in council at a fruiterer's in Regent
Street, and nodding to the ladies as they pass? But this is not all. The
sultan, in his kiosk, sits at one end of the drive, inspecting the whole
panorama. Still, it is not yet complete; at the lower end of the
colonnade there is a woman-market, where each slave, attended by a
duenna, passes and parades, casting her languishing eyes through the
files of lounging officers and merchants, who crowd this part of the
promenade. All this is essentially Turkish, and probably without any
thing like it in the world besides.

The beauty of the Turkish women is still a matter of dispute. When
beauty is an object of unlimited purchase, its frequency will be
probably found a safe admission. But Turkish women occasionally unveil,
and it is then generally discovered that the veil is one of their
principal charms. They have even been described as merely good-humoured
looking "fatties"--a sufficiently humble panegyric. Lord Londonderry
gives it as his opinion, that they are "not generally handsome, but all
well-built and well-grown, strong, and apparently healthy. Their eyes
and eyebrows are invariably fine and expressive; and their hair is,
beyond measure, superior to that of other nations. The thickness of its
braidings and plaits, and the masses that are occasionally to be seen,
leave no doubt of this."

Long and luxuriant tresses belong to all the southern nations of Europe,
and seem to be the results of heat of climate; and there are few facts
in physiology more singular than the sudden check given to this
luxuriance on the confines of Negroland. There, with all predisposing
causes for its growth, it is coarse, curled, and never attains to length
or fineness of any kind. The Georgians and Circassians were once the
boast of the harem; but the war and the predominance of the Russian
power in the Caucasus, have much restricted this detestable national
traffic--a circumstance said to be much to the regret of both parents
and daughters; the former losing the price, and the latter losing the
preferment, to which the young beauties looked forward as to a certain
fortune. But later experience has told the world, that the charms of
those Armidas were desperately exaggerated by Turkish romance and
European credulity; that the general style of Circassian features,
though fair, is Tartarish, and that the Georgian is frequently coarse
and of the deepest brown, though with larger eyes than the Circassian,
which are small, and like those of the Chinese. The accounts written by
ladies visiting the harems are to be taken with the allowance due to
showy dress, jewels, cosmetics, and the general effect of a prepared
exhibition, scarcely less than theatrical. It is scarcely possible that
either the human face or form can long preserve symmetry of any kind in
a life almost wholly destitute of exercise, in the confined air of their
prison, and in the full indulgence of their meals. Activity, animation,
and grace--the great constituents of all true beauty--must soon perish
in the harem.

The Marquis (an excellent judge of a horse) did not much admire the
steeds of the pashas. On a visit to the Seraskier's stables, the head
groom brought out fourteen, with light Tartars on them to show their
points. Their stables were miserable. The horses were without stalls or
litter, in a dark, ill-paved barn. They were heavily covered with rugs.
Three or four were very fine Arabs; but the rest were of Turkish blood,
with large heads, lopped ears, and thick necks, of indifferent action,
and by no means desirable in any shape.

The interview with the Sultan was the last, and was interesting and
characteristic. The Marquis had naturally expected to find him in the
midst of pomp. Instead of all this, on entering a common French carpeted
room, he perceived, on an ordinary little French sofa, the sovereign
crosslegged, and alone; two small sofas, half-a-dozen chairs, and
several wax-lights, were all the ornaments of this very plain saloon.
But the Sultan was diamonded all over, and fully made amends for the
plainness of his reception-room. As to his person, Abdul-Mehjid is a
tall sallow youth of nineteen or twenty, with a long visage, but
possessing fine eyes and eyebrows, so that, when his face is lighted up,
it is agreeable and spiritual.

We must now close our sketch of those diversified and pleasant volumes.
We regret to hear that their distinguished and active author has lately
met with a severe accident in following the sports of his country; but
we are gratified with the hope of his recovery, and the hope, too, of
seeing him undertake more excursions, and narrate them with equal
interest, truth, and animation.

       *       *       *       *       *




THE CURSE OF GLENCOE.[12]

BY B. SIMMONS.


    [12] The tale that follows is founded upon an incident that
    occurred some little time before the American War, to Colonel
    Campbell of Glenlyon, whose grandfather, the Laird of Glenlyon,
    was the officer in King William's service who commanded at the
    slaughter of the Macdonalds of Glencoe. The anecdote is told in
    Colonel David Stewart's valuable history of the Highland
    Regiments. Edin 1822.


    The fair calm eve on wood and wold
      Shone down with softest ray,
    Beneath the sycamore's red leaf
      The mavis trill'd her lay,
    Murmur'd the Tweed afar, as if
      Complaining for the day.

    And evening's light, and wild-bird's song,
      And Tweed's complaining tune;
    And far-off hills, whose restless pines
      Were beckoning up the moon--
    Beheld and heard, shed silence through
      A lofty dim saloon.

    The fruits of mellow autumn glow'd
      Upon the ebon board;
    The blood that grape of Burgundy
      In other days had pour'd,
    Gleam'd from its crystal vase--but all
      Untasted stood the hoard.

    Two guests alone sat listlessly
      That lavish board beside;
    The one a fair-haired stripling, tall,
      Blithe-brow'd and eager-ey'd,
    Caressing still two hounds in leash,
      That by his chair abide.

    Right opposite, in musing mood,
      A stalwart man was placed,
    With veteran aspect, like a tower
      By war, not time, defaced,
    Whose shatter'd walls exhibit Power
      Contending still with Waste.

    And as the ivy's sudden veil
      Will round the fortress spring,
    Some grief unfading o'er that brow
      Its shadow seemed to fling,
    And made that stalwart man's whole air
      A sad and solemn thing.

    And so they sat, both Youth and Years,
      An hour without a word--
    The pines that beckon'd up the moon
      Their arms no longer stirr'd,
    And through the open windows wide
      The Tweed alone was heard.

    The elder's mood gave way at last,
      Perhaps some sudden whine
    Of the lithe quest-hounds startled him,
      Or timepiece striking nine;
    "Fill for thyself, forgotten Boy,"
      He said, "and pass the wine."

    "A churlish host I ween am I
      To thee, who, day by day,
    Thus comest to cheer my solitude
      With converse frank and gay,
    Or tempt me with thy dogs to course
      The moorlands far away.

    "But still the fit returns"--he paused,
      Then with a sigh resumed,
    "Remember'st thou how once beneath,
      Yon chestnut, when it bloom'd,
    Thou ask'd'st me why I wore the air
      Of spirit disentomb'd;

    "And why, apart from man, I chose
      This mansion grim and hoary,
    Nor in my ancient lineage seem'd,
      Nor ancient name, to glory?
    I shunn'd thy questions then--now list,
      And thou shalt hear the story--

    "With a brief preface, and thro' life
      Believe its warning true--
    That they who (save in righteous cause)
      Their hands with blood imbrue--
    Man's sacred blood--avenging heaven
      Will long in wrath pursue.

    "A curse has fallen upon my race;
      The Law once given in fire,
    While Sinai trembled to its base,
      That curse inflicted dire,
    TO VISIT STILL UPON THE SON,
      THE OFFENCES OF THE SIRE.

    "My fathers strong, of iron hand,
      Had hearts as iron hard,
    That never love nor pity's touch,
      From ruthless deeds bebarr'd.
    And well they held their Highland glen,
      Whatever factions warr'd.

    "When Stuart's great but godless race
      Dissolved like thinnest snow
    Before bright Freedom's face, my clan,
      The Campbells, served their foe.
    --Boy--'twas my grandsire" (soft he said)
      "Commanded at Glencoe."

    The stripling shrank, nor quite suppress'd
      His startled bosom's groan;
    Forward and back the casements huge
      By sudden gust were blown,
    And at the sound one dreaming hound
      Awaken'd with a moan.

    "_Glencoe_--ay, well the word may stir,
      The stoutest heart with fear,
    Or burn with monstrous shame the face
      Of man from year to year,
    As long as Scotland's girdling rocks
      The roar of seas shall hear.

    "Enough--Glenlyon redly earn'd
      The curse he won that night,
    When rising from the social hearth
      He gave the word to smite,
    And all was shriek and helplessness,
      And massacre and flight.

    "And such a flight!--O, outraged Heaven,
      How could'st thou, since, have smiled?
    A fathom deep the frozen snow
      Lay horrid on the wild,
    Where fled to perish youth and age,
      And wife and feeble child.

    "My couch is soft--yet dreams will still
      Convert that couch to snow,
    And in my slumbers shot and shout
      Are ringing from Glencoe."
    That stalwart man arose and paced
      The chamber to and fro,
    While to his brow the sweat-drop sprung
      Like one in mortal throe.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Glenlyon died, be sure, as die
      All desperate men of blood,
    And from my sire (his son) our lands
      Departed sod by sod,
    Till the sole wealth bequeathed me was
      A mother fearing God.

    "She rear'd me in that holy fear,
      In stainless honour's love,
    And from the past she warned me,
      Whate'er my fate should prove,
    To shrink from bloodshed as a sin.
      All human sins above.

    "I kept the precept;--by the sword
      Compell'd to win me bread,
    A soldier's life of storm and strife
      For forty years I led,
    Yet ne'er by this reluctant arm
      Has friend or foeman bled.

    "But still I felt Glencoe's dark curse
      My head suspended o'er,
    --Look, this reluctant hand, for all,
      Is red with human gore!"
    Again that white-lipp'd man arose
      And strode the echoing floor.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "A prosperous course through life was mine
      On rampart, field, and wave,
    Though more my warrior skill than deeds,
      Command and fortune gave.
    Years roll'd away, and I prepared
      To drop the weary glaive.

    "'Twas when beyond th' Atlantic foam,
      To check encroaching France,
    Our war spread wide, and, on his tide,
      In many a martial glance,
    St Lawrence saw grey Albyn's plumes
      And Highland pennons dance.

    "E'en while I waited for the Chief,
      By whom relieved at last,
    Heart-young, though time-worn, I was free
      To hail my country's blast--
    That on a sentry, absent found,
      The doom of death was pass'd.

    "POOR RONALD BLAIR! a fleeter foot
      Ne'er track'd through Morvern moss
    The wind-hoof'd deer; nor swimmer's arm
      More wide the surge could toss
    Than his, for whom dishonour's hand
      Now dug the griesly fosse.

    "Suspicion of those hunter tribes,
      Along whose giant screen
    Of shadowy woods our host encamp'd,
      The early cause had been
    Of rule, that none of Indian race
      Should come our lines within.

    "The law was kept, yet, far away,
      Amid the forests' glade,
    The fair-hair'd warriors of the North
      Woo'd many a dusky maid,
    Who charm'd, perhaps, not less because
      In Nature's garb array'd.

    "And warm and bright as southern night,
      When all is stars and dew,
    Was that dark girl, who, to the banks,
      Where lay her light canoe,
    Lured Ronald's footsteps, day by day,
      What time the sun withdrew.

    "Far down the stream she dwelt, 'twould seem,
      Yet stream nor breeze could bar
    Her little boat, that to a nook,
      Dark with the pine-tree's spar,
    Each evening Ronald saw shoot up
      As constant as a star.

    "Alone she came--she went alone:--
      She came with fondest freight
    Of maize and milky fruits and furs
      Her lover's eyes to greet;
    She went--ah, 'twas her bosom then,
      Not bark, that bore the weight!

    "How fast flew time to hearts like theirs!
      The ruddy summer died,
    And Arctic frosts must soon enchain
      St. Lawrence' mighty tide;
    But yet awhile the little boat
      Came up the river-side.

    "One night while from their northern lair
      With intermittent swell,
    The keen winds grumbled loud and long,
      To Ronald's turn it fell
    Close to the shore to keep the lines,
      A lonely sentinel.

    "'Twas now the hour was wont to bring
      His Indian maid; and hark!
    As constant as a star it comes,
      That small love-laden bark,
    It anchors in the cove below--
      She calls him through the dark.

    "He dared not answer, dared not stir,
      Where Discipline had bound him;
    Nor was there need--led by her heart
      The joyous girl has found him;
    She understands it not, nor cares,
      Her raptured arms are round him.

    "He kiss'd her face--he breathed low
      Those brook-like, murmuring words
    That, without meaning, speak out all
      The heart's impassion'd chords,
    The truest language human lip
      To human lip affords.

    "He pointed towards the distant camp,
      Her clasping arms undid,
    And show'd that till the morrow's sun
      Their meeting was forbid;
    She went--her eyes in tears--he call'd,
      And kiss'd them from the lid.

    "She went--he heard her far below
      Unmoor her little boat;
    He caught the oars' first dip that sent
      It from the bank afloat;
    Next moment, down the tempest swept
      With an all-deafening throat.

    "Loud roar'd the storm, but louder still
      The river roar'd and rose,
    Tumbling its angry billows, white
      And huge as Alpine snows;
    Yet clear through all, one piercing cry
      His heart with terror froze.

    "She shrieks, and calls upon the name
      She learn'd to love him by;
    The waves have swamp'd her little boat--
      She sinks before his eye!
    And he must keep his dangerous post,
      And leave her there to die!

    "One moment's dreadful strife--Love wins;
      He plunges in the water;
    The moon is out, his strokes are stout,
      The swimmer's arm has caught her,
    And back he bears, with gasping heart,
      The Forest's matchless daughter!

    "'Twas but a chance!--her life is gain'd,
      And his is gone--for, lo!
    The picquet round has come, and found,
      Left open to the foe,
    The dangerous post that Ronald kept
      So short a time ago.

    "They met him bearing her--he scorn'd
      To palter or to plead:
    Arrested--bound--ere beat of drum,
      The Judgment-court decreed
    That Ronald Blair should with his life
      Pay forfeit for his deed.

    "He knew it well--that deed involved
      Such mischief to the host,
    While prowling spy and open foe
      Watch'd every jealous post,
    That, of a soldier's crimes, it call'd
      For punishment the most.

    "On me, as senior in command,
      The charge I might not shun
    Devolved, to see the doom of death
      Upon the culprit done.
    The place--a league from camp; the hour--
      The morrow's evening sun.

    "Meanwhile some touches of the tale
      That reach'd the distant tent
    Of Him who led the war in Chief,
      Won justice to relent.
    That night, in private, a REPRIEVE
      Unto my care was sent,

    "With secret orders to pursue
      The sentence to the last,
    And when the prisoner's prayer was o'er,
      And the death-fillet past,
    _But not till then_, to read to him
      That Pardon for the past.

    "The morrow came; the evening sun
      Was sinking red and cold,
    When Ronald Blair, a league from camp
      We led, erect and bold,
    To die the soldier's death, while low
      The funeral drum was roll'd.

    "With arms reversed, our plaided ranks
      The distance due retire,
    The fatal musqueteers advance
      The signal to require:
    '_Till I produce this kerchief blue,
      Be sure withhold your fire_.'

    "His eyes are bound--the prayer is said--
      He kneels upon his bier;
    So dread a silence sank on all,
      You might have heard a tear
    Drop to the earth. My heart beat quick
      With happiness and fear,

    "To feel conceal'd within my vest
      A parting soul's relief!
    I kept my hand on that REPRIEVE
      Another moment brief;
    Then drew it forth, but with it drew,
      O God! the handkerchief.

    "He fell!--and whether He or I
      Had died I hardly knew--
    But when the gusty forest breeze
      Aside the death-smoke blew,
    I heard those bearing off the dead,
      Proclaim that there were _two_.

    "They said that as the volley ceased,
      A low sob call'd them where
    They found an Indian maiden dead,
      Clasping in death's despair
    One feather from a Highland plume
      And one bright lock of hair.

    "I've long forgot what follow'd, save
      That standing by his bier,
    I shouted out the words some fiend
      Was whispering in my ear--
    'My race is run--_the curse of Heaven
      And of Glencoe is here_!'[13]

    "From that dark hour all hope to me,
      All _human_ hope was gone;
    I shrank from life a branded man--
      I sought my land alone,
    And of a stranger's purchased halls
      I joy'd to make my own.

    "Thou'st known me long as Campbell--now
      Thou know'st the Campbell's story,
    And why, apart from man, I chose
      This mansion grim and hoary,
    Nor in my ancient lineage seem'd,
      Nor ancient name, to glory.

    "Though drear my lot, yet, noble boy,
      Not always I repine;
    Come, wipe those watery drops away
      That in thine eyelids shine;
    Fill for thyself," the old man said,
      "Once more, and pass the wine."

    [13] Such was his exclamation, as repeated in the History
    before referred to. Colonel Campbell always imputed the
    unfortunate occurrence that clouded the evening of his life to
    the share his ancestor had in the disastrous affair of Glencoe.

       *       *       *       *       *




THE MARTYRS' MONUMENT.

A MONOLOGUE.


    Now glory to our Councillors, that true and trusty band--
    And glory to each gallant heart that loathes its fatherland;
    And glory evermore to those who the battle first began,
    For the cause of just fraternity, and the equal rights of man.

    Ye citizens of Mary-le-bone! 'twas yours to point the way
    How freemen best might mock the laws which none but slaves obey;
    How classic fanes should rise to mark the honour that we owe
    To all who hated Church and King, and planned their overthrow.

    O fresh and bright shone reason's light through superstition's gloom,
    When one and all ye heard the call of honest Joseph Hume;
    When listening to his flowing words, than honey-dew more sweet,
    Ye sate, dissolved in holy tears, at that Gamaliel's feet!

    How touchingly he spoke of those now gather'd to their rest,
    By knaves and laws upbraided, but by righteous patriots bless'd;
    How brightly gleamed his eagle eye, as he poured his ancient grudge
    On that foul throng that wrought them wrong--on Jury and on Judge!

    Well may ye boast among the host of patriots tried and true,
    That to your bold humanity the foremost place is due;
    Yet others follow fast behind, though ye have led the van,
    In the cause of just fraternity, and the equal rights of man!

    Dun-Edin's civic Councillors come closely in your wake,
    They, too, can feel for injured truth, and blush for Scotland's sake;
    Well have they wiped the stain away, affix'd in former years
    Upon the citizens of France, and on their bold compeers.

    Let women moan and maunder against the glorious time,
    When France arose in all her might, when loyalty was crime;
    When prison shambles stream'd with blood, and red the gutters ran,
    In the cause of just fraternity, and the equal rights of man!

    When piled within the crazy boats, chain'd closely to the beam,
    By hundreds the aristocrats sank in the sullen stream;
    When age and sex were no respite, and merrily and keen,
    From morning until night, rush'd down the clanking guillotine.

    'Tis ours to render homage, where homage most is due--
    Now glory be to DANTON, and to his valiant crew--
    And glory to those mighty shades, who never stoop'd to spare,
    The virtuous regicides of France, and the hero, ROBESPIERRE.

    But greater glory still to those, who strove within our land,
    To hoist the cap of liberty, and bare the British brand,
    To drag our ancient Parliament from its place of honour down,
    To ride rough-shod upon the Lords, and spit upon the Crown.

    What though the bigots of the bench declared their treason vile--
    What though they languish'd slowly in the felon's distant isle--
    Shall we, the children of Reform, withhold our just applause
    From those who loved the people and, of course, despised the laws?

    We'll rear a stately monument--we'll build it fair and high,
    And on the porch this graven verse shall greet the passers-by--
    "IN HONOUR OF THE MARTYRS WHO THE BATTLE FIRST BEGAN
    FOR THE CAUSE OF JUST FRATERNITY, AND THE EQUAL RIGHTS OF MAN!"

    'Twill be a proud memorial, when we have pass'd away,
    Of old Dun-Edin's loyalty, and the Civic Council's sway;
    And it shall stand while earth is green and skies are summer blue,
    Eternal as the sleep of those who fell at Peterloo!

    Were I a chosen Councillor--a tetrarch of the town,
    I'd drag from off their pedestals these Tory statues down;
    I'd make a universal sweep of all that serves to show
    How vilely the aristocrats have used us long ago.

    The column rear'd to victory in that detested war,
    When the Tricolor went down before our flag at Trafalgar,
    The column that hath taught our sons to mutter Nelson's name,
    I'd level straightway with the dust, and with it sink our shame.

    Yes! in that place a classic fane should stand where Nelson's stood,
    With new baptismal cognizance from famous THISTLEWOOD;
    His bust should in the centre shine, and round it, placed on guard,
    The effigies of HATFIELD, INGS, and of the good DESPARD.

    There's Pitt, the Lar of Frederick Street--O shame to us and ours!
    Was it not he whose policy struck back the Gallic powers?
    Was it not he whose iron hand so ruthlessly kept down
    The tide of bold democracy, and saved the British crown?

    I'd fetch him from his lofty perch; I'd dash him on the stones;
    I'd serve the lifeless bronze the same as I'd have served his bones;
    And on the empty stance I would in radiant metal show,
    A bolder and a braver man--the patriot PAPINEAU.

    Down, down, I say, with George the Fourth!--for him there's no delay;
    Let all askance direct their glance, for virtue's sake, we pray;
    So says our new Pygmalion, the purist of the town,
    'Twere shame that he compelled should be, in passing, to look down.

    Let's find another statue of the brave old English breed,
    A worthy of an earlier age--a champion good at need;
    No cause were then to seem ashamed, though slaves might feel afraid,
    When emancipated bondsmen bow'd to the image of JACK CADE.

    There's room enough where Royal Charles sits stiffly in the Square,
    To rear a double effigy--Why not of BURKE and HARE?
    Though not in freedom's cause they died, remember'd let it be,
    That science has its martyrdom, as well as liberty.

    A monument to Walter Scott!--A monument forsooth!
    What has that bigot done for us, for freedom, or for truth?
    He always back'd the Cavalier against the Puritan,
    And sneer'd at just fraternity, and the equal rights of man.

    What good to us have ever done his Legends of Montrose,
    Of Douglas and of dark Dundee, the fellest of our foes?
    What care we for the Border chiefs, or for the Stuart line,
    Or the thraldom of the people in "the days of auld langsyne?"

    Men dream'd not of equality in days so darkly wild,
    Nor was the peasant's bantling _then_ mate for the baron's child;
    But we've learn'd another lesson since the golden age drew near,
    And working men may keep the wall, and jostle prince and peer.

    Ye fools! take down your monument--or rear it, if ye will,
    But choose another effigy that lofty niche to fill.
    None better, say ye? Pause awhile, and I will tell you one,
    Who never bent the servile knee at altar or at throne.

    No fond illusions dull'd _his_ eye, no tales of wither'd eld;
    No childish faith was _his_ to trust aught save what he beheld;
    No sovereignty would he allow save Reason's rightful reign;
    No laws save those of Nature's code--and such was THOMAS PAINE.

    Place him within your Gothic arch, the only fit compeer
    Of those whose martyr monument the Council seek to rear;
    Since traitors to the laws of man may boldly look abroad,
    Towards the image of their friend who broke the laws of God.

    Since anarchy must have its meed, let's leave no statue here,
    That might from other lips than ours provoke a cynic sneer:
    If temples must be built to crime, we'll worship there alone,
    Nor leave a mark of loyalty or honour in the stone.

    Then glory to our Councillors, that true and trusty band--
    And glory to each gallant heart that loathes its fatherland;
    And glory evermore to those who the battle first began,
    For the cause of just fraternity, and the equal rights of man!

       *       *       *       *       *




TASTE AND MUSIC IN ENGLAND.


PART I.


The heart of an Englishman must ever swell with pride as he contemplates
his country's greatness. He looks around him, and his eye every where
meets with the signs of increasing opulence and prosperity, while his
ear is filled with the busy hum of an industrious, and, despite the idle
babblings of the ignorant, and the empty declamation of interested,
selfish, and disappointed men, a contented population, happy in the
enjoyment of comfort, beyond that of the labouring classes of most other
countries. He visits her marts, her harbours, and her ports--men of all
nations are met together there--fleets of rich argosies are ever
arriving and departing--and myriads of steamers flit to and fro, happily
now engaged in promoting the arts of peace, but ready at a moment's
notice to become the defenders of his country's shores, and, as recent
events have shown the world, able also to carry war and devastation
along the coasts of her enemies, even to the uttermost parts of the
earth. He explores the seats of her manufactures; there he beholds vast
edifices teeming with crowds of work-people, occupied in supplying the
wants of mankind. In short, wherever he bends his steps, all are
usefully employed--industry, enterprise, and perseverance, are found
throughout the land. He also feels it no vain boast to be a denizen of
that small isle, whose inhabitants, by their own proper energy, have
extended their dominion over a territory on which the sun never sets--
peopled by upwards of two hundred million souls--consisting of colonies,
nations, and people, differing from each other in form of person,
complexion, habits, manners, and in language--elements apparently the
most discordant and heterogeneous, yet firmly knit and bound into one
vast glorious empire, which, successfully resisting the rudest shocks,
often assaulted, ever victorious, and, thanks to the bravery of her
warriors, and the wisdom of those who now guide her councils, having
defeated alike the open attacks and the secret machinations of her
enemies, at this moment constitutes the most powerful state of ancient
or modern times--abounding in wealth, and rejoicing in freedom, beyond
all other nations of the earth.

He glories also in the intellectual pre-eminence of his country. Her
victories by sea and land attest the genius of her captains; her
institutions bear witness to the sagacity of her lawgivers and her
statesmen. Her railroads, docks, canals, and other public works, bear
the marks of superior intelligence acting for the general good. His
countrymen were the first to press steam into the active service of
mankind. By the genius of Watt and his successors, a power, before
destructive and uncontrollable, has been rendered the mighty agent of
man's will, the supplier of his wants, and the minister of his
convenience. Through their inventions, steam has become, as it were, the
breath, the life, of a noble animal of man's creation, untiring in its
ceaseless labours, irresistible in its tremendous strength; and, when
its maker chooses to endow it with powers of motion, fleeter also than
the wind, but of imposing might and majesty as it pursues its headlong
course; and yet, withal, checked by a single touch, yielding a perfect
obedience to the hand of its ruler, and submissive to the slightest
intimation of his will. In the walks of science, literature, and
philosophy, he finds equal reason to be proud of his country. Splendid
discoveries in every branch of science meet him as he enquires, and but
a few years have passed away since the death of one--Sir Humphry
Davy--of whom it is scarce too much to say, that he revolutionized a
great science by his discoveries, or that, by the power of his single
intellect, he dived deeper into the hidden mysteries of the material
world than all preceding generations had been able to penetrate. In
short, an Englishman finds his country possessed of warriors, statesmen,
philosophers, historians, poets, and authors, in every branch of
literature, who are the admiration of the whole civilized world. In all
these, England stands proudly pre-eminent, the first, the very first,
among the nations. It is much to be able to feel this, but an Englishman
would fain feel even more than this; his noble ambition is to see his
country first in every thing; he would have her pre-eminent alike in the
fine arts and those pursuits which distinguish the recreations and
amusements of a refined and polished people, as in the more useful
arts of life.

But here the pleasing portion of the picture ceases--

    "Ogni medaglia ha il suo rovescio,"

every medal has its obverse, says the Italian proverb; and the
comparatively low rank which his country occupies in this new field of
view, is a melancholy contemplation for an Englishman. He finds that, in
general, things are judged of only by the measure of their practical
utility, and that the beautiful and the useful are usually deemed to be
incompatible; thereby affording, however reluctantly we may admit it, at
least some justification of Napoleon's celebrated and bitter reproach,
that we are a nation of shopkeepers. It would seem, in truth, that we do
not possess that quick perception of the beautiful which is enjoyed by
the more excitable and imaginative sons of the south. In painting, we
believe we possess a school second to none of modern art. But, beautiful
as their works may be, can we place our Reynolds, Lawrence, Hogarth, and
Gainsborough in competition with Raphael, Correggio, Rubens, or Claude?
In sculpture also, can Westmacott, or even Chantrey--we speak with
reverence of the illustrious dead--be compared with Michael Angelo or
Giovanni de Bologna? When pressed on these topics, the candid Englishman
must, with a sigh, confess his country's inferiority. Architecture also,
with few exceptions, has long been our reproach. We judge of the degree
of civilization and refinement to which ancient Greece and Rome
attained, by the beauty and elegance of their mutilated remains. We find
their temples, even in ruins, beautiful beyond the day-dream of our
modern architects; some of them, till bold and sacrilegious hands
despoiled them, adorned with sculptures which, surviving the destruction
of the people who raised them, the wanton rage of barbarous enemies, and
the inroads of the elements for near two thousand years, sill remain, in
their decay, the wonder and admiration of the world, the models of
modern sculptors, and the greatest treasure of art a nation can possess.

In the lapse of ages, perhaps, England, in her turn, may be deserted,
her mines exhausted, her edifies ruined, her existence as a nation
terminated. The site of her vast metropolis may once more become an
undulating verdant plain, intersected by a tidal river; and, perhaps,
nothing may remain outwardly to show the curious traveller where the
ancient city stood. The pristine abode of man upon the earth, may again
be thickly peopled, and civilization may have rolled back to the south,
its ancient source. Then may history or tradition vaguely tell of
powerful nations who once flourished in the north; their very existence
doubted, perhaps, by all, and by many disbelieved. Some day, perchance,
one whom accident or curiosity may have brought to the shores of ancient
Britain, may wend his weary way along the bank of the noblest river of
the land. On a mound a little higher than the rest, something on which
the hand of man had evidently been employed may attract his attention,
and stimulate him to search among the tangled weeds and brushwood which
grow around. The discovery of a marble fragment may, perhaps, eventually
lead to the uncovering of one of those statues which now grace the
interior of our St Paul's, on the site of which the stranger had
unconsciously been exploring. Or, suppose the traveller to have bent his
steps in a north-easterly direction, towards the foot of that gentle
slope which terminates at the base of the heights of Highgate and of
Hampstead. Suppose him, by some strange chance, to stumble upon that
incomparable specimen of modern sculpture which stands on high at
King's-Cross, lifted up, in order, we presume, to enable the good
citizens duly to feast their eyes upon its manifold perfections, as they
daily hie them to and fro between their western or suburban retreats and
the purlieus of King Street or Cheapside. What estimate would the
stranger form of the taste or skill of those who placed on its pedestal
the statue we have first supposed him to have found? It avails not to
disguise the truth. What that truth may be, we leave to the intelligence
of the reader to divine. But what would be the effect of the other
discovery we have imagined? The traveller would turn away, convinced
that history or tradition gave false accounts of the power and genius of
the ancient inhabitants of the land on which he trod, that their glory
was a dream, their civilization a delusion, their proficiency in the
arts a fable. For the honour of our country, let us hope that the figure
of which we speak may not be suffered much longer to disgrace a leading
thoroughfare of our metropolis. It has already stood some eight or ten
years, a melancholy monument of English taste and English art in the
nineteenth century.

For the attainment of excellence in the higher branches of art, as has
been well observed by an intelligent foreigner, M. Passavant, it is
requisite that a people should possess deep poetic feeling, and that art
should not be considered among them as a thing of separate nature, but
that it should interweave itself with the ties of social life, and be
employed in adding beauty to its nearest, dearest interests. Now, the
English, he continues, are more disposed to an active than to a
contemplative life. They possess, it must be owned, a character of much
earnestness and energy; yet, from the earliest times, their attention
has been more directed to the cultivation of the mechanical arts and the
sciences appertaining to them than to those nobler branches of art which
flourish spontaneously in a more contemplative nation. This
characteristic disposition, and the physical activity necessarily
connected with it, have been by some ascribed to the influence of our
climate, to our moist and heavy atmosphere, and clouded skies, to
counteract the influence of which, and to preserve a counterbalancing
buoyancy of mind and body, an active habit of life is requisite. But
this hypothesis is untenable; for Flanders, with a similar climate, and
flourishing likewise by means of its native industry, affords sufficient
proof how little these circumstances are prejudicial to the cultivation
of the fine arts. Perhaps a better reason may be found in the wide
difference which is observable between the national habits of our
countrymen and those of the people among whom the arts have been
cultivated with the greatest success. In those countries where the
beautiful was felt, where the arts were objects of national importance,
where a people assembled to award the palm between rival sculptors; and
also, in comparatively modern times, when a reigning monarch did not
disdain to pick up a painter's pencil, and a whole city mourned an
artist's death, and paid honours to his remains; all the rank, wealth,
genius, talent, taste, and intelligence of the people were concentrated
in one grand focus. Among the states of ancient Greece and modern Italy,
the city was in fact the nation; and at Athens, Rome, Venice, and
Florence, was collected all of genius, taste, and talent, the people as
a body possessed. The mental qualities were thereby rendered more acute,
and the tastes and manners of the people more refined and cultivated, by
constant intercourse and communication with each other. This refinenent
was shared by all classes, and the lower taking pattern from the higher,
the whole mass was learned. In England, the very reverse of this takes
place. Here, for the most part, those alone frequent our towns, whose
doom it is to labour for their bread, they have no leisure from the
engrossing pursuits of wealth; business, like a jealous mistress, leaves
them no time for other objects. In spite of various disadvantages of
soil and climate, the taste for rural pursuits seems part and parcel of
our nature, and that species of the genus _homo_, the country gentleman,
seems peculiar to our island. Till within a few years, the great
majority of this class, whose abundant wealth and leisure might seem to
constitute them the peculiar patrons of the arts, seldom or never
frequented even the metropolis, but for generations remained fixed and
immovable in the place of their forefathers, rooted to the soil as one
of their old oaks. "His guns, dogs, and horses, were the things the
squire held most dear." Hunting, shooting, and other sports, formed not
only the amusements of his leisure hours, but the business of his life.
His intercourse with the world confined to a narrow circle of
acquaintance, all of the same tastes and pursuits with himself, he could
learn or know no others. Generous pursuits, hospitable, liberal, and
open hearted, hating alike poachers and dissenters, possessed of many
virtues, avoiding many a crime, discharging the duties, as well as
exercising the rights of property; exemplary in all the relations of
life, a good father, a tender husband, a kind master, an indulgent
landlord, a blessing to himself and those around him, he lived and died
the _Squire Western_ of his day, without that refinement and cultivation
of the tastes and mental powers which the more polished inhabitants of
the metropolis insensibly contract. Sure there were many to whom this
does not apply, many who combined the "gifts" of both a town and country
life. But, nevertheless such was the great bulk of that class, among
whom, had London been England, as even in our own time Paris is or was
France, the beautiful would not probably have been so much neglected.

So occupied have the great mass of our countrymen been in the pursuit of
wealth, that all that did not directly contribute to this end has been
uniformly rejected as useless. A familiar example of the truth of this
observation may be seen in the numerous factories and other buildings
erected for commercial purposes, in the manufacturing districts of
Lancashire and Yorkshire. In buildings of this class, all embellishment
and ornament, however simple, which good taste, had it been consulted,
might have suggested, to relieve the wearying straightness of outline,
or the plain dull flatness of these large ponderous masses of brick and
mortar, have been neglected, or rejected, probably as not increasing its
productive powers, and therefore unworthy of consideration. Such has
been the general principle. But this neglect has at length recoiled upon
the heads of its promoters. As long as the world was content to take our
manufactures as we chose to make them--when, no other nation having
entered the lists with us, we were without competitors, and absolute
masters of the commerce of the world, this make-all save-all principle
was undoubtedly the most effective. But now, when our manufacturers meet
with the keenest competition in every market; when a suicidal export of
machinery enables the foreigner immediately to benefit by every
mechanical discovery, or improvement in machinery, that is made by our
engineers, the case is wholly altered, and the English manufacturer
finds out the grievous mistake that he has made. Beauty of design has at
length become of paramount importance, and the beautiful, so long
neglected, is now avenged. The public taste has advanced too fast. Since
the introduction of foreign goods, such as silks and other ornamental
fabrics, the inferiority of our native designs for these materials has
become manifest to all. We are credibly informed, that there now exists
a regular organized system, viz. supply of French designs to our
manufacturers; that from these designs all their ideas are borrowed and
all their patterns taken, and that, in fact, scarcely a single pattern
of purely home invention is worked in a season. The manufacturers are,
however, now roused from their lethargy, and great efforts are made to
remedy the evil. Schools of design are established, and copyright of
design has just been conferred by act of parliament. In some of our
commercial towns, large rooms or galleries are opened to the mechanic,
where he may study the beautiful and ideal from casts and models of the
antique. Pictures also are occasionally exhibited for his instruction.
These are indeed great and praiseworthy efforts, in which
utilitarianism has assumed a new character, and found a new field of
action. These novel institutions, not organized and supported from a
pure abstract love of the arts ostensibly promoted by them, but from
dire necessity created by successful competition in the more elegant
branches of manufacture, in which the exercise of taste and fancy is
required, may eventually produce great general results; years, however,
must necessarily elapse before their benefits can be felt.

We have hitherto purposely abstained from any allusion to music and
musical taste, for the purpose of showing, that music is not the only
fruit of civilization which has not as yet arrived at maturity among
us; and also for the purpose of ascertaining, whether there might not be
some general causes in operation, which affect, in an equal degree,
every branch of the more intellectual refinements of civilized life. In
this case, the low standard of musical taste and science which will
hereafter become the subject of more particular observation, cannot be
attributed solely to causes which relate exclusively to music, but must
be considered as one amongst other results of general principles. If
there be any truth in the foregoing speculations, they apply more
particularly to music, and musical taste and science, than to the fine
arts, to which we have hitherto confined our observations. Music is
peculiarly a social pursuit. It can be cultivated only among the haunts
of men. The taste deteriorates, and the mental standard of excellence
which each possesses, is lowered when really good music is seldom or
never heard. By "the million," it can be heard only while mixing with
the world at large; the performer can acquire his mastery over the
instrument, at the cost of much time and labour, and he can maintain
this mastery, and the purity of his style, only where he can compare
himself with others of acknowledged excellence. This can be done only
where men congregate in large and populous cities, where the want of
amusement is best supplied; the recluse or the solitary man can be
no musician.

It may seem anomalous at first sight, and we can well conceive it to be
objected to our argument, that it is impossible, that while
architecture, sculpture, painting, and music, should have been
comparatively neglected, that literature, in all its branches, should be
so highly esteemed among us. Milton, and more especially Shakspeare,
have never lost one tittle of their value; nay, even at this moment,
there are three rival editions of Shakspeare's works in the course of
publication. Many volumes of poetry put in their claim to immortality
every year. Novel after novel appears each to elbow its predecessor out
of the public mind, and be in its turn forgotten. It is easy to imagine,
that to many it may appear a paradox in the history of the human race,
that a people should exist, endowed by nature with a high degree of
poetic feeling, having, as Mr Hallam observes, produced more eminent
original poets than any other nation can boast, and attaching a high
value to literary talent of every description, but, nevertheless, whose
attainments in the fine arts during a thousand years of national
existence, should never have passed mediocrity. This apparent
inconsistency, however, lies only on the surface. The language of true
poetry is understood by all; it strikes home: however rude the thoughts,
however uncultivated the understanding, the heart can feel; and it is to
the heart the poet speaks; and even in the rudest ages of mankind his
power was acknowledged. Voltaire has remarked, that "amusement is one of
the wants of man".

Novels are taken up to amuse the vacant hour--in this consists their
use. They are read without effort--the mind lies fallow as they are
perused, and no study is required, no cultivation of any taste is
necessary, to place this amusement within reach. With music and the fine
arts, this is not so. The taste for these pursuits requires cultivation;
and in order to estimate and appreciate them correctly, the judgment
must be formed by a process of education, far different from that which
enables all who read to value our poets and authors in the various
departments of literature.

On examining the records of mankind, it will be found that this has been
the ordinary succession of events in the history of civilization; and
that poetry and oratory, the more independent efforts of the human mind,
appear in the earlier stages of society, and that by them man is first
distinguished as an intellectual and rational creature.

Of Egyptian literature, we know nothing. The destruction of the library
of the Ptolemies may be the principal cause of our ignorance. The
gigantic remains of this people, and the manner in which they worked in
a stone which no modern tool will touch, show that among them the useful
arts were considerably advanced. We have, however, abundant evidence of
the small degree of proficiency in the fine arts. Their sculptors are
characterized by Flaxman as "mere beginners," or "laborious mechanics;"
their works as "lifeless forms, menial vehicles of an idea." When
Egyptian art ended, then Grecian art began. It appears, however, to have
made but little progress down to the time of Homer; and Daedalus and his
disciple Eudaeus are, we believe, the only artists of that early period
whose fame has survived. These sculptors worked in wood, and by their
proficiency we may form a pretty accurate idea of the state of art in
Greece when Homer wrote. The works of Daedalus are described by Pausanias
as rude and uncomely in aspect. In his Grecian tour, Pausanias twice
makes mention of a statue of Hercules by Daedalus, from which
circumstance it would appear to have been held in high estimation. On
this statue Flaxman observes--"In the British Museum, as well as in
other collections in Europe, are several small bronzes of a naked
Hercules, whose right arm, holding a club, is raised to strike; whilst
the left is extended, bearing a lion's skin as a shield. From the style
of extreme antiquity in these statues--from the rude attempt at bold
action, which was the peculiarity of Daedalus--the general adoption of
this action in the early ages--the traits of savage nature in the face
and figure, expressed with little knowledge, but strong feeling--by the
narrow loins, turgid muscles of the breast, thighs, and calves of the
legs, will all find reason to believe they are copied from the
above-mentioned statue." Greece, it must be owned, possessed musicians
long anterior to Homer: Chiron the Centaur, regarded by the ancients as
one of the inventors of medicine, botany, and chirurgery, who, when
eighty-eight years of age, formed the constellations for the use of the
Argonauts; Linus, the preceptor of Hercules, who added a string to the
lyre, and is said to be the inventor of rhythm and melody; Orpheus, who
also extended the scale of the lyre, and was the inventor and propagator
of many arts and doctrines among the Greeks; and Musaeus, the priest of
Ceres, are all remembered as musicians, as well as poets, historians,
and philosophers; characters which, in those days, were all combined in
the same individuals. The ancients, indeed, appear to have used the term
music in a much more extended sense than has been attached to it in
modern times, and to have applied it to all the arts and sciences. But
even if the ancient meaning of the term were identical with its modern
signification, there may be good reason to suppose that their fame as
musicians would principally survive. The memory of these first
preceptors of mankind was long preserved as the general benefactors of
their species. But while the other arts they taught advanced, it does
not appear that music made any progress. Thus, they came chiefly to be
remembered for that talent in which posterity had produced no equals. As
poets they were once celebrated; but, eclipsed by the glory and
splendour of the great historian of Troy, their poetical productions
were forgotten; whilst, as musicians, unrivalled through many centuries,
their skill was long remembered as the most excellent the world had
ever known. The arts of sculpture and painting appear to have remained
even more stationary than music. For, while about the middle or latter
end of the seventh century, B.C., the names of Archilochus and Terpander
adorn the page of musical history, followed by many others, including
Alcaeus, Sappho, and Simonides, down to Pindar and his rival Corinna, the
former of whom, according to the chronology of Dr Blair, died in 435
B.C. aged 86, it is evident, says Flaxman, "that sculpture was 800
years, from Daedalus to the time immediately preceding Phidias, in
attaining a tolerable resemblance of the human form." It appears,
therefore, that the greatest epic poem ever written had been read,
appreciated, and admired, for nearly five centuries before the arts
arrived at perfection. Then, indeed, there burst a flood of glory over
ancient Greece, and names never to be forgotten were borne upon the
tide. Contemporary with Pindar and Corinna were Phidias, Alcamenes, and
many other sculptors, together with poets, philosophers, warriors, and
statesmen; men whose names will rise superior to the lapse of time, and
whose fame, like the rocky barriers of the ocean, on which the elements
in vain expend their fury, will be of equal duration with the
world itself.

Ancient Rome was indebted to others for all of the liberal arts and
sciences she possessed. In the earlier periods of her existence, and
before Greece had become known in Rome, Etruria was the instructress of
her sons. When Greece had been subdued, and rendered a tributary
province of the all-conquering city, her polished people, nevertheless,
exercised an intellectual sovereignty over their masters. In the streets
of Athens a singular spectacle was exhibited; _there_ might be seen the
conqueror learning of the vanquished; Romans, of exalted rank and
unbounded power, had become the disciples of Grecian philosophers.
Nevertheless, when Rome possessed orators and poets, each of whom
has raised

    "Monumentum aere perennius,"

in that the golden age of her existence, it does not appear, says Dr
Burney, that "except Vitruvius, the Romans had one architect, sculptor,
painter, or musician; those who have been celebrated in the arts of Rome
having been Asiatics or European Greeks, who came to exercise such arts
among the Latins, as the Latins had not among themselves. This custom
was continued under the successors of Augustus; and those Romans who
were prevented, by more important concerns, from going into Greece,
combined, in a manner, to bring Greece to Rome, by receiving into their
service the most able professors of Greece and Asia in all the arts."
Vitruvius, in the chapter on music inserted in his treatise on
architecture, complains that "the science of music, in itself obscure,
is particularly so to such as understand not the Greek language." This
observation shows the low state of music at Rome at that time; indeed
Vitruvius is said to be the first who has treated of music in the
Latin tongue.

Modern Europe also furnishes another illustration and example of the
truth of our proposition. When the mists of ignorance and superstition
which had for centuries enveloped the world, had begun to clear away,
and when Europe first attempted to throw off the errors of the Dark
Ages, the arts were dead, and the only music known was that cultivated
by the monks and clergy, as necessary to their profession, and the songs
of the Troubadours. "The fame of the Troubadours," remarks Mr Hallam,
"depends less on their positive excellence than on the darkness of
preceding ages, the temporary sensation they excited, and their
permanent influence on the state of European poetry." The intrinsic
merit of the music of this period may be collected from the following
observation of Dr Burney:--"However barbarous and wretched the melody
and harmony of the secular songs of this period may have been, they were
in both respects superior to the music of the church." The Troubadours
flourished from the middle of the twelfth century till the latter end of
the fourteenth century, when their dissolute and licentious habits
caused them to be universally banished and proscribed. During the
barbarism of these times, not only had the arts themselves been lost,
but even the principles on which they rest had been forgotten. Italy,
indeed, possessed many ancient marbles, but they seemed to have lost
their value; and it was not till the thirteenth century that any attempt
to imitate these remains of antiquity was made. Nicola Pisano, about the
year 1231, taking for his model an ancient sarcophagus at Pisa, which
contained the remains of Beatrice, mother of the Countess Matilda,
sculptured an urn--a feat in those days so extraordinary, as to have
conferred upon him the title of Nicolas of the Urn. This artist, in the
words of Lanzi, "was the first to see and follow light." He was,
however, more ambitious than successful, and was followed by his sons
and others, in whose hands the art seems to have no very rapid progress.
The art of painting, in which there were no models in existence, was
later in manifesting any improvement. It was not till after the year
1250 that, according to Vasari, some Greek painters were invited to
Florence by the rulers of the city, for the express purpose of restoring
the art to Florence, where it was rather wholly lost than degenerated.
Cimabue, the reviver of painting, received instruction from the Greeks.
He died in 1300. Fierce as the age in which he lived, says Lanzi, his
Madonnas were without beauty, and his angels, even in the same picture,
were all in the same attitude. To Cimabue succeeded his pupil, the
famous Giotto, who died in 1337. With him the ruggedness of his master's
manner was softened down, and considerable advances made towards a
better style. He was honourably received at many of the principal towns
and cities of Italy, and may, perhaps, be considered as the real founder
of their several schools; at all events, painters every where were long
the imitators of Giotto. His faults partook also of the character of the
age, and among other defects, the dry hardness of his works has given
rise to an opinion, that he partly formed his style upon the works of
the Pisani. Giotto and his school, indeed, conducted the art through
infancy, but it still exhibited many signs of childhood, especially in
chiara-oscuro, and even more so in perspective. Figures sometimes
appeared as if sliding from the canvass--buildings had not the true
point of view, and foreshortening was only rudely attempted. Stefano
Fiorentino, a _grandson_ of Giotto, was the first and only one of the
school who endeavoured to grapple with this last difficulty, which he
may be said to have perceived rather than overcome; his contemporaries,
for the most part, evaded it, and concealed their deficiency as they
could. Such is the summary of the merits of this school of art given by
Lanzi, who dates the commencement of the first epoch of modern painting
from the death of Giotto. In further illustration of the low state of
art in the early part of the fourteenth century, it may be observed,
that Lanzi also describes a great work of Masaccio, who flourished in
the succeeding century, as "beautiful _for those times_;" and that it
was not till the year 1410 that oil-painting was invented or improved
by Van-Eyck.

From this sketch of the history of the arts of music, sculpture, and
painting during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, will be seen
their state and condition, when the great work of the immortal Dante
took his country by surprise. The _Divina Comedia_ was written about the
year 1300. Its illustrious author, the creator of the national poetry of
his country, died in 1321, leaving behind him Petrarch, who was crowned
in the Capitol in 1341, and Boccaccio, who--though, as Byron said of
Scott, he spoiled his poetry by writing better prose--was nevertheless a
poet of no mean merit, and the probable inventor of the _ottava rima_.
Two centuries after the last of these parents of modern literature had
nearly elapsed, ere he who has been styled the Dante of the arts,
Michael Angelo, and his contemporaries, among whom were Leonardo da
Vinci and Raphael, appeared upon the stage. Thus language, the first
great want of man, the necessary instrument of reason, by which its
possessor is distinguished from the rest of creation, the vehicle of
human thoughts, the means by which man's wants, desires, griefs, and
joys, are communicated and made known, would seem to form the earliest
object of his attention. He enriches and improves it, till it is
rendered capable of expressing all the workings of his reason. This
done, genius and invention are applied to other pursuits; and in many
instances it may be, that the poet and the artist were but the creatures
of the age which produced them. Had he lived at a later period, Homer,
the great sire of song, might perhaps have shone the Phidias or the
Zeuxis of his day; or, had his birth been anticipated two hundred years,
the genius of "the Dante of the arts" might possibly have been displayed
in works like those which have immortalized Dante Alighieri. It is,
therefore, no inconsistency in the character of a people amongst whom
poetry is passionately admired, and books of all kinds eagerly devoured,
that the arts should be generally uncared-for and unknown. When another
century has passed away, their history may tell another tale, and the
powers of mind hitherto employed principally upon the physical sciences,
may have achieved like triumphs in the liberal arts. That this may be
the case, the past history of other nations affords every reason to
hope. What man has done, man may, and doubtless _will_, do again.

In the earlier ages of the world, music, in its rudest, simplest form,
is said to have stopped the flow of rivers, to have tamed wild beasts,
and to have raised the walls of cities; allegories which at least show
the prodigious influence the art possessed over the inhabitants of
infant Greece. In the course of time, love of the art was a national
characteristic of this people; and music became a specific in the hand
of the physician, a fundamental principle of public education, and the
medium of instruction in religion, morals, and the laws. The lyre may be
said to have ruled Greece, the glorious and the free, with the same
despotic sway with which the iron hand of tyranny has in our own day
governed her. Discord, and civil commotions arose among the
Lacedaemonians; Terpander came, and with his lyre at once appeased the
angry multitude. Among the Athenians it was forbidden, under pain of
death, to propose the conquest of the isle of Salamis; but the songs of
Solon raised a tumult amongst the people; they rose, compelled the
repeal of the obnoxious decree, and Salamis straightway fell. Was it
found necessary to civilize a wild and extensive province? Music was
employed for this desirable object; and Arcadia, before the habitation
of a fierce and savage people, became famed as the abode of happiness
and peace. Plutarch places the masters of tragedy--to which the modern
opera bears a great resemblance--on a level with the greatest captains:
nor did the people fail in gratitude to their benefactors; they held
their memory in veneration. The lyre of Orpheus was transplanted to the
skies, there to shine for countless ages; and divine honours were paid
to the name of Sappho.

The Greeks, although perhaps excelling all other nations in this, as in
the other arts, are not the only people among whom music was cultivated
and esteemed. Both China and Arabia are said to have felt its influence
upon their customs, manners, and institutions. The musical traditions of
China might seem to be but repetitions of the marvels of the Greeks.
King-lun, Kovei, and Pinmonkia, are said to have arrested the flow of
rivers, and to have caused the woods and forests, attracted by the
melody of their performance, to crowd around. The Chinese are said to
believe, that the ancient music of their country has drawn angels down
from heaven, and conjured up from hell departed souls: they also believe
that music can inspire men with the love of virtue, and cause them
faithfully to fulfil their several duties. Confucius says "to know if a
kingdom be well governed, and if the customs of its inhabitants be bad
or good, examine the musical taste which there prevails." There is still
extant a curious document, which shows the importance which a ruler of
this people attached to music, as a moral and political agent. We allude
to a proclamation of the Emperor Ngaiti, who ascended the throne of the
Celestial Empire in the year of the tenth aera 364. After complaining,
that tender, artificial, and effeminate strains inspire libertinism, he
proceeds, in severe terms, to order a reformation in these matters; the
first step to which, is a prohibition of every sort of music but that
which serves for war, and for the ceremony Tido. The Arabs also appear
to have held similar opinions as to the power of music. They boast of
Ishac, Kathab Al Moussouly, Alfarabi, and other musicians, whom they
relate to have worked miracles by their vocal and instrumental
performances. With the Arabs, music was interwoven with philosophy; and
their wise men imagined a marvellous relation to exist between
harmonious sounds and the operations of nature. Harmony was esteemed
the panacea, or universal remedy, in mental and even bodily affections;
in the tones of the lute were found medical recipes in almost all
diseases. Upon one occasion, in the presence of the grand vizier,
Alfarabi, accompanying his voice with an instrument, is related to have
roused a large assembly to an extreme pitch of joyful excitement, from
which he moved them to grief and tears, and then plunged all present
into a deep sleep, none having the power to resist the enchantment of
his performance.

The children of Israel cultivated music in the earliest periods of their
existence as a people. After the passage of the Red Sea, Moses, and his
sister Miriam, the prophetess, assembled two choruses, one of men, and
the other of women, with timbrels, who sang and danced. The facility
with which the instruments were collected on the spot, and with which
the choruses and dances were arranged and executed, necessarily implies
a skill in these exercises, which must have been acquired long before,
probably from the Egyptians. We have abundant evidence in Holy Writ, of
the high estimation in which music was held among the Hebrews at a later
period of their history. They also appear to have successfully applied
it to the cure of diseases. The whole of David's power over the disorder
of Saul may, without any miraculous intervention, be attributed to his
skilful performance upon the harp. In 1st Samuel, c. xvi., we read that
Saul's servants said unto him, "Behold now, an evil spirit from God
troubleth thee: Let our lord now command thy servants, which are before
thee, to seek out a man who is a cunning player on an harp: and it shall
come to pass, when the evil spirit from God is upon thee, that he shall
play with his hand, and thou shalt be well." Saul having assented to
this proposal, the son of Jesse the Bethlemite was sent for, and stood
before him. "And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon
Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was
refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him." So
great were the esteem and love for music among this people when David
ascended the throne, that we find that he appointed 4000 Levites to
praise the Lord with instruments, (1. Chron. c. xxiii.;) and that the
number of those that were _cunning_ in song, was two hundred four score
and eight, (c. xxv.) Solomon is related by Josephus to have made 200,000
trumpets, and 40,000 instruments of music, to praise God with. In the 2d
chapter of Ecclesiastes, music is mentioned by Solomon among the
vanities and follies in which he found no profit, in terms which show
how generally a cultivated taste was diffused among his subjects. "I gat
me men-singers and women-singers, and the delights of the sons of men,
as musical instruments, and that of all sorts." Many other passages of
similar import might be quoted from the sacred writings, and among
others, some from which it would appear that musicians marched in the
van of the Jewish armies, and not unfrequently contributed to the
victory by the animation of their strains; and that music was the
universal language of joy and lamentation. There is, however, one
portion of Holy Writ, which, from the highly interesting testimony it
incidentally bears to the love of music which prevailed in Jerusalem,
and the skill of her inhabitants, we cannot forbear to notice. We allude
to the 137th Psalm, "By the waters of Babylon we sat down and wept, when
we remembered thee, O Sion. As for our harps, we hanged them up upon the
trees that are therein. For they that led us away captive required of us
there a song and melody in our heaviness: Sing us one of the songs of
Sion." From the facts here narrated, we may judge how great was the
attachment of the Jewish people for the musical art; their beloved city
sacked, their temple plundered and destroyed, their homes desolate, in
the midst of danger and despair, deserted by their God, surrounded by
infuriated enemies, (Isaiah, xiii. 16.,) nevertheless their harps were
not forgotten. From this beautiful and pathetic lamentation, it would
also appear that the repute of Hebrew musicians was far extended. No
sooner had they arrived in the land of their captivity, than the
Chaldean conqueror required of them a song and melody in their
heaviness, demanding _one of the songs of Sion_. The fame of the
captives must have long preceded them, for, according to Dr Burney, the
art was then declining in Judea.

In the physical sciences, we have surpassed the nations who excelled in
music; in war we have equalled their most glorious feats; in poetry and
oratory we are not inferior. Shall not our future history also tell of
triumphs in the tuneful art? We believe that sooner or later, the time
will surely come when our country in her turn will boast of masters in
the art, whose memories will ever be preserved and hallowed. But
whatever the future may bring forth, the marvellous accounts of the
powers of ancient music will meet with little indulgence from modern
scepticism. At present such effects are unknown among us, and therefore
unintelligible. Among the early Greeks, for many centuries, the several
characters of poet, musician, lawgiver, and philosopher, were combined
in the same individual; and it is probable that the music of that period
consisted principally of recitative or musical declamation. This species
of composition, so utterly neglected and unknown to the English school,
possesses great powers of expression, both when in its simple form and
when accompanied. A modern example of the effects it is capable of is
recorded by Tartini. He relates, in the following terms, as one of many
similar instances which had come under his observation:--"In the 14th
year of the present century, (the 18th,) in the opera they were
performing at Ancona, there was at the beginning of the 3d act a line of
recitative, unaccompanied by any instruments but the bass, by which,
equally among the professors and the audience, was raised such and so
great a commotion of mind, that all looked in one another's faces, on
account of the evident change of colour which took place in each. The
effect was not that of grief, (I very well remember that the words
expressed indignation,) but that of a certain congealing and coldness of
the blood, which completely disturbed the mind. Thirteen times was the
drama repeated, and the same effect always followed universally; a
palpable sign of which was the deep previous silence with which the
audience prepared themselves to enjoy its effects.[14]"

    [14] We may refer to this hereafter, and to show that _we_ at
    least are not guilty of exaggeration, we subjoin the passage in
    the original Italian, from which it will be seen that our
    translation is as literal as possible.

    "L'anno quatuor-decimo del secolo presente, nel dramma che si
    rappresentava in Ancona, v'era, su'l principio dell' atto
    terzo, una riga di recitativo, non accompagnato da altri
    stromenti che dal basso; per cui, tanto in noi professori
    quanto negli ascoltanti, si destava una tale e tanta commozione
    di animo, che tutti si guardavano in faccia l'un l'altro, per
    la evidente mutazione di colore che si faceva in ciascheduno di
    noi. L'effetto non era di pianto (mi ricordo benissimo che le
    parole erano di sdegno) ma di un certo rigore e freddo nel
    sangue, che di fatto turbava l'animo. Tredici volte si recito
    il dramma, e sempre segui l'effetto stesso universalmente: di
    che era segno palpabile il sommo previo silenzio, con cui
    l'uditorio tutto si apparechiava a goderne l'effetto."

The line of recitative has unfortunately not been preserved; nor is it
known what the opera, or whose the music, which produced an effect which
may not be inaptly described in the words of Byron:--

    "An undefined and sudden thrill,
    Which made the heart a moment still,
    Then beat with quicker pulse."

The music of Allessandro Scarlatti was then current and universally
popular in Italy. This composer was particularly famous for the
excellence of his recitative; and his general merit may be judged of by
the fact, that he is placed by Arteaga, in his work on the revolutions
of the musical drama in Italy, among the early authors belonging to the
period which he terms the golden age of Italian music. On these grounds,
we may reasonably conclude, that he was the composer of that terrible
line of recitative.

We have ourselves also witnessed a somewhat similar example of the
powers of Italian recitative. Many of our readers, doubtless, have
witnessed Pasta's wonderful performance in Anna Bolena, who also may
remember Anna's exclamation, "Giudici ad Anna! ad Anna giudici!" when
Henry's intention of bringing her to trial is first made known to her.
Such was the fearful tone, of mingled horror, amaze, and wrathful
indignation, with which that greatest queen of tragic song gave out
these words, that, in a foreign land, we have on more than one occasion
observed some of the audience, as these fiery accents burst forth upon
them, to start, change colour, and almost shudder at the intensity of
the conflicting passions she exhibited. Much, nay most, of this was
undoubtedly owing to the genius of the songstress. We do but mention
these examples, to show how perfect a medium of musical expression and
dramatic effect, good recitative becomes, when adequately performed.
Still, the wonders related of ancient music--wonders not confined to one
age, one people, or to one quarter of the globe, but, on the contrary,
commencing at a remote period of man's history, including Jews, Chinese,
Arabs, and Greeks, amongst whose records their memory is preserved--will
meet with a cold assent from most; and perhaps few among us would be
found bold enough to avow a belief in their reality. We have certainly
no warrant for their truth in the powers or effects of our national
music, and thus experience directly contradicts the testimony of
antiquity.

On the same grounds, however, had no specimens of ancient handiwork been
preserved, we might also have doubted the excellence and beauty of any
of those works of art which, nevertheless, immortalized those by whose
hands they were fashioned. Were not the Dying Gladiator now before us,
it might, at this day, be deemed a monstrous supposition, that a statue
of a dying man should have existed, in which there might be seen how
much of life was left. Inferiority is ever sceptical and self-satisfied;
it is only given to the really wise to know how much lies hidden from
their view. Though the scope and object of all the imitative arts is the
same, to dignify, elevate, and embellish nature--though the beauty of
the ideal is the aim of the musician, equally as it is the aspiration of
the poet, painter, and the sculptor, the character of these pursuits is
in some respects essentially different. In the latter, material objects
are imitated and embellished, the things themselves are bodily before
the eyes, and the beauty and excellence of the work will appear by
comparison with nature herself. These arts also possess great landmarks
of taste and skill, which speak the same language to all ages. Of the
symmetry of the sculptor's chiselled forms, of the beauty of the poet's
or the painter's pictures, we have a standard in nature's own originals,
seldom, probably never, exhibiting the same concentration of refined and
elevated beauty in one individual object, but, nevertheless, furnishing
an accurate and never varying standard, for the exercise of the
judgement; while the heart, that inner world, ever uniform and
unchanging amid the manifold vicissitudes of human life, supplies a test
by which the poet's thoughts and sentiments may be correctly tried.
Thus, in the lapse of ages, the public taste has known no change; and
though more than 2000 years have passed away, the works of ancient
Greece are worshipped still.

It cannot, however, be imagined, that the music of those times could
have among us the same influence it possessed of old. It is no new
remark, that in no other branch of the imitative arts have the same
rapid and successive changes occurred, as are observed to have taken
place in music. From this fact, the following question naturally arises,
whether there are any fixed first principles of art, by adhering to
which, music might be produced which would please equally all ages and
amongst all people; or, in other words, whether the pleasure which music
brings, is the result of education, habit, or association, or an
inherent and necessary effect of any particular succession or
combination of sounds. We have thrown together the following
observations of Rousseau, which occur in several different portions of
his essay on the origin of languages, and which, though not made with
reference to this question, nevertheless appear to us conclusive upon
it. "As the feelings which a beautiful picture excites are not caused by
mere colour, so the empire which music possesses over our souls is not
the work of sound alone. All men love to listen to sweet sounds; but if
this love be not quickened by such melodious inflexions as are familiar
to the hearer, it cannot be converted into pleasure. Melody, such as, to
our taste, may be most beautiful, will have little effect upon the ear
which is unaccustomed to it; it is a language of which we must possess a
dictionary. Sounds in a melody do not operate as mere sounds, but as
signs of our affections and our feelings; it is thus they excite the
emotions they express, and whose image we there recognize. If this
influence of our sensations is not owing to moral causes, how is it that
we are so sensitive where a barbarian would feel nothing? How is it that
our most touching airs would be but so much empty noise to the ear of a
Carribee? All require the kind of melody whose phrases they can
understand; to an Italian, his country's airs are necessary; to a Turk,
a Turkish melody; each is affected only by those accents with which he
is familiar. In short, he must understand the language that is spoken to
him." This reasoning seems to show that there are no principles or rules
of art, by following which music would be produced of that inherent
beauty which would intrinsically command universal admiration.

This being so, music is at the mercy of many circumstances, the
influence of which is felt, in some degree, even in those arts whose
principles have long been fixed and ascertained, and whose rules are not
merely conventional. The love of novelty, which the weariness caused by
a constant repetition of the same musical phrase or idea renders more
_exigeant_ in this than in other arts, the want or impossibility of
having any classic examples which might fix the taste or guide the
studies of the novice, are doubtless among the causes of these frequent
changes. The style of the leading singer of the day often forms and
rules the passing taste, and even characterizes the works of
contemporary composers. Music is often composed purposely for the
singer; his intonation, his peculiarities, his very mannerisms, are
borne in mind. Not merely sounds, but _his_ sounds, are the vehicles of
the composer's thoughts, the medium through which alone the composer's
ideas can be adequately expressed. In the next generation, when
performer and composer are dead and gone, all that is left of this their
_mutual_ work, once the object of universal admiration becomes
comparatively unintelligible. The melody, the harmony, indeed, remain,
but they are a body without a soul; the fire and genius of him who
lighted up the whole, who realized and brought home to the hearer the
_whole_ creation of the composer's imagination, are no more. The manner
of the performance, therefore, being, as it were, part and parcel of the
very music, and a necessary ingredient of the excellence of the
composition, to judge of the merit of the whole from the qualities of
the portion which is left, would be to judge of the beauty of the
Grecian Helen by the aspect or appearance of her lifeless remains. On
looking at the greater portion of the music by the execution of which
Catalani raised herself to the highest pinnacle of fame, we are
compelled to the conclusion, that in the singer lay the charm. The
effects said to have been produced by Handel's operas are now
inconceivable and unintelligible, so "mechanical and dull" do these
works appear, "beyond mere simplicity and traits of melody." Handel, in
one species of composition, wrote _down_ to the singers of his time.
Whoever examines the bass songs of that period, will perceive that they
were composed for inflexible and unwieldy voices, possessing a large and
heavy volume of tone, but incapable of executing any but simple
passages, constructed according to an ascertained routine of intervals.
Lord Mount-Edgcumbe truly conjectured, that Mozart was led to make the
bass so prominent a part in the Don Giovanni and Le Nozze di Figaro, by
writing for a particular singer. The part of Figaro was, in fact,
composed for Benucci. The sparkling brilliancy of Rossini would perhaps
never have been so fully developed, had not the skill and flexibility of
voice possessed by the singer David, for whom he wrote, enabled him to
indulge it to the uttermost. The characters thus imparted to the music
of the day are necessarily perishable and evanescent, to be again
superseded by later artists, whose excellences or peculiarities will
again lead to like results. Thus change succeeds change; the judgment of
the public is led by the composer and the performer, who, mutually
deferring to each other, often mould at will the taste of their
countrymen. We, of course, speak only of those whose talent, science,
and ability, have constituted them the masters of their art.

In England we have but few of those giants; they appear among us only
at long intervals; for which reason, perhaps, musical taste has
undergone fewer mutations in England than in most other countries.
Handel has now reigned supreme among us for near a century, and his bass
songs still influence the style of this branch of our native music.
Though bass singing has advanced elsewhere, it has stood comparatively
still with us; the same rude intervals, the same ponderous passages,
through which the voice moves heavily, as if a mountain heaved, are
still retained in the few bass songs of our school; in fact, without
them, many think a bass song cannot exist. This mannerism received a
blow from Weber, whom, as in the case of Handel, we have grown to
consider national property. His early death, however, prevented his
acquiring that permanent influence on the musical mind, which he might
have acquired had he lived, and continued to be successful.

From the glance we have taken of the rate at which poetry, literature,
and the fine arts, respectively advance as civilization holds her onward
course; from the wide diffusion and cultivation of musical taste and
musical science, ere barbarism and ignorance resumed their sway over
mankind; we cannot entertain a doubt that, ultimately, we also as a
people may emulate the glory other nations have acquired in each of
those pursuits. We are, perhaps, less excitable and less easily moved
than they; but the English character contains within it the elements of
greatness in every thing to which its energies are directed.
Circumstances may erelong rouse long-dormant tastes. Riches bring with
them new wants, they create new passions, new desires. Much wealth was
amassed by the preceding generation; their sons, now affluent and
educated, already form a vast addition to that class which we have
designated as the peculiar patron of the arts, and which, as commercial
prosperity continues to advance, will, in each succeeding generation,
receive another incalculable accession to its numbers.

The philosophical observer may even now discover the evidences of these
new wants of increasing opulence; and should providence, in its mercy,
deign still to bless the world with peace, the Augustan age of England
may be nearer than we think. However, it is most certain that this age,
as yet, has not arrived. An accurate knowledge of our defects will
soonest lead to their cure. By a searching, rigorous, and impartial
self-examination can these deficiencies only become known. It may be
necessary to apply the cautery; but the hand that wounds would also
heal; and if, in the course of the preceding observations, or in any
subsequent remarks, as we enquire into the present state of musical
taste and science in England, we may be deemed severe, let it be borne
in mind, that ours is a "tender fierceness," and that self-knowledge,
the first grand step to all improvement, is alone our object and
our aim.





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