The Project Gutenberg EBook of Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. 404,
June, 1849, by Various

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Title: Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No. 404, June, 1849

Author: Various

Release Date: September 29, 2014 [EBook #46993]

Language: English

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No. CCCCIV. JUNE, 1849. Vol. LXV.


The Caxtons.—Part XIII. 637
The Romance of Russian History, 664
Letters to the Rev. Charles Fustian, an Anglo-Catholic, 679
Austria and Hungary, 697
Feudalism in the Nineteenth Century, 713
Civil Revolution in the Canadas, 727
Dies Boreales. No. I. Christopher under Canvass, 742
Index, 768



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




No. CCCCIV. JUNE, 1849. Vol. LXV.



St Chrysostom, in his work on The Priesthood, defends deceit, if for a good purpose, by many Scriptural examples; ends his first book by asserting that it is often necessary, and that much benefit may arise from it; and begins his second book by saying that it ought not to be called deceit, but "good management."

Good management, then, let me call the innocent arts by which I now sought to insinuate my project into favour and assent with my unsuspecting family. And first I began with Roland. I easily induced him to read some of the books, full of the charm of Australian life, which Trevanion had sent me; and so happily did those descriptions suit his own erratic tastes, and the free, half-savage man that lay rough and large within that soldierly nature, that he himself, as it were, seemed to suggest my own ardent desire—sighed, as the careworn Trevanion had done, that "he was not my age," and blew the flame that consumed me with his own willing breath. So that when at last—wandering one day over the wild moors—I said, knowing his hatred of law and lawyers—

"Alas, uncle, that nothing should be left for me but the bar!—"

Captain Roland struck his cane into the peat, and exclaimed, "Zounds, sir, the bar and lying, with truth and a world fresh from God before you!"

"Your hand, uncle—we understand each other. Now help me with those two quiet hearts at home!"

"Plague on my tongue! what have I done?" said the Captain, looking aghast. Then, after musing a little time, he turned his dark eye on me and growled out, "I suspect, young sir, you have been laying a trap for me; and I have fallen into it, like an old fool as I am."

"Oh, sir, if you prefer the bar!—"


"Or, indeed, I might perhaps get a clerkship in a merchant's office?"

"If you do, I will scratch you out of the pedigree!"

"Huzza then for Australasia!"

"Well, well, well," said my uncle,

"With a smile on his lip and a tear in his eye;"

"the old sea-king's blood will force its way—a soldier or a rover, there is no other choice for you. We shall mourn and miss you; but who can chain the young eagles to the eyrie?"

I had a harder task with my father, who at first seemed to listen to me as if I had been talking of an excursion to the moon. But I threw in a dexterous dose of the old Greek Cleruchiæ—cited by Trevanion—which set him off full trot on his hobby, till, after a short excursion to Eubœa and the Chersonese, he was fairly lost amidst the Ionian colonies of Asia Minor. I then gradually and artfully decoyed him into his favourite science of Ethnology; and while he was speculating on the origin of the American savages, and considering the rival claims of Cimmerians, Israelites, and Scandinavians, 638 I said quietly,—"And you, sir, who think that all human improvement depends on the mixture of races—you, whose whole theory is an absolute sermon upon emigration, and the transplanting and interpolity of our species—you, sir, should be the last man to chain your son, your elder son, to the soil, while your younger is the very missionary of rovers."

"Pisistratus," said my father, "you reason by synecdoche—ornamental, but illogical;" and therewith, resolved to hear no more, my father rose and retreated into his study.

But his observation, now quickened, began from that day to follow my moods and humours—then he himself grew silent and thoughtful, and finally he took to long conferences with Roland. The result was that, one evening in spring, as I lay listless amidst the weeds and fern that sprang up through the melancholy ruins, I felt a hand on my shoulder; and my father, seating himself beside me on a fragment of stone, said earnestly—"Pisistratus,—let us talk—I had hoped better things from your study of Robert Hall."

"Nay, dear father, the medicine did me great good: I have not repined since, and I look steadfastly and cheerfully on life. But Robert Hall fulfilled his mission, and I would fulfil mine."

"Is there no mission in thy native land, O planeticose and exallotriote spirit?1" asked my father, with compassionate rebuke.

"Alas, yes! But what the impulse of genius is to the great, the instinct of vocation is to the mediocre. In every man there is a magnet; in that thing which the man can do best there is a loadstone."

"Papæ!" said my father, opening his eyes; "and are no loadstones to be found for you nearer than the great Australasian Bight?"

"Ah, sir, if you resort to irony, I can say no more!" My father looked down on me tenderly, as I hung my head moody and abashed.

"Son," said he, "do you think that there is any real jest at my heart when the matter discussed is whether you are to put wide seas and long years between us?" I pressed nearer to his side, and made no answer.

"But I have noted you of late," continued my father, "and I have observed that your old studies are grown distasteful to you; and I have talked with Roland, and I see that your desire is deeper than a boy's mere whim. And then I have asked myself what prospect I can hold out at home to induce you to be contented here, and I see none; and therefore I should say to you, 'Go thy ways, and God shield thee,'—but, Pisistratus, your mother?"

"Ah, sir, that is indeed the question! and there indeed I shrink. But, after all, whatever I were—whether toiling at the bar, or in some public office—I should be still so much from home and her. And then you, sir—she loves you so entirely, that——"

"No," interrupted my father; "you can advance no arguments like these to touch a mother's heart. There is but one argument that comes home there—Is it for your good to leave her? If so, there will be no need of farther words. But let us not decide that question hastily; let you and I be together the next two months. Bring your books and sit with me; when you want to go out, tap me on the shoulder and say 'Come.' At the end of those two months, I will say to you 'Go,' or 'Stay.' And you will trust me; and if I say the last, you will submit?"

"Oh yes, sir, yes."


This compact made, my father roused himself from all his studies—devoted his whole thoughts to me—sought with all his gentle wisdom to wean me imperceptibly from my own fixed tyrannical idea, ranged through his wide pharmacy of books for such medicaments as might alter the system of my thoughts. And little thought he that his very tenderness 639 and wisdom worked against him, for at each new instance of either my heart called aloud, "Is it not that thy tenderness may be repaid, and thy wisdom be known abroad, that I go from thee into the strange land, O my father?"

And the two months expired, and my father saw that the magnet had turned unalterably to the loadstone in the great Australasian Bight; and he said to me, "Go, and comfort your mother. I have told her your wish, and authorised it by my consent, for I believe now that it is for your good."

I found my mother in the little room which she had appropriated to herself, next my father's study. And in that room there was a pathos which I have no words to express; for my mother's meek, gentle, womanly soul, spoke there, so that it was as the Home of Home. The care with which she had transplanted from the Brick House, and lovingly arranged, all the humble memorials of old times, dear to her affections—the black silhouette of my father's profile cut in paper, in the full pomp of academics, cap and gown, (how had he ever consented to sit for it!) framed and glazed in the place of honour over the little hearth; and boyish sketches of mine at the Hellenic Institute, first essays in sepia and Indian ink, to animate the walls, and bring her back, when she sate there in the twilight musing alone, to sunny hours when Sisty and the young mother threw daisies at each other;—and, covered with a great glass shade, and dusted each day with her own hand, the flower-pot Sisty had bought with the proceeds of the domino-box, on that memorable occasion on which he had learned "how bad deeds are repaired with good." There, in one corner, stood the little cottage piano, which I remembered all my life—old-fashioned, and with the jingling voice of approaching decrepitude, but still associated with such melodies as, after childhood, we hear never more! And in the modest hanging shelves which looked so gay with ribbons, and tassels, and silken cords—my mother's own library, saying more to the heart than all the cold wise poets whose souls my father invoked in his grand Heraclea. The Bible over which, with eyes yet untaught to read, I had hung in vague awe and love, as it lay open on my mother's lap, while her sweet voice, then only serious, was made the oracle of its truths. And my first lesson-books were there, all hoarded. And bound in blue and gold, but elaborately papered up, Cowper's Poems—a gift from my father in the days of courtship—sacred treasure which not even I had the privilege to touch; and which my mother took out only in the great crosses and trials of conjugal life, whenever some word less kind than usual had dropped unawares from her scholar's absent lips. Ah! all these poor household gods, all seemed to look on me with mild anger; and from all came a voice to my soul, "Cruel, dost thou forsake us!" And amongst them sate my mother, desolate as Rachel, and weeping silently.

"Mother! mother!" I cried, falling on her neck, "forgive me, it is past, I cannot leave you!"


"No—no! it is for your good—Austin says so. Go—it is but the first shock."

Then to my mother I opened the sluices of that deep I had concealed from scholar and soldier. To her I poured all the wild, restless thoughts which wandered through the ruins of love destroyed—to her I confessed what to myself I had scarcely before avowed. And when the picture of that, the darker, side of my mind was shown, it was with a prouder face, and less broken voice, that I spoke of the manlier hopes and nobler aims that gleamed across the wrecks and the desert, and showed me my escape.

"Did you not once say, mother, that you had felt it like a remorse that my father's genius passed so noiselessly away, half accusing the happiness you gave him for the death of his ambition in the content of his mind? Did you not feel a new object in life when the ambition 640 revived at last, and you thought you heard the applause of the world murmuring round your scholar's cell? Did you not share in the day-dreams your brother conjured up, and say, 'If my brother could be the means of raising him in the world!' and when you thought we had found the way to fame and fortune, did you not sob out from your full heart, 'And it is my brother who will pay back to his son—all—all he gave up for me?'"

"I cannot bear this, Sisty!—cease, cease!"

"No; for do you not yet understand me? Will it not be better still, if your son—yours—restore to your Austin all that he lost, no matter how? If through your son, mother, you do indeed make the world hear of your husband's genius—restore the spring to his mind, the glory to his pursuits—if you rebuild even that vaunted ancestral name, which is glory to our poor sonless Roland—if your son can restore the decay of generations, and reconstruct from the dust the whole house into which you have entered, its meek presiding angel—ah, mother, if this can be done, it will be your work; for unless you can share my ambition—unless you can dry those eyes, and smile in my face, and bid me go, with a cheerful voice—all my courage melts from my heart, and again I say I cannot leave you!"

Then my mother folded her arms round me, and we both wept, and could not speak—but we were both happy.


Now the worst was over, and my mother was the most heroic of us all. So I began to prepare myself in good earnest; and I followed Trevanion's instructions with a perseverance, which I could never, at that young day, have thrown into the dead life of books. I was in a good school amongst our Cumberland sheepwalks, to learn those simple elements of rural art which belong to the pastoral state. Mr Sidney, in his admirable Australian Hand-Book, recommends young gentlemen who think of becoming settlers in the Bush to bivouac for three months on Salisbury Plain. That book was not then written, or I might have taken the advice; meanwhile I think, with due respect to such authority, that I went through a preparatory training quite as useful in seasoning the future emigrant. I associated readily with the kindly peasants and craftsmen, who became my teachers. With what pride I presented my father with a desk and my mother with a work-box, fashioned by my own hands! I made Bolt a lock for his plate-chest. And (that last was my magnum opus, my great masterpiece) I repaired and absolutely set going an old turret clock in the tower, that had stood at two P.M. since the memory of man. I loved to think, each time the hour sounded, that those who heard its deep chime would remember me. But the flocks were my main care. The sheep that I tended and helped to shear, and the lamb that I hooked out of the great marsh, and the three venerable ewes that I nursed through a mysterious sort of murrain, which puzzled all the neighbourhood—are they not written in thy loving chronicles, O House of Caxton!

And now, since much of the success of my experiment must depend on the friendly terms I could establish with my intended partner, I wrote to Trevanion, begging him to get the young gentleman who was to join me, and whose capital I was to administer, to come and visit us. Trevanion complied, and there arrived a tall fellow somewhat more than six feet high, answering to the name of Guy Bolding, in a cut-away sporting-coat, with a dog-whistle tied to the button-hole; drab shorts and gaiters, and a waistcoat with all manner of strange furtive pockets. Guy Bolding had lived a year and a half at Oxford as a "fast man;" so "fast" had he lived that there was scarcely a tradesman at Oxford into whose books he had not contrived to run.

His father was compelled to withdraw him from the university, at 641 which he had already had the honour of being plucked for the little go: and the young gentleman, on being asked for what profession he was fit, had replied with conscious pride, "That he could tool a coach!" In despair, the sire, who owed his living to Trevanion, had asked the statesman's advice, and the advice had fixed me with a partner in expatriation.

My first feeling, in greeting the fast man, was certainly that of deep disappointment and strong repugnance. But I was determined not to be too fastidious; and, having a lucky knack of suiting myself pretty well to all tempers, (without which a man had better not think of loadstones in the great Australasian Bight,) I contrived, before the first week was out, to establish so many points of connexion between us that we became the best friends in the world. Indeed, it would have been my fault if we had not, for Guy Bolding, with all his faults, was one of those excellent creatures who are nobody's enemies but their own. His good humour was inexhaustible. Not a hardship or privation came amiss to him. He had a phrase "Such fun!" that always came to his lips when another man would have cursed and groaned. If we lost our way in the great trackless moors, missed our dinner, and were half-famished, Guy rubbed hands that would have felled an ox, and chuckled out "Such fun!" If we stuck in a bog, if we were caught in a thunderstorm, if we were pitched head over heels by the wild colts we undertook to break in, Guy Bolding's only elegy was "Such fan!" That grand shibboleth of philosophy only forsook him at the sight of an open book. I don't think that at that time, he could have found "fun" even in Don Quixote. This hilarious temperament had no insensibility; a kinder heart never beat,—but, to be sure, it beat to a strange, restless, tarantula sort of measure, which kept it in a perpetual dance. It made him one of those officiously good fellows who are never quiet themselves, and never let any one else be quiet if they can help it. But Guy's great fault, in this prudent world, was his absolute incontinence of money. If you had turned an Euphrates of gold into his pockets at morning, it would have been as dry as the great Sahara by twelve at noon. What he did with the money was a mystery as much to himself as to every one else. His father said in a letter to me, that "he had seen him shying at sparrows with half-crowns!" That such a young man could come to no good in England, seemed perfectly clear. Still, it is recorded of many great men, who did not end their days in a workhouse, that they were equally non-retentive of money. Schiller, when he had nothing else to give away, gave the clothes from his back, and Goldsmith the blankets from his bed. Tender hands found it necessary to pick Beethoven's pockets at home before he walked out. Great heroes, who have made no scruple of robbing the whole world, have been just as lavish as poor poets and musicians. Alexander, in parcelling out his spoils, left himself "hope!" And as for Julius Cæsar, he was two millions in debt when he shied his last half-crown at the sparrows in Gaul. Encouraged by these illustrious examples, I had hopes of Guy Bolding; and the more as he was so aware of his own infirmity that he was perfectly contented with the arrangement which made me treasurer of his capital, and even besought me, on no account, let him beg ever so hard, to permit his own money to come in his own way. In fact, I contrived to gain a great ascendency over his simple, generous, thoughtless nature; and by artful appeals to his affections—to all he owed to his father for many bootless sacrifices, and to the duty of providing a little dower for his infant sister, whose meditated portion had half gone to pay his college debts—I at last succeeded in fixing into his mind an object to save for.

Three other companions did I select for our Cleruchia. The first was the son of our old shepherd, who had lately married, but was not yet encumbered with children,—a good shepherd, and an intelligent, steady fellow. The second was a very different character; he had been the dread of the whole squirearchy. A more bold and dexterous poacher did not exist. Now my acquaintance with this latter person, named 642 Will Peterson, and more popularly "Will o' the Wisp," had commenced thus:—Bolt had managed to rear, in a small copse about a mile from the house—and which was the only bit of ground in my uncle's domains that might by courtesy be called "a wood"—a young colony of pheasants, that he dignified by the title of a "preserve." This colony was audaciously despoiled and grievously depopulated, in spite of two watchers who, with Bolt, guarded for seven nights successively the slumbers of the infant settlement. So insolent was the assault that bang, bang went the felonious gun—behind, before—within but a few yards of the sentinels—and the gunner was off, and the prey seized, before they could rush to the spot. The boldness and skill of the enemy soon proclaimed him, to the experienced watchers, to be Will o' the Wisp; and so great was the dread of this fellow's strength and courage, and so complete their despair of being a match for his swiftness and cunning, that after the seventh night the watchers refused to go out any longer; and poor Bolt himself was confined to his bed by an attack of what a doctor would have called rheumatism, and a moralist, rage. My indignation and sympathy were greatly excited by this mortifying failure, and my interest romantically aroused by the anecdotes I had heard of Will o' the Wisp; accordingly, armed with a thick bludgeon, I stole out at night, and took my way to the copse. The leaves were not off the trees, and how the poacher contrived to see his victims I know not; but five shots did he fire, and not in vain, without allowing me to catch a glimpse of him. I then retreated to the outskirt of the copse, and waited patiently by an angle, which commanded two sides of the wood. Just as the dawn began to peep, I saw my man emerge within twenty yards of me. I held my breath, suffered him to get a few steps from the wood, crept on so as to intercept his retreat, and then pounce—such a bound! My hand was on his shoulder—prr, prr—no eel was ever more lubricate. He slid from me like a thing immaterial, and was off over the moors with a swiftness which might well have baffled any clodhopper—a race whose calves are generally absorbed in the soles of their hobnail shoes. But the Hellenic Institute, with its classical gymnasia, had trained its pupils in all bodily exercises; and though the Will o' the Wisp was swift for a clodhopper, he was no match at running for any youth who has spent his boyhood in the discipline of cricket, prisoner's bars, and hunt-the-hare. I reached him at length, and brought him to bay.

"Stand back," said he, panting, and taking aim with his gun; "it is loaded."

"Yes," said I; "but though you're a brave poacher, you dare not fire at your fellow man. Give up the gun this instant."

My address took him by surprise; he did not fire. I struck up the barrel, and closed on him. We grappled pretty tightly, and in the wrestle the gun went off. The man loosened his hold. "Lord ha' mercy, I have not hurt you!" he said falteringly.

"My good fellow—no," said I; "and now let us throw aside gun and bludgeon, and light it out like Englishmen, or else let us sit down and talk it over like friends."

The Will o' the Wisp scratched its head and laughed.

"Well, you're a queer one," quoth it. And the poacher dropped the gun and sate down.

We did talk it over, and I obtained Peterson's promise to respect the preserve henceforth, and we thereon grew so cordial that he walked home with me, and even presented me, shyly and apologetically, with the five pheasants he had shot. From that time I sought him out. He was a young fellow not four-and-twenty, who had taken to poaching from the wild sport of the thing, and from some confused notions that he had a license from Nature to poach. I soon found out that he was meant for better things than to spend six months of the twelve in prison, and finish his life on the gallows after killing a gamekeeper. That seemed to me his most probable destiny in the Old World, so I talked him into a burning desire for the New one: and a most valuable aid in the Bush he proved too.

My third selection was in a personage who could bring little physical 643 strength to help us, but who had more mind (though with a wrong twist in it) than all the others put together.

A worthy couple in the village had a son, who being slight and puny, compared to the Cumberland breed, was shouldered out of the market of agricultural labour, and went off, yet a boy, to a manufacturing town. Now about the age of thirty, this mechanic, disabled for his work by a long illness, came home to recover; and in a short time we heard of nothing but the pestilential doctrines with which he was either shocking or infecting our primitive villagers. According to report, Corcyra itself never engendered a democrat more awful. The poor man was really very ill, and his parents very poor; but his unfortunate doctrines dried up all the streams of charity that usually flowed through our kindly hamlet. The clergyman (an excellent man, but of the old school) walked by the house as if it were tabooed. The apothecary said "Miles Square ought to have wine," but he did not send him any. The farmers held his name in execration, for he had incited all their labourers to strike for another shilling a-week. And but for the old tower, Miles Square would soon have found his way to the only republic in which he could obtain that democratic fraternisation for which he sighed—the grave being, I suspect, the sole commonwealth which attains that dead flat of social equality, that life in its every principle so heartily abhors.

My uncle went to see Miles Square, and came back the colour of purple. Miles Square had preached him a long sermon on the unholiness of war. "Even in defence of your king and country!" had roared the Captain; and Miles Square had replied with a remark upon kings, in general, that the Captain could not have repeated without expecting to see the old tower fall about his ears; and with an observation about the country, in particular, to the effect that "the country would be much better off if it were conquered!" On hearing the report of these loyal and patriotic replies, my father said, "Papæ!" and, roused out of his usual philosophical indifference, went himself to visit Miles Square. My father returned as pale as my uncle had been purple. "And to think," said he mournfully, "that in the town whence this man comes, there are, he tells me, ten thousand other of God's creatures who speed the work of civilisation while execrating its laws!"

But neither father nor uncle made any opposition when, with a basket laden with wine and arrowroot, and a neat little Bible, bound in brown, my mother took her way to the excommunicated cottage. Her visit was as signal a failure as those that preceded it. Miles Square refused the basket; 'he was not going to accept alms, and eat the bread of charity;' and on my mother meekly suggesting that, 'if Mr Miles Square would condescend to look into the Bible, he would see that even charity was no sin in giver or recipient,' Mr Miles Square had undertaken to prove 'that, according to the Bible, he had as much a right to my mother's property as she had—that all things should be in common—and that, when things were in common, what became of charity? No; he could not eat my uncle's arrowroot, and drink his wine, while my uncle was improperly withholding from him and his fellow-creatures so many unprofitable acres: the land belonged to the people.' It was now the turn of Pisistratus to go. He went once, and he went often. Miles Square and Pisistratus wrangled and argued—argued and wrangled—and ended by taking a fancy to each other; for this poor Miles Square was not half so bad as his doctrines. His errors arose from intense sympathy with the sufferings he had witnessed, amidst the misery which accompanies the reign of millocratism, and from the vague aspirations of a half-taught, impassioned, earnest nature. By degrees, I persuaded him to drink the wine and eat the arrowroot, en attendant that millennium which was to restore the land to the people. And then my mother came again and softened his heart, and, for the first time in his life, let into its cold crotchets the warm light of human gratitude. I lent him some books, amongst others a few volumes on Australia. A passage in one of the latter, in which it was said "that an intelligent mechanic usually made his way in the colony, 644 even as a shepherd, better than a dull agricultural labourer," caught hold of his fancy, and seduced his aspirations into a healthful direction. Finally, as he recovered, he entreated me to let him accompany me. And as I may not have to return to Miles Square, I think it right here to state, that he did go with me to Australia, and did succeed, first as shepherd, and, on saving money, as landowner; and that, in spite of his opinions on the unholiness of war, he was no sooner in possession of a comfortable log homestead, than he defended it with uncommon gallantry against an attack of the aborigines, whose right to the soil was, to say the least of it, as good as his claim to my uncle's acres; that he commemorated his subsequent acquisition of a fresh allotment, with the stock on it, by a little pamphlet, published at Sydney, on the Sanctity of the Rights of Property; and that, when I left the colony, having been much pestered by two refractory "helps" that he had added to his establishment, he had just distinguished himself by a very anti-levelling lecture upon the duties of servants to their employers. What would the Old World have done for this man!


I had not been in haste to conclude my arrangements, for, independently of my wish to render myself acquainted with the small useful crafts that might be necessary to me in a life that makes the individual man a state in himself, I naturally desired to habituate my kindred to the idea of our separation, and to plan and provide for them all such substitutes or distractions, in compensation for my loss, as my fertile imagination could suggest. And first, for the sake of Blanche, Roland, and my mother, I talked the Captain into reluctant sanction of his sister-in-law's proposal, to unite their incomes and share alike, without considering which party brought the larger proportion into the firm. I represented to him that, unless he made that sacrifice of his pride, my mother would be wholly without those little notable uses and objects—those small household pleasures—so dear to woman; that all society in the neighbourhood would be impossible, and that my mother's time would hang so heavily on her hands that her only resource would be to muse on the absent one and fret. Nay, if he persisted in so false a pride, I told him, fairly, that I should urge my father to leave the tower. These representations succeeded; and hospitality had commenced in the old hall, and a knot of gossips had centred round my mother—groups of laughing children had relaxed the still brow of Blanche—and the Captain himself was a more cheerful and social man. My next point was to engage my father in the completion of the Great Book. "Ah, sir," said I, "give me an inducement to toil, a reward for my industry. Let me think, in each tempting pleasure, each costly vice—No, no; I will save for the Great Book! and the memory of the father shall still keep the son from error. Ah, look you, sir! Mr Trevanion offered me the loan of the £1500 necessary to commence with; but you generously and at once said—'No; you must not begin life under the load of debt.' And I knew you were right, and yielded—yielded the more gratefully, that I could not but forfeit something of the just pride of manhood in incurring such an obligation to the father of—Miss Trevanion. Therefore I have taken that sum from you—a sum that would almost have sufficed to establish your younger and worthier child in the world for ever. To that child let me repay it, otherwise I will not take it. Let me hold it as a trust for the Great Book; and promise me that the Great Book shall be ready when your wanderer returns, and accounts for the missing talent."

And my father pished a little, and rubbed off the dew that had gathered on his spectacles. But I would not leave him in peace till he had given me his word that the Great Book should go on à pas du géant—nay, till I had seen him sit down to it with good heart, and the wheel went round again in the quiet mechanism of that gentle life. 645

Finally, and as the culminating acme of my diplomacy, I effected the purchase of the neighbouring apothecary's practice and good-will for Squills, upon terms which he willingly subscribed to; for the poor man had pined at the loss of his favourite patients, though, Heaven knows, they did not add much to his income. And as for my father, there was no man who diverted him more than Squills, though he accused him of being a materialist, and set his whole spiritual pack of sages to worry and bark at him, from Plato and Zeno to Reid and Abraham Tucker.

Thus, although I have very loosely intimated the flight of time, more than a whole year elapsed from the date of our settlement at the tower and that affixed for my departure.

In the meanwhile, despite the rarity amongst us of that phenomenon a newspaper, we were not so utterly cut off from the sounds of the far-booming world beyond, but what the intelligence of a change in the administration, and the appointment of Mr Trevanion to one of the great offices of state, reached our ears. I had kept up no correspondence with Trevanion subsequent to the letter that occasioned Guy Bolding's visit; I wrote now to congratulate him: his reply was short and hurried.

Intelligence that startled me more, and more deeply moved my heart, was conveyed to me some three months or so before my departure, by Trevanion's steward. The ill health of Lord Castleton had deferred his marriage, intended originally to be celebrated as soon as he came of age. He left the university with the honours of "a double-first class;" and his constitution appeared to rally from the effects of studies more severe to him, than they might have been to a man of quicker and more brilliant capacities—when a feverish cold, caught at a county meeting, in which his first public appearance was so creditable as fully to justify the warmest hopes of his party, produced inflammation of the lungs, and ended fatally. The startling contrast forced on my mind—here sudden death, and cold clay—there youth in its first flower, princely rank, boundless wealth, the sanguine expectation of an illustrious career, and the prospect of that happiness which smiled from the eyes of Fanny—that contrast impressed me with a strange awe: death seems so near to us when it strikes those whom life most flatters and caresses. Whence is that curious sympathy that we all have with the possessors of worldly greatness, when the hour-glass is shaken and the scythe descends? If the famous meeting between Diogenes and Alexander had taken place not before, but after, the achievements which gave to Alexander the name of Great, the cynic would not, perhaps, have envied the hero his pleasures or his splendours, the charms of Statira, or the tiara of the Mede; but if, the day after, a cry had gone forth, "Alexander the Great is dead!" verily I believe that Diogenes would have coiled himself up in his tub, and felt that, with the shadow of the stately hero, something of glory and of warmth had gone from that sun, which it should darken never more. In the nature of man, the humblest or the hardest, there is a something that lives in all of the Beautiful or the Fortunate, which hope and desire have appropriated, even in the vanities of a childish dream.


"Why are you here all alone, cousin? How cold and still it is amongst the graves!"

"Sit down beside me, Blanche; it is not colder in the churchyard than on the village green."

And Blanche sate down beside me, nestled close to me, and leant her head upon my shoulder. We were both long silent. It was an evening in the early spring, clear and serene—the roseate streaks were fading gradually from the dark gray of long, narrow, fantastic clouds. Tall, leafless poplars, that stood in orderly level line, on the lowland between the churchyard and the hill, with its crown of ruins, left their sharp summits distinct against the sky. But the shadows coiled dull and heavy round the evergreens that skirted the churchyard, so that their outline was vague and confused; 646 and there was a depth in their gloomy stillness, broken only when the thrush flew out from the lower bushes, and the thick laurel leaves stirred reluctantly, and again were rigid in repose. There is a certain melancholy in the evenings of early spring which is among those influences of nature the most universally recognised, the most difficult to explain. The silent stir of reviving life, which does not yet betray signs in the bud and blossom—only in a softer clearness in the air, a more lingering pause in the slowly lengthening day; a more delicate freshness and balm in the twilight atmosphere; a more lively yet still unquiet note from the birds, settling down into their coverts;—the vague sense under all that hush, which still outwardly wears the bleak sterility of winter—of the busy change, hourly, momently, at work—renewing the youth of the world, reclothing with vigorous bloom the skeletons of things—all these messages from the heart of Nature to the heart of Man may well affect and move us. But why with melancholy? No thought on our part connects and construes the low, gentle voices. It is not thought that replies and reasons: it is feeling that hears and dreams. Examine not, O child of man!—examine not that mysterious melancholy with the hard eyes of thy reason; thou canst not impale it on the spikes of thy thorny logic, nor describe its enchanted circle by problems conned from thy schools. Borderer thyself of two worlds—the Dead and the Living—give thine ear to the tones, bow thy soul to the shadows, that steal, in the season of change, from the dim Border Land.

Blanche (in a whisper.)—What are you thinking of?—speak, pray!

Pisistratus.—I was not thinking, Blanche; or, if I were, the thought is gone at the mere effort to seize or detain it.

Blanche (after a pause.)—I know what you mean. It is the same with me often—so often, when I am sitting by myself, quite still. It is just like the story Primmins was telling us the other evening, how there was a woman in her village who saw things and people in a piece of crystal, not bigger than my hand:2 they passed along as large as life, but they were only pictures in the crystal. Since I heard the story, when aunt asks me what I am thinking of, I long to say, "I'm not thinking! I am seeing pictures in the crystal!"

Pisistratus.—Tell my father that; it will please him. There is more philosophy in it than you are aware of, Blanche. There are wise men who have thought the whole world, "its pride, pomp, and circumstance," only a phantom image—a picture in the crystal.

Blanche.—And I shall see you—see us both, as we are sitting here—and that star which has just risen yonder—see it all in my crystal—when you are gone!—gone, cousin!

And Blanche's head drooped.

There was something so quiet and deep in the tenderness of this poor motherless child, that it did not affect one superficially, like a child's loud momentary affection, in which we know that the first toy will replace us. I kissed my little cousin's pale face, and said, "And I too, Blanche, have my crystal; and when I consult it, I shall be very angry if I see you sad and fretting, or seated alone. For you must know, Blanche, that that is all selfishness. God made us, not to indulge only in crystal pictures, weave idle fancies, pine alone, and mourn over what we cannot help—but to be alert and active—givers of happiness. Now, Blanche, see what a trust I am going to bequeath you. You are to supply my place to all whom I leave. You are to bring sunshine wherever you glide with that shy, soft step—whether to your father, when you see his brows knit and his arms crossed, (that, indeed, you always do,) or to mine, when the volume drops from his hand—when he walks to and fro the room, restless, and murmuring to himself—then you are to steal up to him, 647 put your hand in his, lead him back to his books, and whisper, 'What will Sisty say if his younger brother, the Great Book, is not grown up when he comes back?'—And my poor mother, Blanche!—ah, how can I counsel you there—how tell you where to find comfort for her? Only, Blanche, steal into her heart and be her daughter. And, to fulfil this threefold trust, you must not content yourself with seeing pictures in the crystal—do you understand me?"

"Oh yes," said Blanche, raising her eyes, while the tears rolled from them, and folding her arms resolutely on her breast.

"And so," said I, "as we two, sitting in this quiet burial-ground, take new heart for the duties and cares of life, so see, Blanche, how the stars come out, one by one, to smile upon us, for they too, glorious orbs as they are, perform their appointed tasks. Things seem to approximate to God in proportion to their vitality and movement. Of all things, least inert and sullen should be the soul of man. How the grass grows up over the very graves—quickly it grows and greenly—but neither so quick and so green, my Blanche, as hope and comfort from human sorrows."


There is a beautiful and singular passage in Dante, (which has not perhaps attracted the attention it deserves,) wherein the stern Florentine defends Fortune from the popular accusations against her. According to him, she is an angelic power appointed by the Supreme Being to direct and order the course of human splendours; she obeys the will of God; she is blessed, and, hearing not those who blaspheme her, calm and aloft amongst the other angelic powers, revolves her spheral course, and rejoices in her beatitude.3

This is a conception very different from the popular notion which Aristophanes, in his true instinct of things popular, expresses by the sullen lips of his Plutus. That deity accounts for his blindness by saying, that "when a boy he had indiscreetly promised to visit only the good," and Jupiter was so envious of the good that he blinded the poor money-god. Whereon Chremylus asks him, whether, "if he recovered his sight, he would frequent the company of the good?" "Certainly," quoth Plutus, "for I have not seen them ever so long." "Nor I either," rejoins Chremylus pithily, "for all I can see out of both eyes!"

But that misanthropical answer of Chremylus is neither here nor there, and only diverts us from the real question, and that is, "Whether Fortune be a heavenly, Christian angel, or a blind, blundering, old heathen deity?" For my part, I hold with Dante—for which, if I were so pleased, or if, at this period of my memoirs, I had half a dozen pages to spare, I could give many good reasons. One thing, however, is quite clear—that, whether Fortune be more like Plutus or an angel, it is no use abusing her—one may as well throw stones at a star. And I think if one looked narrowly at her operations, one might perceive that she gives every man a chance, at least once in his life; if he take and make the best of it, she will renew her visits; if not—itur ad astra! And therewith I am reminded of an incident quaintly narrated by Mariana in his "History of Spain," how the army of the Spanish kings got out of a sad hobble among the mountains at the pass of Losa, by the help of a shepherd, who showed them the way. "But," saith Mariana, parenthetically, "some do say the shepherd was an angel; for after he had shown the way, he was never seen more." That is, the angelic nature of the guide was proved by being only once seen, and disappearing after having got the army out of the hobble, leaving it to fight or run away, as it had most mind to. 648 Now I look upon that shepherd, or angel, as a very good type of my fortune at least. The apparition showed me my way in the rocks to the great "Battle of Life;" after that,—hold fast and strike hard!

Behold me in London with Uncle Roland. My poor parents naturally wished to accompany me, and take the last glimpse of the adventurer on board ship; but I, knowing that the parting would seem less dreadful to them by the hearthstone, and while they could say, "He is with Roland—he is not yet gone from the land"—insisted on their staying behind; and so the farewell was spoken. But Roland, the old soldier, had so many practical instructions to give—could so help me in the choice of the outfit, and the preparations for the voyage, that I could not refuse his companionship to the last. Guy Bolding, who had gone to take leave of his father, was to join me in town, as well as my humbler Cumberland colleagues.

As my uncle and I were both of one mind upon the question of economy, we took up our quarters at a lodging-house in the City; and there it was that I first made acquaintance with a part of London, of which few of my politer readers even pretend to be cognisant. I do not mean any sneer at the City itself, my dear alderman; that jest is worn out. I am not alluding to streets, courts, and lanes; what I mean may be seen at the west end, not so well as at the east, but still seen very fairly; I mean—the House-tops!


The house-tops! what a soberising effect that prospect produces on the mind. But a great many requisites go towards the selection of the right point of survey. It is not enough to secure a lodging in the attic; you must not be fobbed off with a front attic that faces the street. First, your attic must be unequivocally a back attic; secondly, the house in which it is located must be slightly elevated above its neighbours; thirdly, the window must not lie slant on the roof, as is common with attics—in which case you only catch a peep of that leaden canopy which infatuated Londoners call the sky—but must be a window perpendicular, and not half blocked up by the parapets of that fosse called the gutter; and, lastly, the sight must be so humoured that you cannot catch a glimpse of the pavements: if you once see the world beneath, the whole charm of that world above is destroyed. Taking it for granted that you have secured these requisites, open your window, lean your chin on both hands, the elbows propped commodiously on the sill, and contemplate the extraordinary scene which spreads before you. You find it difficult to believe that life can be so tranquil on high, while it is so noisy and turbulent below. What astonishing stillness! Eliot Warburton (seductive enchanter) recommends you to sail down the Nile if you want to lull the vexed spirit. It is easier and cheaper to hire an attic in Holborn! You don't have the crocodiles, but you have animals no less hallowed in Egypt—the cats! And how harmoniously the tranquil creatures blend with the prospect—how noiselessly they glide along at the distance, pause, peer about, and disappear. It is only from the attic that you can appreciate the picturesque which belongs to our domesticated tiger-kin! The goat should be seen on the Alps, and the cat on the house-top.

By degrees the curious eye takes the scenery in detail: and first, what fantastic variety in the heights and shapes of the chimney-pots! Some all level in a row, uniform and respectable, but quite uninteresting; others, again, rising out of all proportion, and imperatively tasking the reason to conjecture why they are so aspiring. Reason answers that it is but a homely expedient to give freer vent to the smoke; whereon Imagination steps in, and represents to you all the fretting, and fuming, and worry, and care, which the owners of that chimney, now the tallest of all, endured, 649 before, by building it higher, they got rid of the vapours! You see the distress of the cook, when the sooty invader rushed down, "like a wolf on the fold," full spring on the Sunday joint. You hear the exclamations of the mistress, (perhaps a bride,—house newly furnished,) when, with white apron and cap, she ventured into the drawing-room, and was straightway saluted by a joyous dance of those monads, called vulgarly smuts. You feel manly indignation at the brute of a bridegroom, who rushes out from the door, with the smuts dancing after him, and swears, "Smoked out again—By the Arch-smoker himself, I'll go and dine at the club!" All this might well have been, till the chimney-pot was raised a few feet nearer heaven; and now perhaps that long-suffering family owns the happiest home in the Row. Such contrivances to get rid of the smoke! It is not every one who merely heightens his chimney; others clap on the hollow tormentor all sorts of odd headgear and cowls. Here patent contrivances act the purpose of weathercocks, swaying to and fro with the wind; there others stand as fixed as if by a "sic jubeo" they had settled the business. But of all those houses that, in the street, one passes by, unsuspicious of what's the matter within, there is not one in a hundred but what there has been the devil to do, to cure the chimneys of smoking! At that reflection, Philosophy dismisses the subject; and decides that, whether one lives in a hut or a palace, the first thing to do is to look to the hearth—and get rid of the vapours.

New beauties demand us. What endless undulations in the various declivities and ascents: here a slant, there a zig-zag! With what majestic disdain yon roof rises up to the left!—Doubtless, a palace of Genii or Gin, (which last is the proper Arabic word for those builders of halls out of nothing, employed by Aladdin.) Seeing only the roof of that palace boldly breaking the skyline—how serene your contemplations! Perhaps a star twinkles over it, and you muse on soft eyes far away; while below, at the threshold—No, phantoms, we see you not from our attic! Note, yonder, that precipitous fall—how ragged and jagged the roof-scene descends in a gorge. He who would travel on foot through the pass of that defile, of which we see but the picturesque summits, stops his nose, averts his eyes, guards his pockets, and hurries along through the squalor of the grim London lazzaroni. But seen above, what a noble break in the skyline! It would be sacrilege to exchange that fine gorge for a dead flat of dull roof-tops. Look here—how delightful!—that desolate house with no roof at all—gutted and skinned by the last London fire! You can see the poor green and white paper still clinging to the walls, and the chasm that once was a cupboard, and the shadows gathering black on the aperture that once was a hearth! Seen below, how quickly you would cross over the way! That great crack forbodes an avalanche; you would hold your breath, not to bring it down on your head. But seen above, what a compassionate inquisitive charm in the skeleton ruin! How your fancy runs riot—repeopling the chambers, hearing the last cheerful good-night of that destined Pompeii—creeping on tiptoe with the mother, when she gives her farewell look to the baby. Now all is midnight and silence; then the red, crawling serpent comes out. Lo! his breath; hark! his hiss. Now, spire after spire he winds and coils; now he soars up erect—crest superb, and forked tongue—the beautiful horror! Then the start from the sleep, and the doubtful awaking, and the run here and there, and the mother's rush to the cradle; the cry from the window, and the knock at the door, and the spring of those on high towards the stair that leads to safety below, and the smoke rushing up like the surge of a hell! And they run back stifled and blinded, and the floor heaves beneath them like a bark on the sea. Hark! the grating wheels thundering low; near and near comes the engine. Fix the ladders!—there! there! at the window, where the mother stands with the babe! Splash and hiss comes the water; pales, then flares out, the fire: foe defies foe; element, element. How sublime is the war! But the ladder, the ladder!—there at the window! All else are saved: the clerk and his books; the 650 lawyer, with that tin box of title-deeds; the landlord, with his policy of insurance; the miser, with his bank-notes and gold: all are saved—all, but the babe and the mother. What a crowd in the streets! how the light crimsons over the gazers, hundreds on hundreds! All those faces seem as one face, with fear. Not a man mounts the ladder. Yes, there—gallant fellow! God inspires—God shall speed thee! How plainly I see him!—his eyes are closed, his teeth set. The serpent leaps up, the forked tongue darts upon him, and the reek of the breath wraps him round. The crowd has ebbed back like a sea, and the smoke rushes over them all. Ha! what dim forms are those on the ladder? Near and nearer—crash come the roof-tiles. Alas, and alas!—no; a cry of joy—a "Thank heaven!" and the women force their way through the men to come round the child and the mother. All is gone, save that skeleton ruin. But here, the ruin is seen from above. O Art, study life from the roof-tops!


I was again foiled in seeing Trevanion. It was the Easter recess, and he was at the house of one of his brother ministers, somewhere in the north of England. But Lady Ellinor was in London, and I was ushered into her presence. Nothing could be more cordial than her manner, though she was evidently much depressed in spirits, and looked wan and careworn.

After the kindest inquiries relative to my parents, and the Captain, she entered with much sympathy into my schemes and plans, which she said that Trevanion had confided to her. The sterling kindness that belonged to my old patron (despite his affected anger at my not accepting his proffered loan) had not only saved me and my fellow-adventurer all trouble as to allotment orders, but procured advice, as to choice of site and soil, from the best practical experience, which we found afterwards exceedingly useful. And as Lady Ellinor gave me the little packet of papers with Trevanion's shrewd notes on the margin, she said with a half sigh, "Albert bids me say, that he wishes he were as sanguine of his success in the cabinet as of yours in the Bush." She then turned to her husband's rise and prospects, and her face began to change. Her eyes sparkled, the colour came to her cheeks—"But you are one of the few who know him," she said, interrupting herself suddenly; "you know how he sacrifices all things—joy, leisure, health—to his country. There is not one selfish thought in his nature. And yet such envy—such obstacles still! and" (her eyes dropped on her dress, and I perceived that she was in mourning, though the mourning was not deep,) "and," she added, "it has pleased heaven to withdraw from his side one who would have been worthy his alliance."

I felt for the proud woman, though her emotion seemed more that of pride than sorrow. And perhaps Lord Castleton's highest merit in her eyes had been that of ministering to her husband's power and her own ambition. I bowed my head in silence, and thought of Fanny. Did she, too, pine for the lost rank, or rather mourn the lost lover?

After a time, I said hesitatingly, "I scarcely presume to condole with you, Lady Ellinor; yet, believe me, few things ever shocked me like the death you allude to. I trust Miss Trevanion's health has not much suffered. Shall I not see her before I leave England?"

Lady Ellinor fixed her keen bright eyes searchingly on my countenance, and perhaps the gaze satisfied her, for she held out her hand to me with a frankness almost tender, and said—"Had I had a son, the dearest wish of my heart had been to see you wedded to my daughter."

I started up—the blood rushed to my cheeks, and then left me pale as death. I looked reproachfully at Lady Ellinor, and the word "cruel" faltered on my lips.

"Yes," continued Lady Ellinor, mournfully, "that was my real thought, my impulse of regret, when I first saw you. But, as it is, do not think me too hard and worldly, if I quote the 651 lofty old French proverb, Noblesse oblige. Listen to me, my young friend,—we may never meet again, and I would not have your father's son think unkindly of me with all my faults. From my first childhood I was ambitious—not as women usually are, of mere wealth and rank—but ambitious as noble men are, of power and fame. A woman can only indulge such ambition by investing it in another. It was not wealth, it was not rank, that attracted me to Albert Trevanion; it was the nature that dispenses with the wealth, and commands the rank. Nay," continued Lady Ellinor, in a voice that slightly trembled, "I may have seen in my youth, before I knew Trevanion, one (she paused a moment, and went on hurriedly)—one who wanted but ambition to have realised my ideal. Perhaps, even when I married—and it was said for love—I loved less with my whole heart than with my whole mind. I may say this now, for now every beat of this pulse is wholly and only true to him with whom I have schemed, and toiled, and aspired; with whom I have grown as one; with whom I have shared the struggle, and now partake the triumph—realising the visions of my youth."

Again the light broke from the dark eyes of this grand daughter of the world, who was so superb a type of that moral contradiction—an ambitious woman.

"I cannot tell you," resumed Lady Ellinor, softening, "how pleased I was when you came to live with us. Your father has perhaps spoken to you of me, and of our first acquaintance?"—

Lady Ellinor paused abruptly, and surveyed me as she paused. I was silent.

"Perhaps, too, he has blamed me?" she resumed, with a heightened colour.

"He never blamed you, Lady Ellinor!"

"He had a right to do so—though I doubt if he would have blamed me on the true ground. Yet, no; he never could have done me the wrong that your uncle did, when, long years ago, Mr de Caxton in a letter—the very bitterness of which disarmed all anger—accused me of having trifled with Austin—nay, with himself! And he, at least, had no right to reproach me," continued Lady Ellinor warmly, and with a curve of her haughty lip, "for if I felt interest in his wild thirst for some romantic glory, it was but in the hope that, what made the one brother so restless, might at least wake the other to the ambition that would have become his intellect, and aroused his energies. But these are old tales of follies and delusions now no more: only this will I say, that I have ever felt in thinking of your father, and even of your sterner uncle, as if my conscience reminded me of a debt which I longed to discharge—if not to them, to their children. So when we knew you, believe me that your interests, your career, instantly became to me an object. But, mistaking you—when I saw your ardent industry bent on serious objects, and accompanied by a mind so fresh and buoyant; and, absorbed as I was in schemes or projects far beyond a woman's ordinary province of hearth and home—I never dreamed, while you were our guest—never dreamed of danger to you or Fanny. I wound you, pardon me; but I must vindicate myself. I repeat that, if we had a son to inherit our name, to bear the burthen which the world lays upon those who are born to influence the world's destinies, there is no one to whom Trevanion and myself would sooner have intrusted the happiness of a daughter. But my daughter is the sole representative of the mother's line, of the father's name: it is not her happiness alone that I have to consult, it is her duty—duty to her birthright, to the career of the noblest of England's patriots—duty, I may say, without exaggeration, to the country for the sake of which that career is run!"

"Say no more, Lady Ellinor; say no more. I understand you. I have no hope—I never had hope—it was a madness—it is over. It is but as a friend that I ask again, if I may see Miss Trevanion in your presence, before—before I go alone into this long exile. Ay, look in my face—you cannot fear my resolution, my honour, my truth. But once, Lady Ellinor, but once more! Do I ask in vain?" 652

Lady Ellinor was evidently much moved. I bent down almost in the attitude of kneeling; and, brushing away her tears with one hand, she laid the other on my head tenderly, and said in a very low voice—

"I entreat you not to ask me; I entreat you not to see my daughter. You have shown that you are not selfish—conquer yourself still. What if such an interview, however guarded you might be, were but to agitate, unnerve my child, unsettle her peace, prey upon"—

"Oh, do not speak thus—she did not share my feelings!"

"Could her mother own it if she did? Come, come, remember how young you both are. When you return, all these dreams will be forgotten; then we can meet as before—then I will be your second mother, and again your career shall be my care; for do not think that we shall leave you so long in this exile as you seem to forbode. No, no; it is but an absence—an excursion—not a search after fortune. Your fortune—confide that to us when you return!"

"And I am to see her no more?" I murmured, as I rose, and went silently towards the window to conceal my face. The great struggles in life are limited to moments. In the drooping of the head upon the bosom—in the pressure of the hand upon the brow—we may scarcely consume a second in our threescore years and ten; but what revolutions of our whole being may pass within us, while that single sand drops noiseless down to the bottom of the hour-glass.

I came back with a firm step to Lady Ellinor, and said calmly, "My reason tells me that you are right, and I submit. Forgive me! and do not think me ungrateful, and over proud, if I add, that you must leave me still the object in life that consoles and encourages me through all."

"What object is that?" asked Lady Ellinor, hesitatingly.

"Independence for myself, and ease to those for whom life is still sweet. This is my twofold object; and the means to effect it must be my own heart and my own hands. And now convey all my thanks to your noble husband, and accept my warm prayers for yourself and her—whom I will not name. Farewell, Lady Ellinor."

"No, do not leave me so hastily; I have many things to discuss with you—at least to ask of you. Tell me how your father bears his reverse?—tell me, at least, if there is aught he will suffer us to do for him? There are many appointments in Trevanion's range of influence that would suit even the wilful indolence of a man of letters. Come, be frank with me!"

I could not resist so much kindness; so I sat down, and, as collectedly as I could, replied to Lady Ellinor's questions, and sought to convince her that my father only felt his losses so far as they affected me, and that nothing in Trevanion's power was likely to tempt him from his retreat, or calculated to compensate for a change in his habits. Turning at last from my parents, Lady Ellinor inquired for Roland, and, on learning that he was with me in town, expressed a strong desire to see him. I told her I would communicate her wish, and she then said thoughtfully—

"He has a son, I think, and I have heard that there is some unhappy dissension between them."

"Who could have told you that?" I asked in surprise, knowing how closely Roland had kept the secret of his family afflictions.

"Oh, I heard so from some one who knew Captain Roland—I forget when and where I heard it—but is it not the fact?"

"My uncle Roland has no son."


"His son is dead."

"How such a loss must grieve him!"

I did not speak.

"But is he sure that his son is dead! What joy if he were mistaken—if the son yet lived!"

"Nay, my uncle has a brave heart, and he is resigned;—but, pardon me, have you heard anything of that son?"

"I!—what should I hear? I would fain learn, however, from your uncle himself, what he might like to tell me of his sorrows—or if, indeed, there be any chance that"—


"That—that his son still survives."

"I think not," said I; "and I doubt whether you will learn much from my uncle. Still there is something in your words that belies their apparent meaning, and makes me 653 suspect that you know more than you will say."

"Diplomatist!" said Lady Ellinor, half smiling; but then, her face settling into a seriousness almost severe, she added, "It is terrible to think that a father should hate his son!"

"Hate!—Roland hate his son! What calumny is this?"

"He does not do so, then! Assure me of that; I shall be so glad to know that I have been misinformed."

"I can tell you this, and no more—for no more do I know—that if ever the soul of a father were wrapt up in a son—fear, hope, gladness, sorrow, all reflected back on a father's heart from the shadows on a son's life—Roland was that father while the son lived still."

"I cannot disbelieve you," exclaimed Lady Ellinor, though in a tone of surprise. "Well, do let me see your uncle."

"I will do my best to induce him to visit you, and learn all that you evidently conceal from me."

Lady Ellinor evasively replied to this insinuation, and shortly afterwards I left that house in which I had known the happiness that brings the folly, and the grief that bequeaths the wisdom.


I had always felt a warm and almost filial affection for Lady Ellinor, independently of her relationship to Fanny, and of the gratitude with which her kindness inspired me: for there is an affection very peculiar in its nature, and very high in its degree, which results from the blending of two sentiments not often allied,—viz., pity and admiration. It was impossible not to admire the rare gifts and great qualities of Lady Ellinor, and not to feel pity for the cares, anxieties, and sorrows which tormented one who, with all the sensitiveness of woman, went forth into the rough world of man.

My father's confession had somewhat impaired my esteem for Lady Ellinor, and had left on my mind the uneasy impression that she had trifled with his deep, and Roland's impetuous, heart. The conversation that had just passed allowed me to judge her with more justice—allowed me to see that she had really shared the affection she had inspired in the student, but that ambition had been stronger than love—an ambition, it might be, irregular and not strictly feminine, but still of no vulgar nor sordid kind. I gathered, too, from her hints and allusions, her true excuse for Roland's misconception of her apparent interest in himself: she had but seen, in the wild energies of the elder brother, some agency by which to arouse the serener faculties of the younger. She had but sought, in the strange comet that flashed before her, to fix a lever that might move the star. Nor could I withhold my reverence from the woman who, not being married precisely from love, had no sooner linked her nature to one worthy of it, than her whole life became as fondly devoted to her husband's as if he had been the object of her first romance and her earliest affections. If even her child was so secondary to her husband—if the fate of that child was but regarded by her as one to be rendered subservient to the grand destinies of Trevanion—still it was impossible to recognise the error of that conjugal devotion without admiring the wife, though one might condemn the mother. Turning from these meditations, I felt a lover's thrill of selfish joy, amidst all the mournful sorrow comprised in the thought that I should see Fanny no more. Was it true as Lady Ellinor implied, though delicately, that Fanny still cherished a remembrance of me—which a brief interview, a last farewell, might re-awaken too dangerously for her peace? Well, that was a thought that it became me not to indulge.

What could Lady Ellinor have heard of Roland and his son? Was it possible that the lost lived still? Asking myself these questions, I arrived at our lodgings, and saw the Captain himself before me, busied with the inspection of sundry specimens of the rude necessaries an 654 Australian adventurer requires. There stood the old soldier, by the window, examining narrowly into the temper of hand-saw and tenor-saw, broad axe and drawing-knife; and as I came up to him, he looked at me from under his black brows, with gruff compassion, and said peevishly—

"Fine weapons these for the son of a gentleman!—one bit of steel in the shape of a sword were worth them all."

"Any weapon that conquers fate is noble in the hands of a brave man, uncle!"

"The boy has an answer for everything," quoth the Captain, smiling, as he took out his purse and paid the shopman.

When we were alone, I said to him—"Uncle, you must go and see Lady Ellinor; she desires me to tell you so."


"You will not?"


"Uncle, I think that she has something to say to you with regard to—to—pardon me!—to my cousin."

"To Blanche?"

"No, no—to the cousin I never saw."

Roland turned pale, and, sinking down on a chair, faltered out—"To him—to my son!"

"Yes; but I do not think it is news that will afflict you. Uncle, are you sure that my cousin is dead?"

"What!—how dare you!—who doubts it? Dead—dead to me for ever! Boy, would you have him live to dishonour these gray hairs!"

"Sir, sir, forgive me—uncle, forgive me: but, pray, go to see Lady Ellinor; for whatever she has to say, I repeat that I am sure it will be nothing to wound you."

"Nothing to wound me—yet relate to him!"

It is impossible to convey to the reader the despair that was in those words.

"Perhaps," said I, after a long pause, and in a low voice—for I was awestricken—"perhaps—if he be dead—he may have repented of all offence to you before he died."

"Repented!—ha, ha!"

"Or, if he be not dead"—

"Hush, boy—hush!"

"While there is life, there is hope of repentance."

"Look you, nephew," said the Captain, rising and folding his arms resolutely on his breast—"look you, I desired that that name might never be breathed. I have not cursed my son yet; could he come to life—the curse might fall! You do not know what torture your words have given me, just when I had opened my heart to another son, and found that son in you! With respect to the lost, I have now but one prayer, and you know it—the heartbroken prayer—that his name never more may come to my ears!"

As he closed these words, to which I ventured no reply, the Captain took long disordered strides across the room; and suddenly, as if the space imprisoned, or the air stifled him, he seized his hat, and hastened into the streets. Recovering my surprise and dismay, I ran after him; but he commanded me to leave him to his own thoughts, in a voice so stern, yet so sad, that I had no choice but to obey. I knew, by my own experience, how necessary is solitude in the moments when grief is strongest and thought most troubled.


Hours elapsed, and the Captain had not returned home. I began to feel uneasy, and went forth in search of him, though I knew not whither to direct my steps. I thought it, however, at least probable, that he had not been able to resist visiting Lady Ellinor, so I went first to St James's Square. My suspicions were correct; the Captain had been there two hours before. Lady Ellinor herself had gone out shortly after the Captain left. While the porter was giving me this information, a carriage stopped at the door, and a footman, stepping up, gave the porter a note and a small parcel, seemingly of books, saying simply, "From the Marquis of Castleton." At the sound of that name I turned hastily, and recognised Sir Sedley Beaudesert seated in the carriage, and looking out of the window 655 with a dejected, moody expression of countenance, very different from his ordinary aspect, except when the rare sight of a gray hair, or a twinge of the toothache, reminded him that he was no longer twenty-five. Indeed, the change was so great that I exclaimed, dubiously—"Is that Sir Sedley Beaudesert?" The footman looked at me, and touching his hat said, with a condescending smile,—"Yes, sir—now the Marquis of Castleton."

Then, for the first time since the young lord's death, I remembered Sir Sedley's expressions of gratitude to Lady Castleton, and the waters of Ems, for having saved him from "that horrible marquisate." Meanwhile, my old friend had perceived me, exclaiming,—

"What, Mr Caxton! I am delighted to see you. Open the door, Thomas. Pray come in, come in."

I obeyed; and the new Lord Castleton made room for me by his side.

"Are you in a hurry?" said he; "if so, shall I take you anywhere?—if not, give me half an hour of your time, while I drive to the City."

As I knew not now in what direction, more than another, to prosecute my search for the Captain, and as I thought I might as well call at our lodgings to inquire if he had not returned, I answered that I should be very happy to accompany his lordship; "though the City," said I, smiling, "sounds to me strange upon the lips of Sir Sedley—I beg pardon, I should say of Lord—"

"Don't say any such thing; let me once more hear the grateful sound of Sedley Beaudesert. Shut the door, Thomas; to Gracechurch Street—Messrs Fudge and Fidget."

The carriage drove on.

"A sad affliction has befallen me," said the marquis, "and none sympathise with me!"

"Yet all, even unacquainted with the late lord, must have felt shocked at the death of one so young, and so full of promise."

"So fitted in every way to bear the burthen of the great Castleton name and property, and yet you see it killed him! Ah! if he had been but a simple gentleman, or if he had had less conscientious desire to do his duties, he would have lived to a good old age. I know what it is already. Oh, if you saw the piles of letters on my table! I positively dread the post. Such colossal improvements on the property which the poor boy had begun, for me to finish. What do you think takes me to Fudge and Fidget's? Sir, they are the agents for an infernal coal mine which my cousin had reopened in Durham, to plague my life out with another thirty thousand pounds a-year! How am I to spend the money?—how am I to spend it! There's a cold-blooded head steward, who says that charity is the greatest crime a man in high station can commit; it demoralises the poor. Then, because some half-a-dozen farmers sent me a round-robin, to the effect that their rents were too high, and I wrote them word the rents should be lowered, there was such a hullabaloo—you would have thought heaven and earth were coming together. 'If a man in the position of the Marquis of Castleton set the example of letting land below its value, how could the poorer squires in the county exist?—or, if they did exist, what injustice to expose them, to the charge that they were grasping landlords, vampires, and bloodsuckers. Clearly, if Lord Castleton lowered his rents, (they were too low already,) he struck a mortal blow at the property of his neighbours, if they followed his example; or at their character, if they did not.' No man can tell how hard it is to do good, unless fortune gives him a hundred thousand pounds a-year, and says,—'Now, do good with it!' Sedley Beaudesert might follow his whims, and all that would be said against him would be, 'Good-natured, simple fellow!' But if Lord Castleton follow his whims, you would think he was a second Catiline—unsettling the peace, and undermining the prosperity, of the entire nation!" Here the wretched man paused, and sighed heavily; then, as his thoughts wandered into a new channel of woe, he resumed,—"Ah, if you could but see the forlorn great house I am expected to inhabit, cooped up between dead walls, instead of my pretty rooms, with the windows full on the park; and the balls I am expected to give, and the parliamentary interest I am to keep up; and 656 the villanous proposal made to me to become a lord steward, or lord chamberlain, because it suits my rank to be a sort of a servant. Oh, Pisistratus! you lucky dog—not twenty-one, and with, I dare say, not two hundred pounds a-year in the world!"

Thus bemoaning and bewailing his sad fortunes, the poor marquis ran on, till at last he exclaimed, in a tone of yet deeper despair,—

"And everybody says I must marry, too!—that the Castleton line must not be extinct! The Beaudeserts are a good old family eno'—as old, for what I know, as the Castletons; but the British empire would suffer no loss if they sank into the tomb of the Capulets. But that the Castleton peerage should expire, is a thought of crime and woe, at which all the mothers of England rise in a phalanx! And so, instead of visiting the sins of the fathers on the sons, it is the father that is to be sacrificed for the benefit of the third and fourth generation!"

Despite my causes for seriousness, I could not help laughing; my companion turned on me a look of reproach.

"At least," said I, composing my countenance, "Lord Castleton has one comfort in his afflictions—if he must marry, he may choose as he pleases."

"That is precisely what Sedley Beaudesert could, and Lord Castleton cannot do," said the marquis gravely. "The rank of Sir Sedley Beaudesert was a quiet and comfortable rank—he might marry a curate's daughter, or a duke's—and please his eye or grieve his heart as the caprice took him. But Lord Castleton must marry, not for a wife, but for a marchioness,—marry some one who will wear his rank for him,—take the trouble of splendour off his hands, and allow him to retire into a corner, and dream that he is Sedley Beaudesert once more! Yes, it must be so—the crowning sacrifice must be completed at the altar. But a truce to my complaints. Trevanion informs me you are going to Australia,—can that be true?"

"Perfectly true."

"They say there is a sad want of ladies there."

"So much the better,—I shall be all the more steady."

"Well, there's something in that. Have you seen Lady Ellinor?"

"Yes—this morning."

"Poor woman!—a great blow to her—we have tried to console each other. Fanny, you know, is staying at Oxton, in Surrey, with Lady Castleton,—the poor lady is so fond of her—and no one has comforted her like Fanny."

"I was not aware that Miss Trevanion was out of town."

"Only for a few days, and then she and Lady Ellinor join Trevanion in the north—you know he is with Lord N——, settling measures on which—but alas, they consult me now on those matters—force their secrets on me. I have, heaven knows how many votes! Poor me! Upon my word, if Lady Ellinor was a widow, I should certainly make up to her: very clever woman—nothing bores her." (The marquis yawned—Sir Sedley Beaudesert never yawned.) "Trevanion has provided for his Scotch secretary, and is about to get a place in the Foreign Office for that young fellow Gower, whom, between you and me, I don't like. But he has bewitched Trevanion!"

"What sort of a person is this Mr Gower?—I remember you said that he was clever, and good-looking."

"He is both, but it is not the cleverness of youth; he is as hard and sarcastic as if he had been cheated fifty times, and jilted a hundred! Neither are his good looks that letter of recommendation which a handsome face is said to be. He has an expression of countenance very much like that of Lord Hertford's pet bloodhound, when a stranger comes into the room. Very sleek, handsome dog, the bloodhound is certainly—well-mannered, and I dare say exceedingly tame; but still you have but to look at the corner of the eye, to know that it is only the habit of the drawing-room that suppresses the creature's constitutional tendency to seize you by the throat, instead of giving you a paw. Still this Mr Gower has a very striking head—something about it Moorish or Spanish, like a picture by Murillo: I half suspect that he is less a Gower than a gipsy!"

"What!"—I cried, as I listened with rapt and breathless attention to this description. "He is then very dark, with high narrow forehead, features slightly aquiline, but very delicate, 657 and teeth so dazzling that the whole face seems to sparkle when he smiles—though it is only the lip that smiles, not the eye."

"Exactly as you say; you have seen him, then?"

"Why, I am not sure, since you say his name is Gower."

"He says his name is Gower," returned Lord Castleton, drily, as he inhaled the Beaudesert mixture.

"And where is he now?—with Mr Trevanion?"

"Yes, I believe so. Ah! here we are—Fudge and Fidget! But perhaps," added Lord Castleton, with a gleam of hope in his blue eye,—"perhaps they are not at home!"

Alas, that was an illusive "imagining," as the poets of the nineteenth century unaffectedly express themselves. Messrs Fudge and Fidget were never out to such clients as the Marquis of Castleton: with a deep sigh, and an altered expression of face, the Victim of Fortune slowly descended the steps of the carriage.

"I can't ask you to wait for me," said he; "heaven only knows how long I shall be kept! Take the carriage where you will, and send it back to me."

"A thousand thanks, my dear lord, I would rather walk—but you will let me call on you before I leave town."

"Let you!—I insist on it. I am still at the old quarters, under pretence," said the marquis, with a sly twinkle of the eyelid, "that Castleton House wants painting!"

"At twelve to-morrow, then?"

"Twelve to-morrow. Alas! that's just the hour at which Mr Screw, the agent for the London property, (two squares, seven streets, and a lane!) is to call."

"Perhaps two o'clock will suit you better?"

"Two!—just the hour at which Mr Plausible, one of the Castleton members, insists upon telling me why his conscience will not let him vote with Trevanion!"

"Three o'clock?"

"Three!—just the hour at which I am to see the Secretary of the Treasury, who has promised to relieve Mr Plausible's conscience! But come and dine with me—you will meet the executors to the will!"

"Nay, Sir Sedley—that is, my dear lord—I will take my chance, and look in, after dinner."

"Do so; my guests are not lively! What a firm step the rogue has! Only twenty, I think—twenty! and not an acre of property to plague him!" So saying, the marquis dolorously shook his head, and vanished through the noiseless mahogany doors, behind which Messrs Fudge and Fidget awaited the unhappy man,—with the accounts of the great Castleton coal mine.


On my way towards our lodgings, I resolved to look in at a humble tavern, in the coffee-room of which the Captain and myself habitually dined. It was now about the usual hour in which we took that meal, and he might be there waiting for me. I had just gained the steps of this tavern, when a stage coach came rattling along the pavement, and drew up at an inn of more pretensions than that which we favoured, situated within a few doors of the latter. As the coach stopped, my eye was caught by the Trevanion livery, which was very peculiar. Thinking I must be deceived, I drew near to the wearer of the livery, who had just descended from the roof, and, while he paid the coachman, gave his orders to a waiter who emerged from the inn—"Half-and-half, cold without!" The tone of the voice struck me as familiar, and, the man now looking up, I beheld the features of Mr Peacock. Yes, unquestionably it was he. The whiskers were shaved—there were traces of powder in the hair or the wig—the livery of the Trevanions (ay, the very livery—crestbutton, and all) upon that portly figure, which I had last seen in the more august robes of a beadle. But Mr Peacock it was—Peacock travestied, but Peacock still. Before I had recovered my amaze, a woman got out of a cabriolet, which seemed to have been in waiting for the arrival of the coach, and, hurrying up to Mr Peacock, said in the loud impatient tone common to the fairest of the fair sex, 658 when in haste—"How late you are—I was just going. I must get back to Oxton to-night."

Oxton—Miss Trevanion was staying at Oxton! I was now close behind the pair—I listened with my heart in my ear.

"So you shall, my dear—so you shall; just come in, will you."

"No, no; I have only ten minutes to catch the coach. Have you any letter for me from Mr Gower? How can I be sure, if I don't see it under his own hand, that"—

"Hush!" said Peacock, sinking his voice so low that I could only catch the words, "no names, letter, pooh, I'll tell you." He then drew her apart, and whispered to her for some moments. I watched the woman's face, which was bent towards her companion's, and it seemed to show quick intelligence. She nodded her head more than once, as if in impatient assent to what was said; and, after a shaking of hands, hurried off to the cab; then, as if a thought struck her, she ran back, and said—

"But in case my lady should not go—if there's any change of plan?"

"There'll be no change, you may be sure: Positively to-morrow—not too early; you understand?"

"Yes, yes; good-by"—and the woman, who was dressed with a quiet neatness, that seemed to stamp her profession as that of an abigail, (black cloak, with long cape—of that peculiar silk which seems spun on purpose for ladies'-maids—bonnet to match, with red and black ribbons,) hastened once more away, and in another moment the cab drove off furiously.

What could all this mean? By this time the waiter brought Mr Peacock the half-and-half. He despatched it hastily, and then strode on towards a neighbouring stand of cabriolets. I followed him; and just as, after beckoning one of the vehicles from the stand, he had ensconced himself therein, I sprang up the steps and placed myself by his side. "Now, Mr Peacock," said I, "you will tell me at once how you come to wear that livery, or I shall order the cabman to drive to Lady Ellinor Trevanion's, and ask her that question myself."

"And who the devil!—Ah, you're the young gentleman that came to me behind the scenes—I remember."

"Where to, sir?" asked the cabman.

"To—to London Bridge," said Mr Peacock.

The man mounted the box, and drove on.

"Well, Mr Peacock, I wait your answer. I guess by your face that you are about to tell me a lie; I advise you to speak the truth."

"I don't know what business you have to question me," said Mr Peacock sullenly; and, raising his glance from his own clenched fists, he suffered it to wander over my form with so vindictive a significance that I interrupted the survey by saying, "Will you encounter the house? as the Swan interrogatively puts it—shall I order the cabman to drive to St James's Square?"

"Oh, you know my weak point, sir; any man who can quote Will—sweet Will—has me on the hip," rejoined Mr Peacock, smoothing his countenance, and spreading his palms on his knees. "But if a man does fall in the world, and, after keeping servants of his own, is obliged to be himself a servant,

---- 'I will not shame
To tell you what I am.'"

"The Swan says, 'To tell you what I was,' Mr Peacock. But enough of this trifling: who placed you with Mr Trevanion?"

Mr Peacock looked down for a moment, and then, fixing his eyes on me, said—"Well, I'll tell you: you asked me, when we met last, about a young gentleman—Mr—Mr Vivian."


Peacock.—I know you don't want to harm him. Besides, "He hath a prosperous art," and one day or other,—mark my words, or rather my friend Will's—

"He will bestride this narrow world
Like a Colossus."

Upon my life he will—like a Colossus,

"And we petty men—"

Pisistratus (savagely.)—Go on with your story.

Peacock (snappishly.)—I am going on with it! You put me out; where was I—oh—ah yes. I had just been sold up—not a penny in my pocket; 659 and if you could have seen my coat—yet that was better than the small-clothes! Well, it was in Oxford Street—no, it was in the Strand, near the Lowther—

"The sun was in the heavens; and the proud day
Attended, with the pleasures of the world."

Pisistratus, (lowering the glass.)—To St James's Square?

Peacock.—No, no; to London Bridge.

"How use doth breed a habit in a man!"

I will go on—honour bright. So I met Mr Vivian, and as he had known me in better days, and has a good heart of his own, he says—

"Horatio,—or I do forget myself."

Pisistratus puts his hand on the check-string.

Peacock.—I mean, (correcting himself)—"Why, Johnson, my good fellow."

Pisistratus.—Johnson!—oh that's your name—not Peacock.

Peacock.—Johnson and Peacock both, (with dignity.) When you know the world as I do, sir, you will find that it is ill travelling this "naughty world" without a change of names in your portmanteau.

"Johnson," says he, "my good fellow," and he pulled out his purse. "Sir," said I, "if, 'exempt from public haunt,' I could get something to do when this dross is gone. In London there are sermons in stones, certainly, but not 'good in everything,'—an observation I should take the liberty of making to the Swan, if he were not now, alas! 'the baseless fabric of a vision.'"

Pisistratus.—Take care!

Peacock—(hurriedly.)—Then says Mr Vivian, "If you don't mind wearing a livery, till I can provide for you more suitably, my old friend, there's a vacancy in the establishment of Mr Trevanion." Sir, I accepted the proposal, and that's why I wear this livery.

Pisistratus.—And, pray, what business had you with that young woman, whom I take to be Miss Trevanion's maid?—and why should she come from Oxton to see you?

I had expected that these questions would confound Mr Peacock, but if there really were anything in them to cause embarrassment, the ci-devant actor was too practised in his profession to exhibit it. He merely smiled, and smoothing jauntily a very tumbled shirt-front, he said, "Oh sir, fie!

'Of this matter,
Is little Cupid's crafty arrow made.'

If you must know my love affairs, that young woman is, as the vulgar say, my sweetheart."

"Your sweetheart!" I exclaimed, greatly relieved, and acknowledging at once the probability of the statement. "Yet," I added suspiciously—"yet, if so, why should she expect Mr Gower to write to her?"

"You're quick of hearing, sir; but though

'All adoration, duty, and observance;
All humbleness, and patience, and impatience,'

the young woman will not marry a livery servant—proud creature, very proud!—and Mr Gower, you see, knowing how it was, felt for me, and told her, if I may take such liberty with the Swan, that she should

——'Never lie by Johnson's side
With an unquiet soul,'

for that he would get me a place in the Stamps! The silly girl said she would have it in black and white—as if Mr Gower would write to her!"

"And now, sir," continued Mr Peacock, with a simpler gravity, "you are at liberty, of course, to say what you please to my lady, but I hope you'll not try to take the bread out of my mouth because I wear a livery, and am fool enough to be in love with a waiting-woman—I, sir, who could have married ladies who have played the first parts in life—on the metropolitan stage."

I had nothing to say to these representations—they seemed plausible; and though at first I had suspected that the man had only resorted to the buffoonery of his quotations in order to gain time for invention, or to divert my notice from any flaw in his narrative, yet at the close, as the narrative seemed probable, so I was willing to believe that the buffoonery was merely characteristic. I contented myself therefore with asking— 660

"Where do you come from now?"

"From Mr Trevanion, in the country, with letters to Lady Ellinor?"

"Oh, and so the young woman knew you were coming to town?"

"Yes, sir; some days ago. Mr Trevanion told me the day I should have to start."

"And what do you and the young woman propose doing to-morrow, if there is no change of plan?"

Here I certainly thought there was a slight, scarce perceptible, alteration in Mr Peacock's countenance, but he answered readily, "To-morrow? a little assignation, if we can both get out;—

'Woo me, now I am in a holiday humour,
And like enough to consent.'

Swan again, sir!"

"Humph!—so then Mr Gower and Mr Vivian are the same person."

Peacock hesitated. "That's not my secret, sir; 'I am combined by a sacred vow.' You are too much the gentleman to peep through the blanket of the dark, and to ask me, who wear the whips and stripes—I mean the plush small-clothes and shoulder-knots—the secrets of another gent, to whom 'my services are bound.'"

How a man past thirty foils a man scarcely twenty!—what superiority the mere fact of living-on gives to the dullest dog! I bit my lip, and was silent.

"And," pursued Mr Peacock, "if you knew how the Mr Vivian you inquired after loves you"! When I told him incidentally, how a young gentleman had come behind the scenes to inquire after him, he made me describe you, and then said, quite mournfully, 'If ever I am what I hope to become, how happy I shall be to shake that kind hand once more,'—very words, sir!—honour bright!

'I think there's ne'er a man in Christendom
Can lesser hide his hate or love than he.'

And if Mr Vivian has some reason to keep himself concealed still—if his fortune or ruin depend on your not divulging his secret for awhile—I can't think you are the man he need fear. 'Pon my life,

'I wish I was as sure of a good dinner,'

as the Swan touchingly exclaims. I dare swear that was a wish often on the Swan's lips in the privacy of his domestic life!"

My heart was softened, not by the pathos of the much profaned and desecrated Swan, but by Mr Peacock's unadorned repetition of Vivian's words; I turned my face from the sharp eyes of my companion—the cab now stopped at the foot of London Bridge.

I had no more to ask, yet still there was some uneasy curiosity in my mind, which I could hardly define to myself,—was it not jealousy? Vivian, so handsome and so daring—he at least might see the great heiress; Lady Ellinor perhaps thought of no danger there. But—I—I was a lover still, and—nay, such thoughts were folly indeed!

"My man," said I to the ex-comedian, "I neither wish to harm Mr Vivian (if I am so to call him,) nor you who imitate him in the variety of your names. But I tell you, fairly, that I do not like your being in Mr Trevanion's employment, and I advise you to get out of it as soon as possible. I say nothing more as yet, for I shall take time to consider well what you have told me."

With that I hastened away, and Mr Peacock continued his solitary journey over London Bridge.


Amidst all that lacerated my heart, or tormented my thoughts, that eventful day, I felt at least one joyous emotion, when, on entering our little drawing-room, I found my uncle seated there.

The Captain had placed before him on the table a large Bible, borrowed from the landlady. He never travelled, to be sure, without his own Bible, but the print of that was small, and the Captain's eyes began to fail him at night. So this was a Bible with large type; and a candle was placed on either side of it; and the Captain leant his elbows on the table, and both his hands were tightly clasped upon his forehead—tightly, as if to 661 shut out the tempter, and force his whole soul upon the page.

He sate, the image of iron courage; in every line of that rigid form there was resolution. "I will not listen to my heart; I will read the Book, and learn to suffer as becomes a Christian man."

There was such a pathos in the stern sufferer's attitude, that it spoke those words as plainly as if his lips had said them.

Old soldier! thou hast done a soldier's part in many a bloody field; but if I could make visible to the world thy brave soldier's soul, I would paint thee as I saw thee then!—Out on this tyro's hand!

At the movement I made, the Captain looked up, and the strife he had gone through was written upon his face.

"It has done me good," said he simply, and he closed the book.

I drew my chair near to him, and hung my arm over his shoulder.

"No cheering news then?" asked I in a whisper.

Roland shook his head, and gently laid his finger on his lips.


It was impossible for me to intrude upon Roland's thoughts, whatever their nature, with a detail of those circumstances which had roused in me a keen and anxious interest in things apart from his sorrow.

Yet, as "restless I roll'd around my weary bed," and revolved the renewal of Vivian's connexion with a man of character so equivocal as Peacock, the establishment of an able and unscrupulous tool of his own in the service of Trevanion, the care with which he had concealed from me his change of name, and his intimacy at the very house to which I had frankly offered to present him; the familiarity which his creature had contrived to effect with Miss Trevanion's maid, the words that had passed between them—plausibly accounted for, it is true, yet still suspicious—and, above all, my painful recollections of Vivian's reckless ambition, and unprincipled sentiments—nay, the effect that a few random words upon Fanny's fortune, and the luck of winning an heiress, had sufficed to produce upon his heated fancy and audacious temper: when all these thoughts came upon me, strong and vivid, in the darkness of night, I longed for some confidant, more experienced in the world than myself, to advise me as to the course I ought to pursue. Should I warn Lady Ellinor? But of what?—the character of a servant, or the designs of the fictitious Gower? Against the first I could say, if nothing very positive, still enough to make it prudent to dismiss him. But of Gower or Vivian, what could I say without, not indeed betraying his confidence—for that he had never given me—but without belying the professions of friendship that I myself had lavishly made to him? Perhaps, after all, he might have disclosed whatever were his real secrets to Trevanion; and, if not, I might indeed ruin his prospects by revealing the aliases he assumed. But wherefore reveal, and wherefore warn? Because of suspicions that I could not myself analyse—suspicions founded on circumstances most of which had already been seemingly explained away? Still, when morning came, I was irresolute what to do; and after watching Roland's countenance, and seeing on his brow so great a weight of care, that I had no option but to postpone the confidence I pined to place in his strong understanding and unerring sense of honour, I wandered out, hoping that in the fresh air I might re-collect my thoughts, and solve the problem that perplexed me. I had enough to do in sundry small orders for my voyage, and commissions for Bolding, to occupy me some hours. And, this business done, I found myself moving westward; mechanically, as it were, I had come to a kind of half-and-half resolution to call upon Lady Ellinor, and question her, carelessly and incidentally, both about Gower and the new servant admitted to the household.

Thus I found myself in Regent Street, when a carriage, borne by post-horses, whirled rapidly over the pavement—scattering to the right and left all 662 humbler equipages—and hurried, as if on an errand of life and death, up the broad thoroughfare leading into Portland Place. But, rapidly as the wheels dashed by, I had seen distinctly the face of Fanny Trevanion in the carriage, and that face wore a strange expression, which seemed to me to speak of anxiety and grief; and, by her side—was not that the woman I had seen with Peacock? I did not see the face of the woman, but I thought I recognised the cloak, the bonnet, and peculiar turn of the head. If I could be mistaken there, I was not mistaken at least as to the servant on the seat behind. Looking back at a butcher's boy, who had just escaped being run over, and was revenging himself by all the imprecations the Diræ of London slang could suggest, the face of Mr Peacock was exposed in full to my gaze.

My first impulse, on recovering my surprise, was to spring after the carriage; in the haste of that impulse, I cried "Stop!" But the carriage was out of sight in a moment, and my word was lost in air. After pausing for a moment, full of presentiments of some evil—I knew not what—I then altered my course, and stopped not till I found myself, panting and out of breath, in St James's Square—at the door of Trevanion's house—in the hall. The porter had a newspaper in his hand as he admitted me.

"Where is Lady Ellinor? I must see her instantly."

"No worse news of master, I hope, sir?"

"Worse news of what?—of whom?—of Mr Trevanion?"

"Did you not know he was suddenly taken ill, sir; that a servant came express to say so last night. Lady Ellinor went off at ten o'clock to join him."

"At ten o'clock last night?"

"Yes, sir; the servant's account alarmed her ladyship so much."

"The new servant, who had been recommended by Mr Gower?"

"Yes, sir—Henry," answered the porter staring at me. "Please, sir, here is an account of master's attack in the paper. I suppose Henry took it to the office before he came here, which was very wrong in him; but I am afraid he's a very foolish fellow."

"Never mind that, Miss Trevanion—I saw her just now—she did not go with her mother; Where was she going, then?"

"Why, sir—but pray step into the parlour."

"No, no—speak."

"Why, sir, before Lady Ellinor set out, she was afraid that there might be something in the papers to alarm Miss Trevanion, and so she sent Henry down to Lady Castleton's, to beg her ladyship to make as light of it as she could; but it seems that Henry blabbed the worst to Mrs Mole,—"

"Who is Mrs Mole?"

"Miss Trevanion's maid, sir—a new maid; and Mrs Mole blabbed to my young lady, and so she took fright, and insisted on coming to town. And Lady Castleton, who is ill herself in bed, could not keep her, I suppose—especially as Henry said, though he ought to have known better, 'that she would be in time to arrive before my lady set off.' Poor Miss Trevanion was so disappointed when she found her mamma gone. And then she would order fresh horses, and would go on, though Mrs Bates (the housekeeper, you know, sir) was very angry with Mrs Mole, who encouraged Miss; and—"

"Good heavens! Why did not Mrs Bates go with her?"

"Why, sir, you know how old Mrs Bates is, and my young lady is always so kind that she would not hear of it, as she is going to travel night and day; and Mrs Mole said she had gone all over the world with her last lady, and that—"

"I see it all. Where is Mr Gower?"

"Mr Gower, sir!"

"Yes! Can't you answer?"

"Why, with Mr Trevanion, I believe, sir."

"In the north—what is the address?"

"Lord N——, C—— Hall, near W——"

I heard no more.

The conviction of some villanous snare struck me as with the swiftness and force of lightning. Why, if Trevanion were really ill, had the false servant concealed it from me? Why suffered me to waste his time, instead 663 of hastening to Lady Ellinor? How, if Mr Trevanion's sudden illness had brought the man to London—how had he known so long beforehand (as he himself told me, and his appointment with the waiting woman proved) the day he should arrive? Why now, if there were no design of which Miss Trevanion was the object—why so frustrate the provident foresight of her mother, and take advantage of the natural yearning of affection, the quick impulse of youth, to hurry off a girl whose very station forbade her to take such a journey without suitable protection—against what must be the wish, and what clearly were the instructions, of Lady Ellinor? Alone,—worse than alone! Fanny Trevanion was then in the hands of two servants, who were the instruments and confidants of an adventurer like Vivian; and that conference between those servants—those broken references to the morrow, coupled with the name Vivian had assumed—needed the unerring instincts of love more cause for terror—terror the darker, because the exact shape it should assume was obscure and indistinct?

I sprang from the house.

I hastened into the Haymarket, summoned a cabriolet, drove home as fast as I could (for I had no money about me for the journey I meditated;) sent the servant of the lodging to engage a chaise-and-four, rushed into the room, where Roland fortunately still was, and exclaimed—"Uncle, come with me!—take money, plenty of money!—Some villany I know, though I cannot explain it, has been practised on the Trevanions. We may defeat it yet. I will tell you all by the way—come, come!"

"Certainly. But villany!—and to people of such a station—pooh—collect yourself. Who is the villain?"

"Oh, the man I have loved as a friend—the man whom I myself helped to make known to Trevanion.—Vivian—Vivian!"

"Vivian!—ah, the youth I have heard you speak of. But how?—villany to whom—to Trevanion?"

"You torture me with your questions. Listen—this Vivian (I know him)—he has introduced into the house, as a servant, an agent capable of any trick and fraud; that servant has aided him to win over her maid—Fanny's—Miss Trevanion's. Miss Trevanion is an heiress, Vivian an adventurer. My head swims round, I cannot explain now. Ha! I will write a line to Lord Castleton—tell him my fears and suspicions—he will follow us, I know, or do what is best."

I drew ink and paper towards me, and wrote hastily. My uncle came round and looked over my shoulder.

Suddenly he exclaimed, seizing my arm, "Gower, Gower. What name is this? You said 'Vivian.'"

"Vivian or Gower—the same person."

My uncle hurried out of the room. It was natural that he should leave me to make our joint and brief preparations for departure.

I finished my letter, sealed it, and when, five minutes afterwards, the chaise came to the door, I gave it to the ostler who accompanied the horses, with injunctions to deliver it forthwith to Lord Castleton himself.

My uncle now descended, and walked from the threshold with a firm stride. "Comfort yourself," he said, as he entered the chaise, into which I had already thrown myself. "We may be mistaken yet."

"Mistaken! You do not know this young man. He has every quality that could entangle a girl like Fanny, and not, I fear, one sentiment of honour that would stand in the way of his ambition. I judge him now as by a revelation—too late—oh Heavens, if it be too late!"

A groan broke from Roland's lips. I heard in it a proof of his sympathy with my emotion, and grasped his hand; it was as cold as the hand of the dead. 664


Professor Shaw, in the preface to his translation of Lajetchnikoff's striking and interesting romance, The Heretic, notices the shyness of English novelists in approaching Russian ground. "How happens it," he says, "that Russia, with her reminiscences of two centuries and a half of Tartar dominion—of her long and bloody struggles with the Ottoman and the Pole, whose territories stretch almost from the arctic ice to the equator, and whose semi-oriental diadem bears inscribed upon it such names as Peter and Catherine—should have been passed over as incapable of supplying rich materials for fiction and romance?" The question is hard to answer, and appears doubly so after reading the third volume of Monsieur A. Blanc's recent work on political conspiracies and executions,—a volume sufficient of itself to set those romance-writing who never wrote romance before. It is a trite remark, that romances, having history for their groundwork, derive their attraction and interest far more from the skill and genius of their authors than from the importance of the period selected, and from the historical prominence of the characters introduced. It is unnecessary to name writers in whose hands a Bayard or a du Guesclin, a Cromwell or a Charles of Sweden, would appear tame and commonplace. Our readers need not to be reminded of others of a different stamp,—and of one, great amongst all, the rays of whose genius have formed a halo of grandeur, glory, or fascination around persons to whom history accords scarcely a word. But such genius is not of every-day growth; and to historical romance-writers of the calibre of most of those with whom the British public is now fain to cry content, the mere devising of a plot, uniting tolerable historical fidelity with some claim to originality, is an undertaking in which they are by no means uniformly successful. To such we recommend, as useful auxiliaries, M. Blanc's octavos, and especially the one that suggests the present article. English and Scottish histories, if not used up, have at least been very handsomely worked, and have fairly earned a little tranquillity upon their shelves: the wars of the Stuarts, in particular, have contributed more than their quota to the literary fund. The same may be said of the history of France, so fertile in striking events, and so largely made use of by purveyors to the circulating libraries. Italy and Spain, and even Poland, have not escaped; whilst the East has been disported over in every direction by the accomplished Morier, and a swarm of imitators and inferiors. But what Englishman has tried his hand at a Russian historical romance? We strive in vain to call to mind an original novel in our language founded on incidents of Russian history—although the history of scarcely any nation in the world includes, in the same space of time, a greater number of strange and extraordinary events.

M. Blanc's book, notwithstanding a certain air of pretension in the style of its getting up, in the very mediocre illustrations, and in the tone of the introductory pages, is substantially an unassuming performance. It is a compilation, and contains little that is not to be found printed elsewhere. At the same time, perhaps in no other work are the same events and details thrown together in so compact and entertaining a form. The author troubles us with few comments of his own, and his reserve in this respect enhances the merit of his book, for when he departs from it his views are somewhat strained and ultra-French. But his narrative is spiritedly put together; and although it will be found, upon comparison, that he has, for the most part, faithfully adhered to high historical authorities, to the 665 exclusion of mere traditionary matter and of imaginative embellishment, yet the dramatic interest of the subject is itself so vivid, that the book reads like a romance.

The Russian history, even to our own day, is a sanguinary and cruel chronicle. Its brevity is its best excuse. The youth of the country extenuates the crimes of its children. For if the strides of Russia have been vast and rapid in the paths of civilisation, we must bear in mind that it is but very recently the progress began. "At the commencement of the eighteenth century," says M. Blanc, "it had certainly been very difficult to foresee that fifty years later a magnificent and polite court would be established on the Gulf of Finland; that soldiers raised on the banks of the Volga and the Don would rank with the best disciplined troops; and that an empire, of itself larger than all the rest of Europe, would have passed from a state of barbarism to one of civilisation as advanced as that of the most favoured European states." This is overshooting the mark, and is an exaggeration even a hundred years after the date assigned. If the civilisation of St Petersburg has for some time vied with that of London or Paris, Russia, as a country, has even now much to do before she can be placed on a footing with England or France in refinement and intellectual cultivation. It is difficult to institute a comparison in a case where the nature of the countries, the characters of the nations, and the circumstances of their rise, are, and have been, so dissimilar. The investigation might easily entail a disquisition of a length that would leave very little room for an examination of the book in hand. And all that we seek in the present instance to establish will be readily conceded—namely, that in the throes of a country accomplishing with unprecedented rapidity the passage, usually so gradual, from barbarism to civilisation, some palliation is to be found for the faults and vices of her nobles and rulers, and for the blood-stains disfiguring her annals.

The early history of Russia, from the foundation of the empire by Rurik to the reign of Ivan IV.—that is to say from the middle of the ninth to the middle of the sixteenth century—is a chaos of traditions and uncertainties, which M. Blanc has deemed unfavourable to the project of his book, and which he accordingly passes over in an introductory chapter. His business, as may be gathered from his title-page, is with the internal convulsions of the country; and these are difficult to trace, until Ivan Vassilivitch threw off the Tartar yoke, and his grandson Ivan IV., surnamed the Tyrant, or the Terrible, began, with an iron hand, it is true, to labour at the regeneration of his country. A bloodthirsty despot, Russia yet owes him much. The people, demoralised by Tartar rule, needed rigid laws and severe treatment. Ivan promulgated a code far superior to any previously in use. He invited to Russia foreign mechanics, artists, and men of science; established the first printing-press seen in the country; and laid the foundation of Russian trade, by a treaty of commerce with our own Elizabeth. By the conquest of Kazan, of the kingdom of Astracan, and of districts adjacent to the Caucasus, he extended the limits of the Russian empire. But his wise enactments and warlike successes were sullied by atrocious acts of cruelty. In Novogorod, which had offended him by its desires for increased liberty, he raged for six weeks like an incensed tiger. Sixty thousand human beings, according to some historians, fell victims on that occasion. Similar scenes of butchery were enacted in Tver, Moscow, and other cities. His cruel disposition was evident at a very early age. He was but thirteen years old when he assembled his boyarins to inform them that he needed not their guidance, and would no longer submit to their encroachments on his royal prerogative. "I ought to punish you all," he said, "for all of you have been guilty of offences against my person; but I will be indulgent, and the weight of my anger shall fall only on Andrew Schusky, who is the worst amongst you." Schusky, the head of a family which had seized the reins of government during the Czar's minority, endeavoured to justify himself. Ivan would not hear him. "Seize and 666 bind him," cried the boy-despot, "and throw him to my dogs. They have a right to the repast." A pack of ferocious hounds, which Ivan took pleasure in rearing, were brought under the window, and irritated by every possible means. When they were sufficiently exasperated, Andrew Schusky was thrown amongst them. His cries increased their fury, and his body was torn to shreds and devoured.

Ivan dead, his son Feodor, who should have been surnamed the Feeble, as his father was the Terrible, ascended the Russian throne. He was the last of Rurik's descendants who occupied it. Even during his reign he recognised as regent of the empire his brother-in-law, the insolent and ambitious Boris Godunof. Possessed of the real power, this man coveted the external pomp of royalty. The crown was his aim, and to its possession after the death of Feodor, who, as weak of body as of mind, was not likely to be long-lived, only one obstacle existed. This was a younger son of Ivan IV., a child of a few years old, named Dmitri or Demetrius. The existence of this infant was a slight bar to one so unscrupulous as Godunof, a bar which a poniard soon removed. Feodor died, and his brother-in-law accepted, with much show of reluctance, the throne he had so long desired to fill. For the first time for many years he breathed freely; his end was attained; he thought not of the many crimes that had led to it, of the spilt blood of his child-victim, or of that of two hundred of the inhabitants of Ouglitch, judicially murdered by his orders in revenge of the death of Demetrius' assassins, whom the people had risen upon and slain; the tears of Ivan's widow, now childless and confined in a convent, and of her whole family, condemned to a horrible captivity, troubled not his repose or his dreams of future prosperity. But whilst he exulted in security and splendour, his joy was suddenly troubled by a strange retribution. Demetrius was dead; of that there could be no doubt; his emissary's dagger had done the work too surely—but the name of the rightful heir survived to make the usurper tremble. It is curious to observe in how many details Godunof's own crimes contributed to his punishment. His manœuvres to suppress the facts of Demetrius' death, by stopping couriers and falsifying despatches, so as to make it appear that the young prince had killed himself with a knife in a fit of epilepsy, had thrown a sort of mystery and ambiguity over the whole transaction, favourable to the designs and pretensions of impostors. One of the many dark deeds by which he had paved his way to the supreme power was the removal of the metropolitan of the Russian church, who was deposed and shut up in a convent, where it was pretty generally believed he met a violent death. In lieu of this dignitary, previously the sole chief of the Russian church, Godunof created a patriarchate, and Jeremiah of Constantinople went to Moscow to install the first patriarch, whose name was Job. This prelate, whilst visiting the convent of Tchudof, was struck by the intelligence of a young monk named Gregory Otrepief or Atrepief, who could read, then a rare accomplishment, and who showed great readiness of wit. The patriarch took this youth into his service as secretary, and often carried him with him when he went to visit the Czar. Dazzled by the brilliancy of the court, and perceiving the ignorance and incapacity of many high personages, Otrepief conceived the audacious design of elevating himself above those to whom he felt himself already far superior in ability. He was acquainted with the details of the death of young Demetrius; and from some old servants of the Czarina Mary he obtained particulars of the character, qualities, and tastes of the deceased prince, all of which he carefully noted down, as well as the names and titles of the officers and attendants who had been attached to his person. Having prepared and studied his part, he asked leave to return to his convent. This was granted. His fellow-monks wondered to see him thus abandon the advantageous prospects held out to him by the favour of the patriarch.

"What should I become by remaining at court?" replied Otrepief, with a laugh: "a bishop at most, and I mean to be Czar of Moscow."

At first this passed as a joke; but 667 Otrepief, either through bravado, or because it formed part of his scheme, repeated it so often, that it at last came to the ears of the Czar himself, who said the monk must be mad. At the same time, as he knew by experience that the usurpation of the throne was not an impossible thing, he ordered, as an excessive precaution, that the boaster should be sent to a remote convent. Otrepief set out, but on the road he seduced his escort, consisting of two monks. By large promises he prevailed with them to accompany him to Lithuania, where many enemies of Godunof had taken refuge. According to the custom of the times, the travellers passed the nights in roadside monasteries, and in every cell that he occupied Otrepief wrote upon the walls—"I am Demetrius, son of Ivan IV. Although believed to be dead, I escaped from my assassins. When I am upon my father's throne I will recompense the generous men who now show me hospitality." Soon the report spread far and wide that the Czarowitz Demetrius lived, and had arrived in Lithuania. Otrepief assumed a layman's dress, left his monkish adherents—one of whom agreed to bear the name his leader now renounced—and presented himself as the son of Ivan IV. to the Zaporian Cossacks, amongst whom he soon acquired the military habits and knowledge which he deemed essential to the success of his daring schemes. After a campaign or two, which, judging from the character of his new associates, were probably mere brigand-like expeditions in quest of pillage, Otrepief resumed the cowl, and entered the service of a powerful noble named Vichnevetski, whom he knew to have been greatly attached to Ivan IV. Pretending to be dangerously ill, he asked for a confessor. After receiving absolution: "I am about to die," he said to the priest; "and I entreat you, holy father, to have me buried with the honours due to the son of the Czar." The priest, a Jesuit, (the Jesuits were then all-powerful in Poland) asked the meaning of these strange words, which Otrepief declined telling, but said they would be explained after his death by a letter beneath his pillow. This letter the astonished Jesuit took an opportunity to purloin, and at the same time he perceived on the sick man's breast a gold cross studded with diamonds—a present received by Otrepief when secretary to the patriarch. In all haste the Jesuit went to Vichnevetski; they opened the letter, and gathered from its contents that he who had presented himself to them as a poor monk was no other than Demetrius, son of Ivan IV. Vichnevetski had in his service two Russians who had been soldiers of Ivan. Led to the sick man's bedside, these declared that they perfectly recognised in him the Czarowitz Demetrius; first, by his features—although they had not seen him since his childhood—and afterwards by two warts upon his face, and by an inequality in the length of his arms.

The Jesuits, never negligent of opportunities to increase their power, saw in the pretender to the czardom a fit instrument for the propagation of Romanism in Russia. They enlisted Sigismund king of Poland in the cause of the false Demetrius, who was treated as a prince, and lodged in a palace. Thence he negotiated with the pope's nuncio, who gave him assurance of the support of all Catholic Europe in exchange for his promise to unite Russia to the Latin church. An army of Poles and Russian refugees was raised, and the southern provinces of Russia were inundated with florid proclamations, in which the joys of an earthly paradise were offered to all who espoused the cause of their legitimate sovereign, Demetrius. The Don Cossacks, whose robberies had been recently checked by Godunof, flocked to the pretender's banner, and so formidable was the army thus collected, that the Czar began heartily to regret having paid such small attention to the words of the monk Otrepief. The Ukraine declared for the self-styled son of Ivan IV.; the voevóda of Sandomir, whose daughter he had promised to marry, acknowledged him as his prince; towns submitted, and fortresses opened their gates to the impostor, now in full march upon Moscow. Blinded by success, Otrepief fancied himself invincible; and, with scarcely fifteen thousand soldiers, he hurried to meet the Muscovite army, fifty thousand strong, 668 and provided with a formidable artillery. Beaten, his undisciplined forces dispersed, and he himself escaped death by a miracle; but his courage was still undaunted. After a few days, during which he slept upon the snow, and subsisted upon a few grains of barley, he succeeded in rallying his scattered bands. These became the nucleus of a new army; and at the very moment that Godunof, rejoicing at his victory, prepared to chastise the nobles compromised in the rebellion, he heard that his enemy was again afoot, more formidable than ever. Furious at the news, the Czar addressed reproaches and menaces to his generals, whom he thus completely alienated; and thenceforth he was surrounded by enemies. A sudden illness soon afterwards carried him off, giving him scarcely time to proclaim his son Feodor his successor. Court and clergy, people and army, paid homage to the young Czar. Amongst others, the general-in-chief of the army took the oath of fidelity; but no sooner was he again at the head of his troops, than he negotiated with Otrepief, and went over to him with all his forces. A few days afterwards the pretender was in Moscow. He strangled Feodor, and proclaimed himself Czar. Never had an impostor played his part with greater skill and such complete success. He had the art even to obtain his recognition from Ivan's widow. He recalled her relations, exiled since Godunof's usurpation, restored them their property and loaded them with honours, and then sent word to Mary that he would be to her a good son or a severe master, as she chose. The Czarina acknowledged him as her son, and was present at his coronation.

Notwithstanding the strength of this evidence, a noble, named Basil Shusky or Zulski,—of the family whose chief Ivan IV. had thrown to his hounds,—still contended against the usurper. He had himself seen the corpse of Ivan's son Demetrius, and he declared as much to his friends and partisans, whom he offered to head and lead against the impostor. Before his plans were ripe, however, he was arrested and brought to trial. Otrepief offered to pardon him if he would name his accomplices, and publicly admit that he had lied in stating that he had seen the dead body of the son of Ivan IV.

"I will retract nothing," was Shusky's firm reply; "for I have spoken the truth: the man who now wears the crown of the Czar is a vile impostor. I know the fate reserved for me; but those you uselessly urge me to betray will revenge my death, and the usurper shall fall."

As he persisted in his courageous assertions, the judges ordered him to be put to the torture. The executioner tied his hands behind him and placed upon his head an iron crown, bristling internally with sharp points; then, with the palm of his hand, he struck the top of the crown, and blood streamed over the victim's face.

"Confess your guilt!" said the judge.

The intrepid Shusky repeated his asseveration of Otrepief's imposture. The judge signed to the executioner, who again clapped a heavy hand upon the iron diadem. But suffering only augmented the energy of the heroic Muscovite, who continued, as long as consciousness remained in his tortured head, to denounce the false Czar. At last, when the whole of the forehead and the greater part of the skull were bared to the bone, he fainted and was removed. The terrible crown had been pressed down to his eyes. He was condemned to decapitation; but Otrepief pardoned him upon the scaffold, and, sometime afterwards, was imprudent enough to take him into favour and make him his privy counsellor. Shusky had vowed revenge, and waited only for an opportunity. This was accelerated by Otrepief's fancied security. One morning the false Demetrius was roused by alarm-bells, and, on looking from a window, he beheld the palace surrounded by a host of armed conspirators. The doors were speedily forced; pursued from room to room by overwhelming numbers, his clothes and the doors through which he fled riddled with balls, the Czar at last leaped from a window, and, notwithstanding serious injuries received in falling, he reached a guardhouse occupied by the Strelitz. The post was soon surrounded by an armed and menacing crowd; but the officer commanding 669 declared he would defend his sovereign with his life.

"He whom you call your sovereign is a monk who has usurped the crown," said Shusky to the officer.

"He is the son of the Czarina Mary," was the reply.

"The Czarina herself declares him an impostor."

"Show me her written declaration to that effect, and I will give him up; but only on that condition."

Shusky ran to the convent where Mary lived in a kind of semi-captivity, told her what was passing,—that the capital was in his power, and that she could not now refuse to proclaim the imposture of the wretch who had compelled her to recognise him as her son. Mary yielded the more easily that her timorous conscience reproached her with the falsehood by which she had confirmed an adventurer in the imperial dignity; she signed and sealed the declaration demanded, and Shusky hastened with it to the officer of Strelitz. Otrepief was given up. Shusky assembled some boyarins and formed a tribunal, of which he himself was president, and before which the Czar, thus rapidly cast down from the throne to which his address and courage had elevated him, was forthwith arraigned.

"The hour of expiation is come," said Shusky. "The head you so barbarously mutilated has never ceased to ponder vengeance. Monk Otrepief, confess yourself an impostor, that God, before whom you are about to appear, may have pity on your soul."

"I am the Czar Demetrius," replied Otrepief, with much assurance: "it is not the first time that rebellious subjects, led astray by traitors, have dared lay hands on the sacred person of their sovereign; but such crimes never remain unpunished."

"You would gain time," replied Shusky; "but you will not succeed; the Czarina Mary's declaration is sufficient for us to decide upon your fate, and, so doing, we doom you to die."

Thereupon four men seized the culprit and pushed him against a wall; two others, armed with muskets, went close up to him and shot him. He struggled an instant, and then expired. His corpse, dragged by the mob to the place of common execution, was there abandoned with outrage and mutilation. His death was the signal for the massacre of the Poles, whom Otrepief had always favoured, affecting their manners, and selecting them for his body-guard. Moscow just then contained a great number of those foreigners; for Marina, daughter of the voevóda of Sandomir, had arrived a few days before for her nuptials with the Czar, and had been closely followed by the King of Poland's ambassadors, with an armed and numerous suite. After an orgie at the palace, the Poles had committed various excesses, beating peaceable citizens and outraging women, which had greatly exasperated the people. Besides this, their religion rendered them odious; and scarcely had the false Demetrius fallen when the Russian priests and monks raised the cry of massacre. With shouts of "Down with the Pope!" and "Death to the heretics!" they spread through the city, pointing out to the people the dwellings of the Poles, whose doors were already marked by the conspirators. It was a St Bartholomew on a small scale. Blood flowed for six hours in the streets of Moscow: more than a thousand Poles were slaughtered; and, when the work was done, the murderers repaired to the churches to thank God for the success of their enterprise. Shusky was proclaimed Czar by the will of the people, which, at that moment, it would not have been safe to thwart.

The brilliant success of one impostor, temporary though it had proved, soon raised up others. Shusky was no sooner on the throne than the report spread that Czar Demetrius had not been shot—that a faithful adherent had suffered death in his stead. And a runaway serf, Ivan Bolotnikof by name, undertook to personate the defunct impostor. But although he collected a sort of army of Strelitz, Cossacks, and peasants, glad of any pretext for pillage, and although he was recognised by two powerful princes, one of whom, strange to say, was his former owner, Prince Téliatevski, his abilities and his success were alike far inferior to those of Otrepief. Astracan and several other towns revolted in his favour; but Shusky marched against him, won a 670 battle, in which Téliatevski was killed, and besieged Toula, in which Bolotnikof and the other chiefs of the revolt had shut themselves up. "The besieged," says M. Blanc, "defended themselves vigorously"; but Shusky, by the advice of a child, who was assuredly born with the genius of destruction, stopped the course of the Oupa, by means of a dike made below the town, through which the river flowed. The topographical position of the town was such that in a few hours it was completely under water. Many of the inhabitants were drowned; defence became impossible; and Bolotnikof, seized by his mutinous followers, was given up to Shusky. This second false Demetrius was forthwith shot; but his fate did not discourage a third impostor, who, like his predecessor, commanded armies, but never reached the throne. From first to last, no less than seven candidates appeared for the name and birthright of Ivan's murdered son. Three of them were promptly crushed; the seventh audaciously asserted that he united in his person not only the true Demetrius, whom Godunof had assassinated, but also the one whom Shusky had dragged from the throne, and two of the subsequent impostors. This was rather a strong dose even for Cossacks to swallow; but these gentlemen rejoiced at the prospect of booty, affected to credit the tale, and bore the pretender's banner to within a short distance of Moscow. There his career terminated. A Cossack chief, who had often seen Otrepief, finding himself in the presence of the seventh Demetrius, declared aloud that he was not the Czar he had served, arrested the impostor with his own hand, and hung him on a neighbouring tree.

The annals of this period of Russian history are painful from the atrocities they record; and M. Blanc is prodigal of horrors. The interval of a quarter of a century between the extinction of the line of Rurik and the accession of the Romanoff dynasty, still paramount in Russia, was occupied by constant struggles between usurpers and pretenders, none of whom dreamed of a milder fate than death for the foe who fell into their hands. And happy was the vanquished chief who escaped with a prompt and merciful death by axe or bullet. The most hideous tortures were put in practice, either for the extortion of confessions, or for the gratification of malice. Even Shusky, whom we have shown enduring with noble fortitude the agonising pressure of the iron crown, learned not mercy from suffering. His treatment of an enthusiastic boyarin, sent by the third false Demetrius to summon him to vacate the throne, was such as Red Indians or Spanish inquisitors might have shuddered to witness. It is recorded, in all its horrible details, at page 52 of the Histoire des Conspirations, &c. The torture of individuals, which was of frequent occurrence, was varied from time to time by the massacre of multitudes. We have mentioned that of the Poles. In 1611, after Shusky's dethronement, it was the turn of the Muscovites. The Poles having seized Moscow, insisted that Vladislaus, son of the King of Poland, should be elected Czar. The nobles consented, but the patriarch steadily refused his consent; and, by the law of the land, his opposition nullified the election. Thereupon the Poles ran riot in the city, plundering, murdering, and ravishing; and at last, unsheathing the sword for a general slaughter, twenty thousand men, women, and children fell in one day beneath the murderous steel. A Muscovite army then closely blockaded the place: and the Poles were reduced to the greatest extremity of famine. They at last surrendered on condition of their lives being spared, notwithstanding which compact many were massacred by the Cossacks. "And yet," says M. Blanc, "the aspect of the town was well calculated to excite compassion rather than hatred. In the streets the cadaverous and emaciated inhabitants looked like spectres; in the houses were the remains of unclean animals, fragments of repasts horrible to imagine; and what is still more frightful, perhaps unprecedented, salting tubs were found, filled with human flesh."

It was under the reign of Alexis, the second Romanoff and father of Peter the Great, that there appeared in Russia the most extraordinary robber the world ever saw. He claimed not to be a Czar or the son of a Czar; the Demetrius mask was out of date, 671 and one real and another pretended son of Otrepief and Marina had been executed by order of Alexis. The new adventurer was a common Cossack from the Don, who went by his own name of Stenka Razin, and to whom M. Blanc attributes, perhaps with a little exaggeration, the ambition, courage, and ferocity of a Tamerlane. In those days the Russian territory was by no means free from robbers, who pillaged caravans of merchandise, but generally respected the property of the Czar and the principal nobles, lest they should make themselves powerful enemies. Razin's first act was to throw down the glove to his sovereign. He seized a convoy belonging to the court, and hung some gentlemen who endeavoured to defend it. The fame of his intrepidity and success brought him many followers, and soon he was at the head of an army. "He embarked on the Caspian Sea, and cruised along its shores, frequently landing and seizing immense booty. At the mouth of the Yaik he was met by an officer of the Czar's, sent by the voevóda of Astracan to offer him and his companions a free pardon on condition of their discontinuing their robberies. Razin replied that he was no robber, but a conqueror; that he made war, and suffered none to fail in respect towards him. And to prove his words, he hung the officer, and drowned the men of his escort. A numerous body of Strelitz was then sent against him. Razin beat the Strelitz, seized the town of Yatskoi, massacred the garrison and the inhabitants, and passed the winter there unmolested. In the spring he marched into Persia." There he accumulated immense booty, but was at last expelled by a general rising of the population. On his return to Russia he was soon surrounded by troops; but even then, such was the terror of his name, the Russian general granted him a capitulation, by which he and his men were permitted to retire to their native provinces, taking their plunder with them; and their security was guaranteed so long as they abstained from aggression. This scandalous convention was ratified by Alexis, but was not long adhered to by the bandit with whom the Czar thus meanly condescended to treat as an equal. Stenka's next campaign was even more successful than the previous one. Bodies of troops deserted to him, and several towns fell into his power; amongst others, that of Astracan, where frightful scenes of violence and murder were enacted—Razin himself parading the streets, intoxicated with brandy, and stabbing all he met. He was marching upon Moscow, with the avowed intention of dethroning the Czar, when he sustained a reverse, and, after fighting like a lion, was made prisoner, and sent in fetters to the city he had expected to enter in triumph. Taken before Alexis, he replied boldly and haughtily to the Czar's reproaches and threats. The only anxiety he showed was to know what manner of death he was to suffer. He had heard that, in the previous year, an obscure robber and assassin, who pillaged convents and churches, had been cut into pieces of half a finger's breadth, beginning at the toes. This barbarous punishment, of which several instances are cited in M. Blanc's book, was known as the "torture of the ten thousand pieces." "But," exclaimed Stenka Razin, with a sort of terror, so horrible did this death appear to him, "I am no robber of monks! I have commanded armies. I have made peace with the Czar, therefore I had a right to make war upon him. Is there not a man amongst you brave enough to split my head with a hatchet?" The Strelitz guards, to whom these words were addressed, refused the friendly office, and Razin heard himself condemned to be quartered alive. He seemed resigned, as if he considered this death an endurable medium between the decapitation he had implored of his judges and the barbarous mincing he had been led to expect. But his energy forsook him on the scaffold, and the man who had so often confronted and inflicted death, received it in a swooning state.

The characters of few sovereigns admit of being judged more variously than that of Peter I. of Russia, surnamed the Great. According to the point of view whence we contemplate him, we behold the hero or the savage; the wise legislator or the lawless tyrant; the patient pursuer of science 672 or the dissolute and heartless debauchee. In the long chapter given to his romantic and eventful reign, M. Blanc shows him little favour. In a work treating of conspiracies and executions, the characters of the sovereigns introduced are naturally not exhibited under their most amiable aspect, especially when those sovereigns are Russian czars and czarinas, to whom lenity has generally been less familiar than severity, and pardon than punishment. The pen of Voltaire has done much for the reputation of Peter the Great, who to us has always appeared an overrated personage. Historians have vaunted his exploits and good deeds, till his crimes and barbarities have been lost sight of in the glitter of panegyric. The monarch who could debase himself to the level of an executioner, beheading his rebel subjects with his own hand, and feasting his eyes with the spectacle of death when he himself was weary of slaying; who could condemn his wife, repudiated without cause, to the frightful torture of the knout, and sign the order, which it is more than suspected he himself executed, for the death of his own son—may have been great as a warrior and a legislator, but must ever be execrated as a man. Peter was certainly an extraordinary compound of vices and virtues. His domestic life will not bear even the most superficial investigation, and M. Blanc has ripped it up unmercifully. The great reformer—we might almost say the founder—of the mighty empire of Russia, the conqueror of Charles of Sweden, was a drunkard and gross sensualist, a bad father, a cruel and unfaithful husband. Indeed some of his acts seem inexplicable otherwise than by that ferocious insanity manifest in more than one of his descendants. Even his rare impulses of mercy were apt to come too late to save the victim. As illustrating one of them, an incident, nearly the last event of Peter's life, is given by M. Blanc, in more minute detail than we ever before met with it. Peter's whole life was a romance; but this is assuredly one of its most romantic episodes. A short time before his death, according to M. Blanc, although other writers fix the date some years earlier, Peter was violently smitten by the charms of a young girl named Ivanowa. Although tenderly attached, and about to be married to an officer of the regiment of Schouvaloff, she dared not oppose the Czar's wishes, but became his mistress. Peter, who took her repugnance for timidity, fancied himself beloved, and passed much of his time in her society, in a charming cottage in which he had installed her at one of the extremities of St Petersburg. He had enriched her family, who were ignorant, however, of her retreat. Her betrothed, whose name was Demetrius Daniloff, was in despair at her disappearance, and made unceasing efforts to discover her, but all in vain, until Ivanowa, having made a confidant of a Livonian slave, had him conducted to her presence. The lovers' meetings were then frequent, so much so, that Peter received intelligence of them. "His anger was terrible; he roared like a tiger.

'Betrayed! betrayed everywhere and always!' cried he, striding wildly about the room, and striking his brow with his clenched fist. 'Oh! revenge! revenge!'

Before the close of day he left the palace, alone, wrapped in a coarse cloak, his feet in nailed shoes whose patches attested their long services, his head covered with a fox-skin cap which came down over his eyebrows and half concealed his eyes. He soon reached Ivanowa's house, where the lovers deemed themselves perfectly secure, for the Czar had spread a report of his departure for Moscow. Moreover, the faithful Livonian slave kept watch in the antechamber, to give an alarm at the least noise. Peter knew all this, and had taken his measures accordingly. Opening an outer door with a key of his own, he bounded into the anteroom, upset the slave, and, with a kick of his powerful foot, burst the door that separated him from the lovers. All this occurred with the speed of lightning. Daniloff and Ivanowa had scarce time to rise from their seats, before the Czar stood over them with his drawn sword in his hand. Ivanowa uttered a cry of terror, fell on her knees, and fainted. Prompt as the Czar, Daniloff bared his sabre and threw himself between 673 his mistress and Peter. The latter lowered his weapon.

'No,' he said, 'the revenge were too brief.'

He opened a window and cried hourra! At the signal, a hundred soldiers crowded into the house. Mastering his fury, the Czar ordered the young officer to be taken to prison, there to receive one hundred blows of the battogues or sticks. Ivanowa was also confined until the senate should decide on her fate. The next day Daniloff received his terrible punishment. Before half of it had been inflicted, his back, from, the loins to the shoulders, was one hideous wound," &c. &c. We omit the revolting details. "Nevertheless the executioners continued to strike, and the hundred blows were counted, without a complaint from the sufferer. The unfortunate Daniloff had not even fainted; he got up alone,5 when untied, and asked to have his wounds carefully dressed.

'I have need to live a short time longer,' he added."

Meanwhile Ivanowa was brought before the senate, and accused of high treason and of trying to discover state secrets—a charge of Peter's invention. The supple senate, created by the Czar, condemned her to receive twenty-two blows of the knout in the presence of her accomplice Daniloff, already punished by the emperor's order. On the day appointed for the execution, Peter stood upon the balcony of his winter palace. Several battalions of infantry marched past, escorting the unfortunate Demetrius, who, in spite of the frightful sufferings he still endured, walked with a steady step, and with a firm and even joyful countenance. Surrounded by another escort, was seen the young and lovely Ivanowa, half dead with terror, supported on one side by a priest and on the other by a soldier, and letting her beautiful head fall from one shoulder to the other, according to the impulse given it by her painful progress. Even Peter's heart melted at the sight. Re-entering his apartment, he put on the ribbon of the order of St Andrew, threw a cloak over his shoulders, left the palace, sprang into a boat, and reached the opposite side of the river at the same time as the mournful procession which had crossed the bridge. Making his way through the crowd, he dropped his cloak, took Ivanowa in his arms, and imprinted a kiss upon her brow. A murmur arose amongst the people, and suddenly cries of "pardon" were heard.

The knights of St Andrew then enjoyed the singular privilege that a kiss given by them to a condemned person, deprived the executioner of his victim. This privilege has endured even to our day, but not without some modification.

Daniloff had recognised Peter. He approached the Czar, whose every movement he had anxiously watched, stripped off his coat, and rent the bloody shirt that covered his shoulders.

"'The man who could suffer thus,' he said, 'knows how to die. Czar, thy repentance comes too late! Ivanowa, I go to wait for thee!' And drawing a concealed poniard, he stabbed himself twice. His death was instantaneous. Peter hurried back to his palace, and the stupified, crowd slowly dispersed. Ivanowa died shortly afterwards in the convent to which she had been permitted to retire."

If we are frequently shocked, in the course of M. Blanc's third volume, by the tyrannical and brutal cruelty of the Russian sovereigns, we are also repeatedly disgusted by the servility and patient meanness of those who suffered from it. We behold Muscovite nobles of high rank and descent, cringing under the wanton torments inflicted on them by their oppressor, and submitting to degradations to which death, one would imagine, were, to any free-spirited man, fifty times preferable. As an example, we will cite the conduct of a Prince Galitzin, who, after long exile in Germany, where he had become a convert to the Romish church, solicited and obtained permission 674 to return to his country. This was in 1740, under the reign of the dissolute and cruel Czarina Anne. The paramours and flatterers who composed the court of that licentious princess, urged her to inflict on the new-made papist the same punishment that had been suffered by a noble named Vonitzin, who had turned Jew, and had been burned alive, or rather roasted at a slow fire. Anne refused, but promised the courtiers they should not be deprived of their sport.

"The same day, Galitzin, although upwards of forty years old, was ordered to take his place amongst the pages: a few days later he received a notification that the empress, contented with his services, had been pleased to raise him to the dignity of her third buffoon. 'The custom of buffoons,' says an historian, 'was then in full force in Russia; the empress had six, three of whom were of very high birth, and when they did not lend themselves with a good grace to the tomfooleries required of them by her or her favourites, she had them punished with the battogues.' The empress appeared well satisfied with the manner in which the prince fulfilled his new duties; and, as he was a widower, she declared she would find him a wife, that so valuable a subject might not die without posterity. They selected, for the poor wretch's bride, the most hideous and disgusting creature that could be found in the lowest ranks of the populace. Anne herself arranged the ceremonial of the wedding. It was in the depth of one of the severest winters of the century; and, at great expense, the empress had a palace built of ice. Not only was the building entirely constructed of that material, but all the furniture, including the nuptial bed, was also of ice. In front of the palace were ice cannons, mounted on ice carriages.

Anne and all her court conducted the newly-married pair to this palace, their destined habitation. The guests were in sledges drawn by dogs and reindeer; the husband and wife, enclosed in a cage, were carried on an elephant. When the procession arrived near the palace, the ice cannons were fired, and not one of them burst, so intense was the cold. Several of them were even loaded with bullets, which pierced thick planks at a considerable distance. When everybody had entered the singular edifice, the ball began. It probably did not last long. On its conclusion, Anne insisted on the bride and bridegroom being put to bed in her presence: they were undressed, with the exception of their under garments, and were compelled to lie down upon the bed of ice, without covering of any kind. Then the company went away, and sentinels were placed at the door of the nuptial chamber, to prevent the couple from leaving it before the next day! But when the next day came, they had to be carried out; the poor creatures were in a deplorable state, and survived their torture but a few days."

This patient submission to a long series of indignities on the part of a man of Galitzin's rank and blood is incomprehensible, and pity for his cruel death is mingled with contempt for the elderly prince who could tamely play the page, and caper in the garb of a court jester. But the Russian noble of that day—and even of a later period—united the soul of a slave with the heart of a tyrant. To the feeble a relentless tiger, before the despot or the despot's favourite he grovelled like a spiritless cur. The memoirs of the eighteenth century abound in examples of his base servility. We cite one, out of many which we find recorded in an interesting Life of Catherine II. of Russia, published at Paris in 1797. Plato Zouboff, one of Catherine's favourite lovers, had a little monkey, a restless, troublesome beast, which everybody detested, but which everybody caressed, by way of paying court to its master. Amongst the host of ministers, military men, and ambassadors, who sedulously attended the levees of the powerful favourite, was a general officer, remarkable for the perfection and care with which his hair was dressed. One day the monkey climbed upon his head, and, after completely destroying the symmetry of his hyacinthine locks, deliberately defiled them. The officer dared not show the slightest discontent. There are not wanting, however, 675 in the history of the eighteenth century, instances of heroism and courage to contrast with the far more numerous ones of vileness afforded by the aristocracy of Russia. The dignity and fortitude of Menzikoff—that pastrycook's boy who became a great minister—during his terrible exile in Siberia, are an oft-told tale. Prince Dolgorouki, the same to whom Anne owed her crown, and whom she requited by a barbarous death, beheld his son, brother, and nephew broken on the wheel. When his turn came, and the executioners were arranging him suitably upon the instrument of torture: "Do as you please with me," he said, "and without fear of loading your consciences, for it is not in human power to increase my sufferings." And he died without uttering a complaint. But perhaps the most extraordinary instance of coolness and self command, at the moment of a violent and cruel death, to be found in the annals of executions, is that of Pugatscheff, who, however, was no nobleman, but a Cossack of humble birth, who deserted from the Russian army after the siege and capture of Bender by General Panim, and fled to Poland, where he was concealed for a time by hermits of the Greek church. "Conversing one day with his protectors," says a French writer already referred to, "he told them, that once, during his service in General Panim's army, a Russian officer said to him, after staring him very hard in the face, 'If the emperor Peter III., my master, were not dead, I should think I now stood before him.' The hermits paid little attention to this tale; but some time afterwards one of their number, who had not yet met Pugatscheff, exclaimed, on beholding him, 'Is not that the emperor, Peter III.?' The monks then induced him to attempt an imposture they had planned." M. Blanc's account differs from this, inasmuch as it asserts the resemblance to the defunct Czar to have been very slight. Whatever the degree of likeness, Pugatscheff declared himself the husband of Catherine II. (murdered some time previously, by Prince Bariatinski and by Alexis Orloff, the brother of Catherine's lover), and thousands credited his pretensions. The Cossacks of the river Yaik (afterwards changed to the Ural by Catherine, who desired to obliterate the memory of this revolt) were just then in exceedingly bad humour. After patiently submitting to a great deal of oppression and ill usage, they had received orders to cut off their beards. This they would not do. They had relinquished, grumbling but passive, many a fair acre of pasturage; they had furnished men for a new regiment of hussars; but they rebelled outright when ordered to use a razor. The Livonian general, Traubenberg, repaired to Yaitsk with a strong staff of barbers, and began shaving the refractory Cossacks on the public market-place. The patients rose in arms, massacred general, barbers, and aide-de-camps; recognised Pugatscheff as Peter III., and swore to replace him on his throne, and to die in his defence. The adventurer was near being as successful as the monk Otrepief. Catherine herself was very uneasy, although she published contemptuous proclamations, and jested, in her letters to Voltaire, on the Marquis of Pugatscheff, as she called him. It was rather a serious subject to joke about. The impostor defeated Russian armies, and slew their generals; took towns, whose governors he impaled; burned upwards of two hundred and fifty villages; destroyed the commerce of Siberia; stopped the working of the Orenberg mines; and poured out the blood of thirty thousand Russian subjects. At last he was taken. On his trial he showed great firmness; and, although unable to read or write, he answered the questions of the tribunal with wonderful ability and intelligence. He was condemned to death. According to the sentence, his hands were to be cut off first, then his feet, then his head, and finally the trunk was to be quartered. When brought upon the scaffold, and whilst the imperial ukase enumerating his crimes was read, he undressed quickly and in silence; but when they began to read the sentence, he dexterously prevented the executioner from attending to it, by asking him all manner of questions—whether his axe was in good order, whether the block was not of a less size than prescribed by law, and whether he, the executioner, had not, by chance, drank more brandy than 676 usual, which might make his hand unsteady.

"The sentence read, the magistrate and his assistant left the scaffold.

'Now, then,' said Pugatscheff to the executioner, 'let us have no mistakes; the prescribed order must be strictly observed. So you will first cut off my head——'

'The head first!' cried the executioner.

'So runs the sentence. Have a care! I have friends who would make you dearly expiate an error to my prejudice.'

It was too late to call back the magistrate; and the executioner, who doubted, at last said to himself that the important affair, after all, was the death of the criminal, and that there was little difference whether it took place rather sooner or rather later. He grasped his axe; Pugatscheff laid his head on the block, and the next moment it rebounded upon the scaffold. The feet and hands were cut off after death; the culprit escaping torture by his great presence of mind."

It has been asserted that an order from the empress thus humanised the cruel sentence; but this is exceedingly improbable, for she was bitter against Pugatscheff, who, ignorant Cossack as he was, had made the modern Semiramis tremble on her throne; besides, it is matter of history that, after his execution, the headsman had his tongue cut out, and was sent to Siberia. Catherine, who had affected to laugh at Pugatscheff during his life, was so ungenerous as to calumniate him after death. "This brigand," she said, in one of her letters quoted by M. Blanc, "showed himself so pusillanimous in his prison, that it was necessary to prepare him with caution to hear his sentence read, lest he should die of fear." It is quite certain, M. Blanc observes, that to his dying hour Pugatscheff inspired more fear than he felt.

The misfortunes of the unhappy young Princess Tarrakanoff supply M. Blanc with materials for the most interesting chapter in this volume of his work. The Empress Elizabeth, daughter of Peter the Great, and predecessor of Peter III.—whose marriage with the Princess of Anhalt Zerbest, afterwards Catherine the Great, was brought about by her—had had three children by her secret marriage with Alexis Razumoffski. The youngest of these was a daughter, who was brought up in Russia under the name of the Princess Tarrakanoff. When Catherine trampled the rights of Poland under foot, the Polish prince, Charles Radzivil, carried off the young princess, and took her to Italy, thinking to set her up at some future day as a pretender to the Russian throne. Informed of this, Catherine confiscated his estates; and in order to live, he was compelled to sell the diamonds and other valuables he had taken with him to Italy. These resources exhausted, Radzivil set out for Poland to seek others, leaving the young princess, then in her sixteenth year, at Rome, under the care of a sort of governess or duenna. On reaching his native country he was offered the restoration of his property if he would bring back his ward to Russia. He refused; but he was so base as to promise that he would take no further trouble about her, and leave her to her fate. Catherine pardoned him, and forthwith put Alexis Orloff on the scent. He was a keen bloodhound, she well knew, capable of any villany that might serve his ambition. Gold unlimited was placed at his disposal, and promise of high reward if he discovered the retreat of the princess, and lured her within Catherine's reach. Orloff set out for Italy; and on arriving there he took into his employ a Neapolitan named Ribas, a sort of spy, styling himself a naval officer, who pledged himself to find out the princess, but stipulated for rank in the Russian navy as his reward. M. Blanc asserts that he demanded to be made admiral at once; and that Orloff, afraid, notwithstanding the extensive powers given him, to bestow so high a grade, or compelled by the suspicions of Ribas to produce the commission itself, wrote to Catherine, who at once sent the required document. Whether this be exact or not, more than one historian mentions that Ribas subsequently commanded in the Black Sea as a Russian vice-admiral. When certain of his reward, Ribas, who then had spent two months in researches, revealed the retreat of the unfortunate 677 princess. With some abridgment we will follow M. Blanc, whose narrative agrees, in all the main points, with the most authentic versions of this touching and romantic history.

The princess was at Rome. Abandoned by Radzivil, she was reduced to the greatest penury, existing only by the aid of a woman who had been her servant, and who now served other masters. Alexis Orloff visited her in her miserable abode, and spoke at first in the tone of a devoted slave addressing his sovereign; he told her she was the legitimate empress of Russia; that the entire population of that great empire anxiously longed for her accession; that if Catherine still occupied the throne, it was only because nobody knew where she (the princess) was hidden; and that her appearance amongst her faithful subjects, would be a signal for the instant downfall of the usurper. Notwithstanding her youth, the princess mistrusted these dazzling assurances; she was even alarmed by them, and held herself upon her guard. Then Orloff, one of the handsomest men of his time, joined the seductions of love to those of ambition; he feigned a violent passion for the young girl, and swore that his life depended on his obtaining her heart and hand. The poor isolated girl fell unresistingly into the infamous snare spread for her inexperience: she believed and loved him. The infamous Orloff persuaded her that their marriage must be strictly private, lest Catherine should hear of it and take precautions. In the night he brought to her house a party of mercenaries, some wearing the costumes of priests of the Greek church, others magnificently attired to act as witnesses. The mockery of a marriage enacted, the princess willingly accompanied Alexis Orloff, whom she believed her husband, to Leghorn, where entertainments of all sorts were given to her. The Russian squadron, at anchor off the port, was commanded by the English Admiral Greig. This officer, either the dupe or the accomplice of Orloff, invited the princess to visit the vessels that were soon to be commanded in her name. She accepted, and embarked after a banquet, amidst the acclamations of an immense crowd: the cannon thundered, the sky was bright, every circumstance conspired to give her visit the appearance of a brilliant festival. From her flag-bedecked galley she was hoisted in a splendid arm-chair on board the admiral's vessel, where she was received with the honours due to a crowned head. Until then Orloff had never left her side for an instant. Suddenly the scene changed. Orloff disappeared: in place of the gay and smiling officers who an instant previously had obsequiously bowed before her, the unfortunate victim saw herself surrounded by men of sinister aspect, one of whom announced to her that she was prisoner by order of the Empress Catherine, and that soon she would be brought to trial for the treason she had attempted. The princess thought herself in a dream. With loud cries she summoned her husband to her aid; her guardians laughed in her face, and told her she had had a lover, but no husband, and that her marriage was a farce. Her despair at these terrible revelations amounted to frenzy; she burst into sobs and reproaches, and at last swooned away. They took advantage of her insensibility to put fetters on her feet and hands, and lower her into the hold. A few hours later the squadron sailed for Russia. Notwithstanding her helplessness and entreaties, the poor girl was kept in irons until her arrival at St Petersburg, when she was taken before the empress, who wished to see and question her.

Catherine was old; the Princess Tarrakanoff was but sixteen, and of surpassing beauty; the disparity destroyed her last chance of mercy. But as there was in reality no charge against her, and as her trial might have made too much noise, Catherine, after a long and secret interview with her unfortunate prisoner, gave orders she should be kept in the most rigorous captivity. She was confined in one of the dungeons of a prison near the Neva.

Five years elapsed. The victim of the heartless Catherine, and of the villain Orloff, awaited death as the only relief she could expect; but youth, and a good constitution, struggled energetically against torture and privations. One night, reclining on the straw that served her as a bed, she prayed to God to terminate 678 her sufferings by taking her to himself, when her attention was attracted by a low rumbling noise like the roll of distant thunder. She listened. The noise redoubled: it became an incessant roar, which each moment augmented in power. The poor captive desired death, and yet she felt terror; she called aloud, and implored not to be left alone. A jailer came at her cries; she asked the cause of the noise she heard.

"'Tis nothing," replied the stupid slave; "the Neva overflowing."

"But cannot the water reach us here?"

"It is here already."

At that moment the flood, making its way under the door, poured into the dungeon, and in an instant captive and jailer were over the ankles in water.

"For heaven's sake, let us leave this!" cried the young princess.

"Not without orders; and I have received none."

"But we shall be drowned!"

"That is pretty certain. But without special orders I am not to let you leave this dungeon, under pain of death. In case of unforeseen danger I am to remain with you, and to kill you should rescue be attempted."

"Good God! the water rises. I cannot sustain myself."

The Neva, overflowing its banks, floated enormous blocks of ice, upsetting everything in its passage, and inundating the adjacent country. The water now plashed furiously against the prison doors: the sentinels had been carried away by the torrent, and the other soldiers on guard had taken refuge on the upper floors. Lifted off her feet by the icy flood which still rose higher, the unfortunate captive fell and disappeared; the jailer, who had water to his breast, hung his lamp against the wall, and tried to succour his prisoner; but when he succeeded in raising her up, she was dead! The possibility anticipated by his employers was realised; there had been stress of circumstances, and the princess being dead, he was at liberty to leave the dungeon. Bearing the corpse in his arms, he succeeded in reaching the upper part of the prison.

If we may offer a hint to authors, it is our opinion that this tragical anecdote will be a godsend to some romance-writer of costive invention, and on the outlook for a plot. Very little ingenuity will suffice to spread over the prescribed quantity of foolscap the incidents we have packed into a page. They will dilute very handsomely into three volumes. As to characters, the novelist's work is done to his hand. Here we have the Empress Catherine, vindictive and dissolute, persecuting that "fair girl" the Princess Tarrakanoff, with the assistance of Orloff, the smooth villain, and of the sullen ruffian Ribas. The latter will work up into a sort of Italian Varney, and may be dispersed to the elements by an intentional accident, on board the ship blown up by Orloff's order, for the enlightenment of the painter Hackert. With the exception of the dungeon-scene, we have given but a meagre outline of M. Blanc's narrative; and there are a number of minor characters that may be advantageously brought in and expanded. "This event," says M. Blanc, referring to the kidnapping of the Princess, "caused a strong sensation at Leghorn. Prince Leopold, Grand-duke of Tuscany, complained bitterly of it, and would have had Alexis Orloff arrested; but this vile assassin of Peter III. maintained that he had only executed the orders of his sovereign, who would well know how to justify him. He was supported, in this circumstance, by the English consul, who was his accomplice; and the Grand-duke, seeing he was not likely to be the strongest, suffered the matter to drop." "Some Englishmen," another French writer asserts, "had been so base as to participate in Alexis Orloff's plot; but others were far from approving it. They even blushed to serve under him, and sent in their resignations. Admiral Elphinstone was one of these. Greig was promoted in his place." An Italian prince, indignant, but timid; a foreign consul, sold to Russian interests; a British sailor, spurning the service of a tyrant. We need say no more; for we are quite sure that before they get thus far, the corps of historical novelists will be handling their goose-quills. 679



You object to being called a Puseyite, or a Tractarian; and as I believe you never read any of the Tracts, nor were lucky enough to comprehend any of Dr Pusey's writings, you are right to decline the names. But it is easy to perceive, even from your outward man, that some great change has taken place upon you. It is not for nothing that you wear so very tight a neckcloth, and so very low-collared a coat; your buttons also are peculiarly placed, and there is a solemnity in your manner of refusing an invitation to pot-luck on a Friday which it is edifying to behold. But all this surely must have a name. You were intended by your father to be a clergyman of the Church of England—that worthy gentleman toasted church and king, till a female reign and premonitory symptoms of apoplexy reduced him to silence and water-gruel; but he is as true a defender of the faith, in his easy gown and slippers, as ever, and looks with still increasing surprise at the appearance of his eldest son, as often as occasional help in your curacy enables you to run home. But don't fancy, for a moment, that I attribute these frequent visits to your regard for the fifth commandment alone: no, dear Charles; for though I grant you are an excellent son and praiseworthy brother, I consider you shine with still greater lustre in the character of a neighbour, especially to the family at Hellebore Park. Gradually I have seen a change almost equal to your own in the seven fair daughters of that house; and it is very evident that, with this change, in some way or other, you are very intimately connected. The five daughters of our neighbour in the Lodge are also very different from what they were; and only Miss Lathpins—who is fifty years old, and believes good works to be such filthy rags that she would be quite ashamed if she were seen putting half-a-crown into the plate, or sending coal and flannel to the poor, and therefore never does it—continues the even tenor of her way, and sighs for a gospel ministry to tell her how few will achieve the kingdom of heaven. Every other house in the parish feels the effects of your visits. We must have a new almanac if you come among us much more; for the very days of the week are no longer to be recognised. Tuesday, instead of being the lineal descendant of Monday, is now known as the heir presumptive of Wednesday, and does duty as the eve of something else. The wife of our physician invited us to dinner on the Feast of St Ollapod, which, after great inquiry, we found meant Monday the 22d. The months will not long escape—the weeks are already doomed—and, in a few years, our parish registers will be as difficult reading as the inscriptions of Nemroud. Have you taken this result of your crusade against the High and Dry into your consideration? Is it right to leave a worthy man like our rector—who conducted his little ecclesiastical boat with great comfort to himself and others, keeping a careful middle channel between the shoals of Dissent and the mudbanks of contented Orthodoxy—to struggle in his old age against rocks which you and your female allies have rolled into the water; with fast-days rearing their sharp points where there used to be such safe navigation, and saint's days and festivals so blocking up the passage that he can't set his skiff near enough the shore, to enable him to visit his parishioners when they are sick or hungry? You would pin the poor old fellow for ever into his pulpit or reading-desk, and he never would have time to go to the extremity of his parish, which, you remember, is five miles from the church; and, at the Doctor's rate of riding, occupies him a good part of the day.

But perhaps you don't know what 680 occurs as soon as your stay is over, and we see the skirts of your departing surtout disappear over Hitherstone Hill. Immediately the whole coterie (which, in this instance, is an undiluted petticoatery) assembles for consultation. Pretty young girls, who would have been engaged ten years ago in the arrangements of a pic-nic, now lay their graceful and busy heads together, to effect an alteration in the height of the pews. My dear Charles, young ladies are by nature carpenters; they know all about hinges, and pannellings, and glue, by a sort of intuition: and it is clear to me that, before you return to us again, the backs of the seats will be lowered at least a foot, and I shall have the pleasure of seeing the whole extent of Tom Holiday's back, and the undulations of the three Miss Holiday's figures during the whole of the lessons. The rector can't hold out long—as indeed who could, against such petitioners? And, after all, it is only so much wood; an his wife, who has retained her shape with very little aid from padding, has no objection to stand up during the psalms, nor any inclination to put her light under a bushel at any time; and some of the younger people, who have not attained the stature of the Venus de Medici, complain that the present elevation of the backs, if it doesn't make dints in their bonnets, at all events cuts them off in the very middle; and my opposition, I am sorry to say, ever since I fell asleep at your sermon on the holiness of celibacy, is attributed to interested motives, and therefore you may fairly expect to find our pews reduced to the height and appearance of a row of rabbit-hutches, when you come back. This point they seem to consider already gained, and now they have advanced their parallels against the Doctor on another side of his defences.

The Doctor, even in his youth, can never have run much risk of being mistaken for Apollo—his nose was probably never of a Grecian pattern, as that ingenious people would certainly have rounded the point with a little more skill, and have placed the nostrils more out of sight. I have heard his front teeth were far from symmetrical, and reminded old Major M'Turk of the charge of Mahratta irregular horse, by which that heroic gentleman lost his eye; but as he has got quit of those spirited, though straggling defenders, and supplied their place with a straight-dressed militia of enamel or bone, which do duty remarkably well, in spite of the bright yellow uniform they have lately assumed, I conclude that he has been a gainer by the exchange. And, on the whole, I have no doubt, if there are some handsomer fellows in the Guards, and at the universities, there are several much uglier people to be seen in this very parish. It can't, therefore, be for the express purpose of escaping the sight of his face that they have begun their operations to force him to turn his back on them during the prayers. But this they are thoroughly resolved on achieving. They have already once placed the Bible surreptitiously on the side of the reading desk, towards the people, leaving the Prayer-Book on the side towards the south; and as the Doctor, in the surprise of the moment, began with his face in that direction, his elocution was wasted on the blank wall of the chancel and the empty pulpit; and we had the pleasure of an uninterrupted view of his profile, and a side-hearing also of his words, which gave us as complete a silhouette of the prayers as of the rector. When we come to the enjoyment of his full-face reversed, and can leisurely contemplate his occiput, and the nape of his neck—in which, I am sorry to see, number one so powerfully developed—we shall have the farther advantage of not having our own meditations interrupted by hearing a syllable he says. He resists, indeed, at present; and even told a deputation of ladies that he would consult common sense on the occasion, and read so that the poor folks under the west gallery could join in every petition. Miss Araminta—your Araminta, Charles—lifted her beautiful eyes to the Doctor in surprise, and asked "if he really prayed to John Simpkins and Peter Bolt, for surely he could pray for them, and with them better, with his face to the altar;" and the Doctor said something about "girls minding their own business, and leaving him to his," 681 which would have led to very unpleasant consequences, if the rest of the ambassadors had not interfered, and smoothed the raven down of the Doctor's temper by some judicious declarations of respect for his office, and contempt for some unfortunate evangelical brethren in the neighbourhood; till at last the old man took Araminta by the hand, and told her, with great truth, that she was one of the nicest girls in the world, and that he would ride fifty miles at a moment's warning, to save her an instant's discomfort. So they retired for that time, hinting that they were rather surprised that their rector should have used the same argument which had been employed by the Rev. Ebenezer Snuffle, the low church vicar of the adjoining village. A telling blow this, Charles, as you are well aware; for I verily believe the Doctor would soften towards the Koran, if his neighbour made an attack on Mahommed; so I wait the issue without much uncertainty as to what it will be. For all this, I can't help holding you, in a great measure, responsible; for there is no shutting one's eyes to the fact, that a decided step in advance is taken after every one of your runs into our parish. Your father, and Major M'Turk, and I, sink lower and lower in the estimation of your followers every day. Instead of the nice little parties we used to have, where the girls, most of whom we remember as infants, used to sing "Lizzie Lindsay" for the amusement of the old ones, or play magic music, or games at forfeits, to please themselves, they now huddle up in a corner—if, perchance, no eve or fast prevents them from coming out to tea—and hold deep consultations on the state and prospects of the Church. And yet there is something so innocent and pretty in the way they manage their plots, and such a charming feeling of triumph fills their hearts, when they have achieved a victory over the habits and customs of the village, that I hardly wonder they never pause in their career, or give ear to the warnings of stupid old people like the trio I have named. In the mean time, they certainly have it all their own way,—in the injunctions they have laid on the poor people, to turn round at some parts of the service, stand up at others, and join in the most wonderful responses, in a set key, which they call entoning; and they have tormented the band so much with practising anthems, that half the population have turned dissenters in self-defence; and while the front seats are filled with satin bonnets and India shawls, and the rustle of silks is like the flight of a thousand doves when the altitude needs to be changed, there isn't a poor person to be seen in the church except John Simpkins and Peter Bolt, and they, I am sorry to say, are far from being the same quiet humble paupers they used to be; for our feminine apostles have been telling them of the honour and dignity of the poor, till there is no bearing their pride and self-conceit. Sometimes, out of respect to the Doctor, and a reverence for the old church, the grocer, the carpenter, and a few of the shopkeepers, still make their appearance in the afternoon, but they are like children the first time they go to Astley's, and stare with wonder at all the changes they see; and even our rector himself has become so confused, that he doesn't feel altogether sure that he hasn't turned a dissenter, for the mode, if not of conducting, at least of joining in the service, is something quite different from what he has been used to.

Now dissent, as you know, has been the bugbear of the Doctor through life. The very name carries with it something inexpressibly dreadful, and among the most terrifying to him of all the forms of dissent was that of Rome. But lately, a vast number of bright eyes have been lifted to the ceiling, and a great many beautiful lips opened, and a great many sweet voices raised in opposition to any hostile allusion to the objects of his abhorrence. "The church of Fenelon," says one in a reverential tone, "can surely not be altogether apostate." "The church of the two Gregories, the church of A'Beckett and Dunstan, of St Senanus, St Januarius, and the Seven Champions of Christendom, can never have fallen away from the faith," exclaims Miss Tinderella Swainlove in a very contemptuous tone, when the Doctor contrasts the great and ambitious names of Rome 682 with the humility required in a Christian pastor. "In short, Dr Smiler, we wish to know," she said not a week ago, when she had gone up to the parsonage to practise a Gregorian chant on Christina Smiler's concertina—"we wish to know, Doctor Smiler, whether religion consists in bare plaster walls and a cassock?" "Certainly not, my dear Tinderella, but you will observe"—

"Oh, we only want an answer to that question," said the young lady, interrupting; "for, allow me to tell you, we feel our devotion greatly excited by the noble solemnity of a service decently conducted with albe and chasuble, in a building fitted for its high destination by the richest combination of architecture and the arts."

Tinderella is nineteen years of age, and as decided in her manner as a field-marshal. "May I ask, my dear, who the 'we' are in whose name you speak?" inquired the rector.

"Not Mr Ruggles the grocer, nor Chipper the carpenter, but all who are qualified by their fortune, and position in life, to judge on the subject," was Tinderella's spirited rejoinder.

"Really," said the Doctor, "you young ladies are very much changed from what you were. Two years ago, I used to have great difficulty in keeping you from balls and archeries, and had frequent occasion to lecture you for inattention in church. What, in the name of wonder, has come over you all?"

"Do you find fault with us for having given up frivolities, and turned reverent and attentive during the service?" inquired his questioner with a sneer.

"Far from it, my dear,—very far from it; but I should like very much to know what is the cause of the change. I trust, my dear Tinderella, it isn't connected with the marriage of Lieutenant Polker, with whom I remember you danced every night last winter."

"Lieutenant Polker," replied Tinderella, "has married a dissenter, or a person of low church principles, and that is as bad, and he has nothing whatever to do with our duty to the Holy Catholic Church I assure you, sir."

"Then it must be that silly, ignorant coxcomb, Charles Fustian, my own godson, my favourite from his youth—an excellent fellow, but a conceited ass—I wish he had never gone into the diocese of Vexer."

This is the tender way in which you are spoken of, my dear Charles; and I feel sure you will appreciate the compliment paid to you by the Doctor, losing his temper, but retaining his affection.

There was a blush on Tinderella's cheek as she entered into a defence of "the Reverend Charles Fustian, a priest of our church;" and she almost curtsied in reverence for your name and office; and I advise Araminta to keep watch over her friend's proceedings, for I don't think Tinderella is so deeply attached to the doctrine of celibacy as she pretends. And I take this opportunity also, my dear Charles, to tell you that I shall keep watch over YOU; and if I find you casting your smiles at Tinderella, and holding her by the hand, and recommending her to enter into the privileges of confession, in the summer-house in her father's garden—and holding forth all the time on the blessings of a conventual life and penance, and hair shirts and a cat-o'-nine-tails—I shall be greatly inclined to recur to the discipline that used to improve your manners greatly when you were a little boy, and use the scourge with more effect than when you apply it to your shoulders with your own hand.

The Doctor has just been here, and as I know you will be rejoiced to hear the news he gave me, I will transmit it to you at once.

"Buddle," he said to me, "you have perhaps seen how vainly I have tried to resist the parish, at least the young ladies of the parish; for I am sorry to say, that, with the exception of yourself and two or three others of the seniors, the parish has left me to fight the battle alone."

"My dear Smiler," I replied, "what can we do? Surely, if we lie quiet on our oars, the fancy for that sort of thing will go off."

"Not at all; as they get older it will get worse. There is some hope for them when they are very young, but in a few years there is no chance of escaping a universal passing over to the Pope; and between ourselves,"—and 683 here the Doctor looked at the door, as if he wished to bolt it with a twist of his eye—"I am in great anxiety of mind lest they carry me with them. Yes, my good Buddle, it would not surprise me if I awoke some morning and found myself a monk."

"How? Haven't you signed the articles and repeated the creed, and the oath of abjuration, and all that?"

"That is no defence. Those girls go to work so scientifically, carrying one object first, and then another; and they are so good, and active, and amiable, and so useful in the parish, and so clever, and defer so respectfully to my judgment in all things, that I find there is not an alteration which has taken place in the parish that I did not at first oppose, and end in a very short time by ordering on my own authority. Yes, my dear friend, I feel that, if not supported by some person of stout uncompromising church principles, I shall probably find myself eating fish on Fridays, and administering castigation to myself in my old age, and listening to young ladies' confessions, and flogging Araminta or Tinderella in atonement for their tasting a mutton-chop on a fast-day."

"It would do them both a great deal of good."

"No doubt of it, my dear Buddle; and if they were five or six years younger, such things would soon be put out of their heads." And here he clenched his hand on his riding switch, and looked like the picture of Doctor Busby. "But, as it is, I think I have stolen a march on them. Look at that."

So saying, he pointed to an advertisement in the Record newspaper, which stated that "a curate was wanted for a country parish; he must be under thirty, an eloquent preacher and reader; and, finally, that no Tractarian need apply."

"And he's coming, sir; the Reverend Algernon Sidney Mount Huxtable; a man of good family, tolerable fortune, and highly orthodox principles, is coming! I expect him next week, and as he is only eight-and-twenty, and unmarried, I think he will be an excellent assistant in repelling these attacks on our admirable Establishment."

So, with this piece of information, my dear Charles, I conclude, as I am anxious to go through the houses in the village, and see the effect of the announcement on the charming little army which Major M'Turk irreverently calls St Ursula's dragoons.


On Monday last, our new curate came; a most gentlemanly-mannered good-looking young man, with very dark eyes and very white teeth; and I was pleased to observe, when I dined with him the first day at the parsonage, that he did not consider these advantages as merely ornamental, but made excellent use of both. He did yeoman's service upon the fish and mutton, and cast glances on Miss Christina Smiler that made her at once give up the opposition she had made to her father's proposal of keeping a curate, and proved, to his entire satisfaction, that it was the best arrangement in the world. A pleasant good-humoured companion, a man of the world, and an unflinching son and servant of the Church, gaining the rector's confidence by an attack on Popery, and winning the ladies' affection by a spirited tirade on the vulgarity of dissent.

"The fact is," said the Doctor, after the ladies had withdrawn, and we had filled our glasses with the first bumper of port,—"the fact is, my dear Mount Huxtable, that our parish is in a very curious condition. We are all devoted members of the Church, and yet we are very suspicious of each other. The inhabitants, especially the young lady part of them, have taken such an interest lately in the affairs of the parish, and are so unanimous in enforcing their own wishes, both on me and the churchwardens—not to mention my stanch and kind friends Major M'Turk and Mr Buddle—that we feel as if the revolutionary spirit had extended to this village, and the regular authorities had been deposed by a Committee of Public Safety." 684

"Do they enforce their wishes?" inquired the new curate, with a frown, and laying great emphasis on the word enforce.

"Well," replied the Rector, a little puzzled, "that's rather a strong word. Do you think we can call it enforce, Major M'Turk?"

"They say they'll do it, and it's done," was the reply of the military commander.

"And you, Buddle?"

"No; you can't call it enforce," said I; "for they are the meekest, sweetest, and most submissive people I ever met with."

"That's right; I'm glad to hear it," said Mount Huxtable. "And do they really succeed in all the efforts they make?"

"Not a doubt of it," said the Rector, looking rather confused. "The church is entirely different from what it was a year ago; even the service, by some means or other, has got into quite a different order; I find myself walking about in my surplice, and standing up at doxologies, and sometimes attempting to sing the Jubilate after the second lesson, though I never had a voice, and it does not seem to be set to any particular tune. And, in confidence between ourselves, I think they could make me of any religion they chose."

"They're the fittest missionaries for the Mahommedan faith," said Major M'Turk; "such Houris may always count on me for a convert."

The Curate sank into silence.

"You're not afraid of such antagonists, Mount Huxtable?" inquired the Rector.

"I don't think they are at all to be feared as antagonists," he replied, with a smile, as if assured of the victory.

And when we looked at his handsome face, and the glow of true orthodox determination that brightened in his eyes, we were all of the same opinion.

"But we won't let them see the battery we have prepared against them," continued the jubilant Rector, "till we are in a position to take the field. I have applied to the bishop for a license for you for two years, so that, whatever complaints they make against your proceedings, nothing can get you removed from the parish; the whole onus of the fight will be thrown on your shoulders; and all I can say to them, when they come to me with their grievances, will be, my dear Araminta, my dear Sophronia, my charming little Anastasia, Mr Mount Huxtable is in the entire charge of the parish, and from his decision there is no appeal."

The happiest man in England that night was the Reverend Doctor Smiler of Great Yawnham, for he had now the assurance of preserving the orthodoxy of his parish, without the pain of quarrelling with his parishioners.

"Good night, good night," he said, as M'Turk and I walked away, while Mount Huxtable got into his phaeton and whisked his greys very showily down the avenue, "I think that ewe-necked donkey, Charles Fustian, won't be quite so popular with the Blazers at Hellebore Park, in spite of Araminta's admiration of his long back and white neckcloth."

"Mount Huxtable will cut him out in every house in the parish," replied Major M'Turk; and I said,

"I know Charles very well, and like him immensely; he won't yield without a struggle, and, in fact, I have no doubt he will proceed to excommunication."

Pardon us all, my dear Charles, for the free-and-easy way we speak of you. I don't believe three old fellows in England are fonder of you than we; and no wonder—for haven't we all known you from your cradle, and traced you through all your career since you were hopelessly the booby of the dame's school, till you were twice plucked at Oxford, and proved how absurdly the dons of that university behaved, by obtaining your degree from Dublin by a special favour. Would a learned body have treated a very decided fool with special favour? No; and therefore I think Dr Smiler and M'Turk are sometimes a great deal too strong in their language; but you must forgive them, for it proceeds from the fulness of their hearts.

The license arrived next day, and a mighty tea-drinking was held last night at the parsonage, to enable the Doctor to present his curate to the parish. The Blazers came in from Hellebore Park, Araminta looking beautiful in a plain nun-like white 685 gown, with a cross and rosary of jet falling tastefully over her breast. The Swainloves came from the Lodge, the spirited Tinderella labouring under two prodigious folios of Gregorian chants. Sophronia and her grandmamma came up from the vale; and, in short, the whole rank and beauty of the village assembled. The manly dignity of that charming district was represented by myself and Major M'Turk; your father, who came down in his wheel-chair; Dr Pulser and his son Arthur, who has lately settled down here, with a brass plate on the surgery door, announcing that he is attorney-at-law. Arthur, you remember, has a beautiful voice, and he entones the responses like a nightingale.

We were all assembled before the guest of the evening arrived. For the thousandth time we admired the garden and lawn, and heard how the Doctor had altered the house, and levelled the grounds, and thrown out bow-windows, and made the whole thing the perfect bijou it is. The fuschias were in full bloom, the grass nicely mown, and the windows being open, we could sally forth on to the terrace walk, and admire the pleasure-grounds as we chose. But nobody moved. Christina Smiler sat at the piano, but did not play; she kept her eyes constantly fixed on the door,—as indeed did several of the other young ladies; and when at last wheels were heard rapidly approaching, and a loud knock resounded through the house, the amount of blushing was immense; the bloom of so many cheeks would have recalled to an original-minded poet a bed of roses, and old M'Turk kicked my shins unobserved, and whispered, "We shall get quit of the female parliament very soon: this is the Cromwell of the petticoats."

As he felt that he made his appearance, on this occasion, in his professional character, Mr Mount Huxtable was arrayed in strictly clerical costume. Your own tie, my dear Charles, could not have been more accurately starched, nor your coat more episcopally cut. There was the apostolic succession clearly defined on the buttons; and, between ourselves, we were enchanted with the fine taste that showed that a man might be a good stout high churchman without being altogether an adherent of the Patristics. His introduction was excellently got over, and the charming warmth with which he shook hands with the young people, after doing his salutation to us of the preterite generation, showed that his attention was not confined to the study of the fathers, but had a pretty considerable leaning to the daughters also.

"So much the better, my boy," said M'Turk, "he'll have them all back to the good old ways in a trice; we shall have picnics again on Fridays, and little dances every day in the week." Tea was soon finished, and Tinderella Swainlove, without being asked by anybody, as far as I could see, walked majestically to the piano, and laying open a huge book, gave voice with the greatest impetuosity to a Latin song, which she afterwards (turning round on the music-stool, and looking up in Mr Mount Huxtable's face) explained to be a hymn to the Virgin. But the gentleman did not observe that the explanation was addressed to him, and continued his conversation with Christina Smiler. In a few minutes he accompanied her out of the window into the garden, and the other young ladies caught occasional glimpses of the pair as they crossed the open spaces between the shrubs. The Doctor rubbed his hands with delight, and Mrs Smiler could scarcely conceal her gratification. But these feelings were not entertained by the Swainloves. Tinderella looked rather disappointed to her mother; and that lady addressed Major M'Turk in rather a bitter tone of voice, and said it was a pity the curate was so awkward, and asked how long he had been lame.

"He is by no means lame," replied the Major; "you'll learn that before long, by the dance he'll show you."

"Does he dance?" inquired Mrs Swainlove, anxiously. "As you're at the piano, my dear Tinderella, will you play us that charming polka you used to play last year?"

A polka!—it was the first that had been demanded for a long time; and, in the surprise and gratification of the moment, the Major took her affectionately by the hand. Tinderella played as required; and great was the effect 686 of her notes: first one fair lady, and then another, found the room too hot; and before many minutes elapsed, we, who sat near the window, saw the whole assembly, except the performer on the piano, grouped round the new curate, who seemed giving them lectures on botany, for he held some flowers in his hand, and was evidently very communicative to them all. Mrs Swainlove, seeing her stratagem of no avail, told Tinderella to stop, and the conversation was entirely limited to the men who stayed behind. Young Pulser, the attorney, had joined the party in the garden, and the senior ladies, with the discomfited musician, soon also retired.

"He'll do," said the Major confidentially—"he's the very man for our money; and all things considered—not forgetting my friend Christina among the rest—you never did a wiser thing in your life, my dear Smiler."

"He seems a sure hand among the girls," said your father, "and I haven't had a chance of a minute's talk with him. I wanted to speak to him about my son Charles."

"He'll give you good advice about breaking in that stiff-necked young gentleman," said the Rector, "and we must contrive to get them acquainted."

"Bless ye," said your father, "they're very well acquainted already. He lived in Charles's parish in the diocese of Vexer, and was a great favourite, I'm told, of the bishop."

"Nonsense, my dear fellow," said the Doctor, taken a little aback, "he can't possibly be a favourite of such a firebrand—it must be some one else; and, besides, he never told me he was a friend of your son."

"You can ask him," replied your father, "for I'm quite sure I've often heard Charles talk of his friend Mount Huxtable."

A dead silence fell upon us all. Strange, we thought, that he should never have alluded to his acquaintance with you. Can he be ashamed of the way you have been going on? Is he afraid of being suspected of the same ludicrous feastings and fastings that have given you such a reputation here?

"Pray, my dear Mount Huxtable," said Dr Smiler, when the new curate, accompanied by the young ladies—like the proud-walking, long-necked leader of a tribe of beautiful snow-white geese—entered the room, "have you ever met our excellent friend, Charles Fustian?"

"Fustian—Fustian?" replied the Curate, trying to recollect. "There are so many of that name in the Church, I surely ought to have met with one of them."

The Doctor nodded his head, quite satisfied, to your father.

"You see, you see," he said, with a chuckle.

"I see nothing of the sort," said your progenitor; "for though Fustian is common enough in the Church, I'm sure Mount Huxtable isn't."

"That's true," said the Doctor. "Pray, how do you account for Charles Fustian happening to know YOU?"

"Ah, my dear sir," answered Mount Huxtable, with a smile to the ladies, "there is an old byword, which says more people know Tom Fool than Tom Fool knows."

A great laugh rewarded this sally, and the Doctor's triumph over his neighbours was complete.

"I told you what it would come to," he said; "no true orthodox churchman can have any acquaintance with such a semi-papist as poor Charles."

The conversation now went on in the usual channel—that is to say, we talked a little politics, which was very uninteresting, for we all agreed; and the young ones attacked the Curate on music and painting, and church architecture, on all which subjects he managed to give them great satisfaction, for he was an excellent musician, a tolerable artist, and might have passed anywhere for a professional builder. I suppose they were as much astonished as pleased to find that a man might be an opponent of the Tracts, and yet be as deep in church matters as themselves. Encouraged by this, they must have pushed their advances rather far for a first meeting; for, after an animated conversation in the bow-window, Araminta and two or three other young ladies came to the Doctor's chair.

"Only think, dear Doctor Smiler," she said, "how unkind Mr Mount Huxtable is. Next Thursday, our 687 practising day in the church, is the Feast of holy St Ingulpus of Doncaster, and he won't give us leave to ornament the altar with flowers."

"And who in the world is St Ingulpus of Doncaster?" said the Doctor.

"A holy man, I don't in the least deny," said Mount Huxtable, kindly taking the answer on himself. "His acts and writings attest his virtues and power; but I merely mentioned to the young ladies, as the easiest way of settling the affair, that St Ingulpus, though most justly canonised by the holy father in the thirteenth century, was not elevated to the degree of worship or veneration by the succeeding councils."

"And you answered them very well, sir," said the Doctor. "And as to St Ingulpus of Doncaster, I never heard of him, and believe him to have been an impostor, like the holy father, as you ironically call him, who pretended to canonise him."

"Oh, papa!" said Christina, addressing her father, but looking all the time at the Curate, "Mr Mount Huxtable himself confesses he was a holy man."

"What?—do you join in such follies? Go to bed, or learn to behave less like a child. Mr Mount Huxtable accommodates his language to the weakness of his auditors; but in reality he has as great a contempt for this Ingulpus, or any other popish swindler, as I have."

The Doctor was now so secure of support from his curate, that he felt bold enough to get into a passion. If he had fired a pistol at his guests, he could scarcely have created a greater sensation. The effect on Christina was such that she clung for support to Mount Huxtable, and rested her head on his shoulder.

"Mr Mount Huxtable," continued the Rector, "has forbidden you to disfigure my church with flowers. Mr Mount Huxtable has the entire charge of this parish, and from his decision there is no appeal."

This knock-down blow he had kept for the last; and it had all the effect he expected. They were silent for a long time. "That has settled them, I think," he whispered to me; "they know me to be such a good-natured old fool, and so fond of them all, that in time they might have turned me round their thumbs; but Mount Huxtable is a different man. At the same time, I must'nt have the darlings too harshly used. I daresay I was a little too bitter in the way I spoke: I can't bear to see any of them unhappy,—something must be done to amuse them."

If the Doctor had done them all some serious injury, he could not have been more anxious to atone for it. He spoke to each of them, patted them on the head, told them they were good girls, and that he loved them all like his own children; and even went so far as to say that, if the matter was entirely in his hands, he didn't know but that he might have allowed them to make what wreaths and posies they liked on Thursday. "And as to your friend Ingulpus," he concluded, "I hope and trust he was a good man according to his lights, and probably had no intention to deceive. So, my dear Mount Huxtable, as your uncompromising Protestantism is the cause of disappointment to my young flock, I must punish you by insisting on your immediately singing them a song."

"The young ladies, sir, shall find I am not so uncompromising a Protestant as they fear, for you see I don't even protest against the justice of your sentence;" and with this he took his seat at the piano. "The song I shall attempt is not a very new one," he said, "for it was written in the year a thousand and forty by a monk of Cluny. The Benedictines, you will remember, have at all times been devoted to music." So saying, he threw his hand over the keys, and after a prelude, sang in a fine manly voice—

"Hora novissima, tempora pessima sunt; vigilemus!—
Ecce! minaciter imminet arbiter ille supremus,—
Imminet! imminet! ut mala terminet, æqua coronet,
Recta remuneret, anxia liberet, æthera donet,
Auferat aspera duraque pondera mentis onustæ;
Sobria muniat, improba puniat, utraque justè."

Astonishment and delight kept the company silent for a while after he had finished, and then the repressed feelings of the audience burst out with tenfold force. "Oh, Mr Mount Huxtable!" said they all, "you must 688 attend our Thursday practising in the church. It will be so delightful now, for all we required was a fine man's voice. How beautiful the words are, and how well adapted for singing! And the music, how splendid!—pray whose is the music?"

"I am afraid I must confess myself the culprit in that respect," replied the Curate, very modestly. "I have been an enthusiast in music all my life, and have a peculiar delight in composing melodies to the old Catholic hymns."

After this no more was said of flowers on St Ingulpus's day; and it was very evident that our new ally was carrying the war into the enemy's country, and, in fact, was turning their artillery against themselves.

"If you are pleased with this simple song, I am sure that you will all be enchanted next week with two friends who have promised to visit me—both exquisite musicians, and very clever men."

"Clergymen?" inquired two or three of the ladies.

"Of course. I have very few lay acquaintances. You perhaps have heard their names,—the Reverend Launton Swallowlies, and the Reverend Iscariot Rowdy, both of Oxford."

"No we don't know their names, but shall be delighted to see any friends of yours." And so the party broke up with universal satisfaction. There was a brilliant moon, and Mount Huxtable sent away his phaeton and two beautiful gray ponies, and walked to Hellebore gate with the Blazers. Christina Smiler would rather have had him drive home, and looked a little sad as they went off: but we heard happy voices all the way down the avenue; snatches of psalm-music, even, rose up from the shrubs that line the walk; and it appears that the whole group had stopt short on the little knoll that rises just within the parsonage gate, and sung the Sicilian Mariner's Hymn.

So I think, my dear Charles, you may give up any farther attempts on our good old Church principles; the Doctor is determined not to turn round to the communion-table even at the creed, and I will beat you £20 that the congregation will all come back again, and we shall once more be a happy and united parish.


We look on you now, my dear Charles, as a fallen star; and, between ourselves, I don't think you are missed by a single astronomer in Yawnham, from the sky where you were once enthroned. No, sir: our curate's neckcloth is stiffer than yours, his collar plainer, his tails longer, his knowledge of saints and legends infinitely deeper—and, besides, he sings like an angel, and has a phaeton and pair. And he is so gentlemanly, too. He was at Eton, and is intimate with many lords, and has a power of sneering at low churchmen and dissenters that would be myrrh and incense to the Pope. Now you will observe, my unfortunate young friend, that when gentlemanly manners, good looks and accomplishments—not to mention an intimacy with the Red Book—and fourteen hundred a-year are in one scale, and Charles Fustian and a ton weight of Tractarians are in the other, the young persons who, in our parish, hold the beam will very soon send you and your make-weights half-way through the roof. Therefore, if you wish to retrieve your influence, either with Araminta or the other fair innovators, now or never is your time; come down and visit us. We shall all be delighted to see your elongated visage, and are not without hopes—for you are a good-natured excellent-dispositioned fellow after all—that you will see the error of your ways, and believe that humility and charity are Christian graces as well as faith and coloured windows. It so happens that there is scarcely a house in the place without a visitor. Tom Blazer has come down to Hellebore Park, and has brought Jones and Smith, two of his brother officers of the Rifles, with him;—the two Oxford men are with Mount Huxtable, who has taken Laburnum Place, and our doings are likely to be uncommonly gay. Swallowlies and Rowdy are great friends, though they seem to be the very antipodes of each other. 689 Rowdy won't believe anything, and has doubts about the battle of Waterloo; and Swallowlies believes everything, and thinks the American States will soon pay off my bonds. Rowdy says there is no evidence, satisfactory to him, that there is such a state as Arkansas in the world, as it is not authoritatively stated by church or council; and tries to persuade me that I have lent six thousand pounds of real money to an imaginary republic. In the mean time, the loss of three hundred a-year is by no means an imaginary evil, and I feel a little sore at both these Oxford humourists for laughing at my misfortunes. However, Swallowlies errs on the right side, and is decidedly the favourite with us all.

You may guess, my dear Charles, how the heart of Major M'Turk jumped for joy when Mount Huxtable proposed a pic-nic at the Holywell tree at the other extremity of the parish; and all the young ladies, without a single exception, determined to be of the party. Fasting, my good friend, has come to an end: there were pies enough made to feed an army; baskets by the dozen were packed up, containing plates, and knives and forks; crates filled with cold fowls and hams, and others loaded with fruit and wine. The Rector had out his old coach, which Chipper managed to decapitate for the occasion, and it did duty (like St Denis) with its head off, as an open barouche. He took some of the Puginstones, and two of the Pulsers; and, to make room for Mrs M'Turk, he, or rather Mrs Smiler, asked the Curate to take Christina beside him on the driving-seat of his phaeton. I got out my old four-wheel, which was certainly not so fashionable-looking as Mount Huxtable's drag, but so commodious that it appears made of India-rubber, and stretches to any extent. Tom Blazer is an ostentatious fool and sports a tandem—that is to say, he puts his own horse and Jones' (one before the other) in his father's high gig, and insists on driving Tinderella Swainlove all about the country. On this occasion she also graced his side; and Jones himself, who is as active as one of the Voltigeurs at Astley's, fixed a board on the hind part of the gig and sat with his back to the horse, smoking cigars and calling it a dog-cart. At last we all got there; and, when the company was assembled, it certainly was a goodly sight to see. The little spring that gives its name to the fine old elm—now, alas! a stump that might pass for Arthur's Table Round—comes welling out from a glorious old rock, which rises suddenly, you remember, from the richest pasture field in yeoman Ruffhead's farm. I never saw the scenery to such advantage: the woods of Kindstone Hill closed in the landscape on the west; and before us, to the south, was spread out the long sunny level of Richland meads, at the farther extremity of which rose the time-honoured ivy-covered ruins of Leeches Abbey. While the servants, who had gone over in a couple of carts, were busy in arranging the repast, we fell off into parties, and, by mere accident, I joined the Blazer girls and Captain Smith, who gathered round the Holywell, and told what little legends they knew of it to Swallowlies and Rowdy.

"They thought it was good for epileptic fits," said Araminta, "in the Roman Catholic time. It was blessed by St Toper of Geneva, who was overcome by thirst one morning after spending the night with the monks of Leeches."

"Toper of Geneva?" inquired Captain Smith,—"it's rather a jolly name for a saint; no wonder the old boy felt his coppers hot after a night with the monks."

But the remark was so coldly received that the Captain, who enjoys a great reputation in the Rifles for wit and pleasantry, was for a while struck dumb.

"Who shall tell what may be the efficacy of a good man's blessing," said Mr Swallowlies, dipping his finger reverently in the cow's drinking trough, and touching his forehead. "Do you know, Miss Blazer, if it still retains its virtue?"

"I believe epileptic patients are still brought to the spring," replied Araminta, "and I have heard that the old woman in that little hut on the hill-side has seen several cures."

"I will make her acquaintance this moment," exclaimed Swallowlies. "I think it a privilege to look on a matron who has witnessed so remarkable a 690 manifestation. Will you go with me, Rowdy?"

"No, I have no great faith in the fountain."

"Why not?"

"Because it is a sufficient effort for the human mind to have faith in one or two points of far greater importance."

"But you needn't make any effort at all. Take it on the assurance of the Church," said Swallowlies persuasively. "We have, indeed, cut ourselves off from a declaration of our belief in the power of saints like the holy Toper; but we can surely entertain the belief, though we are debarred from making public profession of it. And, in fact, any one who believes in miracles at all must equally believe that this spring will cure epileptic fits."

"Exactly as I say," responded Rowdy; "all miracles are equally credible."

"Then come to the old woman," said Swallowlies, taking his arm.

"No," said Mr Rowdy, "I have lately had great doubts as to my own identity, and I am going to try some experiments to see whether I am now the same person I was when I signed the articles, and did duty in my parish."

Mr Swallowlies, however, and the rest of us, with the exception of Captain Smith, walked to old Janet Wheedler's cottage, while Rowdy entered on his course of experimental philosophy. We found her nicely dressed, as if in expectation of our coming; and as the spring, with its capabilities for a pic-nic and its ancient associations, was a source of considerable revenue to her, she evidently was greatly pleased with the number of guests whom she saw approaching her door.

"Pax vobiscum!" said Mr Swallowlies, as we entered the cottage. "You reside here in highly favoured ground."

"Yes, indeed, sir," said Janet, "the gentlefolks be very fond of it, and very often come here from all parts about."

"Only the gentlefolks?" inquired her visitor. "I thought I heard that others came to avail themselves of the holy spring."

"Some folks don't believe in it now, sir—more's the pity. It was of great value in the old time."

"Why should it lose its virtue, Mrs Wheedler? If we had still the faith, it would have still the power."

Janet looked towards Mr Swallowlies, to judge whether he was in jest or earnest; but, on catching the face of wonderment with which he gazed at the well, and the unmistakable sincerity with which he spoke, the old woman, who had been a fortune-teller in her youth, involuntarily winked her blear eye, and curled up the corners of her mouth.

"It ain't quite falled away yet, sir. This here cat as ever you sees—here, Tabby dear, get up and show yourself to the gentles—this here cat, sir, a week ago, was took so ill of the palsy that it shook all over like a leaf. I thought it was agoing to die; but at last, thinks I, why shouldn't St Toper cure she, as he cures so many as have fits? And so, sir, I goes and fetches a little water, and flings it on Tabby's face, and the moment she felt the water she stops the shaking, and walks about as well as ever."

"Had she had any breakfast that morning?"

"No, sir, fasting from all but air; I gave her nothing from the night before, when she supped on a mouse."

Mr Swallowlies stooped down and laid his hand on the cat, which was purring and rubbing its fur against his leg.

"A strange instance this," he said, "of the efficacy of the ancient faith."

"Do you believe it, sir?" I inquired.

"Why not, sir? I don't attribute this, of course, to the direct operation of St Toper; but it certainly was endowed with this virtue to be evidence of his holy life. A wonderful animal this, Mrs Wheedler,—you would not probably wish to part with it?"

"I have two or three other cats, sir; but I'm very poor, and a little money is more useful to me than old Tabby."

"I'll speak to you in a little on the subject. Meanwhile, have you any other instances of cure?"

"Not to speak of, sir," replied Janet, delighted with the deference she was treated with. "That there 691 little calf as you sees among the cabbage was born with five legs, and without ever a tail."

"Five legs! bless me!" exclaimed Mr Swallowlies—"how very strange!—it has only four now."

"Ah, sir! that's all owing to the well. I takes it to the spring, and sprinkles the fifth leg three times, and immediately it gives a jerk, and up goes the leg into its body, like the winding up of a jack-chain; and so I goes to work again, and flings a bucketful on its back, and, in a minute or two, out comes a tail,—and there it is, and not a single mark left of where the additional leg had disappeared."

"This is most interesting!" exclaimed Mr Swallowlies. "Have you got the bucket you used in aspersing the calf?"

"There it be, sir," said Janet, pointing to a tub of some size, that was placed upright against the wall.

"A blessed instrument, indeed," said the gentleman, bowing most respectfully, as he sounded with his knuckles on the rim. "I must have some minutes' conversation with you, Mrs Wheedler, for I make a point of never taking any stories, which at first sight appear improbable, without sedulous inquiry and anxious proof."

"I hear the dinner-bell," I said at this moment, for I heard Captain Smith performing the "Roast beef of Old England" on a key-bugle, which was the concerted signal for our assembling where the provender had been spread; and I used a little more vigour than usual in drawing the young ladies away.

"What a splendid specimen of Anglo-Catholic faith is Mr Swallowlies!" exclaimed Araminta in a tone of rapture; "and how free from bigotry in his reverence for a Romish saint like the holy Toper!"

"Hold your silly tongue, this moment!" I exclaimed, getting into a passion—"a fellow that believes in paralytic cats and five-footed calves being cured by such trumpery, should leave our church."

"You are so bitter, Mr Buddle, against the Holy Catholic Church, that I wonder you call yourself a Christian at all."

"Where is the Holy Catholic Church, you little simpleton?" I said, softening a little, for Araminta is a nice little girl.

"At Rome, Charles Fustian told me; and we are but a distant branch of it, bearing very little fruit, and owing that little only to the sap furnished to us by the main old trunk. And Mr Mount Huxtable says the same,—only that our branch bears no fruit, as the continuity was cut off at the deplorable Reformation."

"Charles Fustian! Mr Mount Huxtable!" I cried: "they're laughing at you, my little dear: they are both ministers of our church, and have made numberless protestations against the wickedness and errors of Rome. They are laughing at you,—at least I know Mount Huxtable is, for, to tell you a secret, my dear Araminta, he is placed here for no other purpose but to defend our Protestant Establishment against the Tractarian tendencies of the artists and young ladies of the day."

"Charles Fustian, sir, I beg to tell you, knows too well to presume to laugh at me," said Araminta, tossing her head.

"He ought, my dear," I replied, "for he is a remarkably foolish young man, and hasn't half the sense in his whole head which you have in your little finger."

By this time we had reached the spring; and after placing the girls in the best seats still to be found, I called Dr Smiler aside.

"My dear old friend," I said, "have you made proper inquiry about Mount Huxtable's church principles, before you installed him in full power in the parish?"

"No Tractarian need apply, was in the advertisement," replied the Doctor. "He is a stout opponent of the dissenters; and, besides, my dear Buddle, as you are the oldest friend I have in the parish, I may tell you that on the way here he had a long conversation with Christina, who sat beside him in his phaeton, and among other things he asked her if she thought she could be content with the humble condition of a curate's wife? She said yes, of course,—for she has liked him ever since they met; and he told her he would wait on me to-morrow. I now consider 692 him my son-in-law. He has great expectations, and has already fourteen hundred a-year."

"I don't like what I hear of his churchmanship," I said. "And as to Swallowlies, I think he is a bigoted fool, and a Papist."

"I don't the least see, Mr Buddle, why a man should be either bigoted or a fool who believes as two-thirds of the Christians throughout the world believe."

So saying, the Doctor turned off in a very dignified manner, and presided over the pigeon-pie.

I confess to you, my dear Charles, this acted like a thunderbolt on me. Rejoiced as I was at Christina's good fortune, in attracting the affection of so amiable and wealthy an admirer as Mount Huxtable, I did not feel altogether comfortable at the effect which this discovery had on the logical powers of my friend the Rector of Yawnham. Because a man admires my daughter, and makes her an offer of marriage, am I to kiss the Pope's toe? I made a determination to inquire into matters more deeply than I had hitherto done, and, with a view to pick up all the information I could, I watched the conversation in silence.

Betsy Blazer sat next Captain Smith of the Rifles, and, in one of the pauses which occasionally occur in the noisiest assemblages, her voice was distinctly heard.

"Do you ever chant when you are all together in barracks, Captain Smith?—it must be delightful."

"Well, I can't deny that there is occasionally chanting after mess," replied the soldier, a little amazed.

"Who is the leader?"

"Why, Jones and I both pretend to some renown."

"Are they Gregorian?"

"I should say Stentorian was a better description, for, between ourselves, Jones, in the Nottingham Ale, might be mistaken for an angry bull."

What the denouement of the conversation was I don't know, for Rowdy's voice rose above the din—

"Faith expires"—he said—"hope grows dim—but ceremony, the last refuge of religion, remains. We lose the trustingness that makes us lay the promises of holy writ to our hearts,—the childlike simplicity that lifts us into a world where truth erects her palace on gorgeous clouds, which to us take the semblance and solidity of mountains,—we lose the thrill, the dread, the love,—but we can retain the surplice, the albe, and the stole. The cloud that seemed a mountain has disappeared; the confidence that sustained us has gone,—but we can erect churches according to the strictest rules of architecture, cover the table with cloth of gold,—have daily service, have some fixed, irrevocable, eternal rule, and feel ourselves the slaves of hours and postures;—a slavery befitting those who are left to grope in the darkness of their own souls for a belief, and find nothing to support, to bless, or cheer them."

"Do you advocate the externals of devotion, Mr Rowdy, after the reality of religion has left the heart?" I inquired.

"Certainly, sir," he said. "If you waited for the internal religion you talk of, you would never enter a church. And pray, sir, what is internal, and what is external? Your heart is a piece of flesh, your font is a piece of stone; why shouldn't holiness reside in the one as well as in the other?"

"It strikes me, Mr Rowdy, to be rather hypocritical to go through the forms of religion without the spirit," I urged again.

"And what is life but hypocrisy?—your very clothes make you a hypocrite: without them you would resemble a forked radish, but you disfigure yourself in surtout and pantaloons. Go through the ceremonies, sir—the feeling in time will come; dig your trenches deep, and the rain will pour into them and burn the sacrifice of your altar with fire; kneel when you have no devotion, bend yourself to decrees and ordinances when you have no humility and no faith; and, entering on that course with the scoff of Voltaire, you will emerge from it with the sanctity of Vincent de Paul."

"On the contrary, sir, I maintain," said I, "that, if you persist in these miserable bonds of an outward obedience, in the expectation that they will promote your advance in goodness, you bring on yourself the condemnation 693 of the Pharisee; you may enter them with the faith of your friend Mr Swallowlies, but you will leave them ere long with the sentiments of the infidel and apostate Strauss."

"I call no man an apostate," cried Mr Rowdy, "who traces the operations of his own mind to their legitimate results; I call no man an infidel who believes that he was born, and that he shall die."

"How good! how liberal! how humane!" exclaimed a chorus of sweet voices.

"And what do YOU say?" I enquired, addressing our new curate.

"For myself," said Mr Mount Huxtable, "I think it sinful in any one to decide on such a subject, unless in the exact words of the church."

"Very good," said the Doctor; "judiciously answered."

"Don't you allow private judgment, sir?" said I.

"No more, sir," he replied, "than I should allow private execution. It is for the church to pass sentence: if any presumptuous individual interferes with her authority, he is as much out of his sphere as if he were to displace Baron Alderson on the bench, go through the mockery of a trial, and condemn an enemy of his own to be hanged."

"Very good, indeed," said the Doctor; "judiciously answered."

"I have often heard your friend, Charles Fustian, say the same," said Araminta.

"Is he a friend of yours, Mount Huxtable?" inquired Dr Smiler, in a very bland tone.

"A most intimate friend, my dear sir," replied Mount Huxtable.

"Dear me!—I thought you told me you didn't know him."

"No, my dear sir, I didn't tell you so: I only gave you to understand that we weren't acquainted."

"That used to be pretty much the same thing," I said, a little chafed with the putting down I had already experienced, "and I suspect you are a great deal more intimate than you were inclined to let us know."

"You have exactly hit upon the reason," he replied. "I was not inclined to let you know; and I have yet to learn that a priest is imperatively required to confess to a layman, however inquisitive or ill-mannered he may be."

"Come, my dear Buddle," said the Doctor, "I think you will see that you ought to apologise."

"For what?" I exclaimed.

"For speaking so irreverently to the pastor of the parish," replied Dr Smiler. "You should consider, sir, that Mr Mount Huxtable is your spiritual guide."

"Certainly," said Araminta; and Christina Smiler grew first red and then pale, and looked at me as if I were a heathen.

I sipped a glass in silence; and the altercation had the unpleasant effect of producing an awkward pause.

When the silence had endured for upwards of a minute, it was suddenly broken by Major M'Turk ejaculating, in his most military manner, "Sharpshooters, to the front!" and mechanically Jones and Smith sprang up, and, advancing a few paces, anxiously looked upward in the direction pointed out by the commander's hand. The sight they saw might have shaken less firm nerves than theirs; for, toiling slowly down the hill, from Janet Wheedler's cottage, we perceived a nondescript figure, yet evidently human, more puzzling than the sea-serpent. Some large round substance enveloped its head, and entirely buried the hat and face, and covered the whole of the neck down to the middle buttons of the coat. Tucked under one arm we beheld a cat, secured by a ribbon tied round its neck; and, with a large kitchen poker in the other hand, the advancing stranger drove before him a great awkward calf. When he got a little nearer, we recognised our friend Mr Swallowlies.

"In heaven's name!" exclaimed the Rector, "what have you got there, Mr Swallowlies?"

"It is in heaven's name, indeed," replied Swallowlies, lifting up the large washing-tub which we had seen in Janet's cottage. "These, sir, are holy relies, which I have luckily induced the venerable matron of the hut to part with—partly by prayers and supplications, and partly by payments in money."

The Rector looked astonished, for he had not been of our party; and 694 Swallowlies, allowing the calf to feed on the grass near the spring, explained his sentiments on the subject of the tub, and related the miraculous history of the animals his companions.

"And how much did you give for the tub, sir?" said Smiler.

"Five pounds procured the inestimable treasure," answered Swallowlies in triumph; "eight pounds procured me the sacred tabby, and twelve guineas the calf. A very few pounds more have obtained for me, if possible, still more precious articles. Look here, sir," he continued, pulling from his coat-pocket an old quarter-boot, with the sole nearly off, and two or three flat-headed nails sticking out from the tattered heel—"this is one of the sandals in which the illustrious Toper used to go his annual pilgrimage to the shrine of St Thomas of Canterbury. This instrument of iron—which, I confess, struck me at first to bear a great resemblance to a poker—was his staff. And this, sir," he said, pulling from his bosom a piece of very old corduroy, mended in several places—"this is the left leg of the pantaloons the saint wore for upwards of forty years, without ever taking them off; for he is recorded never to have changed his raiment but twice, and never to have washed either his face or hands,—such a true Christian soldier was he."

"He was a dirty brute, and no soldier," cried Captain Smith, who was a great martinet in his regiment, "and I would have had him flogged every morning till he learned to be more tidy."

"Sacrilege! horror!" exclaimed Swallowlies, crossing himself in the greatest perturbation, and placing the tub once more on his head, and resuming his labours in driving the calf onward with his poker.

"Won't you have some pie?" said Dr Smiler.

"No, sir; I am fasting to-day, and am anxious to place my treasures in security."

"Such faith is highly edifying," said Mount Huxtable, "and unfortunately too uncommon in the present day. Ah! were all men equally pure, and as highly gifted as Swallowlies, the Reformation would soon be blotted out, and our Mother of Rome receive her repentant children."

"How? What did you say, my dear sir?" inquired the Rector. "Are you not a Protestant?"

"Assuredly not, sir. I detest the cold and barren name. It is a mere negation. I want something positive. It is the part of a Christian to believe—certainly not to deny."

"To be sure, Doctor, we are none of us Protestants; we are Anglo-Catholics," said Araminta, answering for the feminine part of his flock.

"I never viewed it in that light before," said Dr Smiler, looking assuringly at Christina, who seemed greatly alarmed at what her father might do. "Certainly religion is not a mere denial of error; it is far more—an embracing of truth."

"There is no truth omitted in the faith of the Catholic Church," said Mount Huxtable solemnly. "Some are more developed than they were at first; and some, more recently planted, are even now in course of growth, and, before many years elapse, will infallibly spread their branches all over this barren land. But I will call on you to-morrow," he added, with a smile, and a bend of his head towards Christina, which entirely barred up all the arguments that our Protestant champion might have been inclined to advance. And in a short time the pic-nic came to an end, and we all returned to Yawnham in the order we had come—always excepting Mr Swallowlies, whom we overtook in the first half-mile, still under his umbrageous sombrero, and still gesticulating with the poker to guide his erratic calf.


I had not sealed up the letter which I inclose to you herewith, my dear Charles, and fortunately, as it turns out—for I have it now in my power to tell you the conclusion of your machinations in this parish.

Three weeks have elapsed since the expedition to Holywell Tree. My anger, I confess, with Dr Smiler was so hot that I never called at the parsonage; and after the first Sunday I did not even go to church. The communion-table 695 is now surmounted by a gigantic crucifix—a cover of bright velvet, with a golden star in the centre, hangs down to the ground, while a vase of flowers stands on the middle of the table, flanked at each side by immense candlesticks, with a candle of two or three pounds' weight in each. There is a stone creding table, an eagle at one side of the aisle in bronze, and the old recess in the porch is cleared out, and a basin placed in it; but whether for the reception of holy water or charitable pence I did not stop to inquire. There is daily service at ten in the morning. The girls wear a regular uniform, and call themselves Sisters of the Order of St Cecilia, and have appointed Swallowlies their father confessor; and once or twice a-week, I believe, he, or Rowdy, or Mount Huxtable, attends in the vestry, and takes the young ladies, one by one, to a solitary conversation, with the door locked. And the best of the affair is, that Tom Blazer and his two military friends are as constant in their attendance as the rest. But, with these exceptions, there is not a man to be seen in the church, either on week-days or Sundays; for I am told that even John Simpkins and Peter Bolt have struck for wages, and won't attend prayers under half-a-crown a-week. So we have begun a subscription in the parish for a district chapel; and in the mean time we stream off by the hundred, either to the church or meeting-houses of the nearest parish. Major M'Turk, I am sorry to say, has had many interviews with the Reverend Mr Rowdy, and has become almost an infidel, with a leaning, if anything, to the religion of the Buddhists in India, who fast, he says, fifty times more, and go through a thousand times more painful penances than either Puseyite or Papist.

This morning I was surprised to see Doctor Smiler coming up my garden walk, as he used to do in the days of our friendship. He looked rather downcast as he drew near the window, where I was busy getting my fishing-flies in order, and coughed once or twice, as if to announce his approach. I pretended not to hear him, and continued absorbed in my lines and feathers; and, instead of coming in at the open door as he has done for the last twenty years, he actually rang the bell, and old Thomas had to bustle on his coat, and come out of the back-yard to see who was there,—and I thought the old man's tone was a little sharp when he announced Dr Smiler.

"How do you do, Doctor Smiler?" I said very courteously; "have the kindness to be seated."

The Doctor sat down.

"Are you going to the brook to-day?" he inquired.

"Yes; if the wind holds, I shall try it for an hour or two this evening. I hope Mrs Smiler is well."

"She is not well," he said.

"And Christina—Miss Christina?" I added, correcting myself.

"Dying," said the Doctor.

"Christina dying!" I exclaimed, starting up and taking the Doctor's hand; "my dear Smiler, why didn't you tell us?—why didn't you send for us?"

"I was ashamed, and that's the truth," said the Doctor. "Ah! Buddle, you were wiser than I."

"How?—what? Is it that rascal Mount Huxtable?" I inquired.

"No doubt of it," replied Smiler. "He has ruined the happiness of my daughter, turned away the hearts of my parishioners, and made me a laughing-stock to the whole county."

"Is he not going to marry her, then?—did he not call on you after the pic-nic?"

"No, he didn't call on me; but he consulted Christina's taste in all things—got her to superintend the alterations in the church—the candlesticks and flowers; he even asked her what style of paper she liked for drawing rooms, and the poor girl expected every moment that he would make a formal demand."

"It may come yet," I said, endeavouring to cheer him.

"It can't, my dear friend. I find he is married already."

"The villain!"

"He was an intimate friend of Charles Fustian," continued the Rector, "and by his advice answered my advertisement for an anti-Tractarian curate; by his advice also he concealed the fact of his marriage, and, in the course of less than a month, see what he has done." 696

"He denied that he knew Charles Fustian."

"I accused him of the duplicity this morning, but he says it was for the good of the flock; and as he is their shepherd for two years, he has a greater interest in them than I."

"And how did he explain his speeches to Christina?"

"General observations," he says; "he wished her opinion on drawing-room papers, and required her assistance in the interior arrangement of his church."

"His church! the puppy! We shall petition the bishop."

"Of no use," said the Rector. "You will perceive, my dear Buddle, that the generality of the bench are either very fond of power, and flattered with Puseyite sycophancy; or anxious to keep pace with the titled aristocracy, and very fond of 'gentility.' Now there is no denying that the Tractarians are more polished men, and, as far as the arts and refinements go, more cultivated men than the labouring clergy generally, and therefore these two things keep them secure from any authoritative condemnation—their truckling to their spiritual superiors, and their standing in society. If Mount Huxtable had been a vulgar fellow, though with the energy and holiness of St Paul,—if he had stood up against his diocesan and vindicated his liberty, either of speech or action, in the slightest degree—we could have hurled him from the parish, probably into gaol, in spite of all the licenses in the world; but I have no hope in this case."

"Then I have," I said, "for, from what you told me of the fellow's hypocrisy, I have no doubt he was the very man who was received, as they call it, into the Romish Church by Bishop Cunningham, three months since."

"It is surely impossible, my dear Buddle; how could he officiate in our church after being a professed papist?"

"Easily, my dear Smiler; it has very often been done, and is frequently done at this moment. Take that account of the ceremony with you, and tax him with it at once."

The Doctor folded up the paper, and went on,—

"But this is not all. How am I to atone to poor Mrs Blazer, and poor Mrs Swainlove, for what has happened?"

"Why?—what has happened to the old ladies?"

"Jones has eloped with Araminta Blazer; and, in the same post-chaise, Smith has carried off Tinderella Swainlove!"

"Why, they were almost professed unbelievers,—at least not at all Tractarian."

"That doesn't matter. They are off, and what we have now to hope for is—that they will go to Gretna Green. Young Pulser also has kicked Mr Rowdy into the mill-pond, where he was nearly drowned, for something or other he said or did to Priscilla Pulser at confession; and, to complete the catalogue of woes, Mr Swallowlies has been arrested for theft; for it appears that the calf which Janet Wheedler sold him was not her own, but belonged to farmer Ruffhead."

What could I say to comfort the poor old rector under such a tremendous cloud of calamity? The solitary glimpse of satisfaction, I confess, which I individually caught from his narrative was, that Araminta had shown the good taste to leave a friend of mine in the lurch. I will add nothing to this letter, for I am hurrying off to assist the Doctor in comforting his household, and recovering possession of his parish. How we succeed in this, and what steps we take to regain the confidence and affection of the flock, I shall not fail to inform you. Meanwhile, reflect on all that has arisen from your introduction of these foreign mummeries and superstitions into this quiet parish, and "how great effects from little causes spring."—

Yours, &c.

T. Buddle. 697


When Jellachich, on the 9th September 1848, passed the Drave, the boundary of Croatia and of Hungary Proper, the war between Austria and Hungary may be said to have commenced. Up to that time the hostilities directed against Hungary had been confined to the attacks of her revolted Sclavonic subjects in some parts of Croatia, and in the counties on the Lower Danube. These revolts had been instigated, and the attacks conducted, by officers in the Austrian service, who were countenanced and aided by a party at the court, and who asserted that they acted with the authority and in the interests of the Imperial family. Still the emperor, on the demand of the Hungarian ministry, had disavowed their proceedings. In May, he had publicly degraded Jellachich from all his offices, as a rebel against the Hungarian government. In July, he had formally announced to the diet, through his representative the Archduke Palatine, his determination to maintain the integrity of Hungary, and the laws he had sanctioned in April, and repudiated, as a calumny, the assertion of Jellachich and the other leaders of the revolt, that the emperor, or any other member of the Imperial family, countenanced their proceedings. It is true that Jellachich and another of these leaders had subsequently been received by the emperor-king, and by several members of the Imperial family, in a manner hardly consistent with their position as rebels; yet it was possible that his majesty might still listen to other counsels—might still resolve to pursue a constitutional course, and to preserve his own faith inviolate. Even so late as the 9th September—the day on which Jellachich passed the Drave—he solemnly renewed his promise to maintain the integrity of Hungary and the laws of April. But upon the 4th September he had reinstated Jellachich in all his offices, civil and military, knowing that he was then at the head of an army on the frontiers of Hungary, preparing to invade that kingdom, and to force the Hungarians to renounce the concessions made to them in April by their king. It appeared that the Ban had been supplied with money and with arms from Vienna while he was still nominally in disgrace, and he was joined by Austrian regiments, which had marched from Southern Hungary to put themselves under his orders. His advance, therefore, at the head of an army composed of Austrian regiments and Croat forces, was truly an invasion of Hungary by Austria.

The Hungarian forces collected to resist this invasion were still without a commander-in-chief or a staff—without sufficient arms or ammunition, and for the most part without military discipline or organisation. We have already mentioned that, on the restoration of the Ban to his offices and command, the Hungarian ministry resigned; but Mazaros, minister of the war department, Kossuth, minister of finance, and Szemere, minister of the interior, continued provisionally to perform the duties of their offices. Their measures were so energetic, that the Palatine called upon Count Louis Bathyanyi, the head of the late ministry, to form another government. This step was approved at Vienna; and Bathyanyi undertook the duty on the condition that Jellachich should be ordered to retire, and, if he refused, should be proclaimed a traitor. The king required a list of the proposed ministry, which was immediately presented; but a week or more elapsed, during which no answer was received, and during which Jellachich continued to advance towards the capital of Hungary. The Palatine, at the request of the diet, and after the measure had been approved by the king, took command of the Hungarian troops opposed to the Ban, which were then retiring upon Buda. Both parties, the invaders and the invaded, appeared at this time to be countenanced by the Emperor of Austria and King of Hungary; and the diet, while preparing for defence, seems not to have relinquished all hope of a peaceful arrangement. The Archduke Stephen, 698 after joining the army, and hastily organising it, opened communications with the Ban, and arranged a meeting in boats on the Lake Balaton: but Jellachich did not keep his appointment; and the Archduke Palatine, summoned to Vienna by the emperor, left the army, passed through Pesth on his way to Vienna, and on his arrival there, as we formerly stated, resigned the office of palatine. Shortly afterwards he retired to his private residence on the Rhine.

Count Louis Bathyanyi, whose conditions had not yet been either accepted or rejected, was thus left alone to carry on the whole government; and the diet, for the purposes both of aiding and controlling the administration of the minister, named a committee of their number, called the "Committee of Defence," to assist in conducting the government.

Jellachich had now established himself at Stuhlweissenberg, four or five marches from Pesth; and the government at Vienna appears to have anticipated that Hungary, left without a government, must fall into confusion. But she preserved her loyal and constitutional attitude; and while she was prepared to repel force by force, gave no pretext for employing it. Count L. Bathyanyi was at length informed that his list of the new ministry was not approved; and by an ordinance dated 25th September, General Count Francis Lamberg was appointed to the command of all the troops in Hungary, with power to restore order and to close the diet. The time had arrived which the Hungarians had been most desirous to avert, when they must either surrender their constitutional rights or resist their king.

The murder of Count Lamberg by a frantic mob threw the diet into a state of consternation. The regiment on which it most relied was the regiment of Lamberg, and the Ban was at the gates of Buda. The diet passed resolutions expressing its profound grief at the unhappy fate of the count, and ordered criminal proceedings to be immediately instituted against his murderers. The patriotism of the soldiers was not shaken by the horrible event that had occurred; and they displayed their wonted gallantry on the 29th, when the Ban was repulsed. Immediately after the murder of General Lamberg, Count Louis Bathyanyi resigned. There was now neither palatine nor minister in the kingdom, and the enemy was about to attack the capital. In this emergency the Committee of Defence, at the head of which was Louis Kossuth, took upon itself the direction of affairs; and since that time it has governed Hungary.

After the defeat of Jellachich, while he was on the frontiers of Austria, followed by the Hungarian army, the king named Count Adam Ricsay prime-minister, and by a new ordinance, countersigned Ricsay, the diet was dissolved, its decrees annulled, and Jellachich appointed commander-in-chief of all the troops in Hungary. The civil authorities were suspended, and the country declared in a state of siege. At the same time Jellachich was named royal commissioner, and invested with executive power over the whole kingdom.

From the moment of Jellachich's nomination to the office of Ban of Croatia, without the consent of the responsible Hungarian ministry, his concert with a party hostile to Hungary at the imperial court had not been doubtful; and that party had now prevailed upon the emperor-king to adopt their views. The influence of the Ban was not shaken by his defeat. The court had previously identified itself with his proceedings, and he had faithfully, though not hitherto successfully, espoused its cause. He had declared against the laws of April and the separate ministry in Hungary, which these laws had established, and in favour of a central government at Vienna for the whole dominions of the emperor, which he proposed to force the Hungarians to accept. He was no longer a Croat chief, asserting the national pretensions of his countrymen, but an Austrian general, assailing the constitution and the independence of Hungary. From the position at Raab, on the road to Vienna, to which he had retreated after his reverse, he applied for reinforcements to enable him again to advance towards Pesth. It was the refusal of these reinforcements to march that led to the second revolution at Vienna, which has been attributed to Hungarian agency. It is probable that the Hungarians would 699 employ all the influence they could command to prevent or impede the march of troops to attack them; but it is remarkable that the prosecutions of persons engaged in that revolution do not appear to have elicited anything that would justify us in attributing the revolt of the Viennese to the Hungarians. Attempts have also been made to implicate the Hungarians in the atrocious murder of Latour, the minister of war, by the insurgents of Vienna, but we have not been able to trace any foundation for such a charge. The Hungarians were formidable enemies, and to them every atrocity was attributed.

The Emperor of Austria was now at war with Hungary, and his enemies, therefore, became her allies. The revolutionary party at Vienna for a time regained the ascendency, and signalised it by the crime to which we have referred. After Windischgratz and Jellachich had invested the city, the Viennese applied to the Hungarians for aid; but their levies and national guards had returned in great numbers to their homes, and their army was not in a condition to make any impression upon that of the emperor. It advanced, and was repulsed. The Austrian government, by allying itself with rebellion and anarchy to subvert the established constitution of Hungary, had driven the Hungarians, in self-defence, into an alliance with the revolutionary party in Vienna against the government.

The error into which it had been led ought now to have been manifest to the Austrian cabinet; and it was not yet too late to remedy the evil. By returning to the course of legality and good faith, the Imperial government might have disarmed and regained Hungary. If there was in that country, as there no doubt was, a party which was disposed to sympathise with the republicans, and even with the worst of the anarchists in Austria, they were without power or influence, and their evil designs would at once have been frustrated, their opinions repudiated, and the loyalty of the nation confirmed; but the court had unfortunately placed itself in a position that left it but the choice of abandoning and breaking faith with the rebels to Hungary, whose eminent services at Vienna it was bound to acknowledge, or of persevering in the breach of faith with Hungary, which his advisers had forced upon the emperor-king. That the Hungarians had been ready to support the cause of monarchy and order, so long as faith had been kept with them, was put beyond all question by the vote of the diet, which, on the motion of the responsible Hungarian ministry formed in April, had placed forty thousand Hungarian troops at the disposal of the emperor, for service in Italy, "to preserve the honour of the Austrian arms," then endangered by the first reverses of Marshal Radetski. The Wessemberg ministry appears to have contemplated restoring the king of Hungary and his subjects to their legal and constitutional relations, for it issued a circular declaring that the king intended to fulfil the engagements he had entered into in April. But the power of the minister was subordinate to that of a party at the court, whose views were opposed to his own; and the acts of the government were not such as to restore confidence in its sincerity, at all times a difficult task for a government that has justly forfeited the confidence of a whole nation. Hungary did not dare to suspend her preparations for resistance; and the second revolution at Vienna, by occupying the troops destined to attack her, gave her time to improve her means of defence.

Had there been at Vienna a government capable of inspiring confidence in its sincerity—a government possessing power or influence enough to carry out conciliatory measures, to fulfil the engagements it might contract—the differences between Austria and Hungary might still have been amicably adjusted, by restoring the constitutional government established in April. All the bloodshed and misery that has ensued, and all the evils that may yet follow from the war, would thus have been averted. But irresponsible advisers had more influence at the court than the ostensible cabinet, and were blindly bent on returning to the irretrievable past. They founded their hopes upon the devotion of that noble army which 700 had re-established order in Austria, and which, if employed only to maintain order and the just rights of the monarchy, would have encountered no opposition that it could not overcome. Hungary, cordially reunited to Austria under the same sovereign, would again have become, what the Emperor Francis declared it to be, "the chief bulwark of the monarchy;" and the empire would have resumed its position as the guardian of peace and order in Eastern Europe, and a powerful support to the cause of constitutional monarchy and rational liberty everywhere.

Unhappily for the Austrian empire, for Europe, and for "the good cause," evil counsels prevailed, and Hungary was again invaded. Many of the leading magnates adhered to the court, at which they had spent their lives, and which was in fact their home. But there was hardly a great family of which some wealthy and influential members did not declare for their native country. A great majority of the resident aristocracy—the numerous class of resident country gentlemen, almost without exception—the body of inferior nobles or freeholders—the peasant-proprietors and the labouring population, espoused the cause of Hungary. The Protestant clergy in the Majjar country, to a man, and the Roman Catholic clergy of Hungary in a body, urged their flocks to be patient and orderly, to obey the government charged with the defence of the country, and to be faithful and valiant in defending it.

The attacks of Jellachich, and of that portion of the Croats and Serbes which had declared against Hungary, had failed to bring about the submission of the diet, and had produced an alliance, dangerous to the court, between its enemies in the Hereditary States and the Hungarians, with whom it was now at war. The national assembly or congress that met at Vienna was tainted with republican notions, and divided into factions, influenced for the most part by feelings of race. German unity, Sclave ascendency, and Polish regeneration, were the ultimate objects of many of those who talked of liberty, equality, and fraternity. The discussion of the constitution revealed the discord in their opinions, and they seemed to agree in nothing but the determination to overturn the ancient system of the empire.

Wearied by contentions, in which his character and feelings unfitted him to take a part; distracted by diverse counsels; involved by a series of intrigues, from which he could not escape, in conflicting engagements; dreading the new order of things, and diffident of his own ability to perform the duties it demanded of him, the Emperor Ferdinand abdicated; and by a family arrangement the crown of Austria was transferred, not to the next heir, but to the second in succession. The crown of Hungary, as we formerly stated, had been settled by statute on the heirs of the House of Hapsburg; but no provision had been made for the case which had now arisen. The Hungarians held that their king had no power to abdicate; that so long as he lived he must continue to be their king; that if he became incapable of performing the regal functions, the laws had reserved to the diet the power to provide for their due performance; that the crown of Hungary was settled by statute on the heirs of the House of Hapsburg, and the Emperor Francis Joseph was not the heir. The laws of Hungary required that her king should be legitimately crowned according to the ancient customs of the kingdom, and should take the coronation oath before he could exercise his rights or authority as sovereign. If he claimed the crown of Hungary as his legal right, he was bound to abide by the laws on which that right was founded. But these laws required that he should be crowned according to the customs of Hungary, and that he should bind himself by a solemn oath to maintain the constitution and the laws, including those passed in March, sanctioned and put into operation in April 1848. In short, that he should concede what Hungary was contending for.

The abdication of the Emperor Ferdinand, and the accession to the Imperial throne of his youthful successor, presented another opportunity of which the Austrian government might have gracefully availed itself, to terminate the differences with 701 Hungary. The young emperor was fettered by no engagements, involved in none of the intrigues that entangled his unwary predecessor, and entailed so great evils upon the country. He was free to take a constitutional course in Hungary, to confirm the concessions which had been voluntarily made, and which could not now be recalled—to restore to the Imperial government a character for good faith; and thus to have won the hearts of the Hungarians. Supported by their loyal attachment to their king, he might have peacefully worked out the reforms in the government of his empire which the times and the circumstances demanded or justified. But Count Stadion, the real head of the new ministry, though possessed of many eminent qualities as a statesman, was deeply imbued with the old longing after unity in the system of government: he hoped to effect, by means of a constitution devised and framed for that purpose, the amalgamation of the different parts of the empire, which abler men had failed to accomplish under an absolute monarchy, in circumstances more favourable to success. The opposition that was inevitable in Hungary he proposed to overcome by force of arms; and, at a moment when a desire for separate nationality was the predominant feeling in the minds of all the different races in the empire, he had the hardihood to imagine that he could frame a constitution capable of overcoming this desire, and of fusing them all into one. It was considered an advantage that the emperor, unfettered by personal engagements to Hungary, was free to prosecute its subjugation, to subvert its constitution, and to force the Hungarians to accept in its place the constitution of Count Stadion, with seats in the Assembly at Vienna for their representatives, under one central government for the united empire. This may have been a desirable result to obtain; it might, if attainable, have been ultimately conducive to the strength of the empire and the welfare of all classes; but it was not to claim the hereditary succession to a throne secured and guarded by statutes—it was rather to undertake the conquest of a kingdom.

Windischgratz and Jellachich occupied Pesth without opposition, set aside the constituted authorities, and governed the country, as far as their army extended, by martial law. The Committee of Defence retired beyond the Theis to Debreczin, in the heart of the Majjar country, and appealed to the patriotism of the Hungarians. The army was rapidly recruited, and was organised in the field, for the campaign may be said to have endured throughout the whole winter. From time to time it was announced from Vienna that the war was about to be terminated by the advance of the imperial army, and the dispersion or destruction of Kossuth's faction. The flight of Kossuth, and his capture as a fugitive in disguise, were reported and believed. The delay in the advance of the imperial army was attributed to the rigour of the season and the state of the roads; and, when these impediments no longer existed, to the incapacity of Windischgratz, who was roughly handled by the government press of Vienna. The true cause was carefully concealed. The resistance was not that of a faction, but of a nation. That fact has been fully established by the events in this unfortunate, unnecessary, and unnatural war.

The Austrian armies employed in Hungary have probably exceeded one hundred and fifty thousand regular troops, aided by irregular bands of Croats and Serbes, and latterly by a Russian corps of ten thousand men. They established themselves both in Transylvania and in Hungary, and were in possession of the whole of the fertile country from the frontiers of Austria to the Theis, which flows through the centre of the kingdom. From Transylvania, both the Austrian and the Russian forces have been driven into Wallachia. From the line of the Theis the imperial army has been forced across the Danube, on which they were unable to maintain their positions. The sieges of Komorn and Peterwardein, the two great fortresses on the Danube, of which the capture or surrender has so often been announced, have been raised; and the question is no longer whether Debreczin is to be occupied by the Emperor's forces, but whether Vienna 702 is safe from the Hungarians. Opposed to the admirable army of Austria, these results could not have been obtained unless the great body of the nation had been cordially united, nor even then, unless by a people of great energy, courage, and intelligence.

Had the government of Austria known how to win the hearts of the Hungarians for their sovereign—had they but preserved the good faith and the sanctity of the monarchy in Hungary, how secure and imposing might the position of the Emperor have now been, in the midst of all the troubles in Germany! Hungary desired no revolution; she had peacefully obtained, by constitutional means, all she desired. Her revolution had been effected centuries ago; and, with indigenous institutions, to which her people were warmly attached, she would have maintained, as she did maintain, her internal tranquillity and her constitutional monarchy, whatever storms might rage around her.

The resources that Hungary has put forth in this contest have surprised Europe, because Europe had not taken the trouble to calculate the strength and the resources of Hungary. With a compact territory, equal in extent to Great Britain and Ireland, or to Prussia, and the most defensible frontier of any kingdom on the continent of Europe; with a population nearly equal to that of England, and not much inferior to that of Prussia;6 with a climate equal to that of France, and soil of greater natural fertility than any of these; with a representative government long established, and free indigenous institutions, which the people venerate; with a brave, energetic, and patriotic population, predisposed to military pursuits, jealous of their national independence, and of their personal liberty—ambitious of military renown, proud of their traditionary prowess, and impressed with an idea of their own superiority to the surrounding populations—Hungary, as all who know the country and the people were aware, would be found a formidable antagonist by any power that might attack her. But, paradoxical and incredible as it may appear, we believe it is not the less true, that, little as Hungary was known in most of the countries of Europe, there was hardly a capital, in that quarter of the globe, where more erroneous notions regarding it prevailed than in Vienna. In other places there was ignorance; in the capital of Austria there was the most absurd misapprehension. Though generally a calm, sensible man, possessing a considerable amount of general information, an Austrian, even after he has travelled, appears to be peculiarly incapable of understanding a national character different from his own: this is true even in respect to other Germans; and neither the proximity of the countries, nor the frequent intercourse of their inhabitants, seems to have enabled him to form any reasonable estimate of the Hungarian character or institutions. We might adduce curious evidence of this ignorance, even in persons of distinction; but we shall content ourselves with quoting Mr Paget's observations on the subject, in June 1835:—

"The reader would certainly laugh, as I have often done since, did I tell him one half of the foolish tales the good Viennese told us of the country we were about to visit—no roads! no inns! no police! We must sleep on the ground, eat where we could, and be ready to defend our purses and our lives at every moment. In full credence of these reports, we provided ourselves most plentifully with arms, which were carefully loaded, and placed ready for immediate use.... It may, however, ease the reader's mind to know, that no occasion to shoot anything more formidable than a partridge or a hare presented itself, and that we finished our journey with the full conviction, that travelling in Hungary was just as safe as travelling in England.

Why, or wherefore, I know not, but nothing can exceed the horror with which a true Austrian regards both Hungary and its inhabitants. I have sometimes suspected that the bugbear with which a Vienna mother frightens her squaller to sleep must be an Hungarian bugbear; 703 for in no other way can I account for the inbred and absurd fear which they entertain for such near neighbours. It is true, the Hungarians do sometimes talk about liberty, constitutional rights, and other such terrible things, to which no well-disposed ears should be open, and to which the ears of the Viennese are religiously closed."

There were, no doubt, elements of discord in Hungary, of which Austria, on former occasions as well as now, took advantage; but their value to her in the present war has been greatly overrated. The population of the kingdom, like that of the empire, is composed of various races, amongst which there are differences of language, religion, customs, and sentiments. Of the 14,000,000 of people who inhabit Hungary, not more than 5,000,000 are Majjars, about 1,262,000 are Germans, 2,311,000 Wallacks, and, of the remaining 5,400,000, nine-tenths or more are Sclaves. The Sclaves are therefore as numerous as the Majjars; and, although these races had at all times combined against foreign enemies, it was probable that they would not unite in a domestic quarrel, as that with Austria might be considered. When a great part of the colonists of the military frontier, chiefly Croats and Serbes, took part against the government of Hungary, and asserted a Sclave nationality as opposed to the Hungarian nationality, it was too hastily assumed, by persons imperfectly informed, that the whole Sclavonic population, equalling the Majjars in number, would be available to Austria in the war. But the Sclaves of Hungary are a disunited race, divided into nine different tribes, the greater part of which have nothing in common except their origin. Most of these tribes speak languages or dialects which are mutually unintelligible; and the Sclaves of different tribes are sometimes obliged to use the Majjar tongue as their only means of communication. Some belong to the Roman Catholic Church, some to the Greek; others are Protestants—Lutheran or Calvinist: and some, while they have submitted to the see of Rome, retain many of their Greek forms and services, adhere to the Greek calendar, and constitute a distinct communion. The Slovacks of Northern Hungary, numbering 1,600,000, are partly Roman Catholics, partly Protestants—and have no intercourse or community of language or feeling with the Sclaves of Southern and Western Hungary, from whom they are separated by the intervention of the Majjar country. The Ruthenes, also in Northern Hungary, are distinct from the Slovacks, occupy a different portion of the slopes and spurs of the Carpathians, and have no connexion with the Sclaves on the right bank of the Danube, from whom they are separated by the whole breadth of Hungary and Transylvania at that point—they amount to about 400,000. The Croats, not quite 900,000 in number, are partly Roman Catholics and partly belong to the Greek Church. When religious toleration was established in Hungary, they exercised the power enjoyed by the provincial assembly to exclude Protestants from the country. The Shocks of Sclavonia Proper, and the Rasciens of that province and of the Banat, amounting respectively to above 800,000, and nearly half a million, are tribes of the Serbe stock, of whom the greater part adhere to the Greek Church, and whose language is different from that of the Croats, the Slovacks, and the Ruthenes. The Bulgarians, about 12,000, the Montenegrins, about 2000, and the Wends from Styria, about 50,000, are small distinct tribes, speaking different languages, and divided by religious differences. But the whole of these Sclavonic tribes have this in common, that they are all animated by a feeling of hatred to the German race; and more than half of the Sclave population of Hungary has joined the Hungarians against Austria.

There was also a belief that the Hungarians had oppressed the Sclaves, and that the whole Sclave race would therefore combine to put down their oppressors. This was another misapprehension. Great efforts have been made by some of their poets and their journalists to persuade the Sclaves that they were oppressed; and the Croat newspapers and pamphlets of M. Gay, and the Austrian journals, have circulated this belief over Germany, 704 whence it was disseminated over Europe; but there seems to have been no foundation for the charge. The Sclaves enjoyed the same rights and privileges as the Hungarians; they were protected by the same laws; they have shared equally with the Hungarians in all the concessions obtained by the Diet of Hungary, to which the Sclaves sent their own representatives, from the sovereign; they bore less than their due proportion of the public burdens, and they were left in the enjoyment of their own internal and municipal administration. Croatia, where the movement in favour of what was called Illyrian nationality originated fifteen or sixteen years ago, and where it was fostered, curiously enough, by the patronage of two imperial governments—Croatia does not appear to have any reason to complain of Hungarian oppression. The Croats had their own provincial assembly or diet, which regulated the internal affairs of the province, their own county assemblies, their own Ban or governor, they elected their own county and municipal officers; a great part of the province was organised as a part of the military frontier, and was therefore removed from the control of the Hungarian Diet, and brought more directly under the authorities at Vienna. The only specific charge, so far as we have been able to discover, that they brought against the Hungarians was, that the Majjars desired to impose their language upon the Croats. The history of the matter is this,—Latin had been the language of public business, of debates, and of the decisions of courts of law in Hungary, till the attempt of Joseph II. to substitute the German excited a strong national movement in favour of the Majjar. From 1790 this movement has been persevered in with the greatest steadiness; and in 1830 an act was passed by the Diet, and sanctioned by the king, which decreed that, after the 1st of January 1844, no one could be named to any public office who did not know the Majjar. This completed the series of measures which substituted that language for the Latin, a language unintelligible to the great body of the people. If a living was to be substituted for a dead language, no other than the Majjar could well be selected. Besides being greatly more numerous than any other tribe speaking one language, the Majjars were the wealthiest, the most intelligent and influential; and their language was spoken not only by their own race, but by a large proportion of the other inhabitants of the country—probably by six or seven times as many persons as used any other Hungarian dialect. The Croats, whose language was not that of any other tribe, could not expect it to be chosen, and all that was required of them to employ the Majjar where they had hitherto employed the Latin language, and nowhere else. The county of Agram, the most important and populous of the three counties of Croatia, repudiated the notion of a separate Illyrian nationality, of which, however, the county town was the centre; and clung to Hungary as the safeguard of its liberty. The truth is that the Croats, of whose hostility to the Hungarians we have heard so much, are nearly equally divided between Hungary and Austria; and, but for the military organisation which places so large a portion of that people at the disposal of Austria—and that the most formidable portion—the agitators for Illyrian nationality would probably have been put down by their own countrymen. The Slovacks, a people of Bohemian origin, refugees from religious persecution, have joined the Hungarians. A great part of the people of Sclavonia Proper have refused to take part against Hungary. The tribes that have engaged most extensively and violently in hostilities against the Hungarians have been the people of Servian race, and of the Greek church, in the counties of the Lower Danube, and in Croatia. Amongst the Hungarian Sclaves of the Greek church, it is well known that foreign influence has long been at work, for which the Greek priesthood are ready instruments. The hopes of these tribes have been turned towards the head of their church, and the sympathies of thirty millions of Eastern Sclaves who belong to the same church.

Though feelings of nationality and of race have been developed in Hungary, as elsewhere, to an extent 705 hitherto unexampled, they have there to contend with the craving for liberty, which has at the same time acquired intensity, and which amongst the Sclaves has been fostered and inflamed by the efforts of those who, for the purpose of exciting them against the Majjars, would persuade them that they were the victims of oppression. The more intelligent and influential are now convinced, that it is to Hungary—to which they owe the liberty they enjoy—and not to anarchy, or to Austria, against the attacks of whose government Hungary has so long defended their freedom and her own, that they must look for advancement.

The relative positions of the peasants and the nobles, and the antagonism of these classes, enabled Austria to exercise great influence and even power in Hungary. The peasant population, amounting to three millions or more, now emancipated from their disabilities and exclusive or disproportionate burdens, and raised to the rank and wealth of freeholders and proprietors, by the liberality of the nobles, have an equal interest with them in defending the institutions to which they owe their elevation.

The elements of discord, although they were such as enabled agitators to raise a part of the Sclaves against the Hungarians, when it was resolved to retract the concessions that had been made to them, would hardly have been found available for that purpose, had not the instigators of the revolt acted in the name of the King of Hungary, and of more than one imperial government; nor even then, perhaps, had they not been enabled to dispose of the resources of the military frontier. Now that the Hungarians have obtained important successes, it is probable that the Sclaves will all join them. The movement of these tribes against the Hungarians, which was caused by other influences in addition to that of Austria, has thus tended to lead the imperial government into hostility with Hungary, without contributing much to its strength.

When the Austrian government resolved to subjugate Hungary, it was presumed that they undertook the conquest of that country relying on their own resources. But the success of the enterprise was so doubtful, and a failure so hazardous to the empire, that we never could believe it possible that it had been undertaken without an assurance of support. It is true that the imperial government might at that time have expected an adjustment of their differences with Sardinia; but Venice still held out, peace with Sardinia had not been concluded, the state of Italy was daily becoming more alarming, and the Austrian cabinet knew that they could maintain their hold of Lombardy, and reduce Venice, only by means of a powerful army. They were aware that the condition of Galicia, and even of Bohemia, was precarious, and that neither could safely be denuded of troops. The state of affairs in Germany was not such as to give them confidence, still less to promise them support; and the attitude they assumed towards the assembly at Frankfort, though not unworthy of the ancient dignity of Austria, was not calculated to diminish her anxiety. Even in the Hereditary States all was not secure. They were aware that old sentiments and feelings had been shaken and disturbed; that, although order had for the time been restored, by the fidelity and courage of the army, men's minds were still unsettled; and that, both in the capital and in the provinces, there were factions whose sympathies were not with the imperial government, and which, in case of disasters, might again become formidable. The capital alone required a garrison of twenty thousand men, to keep it in subjection—to preserve its tranquillity. Putting aside, therefore, every consideration as to the justice of the war, and looking merely to its probable consequences, it is obvious that, without such a preponderance of power and resources as would not only insure success, but insure it at once—by one effort—it would have been madness in Austria, for the purpose of forcing her constitution upon the Hungarians, to engage in a contest in which she staked her power—her existence—and which could not fail to be dangerous to her if it became protracted.

Let us then examine the resources of both parties, and see what was the preponderance on the side of Austria, 706 which would justify her in undertaking so hazardous an enterprise, on the supposition that she relied solely on her own resources.

The Austrian empire contains a population of 36,000,000; of these about 7,000,000 are Germans—about 15,500,000 are Sclaves,—nearly 8,000,000 are of Italian and Dacian races, and about 5,600,000 of Asiatic races, including 5,000,000 of Majjars. If from these 36,000,000 we deduct the population of Hungary, 14,000,000, of Lombardy and Venice, 4,876,000—or, together, nearly 19,000,000, hostile to Austria—and the population of Galicia, 4,980,000, which did not contribute to her strength, to say nothing of Bohemia or Vienna, or Crakow, there will remain to Austria, to carry on the war, only 12,144,000. But, as probably two millions of the Sclaves and other tribes of Hungary, including the military frontier, may have been reckoned as on her side, that number may be deducted from Hungary and added to Austria. There will then remain to Hungary a population of 12,000,000, concentrated in their own country for its defence, and to Austria about 14,000,000, whose military resources must be distributed over her whole dominions—from the frontiers of Russia to those of Sardinia, from the frontiers of Prussia to the confines of Turkey—to re-establish her authority in Lombardy, to reduce Venice to submission, to hold the Sardinians and the Italian republicans in check, to control and overawe Galicia and Crakow, to garrison Vienna and maintain tranquillity at home, and, finally, to conquer 12,000,000 of Hungarians. It is true she had a noble army, and Hungary then had almost none, except such levies as she had hastily raised, and which were as yet without skilful commanders. But Austria knew by experience the difficulties and hazards of a war in Hungary. Her government must have known the resources of the country, the courage and patriotism of its inhabitants, and the success that had attended their resistance to her forces on more than one former occasion. Surrounded by difficulties at home, in Italy, and in Germany, with full one half of the population of the empire hostile to the government, she was undertaking an enterprise which her forces, in circumstances far more favourable to success, had repeatedly failed to accomplish.

Reviewing the whole of these considerations, therefore, we hold it to be quite incredible that the Austrian government, having the alternative of restoring peace, by permitting the King of Hungary to fulfil his engagements to his subjects, could have preferred a war for the subjugation of Hungary, if she had relied solely on her own resources, or followed only her own impulses and the dictates of her own interest. We cannot doubt that she was assured of foreign aid—that her resolution to make war upon Hungary, rather than keep faith with her, was adopted in concert with the power by which that aid was to be furnished. If this inference be just, we may find in that concert a reason for the extraordinary accumulation of Russian troops in Wallachia and Moldavia, which appeared to threaten the Ottoman Porte, but which also threatened Hungary, where the only corps that has been actively employed found occupation. The feeling of Germany made it unsafe to bring Russian troops into Austria; but the massing of Russian troops in the Danubian principalities of Turkey excited no jealousy in Germany. Austria, too, shrinking instinctively from the perils of Russian intervention, while in reliance on that support she pursued a bold and hazardous policy, with a confidence which otherwise would have been unintelligible and misplaced, hoped perhaps to escape the danger of having recourse to the aid on which she relied.

Having employed all her disposable means in the war, Austria now maintains it at a disadvantage, for her own defence. Her armies have been defeated, her resources exhausted or crippled, her capital is in danger, and she must either concede the demands of the Hungarians, or call in the armies of Russia to protect her government and enforce her policy. What the demands of the Hungarians may now be, we know not; but if they have wisdom equal to the courage and energy they have displayed, they will be contented with the restitution of 707 their legal rights, which Austria may grant without dishonour, because in honour and good faith they ought never to have been rejected. If they are wise as they are brave, the Hungarians will seek to restore unity and peace to the empire with which their lot has been cast—whose weakness cannot be their strength—whose independence is necessary to their own security. That the intervention of Russia would be fatal to the Austrian empire, to its dignity, its power, its capacity to fulfil the conditions of its existence as a great independent state—the guardian of eastern Europe—is, we think, unquestionable. Attributing no interested design to Russia—assuming that she desires nothing so much as the strength and stability of the Austrian empire—we cannot doubt that the re-establishment and maintenance of the imperial government's authority by the military force of Russia, were it the best government that ever existed, would desecrate, in the heart of every German, the throne of the Kaiser, and cover it with dust and ashes. In a contest between the Russians and the Hungarians, the sympathy of all Germany, of all western Europe, would be with the Majjars. Half the Emperor of Austria's own heart would be on the side of the loyal nation to which his house owes so large a debt of gratitude; who, he must be aware, have been alienated only by the errors and the injustice of his advisers, and who, if they are sacrificed, will not, and cannot be sacrificed to his interests. Hungary was perfectly satisfied with her constitution and her government, as established by the laws of April 1848. She was loyal to her king, and careful of the honour of Austria, which she sent her best troops to defend in another country; her crimes have been her attachment to established institutions, and the courage and patriotism with which she has defended them. This is not the spirit which it can ever be the interest of a sovereign to extinguish in his own subjects. The desire to overturn established institutions is the very evil which the Emperors of Austria and Russia profess to combat, and their first efforts are to be directed against the only Christian nation between the frontiers of Belgium and Russia—between Denmark and Malta, which was satisfied with its institutions and government, and determined to maintain them.

If Russia engages seriously in the war, she will put forth her whole strength, and Hungary may probably be overpowered; but can she forget her wrongs or her successes?—will she ever again give her affection to the man who, claiming her crown as his hereditary right, has crushed her under the foot of a foreign enemy? If anything can extinguish loyalty in the heart of a Hungarian, the attempt of the Emperor to put the Muscovite's foot upon his neck will accomplish it. We can imagine no degradation more deeply revolting to the proud Majjar, or more likely to make him sum up all reasoning upon the subject with the desperate resolution to sell his life as dearly as he can. There is therefore much reason to fear lest a people, who but a few weeks ago were certainly as firmly attached to monarchy as any people in Europe, not excepting either the Spaniards or ourselves, should be driven by the course Austria has pursued, and especially by the intervention of Russia, to renounce their loyalty and consort with the enemies of monarchy. Their struggle is now for life or death—it ceases to be a domestic quarrel from the moment Russia engages in it; and Hungary must seek such support as she can find. Austria has done everything she could to convert the quarrel into a war of opinion, by representing it and treating it as such; and now that she has brought to her aid the great exemplar and champion of absolute monarchy, it is not impossible that she may succeed.

Russia comes forward to re-establish by force of arms the authority of a government which has been unable to protect itself against its own subjects; and, when re-established, she will have to maintain it. How long this military protection is to endure, after all armed opposition is put down, no man can pretend to foretell. It must depend upon events which are beyond the reach of human foresight. But a government that is dependent for its authority on a foreign power, must, in every sense of the term, cease to be an independent 708 government. Is it under Russian protection that Austria is to preserve Lombardy, or to maintain her influence in Germany? Would the Sclavonic population of Austria continue to respect a German government protected by a nation of Sclaves—would they not rather feel that the real power was that of their own race? Would the Austrians forget the humiliation of Russian protection, or forgive the government that had sacrificed their independence? Dependent upon Russian protection, the Austrian government could no longer give security to Turkey, or counterbalance the weight with which the power of Russia, whatever may be the moderation of the reigning emperor, must continue to press upon the frontiers of weaker countries. In such a state of things, the relations of Austria to the rest of Europe would be changed—reversed. Instead of being the bulwark of Germany and the safeguard of Turkey against Russia, she would become the advanced post of Russia against both. Is it to bring her to this condition that she has allowed herself to be involved in the war with Hungary? Is it to arrive at this result that she will consent to prolong it?

Of the effect, in Germany, of the Russian intervention in Austria, it is almost superfluous to speak. The advance of Russian armies, simultaneously with the dissolution of more than one refractory assembly, has raised in the minds of men, already in a state of furious excitement, a suspicion that these events are not unconnected, and that the Emperor of Austria is not the only German sovereign who is in league with the Czar! The time has arrived when the question must be determined whether order or anarchy is to prevail; and we have no doubt that, in Germany as in France, the friends of order will speedily gain a complete ascendency—if there be no foreign, and above all, no Russian intervention. But to very many of the patriotic friends of order in Germany, Russian intervention in her affairs, or an appearance of concert between their own government and Russia for the purpose of influencing German interests, and suppressing German feelings, would be intolerable. There is reason to apprehend that a great body of true-hearted Germans, especially in the middle classes—whose power must, after all, decide the contest, and who desire social order and security under a constitutional monarchy—may fancy they see in the advance of Russian forces, at a moment when the sovereigns, supported by their armies, are making a stand against popular tyranny, cause to fear that even their constitutional freedom is in danger. We are satisfied that there are no reasonable grounds for such fears—that the other governments of Germany are too wise to follow the example of Austria in her conduct towards Hungary; but that example cannot fail to produce distrust in many minds already disposed to it; and popular movements are more influenced by passion than by reason.

It is impossible not to feel that Russia is about to occupy a new position in Europe, which, if no event occurs to obstruct her in her course, must greatly increase her influence and her power for good or for evil. She is to be the protector of Austria, not against foreign enemies, but against one of the nations of which that empire is composed. She is to re-establish and maintain, by military force, a government which has been unable to maintain itself against its internal enemies—a government which a nation of fourteen millions of people has rejected, fought, and beaten. A great power cannot interfere in the internal affairs of another state, to the extent of maintaining there by force of arms a government incapable of maintaining itself against the nation, without getting involved in the relations of the government it upholds, to an amount of which it is impossible to fix or to predict the limits, but of which the tendency has ever been, and must ever be, progressively to increase the power of the protecting over the protected government; and the single fact that the interests of Austria were in this manner inseparably bound up, for a time of indefinite duration, with those of Russia, would give to the great northern power a preponderance, both in Europe and in Asia, such as no hereditary monarchy has possessed in modern times. 709

With 150,000 or 180,000 men in Hungary, Wallachia, and Moldavia, the Russian armies would encircle the frontiers of Turkey, from the shores of the Adriatic to the frontiers of Persia. With a government in Austria dependent upon the support of those armies, the power that has hitherto been the chief security of Turkey against the military superiority of Russia, would be at the command of the court of St Petersburg. The Sclavonic tribes, which form the chief part of the Turkish population in Europe, seeing themselves enveloped by the armies of Russia, guiding and controlling the power of Austria, in addition to her own, must be thoroughly demoralised, even if Russia should abstain from all attempts to debauch them. They will feel that they have no course left but to court her, to look to her whose force is visibly developed before them, is in contact with them, surrounds them, and appears to be irresistible everywhere. They will find in the unity of race an inducement to adhere to the rising destinies of the great Sclavonic empire—their instincts will teach them to abandon, in time, the fabric that is about to fall.

Forced to involve herself in all the relations of the government she upholds, Russia will come into immediate contact with the minor German monarchies, whose governments may also stand in need of protection. There is no one kingdom in Germany that could then pretend to counterbalance her power, or to resist her policy. The same interests would carry her influence, and it may be her arms, into Italy. It will no longer be necessary to negotiate the passage of the Dardanelles by her fleet—the road will be open to her troops, and the passage of her fleet will no longer be opposed.

We have not attributed to the Emperor Nicholas, or to Russia, any ambitious ulterior views in affording assistance to Austria—we have supposed him to be influenced only by the most generous feelings towards a brother emperor. But, to suppose that he has no desire to extend his own or his country's influence and power—that he will not take advantage of favourable circumstances to extend them—would be absurd; and were he to set out with the firmest resolution to avoid such a result, the course on which he is now said to have entered, if he conducts it to a successful issue, must, in spite of himself, lead to that result. It is no answer, therefore, to say that the Emperor of Russia does not desire to extend his territory; that he has abstained with singular moderation from interfering in the affairs of Europe, while every capital was in tumult, and every country divided against itself. Giving him credit for every quality that can adorn the loftiest throne, the consequences of his present policy, if it be successfully carried out, are equally inevitable.

We must remember, on the other hand, that after all, the Emperor of Russia is but a man—but one man, in an empire containing above sixty millions of people. He is the greatest, no doubt, the most powerful, perhaps the ablest and wisest—the presiding and the guiding mind, with authority apparently absolute—but they little know the details of an autocratic government, who suppose that he is uninfluenced by the will of the nation, or has power to follow out his own intentions. He must see with other men's eyes, he must hear with other men's ears, he must speak with the tongues of other men. How much of what is said and done in his name, in his vast empire, and in every foreign country, is it possible that he can ever know? How much of his general policy must, from time to time, be directed by events prepared or consummated in furtherance of their own views, by his servants, and without his knowledge! How often must he be guided by the form in which facts are placed before him, and by the views of those who furnish them! It is important, therefore, to inquire what are the feelings and opinions, not of the Emperor only, but of his servants and guides—of the men who pioneer for him, and prepare the roads on which per force he must travel.

Shortly after the French revolution of February 1848, a Russian diplomatic memoir was handed about with an air of mystery in certain circles in Paris. M. de Bourgoing, formerly French minister at St Petersburg, and author of a recent work, entitled, Les guerres d'idiome et de nationalité, 710 has published a commentary upon the Russian memoir, which he tells us was prepared by one of the ablest and best-informed employés in the Russian Chancellerie, after the events of February. He further informs us that it was presented to the Emperor of Russia, and, with the tacit consent of the Russian government, was sent to be printed in a German capital, (the impression being limited to twelve copies,) under the title of "Politique et moyens d'action de la Russie impartialement apprécié." The object of M. Bourgoing's commentary, as well as of his previous publication, appears to be to remove exaggerated apprehensions of the aggressive power and tendencies of Russia, and the fears of a general war in Europe, which her anticipated intervention in Austria, and the occupation in force of Wallachia and Moldavia by her troops, had excited in France. His fundamental position appears to be, that the wars of 1848 and 1849 are essentially wars of language and race; that France has therefore nothing to fear from them; and that Russia has neither a sufficient disposable force, nor the slightest desire to interfere, in a manner injurious to France, in the affairs of Western Europe. With this view he combats, with a gentle opposition, the reasoning of the Russian memoir, which he represents as "une déclaration où l'on est autorisé à voir une espèce de manifeste envoyé sans éclat par la Russie à ce qu'elle intitule la révolution." From the tendencies of M. Bourgoing's writings, which occasionally peep out somewhat thinly clothed, though they are generally well wrapped up, we should infer that the "ancien ministre de France en Russie" does not consider his connexion with the court of St Petersburg as finally terminated; and we do not doubt that he has good warrant for all he says of the history of this memoir.

But, whether or not we may be disposed to assign to it a character of so much authority as M. Bourgoing attributes to that document, we cannot but regard it as a curious illustration of the kind of memoirs that Russian diplomatists, "les plus habils et les plus instuits," present to the Emperor, and that the Russian government "tacitly consents" to have transmitted to a German capital to be printed "sur-le-champ."

The Russian memoir commences with the following general proposition,—

"Pour comprendre de quoi il s'agit dans la crise extrême où l'Europe vient d'entrer, voici ce qu'il faudrait se dire: Depuis longtemps il n'y a plus en Europe que deux puissances réelles, la Révolution et la Russie. Ces deux puissances sont maintenant en présence, et demain peut-être elles seront aux prises. Entre l'une et l'autre, il n'y a ni traité ni transaction possibles. La vie de l'une est la mort de l'autre. De l'issue de la lutte engagée entre elles, la plus grande des luttes dont le monde ait été témoin, dépend pour des siècles tout l'avenir politique et religieux de l'humanité.

La Russie est avant tout l'empire chrétien; le peuple russe est chrétien, non-seulement par l'orthodoxie de ses croyances, mais par quelque chose de plus intime encore que la croyance: il l'est par cette faculté du renoncement et du sacrifice, qui sont comme le fond de sa nature morale.

Il y a heureusement sur le trône de Russie un souverain en qui la pensée russe s'est incarnée, et dans l'état actuel du monde la pensée russe est la seule qui soit placée assez en dehors du milieu révolutionnaire pour pouvoir apprécier sainement les faits qui s'y produisent.

Tout ce qui reste à la Bohême de vraie vie nationale est dans ces croyances hussites, dans cette protestation toujours vivante de sa nationalité slave opprimée contre l'usurpation de l'église romaine, aussi bien que contre la domination de la nation allemande. C'est là le lien qui l'unit à tout son passé de lutte et de gloire, et c'est là aussi le chemin qui pourra rattacher un jour le Tchèque de la Bohême à ses frères d'Orient.

On ne saurait assez insister sur ce point, car ce sont précisément ces réminiscences sympathiques de l'église d'Orient, ce sont ces retours vers la vieille foi dont le hussitisme dans son temps n'a été qu'une expression imparfaite et défigurée, qui établissent une différence profonde entre la Pologne et la Bohême, entre la Bohême ne subissant que malgré elle le joug de la communauté occidentale, et cette Pologne factieusement catholique, seide fanatique de l'Occident, et toujours traître vis-à-vis des siens."

We add a few more extracts:—

"Que fera la Bohême, avec les peuples qui l'entourent, Moraves, Slovaques, c'est-à-dire, sept ou huit millions d'hommes de même langue et de même race qu'elle?... En general c'est une 711 chose digne de remarque, que cette faveur persévérante que la Russie, le nom Russe, sa gloire, son avenir n'ont cessé de rencontrer parmi les hommes nationaux de Prague."—(Page 15.)

At page 18 we find the following observations upon Hungary:—

"Cette enemie c'est la Hongrie, j'entend la Hongrie Magyar. De tous les ennemis de la Russie c'est peut-être celui qui la hait de la haine la plus furieuse. Le peuple Magyar, en qui la ferveur révolutionnaire vient de s'associer, par la plus étrange des combinaisons, à la brutalité d'une horde asiatique, et dont on pourrait dire avec tout autant de justice que des Turcs, qu'il ne fait que camper en Europe, vit entouré de peuples Sclaves, qui lui sont tons également odieux. Ennemi personel de cette race, il se retrouve, après des siècles d'agitation et de turbulence, toujours encore emprisonné au milieu d'elle. Tous ces peuple qui l'entourent, Serbes, Croates, Slovaques, Transylvaniens, et jusqu' au petits Russiens des Karpathes, sont les anneaux d'une chaine qu'il croyait à tort jamais briser. Et maintenant il sent, audessus de lui, une main qui pourra quand il lui plaira rejoindre ces anneaux, et resserrer la chaine à volonté. De là sa haine instinctive contre la Russie.

D'autre part, sur le foi de journalisme étranger, les meneurs actuel du parti se sont sérieusement persuadé que le peuples Magyar avait une grande mission à remplir dans l'Europe orthodoxe, que c'était à lui en un mot à tenir en échec les destinés de la Russie."

If these are the mutual sentiments of Russians and Majjars, we may form some idea of the kind of warfare that is about to be waged in Hungary.

It is curious to observe the confidence with which the Russian diplomatist assumes that the influence of his master over all the Sclavonic tribes of Hungary is completely established, and points to the Emperor of Russia, not to their sovereign, as the hand that is to clench the chain by which the Majjars are enclosed. When it is remembered that this memoir was circulated in Paris before any differences had arisen between Austria and Hungary—that the first movement hostile to the Majjars was made by Sclavonic tribes of the Greek Church, headed by the Patriarch—that Austria long hesitated before she resolved to break faith and peace with Hungary—that her own resources were inadequate to the enterprise she undertook—that her own interests appeared to forbid her undertaking it—one is forced to ponder and reflect on the means and influences by which she may have been led into so fatal an error.

We cannot refrain from giving one other extract from the Russian memoir, which is too pungent to be omitted:—

"Quelle ne serait pas l'horrible confusion où tomberaient les pays d'Occident aux prises avec la révolution, si le légitime souverain, si l'empereur orthodoxe d'Orient, tardait longtemps à y apparaître!

L'Occident s'en va; tout croule, tout s'abîme dans une conflagration générale, l'Europe de Charlemagne aussi bien que l'Europe des traités de 1815, la papaute de Rome et toutes les royautés de l'Occident, le catholicisme et le protestantisme, la foi depuis longtemps perdue et la raison réduite à l'absurde, l'ordre désormais impossible, la liberté desormais impossible, et sur toutes ces ruines amoncelées par elle, la civilisation se suicidant de ses propres mains!

Et lorsque, audessus de cet immense naufrage, nous voyons, comme une arche sainte, surnager cet empire plus immense encore, qui donc pourrait douter de sa mission? Et est-ce à nous, ses enfans, à nous montrer sceptiques et pusillanimes?"

Such then, it appears, are the sentiments of some of the most enlightened of the Russian diplomatists—such are the opinions and views presented to the Emperor by the men on whose reports and statements his foreign policy must of necessity be chiefly founded—such, above all, are the feelings and aspirations, the enmities and the means of action, which the nation fosters and on which it relies.

It has been said that, in attacking the Hungarians, Russia is but fighting her own battle against the Poles, who are said to compose a large proportion of the Hungarian army; and those who desire to throw discredit on the Hungarian movement have nicknamed it a Polo-Majjar revolution. They must have been ignorant or regardless of the facts. Whatever the Austrian journals or proclamations may assert, Russia must know full well that in the Hungarian army there are not more than five thousand Poles, and only two Polish general officers, Dembinsk and Bem.

That the Poles may think they see in a war between Russia and Hungary a favourable opportunity to revolt, is not improbable, and that, if the Poles 712 should rise, they will find sympathy and support in the nation that Russia is attacking, must be inevitable.

In the mean time, the Hungarians are preparing for the unequal contest. They have a well-equipped army of 160,000 men in the field, and a levy of 200,000 more has been ordered. Such is the national enthusiasm, that this whole number may probably be raised. This feeling is not confined to the Majjars, but extends to the Sclavonic population also.

The following extracts from a letter received on the 14th May, by one of his correspondents, from an intelligent English merchant who has just returned from a visit to the Sclavonic districts of northern Hungary, on his commercial affairs, gives the latest authentic intelligence we have seen of the state of things in the Slovack counties, the only part of the country which the writer visited:—

"I am just returned from Hungary. I was exceedingly surprised to see so much enthusiasm. My candid opinion is that, even if the Russians join against them, the Hungarians will be victorious. They are certainly short of arms; if they could procure one or two hundred thousand muskets, the affair would be closed immediately. In the mountains the cultivation of the land proceeds as usual, although the whole neighbourhood was full of contending troops. As I came out of Hungary, the advanced guards were only two German miles apart. However, I found no inconvenience; the roads were quite safe; and if it were not for the guerillas, whom one expects every minute to issue from the woods, the thing would go on, for a stranger, comfortably enough. The new paper-money (Kossuth's) is taken everywhere, not only for the common necessaries of life, but also for large business transactions—the idea being that there is about equal security for Hungarian as for the Austrian bank-notes."

It must be confessed, that in circumstances calculated to try her prudence, Russia has acted with singular composure and wisdom. She abstained from interfering in the affairs of western Europe while the tide of republican frenzy was in flood. She contented herself with carefully and diligently increasing and organising her army—then, probably, in a more inefficient state than at any time during the last thirty years—and gradually concentrated her disposable troops on her western frontier, where magazines have been prepared for it. While continental Europe was convulsed by revolutions, she made no aggression—the occupation of Wallachia and Moldavia was her only move in advance. She avoided giving umbrage to the people, to the sovereigns, or to the successive governments that were formed, and established a right to demand confidence in her moderation and forbearance. She came to the aid of Austria at first with a small force in a distant province, just sufficient to show that the Austrian government had her support, and not enough to excite the jealousy of Germany. Now that her military preparations are completed, she comes to protect Austria, not until she is called, and at a time when the most formidable dangers she has to encounter are such as the friends of order, triumphant in the west, and we trust dominant everywhere, would be the last to evoke. Yet it is impossible to deny that the successful execution of her present project would be a great revolution—that it would more seriously derange the relative positions of nations, and the balance of power, than any or all of those revolutions which the two last eventful years have witnessed.

The adjustment of the differences between Austria and Hungary would avert this danger—would remove all hazard of throwing the power of Hungary into the scale with the enemies of monarchy—would re-establish the Austrian empire upon the only basis on which, as it appears to us, it is possible to reconstruct it as an independent empire; and would be "a heavy blow and great discouragement" to the anarchists, whose element is strife, whose native atmosphere is the whirlwind of evil passions. But if this may not be—if Austria uses the power of Russia to enforce injustice, and, with that view, is prepared to sacrifice her own independence—we should refuse to identify the cause of monarchy and order—the cause of constitutional liberty, morality, and public faith—with the dishonest conduct of Austria, or the national antipathies and dangerous aspirations of Russia. 713


It is not exactly the best of all times to point out things that may be amiss in, nor to find fault with either portions or the whole of institutions which have received the approving sanction of time and experience; for the bad passions of the lower and less moral orders of men, in most European nations, have of late been so completely unchained, and the débacle of the revolutionary torrent has been so suddenly overwhelming, that no extra impetus is required to be put upon it. Rather should we build up and repair the ancient dams and dikes of society, anomalous and inconvenient though they may be, than attempt to remove them, even for the sake of what may appear better ones, while the waters of innovation are still out, and when the spirit of man is brooding over them for the elaboration of some new chaos, some new incarnation of evil. Nevertheless there are a few noxious, and many harmless, anomalies and contradictions in the feudal or aristocratic constitution of society, induced by the lapse of time, the wear and tear of ages, which, though they may not admit of removal now, may demand it on the first convenient opportunity; and then on several of the sterner and more fundamental principles of feudalism in ancient days, upon which the basis of modern society really exists, but which have been lost sight of, and yet which are forced into prominent notice, and ought to be put in action once more, by the morbid tendencies of popular violence. We shall be acquitted of all desire of change for change's sake; no one will accuse us of being habitual violators of ancient things, customs, and laws: it is rather because we love them, and venerate them, and wish to revive them on account of their intrinsic excellence, that we would call our reader's attention to a few things going on around us. He need not be afraid of our troubling him with a dry treatise on the theory of government—we are no constitution-mongers: he need not expect to be bored with pages of statistical details, nor to be satiated with the nostrums of political economy. We propose making one or two very commonplace observations, professing to take no other guide than a small modicum of common sense, and to have no other object than our readers' delectation and the good of our country.

(1.) How was it that nobles came to be nobles and commons came to be commons? how was it that the great territorial properties of this kingdom were originally set agoing and maintained? and how was it that you and I, and millions of others, came to be put in the apparently interminable predicament of having to toil and struggle with the world, or to be sentenced to something like labour, more or less hard, for life; you and I, we say, you and I, and our fathers and our children? Tell us that, gentle reader, whether you be good old Tory, or moderate Conservative, or slippery Peelite, or coldblooded Whig, or profligate Radical, or demoniac Chartist? Force, my good friend—FORCE, PHYSICAL FORCE—a good strong hand, and stout arm, and a heavy sword, and brave heart, and a firm determination—and no shilly-shally hesitation as to legality or illegality, no maudlin sympathy nor compunction—these were the things that did it; these carried the day; these were the moving powers of old; they raised the lever, and they settled down society into that bed in which it has been arranging itself ever since. And right good things they were, too, in their proper time and place; and so they ever will be: they are some of the mainsprings of the world; they may become concealed in their action, they may be forgotten, they may even fall into temporary inaction, but they come out again into full play ever and anon, and, when the wild storm of human passion drives over the world in a reckless tornado, they go along with the whirlwind, and they hover all around it, and they follow it, and they reassert their permanent sway over mankind. The Norman William's barons, the noble peers of Charlemagne, the princes and marshals of Napoleon, all found their estates at the 714 points of their swords; and, while they kept their swords bright, their estates remained intact; but, when military prowess declined, legal astuteness and commercial craft crept in, and the broad lands decreased, because the sharp point and edge were blunted. The remote origin, the first title of every crowned head and noble family of Europe, is to be traced to the sword, or has been derived from it. We speak not of parvenus, we allude to the great families of the various realms of the ancient world; all old and real nobility is of the sword, and of the sword only. The French used to express this well, and understood the true footing on which nobility ought to stand; they always talked of la noblesse de l'epée, as contradistinguished from la noblesse de la robe: the former referred to the feudal families and their descendants, the latter to those who had become ennobled for services at the bar. As for nobility granted for any commercial or pecuniary causes, they never dreamed of such a thing; or, if a spurious ennobling took place, it was deemed a glaring and an odious violation of the fundamental laws of aristocratic society.

Now the ideas of the world have become so changed, or rather so corrupted, on this point, that the prime notion of nobility no longer is attached to military tenure or service; but, on the contrary, we find titles given, nay, bought and sold, for any the most miscellaneous services, and the meridian of nobleness, of elevation, of power, altogether eliminated from the qualifications that the nobleman ought to possess. Back-stair services, lobby services, electioneering services, counting-house services, any services as well as military services, have been deemed sufficient causes for procuring a patent of nobility to those who could allege them. Titles and causes of distinction they might have been, but surely not of nobility, not of hereditary honour and distinction, the tenure and essence of which should ever be attached to territorial power gained and held by the sword. And this lowering of the tone of nobility, this communising of what ought to be ever held up as a thing apart, as a thing originating with the first beginnings of a nation, and remaining fixed till the nation becomes itself extinct, has done no good to society: it has not raised the tone of the commons, it has only lowered that of the nobles: it has emasculated the one without adding any strength to the other. In all nations, as long as the nobility have remained essentially a military order, holding their own by their own strength, the fortunes of that nation have advanced; but whenever the nobles have become degenerate, and therefore the commons licentious—the former holding only by prescriptive respect, and the latter subjected to them only in theory, not in practice—the fate of that nation has been pronounced, and its decline has already begun. The destruction and absorption of the good fiefs of France, in the time of Louis XI., laid the way for the razing of the châteaux, and the decapitation of their owners by the Cardinal de Richelieu, in the time of Louis XIII.; and this gradual degenerating process of undermining the true strength of the nobles, led to the corruption of the nation, and to its reduction to the primary starting-point of society in the reign of Louis XVI. So, too, in England, the sapping of the strength of the nobles, in the reign of Henry VIII., added to the corrupt proceedings of the times of James I., caused the Great Rebellion in the reign of his successor. The nation has never recovered from this fatal revolution of the seventeenth century. Like France, England has shone awhile, and sustained itself both in arts and arms; but the dissolving process has begun long ago with us as it did with them. One order of the state—the order of nobles—has been constantly decreasing in power and influence; and the descent towards the level of anti-social democracy seems now as easy and as broad as that to the shades of Avernus. The nobles of Russia, on the contrary, still retain their feudal power—they all draw and use the sword: their nation is on the ascendant. In Spain and Italy the nobles have descended so far as almost to have lost their claim to the title of men; while in most parts of Germany the result of recent movements has shown that the power of the nobles had long been a mere 715 shadow; and they have evaporated in empty smoke, while the nations are fast sinking to the level of a common and savage democracy.

We would propose a remedy for this state of things. We consider the profession of arms, when joined to the holding of territorial power, as the highest form of civilisation and political excellence to which man has yet been able to rise. It constitutes that union of all the highest and best feelings of human nature with the supreme possession of power and influence over material objects—over land and the produce of land—which seems to be the ultimate and the worthy object of the good and great in all ages. And, therefore, the nearer a nobleman can revert to the principles upon which his order is, or ought to be, based, the greater security, in the working out both for himself and the nation, that the strength and dignity of the whole people shall be maintained inviolate. Of all men in the state, the noble is he who is most endangered by any approximation to effeminacy and inactivity: he is the representative, the beau ideal, of the virility of the whole nation: he is the active principle of its force—the leader, the chief agent, in building up the fortunes of his country. Let him but once degenerate from the elevating task, and he renounces the main privileges of his order, he does wrong both to his fellow-countrymen and to himself—he diminishes his own force, and he weakens their national powers. Whenever, therefore, any such departure, more or less wide, from the ancient principles of his order has taken place, let the nobleman hasten to return to them, if he would stop the course of ruin before it become too late. We would hold it to be the duty of every nobleman in this country—and we include herein his immediate descendants—to enter the profession of arms, and to adopt no other save that of afterwards serving the state in the senate: we hold it to be his duty to avoid all approximation to the engagements of commerce—we would even say of the law, of any of the learned professions. These pursuits are intended for other orders of men, not less essential to the state than the noble, but still different orders. The noble is the leader, the type, the example of public military and political strength. Let him keep to that lofty function, and discharge it and no other.

Two methods of effecting this present themselves. In the first place, a regulation might be easily and advantageously made, in connexion with the army, whereby any nobleman, or son of a nobleman, or in fact any person belonging to the class which the law might define to be noble, (for some modification is wanted on this head,) might be allowed to attach himself as a volunteer officer to any regiment, and be bound to serve in it as such, without pay. He should receive his honorary promotion the same as any other officer, and should be subject to all the same duties and responsibilities; but "pay" he should not need; himself or his family should provide for all his charges. Or, in the second place, he should serve as an officer in a national force, the constitution of which we propose and advocate below: in this case, too, entirely without pay, and subject to all the articles of war. In either instance, we think it the duty of the country to give the nobleman an especial opportunity of serving her in a military manner; and we hold it to be his especial duty—one of the most essential duties of his order, without which his order degenerates and stultifies itself—to serve as a military man, and to serve with distinction.

We often hear it said that the English are not a military people; that they do not like an army; that they have a natural repugnance to the military profession, and other similar pieces of nonsense or untruth. Such libels as these on the innate courage of an Englishman, are never uttered but by those who have something of the calf in their hearts; the wish is father to the thought in all such declarations, when seriously made; and, if alleged as matters of argument, they are used only by the morbid lovers of la paix à tout prix who infest our age and country. It is just the same as when you hear a man say soberly, that he does not like shooting, nor hunting, nor fishing; that he cannot ride, nor drive, nor swim; that he cannot abide the 716 country, and that he prefers a constant residence in town. Such a man is not only a useless, he is positively a noxious member of society—he is an excrescence, a deformity, a nuisance, and the sooner his company is avoided the better. Such men, however, do exist, and they do actually say such things; but they are tokens of the debased and degrading effects of over-civilisation, of social degeneracy, of national humiliation; and whenever their sentiments shall come to be approved of, or assented to, by any large portion of the people, then we may be sure that the decline and fall of the nation are at hand, and that our downward course is fairly commenced. No; the men and the nation that can, in cool blood, repudiate the noble profession of arms, forfeit the virility of their character, they may do very well for the offices that slaves, and the puny denizens of crowded cities, can alone perform; but they deserve to lose the last relics of their freedom, for thus daring to contradict one of the great moral laws of nature. Force and courage have been awarded to man like any other of his faculties and passions; they were intended to be exercised, otherwise they would not have been given: their exercise is both good and necessary; and, like their great development, War, they are destined by our Maker to be the causes and instruments of moral and physical purification and renovation. As long as the mind and body of man continue what they are, the Profession of Arms and the Science of War will be held in deserved honour among the great and good of mankind.

Great evils have no doubt resulted from their use, and more especially from their abuse; but not a whit greater than from the use and abuse of any other of the faculties and propensities of man: not so much as from the spirit of deceit and oppression, which is the concomitant of trading and manufacturing operations; not so much as from the spirit of religious fanaticism and superstition which haunts the human race; not so much as from the gluttony and sensuality of civilised nations. War and Arms are analogous to the Tempest and the Thunderbolt, but they purify more than they destroy, and they elevate more than they depress. The man that does not arm in defence of his country, of his family, and of himself, deserves to die the death of a dog, or to clank about for endless years in the fetters of a slave.

It has been well shown, by one of the most philosophic of modern historians,7 that the final causes of war are indissolubly united with the moral constitution of man and human society; and that, as long as man continues to be actuated by the same passions as hitherto, the same causes of war must occur over and over again in endless cycles. Not but that the pain and misery thereby caused are undoubted evils, but that evil is permitted to form part of the moral and physical system of the world; it is what constitutes that system a state of probation and moral trial for man. When evil ceases to exist, men's evil passions shall cease also, and the world shall become another Eden; but not till then. The bearing of arms and the waging of war are no disgrace to a nation; they are an honour and a blessing to it if justly exercised, a disgrace and a curse, sooner or later, if undertaken unjustly. Believing, therefore, that the proper maintenance of a warlike spirit is absolutely essential to the welfare of any nation, and knowing how much the pecuniary and political embarrassments of our mighty though heterogeneous empire cripple the public means (in appearance at least) for keeping up a sufficient military force, we proceed to throw out the following hints for the formation of an improved description of a national military force. And we may at once observe, that it is one especially calculated to fall under the direction of the nobles of the land, and to revive that portion of the feudal spirit which depends on the proper constitution of the military resources of a great people.

The military strength of this country lies at present concentrated in the regular army, in the corps of veterans styled "pensioners," and, we may very fairly add, in the "police." We have nothing to 717 say except in praise of these three bodies of men, the two latter of which are most useful adjuncts and supporters to the former. But we not only wish that the number of the regular army were permanently and considerably increased, we could desire also that the number of the police were augmented, and that they had more of military training about them. We shall revert to one of these points, at least, at a future period. We are also of opinion that the militia of the country should always be kept up, and regularly trained even in the intervals of war, were it for no other purpose than to maintain some faint degree of military spirit and knowledge among the common people. The question of expense and of interruption to labour does not, we confess, stop us in the least in our aspirations: we think that the country pays not a farthing too much for its military and naval forces; and, as for interruption to labour, anything that would draw off the attention of the lower orders from the grinding and degrading occupations of manufacturing slavery, we should consider one of the greatest benefits that could accrue to the country.

We wish to call attention, however, to another method—by no means a new one—of augmenting the military resources of the country, and to throw out some hints for rendering that method more efficacious than it may hitherto have been deemed. We allude to the system of volunteers. And here let not our military readers laugh: we would assure our gallant friends that we are fully aware of the thousand and one objections that will be immediately started; we know how easy it is to pooh-pooh a plan of this kind all to nothing. We can already hear them calling out about the Lumber Troop, and the City Light Horse: nay, we ourselves can actually remember that most astounding and heart-stirring event of the late war, the storming of Putney, and the battle of Wimbledon Common. We were present, gallant readers, not as actors but as very juvenile spectators of that memorable combat, to which Austerlitz, Borodino, and Waterloo were mere farces; so we know all that is to be said against the volunteers. And now just have the goodness to let us say something for them.

A volunteer force, if it is to be merely a parade force, a make-believe force, is a "sham," a humbug, and a gross absurdity. If it is to be a "National Guard," playing the part of armed politicians, it is a dangerous nuisance, and ought never to be formed. If it is to consist of a crowd of pot-bellied citizens, with red noses and spectacles, who are afraid of firing off a musket, and cannot march above ten miles a day, nor go more than six hours without plenty of provisions tucked under their belts, nor sleep anywhere except between clean sheets and warm blankets—why, a set of wooden posts, sculptured into the human form, and painted to look like soldiers, would be far more serviceable. We are not going to commit the absurdity of advocating the formation of any such corps of men as these; but we wish to point out how a really efficient corps of volunteers might be raised throughout the kingdom, kept on a footing of constant service and readiness, costing the country not one farthing, and constituting a really useful and valuable auxiliary force to co-operate with the regular troops.

If these qualifications are to exist in any volunteer corps, then it is quite manifest that the following kinds of persons cannot form part of it. First of all, the whole generation of pot-bellied, red-nosed, counter-thumping fellows, alluded to above, would not be admissible; next, no man who is not endowed with a good quantity of bodily activity, health, and vigour of mind, could remain in its ranks; and further, no one need apply for admission who wanted merely to "play at soldiers," or whose means and occupations would not allow of his giving up regularly a certain portion of his best time to the service, and occasionally of absenting himself from home for even a considerable period—say of one, two, or more months, and proceeding wherever the government might wish him. Furthermore, no such corps could have the smallest pretensions to be effective, if it were left to its own guidance and command: it must be as much under the control, and at the orders, of the commander-in-chief—for home service—(for we do not contemplate the possibility of its being ordered abroad,) as 718 any of the regular corps in her Majesty's army.

It will be seen at once, from the above stipulations, that we do not advert to anything at all resembling the loose and extremely local organisation of the old volunteers of 1805 and the subsequent years.

Now, a volunteer corps can only be held together by the two following principles:—first, a strong sense of public and patriotic duty; and, secondly, an acute feeling of Honour, and the Pride of belonging to a really distinguished arm of the service—a bona fide corps d'élite. Whenever war breaks out, we know, and we feel the most hearty satisfaction in knowing, that in every corner of the land—save, perhaps, in the murky dens of misery, discontent, and degeneracy abounding in our manufacturing towns—thousands of British hearts will beat with a tenfold warmer glow than heretofore, and will burn to give forth their best blood for the services of their country. Let but the most distant intimation of foreign invasion be given, and hundreds of thousands of brave and generous defenders of their beloved native land will instantly step forth. But we would say that, if the defence of the country from invasion be really desirable, it is not sufficient that the will to defend it be forthcoming at the proper moment—the knowledge how to do it, the preparatory training, the formation of military habits,—always a matter of slow growth,—the previous organisation of the defenders themselves, is much more important. In short, to keep the country safe from foreign invasion, (we do not allude to the naval strength of the country, which, after all, may prove abundantly sufficient for the purpose,) to take away from a foreign enemy even the spirit to dare an invasion, the previous formation, the constant maintenance of an efficient volunteer force must necessarily be of great value.

The expediency of this will be heightened by the consideration that it may, at any time, even of the most profound peace in Europe, be found necessary suddenly to detach a large portion of the regular army for the defence of our numerous colonial possessions, or that disturbances among our manufacturing population at home may require a sudden augmentation of the armed force of the country. In either of these emergencies, the existence of a considerable body of armed men who, though perhaps not equalling the regulars in precision of discipline and evolution, might yet be in far better training than the militia, and who should be kept so at no expense to the government, would evidently be of great value to the whole community.

We do not expect that many persons engaged in trade and manufactures, nor indeed that many inhabitants in large towns—at least of those classes—would like to enrol themselves in a corps the service of which would be constant, and might frequently take them away for a considerable time from their homes and occupations. We should not wish to see them joining it, for, however warm their goodwill might be, we know that their pockets and stomachs would be continually rebelling, and that, far from being "volunteers," they would more commonly be found as "deserters." We would rather see them staying at home, and acting as good members of their municipalities, or as special constables, or forming "street associations" for the keeping of the peace—all most necessary and laudable purposes, and not a whit less useful to the country than the serving as volunteers. We would rather see the force we meditate drawn exclusively from the gentry and the farmers of the country, and in fact from the same classes as now furnish the yeomanry cavalry,—only, we would have it most especially to include all the gentry of the nation: and we would have it thereby made an honour even to belong to the corps. To see a country gentleman heading his tenants, and his sons serving in their ranks, as some of themselves, and the younger gentry from the country or provincial towns also coming forward for the permanent military service of their country—coming forward as gentlemen, and serving as gentlemen, with the name and title of gentlemen—and to see the stout farmers of England, the real pride and bulwark of the realm, thus linked with their best and natural friends and protectors in a common bond of honour and of arms, would be the most glorious sight that this nation would have witnessed for many a long year. 719 It would give a new stamp to society, and would infuse a vigorous energy of mind amongst us that should go far towards counteracting the dangerous and emasculating influence of the "large town system." The heart-blood of England would begin to flow back again into its old and natural channels; and that linking of lords and tenants, which can never be loosened without the most fatal consequences, would be rendered closer and tighter than ever.

Men drawn from such classes as these, the adult sons of respectable farmers, the sons of the country gentry, the younger gentry from the towns, the farmers and the gentry themselves, (such at least as could really be spared from their numerous avocations,) would constitute, both in their physical and mental qualifications, the very best description of volunteers that could be selected in any land, for they would be the true élite of the whole nation, the very pride and hope of the country. It would be truly an honour to belong to such a corps, whether the applicant for admission were a yeoman or a gentleman; and, if properly organised and trained, it might be made a force of paramount efficiency.

Now what would be some of the main characteristics of the men composing such a force? for by those characteristics the nature and destination of the force should be mainly guided. First of all, a large portion would be able, as now, to serve on horseback: and this leads at once to show that the yeomanry cavalry, if more frequently exercised, and if kept out for longer periods of service, might, with an improvement which we shall by-and-by suggest, become of great value in this division of the national force.

Next, men of this kind would be more or less distinguished for bodily activity—we mean activity, as distinguished from muscular strength—though of this they would have in the old proportion of one Englishman to any two Frenchmen, we have no doubt. Hence the force would be fitter for the service of light than of heavy armed troops.

And, thirdly, from their pecuniary means they would be capable of distant and rapid motion; and therefore they should form a corps destined for quick and desultory rather than for slow and stationary warfare.

From the very fact, however, of their forming a corps drawn from the middle classes of provincial and urban society, and from their having pecuniary means at their command, more than any other class of troops could possibly hope for, they would be especially liable to relax in discipline from the contamination of garrisons, or the seductions of large towns. They would be formed of the finest young fellows of the whole country; and therefore a residence at "Capua" would be destructive of their military efficiency. The damage they would reciprocally cause and sustain by being quartered in any large town for a lengthened period, might be great; hence they should be confined as much as possible to—where they would be most effective—operations in the open field.

Again, if there are any two points of manly exercise in which the gentry and yeomanry of this country are distinguished beyond any other European nation, they are these—the being good marksmen, and good horsemen.

We are thus naturally led to the determining of the exact description of troops which should be constituted with such admirable materials—a vast body of riflemen—some mounted, the others on foot. Such a corps, or rather such an assemblage of corps, if properly organised and trained, would not have its equal in the world. It would be formed of the choicest spirits, the picked men of the nation, and it would be organised upon the very points, as bases, upon which those men would the most pride themselves, in which they would be the strongest, which they would be the most accustomed to, and would the best understand. They would have all the elements of good soldiers among them; all that would be wanting would be good organisation and training.

"This is no great discovery," some one will say; "there have been volunteer rifle corps already. Of late days they started a thing of the kind among the peaceable Glasgow bodies, and those treasonable asses, the Irish. Irishmen that wanted to be rebels, and the English Chartists that wanted to sack London, recommended their 720 deluded countrymen to 'club together and buy rifles.'" We acknowledge it—the idea is old enough. We only mean to say, that if a volunteer force be a desirable adjunct to our military system—and, under certain regulations, it might no doubt become so—then a rifle corps, or rather an army of volunteer riflemen, drawn from the classes specified above, would constitute a most effective branch of the service. We make no pretensions to the starting of a new idea; we merely endeavour to render that idea practicable, and to point out how it may be best realised.

The following points as to organisation we lay down as indispensable, without which we should hardly care to see the force enrolled:—

1st, The only matter in which the volunteer spirit should subsist, should be that of joining the corps in the first instance, and then of equipping and maintaining the men, each at their own cost. Once enrolled, it should no longer be at the option of the men whether they served or not—nor when, nor where, nor how they served: we mean the force not to be a sham one; we do not want soldiers in joke, we require them to come forward in good earnest. All matters concerning the time, place, and mode of their service should lie with the government. Once enrolled and trained, they should be at her Majesty's disposal; they should be her bonâ fide soldiers, only not drawing pay, nor, except under certain circumstances, rations.

2d, The corps should be raised by counties, hundreds, and parishes, and should be under the colonelcies of the Lords-Lieutenants or their deputies. To keep up the esprit de corps conjointly with the spirit of local association and public patriotism, it is essential that friends and neighbours, lords and tenants, should stand side by side, fight in the same ranks, witness each other's brave deeds, and, in every sense of the word, "put shoulder to shoulder." The several counties might each furnish a regiment, and these regiments should then be brigaded under the command of a general officer, appointed by the commander-in-chief of her Majesty's forces. In the first instance, at least, it would be desirable that a certain proportion of the officers should be drawn from the half-pay list of the army, both for the sake of instruction and example. Afterwards they should be taken from the ranks, for the ranks in this corps would be, by the mere fact of their organisation, composed of gentlemen and the best description of yeomen—the latter, be it ever remembered, not unworthy to lead their friends and neighbours; and the mode of so doing might be easily arranged by the military authorities, on the combined footing of local influence and personal merit.

3d, These corps, when organised, should be primarily intended for the local defence of their several counties, or of any adjacent military districts, into which the country might, from time to time, be divided. But they should also be liable to serve, to the same extent as the militia, anywhere within the European dominions of Her Majesty. We do not contemplate the eventuality of their being ordered on foreign service, though we strongly suspect that it would be very difficult to keep such a corps always at home, when stirring scenes of national arms and glory were to be met with away from their own shores. If, however, the corps should be called on to do duty away from their own military districts, then they should draw rations, clothes, equipments, and ammunition, but not pay, the same as the regular troops.

4th, As it should be esteemed an honour to belong to such a corps, so the members of it should not only be exempt from being drawn for the militia, but they should also be free from paying for a license to carry firearms and to shoot as sportsmen; and the cost of their equipment should be such as to insure a certain degree of respectability on the part of the volunteer. This preliminary expense, added to that of maintaining himself on duty at his own cost, would prevent any one but a man of a certain degree of substance from seeking admission into the corps.

5thly, The acquisition of sufficient skill in the use of that deadliest of all arms, the rifle, might be made by means of local meetings to practise, at which heavy fines for non-attendance would not only insure tolerable regularity, but would also provide a fund for prizes, and for general purposes. At these meetings, which should be held frequently, the knowledge 721 of military evolutions, and the minutiæ of drill might be readily communicated by the non-commissioned officers of the pensioners' corps; and, from the circumstance of the men not being mere clods from the plough tail, nor weavers from the loom, the requisite amount of instruction would be conveyed in a comparatively short time. We should suppose that, within six months from their first organisation, if the discipline was well attended to, such corps might be able to stand a field-day before their general officers. The cavalry would not learn their duties so readily as the infantry, because the men would have to teach not themselves alone, but also their horses; and, though they would form a most effective and valuable species of light cavalry, the combined practice of the rifle and the sabre would demand a considerable time for the corps to be quite at home with their duties. We would give them a year to make themselves complete. A volunteer force of cavalry should never aim at being anything else than a corps of light horse—they can never constitute effective heavy cavalry. But as light horsemen possessing rifles, and able to use them whether in the saddle or on the ground, they would become as formidable to a European enemy as the African Arabs have been to the French, and would be a match for any light cavalry that could be brought to act against them. For all purposes, too, of local service they would be admirably efficient.

6thly, The discipline of a volunteer corps is always the main difficulty to be contended against in its practical management; but we conceive that this difficulty would be lessened, in the present instance, from the peculiarly good composition of the rank and file of such a body of men. Several large classes of military offences could not possibly prevail among them; and, for those that remained, the ordinary articles of war would be sufficiently repressive. It should be observed that we do not contemplate the granting leave to such corps to disband themselves: the engagement once formed should be binding for a certain moderate number of years, and the volunteer should not have the faculty of releasing himself from his duties except by becoming invalided. We imagine that the possibility of being ultimately dismissed from such an honourable body of men, for ungentlemanlike conduct, would constitute the most effectual check that could be devised for the instances of breach of discipline likely to occur.

It should not be lost sight of that we advocate the formation of such a force as a corps d'élite, as one elevated above the militia, and even above the regular army, in the morale of the men composing it, if not in their physique; and therefore it may be very fairly inferred that the members of it, feeling the prestige attached to their name, would act up to the dignity and honour of their station; that they would not only behave as valiant soldiers in the field, but that they would act as gentlemen in quarters. Drinking and gambling would be the two main offences to provide against; but these, if discouraged, and not practised by the officers, might be checked among the men. For all quarrels and disputes likely to end in personal encounter, a special tribunal of arbiters should be constituted among men and officers of corresponding rank in the corps; and all duelling should be totally prevented. The mere fact of sending or accepting a challenge should involve, ipso facto, expulsion from the corps. The running into debt, too, on the part of the members, should be most rigorously prevented, and should incur the penalty of expulsion. By these and similar regulations, combined with the judicious management of the superior officers, we have no doubt that the discipline of such a body, (which should be strict rather than lenient,) might be effectually maintained.

7thly, The arming and equipping of such a corps of men is a point of importance, but by no means of difficulty. We may here disappoint some of our pseudo-military readers; but we anticipate that the real soldiers will agree with us, when we declare our conviction that a military costume—we do not say a uniform costume—but a military one, would be altogether out of character and needless in such a case. No: we would not have any of the smart shakos, and tight little green jackets 722 of the rifle brigade; no plumes nor feathers; no trailing sabres for the officers, no cartouche boxes for the men—nothing at all of the kind. We would put them all in uniform, but not in a uniform of that nature—it should be one suited to the wearers, and to the nature of their service.

Now the original intent and object of all uniform costume is, not the ornamenting of the person; it is not the dressing of a young fellow, until he becomes so handsome that the first woman he meets is ready to surrender at discretion to him. It is not the uniform that makes the soldier; it should be the soldier that should make the uniform; that is to say, the kind of dress should be dictated both by the usual habits and rank of the wearer, and by the service he is called on to perform. Add to this that, provided the men all wear the same costume, no matter what it may be, the great end of military costume, the holding the men in distinct and united corps, is attained. The uniform does not make a man fight a bit the better or worse: it is only for the sake of evolutions and discipline that any uniform at all is needed.

We would therefore recommend the keeping in view of two principles, in selecting the uniform of such corps; viz., utility and simplicity. What are the duties a rifleman has to perform? Any man who ever went deerstalking, any one who is accustomed to beat up the woods and covers for cocks or pheasants, knows nine-tenths of a rifleman's duties. His game is the enemy: whether he be a tall stag or a Frenchman, it is all the same; a steady aim and a quick finger will do the job for him. And now, dear reader, or gallant volunteer, or old fellow-shot, if you were invited to go a-gunning, whether after stags, cocks, or men, how would you like, if left to your own free choice, apart from all military nonsense—how would you like to equip yourself? We know how we used to go together over the Inverness-shire hills, and we know how we now go through the Herefordshire preserves, and how we sometimes wander over the Yorkshire moors; and it is just so that we should like to turn out. You know the dress; we need hardly describe it: everybody knows it; everybody has worn it. Just such a dress, then, as the volunteers would wear at home in their field-sports and occupations, the very same, or one of the same kind, would we recommend for their service as volunteer riflemen.

A shooting-coat, made either of cloth or velveteen, differing in colour, perhaps, for the different districts, or else one and the same throughout the whole service—black, or dark brown, or dark green, or any other colour that would suit the woodland and the moor; a waistcoat to match, with those abundant pockets that the true shooter knows how to make use of; trousers and stout boots, or else knee-breeches, leathern leggings, and high-lows; in fact, whatever shooting costume might be decided on by the gentry and authorities of the county for their respective regiments. As for hats, either a plain round hat, or else one of the soft felt ones, those most delightful friends to the heated and exhausted sportsman. The only thing would be to have everything cut after the same fashion, and the effect of uniformity would be immediately attained, without running into any of those excesses of paraphernalia which in former days brought down such deserved ridicule on the corps of loyal volunteers. Every man should wear round his waist a black leathern belt containing his bullets and leathers; his caps would be stowed away in one of his pockets; and his powder would travel well and dry in a horn or flask hung by a strap over his shoulder. His rifle—we need hardly describe it—should be rather longer and heavier than for sporting purposes, inasmuch as it may have to be used against cavalry; and it should admit of having a sword-bayonet fastened on at the muzzle. This bayonet might be worn suspended, as a sword in its sheath, from the belt round the waist. A black leathern knapsack, and a pilot-coat of warm stuff rolled up on the top of it, would complete the costume of our volunteer; and he would look more truly martial and serviceable, when thus equipped, than if decked out with all kinds of lace and trimmings, and clad in a jacket cut in the most recherché style of military tailoring.

The officers should wear a precisely 723 similar dress, but they might be distinguished by gold or crimson sashes, according to rank, and might wear round their breast, or on their hats, some further distinguishing marks of their offices. The whole should be based on the idea of equipping the corps as plain country gentlemen and yeomen going out to do a day's serious business in the field; and if the business is not to be serious, it is better to leave it alone than to attempt it.

Regard should be paid to the various inclinations and habits of the districts from whence the regiments should be drawn, and, in particular, those from Scotland should by all means retain some strongly distinctive marks of their national costume: the plaid could never be misapplied on their brawny shoulders.

We should suppose that it would cost each member of the corps at least £10 or £15 to equip himself completely, and this would be by no means too large a sum for the purposes required.

The costume of the mounted riflemen need not differ much from that of the men on foot. The shooting-coat is as good on horseback as off; and the only alteration we would recommend would be in the use of the stout but supple black-jack hunting-boots now coming so much into fashion. These admit of exercise on foot as well as in the saddle, and being plain, quiet things, would be peculiarly suitable for the purpose intended.

8thly, We are firmly persuaded that, if this experiment were tried in any one county or district, it would be found to answer so well that others would adopt and imitate it. The service it would render to government might be most important in stirring times; and being a bonâ fide and really effective corps, it would revive the martial and manly feelings of the people, now somewhat blunted by the long duration of peace, and would diffuse a most wholesome spirit throughout the land. From the sentiments of honour, and loyalty too, with which such a corps would be animated, (for it would be composed of the very flower and hope of the land,) it would, by its moral weight alone, keep in check that crowd of discontented persons who always exist in our empire. The loyal and honourable sentiments possessed by this corps would spread themselves abroad among the people; the good example set would be followed by the most respectable part of the nation, and a healthier tone would be thereby given to society in general.

9thly, Taking into consideration the number of parishes, and the population of Great Britain, (for we could not admit the Irish into our loyal ranks) we should estimate the probable force that could thus be raised and maintained at its own expense, at not less than 50,000 men, of whom 10,000 would be effective light cavalry; and we should suppose that at least 40,000 of this total number might be counted on for active service, in any emergency.

The mere fact, if this calculation be not overrated, of our being thereby able to add such a degree of strength to our regular army—or that of our being able to replace such a number of our regular troops, if called abroad suddenly for distant duty—or else, the knowledge that there would always be such a numerous body of men in the country, armed and arrayed in the support of the monarchy and the constitution; either of these facts, taken separately, might justify the formation of such a corps, but, taken conjointly, they seem to carry with them no small weight.

An anomaly in the present constitution of noble society which requires remedying, is the frequent inadequacy of the territorial means possessed by noble families for the maintenance of their power and dignity. This has reached to such a pitch, of late days, that we have seen the ladies of two peers of the realm claiming public support in formâ pauperum; and we have witnessed the breaking-up and sale of such a princely establishment as that of Stowe. Many noble families are forced to depend on public offices, and other indirect sources, for the support of their members. Many noble families of high distinction and renown are poorer than ordinary commoners. There are very few estates of nobles (we say nothing of those of commoners) which are not oppressed by mortgages, and which, in reality, confer much less power than they 724 nominally represent. From whatever causes these circumstances may have arisen,—whether from the folly and extravagance of the nobles themselves as a main cause, or from the imprudence of the crown in making unworthy creations, as a subsidiary cause—they have produced the most injurious effects upon the order, and have even justified the boast of the first commoner who thought himself superior to the last of the nobles. By few things has the order been more injured in public opinion than by the inequality and inadequacy of its territorial resources. This, too, becomes the more painfully evident in a nation where commerce has been allowed to assume an undue preponderance in the public mind, and where the means of gaining money are so various and so many, that the rapid acquisition of handsome fortunes is a very common occurrence. It is an evil, a negation of the ends of life, and a main cause of the decline and fall of a nation, that such a state of things should exist; but, seeing that it does exist, it is doubly the duty and the interest of all who have the honour and the permanency of national prosperity at heart, to favour the establishment and the maintenance of the strongest possible antagonistic principle—the forming and preserving of large territorial possessions in favour of the order of nobles. Believing that the law of primogeniture is the basis of all political freedom, we would urge the expediency of modifying the law, so that certain great estates, like the fiefs of old, should become inalienable by any person, unattachable for any liabilities, and indivisible under any circumstances, in favour of the order of nobles: and that the holders of such estates should be nobles, and nobles only. In the same spirit we would say, that the extent of territory should determine the rank of the noble, taking, as the starting-point, the estates as they might exist at any period of time; that to each title a certain territory should be inalienably attached, and that the title itself should derive its name from that territory—the holder of the territory, whoever he might be, always taking the title. It would be productive of great good if facilities were given as much as possible for massing together the properties of the noble; and if estates widely spread over the kingdom could be exchanged for others lying close together, and forming a compact territory. The powers of the nobles are now greatly frittered away and lost by the dispersion of their properties: he who holds nearly a whole county continuously, like the Duke of Sutherland, is of much more weight in the state than another, like the Duke of Devonshire, whose estates, though of very great value, lie more widely scattered.

It may appear an innovation, but we are persuaded that it would be only a return to the fundamental and ancient principles of the constitution, to make the possession of a real estate of a certain value, for a certain time, a legal title to claim the right to nobility. Thus the possession of an estate of £10,000 per annum clear rental, or of 5000 acres, by the same family, in direct descent for four generations, should of itself constitute a right for its owner to be ranked in the lowest order of nobility,—that of barons,—and the barony should give its name to its possessor; while, the possession of land of greater extent and value should modify the superior titles of those who held them, until the highest rank in the peerage were attained. All nobles holding not less than £100,000 per annum of clear rental, or 50,000 acres, should ipso facto and de jure become dukes, and so on in proportion between these two extremes of the peerage. Baronets should rank, in virtue of their estates, immediately after the barons; and in their turn, too, the possession of a certain income from landed property, such as £5000 a-year clear for four generations, in the same family, should immediately entitle its owner to rank among the baronets, and to have the style and privileges of that order.

It will be urged, on the other hand, that the crown would thereby be deprived of the power of rewarding meritorious public servants, by calling them up to the House of Peers, if the possession of a certain large amount of landed property were made a sine quâ non for every creation. To this it may be replied that, though the prerogatives of the crown require extension rather than contraction, yet that a sufficient power of reward would be 725 possessed, if men of eminence in the public service, whether great commanders or distinguished lawyers, were summoned to the Upper House for their lives only, without their titles being made hereditary; and further, that other distinctions might be given which would be fully sufficient rewards in themselves without any encroachment being made on the privileges of the order of nobles. Thus, in former times, when the honour of knighthood was not so common as it has now become, a great general and a great judge considered themselves rewarded enough if knighted: they never thought of being created peers. And the fact is, that though personal nobility—the nobility acquired by the performance of great actions—is in itself of the highest value to the state, as well as to the individual, it is not sufficiently valuable to entitle the heirs of a great man to take perpetual rank among the great landed proprietors of the realm. The duties and responsibilities of nobility depend more upon the trust reposed in each member than upon that member's personal qualifications. The noble cannot be separated from his lands nor from his tenants, nor from the multifarious heavy responsibilities thereby incurred; he is the representative of a great interest in the state; he is the representative of his land, and of all connected with it; he is the representative of a great class and gathering: his duties are not merely personal; he cannot found his right to nobility upon personal merit alone. Personal qualifications can give no valid right to hereditary privileges, whereas land is perpetual—rura manebunt—and the privileges as well as the duties attached to it should be perpetual also.

It would, therefore, be another step towards constituting the aristocracy of the state on a more solid and reasonable basis, if the orders of baronets, and of knights of various descriptions, were purified of their anomalies, and rendered attainable only under rules of a more general and fixed nature than at present prevail. Both these classes of nobles—for so they may be called—require considerable purification; the former, that of baronet, should be made the intermediate class between the nobles by personal merit, or knights, and those who are nobles by their lands, the peers. As was observed before, no baronetcy should be conferred unless a real estate of a certain value could be shown to be possessed, clear of all mortgage and debt; and the retention of such an estate for a certain number of generations should establish a legal claim to the title of baronet; while the subsequent increase of the same estate, and a similar retention of it for a certain number of descents, should establish a further claim to the honour of the peerage. If the orders of knighthood were made more difficult of entry, and if they were specially reserved only for public personal services, they would rise again in public estimation, and would be suitable for all purposes of reward required by the sovereign.

At the same time, and as a consequence of this, peers and baronets should not be admitted into the orders of knighthood—they should be satisfied with their own dignities. The garter, the thistle, and the shamrock should be reserved especially for the great military and naval commanders of the realm: the bath, and perhaps one or two other new orders, should be destined for men of eminence in whatever line of life they might be able to render service to their country.

It is an opinion controverted by some, but it seems founded in reason, that the twelve judges, who are at the head of their most honourable profession, should not merely be allowed to sit on the benches of the House of Lords, but that they should have the right of voting therein, and, in fact, be summoned as peers for life upon their elevation to the bench. No order of men in the whole state would exercise power more conscientiously, and from no other source could the Upper House derive at once such an immense increase of deliberative strength in the revision and framing of the laws. The bench of spiritual lords, and the bench of legal lords, ought to form two of the purest ornaments in the bright galaxy of the peers of the realm.

We shall content ourselves for the present with indicating two other points, recognised and admitted by the constitutional forms of the government, but at present much lost sight of; and they may be considered as affecting the lowest order—the 726 very root of the whole nobility of the land.

Members of the Lower House for counties are always called knights of the shires they represent; and so they ought to be. No person should be eligible to represent a county unless previously adorned with the honour either of knighthood or of the baronetage, or unless the younger son of a peer of the realm; and indeed the attaching of titles of nobility to the possession of estates of a certain value and fixity of tenure, and the annexing of baronetcies to similar properties, would put all the principal country gentlemen in a position suited to the duties of a knight of the shire. We should not then see the absurd and mischievous anomaly of an ambitious theorist of no landed property in his own possession, but backed by the democrats of a manufacturing district, thrust upon the legislature as the representative of a large agricultural county. We should rather find the knights of the shires forming a compact and most influential body in the imperial parliament, the real representatives of the interests of their constituents, and the main conservative element in the Lower House of the legislature.

The bearing of arms, and the gratuitous assumption of the title of esquire, now so universally adopted, require to be more strictly limited, unless it is desired that the whole system should fall from inevitable ridicule into ultimate disuse. It is a kind of morbid feeling that has thus been produced by national vanity, and will some day or other work out its opposite extreme, unless restrained in due time. For the undue granting of arms the Herald's College is greatly responsible; but for the universal assumption of the correlative title, society at large is to be blamed. It is one of the weaknesses of the day, that men and things are no longer called by their true names, and it indicates a downward progress in the national fortunes rather than the contrary. The evil might be checked by the confining of the right to wear coats of arms or shields to the orders of knighthood only—as it used to be at the first institution of the custom; while for all persons under that standing in society, some distinctive badge or family token might be adopted, sufficient to identify their lineage, yet showing a difference of grade. It is more difficult to say how the appellations of the various classes of commoners shall be settled; but there can be no doubt that the common herding of all men together—whether under the names of esquires, gentlemen, or even of "gents"—is an absurdity: mischievous, inasmuch as it tends to level what ought to be unequal, and as it renders ridiculous what ought to be respected.

We readily allow that the ideas propounded above are more or less Utopian; so, however, are all ideas of change. With this excuse, however, we content ourselves for the present. If we have advocated any amendments, they are not in the direction of what is called, falsely enough—Progress, but in that of what is really and truly improvement, because it implies a reverting to the fundamental and unalterable basis of the modern European social system. "Progress" now means advancement in the cause of democracy—that is, in the path which marks the decline and fall, and ultimate destruction of any old nation. Far be it from us to lend a hand to aught that can assist this fatal and destructive process. We would preserve, and restore, and improve, rather than destroy. And it is because we believe this ancient spirit of feudalism to be that which contains the great elements of national prosperity, that we therefore advocate a return towards some of its first principles. A further development of this we reserve for a future occasion. But this we will maintain, that in the great cycle of years which constitute the life of a people, the upward rising of the nation is characterised by the active vitality of what we will call feudalism, its downward sinking by the existence of democratic license and opulent enervation, following upon the decline of warlike and chivalrous pursuits. The process of corruption and of disintegration may be slow, but it is not the less certain. It overtakes even the most prosperous nations at last. Would that we could check and avert that evil from our own country! 727


Strange though it sound to speak of a revolution in these provinces, where the representative of the crown is notoriously supported by a large majority in the provincial parliament, and where, for years past, there has scarcely been an inquiry made as to when a regiment either came or went, or even how many troops were in the whole American colonies; yet it is nevertheless a fact, that a more important and effective revolution is now going on in the Canadas, than if half their population were in open arms against the mother country.

Before attempting either to describe or to account—which we trust in the course of this paper to be able to do—for this extraordinary state of things, it will be necessary to touch upon a few leading events in the history of both provinces, and, incidentally, upon the character and intentions of the parties engaged in them.

It is well known to all English readers, that the French of Lower Canada, forming a population of some four hundred thousand people, after a long course of factious and embarrassing legislation; after a species of civil, social, and parliamentary strife for nearly half a century, which was far more withering in its effects upon the prosperity of the country than a good fight in the beginning would have been, finally, in 1837, took up arms against the British government. Shortly afterwards they were joined by the party in Upper Canada which had long made common cause with them, though without common principles, aims, or hopes—the one's pride being indissolubly wedded to institutions which were pregnant with retrogression and decay, the other's chief merit consisting in pretension to raise men from beneath old ruins, instead of bringing old ruins down upon them. Yet both agreed in hating England, and in taking up arms, jointly and severally, to overthrow her institutions. Whatever other lesson England might have learned from the fact, she should at least have learned this—that it was no ordinary feelings of desperation or of difference that made them forego so much to each other, in order to strike an effectual blow at her; and that it could be no ordinary circumstance, if it was even in the nature of things, after they had become partners in the same defeats and humiliations—after they had been made bed-fellows by the same misfortunes—that could disunite them in favour of their common enemy; and not only turn the tide of their hatred against each other, but make the party that became loyal to England kiss the rod that had so severely scourged it.

Probably this might have been thought difficult. But where the hostility to England might have been regarded as accidental, rather than of settled and determined principle, it might be urged that the reconciling one or both these parties to the British government, might not have been impossible; or the bringing the one back to loyalty, even at the expense of its having to oppose the other, might still be in the power of wise legislation.

This brings us to consider the character and the principles, the prejudices and the predilections, of the two parties. And if the reader will follow us over a little scrap of history, possibly new to him, if we do not happen to differ on the road, we apprehend we shall agree in summing up the general results.

For many parliaments previous to the rebellion in Lower Canada, the majority in favour of the French was on an average equal to four-fifths of each house. And, instead of this majority being diminished by the agency of immigration, or by reason of the detachment of almost every Englishman and American in the province from their cause—who at first sided with them for the purpose of procuring the redress of all real abuses, most, if not all, of which, arose from the nature of their own institutions,—it continued to increase, until at last every county in the province which had a preponderance of French influence, sent a member to parliament to carry on a kind of civil war with the government. 728 Men of the first talents in the country, who had freely spent the best of their lives and their efforts in its service, when they were compelled to leave this faction, or take leave of their loyalty to the crown, found that the breadth of their own intellects was all they were ever able to detach from its ranks. Every concession the imperial government could make, every effort to conciliate them, was met only by fresh demands—demands conceived in a spirit of hostility, and wilfully and knowingly of such a character as could not be conceded. Yet their majorities continued, and even increased, in parliament. In 1832, they carried their measures of hostility to the British, and even the Irish population so far, as to refuse to employ them for any purposes whatever, and, in some cases, those employed were dismissed. It is matter of Lower Canadian history, that one of their greatest grievances was, that they had not the control of the appointments of judges and other public officers, and the apportioning of their salaries; yet it is well known—it was publicly avowed by them in Parliament—that their object was, to starve out the British government, by starving out its officers. Still the French leaders who mooted these measures gained in popularity, and the English members for French counties continued to lessen. British manufactures were solemnly denounced in their parliament, and the use of them declared a disgrace to every Frenchman; and a tax, which they intended as a prohibition, was attempted to be placed upon British emigrants: yet withal, Mr Papineau, the great French leader, rose the higher, and his party grew the stronger. The more, in short, the French leaders could embarrass the government, and the more they could throw obstacles in the way of the improvements incident to the activity and enterprise of the English race, the more they rose in the estimation of the French constituencies. They claimed, in truth, for these very acts, their confidence, and they received what they claimed to the fullest extent. In a well-written, and, considering all the circumstances, a temperate address of the Constitutional Association of Montreal in 1832—an association got up with the view of making the situation of the British population known to the imperial government, and an association that afterwards greatly contributed to save the province during the rebellion—we find the following among other passages to the same effect, upon this subject:—

"For half a century has the population of English and Irish descent in Lower Canada been subjected to the domination of a party whose policy has been to retain the distinguishing attributes of a foreign race, and to crush in others that spirit of enterprise which they are unable or unwilling to emulate. During this period, a population, descended from the same stock with ourselves, have covered a continent with the monuments of their agricultural industry. Upper Canada and the United States bear ample testimony of the flood-tide of prosperity—the result of unrestricted enterprise, and of equitable laws. Lower Canada, where another race predominates, presents a solitary exception to this march of improvement. There, surrounded by forests inviting industry, and offering a rich reward to labour, an illiterate people, opposed to improvements, have compressed their growing numbers almost within the boundaries of their original settlements, and present, in their mode of laws, in their mode of agriculture, and peculiar customs, a not unfaithful picture of France in the seventeenth century. There also may be witnessed the humiliating spectacle of a rural population not unfrequently necessitated to implore eleemosynary relief from the legislature of the country."

But it is no new lesson to learn, that an inert and unprogressive race, with pride clinging to decay, and customs withering to enterprise, cannot harmonise, in legislative provisions, with men who want laws to assist the steps of advancing civilisation, rather than ways and means of keeping up old ruins; who prefer to gather the fruits of a thousand trees, for the planting of which enterprise has explored, and industry has employed, new and rich domains, to tying up the decaying branches of a few old ones, to which possibly memory may love to cling, but under which plain human nature might starve. To expect, in fact, that men with such opposite characteristics, apart even from their other elements of 729 discord, should harmonise, when the party weaker in legislation was the stronger in civilisation, when the party that stood still had the power of making the other stand still also, was to expect an impossibility. And this was exactly the nature of the contest so long carried on in Lower Canada. An ox and a race-horse had been yoked together in the same legislative harness. But the misfortune was increased by the race-horse's being subject—however much he might struggle, and rear, and foam—to the motions of his dogged companion, and to the necessity of not moving at all, whenever it pleased his venerable mate to stand still. It is clear, therefore, that any legislative provision, after the rebellion, which would restore to the French this ascendency, would be but causing confusion worse confused—would be but entailing upon both parties constant contentions, with the probability, if not the certainty, of a final appeal to arms; in which case England would be left without a friend in either party—the one looking upon her as their natural enemy—the other as a power which had always sacrificed its friends when it had the means of benefiting them—had perpetually raised its defenders very high, to see how very far it could let them fall.

The party in Upper Canada which had opposed the government step by step, until it ended with rebellion in conjunction with the French, was composed of vastly different materials from these its allies. And it is somewhat singular, but it is nevertheless a fact, that this party, both as to its strength, and the true causes of its hostility to England, has never been very thoroughly understood even in the Canadas. The principle of under-rating enemies was always applied to it by its opponents in the province. The pernicious habit of looking upon men with too much contempt to take the measure of their strength, is as bad in politics as it is in a physical struggle. But the party known as the government party in Upper Canada, was generally far too self-important and too great to calculate how many dark-looking clouds it takes to make a storm. The government of England too, never very clear-sighted in colonial affairs, and with its Argus eye as directed to Canadian prospects always suffering from some defect of vision, or looking through very distorting media, was not very likely to catch the height and cut of each individual in a colonial multitude, which it scarcely ever saw even in gross; while the Governors who "did the monarch" in the province, did not generally betray much taste for sitting down by the farmer's fireside, and eating apple-sauce and sauerkraut at his table, where there neither was, nor could have been, recognised a distinction between the master and the man,—between the lord of the castle and the cook in the kitchen. Yet such were the places where governors and rulers might have seen at work the elements of democracy; might have witnessed the process of education to the levelling system. An education which, with the vast facilities for independence in America, irrespective of situation or institutions—men never get over; and in which they might have traced the natural growth of feelings and principles, that must, in the very nature of things, be in a state of continual warfare with the customs, the pride, and the love of distinction, which are the inalienable offspring of the monarchy, the aristocracy, and the social system of England. Yet here they never penetrated either to count the voters or the children. They felt—they were obliged to feel—that the great wheel of the government, which was the majority in parliament, often performed extraordinary revolutions the wrong way. But they knew not how or wherefore. They never went where they might have studied, and could have understood, the difficulty; where, to make a long story short, in order to get at what they missed, and to understand what they did not, the reader has possibly anticipated the necessity of accompanying us.

From the circumstances attending the early settlement of Upper Canada, and from the character of the early settlers themselves, the preachers of the Methodist denomination were not merely almost the only preachers they had for many years an opportunity 730 of hearing, but were, of all others, those they most desired to hear. The clergymen of the Church of England were few, and stationed in the larger towns. But it is one of the peculiarities of Methodism, that however numerous or scattered the settlers might have been, the preacher could always manage to live among them; for he received with his circuit a sort of universal billeting-ticket, and the houses of all his flock, and all his flock's friends, thereupon became one vast home to him; and wherever he happened to take up his temporary abode, he conferred a sort of honour instead of receiving a favour. The system had another peculiarity too—at all events, at the early period we are speaking of—it had no standard of fitness in the way of education for its ministry. Yet where men of education could never think of penetrating or existing, these men were willing to go. Where no bishop could dream of sending a pastor, it is the principle of Methodism to believe the Lord will raise up or send one. If his talents are none of the brightest, they are willing to trust to Heaven to make up the deficiency; and certainly, in some instances, there is much need of it.

It is not difficult to perceive how great must have been the influence of these preachers over a people so circumstanced: how eagerly—in the absence of newspapers, and of nearly every means of learning what was going on in the province, much less in the affairs of the world—the leading characters of the neighbourhoods gathered round the preacher, after the meeting was over, at the fireside of some brother of the Church, to hear the latest news, to get the last newspaper or pamphlet, and to receive his oracular opinions upon the measures and the men agitating the country. And in two-thirds of the districts in the province, these preachers had for years, unopposed and unquestioned, those opportunities of instilling a political education—which, if they chose to make use of them, would enable them to plant a crop, whether of good or of evil, for or against the institutions of England, wholly, uneradicable,—were there even the same opportunities afforded of eradicating it that there were of sowing it.

For five successive parliaments in Upper Canada, previous to the rebellion, each party had alternately the majority in the house—the one party being known as the Tory or Family Compact; the other as the Radical or the Saddle-bag faction—a name more truthfully than elegantly applied to it, on account of its owing its majority to the exertions of these same Methodist preachers in its favour; and from their mode of travelling through the country being on horseback, with large saddle-bags swung on each side of the nag, and, by way of adding to the picturesque, with a leathern valise strapped on immediately over his tail. These bags and valise, it was alleged by their opponents, were always filled—with, we suppose, the necessary exception of stowage for hymn-books, and the other paraphernalia of their craft—with papers and pamphlets against the monarchy, the Church, and the institutions of England, and in favour of the democracy of the States. But whether the bags and valise were so filled or not; or whether, indeed, these preachers, at this early period, had it in their power to treat their friends to as many pamphlets, and papers, and almanacs—for the last was and is a method of disseminating political opinions much resorted to in America—as they were accused of, we shall not undertake to determine. This, however, we certainly can assert—that if we had out of the whole world to select the most perfect embodiment of the spirit of hostility to all the pomp, and pride, and distinction, and deference to rank, incident to monarchy, wherever it may exist, we should select these same Methodist preachers. Educated, for the most part, in the United States, or in Canada by American schoolmasters; with their conferences held in the States; the seat of their church in the States; their ministers ordained in the States; their bishops sent from there—for they were all, at this time, Episcopal Methodists—and the great body of their church flourishing there,—they imbibed, from the very beginning, American feelings of hostility to the established Church of England, and to the pride and love 731 of distinction—to all the characteristics which must exhibit themselves wherever English society has a footing, and England's monarchy a representative. Hostility to these was, in truth, the very genius of their religion. Looked upon with contempt by Episcopal clergymen, they took a pious revenge in wildly declaiming against the pride and arrogance of those who derided them, and incidentally pointed to the luxurious grandeur and sumptuous living of the great dignitaries of the church, while its poor hard-working curates had scarcely the means of living. Treated with contumely by the few educated English who, from time to time, settled among their hearers, they pointed in their indignation to that country, and to those institutions, where one man was held no better than another, and where the many could soon level the pride and bring down the pretensions of the few. Deprived by law, as they were at this time, of nearly all the rights of Christian ministers—of the right to marry, and all similar ones, (for both the government and the church had long contended against men whom they regarded and believed, in point of education and character, to be wholly unfit to exercise these sacred functions,) they declaimed from the very bottom of their hearts against the illiberality and exclusiveness of English institutions, of English feelings, and of English pride, in depriving them of these rights; and they applauded, with equal earnestness, that government under which their church flourished, in the fullest exercise of the widest privileges of a Christian denomination. There is no exaggeration on the one side or on the other in this. It would be offensive to the church and to its adherents to say, that they regarded these preachers otherwise than we have described. It would be unjust to the Methodists to say, that they did not feel, and that they did not act, as we have given them credit for doing.

But in addition to the effect, political and national, produced by these preachers, the peculiarity of the Methodist church-government spread the same influences by many minor, but not less effectual ramifications. Every little society, in every neighbourhood, had what is called a class-leader, or local preacher, whose duty it was to exercise a sort of half-religious and half-civil domination over the part of the church immediately surrounding him, to give them advice, settle their differences, and practise the arts of small oratory and miniature government.

It is not difficult to perceive how this system must have furnished a leader to every little neighbourhood; how the ambition first formed by a class-meeting must have wished the larger sphere of a political one; and how the consciousness of ability to govern a congregation naturally led to the conviction that the same abilities might be usefully employed in the magistracy, or even in parliament. And it is a significant fact, that since the friends of these class-leaders have been in power, in every neighbourhood where the Methodists have had a footing, two-thirds of the magistrates appointed by the government were, and are, these very class-leaders themselves. But, at the time we are speaking of, the idea of appointing a person a magistrate, whose only qualification consisted in his exhibiting a stentorian voice at Methodist meetings, or being an influential member of "his society," was utterly repugnant to the feelings of men educated to dislike such persons, even when they are unpretending, much less when they aspire to offices of honour and distinction. No class-leaders, therefore, in neighbourhoods where every man was alike a lord of the soil, saw themselves looked up to as leaders by the many, at the same time that they were looked down upon as boorish pretenders by the few. But what galled them yet more was, that they constantly saw the few placed in offices of honour and emolument over them, and thus "rubbing in," as they termed it, the insult and the injustice of their own exclusion. Like the preachers, too, they pointed, in their indignation and revenge, to that country and those institutions where the people could raise the man, and not the crown—where they could not only attain what they aimed at, but crush what they abhorred.

Partly from this system of religious and political education, and partly 732 from the great number of Americans who settled in the province immediately after the revolutionary war, and who came in with, and at the suggestion of Governor Simcoe, as well as the many who came in without him—but mainly from the tinge of nationality that all large communities impart to small ones adjacent to them—the manners, the customs, the accent, and even the prejudices, of the rural native population in Upper Canada, are scarcely distinguishable from the American. Their very slang words are the same, and their dislike of what they term "blooded critters,"—namely, Englishmen, who cannot help evincing their inveterate dislike of either associating themselves, or allowing their families to associate, with persons whose education and habits they consider beneath them. Every feature, indeed, by which an Englishman can detect the influence of the levelling system in the States, particularly among the farming and lower classes, he can also detect, and fully to the same extent, among all the American, the Dutch, and most of the rural native Canadian population in Upper Canada. It would be digressing too far from the main object of this paper to bring forward examples—and we know hundreds—where English gentlemen have been subjected to innumerable petty annoyances, (such as cutting down their fences, and letting the cattle into their corn-fields,) merely because it became hinted about the neighbourhoods where they had settled that they were "blooded critters," and refused to eat at the same table with their labourers, and associate upon an equal footing with their neighbours, irrespective of their habits, character, and education; where men have left the harvest-fields as soon as they discovered that two tables were set in the house; and where families have been obliged, to avoid inconveniences that could not be endured, to conform, if not altogether, at least for a time, to the general usage of admitting no distinction between master and man. It must suffice for our purpose now, to say that these things exist—that they exist to the extent that we have described them; and without going into the question of the policy or the impolicy of Englishmen not conforming to the general and prevailing customs of the country in which they settle, or of the merit or demerit of these customs themselves, all we wish to say here is, that these customs are, in our humble opinion, inimical to all monarchical education—to that state of society where rank must be recognised, respectability distinguished, and refinement preserved, or monarchy cease to exist, or become a mockery.

But what was the strength of all these natural and unmistakable elements of hostility to monarchy under any form, and to a people bred under monarchical institutions in any circumstances? What was the power of the Methodists, in so far as that was used against the government, over the constituencies of the province? What was the power of those who were not Methodists, but who united with them in opposing the government? And what was the power of the really honest Yankees in the province, who never hesitated to avow that they hated the British government, root, branches, and all? And in what way did their united feelings and intentions develop themselves?

For upwards of a quarter of a century they maintained,—with all the power and patronage of the government against them; with most of the talent born in the province, and the whole, or very nearly so, of that imported into it, against them; and with seven-eighths, yes, nine-tenths, of the emigrants who were able to purchase property when they came, or who subsequently became voters, against them,—alternate, and more than alternate, majorities in parliament. It can answer no good purpose now, it never answered any, to deny or to disguise this fact. This class of men formed, as what we have already stated must have satisfied the reader, fully two-thirds of the electors in the counties. In the Home District, where M'Kenzie, who headed the rebellion in 1837, had absolute control over the elections; in the Midland District, where Mr Bidwell, an American by birth, by education, and from principle, exercised a similar influence; in the London District, where Duncombe, who also headed the rebels, could carry any man into parliament he pleased; what was 733 the character of the voters in the townships and counties which gave them this power? They were the Methodists, educated as we have described; they were the Americans and Dutch, with strong predilections in favour of democracy, and still stronger dislike of the natural and inevitable characteristics of society which arise from monarchy itself. In the Gore district, in the Niagara district, and in the Newcastle district, what do the poll-books exhibit for the counties which sent member after member, with hardly an exception, to support M'Kenzie in the parliament, and some of them to support him in the rebellion? The number of Hezekiahs, and Jedediahs, and Jonathans, of Eliacums, and Ezekiels, shows pretty clearly what was their origin, and what were their political predilections. But these democratic leanings were by no means arbitrarily confined to names, for there was both a Duke of Wellington and a Horatio Nelson in the Gore District gaol for treason in 1838. The Duke was a preacher, and regularly held forth to his fellow prisoners, until the scamp at last—we suppose to acquire a practical idea of the nature of sin—stole a watch from one of his companions, and was thereupon regularly deposed from his high calling; and the scene of his labours changed from among the political offenders down to the petty larceny fraternity. All of which may be found duly chronicled in the records of the sheriff's office of the Gore District for the period.

But there is no circumstance, perhaps, that we could mention, that could convey a better idea of the relative regard for England and the United States, of the class of people we have been describing, than the fact—well known to every person who has lived among them—that a Yankee schoolmaster, without either education or intelligence—with nothing on earth to recommend him, save an inveterate propensity for vapouring and meddling in the affairs, religious and political, of every sect and class wherever he goes—can, and ever has, exercised more influence among them in a few months, than a whole neighbourhood of English gentlemen could in years. And we speak neither from hearsay nor conjecture: we speak from what we have seen and know, and what is susceptible of full proof.

The political measures of this party, like all others, soon shaped themselves into an embodiment of their motives and principles, and into a means, the most natural and the most certain, of gaining and keeping power. Ambition, mounted between two saddle-bags, upon a jog-trot pony, was not likely to shine in the character of a courtier. A strong nasal accent, and a love of the levelling system, were but poor recommendations to English gentlemen, and English governors, for offices of distinction and the command of her Majesty's militia forces. But both were powerful at the hustings. What they could not win from the crown they could gain from the electors. What monarchical feelings and a monarchical education could not brook, democratic voters would assuredly elevate. The consequences were such as may be conceived. Their measures became, to all intents and purposes, democratic. They began by requiring, as indispensable to the proper "image and transcript," as they called it, of the British constitution, that the legislative council—analogous to the House of Lords—should be rendered elective; that the magistracy should be made elective; that voting by ballot, as it is practised in the States, should be introduced; and that every officer in the country, from a colonel to a constable, should be chosen by the people. How much of monarchy would have been left after all this—how many of the distinguishing characteristics that the English government imparts to a British people, would have been discernible, after all these measures were in full operation, it would not have been very difficult to foresee.

Lord Durham, in speaking of this party, and of that which opposed it, observes:—

"At first sight it appears much more difficult to form an accurate idea of the state of Upper than of Lower Canada. The visible and broad line of demarcation which separates parties, by the distinctive characters of race, happily has no existence in Upper Canada. The quarrel is one of an entirely English, if not British, 734 population. Like all such quarrels, it has, in fact, created not two but several parties, each of which has some objects in common with some one of those to which it is opposed. They differ on one point and agree on another; the sections which unite together one day are strongly opposed the next; and the very party which acts as one against a common opponent, is in truth composed of divisions seeking utterly different or incompatible objects. It is very difficult to make out, from the avowals of parties, the real objects of their struggles; and still less easy is it to discover any cause of such importance as would account for its uniting any large mass of the people in an attempt to overthrow, by forcible means, the existing form of government."

There could not have been anything more mischievously incorrect, or more likely to lead to unfortunate conclusions, than these statements. We can safely challenge the whole parliamentary history of the province, the character of the leading measures and of the leading men, and the result of every election, for twenty-five years, to find even a reasonable pretext for them, although we believe they were made in full conviction of their truth by the nobleman who made them. Of course, he could not have properly understood what he was writing about. For six successive elections previous to the rebellion, the whole history of England does not afford an example of each party's going to the hustings with so little change in men, measures, principles, or feelings, as in every one of these. In every new House of Assembly the same identical leaders, and the same followers, singled out the same men four years after four years; and neither accidents nor changes, the reproaches of treason on the one side, or the accusations of corruption on the other, caused the loss of a man to one party or the gain of one to the other. The whole heart, soul, and hopes of the two parties were as distinct and opposite as those of any two parties that ever had an existence. Nor could it have been otherwise, when the tendencies of the one were so manifestly against the existence of a fabric, which every feeling of the other urged them to preserve at all hazards and under all circumstances.

At last an important event in the history of the province brought the contest between these parties to an issue. When Sir Francis Head assumed the government in 1836, he found the party which had opposed it for so many years with a large majority in Parliament. With the view, if possible, of reconciling the two parties, and of getting both to unite with him in furthering the real interests of the province, he formed an executive council of the leaders of both. But the council had scarcely been formed, before the leaders of the party which had been so perpetually in opposition declined remaining in it, unless Sir Francis would surrender up to them, practically, the same powers that are enjoyed by the ministry in England. This he neither could nor would do. An angry correspondence ensued. They significantly pointed, in the event of the character of the struggle being changed, to aid from the great democracy of America. He asserted that the great right arm of England should be wielded, if necessary, to support the crown. They finally concluded by stopping the supplies. He dissolved the house.

In the election contest which ensued, it was distinctly and emphatically declared by the government, that the contest was no longer as between party and party in a colony, but as between monarchy and democracy in America. Monarchy was, in fact and in truth, the candidate at the election. And whether the whole of the party engaged in this desperate opposition participated in the declaration made to Sir Francis, that they would look for aid to the States, and which elicited from him the reply, "Let them come if they dare," is not a matter that they have ever enlightened the public upon. But that he was forced and obliged to make monarchy the candidate in this election, or let democracy threaten and bully him out of the country, is a historical fact, and incontrovertible in the Canadas, but most grossly and most unfortunately misunderstood in England.

The government party gained the election. But after the contest, the opposition, seeing their hopes of success—which were founded upon the plan of embarrassing the government into their measures, by gaining majorities in parliament and stopping the 735 supplies—all destroyed by the result of this election; and knowing that immigration was every year adding to the strength of their opponents, finally determined to change the struggle from the hustings and the parliament, to the camp and the battle-field—to risk all in a bold attempt to strike down the oak at a blow, instead of attempting to destroy it, branch by branch, by democratic measures and factious legislation. That there were men of this party who did not approve of this desperate step, and that there were others who thought it premature, we believe and know; but that the great body of the party itself sympathised with the leaders in it, and would have gloried in, and contributed by all the means in their power to their success, had it been attainable, we are not only sure of, but could prove by the history of the whole affair, given by those who had the best means of understanding it.

When Lord Durham arrived in Canada, he found this party in the situation of masses of threatening, but scattered clouds. Some had voluntarily withdrawn to the States; others were there, either to escape arrest, or from consciousness of their guilt in the rebellion. The great body of the party remained in the province, with all those feelings towards England and her loyalists, that humbled pride, many sufferings, a contemptible struggle, and a mortifying defeat, were likely to engender. But though the storm had passed over, the clouds were nearly all left. The party had, in reality, gained by experience much more than it had lost in numbers. It had come to the understanding that England's great right arm could not be so easily broken. It had learned, and its friends in the States had learned—what was most useful to both under the circumstances—that if England's institutions were to be destroyed in America, it must be done by some other means than by blows and bayonets.

And it was with this party, thus situated, and composed of the materials, and influenced by the considerations, we have mentioned, that Lord Durham proposed, by a union of the provinces, to neutralise the legislative influence of the French of Lower Canada—to destroy their supremacy, which was pregnant with rebellion, and to subvert their power, which had been synonymous with decay. For without the aid of this party, or a great portion of it, the loyalists could not accomplish this; much less could it ever be accomplished if this party should happen to unite with the French. A vast power, too, whether for good or for evil, and hitherto unknown in a colony, was thrown among them all to be scrambled for. We mean a power analogous to that of the ministry in England, and known by the name of a Responsible Government in Canada. This power, always held in England by the heads of great parties—by men of lofty intellects and great characters—by men who were literally invested with the moral worth, the intelligence, the rank, and the honour of millions—this mighty power was tossed up in the Canadas like a cap in a crowd, to fall upon the head of whomsoever it might chance. It mattered not whether it was a Frenchman, the dearest object of whose existence was the destruction of England's power, that gained the majority. The cap must be his. It mattered not whether it was a democrat, whose secret but highest aim was the annihilation of England's monarchy, that succeeded at the elections: the mantle of England's honour, and of upholding England's crown in America, must fall upon him. We should be sorry to propose the curtailment of a single privilege of a single Briton, in any part of the world where the flag of his country waves over him. In what we shall have to say hereafter as to the government of the colonies, we do not intend doing so. But what we mean to say of this vast power, which was thrown among the people to be scrambled for at this time in the Canadas, is, that what in England must have been, from the very nature of things, a guarantee for all orders in the state being preserved and protected under it, was in the Canadas, equally from the nature of things, precisely the reverse. No ministry in England could be formed without the nobility, the gentry, the wealth—all that owed its all to the preservation of the institutions of the country—being represented in it. In the Canadas a ministry 736 could be—yes, from the very nature of things, a ministry must be—formed, where Frenchmen, who hated England—where democrats, who hated monarchy, must control the destinies of England's subjects—the existence of England's empire in the west. We would not be understood, therefore, as desiring to curtail a single privilege; but we would, nevertheless, keep edge-tools out of the hands of madmen and enemies. We would not remove the rope from the neck of another to put it round our own.

Extraordinary though it seem that human credulity could go so far—if the character of the parties, if the character even of the measures of the parties, in Upper Canada was understood—as to expect that the giving to the one which had opposed the government, as it were by nature, the power, by uniting with the French, of crushing its enemies for ever, that it would not do so; that it would not join with its old allies in dividing the spoils of prosperity, as it had already done in sharing the mortifications of defeat; that it would not join them, even for the purpose of having revenge, each of its own enemy in its own province;—yet such was the hope, such the infatuation of Lord Durham. He let a little stream of abstract right fall into a whole sea of French prejudices and democratic infatuations, and he expected that it would change the great face of the waters. And what has been the result?—that the little stream has been lost in the great sea; that, instead of its changing the sea, it has but added to its weight; that all the prejudices, all the infatuations are left; and the power that was expected to change them has been converted into tools for them to work with.

Up to the last election, the French had never fairly recovered their former influence, or rather had not the opportunity of fully exerting their powers in the elections. Up to the same period, the reform party, as they styled themselves in Upper Canada, had laboured under a similar disadvantage. The latter had suffered for the want of its leaders, three of whom were outlaws in the States, as well as from other causes. But at the last election—a fair one for all parties—the French recovered all their former power, and the Upper Canadian party all its former counties. The French, therefore, were making all the strides they could towards the domination that, according to Lord Durham, was pregnant with rebellion; the reform party had just the opportunity that he fondly wished for them, of checking the evil, and of establishing an enlightened and moderate British party between the two extremes. And what did they do? The measures and the facts must speak for themselves.

The following resolution, moved by Mr Lafontaine, attorney-general for Lower Canada, taken in the abstract, would seem harmless and fair enough:—

"Resolved, that this house do now resolve itself into a committee to take into consideration the necessity of establishing the amount of losses incurred by certain inhabitants of Lower Canada during the political troubles of 1837 and 1838, and of providing for the payment thereof."

But when the following commentary of items, intended to be paid under it, is added to it, the nature of the political troubles of 1837 and 1838, and the intention of the resolution, will be better understood:—

Items selected from the Report of the Commissioners appointed to ascertain the Amount of Rebellion Losses in Lower Canada, and their observations thereon:—

"No. 1109. Wolfred Nelson, Montreal. Property destroyed, £23,109, 19s. 5d.; but Dr Nelson deducts the amount of his liabilities (for which his creditors have claimed, or may claim) and claims the balance only, say £12,379, 12s. 7d.

1089. Pierre Beauchere, St Ours. £69, 10s., quartering insurgents under the command of 'General Mathiot,' and £131, 6s. 3d. for imprisonment five months and nine days.

1107. Jos. Guimond, Chateauguay, conviction recorded. The wife claims £8, 10s. for the purchase of the confiscated estate bought by her.

P. N. Pacaud, Three Rivers. Claims £400 for false imprisonment, and £25 for expenses there, and £500 for absence from the Province, to avoid arrest, &c.

27. J. Dorion, M.D., St Ours. Claims £300 as due from Dr Nelson's estate; £175 for three months' imprisonment, &c.

32. Theophile Robert, Montreal. Conviction recorded. Claims £215 for loss of time whilst in exile. 737

34. Cyrille Beaudriault, Sault au Recollet. Claims £268, 16s. for interest, and £200 profit, on the goods destroyed and pillaged.

77. Church of St Cyprien, Napierville. The sum of £327, 12s. 6d. was taken from the treasury of the Church, forcibly, by Dr Cote, against the will and remonstrance of the churchwardens.

398. Jos. Dumouchel, Ste. Martine. Conviction recorded. Claims £1878, 13s. 9d., including £525 for compensation for seven years' imprisonment and exile.

564. Etienne Langlois, Blairfindie. Conviction recorded. Claims £345 for loss of time while in exile, and £34 passage from Sidney to Canada.

565. Louis Pinsonneau, St Remi. Conviction recorded. Claims £2275, 10s. 9d., including £855, 15s. for imprisonment and exile.

634. David Blanchette, St Cyprien. Conviction recorded. Claims £520, 16s. 8d. for imprisonment and exile.

654. Pierre Lavois, St Cyprien. Conviction recorded. Claims £300 for being exiled six years, at £50 per annum.

656. Louis Laurelin, St Cyprien, claims £50 for imprisonment and expenses, having been acquitted.

789. Luc H. Masson, St Benoit, claims £450 for the interruption of his business during three years.

Euph. Lamard, St Réme. Conviction recorded. Claims £519, including £150, six years' rent of property destroyed.

838. Archelaus Welch, West Farnham, claims £80, 7s. 6d. loss on sale of timber, on account of the troubles in 1837.

850. Théodore Béchard, Blairfrudie. Conviction recorded. Claims £670, 6s. 8d., value of his estate confiscated and purchased by his wife.

931. Edouard Major, Ste. Scholastique, claims £921, 4s. 7d., including £250 for interest, and £150 for the loss of profit, in discontinuing business.

992. Léandre Ducharme, Montreal. Conviction recorded. Claims for imprisonment and transportation, living in exile, and passage home, £262, 5s.

1327. B. Viger, Boucherville, claims £2000. Exile to Bermuda.

1651. C. Baiseune, St Benoit, claims £150 for three years' exclusion from his profession as a notary, owing to the loss of his books, when prepared to pass his examination as notary.

1812. J. B. Archambeault, and 216 others, of St Eustache, claim £489, 13s. for guns taken and not returned to the owners.

1916. Ninety Persons of St Eustache, for guns taken and not returned, £205, 0s. 10d.

1951. F. Dionne, St Cesaire, claims £12 per annum, or £200 for his brother, who lost his senses from imprisonment and ill usage.

2215. H. D'Eschambault, Boucherville, claims the sum of £12,000, as partner of Dr Nelson, for the creditors of the joint estate; but as the separate creditors have filed, or will file, their separate claims, this claim is not inserted. Dr Nelson also deducted this amount from his claim, as still due to the creditors of the firm.

2174. L. Perrault, Montreal, claims £500, absence in the United States, and £1105, loss of business."

That this flagitious calendar of charges was deliberately intended to be paid by her Majesty's Canadian ministry, it may probably be more satisfactory to the reader to establish by the testimony of that ministry itself, than by any statements of our own.

Mr Merritt, the president of the council, and occupying a similar position in the government of Canada that Lord John Russell does in the government of England, thus writes to his constituents, who had addressed him on the subject, and remonstrated against paying these charges:—"On becoming a member of the government (he was appointed president of the council upon Mr Sullivan's being raised to the bench, a short time before the meeting of parliament) I found their payment determined on by the administration." The reader will observe, that it was against the payment of the items above quoted, that Mr Merritt's constituents remonstrated. He answered, that their payment was decided upon before he took office. But he continues:—"My first impression was, I confess, against it; but I soon became convinced that they had no alternative. I neither wish to be misunderstood, nor relieved from responsibility. Although the government approved of Mr Boulton's amendment, [which was an amendment of its own resolution,] which excludes those who were sent to Bermuda, I was prepared to vote for excluding none." That is to say,—Mr Merritt had the manliness to risk his character, by voting for what his fellow-ministers had convinced him was necessary. They wanted the manliness to do what they had previously convinced him, according to their ideas, would be but an act of justice. 738

But the fact was, her Majesty's Canadian Executive Council had calculated too highly upon their own strength, or, having provoked the storm, they shrunk back in terror at its violence and its consequences. They were, therefore, obliged to resort to the skin of the fox, to make up what they found they wanted of that of the lion. And the substitution was managed after the following manner:

The amendment alluded to by Mr Merritt, or the operative part of it, was in these words:

"That the losses, so far only as they have arisen from the total, or partially unjust, unnecessary, or wanton destruction of the dwellings, buildings, property, and effects of the said inhabitants [of Lower Canada], and by the seizure, taking, or carrying away of their property and effects, should be satisfied; provided that none of the persons who have been convicted of high treason, alleged to have been committed in that part of this province formerly called Lower Canada, since the first day of November 1847, or who, having been charged with high treason, or other offences of a treasonable nature, and having been committed to the custody of the sheriff in the gaol of Montreal, submitted themselves to the will and pleasure of her Majesty, and were thereupon transported to her Majesty's island of Bermuda, shall be entitled to any indemnity for losses sustained during or after the said rebellion, or in consequence thereof."

This amendment is worded carefully enough, and, like Mr Lafontaine's resolution, is apparently just and harmless in its abstract signification; but it proves, like the former, a vastly different matter when its intentions come to be discovered by its practical application.

It is necessary that the reader should understand that there were a great number of the French rebels, particularly the leading characters, who fled the country immediately after the first few contests were over—and some of them were brave enough not even to wait so long—who came back under the amnesty, and consequently neither submitted themselves to the custody of the sheriff of Montreal, nor were prosecuted in any way: these are, therefore, no matter how high, or how notorious their treason, exempted from disability, under this amendment, to claim rebellion losses. Among these was a Doctor Wolfred Nelson, who was commander-in-chief of the rebels at the battles of St Denis and St Charles; who fought with them as well as he could; who published the declaration of independence for the Canadas; who, after he had made his escape to the States, hovered round the borders as the leader of the piratical gangs that devastated the country; and whom General Wood was finally despatched by the United States government to put down. This individual is now a member of the Canadian parliament for a French county, and is an admitted claimant, under Mr Boulton's amendment, for twenty-three thousand pounds, for his rebellion losses. His own words in the debate upon the question are these:—"As to the claims made for my property, I had sent in a detailed account of the losses which had occurred, and which amounted to £23,000, of which £11,000 did not belong to me, but to my creditors. I mentioned their names, and as far as my memory would serve, that was the amount." Now, setting aside the doctrine, subversive even of all traitors' honour, and of all security under any government, that men may first half destroy a country by rebellion, and afterwards make up the other half of its destruction by claiming indemnity for incidental losses; setting aside this question, and viewing the matter in the abstract light, that all claims for injuries should be paid, we should like to know who is to pay the creditors of the poor widows of the soldiers and the loyalists whose blood stained the snows of Canada in suppressing Dr Wolfred Nelson's rebellion? Who is to feed their children, who are at this moment—we can vouch for the fact in at least one instance—shoeless and houseless, wandering upon the world? Yet Dr Nelson's creditors, on account of Dr Nelson's crime, must be paid. Who is to pay the creditors of the merchants, of the millers, of the lumberers, who were ruined by the general devastation that Dr Nelson's rebellion brought upon Lower Canada? Still Dr Nelson's creditors must be paid, although he spent the very money in bringing about other people's ruin. Who is to indemnify 739 the people of England for two millions sterling spent in putting down Dr Nelson's rebellion? Yet Dr Nelson's property must be made good, and Dr Nelson's creditors must be paid, because England was under the necessity of putting down Dr Nelson's insurrection. And will—can England look on with indifference while Upper Canada—whose loyalists, when she was without a soldier to hoist her flag, did it for her—whose people freely and gladly sacrificed their lives, as well in the hardships as in the struggle with the traitor and the assassin, and whose trade and property were wellnigh ruined by this Dr Wolfred Nelson's rebellion—is now called upon to make good to him money he spent in carrying it on, and property that shared but the common ruin he brought upon the whole country? Yet Dr Nelson's payment is now decided upon by the parliament of Canada; and as the climax of such unheard-of legislation, he voted for it himself.

When such a coach-and-four as this can walk through Mr Boulton's amendment, it is needless to spend time upon smaller fry. The loyalists of Canada have now, or will have, if the governor, or the British government assents to the measure, to pay for the very torch that was employed to set fire to their homes; for the guns that were used to shoot them down by the wayside; for the shoes that an enemy who challenged them to fight, wore out in running away; for the time that men who, assassin-like, established hunters' lodges in the States, for the purpose of cutting down the defenceless, and burning up the unprotected, were engaged in the conception and execution of their diabolical designs. These may be strong statements, but they are facts. We need go no farther than Dr Nelson's case, who claims indemnity for the very money he spent in buying powder and balls to destroy her Majesty's subjects, and who claims £12,000 for injury to his property, while he himself was at the head of gangs of desperadoes laying waste the whole southern frontier of the province to sustain them.

But, to convey an idea to the English reader of the full extent to which payment may be, and is contemplated to be, made to parties engaged in the rebellion, under this amendment, we need but quote the questions that were put to Mr Lafontaine, before the final vote was taken on the question, and the manner in which he treated them.

"In committee last night, Colonel Prince stated that a great deal of uncertainty existed as to the class of persons whom it was intended by the ministry to pay, under the measure introduced by them, and he begged Mr Attorney General Lafontaine to settle the matter explicitly by replying to certain questions which he would put to him. Colonel Prince promised, on his part, to regard the replies as final, and after receiving them, he would allude no further to the rebellion claims.

He then put the following questions in a deliberate, solemn manner, pausing between each for an answer.

'Do you propose to exclude, in your instructions to the commissioners to be appointed under this act, all who aided and abetted in the rebellion of 1837-1838?'

No Reply.

'Do you propose to exclude those, who, by their admissions and confessions, admitted their participation in the rebellion?'

No Reply.

'Do you mean to exclude those whose admission of guilt is at this very moment in the possession of the government, or of the courts of law, unless these admissions have been destroyed with the connivance of honourable gentlemen opposite?'

No Reply.

'Do you mean to exclude any of those 800 men who were imprisoned in the jail of Montreal, for their participation in the rebellion, and who were subsequently discharged from custody through the clemency of the government, and whose claims I understand to exceed some £70,000?'

No Reply.

'Do you not mean to pay every one, let his participation in the rebellion have been what it may, except the very few who were convicted by the courts-martial, and some six or seven who admitted their guilt and were sent to Bermuda?'

No Reply."

Montreal Gazette.

But what course did the enlightened reformers of Upper Canada take in this business—did that party which Lord Durham expressly stated was made up, for the most part, of men of 740 strong British feelings, and by whose aid the French domination was to be crushed? Out of the strongest majority—out of the most united and effective representation of the whole party that has ever been had since Sir Francis Head assumed the government of the province, one only voted against the French; seventeen voted with them, and five found it convenient to be absent.

But, bad as this measure is, and plainly as it shows that England's friends have been rendered politically powerless in the provinces, it is even better than the representation scheme, which these two parties have still more unitedly, and, if anything, more determinedly endeavoured to push through parliament. The following extracts from the leading journals of both provinces, will convey an idea of the intention of this measure, and what it is likely to lead to:—

"The rebellion claims which have roused, in every English breast, a feeling of strong antipathy against the French Canadian race, is but an affair of skirmishing, preparatory to the great battle for perpetual domination in Canada by the French Canadian race over those whom Mr Lafontaine has styled their 'natural enemies.' It is the Representation scheme that is to raise over us, for ever, our 'French Masters.' As an affair of money, that of the Rebellion Losses is an injury and insult to every man who obeyed the order of the government in its time of need. It has planted deeply the seeds of a never-dying irritation, but it involves not our national existence. The Representation scheme is a triple iniquity, and will cement, if the madness of party be strong enough to carry it, all the little differences of parties among Englishmen, into one settled, determined hatred of the French race. It is a triple iniquity—an injury, an insult, and slavery to our children."—Montreal Gazette.

"By the Ministerial scheme, then, it is proposed to give the British Canadian population, say 13 members—as follows: —Ottawa 2, Argenteuil 1, Drummond (doubtful) 1, Sherbrooke 2, Shefford 1, Huntingdon 1, Megantic 1, Missisquoi 1, Gaspé 1, Stanstead 1, Sherbrooke Town 1. Thus leaving 62 members for the Franco-Canadians—giving the former an increase on their present number of 3 and the latter of 30! Can this be called a just proportion? It cannot."—Montreal Herald.

"That measure extends over the whole of the province—Lower as well as Upper Canada; and one of its leading features being, according to the testimony of Mr Hincks, to insure to the French Canadians the perpetuation of their ascendency in the legislature, as a distinct race, we may look forward in future to the infliction of the most oppressive measures, upon the colonists of British origin, which the masters of the Union may choose to dictate. These are the fruits of radical ascendency in the executive and the legislature, from Upper Canada, and the prostration of those of British origin in Lower Canada."—British Colonist, Toronto.

Fortunately, however—fortunately even for those it was intended to invest with so great a power, this measure did not pass. For to give a naturally unprogressive race legislative superiority over an inevitably progressive one, is but to prolong a contest, or make more desperate an immediate struggle. The race that advances will not perpetually strive with a rope round its neck, or a chain round its leg. If it cannot loose itself, it will turn round and fight its holders. The French might have bound the English, but they would have had to fight them. A miss, however, is as good as a mile. It required a vote of two-thirds of the whole house to make such a change in the representation. Fifty-six voters would have done it; they had but fifty-five; so that this part of the storm at all events has passed over.

But how did the enlightened reformers of Upper Canada act, upon a measure avowedly and undisguisedly intended to perpetuate French domination? Every man of them voted for it. What a melancholy comment this is upon the following—the closing reflection of Lord Durham, upon the government of Canada. What a comment it is upon the attempt to change a people by a measure; to purge out of Frenchmen errors as strong as their nature—out of democrats feelings as large as their souls, by a single pill of abstract right in the shape of responsible government.

"In the state of mind in which I have described the French Canadian population, as not only now being, but as likely for a long while to remain, the trusting them with an entire control over this 741 province would be, in fact, only facilitating a rebellion. Lower Canada must be governed now, as it must be hereafter, by an English population; and thus the policy which the necessities of the moment force on us, is in accordance with that suggested by a comprehensive view of the future and permanent improvement of the province."—Report Can. E., p. 127.

But it is not alone that British prosperity is now crushed by the domination of a retrogressive race, but it is that a British people are obliged to feel the galling and unnatural fact, that the power of the government of England is wielded to keep up institutions in America, to the destruction of which, in Europe, it owes its freedom and its greatness. It is not alone that loyalty is sickened to the very death in Upper Canada, at seeing the best gifts of the crown handed over to political pickpockets—for we hold every man, and we can call upon all America to second us in it, as no better than a political pickpocket, who is a democrat in his heart and soul, and whines out "God save the Queen," to pillage her Majesty's treasury—it is not alone that loyalty is galled to madness at this, but it is that loyalty is obliged to see that, however much it may beat these men at the hustings, and by virtue of the constitution, they can still laugh at all its efforts as long as they can play the part of French tools. In all history, in short, there is not a parallel to the state of things at present existing in the Canadas. To men whose very accents, whose very faces are a living libel upon all loyalty to England, England has by her legislation given power to trample under their feet the only friends she had in the hour of her need. To men who are contending for the perpetuation of institutions which all Europe was obliged to throw off before it could breathe a free breath, or extend a free arm, England has by her legislation given the power, not only to drive her children into the slough of despond, but to mount upon their shoulders there, and sink them irretrievably. England has literally in the Canadas made her loyalists political slaves; her enemies their political task-masters.

Hamilton, Canada West.
23d April, 1849. 742

Dies Boreales.
No. I.

SceneCladich, Lochawe-side.


"Under the opening eyelids of the Morn!" Mefeels, Amici, at this moment, the charm of that Impersonation. Slowly awaking from sleep—scarcely conscious of her whereabouts—bewildered by the beauty of the revelation, nor recognising her beloved lochs and mountains—visionary and nameless all as if an uncertain prolongation of her Summer's Night's Dream.


I was not going to speak, my dear sir.


And now she is broad awake. She sees the heaven and the earth, nor thinks, God bless her, that 'tis herself that beautifies them!


Twenty years since I stood on this knoll, honoured sir, by your side—twenty years to a day—and now the same perfect peace possesses me—mysterious return—as if all the intervening time slid away—and this were not a renewed but a continuous happiness.


And let it slide away into the still recesses of Memory—the Present has its privileges—and they may be blamelessly, wisely, virtuously enjoyed—and without irreverence to the sanctity of the Past. Let it slide away—but not into oblivion—no danger, no fear of oblivion—even joys will return on their wings of gossamer;—sorrows may be buried, but they are immortal.


I see not the slightest change on this Grove of Sycamores. Twenty years tell not on boles that have for centuries been in their prime. Yes—that one a little way down—and that one still farther off—have grown—and those striplings, then but saplings, may now be called Trees.


I never heard such a noise.


A cigar in your mouth at four o'clock in the morning! Well—well.


There, my dear sir, keep me in countenance with a Manilla.


The Herb! You have high authority—Spenser's—for "noise."


I said Noise—because it is Noise. Why, the hum of bees overhead is absolutely like soft sustained thunder—and yet no bees visible in the umbrage. 743 The sound is like that of one single bee, and he must be a giant. Ay—there I see a few working like mad—and I guess there must be myriads. The Grove must be full of bees' nests.


Not one. Hundreds of smokes are stealing up from hidden or apparent cottages—for the region is not unpopulous, and not a garden without its hives—and early risers though we be, the matutinæ apes are still before us, and so are the birds.


They, too, are making a noise. Who says a shilfa cannot sing? Of the fifty now "pouring his throat," as the poet well says, I defy you to tell which sings best. That splendid fellow on the birch-tree top—or yonder gorgeous tyke on the yellow oak—or——


"In shadiest covert hid" the leader of the chorus that thrills the many-nested underwood with connubial bliss.


Not till this moment heard I the waterfall.


You did, though, all along—a felt accompaniment.


I know few dens more beautiful than Cladich-Cleugh!


Pardon me, sir, if I do not attempt that name.


How mellifluous!—Cladich-Cleugh!


Great is the power of gutturals.


It is not inaccessible. But you must skirt it till you reach the meadow where the cattle are beginning to browse. And then threading your way through a coppice, where you are almost sure to see a roe, you come down upon a series of little pools, in such weather as this so clear that you can count the trouts; and then the verdurous walls begin to rise on either side and right before you; and you begin to feel that the beauty is becoming magnificence, for the pools are now black, and the stems are old, and the cliffs intercept the sky, and there are caves, and that waterfall has dominion in the gloom, and there is sublimity in the sounding solitude.




A miserable failure.




Worser and worser.


Any footpath, sir?


Yes—for the roe and the goat.


And the Man of the Crutch.


Good. But I speak of days when the Crutch was in its tree-bole——


As the Apollo was in its marble block.


Not so good. But, believe me, gentlemen, I have done it with the Crutch.


Ay, sir, and could do it again. 744


No. But you two are yet boys—on the sunny side of fifty—and I leave you, Seward, to act the guide to Buller up Cladich-Cleugh.


Pray, Mr North, what may be the name of that sheet of water?


In Scotland we call it Loch-Owe.


I am so happy—sir—that I talk nonsense.


Much nonsense may you talk.


'Twas a foolish question—but you know, sir, that by some strange fatality or another I have been three times called away from Scotland without having seen Lock-Owe.


Make good use of your eyes now, sirrah, and you will remember it all the days of your life. That is Cruachan—no usurper he—by divine right a king. The sun is up, and there is motion in the clouds. Saw you ever such shadows? How majestically they stalk! And now how beautifully they glide! And now see you that broad black forest, half-way up the mountain?


I do.


You are sure you do.


I am.


You are mistaken. It is no broad black forest—it is mere gloom—shadow that in a minute will pass away, though now seeming steadfast as the woods.


I could swear it is a forest.


Swear not at all. Shut your eyes. Open them. Where now your wood?


Most extraordinary ocular deception.


Quite common. Yet no poet has described it. See again. The same forest a mile off. No need of trees—sun and cloud make our visionary mountains sylvan: and the grandest visions are ever those that are transitory—ask your soul.


Your Manilla is out, my dear sir. There is the case.


Caught like a cricketer. You must ascend Cruachan. "This morning gives us promise of a glorious day;" you cannot do better than take time by the forelock, and be off now. Say the word—and I will myself row you over the Loch. No need of a guide: inclining to the left for an hour or two after you have cleared yonder real timber and sap wood—and then for an hour or two, to the right—and then for another hour or two straight forwards—and then you will see the highest of the three peaks within an hour or two's walk of you—and thus, by mid-day, find yourself seated on the summit.


Seated on the summit!


Not too long, for the air is often very sharp at that altitude—and so rare, that I have heard tell of people fainting.


I am occasionally troubled with a palpitation of the heart— 745


Pooh, nonsense. Only the stomach.


And occasionally with a determination of blood to the head—


Pooh, nonsense. Only the stomach. Take a calker every two hours on your way up—and I warrant both heart and head—


Not to-day. It looks cloudy.


Why, I don't much care though I should accompany you—


I knew you would offer to do so, and I feel the delicacy of putting a decided negative on the proposal. Let us defer it till to-morrow. For my sake, my dear sir, if not for your own, do not think of it; it will be no disappointment to me to remain with you here—and I shudder at the thought of your fainting on the summit. Be advised, my dear sir, be advised—


Well then, be it so—I am not obstinate; but such another day for the ascent there may not be during the summer. On just such a day I made the ascent some half-century ago. I took it from Tyanuilt—having walked that morning from Dalmally, some dozen miles, for a breathing on level ground, before facing the steepish shoulder that roughens into Loch Etive. The fox-hunter from Gleno gave me his company with his hounds and terriers nearly half-way up, and after killing some cubs we parted—not without a tinful of the creature at the Fairies' Well—


A tinful of the creature at the Fairies' Well!


Yea—a tinful of the creature at the Fairies' Well. Now I am a total-abstinent—


A total-abstinent!


By heavens! he echoes me. Pleasant, but mournful to the soul is the memory of joys that are past! A tinful of the unchristened creature to the health of the Silent People. Oh! Buller, there are no Silent People now.


In your company, sir, I am always willing to be a listener.


Well, on I flew as on wings.


What! Up Cruackan?


On feet, then, if you will; but the feet of a deer.


On all-fours?


Yes—sometimes on all-fours. On all-fours, like a frog in his prime, clearing tiny obstructions with a spang. On all-fours, like an ourang-outang, who, in difficult places, brings his arms into play. On all-fours, like the—


I cry you mercy.


Without palpitation of the heart; without determination of blood to the head; without panting; without dizziness; with merely a slight acceleration of the breath, and now and then something like a gasp after a run to a knowe which we foresaw as a momentary resting-place—we felt that we were conquering Cruachan! Lovely level places, like platforms—level as if water had formed them, flowing up just so far continually, and then ebbing back to some 746 unimaginable sea—awaited our arrival, that on them we might lie down, and from beds of state survey our empire, for our empire it was felt to be, far away into the lowlands, with many a hill between—many a hill, that, in its own neighbourhood, is believed to be a mountain—just as many a man of moderate mental dimensions is believed by those who live beneath his shade to be of the first order of magnitude, and with funeral honours is interred.


Well for him that he is a hill at all—eminent on a flat, or among humbler undulations. All is comparative.


Just so. From a site on a mountain's side—far from the summit—the ascender hath sometimes a sublimer—often a lovelier vision—than from its most commanding peak. Yet still he has the feeling of ascension—stifle that, and the discontent of insufficiency dwarfs and darkens all that lies below.


Words to the wise.


We fear to ascend higher lest we should lose what we comprehend: yet we will ascend higher, though we know the clouds are gathering, and we are already enveloped in mist. But there were no clouds—no mist on that day—and the secret top of Cruachan was clear as a good man's conscience, and the whole world below like the promised land.


Let us go—let us go—let us go.


All knowledge, my dear boy, may be likened to stupendous ranges of mountains—clear and clouded, smooth and precipitous; and you or I in youth assail them in joy and pride of soul, not blind but blindfolded often, and ignorant of their inclination; so that we often are met by a beetling cliff with its cataract, and must keep ascending and descending ignorant of our whereabouts, and summit-seeking in vain. Yet all the while are we glorified. In maturer mind, when experience is like an instinct, we ascertain levels without a theodolite, and know assuredly where dwell the peaks. We know how to ascend—sideways or right on; we know which are midway heights; we can walk in mist and cloud as surely as in light, and we learn to know the Inaccessible.


I fear you will fatigue yourself—


Or another image. You sail down a stream, my good Buller, which widens as it flows, and will lead through inland seas—or lochs—down to the mighty ocean: what that is I need not say: you sail down it, sometimes with hoisted sail—sometimes with oars—on a quest or mission all undefined; but often anchoring where no need is, and leaping ashore, and engaging in pursuits or pastimes forbidden or vain—with the natives


The natives!


Nay, adopting their dress—though dress it be none at all—and becoming one of themselves—naturalised; forgetting your mission clean out of mind! Fishing and hunting with the natives—




The natives—when you ought to have been pursuing your voyage on—on—on. Such are youth's pastimes all. But you had not deserted—not you: and you return of your own accord to the ship.


What ship? 747


The ship of life—leaving some to lament you, who knew you only as a jolly mariner, who was bound afar! They believed that you had drawn up your pinnace for ever on that shore, in that lovely little haven, among reeds and palms—unknowing that you would relaunch her some day soon, and, bounding in her over the billows, rejoin your ship, waiting for you in the offing, and revisit the simple natives no more!


Methinks I understand now your mysterious meaning.


You do. But where was I?


Ascending Cruackan, and near the summit.


On the summit. Not a whit tired—not a bit fatigued; strong as ten—active as twenty ownselves on the flat—divinely drunk on draughts of ether—happier a thousand times, greater and more glorious, than Jupiter, with all his gods, enthroned on Olympus.


Moderately speaking.


In imagination I hear him barking now as he barked then—a sharp, short, savage, angry and hungry bark—


What? A dog? A Fox?


No—no—no. An Eagle—the Golden Eagle from Ben-Slarive, known—no mistaking him—to generations of Shepherds for a hundred years.


Do you see him?


Now I do. I see his eyes—for he came—he comes sughing close by me—and there he shoots up in terror a thousand feet into the sky.


I did not know the Bird was so timid—


He is not timid—he is bold; but an Eagle does not like to come all at once within ten yards of an unexpected man—any more than you would like suddenly to face a ghost.


What brought him there?


Wings nine feet wide.


Has he no sense of smell?


What do you mean, sir?


No offence.


He has. But we have not always all our senses about us, Buller, nor our wits either—he had been somewhat scared, a league up Glen Etive, by the Huntsman of Gleno—the scent of powder was in his nostrils; but fury follows fear, and in a minute I heard his bark again—as now I hear it—on the highway to Benlura.


He must have had enormous talons.


My hand is none of the smallest—


God bless you, my dear sir,—give me a grasp. 748




Oh! thumbikins!


And one of his son's talons—whom I shot—was twice the length of mine; his yellow knobby loof at least as broad—and his leg like my wrist. He killed a man. Knocked him down a precipice, like a cannon-ball. He had the credit of it all over the country—but I believe his wife did the business, for she was half-again as big as himself; and no devil like a she-devil fighting for her imp.


Did you ever rob an Eyrie, sir?


Did you over rob a Lion's den? No, no, Buller. I never—except on duty—placed my life in danger. I have been in many dangerous-looking places among the Mountains, but a cautious activity ruled all my movements—I scanned my cliff before I scaled him—and as for jumping chasms—though I had a spring in me—I looked imaginatively down the abyss, and then sensibly turned its flank where it leaned on the greensward, and the liberated streamlet might be forded, without swimming, by the silly sheep.


And are all those stories lies?


All. I have sometimes swam a loch or a river in my clothes—but never except when they lay in my way, or when I was on an angling excursion—and what danger could there possibly be in doing that?


You might have taken the Cramp, Sir.


And the Cramp might have taken me—but neither of us ever did—and a man, with a short neck or a long one, might as well shun the streets in perpetual fear of apoplexy, as a good swimmer evade water in dread of being drowned. As for swimming in my clothes—had I left them on the hither, how should I have looked on the thither side?


No man, in such circumstances, could, with any satisfaction to himself, have pursued his journey, even through the most lonesome places.


Describe the view from the summit.


I have no descriptive power—but, even though I had, I know better than that. Why, between Cruachan and Buchail-Etive lie hundreds on hundreds of mountains of the first, second, and third order—and, for a while at first, your eyes are so bewildered that you cannot see any one in particular; yet, in your astonishment, have a strange vision of them all—and might think they were interchanging places, shouldering one another off into altering shapes in the uncertain region, did not the awful stillness assure you that there they had all stood in their places since the Creation, and would stand till the day of doom.


You have no descriptive power!


All at once dominion is given you over the Whole. You gradually see Order in what seemed a Chaos—you understand the character of the Region—its Formation—for you are a Geologist, else you have no business—no right there; and you know where the valleys are singing for joy, though you hear them not—where there is provision for the cattle on a hundred hills—where are the cottages of Christian men on the green braes sheltered by the mountains—and where may stand, beneath the granite rocks out of which it was built, the not unfrequent House of God. 749


To-morrow we shall attend Divine Service—


At Dalmally.


I long ago learned to like the ritual of the Kirk. I should like to believe in a high-minded purified Calvinist, who could embrace, in his brotherly heart, a high-minded purified English Bishop, with all his Episcopacy.


And why should he not, if he can recognise the Divine Spirit flowing through the two sets of sensible demonstrations? He can; unless the constitution of the Anglican Christian Religion wars, either by its dogmas or by its ecclesiastical ordinances, against his essential intelligence of Christianity.


And who shall say it does?


Many say it—not I.


And you are wise and good.


Many thousands—and hundreds of thousands, wiser and better. I can easily suppose a Mind—strong in thought, warm in feeling, of an imagination susceptible and creative—by magnanimity, study, and experience of the world, disengaged from all sectarian tenets—yet holding the absolute conviction of religion—and contemplating, with reverence and tenderness, many different ways of expression which this inmost spiritual disposition has produced or put on—having a firmest holding on to Christianity as pure, holy, august, divine, true, beyond all other modes of religion upon the Earth—partly from intuition of its essential fitness to our nature—partly from intense gratitude—partly, perhaps, from the original entwining of it with his own faculties, thoughts, feelings, history, being. Well, he looks with affectionate admiration upon the Scottish, with affectionate admiration on the English Church—old affection agreeing with new affection—and I can imagine in him as much generosity required to love his own Church—the Presbyterian—as yours the Episcopalian—and that, Latitudinarian as he may be called, he loves them both. For myself, you know how I love England—all that belongs to her—all that makes her what she is—scarcely more—surely not less—Scotland. The ground of the Scottish Form is the overbearing consciousness, that religion is immediately between man and his Maker. All hallowing of things outward is to that consciousness a placing of such earthly things as interpositions and separating intermediates in that interval unavoidable between the Finite and the Infinite, but which should remain blank and clear for the immediate communications of the Worshipper and the Worshipped.


I believe, sir, you are a Presbyterian?


He that worships in spirit and in truth cannot endure—cannot imagine, that anything but his own sin shall stand betwixt him and God.


That, until it be in some way or another extinguished, shall and must.


True as Holy Writ. But intervening saints, images, and elaborate rituals—the contrivance of human wit—all these the fire of the Spirit has consumed, and consumes.


The fire of the Presbyterian spirit?


Add history. War and persecution have afforded an element of human hate for strengthening the sternness—— 750


Of Presbyterian Scotland.


Drop that word—for I more than doubt if you understand it.


I beg pardon, sir.


The Scottish service, Mr Buller, comprehends Prayer, Praise, Doctrine—all three necessary verbal acts amongst Christians met, but each in utmost simplicity.


Episcopalian as I am, that simplicity I have felt to be most affecting.


The Praise, which unites the voices of the congregation, must be written. The Prayer, which is the burning towards God of the soul of the Shepherd upon the behalf of the Flock, and upon his own, must be unwritten—unpremeditated—else it is not Prayer. Can the heart ever want fitting words? The Teaching must be to the utmost, forethought, at some time or at another, as to the Matter. The Teacher must have secured his intelligence of the Matter ere he opens his mouth. But the Form, which is of expediency only, he may very loosely have considered. That is the Theory.


Often liable in practice, I should fear, to sad abuse.


May be so. But it presumes that capable men, full of zeal, and sincerity, and love—fervent servants and careful shepherds—have been chosen, under higher guidance. It supposes the holy fire of the new-born Reformation—of the newly-regenerated Church——-




Of the newly-regenerated Church, to continue undamped, inextinguishable.


And is it so?


The Fact answers to the Theory more or less. The original Thought—simplicity of worship—is to the utmost expressed, when the chased Covenanters are met on the greensward, between the hillside and the brawling brook, under the coloured or uncoloured sky. Understand that, when their descendants meet within walls and beneath roofs, they would worship after the manner of their hunted ancestors.


I wish I were better read than I am, in the history of Scotland, civil and ecclesiastical.


I wish you were. I say, then, my excellent friend, that the Ritual and whole Ordering of the Scottish Church is moulded upon, or issues out of, the human spirit kindling in conscious communication of the Divine Spirit. The power of the Infinite—that is, the Sense of Infinitude, of Eternity—reigns there; and the Sense in the inmost soul of the sustaining contact with Omnipotence, and self-consciousness intense, and elation of Divine favour personally vouchsafed, and joy of anticipated everlasting bliss, and triumph over Satan, death, and hell, and immeasurable desire to win souls to the King of the Worlds.


In England we are, I am ashamed to say it, ill informed on——


In Scotland we are, I am ashamed to say it, ill informed on——


But go on, sir. 751


What place is there for Forms of any kind in the presence of these immense overpowering Realities? For Forms, Buller, are of the Imagination; the Faculty that inhales and lives by the Unreal. But some concession to the humanity of our nature intrudes. Imagination may be subordinated, subjugated, but will not, may not, forego all its rights. Therefore, Forms and hallowing associations enter.


Into all Worship.


Form, too, is, in part, Necessary Order.


Perhaps, sir, you may be not unwilling to say a few words of our Ritual.


I tremble to speak of your Ritual; for it appears to me as bearing on its front an excellence which might be found incompatible with religious truth and sincerity.


I confess that I hardly understand you, sir.


The Liturgy looks to be that which the old Churches are, the Work of a Fine Art.


You do not urge that as an objection to it, I trust, sir?


A Poetical sensibility, a wakeful, just, delicate, simple Taste, seems to have ruled over the composition of each Prayer, and the ordering of the whole Service.


You do not urge that as an objection to it, I trust, sir?


I am not urging objections, sir. I seldom—never, indeed—urge objections to anything. I desire only to place all things in their true light.


Don't frown, sir—smile. Enough.


The whole composition of the Service is copious and various. Human Supplication, the lifting up of the hands of the creature knowing his own weakness, dependence, lapses, and liability to slip—man's own part, dictated by his own experience of himself, is the basis. Readings from the Old and New Volume of the Written Word are ingrafted, as if God audibly spoke in his own House; the Authoritative added to the Supplicatory.


Finely true. We Church of England men love you, Mr North—we do indeed.


The hymns of the sweet Singer of Israel, in literal translation, adopted as a holier inspired language of the heart.


These, sir, are surely three powerful elements of a Ritual Service.


Throughout, the People divide, the service with the Minister. They have in it their own personal function.


Then the Homily, sir.


Ay, the Homily, which, one might say, interprets between Sunday and the Week—fixes the holiness of the Day in precepts, doctrines, reflections, which may be carried home to guide and nourish.


Altogether, sir, it seems a meet work of worshippers met in their Christian 752 Land, upon the day of rest and aspiration. The Scottish worship might seem to remember the flame and the sword. The persecuted Iconoclasts of two centuries ago, live in their descendants.


But the Ritual of England breathes a divine calm. You think of the People walking through ripening fields on a mild day to their Church door. It is the work of a nation sitting in peace, possessing their land. It is the work of a wealthy nation, that, by dedicating a part of its wealth, consecrates the remainder—that acknowledges the Fountain from which all flows. The prayers are devout, humble, fervent. They are not impassioned. A wonderful temperance and sobriety of discretion; that which, in worldly things, would be called good sense, prevails in them; but you must name it better in things spiritual. The framers evidently bore in mind the continual consciousness of writing for ALL. That is the guiding, tempering, calming spirit that keeps in the Whole one tone—that, and the hallowing, chastening awe which subdues vehemence, even in the asking for the Infinite, by those who have nothing but that which they earnestly ask, and who know that unless they ask infinitely, they ask nothing. In every word, the whole Congregation, the whole Nation prays—not the Individual Minister; the officiating Divine Functionary, not the Man. Nor must it be forgotten that the received Version and the Book of Common Prayer—observe the word Common, expressing exactly what I affirm—are beautiful by the words—that there is no other such English—simple, touching, apt, venerable—hued as the thoughts are—musical—the most English English that is known—of a Hebraic strength and antiquity, yet lucid and gracious as if of and for to-day.


I trust that many Presbyterians sympathise with you in these sentiments.


Not many—few. Nor do I say I wish they were more.


Are you serious, sir?


I am. But cannot explain myself now. What are the Three Pillars of the Love of any Church? Innate Religion—Humanity—Imagination. The Scottish worship better satisfies the first Principle—that of England the last; the Roman Catholic still more the last—and are not your Cathedrals Roman Catholic? I think that the Scottish and English, better than the Roman Catholic, satisfy the Middle Principle—Humanity, being truer to the highest requisitions of our Nature, and nourish our faculties better, both of Will and Understanding, into their strength and beauty. Yet what divine-minded Roman Catholics there have been—and are—and will be!


Pause for a moment, sir,—here comes Seward.


Seward! Is he not with us? Surely he was, all hour or two ago—but I never missed him—your conversation has been so interesting and instructive. Seward! why you are all the world like a drowned rat?


Rat I am none—but a stanch Conservative. Would I had had a Protectionist with me to keep me right on the Navigation Laws.


What do you mean? What's the matter?


Why, your description of the Pools in Cladich-Cleugh inspired me with a passion for one of the Naïads.


And you have had a ducking!


I have indeed. Plashed souse, head over heels, into one of the prettiest pools, from a slippery ledge some dozen feet above the sleeping beauty—were you both deaf that you did not hear me bawl? 753


I have a faint recollection of hearing something bray, but I suppose I thought it came from the Gipsies' Camp.


Are you wet?




Why so dry?


Sair drooket.


Where's your Tile?


I hate slang.


Why, you have lost a shoe—and much delightful conversation.


I must say, Seward, that I was hurt by your withdrawing yourself from our Colloquy.


Sir, you were beginning to get so prosy——


I insist, Seward, on your making an apology on your knees to our Father for your shocking impiety—I shudder to repeat the word—which you must swallow—P—R—O—S—Y!


On my knees! Look at them.


My dear, dearer, dearest Mr Seward—you are bleeding—I fear a fracture. Let me——


I am not bleeding—only a knap on the knee-pan, sir.


Not bleeding! Why you must be drenched in blood, your face is so white.


A non sequitur, Buller. But from a knap on the knee-pan I have known a man a lamiter for life.


I lament the loss of my Sketch-Book.


It is a judgment on you for that Caricature.


What caricature?


Since you will force me to tell it, a caricature of——Yourself, sir. I saw him working away at it with a most wicked leer on his face, while you supposed he was taking notes. He held it up to me for a moment—clapped the boards together with the grin of a fiend—and then off to Cladick-Cloock—where he met with Nemesis.


Is that a true bill, Mr Seward?


On my honour as a gentleman, and my skill as an artist, it is not. It is a most malignant misrepresentation——


It was indeed.


It was no caricature. I promised to Mrs Seward to send her a sketch of the illustrious Mr North; and finding you in one of the happiest of your many-sided attitudes—— 754


The act is to be judged by the intention. You are acquitted of the charge.


To make a caricature of You, sir, under any circumstances, and for any purpose, would be sufficiently shocking; but HERE AND NOW, and that he might send it to his Wife—so transcends all previous perpetration of crimen læsæ majestatis, that I am beginning to be incredulous of what these eyes beheld—nay, to disbelieve what, if told to any human being, however depraved, would seem to him impossible, even in the mystery of iniquity, and an insane libel on our fallen nature.


I did my best. Nor am I, sir, without hope that my Sketch-Book may be recovered, and then you will judge for yourself, sir, if it be a caricature. A failure, sir, it assuredly was, for what artist has succeeded with YOU?


To the Inn, and put on dry clothes.


No. What care I about dry or wet clothes! Here let me lie down and bask in this patch of intenser sunshine at your feet. Don't stir, sir; the Crutch is not the least in the way.


We must be all up and doing—the Hour and the Men. The Cavalcade. Hush! Hark! the Bagpipe! The Cavalcade can't be more than a mile off.


Why staring thus like a Goshawk, sir?


I hear nothing. Seward, do you?


Nothing. And what can he mean by Cavalcade? Yet I believe he has the Second Sight. I have heard it is in the Family.


Hear nothing? Then both of you must be deaf. But I forget—we Mountaineers are Fine-Ears—your sense of hearing has been educated on the Flat. Not now? "The Campbells are coming,"—that's the march—that's the go—that's the gathering.


A Horn—a Drum, sure enough—and—and—that incomprehensible mixture of groans and yells must be the Bagpipe.


See yonder they come, over the hill-top—the ninth mile-stone from Inverary! There's the Van, by the Road-Surveyor lent me for the occasion, drawn by Four Horses. And there's the Waggon, once the property of the lessee of the Swiss Giantess, a noble Unicorn. And there the Six Tent-Carts, Two-steeded; and there the Two Boat-Carriages—horsed I know not how. But don't ye see the bonny Barges aloft in the air? And Men on horseback—count them—there should be Four. You hear the Bagpipe now—surely—"The Campbells are coming." And here is the whole Concern, gentlemen, close at hand, deploying across the Bridge.


Has he lost his senses at last?


Have we lost ours? A Cavalcade it is, with a vengeance.


One minute past Seven! True to their time within sixty seconds. This way, this way. Here is the Spot, the Centre of the Grove. Bagpipe—Drum and Horn—music all—silence. Silence, I cry, will nobody assist me in crying silence?




Give me the Speaking-Trumpet that I may call Silence. 755


Stentor may put down the Drum, the Horns, the Fifes, and the Serpent, but the Bagpipe is above him—the Drone is deaf as the sea—the Piper moves in a sphere of his own—


I don't hear a syllable you are saying—ah! the storm is dead, and now what a BLESSED CALM.


Wheel into line—Prepare to—

Pitch Tents.

Enter the Field of the Sycamore Grove on Horseback—ushered by Archy M'CallumHarry SewardMarmaduke BullerVallance VoluseneNepos Woodburn. Van, Waggon, Carriages, and Carts, &c., form a Barricade between the Rear of the Grove and the road to Dalmally.

Adjutant Archy M'Callum! call the Roll of the Troops.


Peter of the Lodge, Sewer and Seneschal—Here. Peterson ditto, Comptroller of the Cellars—Here. Kit Peterson, Tiger there—Here. Michael Dods, Cook at that Place—Here. Ben Brawn, Manciple—Here. Roderick M'Crimmon, King of the Pipes—-Here. Pym and Stretch, Body-men to the young Englishers—-Here, Here. Tom Moody, Huntsman at Under-cliff Hall, North Devon—-Here. The Cornwall Clipper, Head Game-keeper at Pendragon—Here. Billy Balmer of Bowness, Windermere, Commodore—Here.


Attention! Each man will be held answerable for his subordinates. The roll will be called an hour after sunrise, and an hour before sunset. Men, remember you are under martial law. Camp-master M'Kellar—Here. Let the Mid Peak of Cruachan be your pitching point. Old Dee-side Tent in the centre, right in Front. Dormitories to the east. To the west the Pavilion. Kitchen Range in the Rear. Donald Dhu, late Sergeant in the Black Watch, see to the Barricade. The Impedimenta in your charge. In three hours I command the Encampment to be complete. Admittance to the Field on the Queen's Birth-day. Crowd! disperse. Old Boys! What do you think of this? You have often called me a Wizard—a Warlock—no glamour here—'tis real all—and all the Work of the Crutch. Sons—your Fathers! Fathers—your Sons. Your hand, Volusene—and, Woodburn, yours.


Hal, how are you?


How are you, Marmy?


On the Stage—in the Theatre of Fictitious Life—such a Meeting as this would require explanation—but in the Drama of Real Life, on the Banks of Lochawe, it needs none. Friends of my soul! you will come to understand it all in two minutes' talk with your Progeny. Progeny—welcome for your Sires' sakes—and your Lady Mothers'—and your own—to Lochawe-side. I see you are two Trumps. Volusene—Woodburn—from your faces all well at home. Come, my two old Bucks—let us Three, to be out of the bustle, retire to the Inn. Did you ever see Christopher fling the Crutch? There—I knew it would clear the Sycamore Grove. 756

Scene II.Interior of the Pavilion.
TimeTwo P.M.


Still at his Siesta in his Swing-Chair. Few faces bear to be looked on asleep.


Men's faces.


His bears it well. Awake, it is sometimes too full of expression. And then, how it fluctuates! Perpetual play and interchange as Thought, Feeling, Fancy, Imagination——


The gay, the grave, the sad, the serious, the pathetic, the humorous, the tragic, the whimsical rules the minute—

"'Tis everything by fits, and nothing long."


Don't exaggerate. An inapt quotation.


I was merely carrying on your eulogium of his wide-awake Face.


The prevalent expression is still—the Benign.


A singular mixture of tenderness and truculence.


Asleep it is absolutely saint-like.


It reminds me of the faces of Chantry's Sleeping Children in Litchfield Cathedral.


Composure is the word. Composure is mute Harmony.


It may be so—but you will not deny that his nose is just a minim too long—and his mouth, at this moment, just a minim too open—and the crow-feet——


Enhance the power of those large drooping eyelids, heavy with meditation—of that high broad forehead, with the lines not the wrinkles of age.


He is much balder than he was on Deeside.


Or fifty years before. They say that, in youth, the sight of his head of hair once silenced Mirabeau.


Why, Mirabeau's was black, and my grandmother told me North's was yellow—or rather green, like a star.


Your Grandmother, Buller, was the finest woman of her time.


Sleepers hear. Sometimes a single word from without, reaching the spiritual region, changes by its touch the whole current of their dreams.


I once told you that, Buller. At present I happen to be awake. But 757 surely a man may sit on a swing-chair with his eyes shut, and his mouth open, without incurring the charge of somnolency. Where have you been?


You told us, sir, not to disturb you till Two——


But where have you been?


We have written our despatches—read our London Papers—and had a pull in Gutta Percha to and from Port Sonachan.


How does she pull?


Like a winner. I have written to the builder—Taylor of Newcastle—to match her against any craft of her keel in the kingdom.


Sit down. Where are the Boys.


Off hours ago to Kilchurn. They have just signalised—"Two o'clock. 1 Salmo Ferox, lb. 12-20 Yellow-fins, lb. 15-6 Pike, lb. 36."


And not bad sport, either. They know the dinner hour? Seven sharp.


They do—and they are not the lads to disregard orders.


Four finer fellows are not in Christendom.


May I presume to ask, sir, what volumes these are lying open on your knees?


The Iliad—and Paradise Lost.


I fear, sir, you may not be disposed to enlighten us, at this hour.


But I am disposed to be enlightened. Oxonians—and Double First-Class Men—nor truants since—you will find in me a docile pupil rather than a Teacher. I am no great Grecian.


But you are, sir; and a fine old Trojan too, methinks! What audacious word has escaped my lips!


Epic Poetry! Tell but a Tale, and see Childhood—the harmless, the trustful, the wondering, listen—"all ear;" and so has the wilder and mightier Childhood of Nations, listened, trustful, wondering, "all ear," to Tales lofty, profound—said, or, as Art grew up, sung.


ΕΠΕ, Say or Tell.


ΑΕΙΔΕ, Sing.


Yes, my lads, these were the received formulas of beseeching with which the Minstrels of Hellas invoked succour of the divine Muse, when their burning tongue would fit well to the Harp transmitted Tales, fraught with old heroic remembrance, with solemn belief, with oracular wisdom. ΕΠΕ, Tell, ΕΠΟΣ, The Tale. And when, step after step, the Harp modelling the Verse, and the Verse charming power and beauty, and splendour and pathos—like a newly-created and newly-creating soul—into its ancestral Tradition—when insensibly the benign Usurper, the Muse, had made the magnificent dream rightly and wholly her own at last.— ΕΠΟΣ, The Sung Tale. Homer, to all following ages the chief Master of Eloquence whether in Verse or in Prose, has yet maintained the simplicity of Telling. 758

"For he came beside the swift ships of the Achæans,
Proposing to release his daughter, and bringing immense ransom;
Having in his hand the fillet of the far-shooting Apollo,
On the golden rod: and he implored of the Achæans,
And the sons of Atreus, most of all, the two Orderers of the People."

These few words of a tongue stately, resplendent, sonorous, and numerous, more than ours—and already the near Scamandrian Field feels, and fears, and trembles. Milton! The world has rolled round, and again round, from the day of that earlier to that of the later Mæonides. All the soul-wealth hoarded in words, which merciful Time held aloft, unsubmerged by the Gothic, by the Ottoman inundation; all the light shrined in the Second, the Intellectual Ark that, divinely built and guided, rode tilting over the tempestuous waste of waters; all the mind, bred and fostered by New Europe, down to within two hundred years of this year that runs: These have put differences between the Iliad and the Paradise Lost, in matter and in style, which to state and illustrate would hold me speaking till sunset.


And us listening.


The Fall of Hector and of his Troy! The Fall of Adam and of his World!


What concise expression! Multum in parvo, indeed, Seward.


Men and gods mingled in glittering conflict upon the ground that spreads between Ida's foot and the Hellespont! At the foot of the Omnipotent Throne, archangels and angels distracting their native Heaven with arms, and Heaven disburthening her lap of her self-lost sons for the peopling of Hell!


Hush! Buller—hush!


In way of an Episode—yes, an Episode—see the Seventh Book—our Visible Universe willed into being!


Hush! Buller—hush!


For a few risings and settings of yon since-bedimmed Sun—Love and celestial Bliss dwelling amidst the shades and flowers of Eden yet sinless—then, from a MORE FATAL APPLE, Discord clashing into and subverting the harmonies of Creation.

"Sin, and her shadow, Death; and Misery,
Death's Harbinger."

The Iliad, indeed!


I wish you could be persuaded, sir, to give us an Edition of Milton.


No. I must not take it out of the Doctor's hands. Then, as to Milton's style. If the Christian Theologian must be held bold who has dared to mix the Delivered Writings with his own Inventions—bold, too, was he, the heir of the mind that was nursed in the Aristotelian Schools, to unite, as he did, on the other hand, the gait of an understanding accomplished in logic, with the spontaneous and unstudied step of Poetry. The style of Milton, gentlemen, has been praised for simplicity; and it is true that the style of the Paradise Lost has often an austere simplicity; but one sort of it you miss—the proper Epic simplicity—that Homeric simplicity of the Telling.


Perhaps, sir, in such a Poem such simplicity could not be.


Perhaps not. Homer adds thought to thought, and so builds up. Milton 759 involves thought with thought, and so constructs. Relation is with him argumentative also, and History both Philosophy and Oratory. This was unavoidable. He brought the mind of the latter age to the Form of Composition produced by the primitive time. Again, the style is fitted to the general intention of a Poem essentially didactic and argumentative. Again, the style is personal to himself. He has learnedly availed himself of all antecedent Art—minutely availed himself, yet he is no imitator. The style is like no other—it is intensely and completely original. It expresses himself. Lofty, capacious, acute, luminous, thoroughly disciplined, ratiocinative powers wonderfully blend their action with an imagination of the most delicate and profound sensibility to the beautiful, and of a sublimity that no theme can excel.


Lord Bacon, sir, I believe, has defined Poetry, Feigned History—has he not?


He has—and no wonder that he thought much of "Feigned History"—for he had a view to Epos and Tragedy—the Iliad and Odyssey—the Attic Theatre—the Æneid—Dante—Ariosto—Tasso—the Romances of Chivalry—moreover, the whole Immense Greek Fable, whereof part and parcel remain, but more is perished. Which Fables, you know, existed, and were transmitted in Prose,—that is, by Oral Tradition, in the words of the relator,—long before they came into Homeric Verse—or any verse. He saw, Seward, the Memory of Mankind possessed by two kinds of History, both once alike credited. True History, which remains True History, and Fabulous History, now acknowledged as Poetry only. It is no wonder that other Poetry vanished from importance in his estimation.


I follow you, sir, with some difficulty.


You may with ease. Fabulous History holds place, side by side, with True History, as a rival in dignity, credence, and power, and in peopling the Earth with Persons and Events. For, of a verity, the Personages and Events created by Poesy hold place in our Mind—not in our Imagination only, but in our Understanding, along with Events and Personages historically remembered.


An imposing Parallelism!


It is—but does it hold good? And if it does—with what limitations?


With what limitations, sir?


I wish Lord Bacon were here, that I might ask him to explain. Take Homer and Thucydides—the Iliad and the History of the Peloponnesian War. We thus sever, at the widest, the Telling of Calliope from the Telling of Clio, holding each at the height of honour.


At the widest?


Yes; for how far from Thucydides is, at once, the Book of the Games! Look through the Iliad, and see how much and minute depicturing of a World with which the Historian had nothing to do! Shall the Historian, in Prose, of the Ten Years' War, stop to describe the Funeral Games of a Patroclus? Yes; if he stop to describe the Burying of every Hero who falls. But the Historian in Prose assumes that a People know their own Manners, and therefore he omits painting their manners to themselves. The Historian in Verse assumes the same thing, and, therefore, strange to say, he paints the manners! See, then, in the Iliad, how much memorising of a whole departed scheme of human existence, with which the Prose Historian had nothing to do, the Historian in regulated Metre has had the inspiration and the skill to inweave in the narrative of his ever-advancing Action. 760


Would his lordship were with us!


Give all this to—the Hexameter. Remember always, my dear Seward, the shield of Achilles—itself a world in miniature—a compendium of the world.


Of the universe.


Even so; for Sun, and Moon, and Stars are there, Astronomy and all the learned sisterhood!


Then to what species of narrative in prose—to one removed at what interval from the history of the Peloponnesian War, belongs that scene of Helen on the Walls of Troy? That scene at the Scæan gate? In the tent of Achilles, where Achilles sits, and Priam kneels?


Good. The general difference is obviously this—Publicity almost solely stamps the Thucydidean story—Privacy, more than in equal part, interfused with Publicity, the Homeric. You must allow Publicity and Privacy to signify, besides that which is done in public and in private, that which proceeds of the Public and of the Private will.


In other words, if I apprehend you aright, the Theme given being some affair of Public moment, Prose tends to gather up the acts of the individual agents, under general aspects, into masses.


Just so. Verse, whenever it dare, resolves the mass of action into the individual acts, puts aside the collective doer—the Public, and puts forward individual persons. Glory, I say again, to the Hexameter!


Glory to the Hexameter! The Hexameter, like the Queen, has done it all.


Or let us return to the Paradise Lost? If the mustering of the Fallen Legions in the First Book—if the Infernal Council held in the Second—if the Angelic Rebellion and Warfare in the Fifth and Sixth—resemble Public History, civil and military, as we commonly speak—if the Seventh Book, relating the Creation by describing the kinds created, be the assumption into Heroic Poetry of Natural History—to what kind of History, I earnestly ask you both, does that scene belong, of Eve's relation of her dream, in the Fifth Book, and Adam's consolation of her uneasiness under its involuntary sin? To what, in the Fourth Book, her own innocent relation of her first impressions upon awaking into Life and Consciousness?


Ay!—to what kind of History? More easily asked than answered.


And Adam's relation to the Affable Archangel of his own suddenly-dawned morning from the night of non-existence, aptly and happily crowned upon the relation made to him by Raphael in the Seventh Book of his own forming under the Omnipotent Hand?


Simply, I venture to say, sir, to the most interior autobiography—to that confidence of audible words, which flows when the face of a friend sharpens the heart of a man—and Raphael was Adam's Friend.


Seward, you are right. You speak well—as you always do—when you choose. Behold, then, I beseech you, the comprehending power of that little magical band—Our Accentual Iambic Pentameter. 761


"Glory be with them, and eternal praise,
The Poets who on earth have made us heirs
Of Truth and pure Delight by heavenly lays!"


Glory to Verse, for its power is great. Man, from the garden in Eden, to the purifying by fire of the redeemed Earth—the creation of things Visible—Angels Upright and Fallen—and Higher than Angels—all the Regions of Space—Infinitude and Eternity—the Universality of Being—this is the copious matter of the Song. And herein there is place found, proper, distinct, and large, and prominent, for that whispered call to visit, in the freshness of morning, the dropping Myrrh—to study the opening beauty of the Flowers—to watch the Bee in her sweet labour—which tenderly dissipates from the lids of Eve her ominously-troubled sleep—free room for two tears, which, falling from a woman's eyes, are wiped with her hair—and for two more, which her pitying husband kisses away ere they fall. All these things Verse disposes, and composes, in One Presentment.


Glory to Verse, for its power is great—glory to our Accentual Iambic Pentameter.


Let us return to the Iliad. The Iliad is a history told by a mind that is arbiter, to a certain extent only, of its own facts. For Homer takes his decennial War and its Heroes, nay, the tenor of the story too, from long-descended Tradition. To his contemporary countrymen he appears as a Historian—not feigning, but commemorating and glorifying, transmitted facts.


Ottfried Müller, asking how far Homer is tied up in his Traditions, ventures to suspect that the names of the Heroes whom Achilles kills, in such or such a fight, are all traditionary.


Where, then, is the Feigned History? Lord Bacon, Ottfried Müller, and Jacob Bryant, are here not in the main unagreed. "I nothing doubt," says Bacon, "but the Fables, which Homer having received, transmits, had originally a profound and excellent sense, although I greatly doubt if Homer any longer knew that sense."


What right, may I ask, had Lord Bacon to doubt, and Ottfried Müller to suspect——


Smoke your cigar. Ottfried Müller——




Ottfried Müller imagines that there was in Greece a pre-Homeric Age, of which the principal intellectual employment was Myth-making. And Bryant, we know, shocked the opinion of his own day by referring the War of Troy to Mythology. Now, observe, Buller, how there is feigning and feigning—Poet after Poet—and the Poem that comes to us at last is the Poem of Homer; but in truth, of successive ages, ending in Homer——


Who was then a real living flesh and blood Individual of the human species.


That he was——


And wrote the Iliad.


That he did—but how I have hinted rather than told. In the Paradise Lost, the part of Milton is, then, infinitely bolder than Homer's in the Iliad. He is far more of a Creator. 762


Can an innermost bond of Unity, sir, be shown for the Iliad?


Yes. The Iliad is a Tale of a Wrong Righted. Zeus, upon the secret top of Olympus, decrees this Righting with his omnipotent Nod. Upon the top of Ida he conducts it. But that is done, and the Fates resume their tenor. Hector falls, and Troy shall fall. That is again the Righting of a Wrong, done amongst men. This is the broadly-written admonition: "Discite Justitiam."


You are always great, sir, on Homer.


Agamemnon, in insolence of self-will, offends Chryses and a God. He refused Chyseis—He robs Achilles. In Agamemnon the Insolence of Human Self-will is humbled, first under the hand of Apollo—then of Jupiter—say, altogether, of Heaven. He suffers and submits. And now Achilles, who has no less interest in the Courts of Heaven than Chryses—indeed higher—in overweening anger fashions out a redress for himself which the Father of Gods and Men grants. And what follows? Agamemnon again suffers and submits. For Achilles—Patroclus' bloody corse! Κειται Πατροκλος—that is the voice that rings! Now he accepts the proffered reconciliation of Agamemnon, before scornfully refused; and in the son of Thetis, too, the Insolence of Human Self-will is chastened under the hand of Heaven.


He suffers, but submits not till Hector lies transfixed—till Twelve noble youths of the Trojans and their Allies have bled on Patroclus' Pyre. And does he submit then? No. For twelve days ever and anon he drags the insensible corse at his horses' heels round that sepulchral earth.


Mad, if ever a man was.


The Gods murmur—and will that the unseemly Revenge cease. Jove sends Thetis to him—and what meeter messenger for minister of mercy than a mother to her son! God-bidden by that voice, he submits—he remits his Revenge. The Human Will, infuriated, bows under the Heavenly.


Touched by the prayers and the sight of that kneeling gray-haired Father, he has given him back his dead son—and from the ransom a costly pall of honour, to hide the dead son from the father's eyes—and of his own Will and Power Twelve Days' truce; and the days have expired, and the Funeral is performed—and the pyre is burned out—and the mound over the slayer of Patroclus is heaped—and the Iliad is done—and this Moral indelibly writes itself on the heart—the words of Apollo in that Council—

Τλητον γας Θυμον Μοισαι Θνητωσιε εδωχαν.

The Fates have appointed to mortals a Spirit that shall submit and endure.


Right and good. Τλητον is more than "shall suffer." It is, that shall accept suffering—that shall bear.


Compare this one Verse and the Twenty-four Books, and you have the poetical simplicity and the poetical multiplicity side by side.


Right and good.


Yes, my friends, the Teaching of the Iliad is Piety to the Gods—


Reverence for the Rights of Men—


A Will humbled, conformed to the Will of Heaven— 763


That the Earth is justly governed.


Dim foreshadowings, which Milton, I doubt not, discerned and cherished. The Iliad was the natural and spiritual father of the Paradise Lost—


And the son is greater than the sire.


I see in the Iliad the love of Homer to Greece and to humankind. He was a legislator to Greece before Solon and Lycurgus—greater than either—after the manner fabled of Orpheus.


Sprung from the bosom of heroic life, the Iliad asked heroic listeners.


See with what large-hearted love he draws the Men—Hector, and Priam, and Sarpedon—as well as the Woman Andromache—enemies! Can he so paint humanity and not humanise? He humanises us—who have literature and refined Greece and Rome—who have Spenser, and Shakspeare, and Milton—who are Christendom.


He loves the inferior creatures, and the face of nature.


The Iliad has been called a Song of War. I see in it—a Song of Peace. Think of all the fiery Iliad ending in—Reconciled Submission!


"Murder Impossibility," and believe that there might have been an Iliad or a Paradise Lost in Prose.


It could never have been, by human power, our Paradise Lost. What would have become of the Seventh Book? This is now occupied with describing the Six Days of Creation. A few verses of the First Chapter of Genesis extended into so many hundred lines. The Book, as it stands, has full poetical reason. First, it has a sufficient motive. It founds the existence of Adam and Eve, which is otherwise not duly led to. The revolted Angels, you know, have fallen, and the Almighty will create a new race of worshippers to supply their place—Mankind.


For this race that is to be created, a Home is previously to be built—or this World is to be created.


I initiated you into Milton nearly thirty years ago, my dear Seward; and I rejoice to find that you still have him by heart. Between the Fall of the Angels, and that inhabiting of Paradise by our first parents, which is largely related by Raphael, there would be in the history which the poem undertakes, an unfilled gap and blank without this book. The chain of events which is unrolled would be broken—interrupted—incomplete.


And, sir, when Raphael has told the Rebellion and Fall of the Angels, Adam, with a natural movement of curiosity, asks of this "Divine Interpreter" how this frame of things began?


And Raphael answers by declaring at large the Purpose and the Manner. The Mission of Raphael is to strengthen, if it be practicable, the Human Pair in their obedience. To this end, how apt his discourse, showing how dear they are to the Universal Maker, how eminent in his Universe!


The causes, then, of the Archangelic Narrative abound. And the personal interest with which the Two Auditors must hear such a revelation of wonders from such a Speaker, and that so intimately concerns themselves, falls nothing short of what Poetry justly requires in relations put into the mouth of the poetical Persons. 764


And can the interest—not now of Raphael's, but of Milton's "fit audience"—be sustained throughout? The answer is triumphant. The Book is, from beginning to end, a stream of the most beautiful descriptive Poetry that exists. Not however, mind you, Seward, of stationary description.




A proceeding work is described; and the Book is replete and alive with motion—with progress—with action—yes, of action—of an order unusual indeed to the Epos, but unexcelled in dignity—the Creative Action of Deity!


What should hinder, then, but that this same Seventh Book should have been written in Prose?


Why this only—that without Verse it could not have been read! The Verse makes present. You listen with Adam and Eve, and you hear the Archangel. In Prose this illusion could not have been carried through such a subject-matter. The conditio sine quâ non of the Book was the ineffable charm of the Description. But what would a series of botanical and zoological descriptions, for instance, have been, in Prose? The vivida vis that is in Verse is the quickening spirit of the whole.


But who doubts it?


Lord Bacon said that Poetry—that is, Feigned History—might be worded in Prose. And it may be; but how inadequately is known to Us Three.


And to all the world.


No—nor, to the million who do know it, so well as to Us, nor the reason why. But hear me a moment longer. Wordsworth, in his famous Preface to the Lyrical Ballads, asserts that the language of Prose and the language of Verse differ but in this—that in verse there is metre—and metre he calls an adjunct. With all reverence, I say that metre is not an adjunct—but vitality and essence; and that verse, in virtue thereof, so transfigures language, that it ceases to be the language of prose as spoken, out of verse, by any of the children of men.


Remove the metre, and the language will not be the language of prose?


Not—if you remove the metre only—and leave otherwise the order of the words—the collocation unchanged—and unchanged any one of the two hundred figures of speech, one and all of which are differently presented in the language of Verse from what they are in Prose.


It must be so.


The fountain of Law to Composition in Prose is the Understanding. The fountain of Law to Composition in Verse is the Will.




A discourse in prose resembles a chain. The sentences are the successive links—all holding to one another—and holding one another. All is bound.




A discourse in verse resembles a billowy sea. The verses are the waves that rise and fall—to our apprehension—each by impulse, life, will of its own. All is free. 765


Ay. Now your meaning emerges.


E profundis clamavi. In eloquent prose, the feeling fits itself into the process of the thinking. In true verse, the thinking fits itself into the process of the feeling.


I perpend.


In prose, the general distribution and composition of the matter belong to the reign of Necessity. The order of the parts, and the connexion of part with part, are obliged—logically justifiable—say, then, are demonstrable. See an Oration of Demosthenes. In verse, that distribution and composition belong to the reign of Liberty. That order and connexion are arbitrary—passionately justifiable—say, then, are delectable. See an Ode of Pindar.




In prose the style is last—in verse first; in prose the sense controls the sound—in verse the sound the sense; in prose you speak—in verse you sing; in prose you live in the abstract—in verse in the concrete; in prose you present notions—in verse visions; in prose you expound—in verse you enchant; in prose it is much if now and then you are held in the sphere of the fascinated senses—in verse if of the calm understanding.


Will you have the goodness, sir, to say all that over again?


I have forgot it. The lines in the countenance of Prose are austere. The look is shy, reserved, governed—like the fixed steady lineaments of mountains. The hues that suffuse the face of her sister Verse vary faster than those with which the western or the eastern sky momently reports the progress of the sinking, of the fallen, but not yet lost, of the coming or of the risen sun.


I have jotted that down, sir.


And I hope you will come to understand it. Candidly speaking, 'tis more than I do.


I do perfectly—and it is as true as beautiful, sir.


Equally so.


I venerate Wordsworth. Wordsworth's poetry stands distinct in the world. That which to other men is an occasional pleasure, or possibly delight, and to other poets an occasional transport, THE SEEING THIS VISIBLE UNIVERSE, is to him—a Life—one Individual Human Life—namely, his Own—travelling its whole Journey from the Cradle to the Grave. And that Life—for what else could he do with it?—he has versified—sung. And there is no other such Song. It is a Memorable Fact of our Civilisation—a Memorable Fact in the History of Human Kind—that one perpetual song. Perpetual but infinitely various—as a river of a thousand miles, traversing, from its birthplace in the mountains, diverse regions, wild and inhabited, to the ocean-receptacle.


Confoundedly prosaic at times.


He, more than any other true poet, approaches Verse to Prose—never, I believe, or hardly ever, quite blends them.


Often—often—often, my dear sir. 766


Seldom—seldom—seldom if ever, my dear sir. He tells his Life. His Poems are, of necessity, an Autobiography. The matter of them, then, is his personal reality; but Prose is, all over and properly, the language of Personal Realities. Even with him, however, so peculiarly conditioned, and, as well as I am able to understand his Proposition, against his own Theory of writing, Verse maintains, as by the laws of our insuppressible nature it always will maintain, its sacred Right and indefeasible Prerogative.

To conclude our conversation—


Or Monologue.


Epos is Human History in its magnitude in Verse. In Prose, National History offers itself in parallelism. The coincidence is broad and unquestioned; but on closer inspection, differences great and innumerable spring up and unfold themselves, until at last you might almost persuade yourself that the first striking resemblance deceived you, and that the two species lack analogy, so many other kinds does the Species in Verse embosom, and so escaping are the lines of agreement in the instant in which you attempt fixing them.


Would that Lord Bacon were here!


And thus we are led to a deeper truth. The Metrical Epos imitates History, without doubt, as Lord Bacon says—it borrows thence its mould, not rigorously, but with exceeding bold and free adaptations, as the Iliad unfolds the Ten Years' War in Seven Weeks. But for the Poet, more than another, ALL IS IN ALL.




What is the Paradise Lost, ultimately considered?




It is, my friends, the arguing in verse of a question in Natural Theology. Whence are Wrong and Pain? Moral and Physical Evil, as we call them, in all their overwhelming extent of complexity sprung? How permitted in the Kingdom of an All-wise and Almighty Love? To this question, concerning the origin of Evil, Milton answers as a Christian Theologian, agreeably to his own understanding of his Religion,—so justifying the Universal Government of God, and, in particular, his Government of Man. The Poem is, therefore, Theological, Argumentative, Didactic, in Epic Form. Being in the constitution of his soul a Poet, mightiest of the mighty, the intention is hidden in the Form. The Verse has transformed the matter. Now, then, the Paradise Lost is not a history told for itself. But this One Truth, in two answering Propositions, that the Will of Man spontaneously consorting with God's Will is Man's Good, spontaneously dissenting, Man's Evil. This is created into an awful and solemn narrative of a Matter exactly adapted, and long since authoritatively told. But this Truth, springing up in the shape of narrative, will now take its own determination into Events of unsurpassed magnitude, now of the tenderest individuality and minuteness; and all is, hence, in keeping—as one power of life springs up on one spot, in oak-tree, moss, and violet, and the difference of stature, thus understood, gives a deep harmony, so deep and embracing, that none without injury to the whole could be taken away.


What's all this! Hang that Drone—confound that Chanter. Burst, thou most unseasonable of Bagpipes! Silence that dreadful Drum. Draw in your Horns— 767


Musquetry! cannon! huzzas! The enemy are storming the Camp. The Delhis bear down on the Pavilion. The Life is in danger. Let us save the King.


See to it, gentlemen. I await the issue in my Swing-chair. Let the Barbarians but look on me and their weapons will drop.


All's right. A false alarm.


There was no alarm.


'Twas but a Salute. The Boys have come back from Kilchurn. They are standing in front beside the spoil.


Widen the Portal. Artistically disposed! The Whole like one huge Star-fish. Salmo ferox, centre—Pike, radii—Yellow-fins, circumference—Weight I should say the tenth of a ton. Call the Manciple. Manciple, you are responsible for the preservation of that Star-fish.


Sir, you forget yourself. The People must be fed. We are Seven. Twelve are on the Troop Roll—Nine Strangers have sent in their cards—the Gillies are growing upon us—the Camp-followers have doubled the population since morn, and the circumambient Natives are waxing strong. Hunger is in the Camp—but for this supply, Famine; Iliacos intra muros PECCATUR et extra; Dods reports that the Boiler is wroth, the Furnace at a red heat, Pots and Pans a-simmer—the Culinary Spirit impatient to be at work. In such circumstances, the tenth of a ton is no great matter; but it is better than nothing. The mind of the Manciple may lie at rest, for that Star-fish will never see to-morrow's Sun; and motionless as he looks, he is hastening to the Shades.


Sir, you forget yourself. There is other animal matter in the world besides Fish. No penury of it in camp. I have here the Manciple's report. "One dozen plucked Earochs—one ditto ditto Ducklings—d. d. d. March Chick—one Bubblyjock—one Side of Mutton—four Necks—six Sheep-heads, and their complement of Trotters—two Sheep, just slaughtered and yet in wholes—four Lambs ditto—the late Cladich Calf—one small Stot—two lb. 40 Rounds in pickle—four Miscellaneous Pies of the First Order—six Hams—four dozen of Rein-deer Tongues—one dozen of Bears' Paws—two Barrels of——"


Stop. Let that suffice for the meanwhile.


The short shadow-hand on the face of Dial-Cruachan, to my instructed sense, stands at six. You young Oxonians, I know, always adorn for dinner, even when roughing it on service; and so, V. and W., do you. These two elderly gentlemen here are seen to most advantage in white neckcloths, and the Old One is never so like himself as in a suit of black velvet. To your tent and toilets. In an hour we meet in the—Deeside. 768


Printed by William Blackwood and Sons, Edinburgh.


1 Words coined by Mr Caxton from πλανητικος, disposed to roaming, and εξαλλοτριοω, to export, to alienate.

2 In primitive villages in the west of England, the belief that the absent may be seen in a piece of crystal is, or was not many years ago, by no means an uncommon superstition. I have seen more than one of these magic mirrors, which Spenser, by the way, has beautifully described. They are about the size and shape of a swan's egg. It is not every one, however, who can be a crystal-seer; like second-sight, it is a special gift.

3 Dante here evidently associates Fortune with the planetary influences of judicial astrology. It is doubtful whether Schiller ever read Dante, but in one of his most thoughtful poems, he undertakes the same defence of Fortune, making the Fortunate a part of the Beautiful.

4 Histoire des Conspirations et des Executions Politiques, comprenant l'Histoire des Sociétés Secrètes depuis les temps les plus reculés jusqu'à nos jours. Par A. Blanc. 4 Vols. Volume the Third: Russia.

5 The victim is placed upon his belly (and tied down so that he cannot change his position) to receive this terrible punishment, in severity inferior only to the knout.

6 The extent of Hungary, including Transylvania, is above 125,000 square miles; that of Great Britain and Ireland is 122,000, and that of Prussia about 116,000. The population of Hungary, according to the best authorities, is nearly fourteen millions; that of England (in 1841) was nearly fifteen millions; that of Prussia about sixteen millions.

7 Alison, History of Europe, vol. x.

Transcriber's Note:

Inconsistent spelling and hyphenation are as in the original.

End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, No.
404, June, 1849, by Various


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