The Project Gutenberg eBook of Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 65, No. 399, January 1849

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Title: Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 65, No. 399, January 1849

Author: Various

Release date: November 14, 2013 [eBook #44183]

Language: English

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No. CCCXCIX.     JANUARY, 1849.     Vol. LXV.


The Year of Revolutions,1
French Conquerors and Colonists,20
The Caxtons. Part IX.,33
The White Nile,47
Art and Artists in Spain,63
The Dodo and its Kindred,81
The Sword of Honour: a Tale of 1787,98
Memoirs of Kirkaldy of Grange,112

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



No. CCCXCIX.     JANUARY, 1849.     Vol. LXV.


"No great state," says Hannibal, "can long remain quiet: if it ceases to have enemies abroad, it will find them at home—as powerful bodies resist all external attacks, but are wasted away by their own internal strength."[1] What a commentary on the words of the Carthaginian hero does the last year—The Year of Revolutions,—afford! What enthusiasm has it witnessed, what efforts engendered, what illusions dispelled, what misery produced! How bitterly have nations, as well as individuals, within its short bounds, learned wisdom by suffering—how many lessons has experience taught—how much agony has wickedness brought in its train. Among the foremost in all the periods of history, this memorable year will ever stand forth, a subject of undying interest to succeeding generations, a lasting beacon to mankind amidst the folly or insanity of future times. To it the young and the ardent will for ever turn, for the most singular scenes of social strife, the most thrilling incidents of private suffering: to it the aged will point as the most striking warning of the desperate effects of general delusion, the most unanswerable demonstration of the moral government of the world.

That God will visit the sins of the fathers upon the children was proclaimed to the Israelites amidst the thunders of Mount Sinai, and has been felt by every succeeding generation of men. But it is not now upon the third or the fourth generation that the punishment of transgression falls—it is felt in its full bitterness by the transgressors themselves. The extension of knowledge, the diffusion of education, the art of printing, the increased rapidity of travelling, the long duration of peace in consequence of the exhaustion of former wars, have so accelerated the march of events, that what was slowly effected in former times, daring several successive generations, by the gradual development of national passions, is now at once brought to maturity by the fervent spirit which is generally awakened, and the vehement passions which are everywhere brought into action.

Everything now goes on at the gallop. There is a railway speed in the stirring of the mind, not less than in the movement of the bodies of men. The social and political passions have acquired such intensity, and been so widely diffused, that their inevitable results are almost immediately produced. The period of seed-time and harvest has become as short in political as it is in agricultural labour. A single year brings its appropriate fruits to maturity in the[2] moral as in the physical world. Eighty years elapsed in Rome from the time when the political passions were first stirred by Tiberius Gracchus, before its unruly citizens were finally subdued by the art, or decimated by the cruelty of Octavius. England underwent six years of civil war and suffering, before the ambition and madness of the Long Parliament were expelled by the purge of Pride, or crushed by the sword of Cromwell: twelve years elapsed between the convocation of the States-general in 1789, and the extinction of the license of the French Revolution by the arm of Napoleon. But, on this occasion, in one year, all, in the meantime at least, has been accomplished. Ere the leaves, which unfolded in spring amidst the overthrow of thrones, and the transports of revolutionists over the world, had fallen in autumn, the passions which had convulsed mankind were crushed for the time, and the triumphs of democracy were arrested. A terrible reaction had set in; experience of suffering had done its work; and swift as the shades of night before the rays of the ascending sun, had disappeared the ferment of revolution before the aroused indignation of the uncorrupted part of mankind. The same passions may again arise; the same delusions again spread, as sin springs up afresh in successive generations of men; but we know the result. They will, like the ways of the unrighteous, be again crushed.

So rapid was the succession of revolutions, when the tempest assailed the world last spring, that no human power seemed capable of arresting it; and the thoughtful looked on in mournful and impotent silence, as they would have done on the decay of nature or the ruin of the world. The Pope began the career of innovation: decrees of change issued from the Vatican; and men beheld with amazement the prodigy of the Supreme Pontiff—the head of the unchangeable Church—standing forth as the leader of political reform. Naples quickly caught the flame: a Sicilian revolution threatened to sever one-half of their dominions from the Neapolitan Bourbon; and internal revolt seemed to render his authority merely nominal in his own metropolis. Paris, the cradle in every age of new ideas, and the centre of revolutionary action, next felt the shock: a reform banquet was prepared as the signal for assembling the democratic forces; the national guard, as usual, failed at the decisive moment: the King of the Barricades quailed before the power which had created him; the Orleans dynasty was overthrown, and France delivered over to the dreams of the Socialists and the ferocity of the Red Republicans. Prussia soon shared the madness: the population of Berlin, all trained to arms, according to the custom of that country, rose against the government; the king had not energy enough to permit his faithful troops to act with the vigour requisite to uphold the throne against such assailants, and the monarchy of Frederick the Great was overthrown. Austria, even, could not withstand the contagion: neither its proud nobility, nor its light-hearted sensual people, nor its colossal army, nor its centuries of glory, could maintain the throne in its moment of peril. The Emperor was weak, the citizens of Vienna were infatuated; and an insurrection, headed by the boys at the university and the haberdashers' apprentices in the streets, overturned the imperial government, and drove the Emperor to seek refuge in the Tyrol. All Germany caught the flame: the dreams of a few hot-headed enthusiasts and professors seemed to prevail alike over the dictates of wisdom and the lessons of experience; and, amidst the transports of millions the chimera or German unity seemed about to be realised by the sacrifice of all its means of independence. The balance of power in Europe appeared irrevocably destroyed by the breaking up of its central and most important powers,—and England, in the midst of the general ruin, seemed rocking to its foundation. The Chartists were in raptures, the Irish rebels in ecstasy: threatening meetings were held in every town in Great Britain; armed clubs were organised in the whole south and west of Ireland; revolution was openly talked of in both islands, and the close of harvest announced as the time when the British empire was to be broken up, and[3] Anglian and Hibernian republics established, in close alliance with the great parent democracy in France. Amidst such extraordinary and unprecedented convulsions, it was with difficulty that a few courageous or far-seeing minds preserved their equilibrium; and even those who were least disposed to despair of the fortunes of the species, could see no end to the succession of disasters with which the world was menaced but in a great exertion of the renovating powers of nature, similar to that predicted, in a similar catastrophe, for the material world, by the imagination of the poet.

"Roll on, ye stars! exult in youthful prime,
Mark with bright curves the printless steps of Time!
Near and more near your beaming cars approach,
And lessening orbs on lessening orbs encroach.
Flowers of the sky! ye, too, to Fate must yield,
Frail as your silken sisters of the field;
Star after star, from heaven's high arch shall rush,
Suns sink on suns, and systems systems crush;
Headlong, extinct, to one dark centre fall,
And Dark, and Night, and Chaos, mingle all;
Till, o'er the wreck, emerging from the storm,
Immortal Nature lifts her changeful form,
Mounts from her funeral pyre on wings of flame,
And soars and shines, another and the same."[2]

But the destiny of man, not less than that of the material world, is balanced action and reaction, not restoration from ruin. Order is preserved in a way which the imagination of the poet could not have conceived. Even in the brief space which has elapsed since the convulsions began in Italy in January last, the reality and ceaseless action of the preserving laws of nature have been demonstrated. The balance is preserved in social life by contending passions and interests, as in the physical world by opposite forces, under circumstances when, to all human appearance, remedy is impossible and hope extinguished. The orbit of nations is traced out by the Wisdom of Providence not less clearly than that of the planets; there are centripetal and centrifugal forces in the moral as well as in the material world. As much as the vehement passions, the selfish desires, the inexperienced zeal, the expanding energy, the rapacious indigence, the mingled virtues and vices of man, lead at stated periods to the explosions of revolution,—do the desire of tranquillity, the interests of property, the horror at cruelty, the lessons of experience, the force of religion, the bitterness of suffering, reinduce the desire of order, and restore the influence of its organ, government. If we contemplate the awful force of the expansive powers which, issuing from the great mass of central heat, find vent in the fiery channels of the volcano, and have so often rent asunder the solid crust of the earth, we may well tremble to think that we stand suspended, as it were, over such an abyss, and that at no great distance beneath our feet the elements of universal conflagration are to be found.[3] But, strong as are the expansive powers of nature, the coercive are still stronger. The ocean exists to bridle with its weight the fiery gulf; the arch of the earth has been solidly constructed by its Divine architect; and the only traces we now discover, in most parts of this globe, of the yet raging war of the elements, are the twisted strata, which mark, as it were, the former writhings of matter in the terrible grasp of its tormentors, or the splintered pinnacles of mountains, which add beauty to the landscape, or the smiling plains, which bring happiness to the abodes of man. It is the same in the moral world. Action and reaction are the law of mind as well as matter, and the equilibrium of social life is preserved by the opposite tendency of the interests which are brought into collision, and the counter-acting force of the passions which are successively awakened by the very convulsions which seem to menace society with dissolution.

A year has not elapsed since the revolutionary earthquake began to heave in Italy, since the volcano burst forth in Paris; and how marvellous[4] is the change which already has taken place in the state of Europe! The star of Austria, at first defeated, and apparently about to be extinguished in Italy, is again in the ascendant. Refluent from the Mincio to the Ticino, her armies have again entered Milan,—the revolutionary usurpation of Charles Emanuel has been checked almost as soon as it commenced; and the revolutionary rabble of Lombardy and Tuscany has fled, as it was wont, before the bayonets of Germany. Radetzky has extinguished revolution in northern Italy. If it still lingers in the south of the peninsula, it is only because the strange and tortuous policy of France and England has interfered to arrest the victorious arms of Naples on the Sicilian shores. Paris has been the theatre of a dreadful struggle, blood has flowed in torrents in its streets, slaughter unheard-of stained its pavements, but order has in the end prevailed over anarchy. A dynasty has been subverted, but the Red Republicans have been defeated, more generals have perished in a conflict of three days than at Waterloo; but the Faubourg St Antoine has been subdued, the socialists have been overthrown, the state of siege has been proclaimed; and, amidst universal suffering, anguish, and woe, with three hundred thousand persons out of employment in Paris, and a deficit of £20,000,000 in the income of the year, the dreams of equality have disappeared in the reality of military despotism. It is immaterial whether the head of the government is called a president, a dictator, or an emperor—whether the civic crown is worn by a Napoleon or a Cavaignac—in either case the ascendant of the army is established, and France, after a brief struggle for a constitutional monarchy, has terminated, like ancient Rome, in an elective military despotism.

Frankfort has been disgraced by frightful atrocities. The chief seat of German unity and freedom has been stained by cruelties which find a parallel only in the inhuman usages of the American savages; but the terrible lesson has not been read in vain. It produced a reaction over the world; it opened the eyes of men to the real tendency and abominable iniquity of the votaries of revolution in Germany; and to the sufferings of the martyrs of revolutionary tortures on the banks of the Maine, the subsequent overthrow of anarchy in Vienna and Berlin is in a great degree to be ascribed. They roused the vacillating cabinets of Austria and Prussia—they sharpened the swords of Windischgratz and Jellachich—they nerved the souls and strengthened the arms of Brandenberg and Wrangel—they awakened anew the chord of honour and loyalty in the Fatherland. The national airs have been again heard in Berlin; Vienna has been regained after a desperate conflict; the state of siege has been proclaimed in both capitals; and order re-established in both monarchies, amidst an amount of private suffering and general misery—the necessary result of revolutions—which absolutely sickens the heart to contemplate. England has emerged comparatively unscathed from the strife; her time-honoured institutions have been preserved, her monarchy saved amidst the crash of nations. Queen Victoria is still upon the throne; our mixed constitution is intact; the dreams of the Chartists have been dispelled; the rebellion of the Irish rendered ridiculous; the loyalty of the great body of the people in Great Britain made manifest. The period of immediate danger is over; for the attack of the populace is like the spring of a wild beast—if the first onset fails, the savage animal slinks away into its den. General suffering indeed prevails, industry languishes, credit is all but destroyed, a woful deficiency of exports has taken place—but that is the inevitable result of popular commotions; and we are suffering, in part at least, under the effects of the insanity of nations less free and more inexperienced than ourselves. Though last, not least in the political lessons of this marvellous year, the papal government has been subverted—a second Rienzi has appeared in Rome; and the Supreme Pontiff, who began the movement, now a fugitive from his dominions, has exhibited a memorable warning to future ages, of the peril of commencing reforms in high places, and the impossibility of[5] reconciling the Roman Catholic religion with political innovation.

But let it not be imagined that, because the immediate danger is over, and because military power has, after a fierce struggle, prevailed in the principal capitals of Europe, that therefore the ultimate peril is past, and that men have only to sit down, under the shadow of their fig-tree, to cultivate the arts and enjoy the blessings of peace. Such is not the destiny of man in any, least of all in a revolutionary age. We are rather on the verge of an era similar to that deplored by the poet:—

"Bella per Emathios plusquam civilia campos,
Jusque datum sceleri canimus, populumque potentem
In sua victrici conversum viscera dextrâ;
Cognatasque acies; et rupto fœdera regni
Certatum totis concussi viribus orbis,
In commune nefas."[4]

Who can tell the immeasurable extent of misery and wretchedness, of destruction of property among the rich, and ruin of industry among the poor, that must take place before the fierce passions, now so generally awakened, are allayed—before the visions of a virtuous republic by Lamartine, or the dreams of communism by Louis Blanc and Ledru-Rollin, or the insane ideas of the Frankfort enthusiasts have ceased to move mankind? The fire they have let loose will burn fiercely for centuries; it will alter the destiny of nations for ages; it will neither be quenched, like ordinary flames, by water, nor subdued, like the Greek fire, by vinegar: blood alone will extinguish its fury. The coming convulsions may well be prefigured from the past, as they have been recently drawn by the hand of a master:—"All around us, the world is convulsed by the agonies of great nations; governments which lately seemed likely to stand during ages, have been on a sudden shaken and overthrown. The proudest capitals of western Europe have streamed with civil blood. All evil passions—the thirst of gain and the thirst of vengeance—the antipathy of class to class, of race to race—have broken loose from the control of divine and human laws. Fear and anxiety have clouded the faces, and depressed the hearts of millions; trade has been suspended, and industry paralysed; the rich have become poor, and the poor poorer. Doctrines hostile to all sciences, to all arts, to all industry, to all domestic charity—doctrines which, if carried into effect, would in thirty years undo all that thirty centuries have done for mankind, and would make the fairest provinces of France or Germany as savage as Guiana or Patagonia—have been avowed from the tribune, and defended by the sword. Europe has been threatened with subjugation by barbarians, compared with whom the barbarians who marched under Attila or Alboin were enlightened and humane. The truest friends of the people have with deep sorrow owned, that interests more precious than any political privileges were in jeopardy, and that it might be necessary to sacrifice even liberty to save civilisation."[5]

It is now just a year since Mr Cobden announced, to an admiring and believing audience at Manchester, that the age of warfare had ceased; that the contests of nations had passed, like the age of the mastodon and the mammoth; that the steam-engine had caused the arms to drop from her hands, and the interests of free trade extinguished the rivalries of nations; and that nothing now remained but to sell our ships of war, disband our troops, cut twenty millions off our taxation, and set ourselves unanimously to the great work of cheapening everything, and underselling foreign competitors in the market of the world. Scarcely were the words spoken, when conflicts more dire, battles more bloody, dissensions more inextinguishable than had ever arisen from the rivalry of kings, or the ambition of ministers, broke out in almost every country of Europe. The social supplanted the national passions. Within the bosom of society itself, the volcano had burst forth. It was no longer general that was matched against general, as in the wars of Marlborough, nor[6] nation that rose up against nation, as in those of Napoleon. The desire of robbery, the love of dominion, the lust of conquest, the passion for plunder, were directed to domestic acquisitions. Human iniquity reappeared in worse, because less suspected and more delusive colours. Robbery assumed the guise of philanthropy; spoliation was attempted, under colour of law; plunder was systematically set about, by means of legislative enactments. Revolution resumed its old policy—that of rousing the passions by the language of virtue, and directing them to the purposes of vice. The original devil was expelled; but straightway he returned with seven other devils, and the last state of the man was worse than the first. Society was armed against itself; the devastating passions burned in its own bosom; class rose against class, race against race, interest against interest. Capital fancied its interest was to be promoted by grinding down labour; labour, that its rights extended to the spoliation of capital. A more attractive object than the reduction of a city, or the conquest of a province, was presented to indigent cupidity. Easier conquests than over rival industry were anticipated by moneyed selfishness. The spoliation of the rich at their own door—the division of the property of which they were jealous, became the dream of popular ambition; the beating down of their own labourers by free-trade, the forcible reduction of prices by a contraction of the currency—the great object of the commercial aristocracy. War reassumed its pristine ferocity. In the nineteenth century, the ruthless maxim—Væ victis! became the war-cry on both sides in the terrible civil war which burst forth in an age of general philanthropy. It may be conceived what passions must have been awakened, what terrors inspired, what indignation aroused by such projects. But though we have seen the commencement of the era of social conflicts, is there any man now alive who is likely to see its end?

Experience has now completely demonstrated the wisdom of the Allied powers, who placed the lawful monarchs of France on the throne in 1815, and the enormous error of the liberal party in France, which conspired with the republicans to overthrow the Bourbon dynasty in 1830. That fatal step has bequeathed a host of evils to Europe: it has loosened the authority of government in all countries; it has put the very existence of freedom in peril by the enormity of the calamities which it has brought in its train. All parties in France are now agreed that the period of the Restoration was the happiest, and the least corrupted, that has been known since the first Revolution. The republicans of the present day tell us, with a sigh, that the average budgets of the three last years of Charles X. were 900,000,000 francs, (£36,000,000;) that the expenditure was raised by Louis Philippe at once to 1500,000,000 francs, (£60,000,000;) and that under the Republic it will exceed 1800,000,000 francs, (£72,000,000.) There can be no doubt of the fact; and there can be as little, that if the Red Republicans had succeeded in the insurrection of June last, the annual expenditure would have increased to £100,000,000—or rather, a universal spoliation of property would have ensued. Louis Blanc has given the world, in his powerful historical work, a graphic picture of the universal corruption, selfishness, and immorality, in public and private life, which pervaded France during the reign of Louis Philippe.[6] Though drawn by the hand of a partisan, there can be no doubt that the picture is too faithful in most of its details, and exhibits an awful proof of the effects of a successful revolution. But the misery which Louis Blanc has so ably depicted, the corruptions he has brought to light, under the revolutionary monarchy, have been multiplied fourfold by those which have prevailed during the last year in the republic established by Louis Blanc, himself!

Paris, ever since the suppression of the great insurrection in June last, has been in such a state, that it is the most utter mockery to call it freedom.[7] In truth, it is nothing but the most unmitigated military despotism. A huge statue of liberty is placed in the National Assembly; but at every six paces bayonets are to be seen, to remind the bystanders of the rule of the sword. "Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité," meet the eye at every turn in the streets; but the Champs Elysées, the Place de Grève, the Carrousel, and Place Vendôme, are crowded with soldiers; and the Champ de Mars is white with tents, to cover part of the 40,000 regular troops which form the ordinary garrison of Paris. Universal freedom of discussion has been proclaimed by the constitution; but dozens of journals have been suppressed by the authority of the dictator; and imprisonment notoriously hangs over the head of every one who indulges in the freedom of discussion, which in England and America is universal. The state of siege has been raised, after having continued four months; but the military preparations for another siege continue with unabated vigour on both sides. The constitution has been adopted by a great majority in the Assembly; but the forts are all armed, and prepared to rain down the tempest of death on the devoted city. Universal suffrage is established; but menacing crowds are in the streets, threatening any one who votes against their favourite candidates. The Faubourg St Antoine, during the late election, was in a frightful state of agitation; infantry, cavalry, and artillery, were traversing the streets in all directions; and conflicts not less bloody than those of June last were anticipated in the struggle for the presidency, and prevented only by the presence of ninety thousand soldiers in the capital: a force greater than that which fought on either side at Austerlitz or Jena. It is evident that republican institutions, in such a state of society, are a mere name; and that supreme despotic power is really invested in France, as in ancient Rome under the emperors, in the nominee of a victorious body of soldiery. The Prætorian guards will dispose of the French as they did of the Roman diadem; and ere long, gratuities to the troops will perhaps be the passport to power in Paris, as they were in the Eternal City.

Nor have the social evils, which in France have followed in the wake of successful revolution, been less deplorable than the entire destruction of the rights of freemen and security of property which has ensued. To show that this statement is not overcharged, we extract from a noted liberal journal of Paris, La Reforme, of November 17, 1848, the following statement:—

"Property, manufactures, and commerce are utterly destroyed in Paris. Of the population of that great city, the capital of France, there are 300,000 individuals wanting the necessaries of life. One half at least of those earned from 3f. to 5f. a day previous to the revolution, and occupied a number of houses in the faubourgs. The proprietors of those houses receiving no rent, and having taxes and other charges to pay, are reduced to nearly as deep distress as their tenants. In the centre of Paris, the same distress exists under another form. The large and sumptuous apartments of the fashionable quarters were occupied before the revolution by wealthy proprietors, or by persons holding lucrative employments in the public offices, or by extensive manufacturers, but nearly all those have disappeared, and the few who remain have insisted upon such a reduction of rent that the proprietor does not receive one-half of the amount to which he is entitled. Should a proprietor of house property endeavour to raise a sum of money by a first mortgage, to defray his most urgent expenses, he finds it impossible to do so, even at a most exorbitant rate of interest. Those who possess ready money refuse to part with it, either through fear, or because they expect to purchase house property when it must be sold at 50 per cent less than the value."—La Reforme, November 17, 1848.

It is certainly a most remarkable thing, in the history of the aberrations of the human mind, that a system of policy which has produced, and is producing, such disastrous results—and, above all, which is inflicting such deadly and irreparable wounds on the interests of the poor, and the cause of freedom throughout the world—should have been, during the last eighteen years, the object of unceasing eulogy by the liberal party on both sides of the Channel; and that the present disastrous state of affairs, both in this country and on the Continent,[8] is nothing more than the natural and inevitable result of the principles that party has everywhere laboured to establish. The revolution of 1830 was hailed with enthusiasm in this country by the whole liberal party: the Irish are not more enamoured now of the revolution of 1848, than the Whigs were, eighteen years ago, of that of 1830. The liberal government of England did all in their power to spread far and wide the glorious example. Flanders was attacked—an English fleet and French army besieged Antwerp; and, by a coalition of the two powers, a revolutionary throne was established in Belgium, and the king of the Netherlands prevented from re-establishing the kingdom guaranteed to him by all the powers of Europe. The Quadruple Alliance was formed to revolutionise Spain and Portugal; a sanguinary civil war was nourished for long in both kingdoms; and at length, after years of frightful warfare, the legitimate monarch, and legal order of succession, were set aside in both countries; queens were put on the thrones of both instead of kings, and England enjoyed the satisfaction, for the diffusion of her revolutionary propagandism, of destroying the securities provided for the liberties of Europe by the treaty of Utrecht, and preparing a Spanish princess for the hand of a Bourbon prince.

Not content with this memorable and politic step, and even after the recent disasters of France were actually before their eyes, our rulers were so enamoured of revolutions, that they could not refrain from encouraging it in every small state within their reach. Lord Palmerston counseled the Pope, in a too celebrated letter, to plunge into the career which has terminated so fatally for himself and for Italy. Admiral Parker long prevented the Neapolitan force from embarking for Sicily, to do there what Lord Hardinge was nearly at the same time sent to do in Ireland. We beheld the Imperial standards with complacency driven behind the Mincio; but no sooner did Radetzky disperse the revolutionary army, and advance to Milan, than British and French diplomacy interfered to arrest his march, and save their revolutionary protégé, the King of Piedmont, from the chastisement which his perfidious attack on Austria in the moment of her distress merited. The Ministerial journals are never weary of referring to the revolutions on the Continent as the cause of all the distress which has prevailed in England, since they broke out in last spring: they forget that it was England herself which first unfurled the standard of revolution, and that, if we are suffering under its effects, it is under the effects of our own measures and policy.

Strange and unaccountable as this perverted and diseased state of opinion, in a large part of the people of this country, undoubtedly is, it is easily explained when the state of society, and the channel into which political contests have run, are taken into consideration. In truth, our present errors are the direct consequence of our former wisdom; our present weakness, of our former strength; our present misery, of our former prosperity.

In the feudal ages, and over the whole Asiatic world at the present time, the contests of parties are carried on for individuals. No change of national policy, or of the system of internal government, is contemplated on either side. It is for one prince or another prince, for one sultaun or another sultaun, that men draw their swords. "Under which King, Bezonian?—speak or die!" is there the watch-word of all civil conflict. It was the same in this country during the feudal ages, and down to a very recent period. No man in the civil wars between Stephen and Henry II., or of the Plantagenet princes, or in the wars of the Roses, contemplated or desired any change of government or policy in the conflict in which they were engaged. The one party struck for the Red, the other for the White Rose. Great civil and social interests were at issue in the conflict; but the people cared little or nothing for these. The contest between the Yorkists and the Lancastrians was a great feud between two clans which divided the state; and the attachment to their chiefs was the blind devotion of the Highlanders to the Pretender.

The Reformation, which first brought the dearest objects of thought and interest home to all classes, made[9] a great change in this respect, and substituted in large proportion general questions for the adherence to particular men, or fidelity to particular families. Still, however, the old and natural instinct of the human race to attach themselves to men, not things, continued, in a great degree, to influence the minds of the people, and as many buckled on their armour for the man as the cause. The old Cavaliers, who periled life and lands in defence of Charles I., were as much influenced by attachment to the dignified monarch, who is immortalised in the canvass of Vandyke, as by the feelings of hereditary loyalty; and the iron bands which overthrew their ranks at Marston Moor, were as devoted to Cromwell as the tenth legion to Cæsar, or the Old Guard to Napoleon. In truth, such individual influences are so strongly founded in human nature, that they will continue to the end of the world, from whatever cause a contest may have arisen, as soon as it has continued for a certain time, and will always stand forth in prominent importance when a social has turned into a military conflict, and the perils and animosities of war have endeared their leaders to the soldiers on either side. The Vendeans soon became devoted to Henri Larochjaquelein, the Republicans to Napoleon; and in our own times, the great social conflict of the nineteenth century has been determined by the fidelity of the Austrian soldiers to Radetzky, of the French to Cavaignac, of the German to Windischgratz.

But in the British empire, for a century past, it has been thoroughly understood, by men of sense of all parties, that a change of dynasty is out of the question, and that there is no reform worth contending for in the state, which is not to be effected by the means which the constitution itself has provided. This conviction, long impressed upon the nation, and interwoven as it were with the very framework of the British mind, having come to coincide with the passions incident to party divisions in a free state, has in process of time produced the strange and tortuous policy which, for above a quarter of a century, has now been followed in this country by the government, and lauded to the skies by the whole liberal party on the Continent. Deprived of the watchwords of men, the parties have come to assume those of things. Organic or social change have become the war-cry of faction, instead of change of dynasty. The nation is no longer drenched with blood by armies fighting for the Red or the White Rose, by parties striving for the mastery between the Stuart and Hanover families, but it was not less thoroughly divided by the cry of "The bill, the whole bill, and nothing but the bill," at one time, and that of "Free-trade and cheap corn" at another. Social change, alterations of policy, have thus come to be the great objects which divide the nation; and, as it is ever the policy of Opposition to represent the conduct of Government as erroneous, it follows, as a necessary consequence, that the main efforts of the party opposed to administration always have been, since the suppression of the Rebellion in 1745, to effect, when in opposition, a change in general opinion, and, when in power, to carry that change into effect by a change of policy. The old law of nature is still in operation. Action and reaction rule mankind; and in the efforts of parties mutually to supplant each other in power, a foundation is laid for an entire change of policy at stated periods, and an alteration, as great as from night to day, in the opinions and policy of the ruling party in the same state at different times.

The old policy of England—that policy under which, in the words of Macaulay, "The authority of law and the security of property were found to be compatible with a liberty of discussion and of individual action never known before; under which form, the auspicious union of order and freedom, sprang a prosperity of which the annals of human affairs had furnished no example; under which our country, from a state of ignominious vassalage, rapidly rose to the place of umpire among European powers; under which her opulence and martial glory grew together; under which, by wise and resolute good faith, was gradually established a public credit, fruitful of marvels which, to the statesmen of any former age, would have appeared incredible; under which a gigantic[10] commerce gave birth to a maritime power, compared with which every other maritime power, ancient or modern, sinks into insignificance; under which Scotland, after ages of enmity, was at length united to England, not mere by legal bonds, but by indissoluble ties of interest and affection; under which, in America, the British colonies rapidly became far mightier and wealthier than the realms which Cortes and Pizarro added to the dominions of Charles V.; under which, in Asia, British adventurers founded an empire not less splendid, and more durable, than that of Alexander,"[7]—was not the policy of any particular party or section of the community, and thence its long duration and unexampled success.

It was not introduced—it grew. Like the old constitution, of which it was the emanation, it arose from the wants and necessities of all classes of men during a long series of ages. It was first proclaimed in energetic terms by the vigour of Cromwell; the cry of the national representatives for markets to native industry, of the merchants, for protection to their ships, produced the Navigation Laws, and laid the foundation of the colonial empire of England. Amidst all his insouciance and folly in the drawing-room of the Duchess of Portsmouth, and the boudoirs of the Duchess of Cleveland, it was steadily pursued by Charles II. James II. did not lose sight of this same system, amidst all his infatuation and cruelty; when directing the campaign of Jeffreys in the west, he was as steadily bent on upholding and extending the navy as when, amidst the thunders of war, he combated de Ruyter and van Tromp on the coast of Holland. William III., Anne, and the Georges, pursued the same system. It directed the policy of Somers and Godolphin; it ruled the diplomacy of Walpole and Chatham; it guided the measures of Bute and North; it directed the genius of Pitt and Fox. It was for it that Marlborough conquered, and Wolfe fell; that Blake combated, and Hawke destroyed; that Nelson launched the thunderbolt of war, and Wellington carried the British standard to Madrid and Paris.

It was the peculiar structure of the English constitution, during this century and a half of prosperity and glory, that produced so remarkable a uniformity in the objects of the national policy. These objects were pursued alike by the Republicans and the Royalists; by the Roundheads and the Cavaliers; by the Whigs, during the seventy years of their rule that followed the Revolution, and the Tories, during the sixty years that succeeded the accession of George III. The policy was that of protection to all the national interests, whether landed, commercial, colonial, or manufacturing. Under this system they all grew and prospered, alike and abreast, in the marvellous manner which the pencil of Macaulay has sketched in the opening of his History. It was hard to say whether agriculture, manufactures, colonies, or shipping throve and prospered most during that unique period. The world had never seen anything like it before: it is doubtful if it will ever see anything like it again. Under its shelter, the various interests of the empire were knit together in so close a manner, that they not only all grew and prospered together, but it was universally felt that their interests were entirely dependent on each other. The toast "The plough, the loom, and the sail," was drunk with as much enthusiasm in the farmers' club as in the merchant's saloon. As varied as the interests with which they were charged, the policy of government was yet perfectly steady in following out one principle—the protection of the productive classes, whether by land or water, whether at home or abroad.

The legislature represented and embodied all these interests, and carried out this policy. It gave them a stability and consistency which had never been seen in the world before. Nominally the representatives of certain towns and counties in the British islands, the House of Commons gradually became really the representatives of the varied interests of the whole British empire. The nomination boroughs afforded an inlet alike[11] to native talent and foreign interests. Gatton and Old Sarum, or similar close boroughs, afforded an entrance to the legislature, not only to the genius of Pitt and Fox, of Burke and Sheridan, but to the wealth of Jamaica, the rising energy of Canada, the aged civilisation of Hindostan. Experienced protection reconciled all interests to a government under which all prospered; mutual dependence made all sensible of the necessity of common unanimity. The statute-book and national treaties, from the Revolution in 1688 to the close of the war with Napoleon in 1815, exhibit the most decisive proof of the working of these varied, but not conflicting interests, in the national councils. If you contemplate the general protection afforded to agriculture and the landed interest, you would imagine the House of Commons had been entirely composed of squires. If you examine the innumerable enactments, fiscal and prohibitory, for the protection of manufactures, you would suppose it had been entirely under the government of manufacturers. If you contemplate the steady protection invariably given to the mercantile navy, you would suppose it had been chiefly directed by shipowners. If you cast your eyes on the protection constantly given by discriminating fiscal duties to colonial industry, and the vast efforts made, both by sea and land, in the field and in the cabinet, to encourage and extend our colonial dependencies, you would conclude, not only that they were represented, but that their representatives had a majority in the legislature.

The reason of this prodigy was, that all interests had, in the course of ages, and the silent effects of time, worked their way into the legislature, and all enjoyed in fair proportion a reasonable influence on government. Human wisdom could no more ab ante have framed such a system, than it could have framed the British constitution. By accident, or rather the good providence of God, it grew up from the wants of men during a series of generations; and its effects appeared in this, that—except in the cases of the American war, where unfortunate circumstances produced a departure from the system; of the Irish Celts, whom it seems impracticable to amalgamate with Saxon institutions; and of the Scottish Highlanders, whom chivalrous honour for a short period alienated from the established government—unanimity unprecedented during the whole period pervaded the British empire. All foreign colonies were desirous to be admitted into the great protecting confederacy; the French and Dutch planters in secret prayed for the defeat of their defenders when the standard of St George approached their shores. The Hindoos, with heroic constancy, alike in prosperous and adverse fortune, maintained their fidelity: Canada stood firm during the most dangerous crisis of our history; and the flame of loyalty burned as steadily on the banks of the St Lawrence, on the mountains of Jamaica, and on the shores of the Ganges, as in the crowded emporiums of London, or the smiling fields of Yorkshire.

But there is a limit imposed by nature to all earthly things. The growth of empires is restrained, after they have reached a certain stature, by laws as certain as those which arrest that of individuals. If a state does not find the causes of its ruin in foreign disaster, it will inevitably find it in internal opinion. This arises so naturally and evidently from the constitution of the human mind, that it may be regarded as a fixed law of nature in all countries where intellectual activity has been called forth, and as one of the most powerful agents in the government, by supreme Wisdom, of human affairs. This principle is to be found in the tendency of original thought to differ from the current opinion with which it is surrounded, and of party ambition to decry the system of those by whom it is excluded from power.

Universally it will be found that the greatest exertions of human intellect have been made in direct opposition to the current of general opinion; and that public thought in one age is in general but the echo of solitary meditation in that which has preceded it. Illustrations of this crowd on the reflecting mind from every period of history. The instances of Luther standing forth alone to shake down, Samson-like, the pillar of the corrupted Romish faith; of Bacon's opening,[12] amid all the despotism of the Aristotelian philosophy, his inductive philosophy; of Galileo maintaining the motion of the earth even when surrounded by the terrors of the Italian Inquisition; of Copernicus asserting the true system of the heavens in opposition to the belief of two thousand years; of Malthus bringing forward the paradox of the danger of human increase in opposition to the previous general opinion of mankind; of Voltaire combating alone the giant power of the Roman Catholic hierarchy; of Rousseau running a course against the whole ideas of his age—will immediately occur to every reader. Many of these great men adopted erroneous opinions, and, in consequence, did as much evil to their own or the next age as others did good; but they were all characterised by one mark. Their opinions were original, and directly adverse to public opinion around them. The close of the nineteenth century was no exception to the general principle. Following out those doctrines of freedom from restraint of every kind, which in France had arisen from the natural resistance of men to the numerous fetters of the monarchy, and which had been brought forward by Turgot and the Economists, in the boudoirs of Madame Pompadour and the coteries of Paris,—Adam Smith broached the principle of Free Trade, with the exceptions of grain and shipping. The first he excepted, because it was essential to national subsistence; the second, because it was the pillar of national defence. The new philosophy was ardently embraced by the liberal party, who, chagrined by long exclusion from office, were rejoiced to find a tangible and plausible ground whereon to attack the whole existing system of government. From them it gradually extended to nearly all the ardent part of the community, ever eager to embrace doctrines at variance with previous and vulgar belief, and not yet enlightened by experience as to the effect of the new system. It was soon discovered that for a century and a half we had been proceeding on false principles. The whole policy of government since the days of Cromwell had been erroneous; in politics, in social government, in diplomacy, in the colonies, in war, in peace, at home and abroad, we had been running blindfold to destruction. True, we had become great, and glorious, and free under this abominable system; true, it had been accompanied by a growth of national strength, and an amount of national happiness, unparalleled in any former age or country; but that was all by accident. Philosophy had marked it with the sign of reprobation—prosperity had poured upon us by chance in the midst of universal misgovernment. By all the rules of calculation we should have been destroyed, though, strange to say, no symptoms of destruction had yet appeared amongst us. According to every principle of philosophy, the patient should long ago have been dead of the mortal disease under which he laboured: the only provoking thing was, that he was still walking about in robust and florid health.

Circumstances occurred at the same time, early in this century, which had the most powerful effect in exasperating the Opposition party throughout the country, and inducing them to embrace, universally and ardently, the new philosophy, which condemned in such unmeasured terms the whole system of government pursued by their antagonists. For half a century, since the long dominion of the Whigs was terminated in 1761 by George III., the Tories had been, with the exception of a few months, constantly in office. Though their system of government in religion, in social affairs, in foreign relations, was nothing but a continuation of that which the Whigs had introduced, and according to which the government had been conducted from 1688 to 1760, yet, in the ardour of their zeal for the overthrow of their adversaries, the liberal party embraced on every point the opposite side. The descendants of Lord Russel became the advocates of Roman Catholic emancipation; the followers of Marlborough and Godolphin, the partisans of submission to France; the successors of Walpole and Chatham, the advocates of free trade and colonial neglect. These feelings, embraced from the influence of a determination to find fault with government in every particular, were worked up to the highest pitch by the glorious result of[13] the war with France, and the apparently interminable lease of power acquired by their adversaries from the overthrow of Napoleon. That memorable event, so opposite to that which they had all so long in public predicted, so entirely the reverse of that which many had in secret wished, produced a profound impression on the Whig party. Their feelings were only the more acute, that, amidst the tumult of national exultation, they were forced to suppress them, and to wear the countenance of satisfaction, when the bitterness of disappointment was in their hearts. To the extreme asperity of these feelings, and the universal twist which they gave to the minds of the whole liberal party in Great Britain, the subsequent general change in their political principles is to be ascribed; and, in the practical application of these principles, the real cause of our present distressed condition is to be found.

While one set of causes thus prepared, in the triumph of Conservative and protective principles, the strongest possible reaction against them, and prognosticated, at no distant period, their general banishment from popular thought, another, and a not less powerful set, flowing from the same cause, gave these principles the means of acquiring a political supremacy, and ruling the government of the state. The old policy of England, it has been already observed, for a hundred and fifty years, had been to take care of the producers, and let the consumers take care of themselves. Such had been the effects of this protective policy, that, before the close of the Revolutionary war, during which it received its full development, the producing classes, both in town and country, had become so rich and powerful, that it was easy to see they would ere long give a preponderance to urban over rural industry. The vast flood of agricultural riches poured for expenditure into towns; that of the manufacturers and merchants seldom left it. The great manufacturing and mercantile places, during a century, had advanced in population tenfold, in wealth thirty-fold. The result of this change was very curious, and in the highest degree important. Under the shadow of protection to industry in all its branches, riches, both in town and country, had increased so prodigiously, that the holders of it had acquired a preponderance over the classes in the state yet engaged in the toilsome and hazardous work of production. The owners of realised capital had become so numerous and weighty, from the beneficial effects of the protective system under which the country had so long flourished, that they formed an important class apart, which began to look to its separate interests. The consumers had become so numerous and affluent, that they were enabled to bid defiance to the producers. The maxim became prevalent, "Take care of the consumer, and let the producer take care of himself." Thence the clamour for free trade. Having passed the labour of production, during which they, or their fathers, had strenuously supported the protective principles, by which they were making their money, the next thing was to support the opposite principles, by which the value of the made money might be augmented. This was to be done by free trade and a contracted currency. Having made millions by protection, the object now was to add a half to every million by raising its value. The way to do this seemed to be by cheapening the price of every other article, and raising the price of money: in other words, the system of cheapening everything without reference to its effect on the interests of production.

Parliamentary reform, for which the Whigs, disappointed by long exclusion from office, laboured strenuously, in conjunction with the commercial and moneyed classes, enriched by protection, gave them the means of carrying both objects into execution, because it made two-thirds of the House of Commons the representatives of burghs. The cry of cheap bread was seductive to all classes in towns:—to the employer, because it opened the prospect of reducing the price of labour, and to the operative, because it presents that of lowering that of provisions. To these two objects, accordingly, of raising the value of money and lowering the remuneration of industry, the Reform parliament, the organ of the moneyed interest and consuming classes, has, through all the changes of party, been[14] perfectly steady. It is no wonder it has been so, for it was the first-born of those interests. Twenty years before the cry for reform convulsed the nation—in 1810—the Bullion Committee brought forward the principle of a metallic, and, consequently, a contracted currency; and they recommended its adoption in the very crisis of the war, when Wellington lay at Torres Vedras, and when the monetary crisis to which it must have led would have made us a province of France. Reform was the consequence of the change in the currency, not its cause. The whole time from 1819 to 1831, with the exception of 1824 and 1825, was one uninterrupted period of suffering. Such was the misery it produced that the minds of men were prepared for any change. A chaos of unanimity was produced by a chaos of suffering.

Thus, by a singular and most interesting chain of causes and effects, it was the triumph of Conservative and protective principles in the latter years of the war, and the entire demonstration thus afforded of their justice and expedience, which was the immediate cause of their subsequent abandonment, and all the misery which has thence arisen, and with which we are still everywhere surrounded. For it at once turned all the intellectual energies of the great liberal party to oppose, in every particular, the system by which their opponents had been glorified, and concentrated all the energies of the now powerful moneyed classes to swell, by a change of policy, the fortunes on which their consequence depended, and which had arisen from the long prevalence of the opposite system. For such is the tendency to action and reaction, in all vigorous and intellectual communities, that truth itself is for long no security against their occurrence. On the contrary, so vehement are the passions excited by a great and lasting triumph of one party, even though in the right, that the victory of truth, whether in politics or religion, is often the immediate cause of the subsequent triumph of error. The great Roman Catholic reaction against the Reformation, which Ranke has so clearly elucidated, and Macaulay has so powerfully illustrated, has its exact counterpart in the great political reaction of the Whig party, of which Macaulay is himself the brightest ornament.

That this is the true explanation of the strange and tortuous policy, both in domestic and foreign affairs, under which the nation has so long suffered, is apparent on the slightest survey of political affairs in the last and present century.

The old principle of the English constitution, which had worked itself into existence, or grown up from the necessities of men, during a long course of years, was, that the whole interests of the state should be represented, and that the House of Commons was the assembly in which the representatives of all those varied interests were to be found. For the admission of these varied interests, a varied system of electoral qualifications, admitting all interests, noble, mercantile, industrial, popular, landed, and colonial, was indispensable. In the old House of Commons, all these classes found a place for their representatives, and thence the commercial protection it afforded to industry. According to the new system, a vast majority of seats was to be allotted to one class only, the householders and shopkeepers of towns. That class was the moneyed and consuming class; and thence the whole subsequent course of British policy, which has been to sacrifice everything to their interests.

The old maxim of government, alike with Whigs and Tories, was, that native industry of all sorts, and especially agricultural industry, was to be protected, and that foreign competition was to be admitted only in so far as was not inconsistent with this primary object. The new philosophy taught, and the modern liberals carried into execution, a different principle. They went on the maxim that the interests of the consumers alone were to be considered: that to cheapen everything was the great object; and that it mattered not how severely the producers of articles suffered, provided those who purchased them were enabled to do so at a reduced rate. This policy, long lauded in abstract writings and reviews, was at length carried into execution by Sir R. Peel, by the[15] tariff of 1842 and the free-trade measures of 1846.

To protect and extend our colonial dependencies was the great object of British policy, alike with Whigs and Tories, from the time of Cromwell to the fall of Napoleon. In them, it was thought our manufacturers would find a lasting and rapidly increasing market for their produce, which would, in the end, enable us equally to defy the hostility, and withstand the rivalry of foreign states. The new school held that this was an antiquated prejudice: that colonies were a burden rather than a blessing to the mother country: that the independence of America was the greatest blessing that ever befell Great Britain; and that, provided we could buy colonial produce a little cheaper, it signified nothing though our colonies perished by the want of remuneration for their industry, or were led to revolt from exasperation at the cruel and unnatural conduct of the mother country.

The navy was regarded by all our statesmen, without exception, from Cromwell to Pitt, as the main security of the British empire; its bulwark in war; the bridge which united its far-distant provinces during peace. To feed it with skilled seamen, the Navigation Laws were upheld even by Adam Smith and the first free-traders, as the wisest enactments which were to be found in the British statute-book. But here, too, it was discovered that our ancestors had been in error: the system under which had flourished for two centuries the greatest naval power that ever existed, was found to have been an entire mistake; and provided freights could be had ten per cent cheaper, it was of no consequence though the fleets of France and Russia blockaded the Thames and Mersey, and two-thirds of our trade was carried on in foreign bottoms.

To provide a CURRENCY equal to the wants of the nation, and capable of growth in proportion to the amount of their numbers and transactions, was one main object of the old policy of Great Britain. Thence the establishment of banks in such numbers in every part of the empire during the eighteenth century, and the introduction of the suspension of the obligation to pay in gold in 1797, when the necessities of war had drained nearly all that part of the currency out of the country, and it was evident that, unless a substitute for it in sufficient quantities was provided, the nation itself, and all the individuals in it, would speedily become bankrupt. The marvels of British finance from that time till 1815, which excited the deserved astonishment of the whole world, had no effect in convincing the impassioned opponents of Mr Pitt, that this was the true system adapted for that or any similar crisis. On the contrary, it left no doubt in their minds that it was entirely wrong. The whole philosophers and liberal school of politicians discovered that the very opposite was the right principle; that gold, the most variable in price and evanescent, because the most desired and portable of earthly things, was the only safe foundation for a currency; that paper was worthless and perilous, unless in so far as it could be instantly converted into that incomparable metal; and that, consequently, the more the precious metals were withdrawn from the country, by the necessities of war or the effects of adverse exchanges, the more the paper circulation should be contracted. If the last sovereign went out, they held it clear the last note should be drawn in. The new system was brought into practice by Sir R. Peel, by the acts of 1844 and 1845, simultaneously with a vast importation of grain under the free-trade system—and we know the consequence. We were speedily near our last sovereign and last note also.

To establish a sinking fund, which should secure to the nation during peace the means of discharging the debt contracted amidst the necessities of war, was one of the greatest objects of the old English policy, which was supported with equal earnestness by Mr Pitt and Mr Fox, by Mr Addington and Lord Henry Petty. So steadily was this admirable system adhered to through all the dangers and necessities of the war, that we had a clear sinking fund of £15,000,000 a-year, when the contest terminated in 1815, which, if kept up at that amount, from the indirect taxes from which it was levied during peace,[16] would, beyond all question, as the loans had ceased, have discharged the whole debt by the year 1845. But the liberals soon discovered that this was the greatest of all errors: it was all a delusion; the mathematical demonstration, on which it was founded, was a fallacy; and the only wisdom was to repeal the indirect taxes, from which the sinking fund was maintained, and leave posterity to dispose of the debt as they best could, without any fund for its discharge. This system was gradually carried into effect by the successive repeal of the indirect taxes by different administrations; until at length, after thirty-three years of peace, we have, instead of the surplus of fifteen millions bequeathed to us by the war, an average deficit of fifteen hundred thousand pounds; and the debt, after the longest peace recorded in British history, has undergone scarcely any diminution.

Indirect taxation was the main basis of the British finance in old times—equally when directed by the Whigs as the Tories. Direct taxes were a last and painful resource, to be reserved for a period during war, when it had become absolutely unavoidable. So efficacious was this system proved to be by the event, when acting on a nation enjoying protected industry, and an adequate and irremovable currency, that, before the end of the war, £72,000,000 was, amidst universal prosperity, with ease raised from eighteen millions of people in Great Britain and Ireland. This astonishing result, unparalleled in the previous history of the world, had no influence in convincing the modern liberals that the system which produced it was right. On the contrary, it left no doubt in their minds that it was entirely wrong. They introduced the opposite system: in twenty-five years, they repealed £40,000,000 of indirect taxes; and they reintroduced the income tax as a permanent burden during peace. We see the result. The sinking fund has disappeared; the income tax is fixed about our necks; a deficit of from a million and a half to two millions annually incurred; and it is now more difficult to extract fifty-two millions annually from twenty-nine millions of souls, than, at the close of the war, it was to raise seventy-two millions from eighteen millions of inhabitants.

To discourage revolution, both abroad and at home, and enable industry, in peace and tranquillity, to reap the fruits of its toil, was the grand object of the great contest which Pitt's wisdom bequeathed to his successors, and Wellington's arm brought to a glorious termination. This, however, was ere long discovered to be the greatest error of all. England, it was found out, had a decided interest in promoting the cause of revolution all over the world. So enamoured did we soon become of the propagandist mania, that we pursued it in direct opposition to our planned national interests, and with the entire abrogation of our whole previous policy, for which we had engaged in the greatest and most costly wars, alike under Whig and Tory administrations. We supported revolutions in the South American states, though thereby we reduced to a half of its former amount the supply of the precious metals throughout the globe; and, in consequence, increased immensely the embarrassment which a contracted paper currency had brought upon the nation: we supported revolution in Belgium, though thereby we brought the tricolor standard down to Antwerp, and surrendered to French influence the barrier fortresses won by the victories of Marlborough and Wellington: we supported it during four years of carnage and atrocity in Spain, though thereby we undid the work of our own hands, in the treaty of Utrecht, surrendered the whole objects gained by the War of the Succession, and placed the female line upon the throne, as if to invite the French princes to come and carry off the glittering prize: we supported revolutions in Sicily and Italy, though thereby we gave such a blow to our export trade, that it sank £1,400,000 in the single month of last May, and above £5,000,000 in the course of the year 1848.

To abolish the slave trade was one of the objects which Whigs and Tories had most at heart in the latter years of the old system; and in that great and glorious contest Mr Pitt, Mr Fox, and Mr Wilberforce stood side by side.[17] But this object, so important in its results, so interesting to humanity from its tendency to alleviate human suffering, ere long yielded to the enlightened views of modern liberals. It was discovered that it was much more important to cheapen sugar for a time[8] than to rescue the African race from perdition. Free trade in sugar was introduced, although it was demonstrated, and, indeed, confessed, that the effect of it would be to ruin all the free-labour colonies, and throw the supply of the world into the hands of the slave states. Provided, for a few years, you succeeded in reducing the average retail price of sugar a penny a pound, it was deemed of no consequence though we extinguished the growth of free-labour sugar—destroyed colonies in which a hundred millions of British capital were invested, and doubled the slave trade in extent, and quadrupled it in horror, throughout the globe.

It had been the constant policy of the British government, under all administrations, for above a century and a half, to endeavour to reclaim the Irish population by introducing among them colonies of English who might teach them industry, and Protestant missionaries who might reclaim them from barbarism. The Irish landlords and boroughs were the outposts of civilisation among a race of savages; the Irish Church the station of Christianity amidst the darkness of Romish slavery. So effectual was this system, and so perfectly adapted to the character of the Celtic race—capable of great things when led by others, but utterly unfit for self-government, and incapable of improvement when left to itself,—that even in the ruthless hands of Cromwell, yet reeking with the slaughter of stormed cities, it soon spread a degree of prosperity through the country then unknown, and rarely if ever since equalled in that ill-starred land.[9] But the experience of the utter futility of all attempts, during a century and a half, to leave the native Irish Celts to themselves or their own direction, had no effect whatever in convincing our modern liberals that they were incapable of self-direction, and would only be ruined by Saxon institutions. On the contrary, it left no doubt in their minds that the absence of self-government was the sole cause of the wretchedness of the country, and that nothing was wanting but an entire participation in the privileges of British subjects, to render them as industrious, prosperous, and loyal as the yeomen of Kent or Surrey. In pursuance of those principles, Catholic Emancipation was granted: the Whigs had effected one revolution in 1688, by coalescing with the whole Tories to exclude the Catholics from the government; they brought about another revolution, in 1829, by coalescing with a section of the Tories to bring them in. In furtherance of the new system, so plausible in theory, so dangerous in practice, of extending to all men, of all races, and in all stages of political advancement, the same privileges, the liberals successively gave the Irish the command of their boroughs, the abridgment of the Protestant Church, and the abolition of tithes as a burden on the tenant. They encouraged agitation, allowed treason to be openly spoken in every part of the country, and winked at monster meetings, till the community was wellnigh thrown into convulsions. Meanwhile, agriculture was neglected—industry disappeared—capital was scared away. The land was run out, and became unfit for anything but lazy-beds of[18] potatoes. The people became agitators, not cultivators: they were always running about to meetings—not frequenting fairs. The potato-blight fell on a country thus prepared for ruin, and the unparalleled misery of 1847, and the rebellion of 1848, were the consequence.

It would be easy to carry these illustrations farther, and to trace the working of the principles we have mentioned through the whole modern system of government in Great Britain. Enough has been said to show that the system is neither founded on the principles contended for by the old Whigs, nor on any appreciation of, or attention to, the national interests, or the dictates of experience in any respect. It has arisen entirely from a blind desire of change, and an opposition to the old system of government, whether of Whig or Tory origin, and a selfish thirst for aggrandisement on the part of the moneyed and commercial classes, whom that system had elevated to riches and power. Experience was not disregarded by this school of politicians; on the contrary, it was sedulously attended to, its lessons carefully marked. But it was considered as a beacon to be avoided, not a light to be followed. Against its conclusions the whole weight of declamation and shafts of irony were directed. It had been the cri de guerre of their enemies, the standard of Mr Pitt's policy; therefore the opposite system was to be inscribed on their banners. It was the ruling principle of their political opponents; and, worst of all, it was the system which, though it had raised the country to power and greatness, had for twenty years excluded themselves from power. Thence the modern system, under which the nation has suffered, and is suffering, such incalculable misfortunes. It has been said, by an enlightened Whig of the old school, that "this age appears to be one in which every conceivable folly must be believed and reduced to practice before it is abandoned." It is really so; and the reason is, it is an age in which the former system of government, founded on experience and brought about by necessity, has been supplanted by one based on a systematic and invariable determination to change the old system in every particular. The liberals, whether factious or moneyed, of the new school, flattered themselves they were making great advances in political science, when they were merely yielding to the same spirit which made the Calvinists stand up when they prayed, because all the world before them had knelt down, and sit still during psalms, because the Roman Catholics had stood up.

But truth is great, and will prevail; experience is its test, and is perpetually contradicting the theories of man. The year 1848 has been no exception to the maxims of Tacitus and Burke. Dreadful indeed in suffering, appalling in form, are the lessons which it has read to mankind! Ten months have not elapsed, since, by a well-concerted urban tumult, seconded by the treachery of the national guard, the throne of the Barricades was overturned in France—and what do we already see on the continent of Europe? Vienna petitioning for a continuation of the state of siege, as the only security against the tyranny of democracy: Berlin hailing with rapture the dissolution of the Assembly, and reappearance of the king in the capital: Milan restored to the sway of the Austrians: France seeking, in the quasi imperial crown of Prince Louis Napoleon, with 90,000 soldiers in its capital, a refuge from the insupportable evils of a democratic republic. The year 1848 has added another to the numerous proofs which history affords, that popular convulsions, from whatever cause arising, can terminate only in the rule of the sword; but it has taught two other lessons of incalculable importance to the present and future tranquillity of mankind. These are, that soldiers who in civil convulsions fraternise with the insurgents, and violate their oaths, are the worst enemies of the people, for they inevitably induce a military despotism, which extinguishes all hopes of freedom. The other is, that the institution of a national guard is in troubled times of all others the most absurd; and that, to put arms into the hands of the people, when warmed by revolutionary passions, is only to light the torch of civil discord with your own hand, and hand over the country to anarchy, ruin, and slavery.


Nor has the year been less fruitful of civil premonitions or lessons of the last importance to the future tranquillity and prosperity of Great Britain. Numerous popular delusions have been dispelled during that period. The dreams of Irish independence have been broken; English Chartism has been crushed. The revolutionists see that the people of Great Britain are not disposed to yield their property to the spoiler, their throats to the murderer, their homes to the incendiary. Free trade and a fettered currency have brought forth their natural fruits—national embarrassment, general suffering, popular misery. One half of the wealth of our manufacturing towns has been destroyed since the new system began. Two years of free trade and a contracted currency have undone nearly all that twenty years of protection and a sufficient currency had done. The great mercantile class have suffered so dreadfully under the effect of their own measures, that their power for good or for evil has been essentially abridged. The colossus which, for a quarter of a century, has bestrode the nation, has been shaken by the earthquake which itself had prepared. Abroad and at home, in peace and in war, delusion has brought forth suffering. The year of revolutions has been the Ninth of Thermidor, of liberal principles, for it has brought them to the test of experience.



The extraordinary deficiency recently exhibited by a great Continental nation in two qualities eminently prized by Englishmen—in common consistency, namely, and in common sense—has cast into the shade all previous shortcomings of the kind, making them appear remote and trivial. A people of serfs, ruled for centuries with an iron rod, pillaged for their masters' profit, and lashed at the slightest murmur, were excusable if, on sudden emancipation from such galling thraldom, their joyful gambols exceeded the limits prescribed by public decorum, and by a due regard to their own future prosperity. They might be forgiven for dancing round maypoles, and dreaming of social perfection. It would not be wonderful if they had difficulty in immediately replacing their expelled tyrants by a capable and stable government, and if their brief exhilaration were succeeded by a period of disorganisation and weakness. Such allowances cannot be made for the mad capers of republican France. The deliverance is inadequate to account for the ensuing delirium. The grievances swept away by the February revolution, and which patience, prudence, and moderation, could not have failed ultimately to remove—as thoroughly, if less rapidly—were not so terrible as to justify lunacy upon redress. Nevertheless, since then, the absurdities committed by France, or at least by Paris, are scarcely explicable save on the supposition of temporary aberration of intellect. Unimaginative persons have difficulty in realising the panorama of events, alternately sanguinary and grotesque, lamentable and ludicrous, spread over the last ten months. Europe—the portion of it, that is to say, which has not been bitten by the same rabid and mischievous demon—has looked on, in utter astonishment, at the painful spectacle of a leader of its civilisation galloping, with Folly on its crupper, after mad theories and empty names, and riding down, in the furious chase, its own prosperity and respectability.

We repeat, then, that these great follies of to-day eclipse the minor ones of yesterday. When we see France destroying, in a few weeks, her commerce and her credit, and doing herself more harm than as many years will repair, we overlook the fact, that for upwards of fifteen years she has annually squandered from three to five millions sterling upon an unproductive colony in North Africa. France used not to be petty in her wars, or paltry in her enterprises. If she was sometimes quarrelsome and aggressive, she was wont at least to fasten on foes worthy of her power and resources. Since 1830 she has derogated in this particular. A complication of causes—the most prominent being the vanity characteristic of the nation, the crooked policy of the sovereign, and the morbid love of fighting bequeathed by the warlike period of the Empire—has kept France engaged in a costly and discreditable contest, whose most triumphant results could be but inglorious, and in which she has decimated her best troops, and deteriorated her ancient fame, whilst pursuing, with unworthy ferocity and ruthlessness, a feeble and inoffensive foe. This is no partial or malicious view of the character of the Algerine war. Deliberately, and after due reflection, we repeat, that France has gravely compromised in Africa her reputation as a chivalrous and clement nation, and that she no longer can claim—as once she was wont to do—to be as humane in victory as she is valiant in the fight. For proof of this we need seek no further than in the speeches and despatches of French generals, of men who themselves have served and commanded in Africa. We will judge France by the voices of her own sons, of those she has selected as worthiest[21] to govern her half-conquered colony, and to marshal her legions against a handful of Arabs. More than one of these officers testify, voluntarily or unwittingly, to the barbarity of the system pursued in Africa. What said General Castellane, in his well-known speech in the Chamber of Peers, on the 4th July 1845? "We have reduced the country by an arsenal of axes and phosphorus matches. The trees were cut down, the crops were burned, and soon the mastery was obtained of a population reduced to famine and despair." And elsewhere in the same speech: "Few soldiers perish by the hand of the enemy in this war—a sort of man-hunt on a large scale, in which the Arabs, ignorant of European tactics, having no cannon-balls to exchange against ours, do not fight with equal arms." Monsieur A. Desjobert, long a deputy for the department of the Lower Seine, is the author of a volume, and of several pamphlets, upon the Algerine question. In the most recent of these we find the following remarkable note:—"In February 1837, General Bugeaud said to the Arabs, 'You shall not plough, you shall not sow, nor lead your cattle to the pasture, without our permission.' Later, he gives the following definition of a razzia: 'A sudden irruption, having for its object to surprise the tribes, in order to kill the men, and to carry off the women, children, and cattle.' In 1844, he completes this theory, by saying to the Kabyles, 'I will penetrate into your mountains, I will burn your villages and your crops, I will cut down your fruit-trees.' (Proclamation of the 30th March.) In 1846, rendering an account of his operations against Abd-el-Kader, he says to the authorities of Algiers, 'The power of Abd-el-Kader consists in the resources of the tribes; hence, to ruin his power, we must first ruin the Arabs; therefore have we burned much, destroyed much.' (From the Akhbar newspaper of February 1846.)" These are significant passages in the mouth of a general-in-chief. Presently, when we come to details, we shall show they were not thrown away upon his subordinates. The extermination of the Arabs was always the real aim of Marshal Bugeaud; he took little pains to cloak his system, and is too great a blunderer to have succeeded, had he taken more. A man of greater presumption than capacity, his audacity, obstinacy, and unscrupulousness knew no bounds. Before this African man-hunt, as M. Castellane calls it, he was unknown, except as the Duchess de Berry's jailer, as the slayer of poor Dulong, and as a turbulent debater, whose noisy declamation, and occasional offences against the French language, were a standing joke with the newspapers. A few years elapse, and we find him opposing his stubborn will to that of Soult, then minister at war, and successfully thwarting Napoleon's old lieutenant. This he was enabled to do mainly by the position he had made himself in Africa. He had ridden into power and importance on the shoulders of the persecuted Arabs, by a system of razzias and village-burning, of wholesale slaughter and relentless oppression. Brighter far were the laurels gathered by the lieutenant of the Empire, than those plucked by Louis Philippe's marshal amidst the ashes of Bedouin douars and the corpses of miserable Mussulmans, slain in defence of their scanty birthright, of their tents, their flocks, and the free range of the desert. Poor was the defence they could make against their skilful and disciplined invaders; slight the loss they could inflict in requital of the heavy one they suffered. Again we are obliged to M. Desjobert for statistics, gathered from reports to the Commission of Credits, and from Marshal Bugeaud's own bulletins. From these we learn that the loss in battle of the French armies, during the first ten years of the occupation of Algeria, was an average of one hundred and forty men per annum. In the four following years, eight hundred and eighty-five men perished. The capture of Constantine cost one hundred men, the much-vaunted affair of the Smala nine, the battle of Isly TWENTY-SEVEN! We well remember, for we chanced to be in Paris at the time, the stir produced in that excitable capital by the battle of Isly. No one, unacquainted with the facts, would have doubted that the victory was over a most valiant and formidable foe. People's mouths[22] were filled with this revival of the military glories of Gaul. Newspapers and picture-shops, poets and painters, combined to celebrate the exploit and sound the victors' praise. One engraving de circonstance, we remember, represented a sturdy French foot-soldier, trampling, like Gulliver, a host of Lilliputian Moors, and carrying a score of them over his shoulder, spitted on his bayonet. "Out of my way!" was the inscription beneath the print—"Les Français seront toujours les Français." Horace Vernet, colourist, by special appointment, to the African campaign, pictorial chronicler of the heroic feats of the house militant of Orleans, prepared his best brushes, and stretched his broadest canvass, to immortalise the marshal and his men. After a few days, two dingy tents and an enormous umbrella were exhibited in the gardens of the Tuileries; these were trophies of the fight—the private property of Mohammed-Abderrhaman, the vanquished prince of Morocco, the real merit of whose conquerors was about as great as that of an active tiger who gloriously scatters a numerous flock of sheep. From one of several books relating to Algeria, now upon our table, we will take a French officer's account of the affair of Isly. The story of Escoffier, a trumpeter who generously resigned his horse to his dismounted captain, himself falling into the hands of the Arabs, whose prisoner he remained for about eighteen months, is told by M. Alby, an officer of the African army. Although a little vivid in the colouring, and comprising two or three very tough "yarns,"—due, we apprehend, to the imagination of trumpeter or author—its historical portion professes to be, and probably is, correct; and, at any rate, there can be no reason for suspecting the writer of depreciating his countrymen's achievements, and understating their merits. The account of the battle, or rather of the chase, for fighting there was none, is given by a deserter from the Spahis, who, after the defeat of the Moors, joined Abd-el-Kader. The Emir and his Arabs took no part in the affair.[10]

"I deserted, with several of my comrades, during the night-march stolen by the French upon the Moors. We sought the emperor's son in his camp, and informed him of the movement making by the French column. The emperor's son had our horses taken away, and gave orders not to lose sight of us. Then he said to us:—

"'Let them come, those dogs of Christians; they are but thirteen thousand strong, and we a hundred and sixty thousand: we will receive them well.'

"The day was well advanced before the Moors perceived the French. Then the emperor's son ordered his horsemen to mount and advance. The French marched in a square. They unmasked their artillery, and the guns sent their deadly charge of grape into the ranks of the Moors, who immediately took to flight, and the French had nothing to do but to sabre them."

"The Moors," says M. Alby, "had fine horses and good sabres; but their muskets were bad; and the men, softened by centuries of peace and prosperity, smoking keef[11] and eating copiously, might be expected to run, as they did, at the first cannon-shot."

It is hard to understand how the loss of the French should have amounted to even the twenty-seven men at which it is stated in their general's bulletin. Did M. Bugeaud, unwilling to admit the facility of his triumph, slay the score and seven with his goosequill? But if the victory was easily won, on the other hand, it was largely rewarded. For having driven before him, by the very first volley from his guns, a horde of overfed barbarians, enervated by sloth and narcotics, and total strangers to the tactics of civilised warfare, the marshal was created a duke! Shade of Napoleon! whether proudly lingering within the trophy-clad walls of the[23] Invalides, or passing in spectral review the dead of Austerlitz and Borodino, suspend your lonely walk, curb your shadowy charger, and contemplate this pitiable spectacle! You, too, gave dukedoms, and lavished even crowns, but you gave them for services worth the naming. Ney and the Moskwa, Massena and Essling, Lannes and Montebello, are words that bear the coupling, and grace a coronet. The names of the places, although all three recall brilliant victories, are far less glorious in their associations than the names of the men. But Bugeaud and Isly! What can we say of them? Truly, thus much—they, too, are worthy of each other.

When reviewing, about two years ago, Captain Kennedy's narrative of travel and adventure in Algeria, we regretted he did not speak out about the mode of carrying on the war, and about the prospects of Algerine colonisation; and we hinted a suspicion that the amenities of French military hospitality, largely extended to a British fellow-soldier, had induced him, if not exactly to cloak, at least to shun laying bare, the errors and mishaps of his entertainers. We cannot make the same complaint of the very pretty book, rich in vignettes and cream-colour, entitled, A Campaign in the Kabylie. Mr Borrer, whom the Cockneys, contemptuous of terminations, will assuredly confound with his great gipsy cotemporary, George Borrow of the Bible, has, like Captain Kennedy, dipped his spoon in French messes. He has ridden with their regiments, and sat at their board, and been quartered with their officers, and received kindness and good treatment on all hands; and therefore any thing that could be construed into malicious comment would come with an ill grace from his pen. But it were exaggerated delicacy to abstain from stating facts, and these he gives in all their nakedness; generally, however, allowing them to speak for themselves, and adding little in the way of remark or opinion. In pursuance of this system, he relates the most horrible instances of outrage and cruelty with a matter-of-fact coolness, and an absence alike of blame and sympathy, that may give an unfavourable notion of his heart, to those who do not accept our lenient interpretation of his cold-blooded style. The traits he sets down, and which are no more than will be found in many French narratives, despatches, and bulletins, show how well the Franco-African army carry out the merciful maxims of Bugeaud.

Mr Borrer, a geographer and antiquary, passed seventeen months in Algeria; and during his residence there, in May 1846, a column of eight thousand French troops, commanded by the Duke of Isly in person, marched against the Kabyles, "that mysterious, bare-headed, leathern-aproned race, whose chief accomplishment was said to be that of being 'crack-shots,' their chief art that of neatly roasting their prisoners alive, and their chief virtue that of loving their homes." It may interest the reader to hear a rather more explicit account of this singular people, who dwell in the mountains that traverse Algeria from Tunis to Morocco—an irregular domain, whose limits it is difficult exactly to define in words. The Kabyles are, in fact, the highlanders of North Africa, and they hold themselves aloof from the Arabs and Europeans that surround them. Concerning them, we find some diversity in the statements of Mr Borrer, and of an anonymous Colonist, twelve years resident at Bougie, whose pamphlet is before us. Of the two, the Frenchman gives them the best character, but both agree as to their industry and intelligence, their frugality and skill in agriculture. They are not nomadic like the Arabs, but live in villages, till the land, and tend flocks. Dwelling in the mountains, they have few horses, and fight chiefly on foot. Divided into many tribes, they are constantly quarreling and fighting amongst themselves, but they forget their feuds and quickly unite to repel a foreign foe. "Predisposed by his character," says the Colonist, "to draw near to civilisation, the Kabyle attaches himself sincerely to the civilised man when circumstances establish a friendly connexion between them. He is still inclined to certain vices inherent in the savage: but of all the Africans, he is the best disposed to live in friendship and harmony with us, which he will do when he shall find[24] himself in permanent contact with the European population." This is not the general opinion, and it differs widely from that expressed by Mr Borrer. But the Colonist had his own views, perhaps his own interests, to further. He wrote some months previous to the expedition which Mr Borrer accompanied, and which was then not likely to take place, and he strongly advocated its propriety—admitting, however, that public opinion in France was greatly opposed to a military incursion into Kabylia. Himself established at Bougie, of course in some description of commerce, the necessity of roads connecting the coast and the interior was to him quite evident. A good many of his countrymen, whose personal benefit was not so likely to be promoted by causeway-cutting in Algeria, strongly deprecated any sort of road-making that was likely to bring on war with the Kabyles. France began to think she was paying too dear for her whistle. She looked back to the early days of the Orleans dynasty, when Marshal Clausel promised to found a rich and powerful colony with only 10,000 men. She glanced at the pages of the Moniteur of 1837, and there she found words uttered by the great Bugeaud in the Chamber of Deputies. "Forty-five thousand men and one good campaign," said the white-headed warrior, as the Arabs call him, "and in six months the country is pacified, and you may reduce the army to twenty thousand men, to be paid by imposts levied on the colony, consequently costing France nothing." Words, and nothing more—mere wind; the greatest bosh that ever was uttered, even by Bugeaud, who is proverbial for dealing largely in that flatulent commodity. Nine years passed away, and the Commission of the Budget "deplored a situation which compelled France to maintain an army of more than 100,000 men upon that African territory." (Report of M. Bignon of the 15th April 1846, p. 237.) Bugeaud himself had mightily changed his tone, and declared that, to keep Algiers, as large an army would be essential as had been required to conquer it. Lamoricière, a great authority in such matters, confirmed the opinion of his senior. Monsieur Desjobert, and a variety of pamphleteers and newspaper writers, attacked, with argument, ridicule, and statistics, the party known as the Algérophiles, who made light of difficulties, scoffed at expense, and predicted the prosperity and splendour of French Africa. Algeria, according to them, was to become the brightest gem in the citizen-crown of France. These sanguine gentlemen were met with facts and figures. During 1846, said the anti-Algerines, your precious colony will have cost France 125,000,000 of francs. And they proved it in black and white. There was little chance of the expense being less in following years. Then came the loss of men. In 1840, said M. Desjobert, giving chapter and verse for his statements, 9567 men perished in the African hospitals, out of an effective army of 63,000. Add those invalids who died in French hospitals, or in their homes, from the results of African campaigning, and the total loss is moderately stated at 11,000 men, or more than one-sixth of the whole force employed. Out of these, only 227 died in action. The thing seemed hopeless and endless. What do we get for our money? was the cry. What is our compensation for the decimation of our young men? France can better employ her sons, than in sending them to perish by African fevers. What do we gain by all this expenditure of gold and blood?—The unreasonable mortals! Had they not gained a Duke of Isly and a Moorish pavilion? M. Desjobert surely forgets these inestimable acquisitions when he asks and answers the question—"What remains of all our victories? A thousand bulletins, and Horace Vernet's big pictures."

"How many times," says the same writer, "has not the subjection of the Arabs been proclaimed! In 1844, General Bugeaud gains the battle of Isly. Are the Arabs subdued?

"When the Arabs appear before the judges who dispose of life and death, they confess their faith, and proclaim their hatred of us; and when we are simple enough to tell them that some of their race are devoted to us, they reply, 'Those lie to you, through fear, or for their own[25] interest; and as often as a scheriff shall come whom they believe able to conquer you, they will follow him, even into the streets of Algiers.' (Examination of Bou Maza's brother, 12th November 1845.) Thus spoke the chief. The common Arab had already said to the Christian, "If my head and thine were boiled in the same vessel, my broth would separate itself from thy broth."

This was discouraging to those who had dreamed of the taming of the Arab; and the more sanguinary mooted ideas of extermination. Such a project, clearly written down, and printed, and placed on Parisian breakfast tables, might be startling; in Algeria it had long been put in practice. What said General Duvivier in his Solution de la Question d'Algérie, p. 285? "For eleven years they have razed buildings, burned crops, destroyed trees, massacred men, women, and children, with a still-increasing fury." We have already shown that this work of extermination was not carried on with perfect impunity. Here is further confirmation of the fact. "Every Arab killed," says M. Leblanc de Prébois, another officer, who wrote on the Algerian war, and wrote from personal experience, "costs us the death of thirty-three men, and 150,000 francs." Supposing a vast deal of exaggeration in this statement, the balance still remains ugly against the French, for whom there is evidently very little difference between catching an Arab and catching a Tartar. Whilst upon the subject of extermination, Mr Borrer gives an opinion more decidedly unfavourable to his French friends than is expressed in any other part of his book. His estimate of Kabyle virtues differs considerably, it will be observed, from that of the Colonist, and of the two is much nearest the truth.

"The abominable vices and debaucheries of the Kabyle race, the inhuman barbarities they are continually guilty of towards such as may be cast by tempest, or other misfortune, upon their rugged shores; the atrocious cruelties and refined tortures they, in common with the Arab, delight in exercising upon any such enemies as may be so unhappy as to fall alive into their hands, must render the hearts of those acquainted with this people perfectly callous as to what misfortunes may befall them or their country; and many may think that, as far as the advancement of civilisation is concerned, the wiping off of the Kabyle and Arab races of Northern Africa from the face of the earth, would be the greatest boon to humanity. Though, however, they may be fraught with all the vices of the Canaanitish tribes of old, yet the command, 'Go ye after him through the city and smite; let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity; slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women,' is not justifiably issued at the pleasure of man; and we can but lament to see a great and gallant nation engaged in a warfare exasperating both parties to indulge in sanguinary atrocities,—atrocities to be attributed on one side to the barbarous and savage state of those having recourse to them; but on the other, proceeding only from a thirst for retaliation and bloody revenge, unworthy of those enjoying a high position as a civilised people. War is, as we all know, ever productive of horrors: but such horrors may be greatly restrained and diminished by the exertions and example of those in command."

The hoary-headed hero of Isly is not the man to make the exertion, or set the example. At the beginning of 1847, rumours of a projected inroad amongst the Kabyles caused uneasiness and dissatisfaction in Algeria, when such a movement was highly unpopular, as likely to lead to a long and expensive war. The "Commission of Credits," a board appointed by the French Chamber for the particular investigation and regulation of Algerine affairs, applied to the minister of war to know if the rumours were well founded. The minister confessed they were; adding, however, that the expedition would be quite peaceable; but at the same time laying before the commission letters from Bugeaud, "expressing regret that force of arms was not to be resorted to more than was absolutely necessary, the submission of the aborigines being never certain until powder had spoken." The marshal evidently "felt like fighting." The Commission protested; the[26] minister rebuked them, bidding them mind their credits, and not meddle with the royal prerogative. Thus unjustly snubbed—for they certainly were minding their credits, by opposing increase of expenditure—the Commission were mute, one of the members merely observing, by way of a last shot, that it was easier to refuse to listen than to reply satisfactorily. In France, public opinion, the Chamber of Deputies, and Marshal Soult, had, on various occasions, declared against attacking the Kabyles. "Nevertheless, a proclamation was issued by Marshal Bugeaud to the inhabitants of the Kabylie, to warn them that the French army was upon the point of entering their territory, 'to cleanse it of those adventurers who there preached the war against France.' The proclamation then went on to state, that the marshal had no desire to fight with them, or to devastate their property; but that, if there were amongst them any who wished for war, they would find him ready to accept it." If a hard-favoured stranger, armed with a horsewhip, walked uninvited into M. Bugeaud's private residence, loudly proclaiming he would thrash nobody unless provoked, the marshal would be likely to resist the intrusion. The Kabyles, doubtless, thought his advance into their territory an equally unjustifiable proceeding. As to the pretext of "the adventurers who preached war," it was unfounded and ridiculous. Such propagandists have never been listened to in Kabylia. "The voice of the Emir Abd-el-Kader himself," says the Colonist, "would not obtain a hearing. Did he not go in person, in 1839, when preparing to break his treaty of peace with us, and preach the holy war? Did he not traverse the valley of the Souman, from one end to the other, to recruit combatants? And what did he obtain from the Kabyles? Hospitality for a few days, coupled with the formal invitation to evacuate the country as soon as possible. Did he succeed better when he lately again tried to raise Kabylia against us?" Mr Borrer confirms this. Marshal Bugeaud himself had said in the Chamber of Deputies, "The Kabyles are neither aggressive nor hostile; they defend themselves vigorously when intruded upon, but they do not attack." The marshal, whose whole public life has been full of contradictions, was the first to intrude upon them, although but a very few years had elapsed since he said in a pamphlet, "The Kabyles are numerous and very warlike; they have villages, and their agriculture is sedentary; already there is too little land to supply their wants; there is no room, therefore, for Europeans in the mountains of Kabylia, and they would cut a very poor figure there." This last prophetic sentence was realised by M. Bugeaud himself, who certainly made no very brilliant appearance when, forgetting his former theory, he hazarded himself in May 1847, at the head of eight thousand men, and with Mr Borrer in his train, amongst the hardy mountaineers of Kabylia.

Hereabouts Mr Borrer quotes, in French, the statement of a member of the Commission already referred to. It is worth extracting, as fully confirming our conviction that the conduct of France in Algeria has been throughout characterised by an utter want of judgment and justice. "The native towns have been invaded, ruined, sacked, by our administration, more even than by our arms. In time of peace, a great number of private estates have been ravaged and destroyed. A multitude of title-deeds delivered to us for verification have never been restored. Even in the environs of Algiers, fertile lands have been taken from the Arabs and given to Europeans, who, unable or unwilling to cultivate their new possessions, have farmed them out to their former owners, who have thus become the mere stewards of the inheritance of their fathers. Elsewhere, tribes, or fractions of tribes, not hostile to us, but who, on the contrary, had fought for us, have been driven from their territory. Conditions have been accepted from them, and not kept—indemnities promised, and never paid—until we have compromised our honour even more than their interests." Such a statement, proceeding from a Frenchman—from one, too, delegated by his government, to examine the state of the colony—is quite conclusive as to administrative proceedings in Algeria. It would[27] be superfluous and impertinent to add another line of evidence. A comment may be appropriate. "Is it not Montesquieu," says Mr Borrer, "in his Esprit des Lois, who observes—'The right of conquest, though a necessary and legitimate right, is an unhappy one, bequeathing to the conqueror a heavy debt to humanity, only to be acquitted by repairing, as far as possible, those evils of which he has been the cause'?—and Montesquieu was a wise man, and a Frenchman!"

Dismissing this branch of the subject, let us see how the Duke of Isly made "the powder speak" in Kabylia, and try our hand at a rough sketch, taking the loan of Mr Borrer's colours. A strong body of French troops—the 8000 have been increased, since departure, by several battalions and some spahis—are encamped in a rich valley, cutting down the unripe wheat for the use of their horses, whilst, from the surrounding heights, the Kabyles gloomily watch the unscrupulous foragers. "Now 'soft-winged evening,'" as Mr Dawson Borrer poetically expresses himself, "hovers o'er the scene, chasing from woodlands and sand-rock heights the gilded tints of the setting sun." In other words, it gets dark—and shots are heard. The natives, vexed at the liberties taken with their crops, harass the outposts. Their bad powder and overloaded guns have no chance against French muskets. "In the name of the Prophet, HEADS!" Bugeaud the Merciful pays for them ten francs a-piece. Four are presented to him before breakfast. The premium is to make the soldiers alert against horse-stealers. Ten francs being a little fortune to a French soldier, whose pay in hard cash is two or three farthings a-day, Mr Borrer suspects the heads are sometimes taken from shoulders where they have a right to remain. An Arab is always an Arab, whether a horse-stealer or a mere idler. But no matter—a few more or less. Day returns; the column marches; the Kabyles show little of the intrepidity, in defence of their hearths and altars, attributed to them by M. Bugeaud and others. Their horsemen fly before a platoon of French cavalry; the infantry limit their offensive operations to cowardly long shots at the rear-guard. Four venerable elders bring two yoked oxen in token of submission. In general, the inhabitants have disappeared. Their deserted towns appear, in the distance, by no means inferior to many French and Italian villages. The marshal will not permit exploring parties for fear of ambuscade. Night arrives, and passes without incident of note. At three in the morning, the camp is aroused by hideous yells. A sentinel has fired at a horse-thief and broken his leg, and now, mindful of the ten francs, tries to cut off the head of the wounded man, who objects and screams. A bayonet-thrust stops his mouth, and the bill on Bugeaud is duly severed. The next day is passed in skirmishing with the Beni-Abbez, the most numerous tribe of the valley of the Souman, but not a very warlike one—so says the Colonist; and, indeed, they offer but slight resistance, although they, or some other tribes, make a firm and determined attack upon the French outposts in the course of that night. There is more smoke than bloodshed; but the Kabyles show considerable pluck, burn a prodigious number of cartridges, and make no doubt they have nearly "rubbed out" the Christians; in which particular they are rather mistaken—the French, not choosing to leave their camp, having quietly lain down, and allowed the Berber lead to fly over them. At last the assailants' ammunition runs low, and they retire, leaving a sprinkling of dead. Mr Borrer quotes the Koran. "'Those of our brothers who fall in defence of the true faith, are not dead, but live invisible, receiving their nourriture from the hand of the Most High,' says the Prophet." Nourriture is not quite English, at least with that orthography; but no matter for Mr Borrer's Gallicisms, which are many. We rush with him into the Kabyle fire. Here he sits, halted amongst the olive-trees, philosophically lighting his pipe, the bullets whistling about his ears, whilst he admires the sang froid of a pretty vivandière, seated astride upon her horse, and jesting at the danger. The column advances—the Kabyles retreat, fighting, pursued by the French shells, which they hold in particular horror,[28] and call the howitzer the twice-firing cannon. The object of the advance is to destroy the towns and villages of the Beni-Abbez, the night-attack upon his bivouac affording the marshal a pretext. The villages are surrounded with stiff walls of stones and mud, crowned with strong thorny fences, and having hedges of prickly pear growing at their base; and the gaunt burnoosed warriors make good fight through loop-holes and from the terraces of their houses. But resistance is soon overcome, and the narrow streets are crowded with Frenchmen, ravishing, massacring, plundering; no regard to sex or age; outrage for every woman—the edge of the sword for all.

"Upon the floor of one of the chambers lay a little girl of twelve or fourteen years of age, weltering in gore, and in the agonies of death: an accursed ruffian thrust his bayonet into her. God will requite him.... When the soldiers had ransacked the dwellings, and smashed to atoms all they could not carry off, or did not think worth seizing as spoil, they heaped the remnants and the mattings together and fired them. As I was hastily traversing the streets to regain the outside of the village, disgusted with the horrors I witnessed, flames burst forth on all sides, and torrents of fire came swiftly gliding down the thoroughfares, for the flames had gained the oil. An instant I turned—the fearful doom of the poor concealed child and the decrepid mother flashing on my mind. It was too late.... The unfortunate Kabyle child was doubtless consumed with her aged parent. How many others may have shared her fate!"

At noon, the atmosphere is laden with smoke arising from the numerous burning villages. From one spot nine may be counted, wrapped in flames. There is merry-making in the French camp. Innumerable goatskins, full of milk, butter, figs, and flour, are produced and opened. Some are consumed; more are squandered and strewn upon the ground. Let the Kabyle dogs starve! Have they not audaciously levelled their long guns at the white-headed warrior and his followers, who asked nothing but submission, free passage through the country, corn-fields for their horses, and the fat of the land for themselves? But stay—there is still a town to take, the last, the strongest, the refuge of the women and of the aged. Its defence is resolute, but at last it falls. "Ravished, murdered, burnt, hardly a child escaped to tell the tale. A few of the women fled to the ravines around the village; but troops swept the brushwood; and the stripped and mangled bodies of females might there be seen.... One vast sheet of flame crowned the height, which an hour or two before was ornamented with an extensive and opulent village, crowded with inhabitants. It seemed to have been the very emporium of commerce of the Beni-Abbez; fabrics of gunpowder, of arms, of haïks, burnooses, and different stuffs, were there. The streets boasted of numerous shops of workers in silver, workers in cord, venders of silk, &c." All this the soldiers pillaged, or the fire devoured; then the insatiable flames gained the corn and olive trees, and converted a smiling and prosperous district into a black and barren waste. Bugeaud looked on and pronounced it good, and his men declared the country "well cleaned out," and vaunted their deeds of rapine and violence. "I heard two ruffians relating, with great gusto, how many young girls had been burned in one house, after being abused by their brutal comrades and themselves." Out of consideration for his readers, Mr Borrer says, he writes down but the least shocking of the crimes and atrocities he that day witnessed. We have no inclination to transcribe a tithe of the horrors he records, and at sight of which, he assures us, the blood of many a gallant French officer boiled in his veins. He mentions no attempt on the part of these compassionate officers to curb the ferocity of their men, who had not the excuse of previous severe sufferings, of a long and obstinate resistance, and of the loss of many of their comrades, to allege in extenuation of their savage violence. History teaches us that, in certain circumstances, as, for instance, after protracted sieges, great exposure, and a long and bloody fight, soldiers of all nations are liable to forget discipline, and, maddened by fury, by suffering and excitement, to despise[29] the admonitions and reprimands of the chiefs—nay, even to turn their weapons against those whom for years they have been accustomed to respect and implicitly obey. But there is no such excuse in the instance before us. A pleasant military promenade through a rich country, fine weather, abundant rations, and just enough skirmishing to give zest to the whole affair, whose fighting part was exceeding brief, as might be expected, when French bayonets and artillery were opposed to the clumsy guns and irregular tactics of the Beni-Abbez—we find nothing in this picture to extenuate the horrible cruelties enacted by the conquerors after their easily achieved victory. Their whole loss, according to their marshal's bulletin, amounted to fifty-seven killed and wounded. This included the loss in the night-attack on the camp. In fact, it was mere child's play for the disciplined French soldiery; and Mr Borrer virtually admits this, by applying to the affair General Castellane's expression of a man-hunt. He then, with no good grace, endeavours to find an excuse for his campaigning comrades. "The ranks of the French army in Africa are composed, in great measure, of the very scum of France." They have condemned regiments in Africa, certainly; the Foreign Legion are reckless and reprobate enough; we dare say the Zouaves, a mixed corps of wild Frenchmen and tamed Arabs, are neither tender nor scrupulous; but these form a very small portion of the hundred thousand French troops in Africa, and there is little picking and choosing amongst the line regiments, who take their turn of service pretty regularly, neither is there reason for considering the men who go to Algeria to be greater scamps than those who remain in France. So this will not do, Mr Borrer: try another tack. "The only sort of excuse for the horrors committed by the soldiery in Algeria, is their untamed passions, and the fire added to their natural ferocity by the atrocious cruelties so often committed by the Arabs upon their comrades in arms, who have been so unhappy as to fall into their power." This is more plausible, although it is a query who began the system of murderous reprisals. Arab treatment of prisoners is not mild. On the evening of the 1st June, some men straggled from the French bivouac, and were captured. "It was said that from one of the outposts the Kabyles were seen busily engaged, in roasting their victims before a large fire upon a neighbouring slope; but whether this was a fact or not, I never learned." It was possibly true. Escoffier tells us how one of his fellow-prisoners, a Jew named Wolf, who fell into the hands of Moorish shepherds, was thrown upon a blazing pile of faggots; and although we suspect the brave trumpeter, or his historian, of occasional exaggeration, there are grounds for crediting the authenticity of this statement. As to Mr Borrer, he guarantees nothing but what he sees with his own eyes, the camp being, he says, full of blagueurs, or tellers of white lies. The inventions of these mendacious gentry are not always as innocent as he appears to think them. Imaginary cruelties, attributed to an enemy, are very apt to impose upon credulous soldiers, and to stimulate them to unnecessary bloodshed, and to acts of lawless revenge. Many a village has been burned, and many an inoffensive peasant sabred, on the strength of such lying fabrications. In Africa especially, where the lex talionis seems fully recognised, and its enforcement confided to the first straggler who chooses to fire a house or stick an Arab, the blagueurs should be handed over, in our opinion, to summary punishment. On the advance of the French column, a soldier or two, straying from the bivouac to bathe or fish, had here and there been shot by the lurking Kabyles. On its return, "I was somewhat surprised," Mr Borrer remarks, "to observe, in the wake of the column, flames bursting forth from the gourbies (villages) left in our rear. It was well known that the tribe upon whose territory we were riding had submitted, and that their sheikh was even riding at the head of the column." None could explain the firing of the villages. The sheikh, indignant at the treachery of the French, set spurs to his mare, and was off like the wind. The conflagration was traced to soldiers of the rear-guard, desirous to revenge their[30] comrades, picked off on the previous march. We are not told that the crime was brought home to the perpetrators, or visited upon them. If it was, Mr Borrer makes no mention of the fact, but passes on, as if the burning of a few villages were a trifle scarce worth notice. How were the Kabyles to distinguish between the acts of the private soldier and of the epauleted chief? Their submission had just been accepted, and friendly words spoken to them: their sheikh rode beside the gray-haired leader of the Christians, and marked the apparent subordination of the white-faced soldiery. Suddenly a gross violation occurred of the amicable understanding so recently come to. How persuade them that the submissive and disciplined soldiers they saw around them would venture such breach of faith without the sanction or connivance of their commander? The offence is that of an insignificant sentinel, but the dirt falls upon the beard of Bugeaud; and confidence in the promises of the lying European is thoroughly and for ever destroyed.

A colony, whose mode of acquisition and of government, up to the present time, reflects so little credit upon French arms and administrators, ought certainly to yield pecuniary results or advantages of some kind, which, in a mercenary point of view, might balance the account. France surely did not place her reputation for humanity and justice in the hands of Marshal Bugeaud and of others of his stamp, without anticipating some sort of compensation for its probable deterioration. Such expectations have hitherto been wholly unfulfilled; and we really see little chance of their probable or speedy realisation. The colony is as unpromising, as the colonists are inapt to improve it. The fact is, the work of colonisation has not begun. The French are utterly at a loss how to set about it. All kinds of systems have been proposed. Bugeaud has had his—that of military colonisation, which he maintained, with characteristic stubbornness, in the teeth of public opinion, of the French government, of common sense, and even of possibility. He proposed to take, during ten years, one hundred and twenty thousand recruits from the conscription, and to settle them in Africa, with their wives. He estimated the expense of this scheme at twelve millions sterling. His opponents stated its probable cost at four times that sum. Whichever estimate was correct, it is not worth while examining the plan, which for a moment was entertained by a government commission, but has since been completely abandoned. It presupposes an extraordinary and arbitrary stretch of power on the part of the government that should adopt such a system of compulsory colonisation. We are surprised to find Mr Borrer inclined to favour the exploded plan. General Lamoricière (the terrible Bour-à-boi of the Arabs,[12]) proposed to give premiums to agriculturists settling in Algeria, at the rate of twenty-five per cent of their expenses of clearing, irrigation, construction, and plantation. But M. Lamoricière—a very practical man indeed, with his sabre in his fist, and at the head of his Zouaves—is a shallow theorist in matters of colonisation. The staff of surveyors, valuers, and referees essential to carry out his project, would alone have been a heavy additional charge on the unprofitable colony. "M. Lamoricière," says M. Desjobert, "was one of the warmest advocates of the occupation of Bougie," (a seaport of Kabylie,) "and partly directed, in 1833, that fatal expedition." (Fatal, M. Desjobert means, by reason of its subsequent cost in men and money. The town was taken by a small force on the 29th September 1833.) "The soldiers were then told that their mission was agricultural rather than military, that they would have to handle the pick and the spade more frequently than the musket. The unfortunates have certainly handled pick and spade; but[31] it was to dig in that immense cemetery which, each day, swallows up their comrades. Already, in 1836, General d'Erlon, ex-governor of Algiers, demanded the evacuation of Bougie, which had devoured, in three years, three thousand men and seven millions of francs." The demand was not complied with, and Bougie has continued to consume more than its quota of the six thousand men at which M. Desjobert estimates the average annual loss, by disease alone, of the African army. Bougie has not flourished under the tricolor. In former times a city of great riches and importance, it still contained several thousand inhabitants when taken by the French. At the period of Mr Borrer's visit, it reckoned a population of five hundred, exclusive of the garrison of twelve hundred men. To return, however, to the systems of colonisation. When the generals had had their say, it was the turn of the commissions; the commission of Africa, that of the Chamber of Deputies, &c. There was no lack of projects; but none of them answered. The colonial policy of the Orleans government was eminently short-sighted. This is strikingly shown in Mr Borrer's 14th chapter, "A Word upon the Colony." Of the fertile plain of the Metidja, containing about a million and a half acres of arable and pasture land, a very small portion is cultivated. The French found a garden; they have made a desert. "Before the French occupation, vast tracts which now lie waste, sacrificed to palmetta and squills, were cultivated by the Arabs, who grew far more corn than was required for their own consumption; whereas now, they grow barely sufficient: the consequence of which is, that the price of corn is enormous in Algeria at present." Land is cheap enough, but labour is dear, because the necessaries of life are so. Instead of making Algiers a free port, protection to French manufactures is the order of the day, and this has driven Arab commerce to Tunis and Morocco. Rivalry with England—the feverish desire for colonies and for the supremacy of the seas—must unquestionably be ranked amongst the motives of the tenacious retention of such an expensive possession as Algeria. And now the odious English cottons are an obstacle to the prosperity of the colony. To sell a few more bales of French calicoes and crates of French hardware, the wise men at Paris put an effectual check upon the progress of African agriculture. Here, if anywhere, free-trade might be introduced with advantage; in common necessaries, at any rate, and for a few years, till the country became peopled, and the colonists had overcome the first difficulties of their position. It would make very little difference to Rouen and Lyons, whilst to the settlers it would practically work more good than would have been done them by M. Lamoricière's subvention, supposing this to have been adopted, and that the heavily-taxed agriculturist of France—in many parts of which country land pays but two and a half or three per cent—had consented to pay additional imposts for the benefit of the agriculturist of Algeria. In the beginning, the notion of the French government was, that its new conquest would colonise itself unassisted; that there would be a natural and steady flow of emigrants from the mother country. In any case this expectation would probably have proved fallacious—at least it would never have been realised to the extent anticipated; but the small encouragement given to such emigration, rendered it utterly abortive. The "stream" of settlers proved a mere dribble. Security and justice, Mr Thiers said, were all that France owed her colony. Even these two things were not obtained, in the full sense of the words. The centralisation system weighed upon Algeria. Everything was referred to Paris. Hence interminable correspondence, and delays innumerable. In the year 1846, Mr Borrer says, twenty-four thousand despatches were received by the civil administration from the chief bureau in the French capital, in exchange for twenty-eight thousand sent. Instead of imparting all possible celerity to the administrative forms requisite to the establishment of emigrants, these must often wait a year or more before they are put in possession of the land granted. Meanwhile they expend their resources, and are enervated by idleness and disease. The climate of[32] North Africa is ill-adapted to French constitutions. M. Desjobert has already told us the average loss of the army, and General Duvivier, in his Solution de la Question d'Algérie, fully corroborated his statements. "A man," said the general, "whose constitution is not in harmony with the climate of Africa, never adapts himself to it; he suffers, wastes away, and dies. The expression, that a mass of men who have been for some time in Africa have become inured to the climate, is inexact. They have not become inured to it; they have been decimated by death. The climate is a great sieve, which allows a rapid passage to everything that is not of a certain force." Supposing 100,000 men sent from France to Algeria for six years' service. At the end of that time, their loss by disease alone, at the rate of six per cent—proved by M. Desjobert to be the annual average—would amount to upwards of 30,000, or to more than three-tenths of the whole. The emigrants fare no better. "They look for milk and honey," says Borrer: "they find palmetta and disease. The villages scattered about the Sahel or Massif of Algiers (a high ground at the back of the city, forming a rampart between the Metidja and the Mediterranean) are, with one or two exceptions, a type of desolation. Perched upon the most arid spots, distant from water, the poor tenants lie sweltering between sun and sirocco." A Mississippi swamp must be as eligible "squatting" ground as this—Arabs instead of alligators, and the Algerine fever in place of Yellow Jack. "At the gates of Algiers, in the villages of the Sahel," said the "Algérie" newspaper of the 22d December 1845, "the colonists desert, driven away by hunger. If any remain, it is because they have no strength to move. In the plain of the Metidja, the misery and desolation are greater still. At Fondouck, in the last five months, 120 persons have died, out of a population of 280." The reporter to the Commission of the French budget of 1837 (Monsieur Bignon) admitted that "the results of the colonisation are almost negative." He could not obtain, he said, an estimate of the agricultural population. At the same period, an Algiers newspaper (La France Algérienne) estimated the European agriculturists at 7000, two-thirds of whom were mere market-gardeners.

It is unnecessary to multiply proofs; and we will here conclude this imperfect sketch of Franco-African colonisation, of its crimes, its errors, and its cost, by extracting a rather remarkable passage from a writer we have more than once referred to, and who, although perhaps disposed to view things in Algeria upon the black side, is yet deserving of credit, as well by his position as by reason of his painstaking research and, so far as we have verified them, accurate statistics.

"The colonists cannot deny," says Monsieur Desjobert in his Algérie en 1846, "and they admit:

"1º. That Europe alone maintains the 200,000 Europeans in Algeria. In 1846 we are compelled to repeat what General Bernard, minister of war, said in 1838: 'Algeria resembles a naked rock, which it is necessary to supply with everything, except air and water.'

"2º. That so long as we remain in this precarious situation, a naval war, by interrupting the communications, would compromise the safety of our army. In 1846 we repeat M. Thiers' words, uttered in 1837: 'If war surprises you in the state of indecision in which you are, I say that the disgraceful evacuation of Africa will be inevitable.'

"M. Thiers did not speak the whole truth when he talked of evacuation. In such an extremity, evacuation would be impossible. Our army would perish of misery, and its remnant would fall into the hands of the enemy."

Another enemy than the Arabs is here evidently pointed at; that possible foe is now a friend to France, and we trust will long remain so. But on many accounts the sentences we have just quoted are significant, as proceeding from the pen of a French deputy. They need no comment, and we shall offer none. We wait with interest to see if France's African colony prospers better under the Republic of 1848 than it did under the Monarchy of 1830.




And my father pushed aside his books.

O young reader, whoever thou art,—or reader, at least, who hast been young,—canst thou not remember some time when, with thy wild troubles and sorrows as yet borne in secret, thou hast come back from that hard, stern world which opens on thee when thou puttest thy foot out of the threshold of home—come back to the four quiet walls, wherein thine elders sit in peace—and seen, with a sort of sad amaze, how calm and undisturbed all is there? That generation which has gone before thee in the path of the passions—the generation of thy parents—(not so many years, perchance, remote from thine own)—how immovably far off, in its still repose, it seems from thy turbulent youth! It has in it a stillness as of a classic age, antique as the statues of the Greeks. That tranquil monotony of routine into which those lives that preceded thee have merged—the occupations that they have found sufficing for their happiness, by the fireside—in the armchair and corner appropriated to each—how strangely they contrast thine own feverish excitement! And they make room for thee, and bid thee welcome, and then resettle to their hushed pursuits, as if nothing had happened! Nothing had happened! while in thy heart, perhaps, the whole world seems to have shot from its axis, all the elements to be at war! And you sit down, crushed by that quiet happiness which you can share no more, and smile mechanically, and look into the fire; and, ten to one, you say nothing till the time comes for bed, and you take up your candle, and creep miserably to your lonely room.

Now, if in a stage coach in the depth of winter, when three passengers are warm and snug, a fourth, all besnowed and frozen, descends from the outside and takes place amongst them, straightway all the three passengers shift their places, uneasily pull up their cloak collars, re-arrange their "comforters," feel indignantly a sensible loss of caloric—the intruder has at least made a sensation. But if you had all the snows of the Grampians in your heart, you might enter unnoticed: take care not to tread on the toes of your opposite neighbour, and not a soul is disturbed, not a "comforter" stirs an inch! I had not slept a wink, I had not even laid down all that night—the night in which I had said farewell to Fanny Trevanion—and the next morning, when the sun rose, I wandered out—where I know not. I have a dim recollection of long, gray, solitary streets—of the river, that seemed flowing in dull silence, away, far away, into some invisible eternity—trees and turf, and the gay voices of children. I must have gone from one end of the great Babel to the other: but my memory only became clear and distinct when I knocked, somewhere before noon, at the door of my father's house, and, passing heavily up the stairs, came into the drawing-room, which was the rendezvous of the little family; for, since we had been in London, my father had ceased to have his study apart, and contented himself with what he called "a corner"—a corner wide enough to contain two tables and a dumb waiter, with chairs à discretion all littered with books. On the opposite side of this capacious corner sat my uncle, now nearly convalescent, and he was jotting down, in his stiff military hand, certain figures in a little red account-book—for you know already that my uncle Roland was, in his expenses, the most methodical of men.

My father's face was more benign than usual, for, before him lay a proof—the first proof of his first work—his one work—the Great Book! Yes! it had positively found a press. And the first proof of your first work—ask any author what that is! My mother was out, with the faithful Mrs Primmins, shopping or marketing no doubt; so, while the brothers were thus engaged, it was natural that my entrance should not make as much noise as if it had been a bomb, or a singer, or a clap of thunder, or the last "great novel of[34] the season," or anything else that made a noise in those days. For what makes a noise now? Now, when the most astonishing thing of all is in our easy familiarity with things astounding—when we say, listlessly, "Another revolution at Paris," or, "By the bye, there is the deuce to do at Vienna!"—when De Joinville is catching fish in the ponds at Claremont, and you hardly turn back to look at Metternich on the pier at Brighton!

My uncle nodded, and growled indistinctly; my father—

"Put aside his books; you have told us that already."

Sir, you are very much mistaken, he did not put aside his books, for he was not engaged in them—he was reading his proof. And he smiled, and pointed to it (the proof I mean) pathetically, and with a kind of humour, as much as to say—"What can you expect, Pisistratus?—my new baby! in short clothes—or long primer, which is all the same thing!"

I took a chair between the two, and looked first at one, then at the other, and—heaven forgive me!—I felt a rebellious, ungrateful spite against both. The bitterness of my soul must have been deep indeed to have overflowed in that direction, but it did. The grief of youth is an abominable egotist, and that is the truth. I got up from the chair, and walked towards the window; it was open, and outside the window was Mrs Primmins' canary, in its cage. London air had agreed with it, and it was singing lustily. Now, when the canary saw me standing opposite to its cage, and regarding it seriously, and, I have no doubt, with a very sombre aspect, the creature stopped short, and hung its head on one side, looking at me obliquely and suspiciously. Finding that I did it no harm, it began to hazard a few broken notes, timidly and interrogatively, as it were, pausing between each; and at length, as I made no reply, it evidently thought it had solved the doubt, and ascertained that I was more to be pitied than feared—for it stole gradually into so soft and silvery a strain that, I verily believe, it did it on purpose to comfort me!—me, its old friend, whom it had unjustly suspected. Never did any music touch me so home as did that long, plaintive cadence. And when the bird ceased, it perched itself close to the bars of the cage, and looked at me steadily with its bright intelligent eyes. I felt mine water, and I turned back and stood in the centre of the room, irresolute what to do, where to go. My father had done with the proof, and was deep in his folios. Roland had clasped his red account book, restored it to his pocket, wiped his pen carefully, and now watched me from under his great beetle brows. Suddenly he rose, and, stamping on the hearth with his cork leg, exclaimed, "Look up from those cursed books, brother Austin! What is there in that lad's face? Construe that, if you can!"


And my father pushed aside his books, and rose hastily. He took off his spectacles, and rubbed them mechanically, but he said nothing; and my uncle, staring at him for a moment, in surprise at his silence, burst out,—

"Oh! I see—he has been getting into some scrape, and you are angry! Fie! young blood will have its way, Austin—it will. I don't blame that—it is only when—come here, Sisty! Zounds! man, come here."

My father gently brushed off the captain's hand, and, advancing towards me, opened his arms. The next moment I was sobbing on his breast.

"But what is the matter?" cried Captain Roland, "will nobody say what is the matter? Money, I suppose—money, you confounded extravagant young dog. Luckily you have got an uncle who has more than he knows what to do with. How much?—fifty?—a hundred? two hundred? How can I write the cheque, if you'll not speak?"

"Hush, brother! it is no money you can give that will set this right. My poor boy! have I guessed truly? Did I guess truly the other evening, when—"

"Yes, sir, yes! I have been so wretched. But I am better now—I can tell you all."

My uncle moved slowly towards[35] the door: his fine sense of delicacy made him think that even he was out of place in the confidence between son and father.

"No, uncle," I said, holding out my hand to him, "stay; you too can advise me—strengthen me. I have kept my honour yet—help me to keep it still."

At the sound of the word honour Captain Roland stood mute, and raised his head quickly.

So I told all—incoherently enough at first, but clearly and manfully as I went on. Now I know that it is not the custom of lovers to confide in fathers and uncles. Judging by those mirrors of life, plays and novels, they choose better;—valets and chambermaids, and friends whom they have picked up in the street, as I had picked up poor Francis Vivian—to these they make clean breasts of their troubles. But fathers and uncles—to them they are close, impregnable, "buttoned to the chin." The Caxtons were an eccentric family, and never did anything like other people. When I had ended, I lifted my eyes, and said pleadingly, "Now, tell me, is there no hope—none?"

"Why should there be none?" cried Captain Roland hastily—"the De Caxtons are as good a family as the Trevanions; and as for yourself, all I will say is, that the young lady might choose worse for her own happiness."

I wrung my uncles hand, and turned to my father in anxious fear—for I knew that, in spite of his secluded habits, few men ever formed a sounder judgment on worldly matters, when he was fairly drawn to look at them. A thing wonderful is that plain wisdom which scholars and poets often have for others, though they rarely deign to use it for themselves. And how on earth do they get at it? I looked at my father, and the vague hope Roland had excited fell as I looked.

"Brother," said he slowly, and shaking his head, "the world, which gives codes and laws to those who live in it, does not care much for a pedigree, unless it goes with a title-deed to estates."

"Trevanion was not richer than Pisistratus when he married Lady Ellinor," said my uncle.

"True; but Lady Ellinor was not then an heiress, and her father viewed these matters as no other peer in England perhaps would. As for Trevanion himself, I dare say he has no prejudices about station, but he is strong in common sense. He values himself on being a practical man. It would be folly to talk to him of love, and the affections of youth. He would see in the son of Austin Caxton, living on the interest of some fifteen or sixteen thousand pounds, such a match for his daughter as no prudent man in his position could approve. And as for Lady Ellinor"—

"She owes us much, Austin!" exclaimed Roland, his face darkening.

"Lady Ellinor is now what, if we had known her better, she promised always to be—the ambitious, brilliant, scheming woman of the world. Is it not so, Pisistratus?"

I said nothing. I felt too much.

"And does the girl like you?—but I think it is clear she does!" exclaimed Roland. "Fate—fate; it has been a fatal family to us! Zounds, Austin, it was your fault. Why did you let him go there?"

"My son is now a man—at least in heart, if not in years—can man be shut from danger and trial? They found me in the old parsonage, brother!" said my father mildly.

My uncle walked, or rather stumped, three times up and down the room; and he then stopped short, folded his arms, and came to a decision—

"If the girl likes you, your duty is doubly clear—you can't take advantage of it. You have done right to leave the house, for the temptation might be too strong."

"But what excuse shall I make to Mr Trevanion?" said I feebly—"what story can I invent? So careless as he is while he trusts, so penetrating if he once suspects, he will see through all my subterfuges, and—and—"

"It is as plain as a pike-staff," said my uncle abruptly—"and there need be no subterfuge in the matter. 'I must leave you, Mr Trevanion.' 'Why?' says he. 'Don't ask me.' He insists. 'Well then, sir, if you must know, I love your daughter. I have nothing—she is a great heiress. You will not approve of that love, and therefore I leave you!' That is the[36] course that becomes an English gentleman—eh, Austin?"

"You are never wrong when your instincts speak, Roland," said my father. "Can you say this, Pisistratus, or shall I say it for you?"

"Let him say it himself," said Roland; "and let him judge himself of the answer. He is young, he is clever, he may make a figure in the world. Trevanion may answer, 'Win the lady after you have won the laurel, like the knights of old.' At all events, you will hear the worst."

"I will go," said I, firmly; and I took my hat, and left the room. As I was passing the landing-place, a light step stole down the upper flight of stairs, and a little hand seized my own. I turned quickly, and met the full, dark, seriously sweet eyes of my cousin Blanche.

"Don't go away yet, Sisty," said she coaxingly. "I have been waiting for you, for I heard your voice, and did not like to come in and disturb you."

"And why did you wait for me, my little Blanche?"

"Why! only to see you. But your eyes are red. Oh, cousin!"—and, before I was aware of her childish impulse, she had sprung to my neck and kissed me. Now Blanche was not like most children, and was very sparing of her caresses. So it was out of the deeps of a kind heart that that kiss came. I returned it without a word; and, putting her down gently, ran down the stairs, and was in the streets. But I had not got far before I heard my father's voice; and he came up, and, hooking his arm into mine, said, "Are there not two of us that suffer?—let us be together!" I pressed his arm, and we walked on in silence. But when we were near Trevanion's house, I said hesitatingly, "Would it not be better, sir, that I went in alone. If there is to be an explanation between Mr Trevanion and myself, would it not seem as if your presence implied either a request to him that would lower us both, or a doubt of me that—"

"You will go in alone, of course: I will wait for you—"

"Not in the streets—oh no, father," cried I, touched inexpressibly. For all this was so unlike my father's habits, that I felt remorse to have so communicated my young griefs to the calm dignity of his serene life.

"My son, you do not know how I love you. I have only known it myself lately. Look you, I am living in you now, my first-born; not in my other son—the great book: I must have my way. Go in; that is the door, is it not?"

I pressed my father's hand, and I felt then, that, while that hand could reply to mine, even the loss of Fanny Trevanion could not leave the world a blank. How much we have before us in life, while we retain our parents! How much to strive and to hope for! What a motive in the conquest of our sorrow—that they may not sorrow with us!


I entered Trevanion's study. It was an hour in which he was rarely at home, but I had not thought of that; and I saw without surprise that, contrary to his custom, he was in his armchair, reading one of his favourite classic authors, instead of being in some committee room of the House of Commons.

"A pretty fellow you are," said he, looking up, "to leave me all the morning, without rhyme or reason. And my committee is postponed—chairman ill—people who get ill should not go into the House of Commons. So here I am, looking into Propertius: Parr is right; not so elegant a writer as Tibullus. But what the deuce are you about?—why don't you sit down? Humph! you look grave—you have something to say,—say it!"

And, putting down Propertius, the acute, sharp face of Trevanion instantly became earnest and attentive.

"My dear Mr Trevanion," said I, with as much steadiness as I could assume, "you have been most kind to me; and, out of my own family, there is no man I love and respect more."


Trevanion.—Humph! What's all this! (In an under tone)—Am I going to be taken in?

Pisistratus.—Do not think me ungrateful, then, when I say I come to resign my office—to leave the house where I have been so happy.

Trevanion.—Leave the house!—Pooh!—I have overtasked you. I will be more merciful in future. You must forgive a political economist—it is the fault of my sect to look upon men as machines.

Pisistratus—(smiling faintly.)—No, indeed—that is not it! I have nothing to complain of—nothing I could wish altered—could I stay.

Trevanion (examining me thoughtfully.)—And does your father approve of your leaving me thus?

Pisistratus—Yes, fully.

Trevanion (musing a moment.)—I see, he would send you to the University, make you a book-worm like himself: pooh! that will not do—you will never become wholly a man of books,—it is not in you. Young man, though I may seem careless, I read characters, when I please it, pretty quickly. You do wrong to leave me; you are made for the great world—I can open to you a high career. I wish to do so! Lady Ellinor wishes it—nay, insists on it—for your father's sake as well as yours. I never ask a favour from ministers, and I never will. But (here Trevanion rose suddenly, and, with an erect mien and a quick gesture of his arm, he added)—but a minister himself can dispose as he pleases of his patronage. Look you, it is a secret yet, and I trust to your honour. But, before the year is out, I must be in the cabinet. Stay with me, I guarantee your fortunes—three months ago I would not have said that. By-and-by I will open parliament for you—you are not of age yet—work till then. And now sit down and write my letters—a sad arrear!"

"My dear, dear Mr Trevanion!" said I, so affected that I could scarcely speak, and seizing his hand, which I pressed between both mine—"I dare not thank you—I cannot! But you don't know my heart—it is not ambition. No! if I could but stay here on the same terms for ever—here—(looking ruefully on that spot where Fanny had stood the night before,) but it is impossible! If you knew all, you would be the first to bid me go!"

"You are in debt," said the man of the world, coldly. "Bad, very bad—still—"

"No, sir; no! worse—"

"Hardly possible to be worse, young man—hardly! But, just as you will; you leave me, and will not say why. Good-by. Why do you linger? shake hands, and go!"

"I cannot leave you thus: I—I—sir, the truth shall out. I am rash and mad enough not to see Miss Trevanion without forgetting that I am poor, and—"

"Ha!" interrupted Trevanion softly, and growing pale, "this is a misfortune indeed! And I, who talked of reading characters! Truly, truly, we would-be practical men are fools—fools! And you have made love to my daughter!"

"Sir! Mr Trevanion! I—no—never, never so base! In your house, trusted by you,—how could you think it? I dared, it may be, to love—at all events, to feel that I could not be insensible to a temptation too strong for me. But to say it to your daughter—to ask love in return—I would as soon have broken open your desk! Frankly I tell you my folly: it is a folly, not a disgrace."

Trevanion came up to me abruptly, as I leant against the book-case, and, grasping my hand with a cordial kindness, said,—"Pardon me! You have behaved as your father's son should—I envy him such a son! Now, listen to me—I cannot give you my daughter—"

"Believe me, sir, I never—"

"Tut, listen! I cannot give you my daughter. I say nothing of inequality—all gentlemen are equal; and if not, all impertinent affectation of superiority, in such a case, would come ill from one who owes his own fortune to his wife! But, as it is, I have a stake in the world, won not by fortune only, but the labour of a life, the suppression of half my nature—the drudging, squaring, taming down—all that made the glory and joy of my youth—to be that hard matter-of-fact thing which the English world expect in a—statesman! This station has gradually opened into its natural result—power! I tell you I[38] shall soon have high office in the administration: I hope to render great services to England—for we English politicians, whatever the mob and the press say of us, are not selfish placehunters. I refused office, as high as I look for now, ten years ago. We believe in our opinions, and we hail the power that may carry them into effect. In this cabinet I shall have enemies. Oh, don't think we leave jealousy behind us, at the doors of Downing Street! I shall be one of a minority. I know well what must happen: like all men in power, I must strengthen myself by other heads and hands than my own. My daughter should bring to me the alliance of that house in England which is most necessary to me. My life falls to the ground, like a house of cards, if I waste—I do not say on you, but on men of ten times your fortune (whatever that be,)—the means of strength which are at my disposal in the hand of Fanny Trevanion. To this end I have looked; but to this end her mother has schemed—for these household matters are within a man's hopes, but belong to a woman's policy. So much for us. But for you, my dear, and frank, and high-souled young friend—for you, if I were not Fanny's father—if I were your nearest relation, and Fanny could be had for the asking, with all her princely dower, (for it is princely,)—for you I should say, fly from a load upon the heart, on the genius, the energy, the pride, and the spirit, which not one man in ten thousand can bear; fly from the curse of owing every thing to a wife!—it is a reversal of all natural position, it is a blow to all the manhood within us. You know not what it is: I do! My wife's fortune came not till after marriage—so far, so well; it saved my reputation from the charge of fortune-hunting. But, I tell you fairly, that if it had never come at all, I should be a prouder, and a greater, and a happier man than I have ever been, or ever can be, with all its advantages; it has been a millstone round my neck. And yet Ellinor has never breathed a word that could wound my pride. Would her daughter be as forbearing? Much as I love Fanny, I doubt if she has the great heart of her mother. You look incredulous;—naturally. Oh, you think I shall sacrifice my child's happiness to a politician's ambition! Folly of youth! Fanny would be wretched with you. She might not think so now; she would five years hence! Fanny will make an admirable duchess, countess, great lady; but wife to a man who owes all to her!—no, no, don't dream it! I shall not sacrifice her happiness, depend on it. I speak plainly, as man to man—man of the world to a man just entering it—but still man to man! What say you?"

"I will think over all you tell me. I know that you are speaking to me most generously—as a father would. Now let me go, and may God keep you and yours!"

"Go—I return your blessing—go! I don't insult you now with offers of service; but, remember, you have a right to command them—in all ways, in all times. Stop!—take this comfort away with you—a sorry comfort now, a great one hereafter. In a position that might have moved anger, scorn, pity, you have made a barren-hearted man honour and admire you. You, a boy, have made me, with my gray hairs, think better of the whole world: tell your father that."

I closed the door, and stole out softly—softly. But when I got into the hall, Fanny suddenly opened the door of the breakfast parlour, and seemed, by her look, her gesture, to invite me in. Her face was very pale, and there were traces of tears on the heavy lids.

I stood still a moment, and my heart beat violently. I then muttered something inarticulately, and, bowing low, hastened to the door.

I thought, but my ears might deceive me, that I heard my name pronounced; but fortunately the tall porter started from his newspaper and his leather chair, and the entrance stood open. I joined my father.

"It is all over," said I, with a resolute smile. "And now, my dear father, I feel how grateful I should be for all that your lessons—your life—have, taught me;—for, believe me, I am not unhappy."



We came back to my father's house, and on the stairs we met my mother, whom Roland's grave looks, and her Austin's strange absence, had alarmed. My father quietly led the way to a little room, which my mother had appropriated to Blanche and herself; and then, placing my hand in that which had helped his own steps from the stony path, down the quiet vales of life, he said to me,—"Nature gives you here the soother;"—and, so saying, he left the room.

And it was true, O my mother! that in thy simple loving breast nature did place the deep wells of comfort! We come to men for philosophy—to women for consolation. And the thousand weaknesses and regrets—the sharp sands of the minutiæ that make up sorrow—all these, which I could have betrayed to no man—not even to him, the dearest and tenderest of all men—I showed without shame to thee! And thy tears, that fell on my cheek, had the balm of Araby; and my heart, at length, lay lulled and soothed under thy moist gentle eyes.

I made an effort, and joined the little circle at dinner; and I felt grateful that no violent attempt was made to raise my spirits—nothing but affection, more subdued, and soft, and tranquil. Even little Blanche, as if by the intuition of sympathy, ceased her babble, and seemed to hush her footstep as she crept to my side. But after dinner, when we had reassembled in the drawing-room, and the lights shone bright, and the curtains were let down—and only the quick roll of some passing wheels reminded us that there was a world without—my father began to talk. He had laid aside all his work; the younger, but less perishable child was forgotten,—and my father began to talk.

"It is," said he musingly, "a well-known thing, that particular drugs or herbs suit the body according to its particular diseases. When we are ill, we don't open our medicinechest at random, and take out any powder or phial that comes to hand. The skilful doctor is he who adjusts the dose to the malady."

"Of that there can be no doubt," quoth Captain Roland. "I remember a notable instance of the justice of what you say. When I was in Spain, both my horse and I fell ill at the same time; a dose was sent for each; and, by some infernal mistake, I swallowed the horse's physic, and the horse, poor thing, swallowed mine!"

"And what was the result?" asked my father.

"The horse died!", answered Roland mournfully—"a valuable beast—bright bay, with a star!"

"And you?"

"Why, the doctor said it ought to have killed me; but it took a great deal more than a paltry bottle of physic to kill a man in my regiment."

"Nevertheless, we arrive at the same conclusion," pursued my father,—"I with my theory, you with your experience,—that the physic we take must not be chosen hap-hazard; and that a mistake in the bottle may kill a horse. But when we come to the medicine for the mind, how little do we think of the golden rule which common-sense applies to the body."

"Anon," said the Captain, "what medicine is there for the mind? Shakspeare has said something on that subject, which, if I recollect right, implies that there is no ministering to a mind diseased."

"I think not, brother; he only said physic (meaning boluses and black draughts) would not do it. And Shakspeare was the last man to find fault with his own art; for, verily, he has been a great physician to the mind."

"Ah! I take you now, brother,—books again! So you think that, when a man breaks his heart, or loses his fortune, or his daughter—(Blanche, child, come here)—that you have only to clap a plaster of print on the sore place, and all is well. I wish you would find me such a cure."

"Will you try it?"

"If it is not Greek," said my uncle.




"If," said my father—and here his hand was deep in his waistcoat—"if we accept the authority of Diodorus, as to the inscription on the great Egyptian library—and I don't see why Diodorus should not be as near the mark as any one else?" added my father interrogatively, turning round.

My mother thought herself the person addressed, and nodded her gracious assent to the authority of Diodorus. His opinion thus fortified, my father continued,—"If, I say, we accept the authority of Diodorus, the inscription on the Egyptian library was—'The Medicine of the Mind.' Now, that phrase has become notoriously trite and hackneyed, and people repeat vaguely that books are the medicine of the mind. Yes; but to apply the medicine is the thing!"

"So you have told us at least twice before, brother," quoth the Captain, bluffly. "And what Diodorus has to do with it, I know no more than the man of the moon."

"I shall never get on at this rate," said my father, in a tone between reproach and entreaty.

"Be good children, Roland and Blanche both," said my mother, stopping from her work, and holding up her needle threateningly—and indeed inflicting a slight puncture upon the Captain's shoulder.

"Rem acu tetigisti, my dear," said my father, borrowing Cicero's pun on the occasion.[13] "And now we shall go upon velvet. I say, then, that books, taken indiscriminately, are no cure to the diseases and afflictions of the mind. There is a world of science necessary in the taking them. I have known some people in great sorrow fly to a novel, or the last light book in fashion. One might as well take a rose-draught for the plague! Light reading does not do when the heart is really heavy. I am told that Goethe, when he lost his son, took to study a science that was new to him. Ah! Goethe was a physician who knew what he was about. In a great grief like that, you cannot tickle and divert the mind; you must wrench it away, abstract, absorb—bury it in an abyss, hurry it into a labyrinth. Therefore, for the irremediable sorrows of middle life and old age, I recommend a strict chronic, course of science and hard reasoning—Counter-irritation. Bring the brain to act upon the heart! If science is too much against the grain, (for we have not all got mathematical heads,) something in the reach of the humblest understanding, but sufficiently searching to the highest—a new language—Greek, Arabic, Scandinavian, Chinese, or Welch! For the loss of fortune, the dose should be applied less directly to the understanding.—I would administer something elegant and cordial. For as the heart is crushed and lacerated by a loss in the affections, so it is rather the head that aches and suffers by the loss of money. Here we find the higher class of poets a very valuable remedy. For observe, that poets of the grander and more comprehensive kind of genius have in them two separate men, quite distinct from each other—the imaginative man, and the practical, circumstantial man; and it is the happy mixture of these that suits diseases of the mind, half imaginative and half practical. There is Homer, now lost with the gods, now at home with the homeliest, the very 'poet of circumstance,' as Gray has finely called him; and yet with imagination enough to seduce and coax the dullest into forgetting, for a while, that little spot on his desk which his banker's book can cover. There is Virgil, far below him, indeed.

—'Virgil the wise,
Whose verse walks highest, but not flies.'

as Cowley expresses it. But Virgil still has genius enough to be two men—to lead you into the fields, not only to listen to the pastoral reed, and to hear the bees hum, but to note how you can make the most of the glebe and the vineyard. There is Horace, charming man of the[41] world, who will condole with you feelingly on the loss of your fortune, and by no means undervalue the good things of this life; but who will yet show you that a man may be happy with a vile modicum, or parva rura. There is Shakspeare, who, above all poets, is the mysterious dual of hard sense and empyreal fancy—and a great many more, whom I need not name; but who, if you take to them gently and quietly, will not, like your mere philosopher, your unreasonable stoic, tell you that you have lost nothing; but who will insensibly steal you out of this world, with its losses and crosses, and slip you into another world, before you know where you are!—a world where you are just as welcome, though you carry no more earth of your lost acres with you than covers the sole of your shoe. Then, for hypochondria and satiety, what is better than a brisk alterative course of travels—especially early, out of the way, marvellous, legendary travels! How they freshen up the spirits! How they take you out of the humdrum yawning state you are in. See, with Herodotus, young Greece spring up into life; or note with him how already the wondrous old Orient world is crumbling into giant decay; or go with Carpini and Rubruquis to Tartary, meet 'the carts of Zagathai laden with houses, and think that a great city is travelling towards you.'[14] Gaze on that vast wild empire of the Tartar, where the descendants of Jenghis 'multiply and disperse over the immense waste desert, which is as boundless as the ocean.' Sail with the early northern discoverers, and penetrate to the heart of winter, among sea-serpents and bears, and tusked morses, with the faces of men. Then, what think you of Columbus, and the stern soul of Cortes, and the kingdom of Mexico, and the strange gold city of the Peruvians, with that audacious brute Pizarro? and the Polynesians, just for all the world like the ancient Britons? and the American Indians, and the South-Sea Islanders? how petulant, and young, and adventurous, and frisky your hypochondriac must get upon a regimen like that! Then, for that vice of the mind which I call sectarianism—not in the religious sense of the word, but little, narrow prejudices, that make you hate your next-door neighbour, because he has his eggs roasted when you have yours boiled; and gossiping and prying into people's affairs, and back-biting, and thinking heaven and earth are coming together, if some broom touch a cobweb that you have let grow over the window-sill of your brains—what like a large and generous, mildly aperient (I beg your pardon, my dear) course of history! How it clears away all the fumes of the head!—better than the hellebore with which the old leeches of the middle ages purged the cerebellum. There, amidst all that great whirl and sturmbad (storm-bath), as the Germans say, of kingdoms and empires, and races and ages, how your mind enlarges beyond that little, feverish animosity to John Styles; or that unfortunate prepossession of yours, that all the world is interested in your grievances against Tom Stokes and his wife!

"I can only touch, you see, on a few ingredients in this magnificent pharmacy—its resources are boundless, but require the nicest discretion. I remember to have cured a disconsolate widower, who obstinately refused every other medicament, by a strict course of geology. I dipped him deep into gneiss and mica schist. Amidst the first strata, I suffered the watery action to expend itself upon cooling crystallised masses; and, by the time I had got him into the tertiary period, amongst the transition chalks of Maestricht, and the conchiferous marls of Gosau, he was ready for a new wife. Kitty, my dear! it is no laughing matter. I made no less notable a cure of a young scholar at Cambridge, who was meant for the church, when he suddenly caught a cold fit of freethinking, with great shiverings, from wading over his depth in Spinosa. None of the divines, whom I first tried, did him the least good in that state; so I turned over a new leaf, and doctored him gently upon the chapters of faith in Abraham Tucker's book, (you should[42] read, it, Sisty;) then I threw in strong doses of Fichté; after that I put him on the Scotch metaphysicians, with plunge baths into certain German transcendentalists; and having convinced him that faith is not an unphilosophical state of mind, and that he might believe without compromising his understanding—for he was mightily conceited on that score—I threw in my divines, which he was now fit to digest; and his theological constitution, since then, has become so robust, that he has eaten up two livings and a deanery! In fact, I have a plan for a library that, instead of heading its compartments, 'Philology, Natural Science, Poetry,' &c., one shall head them according to the diseases for which they are severally good, bodily and mental—up from a dire calamity, or the pangs of the gout, down to a fit of the spleen, or a slight catarrh; for which last your light reading comes in with a whey posset and barley-water. But," continued my father more gravely, "when some one sorrow, that is yet reparable, gets hold of your mind like a monomania—when you think, because heaven has denied you this or that, on which you had set your heart, that all your life must be a blank—oh, then diet yourself well on biography—the biography of good and great men. See how little a space one sorrow really makes in life. See scarce a page, perhaps, given to some grief similar to your own; and how triumphantly the life sails on, beyond it! You thought the wing was broken!—Tut-tut—it was but a bruised feather! See what life leaves behind it, when all is, done!—a summary of positive facts far out of the region of sorrow and suffering, linking themselves with the being of the world. Yes, biography is the medicine here! Roland, you said you would try my prescription—here it is,"—and my father took up a book, and reached it to the Captain.

My uncle looked over it—Life of the Reverend Robert Hall. "Brother, he was a Dissenter, and, thank heaven, I am a church-and-state man, back and bone!"

"Robert Hall was a brave man, and a true soldier under the great commander," said my father artfully.

The Captain mechanically carried his forefinger to his forehead in military fashion, and saluted the book respectfully.

"I have another copy for you, Pisistratus—that is mine which I have lent Roland. This, which I bought for you to-day, you will keep."

"Thank you, sir," said I listlessly, not seeing what great good the Life of Robert Hall could do me, or why the same medicine should suit the old weatherbeaten uncle, and the nephew yet in his teens.

"I have said nothing," resumed my father, slightly bowing his broad temples, "of the Book of Books, for that is the lignum vitæ, the cardinal medicine for all. These are but the subsidiaries: for, as you may remember, my dear Kitty, that I have said before—we can never keep the system quite right unless we place just in the centre of the great ganglionic system, whence the nerves carry its influence gently and smoothly through the whole frame—the Saffron Bag!"


After breakfast the next morning, I took my hat to go out, when my father, looking at me, and seeing by my countenance that I had not slept, said gently—

"My dear Pisistratus, you have not tried my medicine yet."

"What medicine, sir?"

"Robert Hall."

"No, indeed, not yet," said I, smiling.

"Do so, my son, before you go out; depend on it, you will enjoy your walk more."

I confess that it was, with some reluctance I obeyed. I went back to my own room, and sate resolutely down to my task. Are there any of you, my readers, who have not read the Life of Robert Hall? If so, in the words of the great Captain Cuttle, "When found, make a note of it." Never mind what your theological opinion is—Episcopalian, Presbyterian, Baptist, Pædobaptist, Independent, Quaker, Unitarian, Philosopher, Freethinker—send for Robert Hall! Yea, if there exist yet[43] on earth descendants of the arch-heresies, which made such a noise in their day—men who believe with Saturnians that the world was made by seven angels; or with Basilides, that there are as many heavens as there are days in the year; or with the Nicolaitanes, that men ought to have their wives in common, (plenty of that sect still, especially in the Red Republic;) or with their successors, the Gnostics, who believed in Jaldaboath; or with the Carpacratians, that the world was made by the devil; or with the Cerinthians, and Ebionites, and Nazarites, (which last discovered that the name of Noah's wife was Ouria, and that she set the ark on fire;) or with the Valentinians, who taught that there were thirty Æones, ages, or worlds, born out of Profundity, (Bathos,) male, and Silence, female; or with the Marcites, Colarbasii, and Heracleonites, (who still kept up that bother about Æones, Mr Profundity, and Mrs Silence;) or with the Ophites, who are said to have worshipped the serpent; or the Cainites, who ingeniously found out a reason for honouring Judas, because he foresaw what good would come to men by betraying our Saviour; or with the Sethites, who made Seth a part of the Divine substance; or with the Archonticks, Ascothyptæ, Cerdonians, Marcionites, the disciples of Apelles, and Severus, (the last was a teetotaller, and said wine was begot by Satan!) or of Tatian, who thought all the descendants of Adam were irretrievably damned except themselves, (some of those Tatiani are certainly extant!) or the Cataphrygians, who were also called Tascodragitæ, because they thrust their forefingers up their nostrils to show their devotion; or the Pepuzians, Quintilians, and Artotyrites; or—but no matter. If I go through all the follies of men in search of the truth, I shall never get to the end of my chapter, or back to Robert Hall: whatever, then, thou art, orthodox or heterodox, send for the Life of Robert Hall. It is the life of a man that it does good to manhood itself to contemplate.

I had finished the biography, which is not long, and was musing over it, when I heard the Captain's cork-leg upon the stairs. I opened the door for him, and he entered, book in hand, as I, also book in hand, stood ready to receive him.

"Well, sir," said Roland, seating himself, "has the prescription done you any good?"

"Yes, uncle—great."

"And me too. By Jupiter, Sisty, that same Hall was a fine fellow! I wonder if the medicine has gone through the same channels in both? Tell me, first, how it has affected you."

"Imprimis, then, my dear uncle, I fancy that a book like this must do good to all who live in the world in the ordinary manner, by admitting us into a circle of life of which I suspect we think but little. Here is a man connecting himself directly with a heavenly purpose, and cultivating considerable faculties to that one end; seeking to accomplish his soul as far as he can, that he may do most good on earth, and take a higher existence up to heaven; a man intent upon a sublime and spiritual duty: in short, living as it were in it, and so filled with the consciousness of immortality, and so strong in the link between God and man, that, without any affected stoicism, without being insensible to pain—rather, perhaps, from a nervous temperament, acutely feeling it—he yet has a happiness wholly independent of it. It is impossible not to be thrilled with an admiration that elevates while it awes you, in reading that solemn 'Dedication of himself to God.' This offering of 'soul and body, time, health, reputation, talents,' to the divine and invisible Principle of Good, calls us suddenly to contemplate the selfishness of our own views and hopes, and awakens us from the egotism that exacts all and resigns nothing.

"But this book has mostly struck upon the chord in my own heart, in that characteristic which my father indicated as belonging to all biography. Here is a life of remarkable fulness, great study, great thought, and great action; and yet," said I, colouring, "how small a place those feelings, which have tyrannised over me, and made all else seem blank and void, hold in that life. It is not as if the man were a cold and hard ascetic; it is easy to see in him not only remarkable tenderness and warm[44] affections, but strong self-will, and the passion of all vigorous natures. Yes, I understand better now what existence in a true man should be."

"All that is very well said," quoth the Captain, "but it did not strike me. What I have seen in this book is courage. Here is a poor creature rolling on the carpet with agony; from childhood to death tortured by a mysterious incurable malady—a malady that is described as 'an internal apparatus of torture;' and who does, by his heroism, more than bear it—he puts it out of power to affect him; and though (here is the passage) 'his appointment by day and by night was incessant pain, yet high enjoyment was, notwithstanding, the law of his existence.' Robert Hall reads me a lesson—me, an old soldier, who thought myself above taking lessons—in courage, at least. And, as I came to that passage when, in the sharp paroxysms before death, he says, 'I have not complained, have I, sir?—and I won't complain,'—when I came to that passage I started up, and cried, 'Roland de Caxton, thou hast been a coward! and, an thou hadst had thy deserts, thou hadst been cashiered, broken, and drummed out of the regiment long ago!"

"After all, then, my father was not so wrong—he placed his guns right, and fired a good shot."

"He must have been from 6° to 9° above the crest of the parapet," said my uncle, thoughtfully—"which, I take it, is the best elevation, both for shot and shells, in enfilading a work."

"What say you, then, Captain? up with our knapsacks, and on with the march!"

"Right about—face!" cried my uncle, as erect as a column.

"No looking back, if we can help it."

"Full in the front of the enemy—'Up, guards, and at 'em!'"

"'England expects every man to do his duty!"'

"Cypress or laurel!" cried my uncle, waving the book over his head.


I went out—and to see Francis Vivian; for, on leaving Mr Trevanion, I was not without anxiety for my new friend's future provision. But Vivian was from home, and I strolled from his lodgings, into the suburbs on the other side of the river, and began to meditate seriously on the best course now to pursue. In quitting my present occupations, I resigned prospects far more brilliant, and fortunes far more rapid than I could ever hope to realise in any other entrance into life. But I felt the necessity, if I desired to keep steadfast to that more healthful frame of mind I had obtained, of some manly and continuous labour—some earnest employment. My thoughts flew back to the university; and the quiet of its cloisters—which, until I had been blinded by the glare of the London world, and grief had somewhat dulled the edge of my quick desires and hopes, had seemed to me cheerless and unaltering—took an inviting aspect. They presented what I needed most—a new scene, a new arena, a partial return into boyhood; repose for passions prematurely raised; activity for the reasoning powers in fresh directions. I had not lost my time in London: I had kept up, if not studies purely classical, at least the habits of application; I had sharpened my general comprehension, and augmented my resources. Accordingly, when I returned home, I resolved to speak to my father. But I found he had forestalled me; and, on entering, my mother drew me up stairs into her room, with a smile kindled by my smile, and told me that she and her Austin had been thinking that it was best that I should leave London as soon as possible; that my father found he could now dispense with the library of the Museum for some months; that the time for which they had taken their lodgings would be up in a few days; that the summer was far advanced, town odious, the country beautiful—in a word, we were to go home. There I could prepare myself for Cambridge, till the long vacation was over; and, my mother added[45] hesitatingly, and with a prefatory caution to spare my health, that my father, whose income could ill afford the requisite allowance to me, counted on my soon lightening his burden, by getting a scholarship. I felt how much provident kindness there was in all this—even in that hint of a scholarship, which was meant to rouse my faculties, and spur me, by affectionate incentives, to a new ambition. I was not less delighted than grateful.

"But poor Roland," said I, "and little Blanche—will they come with us?"

"I fear not," said my mother, "for Roland is anxious to get back to his tower; and, in a day or two, he will be well enough to move."

"Do you not think, my dear mother, that, somehow or other, this lost son of his had something to do with his illness,—that the illness was as much mental as physical?"

"I have no doubt of it, Sisty. What a sad, bad heart that young man must have!"

"My uncle seems to have abandoned all hope of finding him in London; otherwise, ill as he has been, I am sure we could not have kept him at home. So he goes back to the old tower. Poor man, he must be dull enough there!—we must contrive to pay him a visit. Does Blanche ever speak of her brother?"

"No, for it seems they were not brought up much together—at all events, she does not remember him. How lovely she is! Her mother must surely have been very handsome."

"She is a pretty child, certainly, though in a strange style of beauty—such immense eyes!—and affectionate, and loves Roland as she ought."

And here the conversation dropped.

Our plans being thus decided, it was necessary that I should lose no time in seeing Vivian, and making some arrangement for the future. His manner had lost so much of its abruptness, that I thought I could venture to recommend him personally to Trevanion; and I knew, after what had passed, that Trevanion would make a point to oblige me. I resolved to consult my father about it. As yet I had either never forced, or never made the opportunity to talk to my father on the subject, he had been so occupied; and, if he had proposed to see my new friend, what answer could I have made, in the teeth of Vivian's cynic objections? However, as we were now going away, that last consideration ceased to be of importance; and, for the first, the student had not yet entirely settled back to his books. I therefore watched the time when my father walked down to the Museum, and, slipping my arm in his, I told him, briefly and rapidly, as we went along, how I had formed this strange acquaintance, and how I was now situated. The story did not interest my father quite as much as I expected, and he did not understand all the complexities of Vivian's character—how could he?—for he answered briefly, "I should think that, for a young man, apparently without a sixpence, and whose education seems so imperfect, any resource in Trevanion must be most temporary and uncertain. Speak to your uncle Jack—he can find him some place, I have no doubt—perhaps a readership in a printer's office, or a reporter's place on some journal, if he is fit for it. But if you want to steady him, let it be something regular."

Therewith my father dismissed the matter, and vanished through the gates of the Museum.—Readership to a printer, reportership on a journal, for a young gentleman with the high notions and arrogant vanity of Francis Vivian—his ambition already soaring far beyond kid gloves and a cabriolet! The idea was hopeless; and, perplexed and doubtful, I took my way to Vivian's lodgings. I found him at home, and unemployed, standing by his window, with folded arms, and in a state of such reverie that he was not aware of my entrance till I had touched him on the shoulder.

"Ha!" said he then, with one of his short, quick, impatient sighs, "I thought you had given me up, and forgotten me—but you look pale and harassed. I could almost think you had grown thinner within the last few days."

"Oh! never mind me, Vivian: I have come to speak of yourself. I have left Trevanion; it is settled that I should go to the university—and we all quit town in a few days."


"In a few days!—all!—who are all?"

"My family—father, mother, uncle cousin, and myself. But, my dear fellow, now let us think seriously what is best to be done for you? I can present you to Trevanion."


"But Trevanion is a hard, though an excellent man; and, moreover, as he is always changing the subjects that engross him, in a month or so, he may have nothing to give you. You said you would work—will you consent not to complain if the work cannot be done in kid gloves? Young men who have risen high in the world have begun, it is well known, as reporters to the press. It is a situation of respectability, and in request, and not easy to obtain, I fancy; but still—"

Vivian interrupted me hastily—

"Thank you a thousand times! but what you say confirms a resolution I had taken before you came. I shall make it up with my family, and return home."

"Oh! I am so really glad. How wise in you!"

Vivian turned away his head abruptly—

"Your pictures of family life and domestic peace, you see," he said, "seduced me more than you thought. When do you leave town?"

"Why, I believe, early next week."

"So soon!" said Vivian, thoughtfully. "Well, perhaps I may ask you yet to introduce me to Mr Trevanion; for—who knows?—my family and I may fall out again. But I will consider. I think I have heard you say that this Trevanion is a very old friend of your father's, or uncle's?"

"He, or rather Lady Ellinor, is an old friend of both."

"And therefore would listen to your recommendations of me. But perhaps I may not need them. So you have left—left of your own accord—a situation that seemed more enjoyable, I should think, than rooms in a college;—left—why did you leave?"

And Vivian fixed his bright eyes, full and piercingly, on mine.

"It was only for a time, for a trial, that I was there," said I, evasively: "out at nurse, as it were, till the Alma Mater opened her arms—alma indeed she ought to be to my father's son."

Vivian looked unsatisfied with my explanation, but did not question me farther. He himself was the first to turn the conversation, and he did this with more affectionate cordiality than was common to him. He inquired into our general plans, into the probabilities of our return to town, and drew from me a description of our rural Tusculum. He was quiet and subdued; and once or twice I thought there was a moisture in those luminous eyes. We parted with more of the unreserve and fondness of youthful friendship—at least on my part, and seemingly on his—than had yet endeared our singular intimacy; for the cement of cordial attachment had been wanting to an intercourse in which one party refused all confidence, and the other mingled distrust and fear with keen interest and compassionate admiration.

That evening, before lights were brought in, my father, turning to me, abruptly asked if I had seen my friend, and what he was about to do?

"He thinks of returning to his family," said I.

Roland, who had seemed dozing, winced uneasily.

"Who returns to his family?" asked the Captain.

"Why, you must know," said my father, "that Sisty has fished up a friend of whom he can give no account that would satisfy a policeman, and whose fortunes he thinks himself under the necessity of protecting. You are very lucky that he has not picked your pockets, Sisty; but I daresay he has? What's his name?"

"Vivian," said I—"Francis Vivian."

"A good name, and a Cornish," said my father. "Some derive it from the Romans—Vivianus; others from a Celtic word, which means"—

"Vivian!" interrupted Roland—"Vivian!—I wonder if it be the son of Colonel Vivian?"

"He is certainly a gentleman's son," said I; "but he never told me what his family and connexions were."

"Vivian," repeated my uncle—"poor Colonel Vivian. So the young man is going to his father. I have no doubt it is the same. Ah!"—


"What do you know of Colonel Vivian, or his son?" said I. "Pray, tell me, I am so interested in this young man."

"I know nothing of either, except by gossip," said my uncle, moodily. "I did hear that Colonel Vivian, an excellent officer, and honourable man, had been in—in—(Roland's voice faltered)—in great grief about his son, whom, a mere boy, he had prevented from some improper marriage, and who had run away and left him—it was supposed for America. The story affected me at the time," added my uncle, trying to speak calmly.

We were all silent, for we felt why Roland was so disturbed, and why Colonel Vivian's grief should have touched him home. Similarity in affliction makes us brothers even to the unknown.

"You say he is going home to his family—I am heartily glad of it!" said the envying old soldier, gallantly.

The lights came in then, and, two minutes after, uncle Roland and I were nestled close to each other, side by side; and I was reading over his shoulder, and his finger was silently resting on that passage that had so struck him—"I have not complained—have I, sir?—and I won't complain!"


Fifty years since, the book before us would have earned for its author the sneers of critics and the reputation of a Munchausen: at the present more tolerant and more enlightened day, it not only obtains credit, but excites well-merited admiration of the writer's enterprise, energy, and perseverance. "The rich contents and great originality of the following work," says Professor Carl Ritter, in his preface to Mr Werne's narrative, "will escape no one who bestows a glance, however hasty, upon its pages. It gives vivid and life-like pictures of tribes and territories previously unvisited, and is welcome as a most acceptable addition to our literature of travel, often so monotonous." We quite coincide with the learned professor, whose laudatory and long-winded sentences we have thus freely rendered. His friend, Mr Ferdinand Werne, has made good use of his opportunities, and has produced a very interesting and praiseworthy book.

It is, perhaps, hardly necessary to remind the reader, that the river Nile is formed of two confluent streams, the Blue and the White, whose junction is in South Nubia, between 15° and 16° of North Latitude. The source of the Blue Nile was ascertained by Bruce, and by subsequent travellers, to be in the mountains of Abyssinia; but the course of the other branch, which is by far the longest, had been followed, until very lately, only as far south as 10° or 11° N. L. Even now the river has not been traced to its origin, although Mr Werne and his companions penetrated to 4° N. L. Further they could not go, owing to the rapid subsidence of the waters. The expedition had been delayed six weeks by the culpable dilatoriness of one of its members; and this was fatal to the realisation of its object.

We can conceive few things more exciting than such a voyage as Mr Werne has accomplished and recorded. Starting from the outposts of civilisation, he sailed into the very heart of Africa, up a stream whose upper waters were then for the first time furrowed by vessels larger than a savage's canoe—a stream of such gigantic proportions, that its width, at a thousand miles from the sea, gave it the aspect of a lake rather than of a river. The brute creation were in proportion with the magnitude of the water-course. The hippopotamus reared his huge snout above the surface, and wallowed in the gullies that on either hand run down to the stream; enormous crocodiles gaped along the shore; elephants played in herds upon[48] the pastures; the tall giraffe amongst the lofty palms; snakes thick as trees lay coiled in the slimy swamps; and ant-hills, ten feet high, towered above the rushes. Along the thickly-peopled banks hordes of savages showed themselves, gazing in wonder at the strange ships, and making ambiguous gestures, variously construed by the adventurers as signs of friendship or hostility. Alternately sailing and towing, as the wind served or not; constantly in sight of natives, but rarely communicating with them; often cut off for days from land by interminable fields of tangled weeds,—the expedition pursued its course through innumerable perils, guaranteed from most of them by the liquid rampart on which it floated. Lions looked hungry, and savages shook their spears, but neither showed a disposition to swim off and board the flotilla.

The cause of science has countless obligations to the cupidity of potentates and adventurers. May it not be part of the scheme of Providence, that gold is placed in the most remote and barbarous regions, as a magnet to draw thither the children of civilisation? The expedition shared in by Mr Werne is an argument in favour of the hypothesis. It originated in appetite for lucre, not in thirst for knowledge. Mehemet Ali, viceroy of Egypt, finding the lands within his control unable to meet his lavish expenditure and constant cry for gold, projected working mines supposed to exist in the districts of Kordovan and Fazogl. At heavy cost he procured Austrian miners from Trieste, a portion of whom proceeded in 1836 to the land of promise, to open those veins of gold whence it was reported the old Venetian ducats had been extracted. Already, in imagination, the viceroy beheld an ingot-laden fleet sailing merrily down the Nile. He was disappointed in his glowing expectations. Russegger, the German chief of the expedition, pocketed the pay of a Bey, ate and drank in conformity with his rank, rambled about the country, and wrote a book for the amusement and Information of his countrymen. Then he demanded thirty thousand dollars to begin the works. An Italian, who had accompanied him, offered to do it for less; mistrust and disputes arose, and at last their employer would rely on neither of them, but resolved to go and see for himself. This was in the autumn of 1838; and it might well be that the old fox was not sorry to get out of the way of certain diplomatic personages at Alexandria, and thus to postpone for a while his reply to troublesome inquiries and demands.

"It was on the 15th October 1838," Mr Werne says, "that I—for some time past an anchorite in the wilderness by Tura, and just returned from a hunt in the ruins of Memphis—saw, from the left shore of the Nile, the Abu Dagn, (Father of the Beard,) as Mohammed Ali was designated to me by a Fellah standing by, steam past in his yacht, in the direction of those regions to which I would then so gladly have proceeded. Already in Alexandria I had gathered, over a glass of wine, from frigate-captain Achmet, (a Swiss, named Baumgartner,) the secret plan of the expedition to the White Stream, (Bach'r el Abiat,) and I had made every effort to obtain leave to join it, but in vain, because, as a Christian, my discretion was not to be depended upon."

The Swiss, whom some odd caprice of fate, here unexplained, had converted into an Egyptian naval captain, and to whom the scientific duties of the expedition were confided, died in the following spring, and his place was taken by Captain Selim. Mr Werne and his brother, who had long ardently desired to accompany one of these expeditions up the Nile, were greatly discouraged at this change, which they looked upon as destructive to their hopes. At the town of Chartum, at the confluence of the White and Blue streams, they witnessed, in the month of November 1839, the departure of the first flotilla; and, although sick and weak, from the effects of the climate, their hearts were wrung with regret at being left behind. This expedition got no further than 6° 35' N. L.; although, either from mistakes in their astronomical reckoning or wishing to give themselves more importance, and not anticipating that others would soon follow to check their statements, they pretended to have gone three degrees further south. But Mehemet Ali, not satisfied with the result of[49] their voyage, immediately ordered a second expedition to be fitted out. Mr Werne, who is a most adventurous person, had been for several months in the Taka country, in a district previously untrodden by Europeans, with an army commanded by Achmet Bascha, governor-general of Sudan, who was operating against some rebellious tribes. Here news reached him of the projected expedition; and, to his great joy, he obtained from Achmet permission to accompany it in the quality of passenger. His brother, then body-physician to the Bascha, could not be spared, by reason of the great mortality in the camp.

At Chartum the waters were high, the wind was favourable, and all was ready for a start early in October, but for the non-appearance of two French engineers, who lingered six weeks in Korusko, under one pretext or other, but in reality, M. Werne affirms, because one of them, Arnaud by name, who has since written an account of the expedition, was desirous to prolong the receipt of his pay as bimbaschi, or major, which rank he temporarily held in the Egyptian service. At last he and his companion, Sabatier, arrived: on the 23rd November 1840 a start was made; and, on that day Mr Werne began a journal, regularly kept, and most minute in its details, which he continued till the 22d April 1841, the date of his return to Chartum. He commences by stating the composition of the expedition. "It consists of four dahabies from Kahira, (vessels with two masts and with cabins, about a hundred feet long, and twelve to fifteen broad,) each with two cannon; three dahabies from Chartum, one of which has also two guns; then two kaias, one-masted vessels, to carry goods, and a sàndal, or skiff, for intercommunication; the crews are composed of two hundred and fifty soldiers, (Negroes, Egyptians, and Surians,) and a hundred and twenty sailors and boatmen from Alexandria, Nubia, and the land of Sudàn." Soliman Kaschef (a Circassian of considerable energy and courage, who, like Mr Werne himself, was protected by Achmet Bascha) commanded the troops. Captain Selim had charge of the ships, and a sort of general direction of the expedition, of which, however, Soliman was the virtual chief; the second captain was Feizulla Effendi of Constantinople; the other officers were two Kurds, a Russian, an Albanian, and a Persian. Of Europeans, there were the two Frenchmen, already mentioned, as engineers; a third, named Thibaut, as collector; and Mr Werne, as an independent passenger at his own charges. The ships were to follow each other in two lines, one led by Soliman, the other by Selim; but this order of sailing was abandoned the very first day; and so, indeed, was nearly all order of every kind. Each man sailed his bark as he pleased, without nautical skill or unity of movement; and, as to one general and energetic supervision of the whole flotilla and its progress, no one dreamed of such a thing. Mr Werne indulged in gloomy reflections as to the probable results of an enterprise, at whose very outset such want of zeal and discipline was displayed. It does not appear to have struck him that not the least of his dangers upon the strange voyage he had so eagerly undertaken, was from his shipmates, many of them bigoted Mahometans and reckless, ferocious fellows, ready with the knife, and who would have thought little of burthening their conscience with so small a matter as a Christian's blood. He is evidently a cool, courageous man, prompt in action; and his knowledge of the slavish, treacherous character of the people he had to deal with, doubtless taught him the best line of conduct to pursue with them. This, as appears from various passages of his journal, was the rough and ready style—a blow for the slightest impertinence, and his arms, which he well knew how to use, always at hand. He did not scruple to interfere when he saw cruelty or oppression practised, and soon he made himself respected, if not feared, by all on board; so much so, that Feizulla, the captain of the vessel in which he sailed, a drunken old Turk, who passed his time in drinking spirits and mending his own clothes, appointed him his locum tenens during his occasional absences on shore. During his five months' voyage, Mr[50] Werne had a fine opportunity of studying the peculiarities of the different nations with individuals of which he sailed; and, although his long residence in Africa and the East had made him regard such matters with comparative indifference, the occasional glimpses he gives of Turkish and Egyptian habits are amongst the most interesting passages in his book. Already, on the third day of the voyage, the expiration of the Rhamadan, or fasting month, and the setting in of the little feast of Bairam, gave rise to a singular scene. The flotilla was passing through the country governed by Achmet Bascha, in which Soliman was a man of great importance. By his desire, a herd of oxen and a large flock of sheep were driven down to the shore, for the use of the expedition. The preference was for the mutton, the beef in those regions being usually tough and coarse, and consequently despised by the Turks. "This quality of the meat is owing to the nature of the fodder, the tender grass and herbs of our marsh-lands and pastures being here unknown—and to the climate, which hardens the animal texture, a fact perceived by the surgeon when operating upon the human body. Our Arabs, who, like the Greeks and Jews, born butchers and flayers, know no mercy with beasts or men, fell upon the unfortunate animals, hamstrung them in all haste, to obviate any chance of resumption of the gift, and the hecatomb sank upon the ground, pitiful to behold. During the flaying and quartering, every man tried to secrete a sippet of meat, cutting it off by stealth, or stealing it from the back of the bearers. These coveted morsels were stuck upon skewers, broiled at the nearest watch-fire, and ravenously devoured, to prepare the stomach for the approaching banquet. Although they know how to cook the liver excellently well, upon this occasion they preferred eating it raw, cut up in a wooden dish, and with the gall of the slaughtered beast poured over it. Thus prepared, and eaten with salt and pepper, it has much the flavour of a good raw beefsteak." The celebration of the Bairam was a scene of gluttony and gross revelry. Arrack was served out instead of the customary ration of coffee; and many a Mussulman drank more than did him good, or than the Prophet's law allows. In the night, Captain Feizulla tumbled out of bed; and, having spoiled his subordinates by over-indulgence, not one of them stirred to his assistance. Mr Werne picked him up, found him in an epileptic fit, and learned, with no great pleasure, Feizulla being his cabin-mate, that the thirsty skipper was subject to such attacks. He foresaw a comfortless voyage on board the narrow bark, and with such queer companions; but the daily increasing interest of the scenery and surrounding objects again distracted his thoughts from considerations of personal ease. He had greater difficulty in reconciling himself to the negligence and indolence of his associates. So long as food was abundant and work scanty, all went well enough; but when liquor ran low, and the flesh-pots of Egypt were empty, grumbling began, and the thoughts of the majority were fixed upon a speedy return. Their chiefs set them a poor example. Soliman Kaschef lay in bed till an hour after sunrise, and the signal to sail could not be given till he awoke; and Feizulla, when his and Mr Werne's stock of brandy was out, passed one half his time in distilling spirits from stale dates, and the other moiety in getting intoxicated on the turbid extract thus obtained. Then the officers had female slaves on board; and there was a licensed jester, Abu Haschis, who supplied the expedition with buffoonery and ribaldry; and the most odious practices prevailed amongst the crews; for further details concerning all which matters we refer the curious to Mr Werne himself. A more singularly composed expedition was perhaps never fitted out, nor one less adapted effectually to perform the services required of it. Cleanliness and sobriety, so incumbent upon men cooped up in small craft, in a climate teeming with pestilence and vermin, were little regarded; and subordination and vigilance, essential to safety amidst the perils of an unknown navigation, and in the close vicinity of hostile savages, were utterly neglected,—at first to the great uneasiness of Mr Werne. But[51] after a while, seeing no chance of amendment, and having no power to rebuke or correct deficiencies, he repeated the eternal Allah Kerim! (God is merciful) of his fatalist shipmates, and slept soundly, when the musquitos permitted, under the good guard of Providence.

On the 29th November, the expedition passed the limit of Turco-Egyptian domination. The land it had now reached paid no tribute. "All slaves," was the reply of Turks and Arabs to Mr Werne's inquiry who the inhabitants were. "I could not help laughing, and proving to them, to their great vexation, that these men were free, and much less slaves than themselves; that before making slaves of them, they must first make them prisoners, a process for which they had no particular fancy,—admitting, with much naiveté, that the 'slaves' hereabout were both numerous and brave. This contemptuously spoken Kulo Abit, (All slaves,) is about equivalent to the 'barbarian' of the ancients—the same classical word the modern Greeks have learned out of foreign school-books."

"The trees and branches preventing our vessels from lying alongside the bank, I had myself carried through the water, to examine the country and get some shooting. But I could not make up my mind to use my gun, the only animals to aim at being large, long-tailed, silver-gray apes. I had shot one on a former occasion, and the brute had greatly excited my compassion by his resemblance to a human being, and by his piteous gestures. M. Arnaud, on the contrary, took particular pleasure in making the repeated observation that, on the approach of death, the gums of these beasts turn white, like those of a dying man. They live in families of several hundreds together, and their territory is very circumscribed, even in the forest, as I myself subsequently ascertained. Although fearful of water, and swimming unwillingly, they always fled to the branches overhanging the river, and not unfrequently fell in. When this occurred, their first care on emerging was to wipe the water from their faces and ears. However imminent their danger, only when this operation was completed did they again climb the trees. Such a monkey republic is really a droll enough sight; its members alternately fighting and caressing each other, combing and vermin-hunting, stealing and boxing each other's ears, and, in the midst of all these important occupations, running down every moment to drink, but contenting themselves with a single draught, for fear of becoming a mouthful for the watchful crocodile. The tame monkeys on board our vessels turned restless at sight of the joyous vagabond life of their brethren in the bush. First-lieutenant Hussein Aga, of Kurdistan, lay alongside us, and was in raptures with his monkey, shouting over to me: 'Schuf! el naùti taïb!' (See! the clever sailor!)—meaning his pet ape, which ran about the rigging like mad, hanging on by the ropes, and looking over the bulwarks into the water; until at last he jumped on the back of a sailor who was wading on shore with dirty linen to wash, and thence made a spring upon land to visit his relations, compared to whom, however, he was a mere dwarf. Overboard went the long Kurd, with his gun, to shoot the deserter; but doubtless the little seaman, in his capacity of Turkish slave, and on account of his diminutive figure, met a bad reception, for Hussein was no sooner under the trees than his monkey dropped upon his head. He came to visit me afterwards, brought his 'naùti ta��b' with him, and told me, what I had often heard before, how apes were formerly men, whom God had cursed. It really is written in the Koran that God and the prophet David had turned into monkeys the Jews who did not keep the Sabbath holy. Therefore a good Moslem will seldom kill or injure a monkey. Emin Bey of Fazogl was an exception to this rule. Sitting at table with an Italian, and about to thrust into his mouth a fragment of roast meat, his monkey snatched it from between his thumb and fingers. Whereupon the Bey quietly ordered the robber's hand to be cut off, which was instantly done. The poor monkey came to his cruel master and showed him, with his peculiarly doleful whine, the stump of his fore-paw. The Bey gave orders to kill him, but the Italian begged him[52] as a gift. Soon afterwards the foolish brute came into my possession, and, on my journey back to Egypt, contributed almost as much to cheer me, as did the filial attentions of my freed man Hagar, whom my brother had received as a present, and had bequeathed to me. My servants would not believe but that the monkey was a transformed gabir, or caravan guide, since even in the desert he was always in front and upon the right road, availing himself of every rock and hillock to look about him, until the birds of prey again drove him under the camels, to complain to me with his 'Oehm-oehm;' which was also his custom when he had been beaten in my absence by the servants, whose merissa (a sort of spirit) he would steal and drink till he could neither go nor stand."

During this halt, and whilst rambling along the bank, picking up river-oysters and tracing the monstrous footsteps of hippopotami, Mr Werne nearly walked into the jaws of the largest crocodile he had ever seen. His Turkish servant, Sale, who attended him on such occasions and carried his rifle, was not at hand, and he was glad to beat a retreat, discharging one of his barrels, both of which were laden with shot only, in the monster's face. On being scolded for his absence, Sale very coolly replied, that it was not safe so near shore; for that several times it had occurred to him, whilst gazing up in the trees at the birds and monkeys, to find himself, on a sudden, face to face with a crocodile, which stared at him like a ghost, (Scheitan, Satan,) and which he dared not shoot, lest he should slay his own father. Amongst the numerous Mahommedan superstitions, there is a common belief in the transformation, by witches and sorcerers, of men into beasts, especially into crocodiles and hippopotami.

"Towards evening, cartridges were served out and muskets loaded, for we were now in a hostile country. The powder-magazine stood open, and lighted pipes passed to and fro over the hatchway. Allah Kerim! I do my best to rouse my captain from his indolence, by drawing constant comparisons with the English sea-service; then I fall asleep myself whilst the powder is being distributed, and, waking early in the morning, find the magazine still open, and the sentry, whose duty it is to give an alarm should the water in the hold increase overmuch, fast asleep, with his tobacco-pipe in his hand and his musket in his lap. Feizulla Capitan begged me not to report the poor devil." This being a fair specimen of the prudence and discipline observed during the whole voyage, it is really surprising that Mr Werne ever returned to write its history, and that his corpse—drowned, blown up, or with a knife between the ribs—has not long since been resolved into the elements through the medium of a Nile crocodile. The next day the merciful Feizulla, whose kindness must have sprung from a fellow-feeling, got mad-drunk at a merry-making on an island, and had to be brought by force on board his ship. He seemed disposed to "run amuck;" grasped at sabre and pistols, and put his people in fear of their lives, until Mr Werne seized him neck and heels, threw him on his bed, and held him there whilst he struggled himself weary and fell asleep. The ship's company were loud in praise and admiration of Mr Werne, who, however, was not quite easy as to the possible results of his bold interference. "Only yesterday, I incurred the hatred of the roughest of our Egyptian sailors, as he sat with another at the hand-mill, and repeatedly applied to his companion the word Nasrani, (Christian,) using it as a term of insult, until the whole crew came and looked down into the cabin where I sat, and laughed—the captain not being on board at the time. At last I lost my patience, jumped up, and dealt the fellow a severe blow with my fist. In his fanatical horror at being struck by a Christian, he tried to throw himself overboard, and vowed revenge, which my servants told me. Now, whilst Feizulla Capitan lies senseless, I see from my bed this tall sailor leave the fore-part of the ship and approach our cabin, his comrades following him with their eyes. From a fanatic, who might put his own construction upon my recent friendly constraint of Captain Feizulla, and might convert it into a pretext, I had everything to apprehend. But[53] he paused at the door, apologised, and thanked me for not having reported him to his commander. He then kissed my right hand, whilst in my left I held a pistol concealed under the blanket."

Dangers, annoyances, and squabbles did not prevent Mr Werne from writing up his log, and making minute observations of the surrounding scenery. This was of ever-varying character. Thickly-wooded banks were succeeded by a sea of grass, its monotony unvaried by a single bush. Then came a crowd of islands, composed of water-plants, knit together by creepers and parasites, and alternately anchored to the shore, or floating slowly down the stream, whose sluggish current was often imperceptible. The extraordinary freshness and luxuriance of the vegetable creation in that region of combined heat and moisture, excited Mr Werne's enthusiastic admiration. At times he saw himself surrounded by a vast tapestry of flowers, waving for miles in every direction, and of countless varieties of tint and form. Upon land were bowers and hills of blossom, groves of dark mimosa and gold-gleaming tamarind; upon the water and swamps, interminable carpets of lilac convolvulus, water-lilies, flowering-reeds, and red, blue, and white lotus. The ambak tree, with its large yellow flowers and acacia-like leaf, rose fifteen feet and more above the surface of the water out of which it grew. This singular plant, a sort of link between the forest-tree and the reed of the marshes, has its root in the bed of the Nile, with which it each year rises, surpassing it in swiftness of growth. Its stem is of a soft spungy nature, more like the pith of a tree than like wood, but having, nevertheless, a pith of its own. The lotus was one of the most striking features in these scenes of floral magnificence; its brilliant white flower, which opens as the sun rises, and closes when it sets, beaming, like a double lily, in the shade it prefers. Mr Werne made the interesting observation, that this beautiful flower, where it had not some kind of shelter, closed when the sun approached the zenith, as though unable to endure the too ardent rays of the luminary that called it into life. Details of this kind, and fragments of eloquent description of the gorgeous scenery of the Nile banks, occur frequently in the earlier part of the "Expedition," during which there was little intercourse with the natives, who were either hostile, uninteresting, or concealed. Amongst other reasons for not remaining long near shore, and especially for not anchoring there at night, was the torture the voyagers experienced from gnats, camel-flies, and small wasps, which not only forbade sleep, but rendered it almost impossible to eat and drink. To escape this worse than Egyptian plague, the vessels lay in the middle of the river, which, for some time after their departure, was often three or four miles across. When the breeze was fresh, there was some relief from insect persecution, but a lull made the attacks insupportable. Doubtless a European complexion encouraged these. Our German lifts up his voice in agony and malediction.

"The 10th December.—A dead calm all night. Gnats!!! No use creeping under the bed-clothes, at risk of stifling with heat, compelled as one is by their penetrating sting to go to bed dressed. Leave only a little hole to breathe at, and in they pour, attacking lips, nose, and ears, and forcing themselves into the throat—thus provoking a cough which is torture, since, at each inspiration, a fresh swarm finds its way into the gullet. They penetrate to the most sensitive part of the body, creeping in, like ants, at the smallest aperture. In the morning my bed contained thousands of the small demons which I had crushed and smothered by the perpetual rolling about of my martyred body. As I had forgotten to bring a musquito net from Chartum, there was nothing for it but submission. Neither had I thought of providing myself with leather gloves, unbearable in that hot climate, but which here, upon the Nile, would have been by far the lesser evil, since I was compelled to have a servant opposite to me at supper-time, waving a huge fan so close under my nose, that it was necessary to watch my opportunity to get the food to my mouth. One could not smoke one's pipe in peace, even[54] though keeping one's hands wrapped in a woollen burnous, for the vermin stung through this, and crept up under it from the ground. The black and coloured men on board were equally ill-treated; and all night long the word 'Baùda' resounded through the ship, with an accompaniment of curses and flapping of cloths. The baùda resemble our long-legged gnats, but have a longer proboscis, with which they bore through a triple fold of strong linen. Their head is blue, their back tawny, and their legs are covered with white specks like small pearls, Another sort has short, strong legs, a thick brown body, a red head, and posteriors of varying hues." These parti-coloured and persevering bloodsuckers caused boils by the severity of their sting, and so exhausted the sailors by depriving them of sleep, that the ships could hardly be worked. Bitterly and frequently does Mr Werne recur to his sufferings from their ruthless attacks. At last a strange auxiliary came to his relief. On Christmas-day he writes:—"For the last two nights we have been greatly disturbed by the gnats, but a small cat, which I have not yet seen by daylight, seems to find particular pleasure in licking my face, pulling my beard, and purring continually, thus keeping off the insects. Generally the cats in Bellet-Sudan are of a very wild and fierce nature, which seems the result of their indifferent treatment by the inhabitants. They walk into the poultry-houses and carry off the strongest fowls, but care little for rats and mice. The Barabras, especially those of Dongola, often eat them; not so the Arabs, who spare them persecution—the cat having been one of Mahomet's favourite animals—but who, at the same time, hold them unclean."

There is assuredly no river in the world whose banks, for so great a distance, are so thickly peopled as those of the Nile. Day after day the expedition passed an unbroken succession of populous villages, until Mr Werne wondered whence the inhabitants drew their nourishment, and a sapient officer from Kurdistan opined the Schilluks to be a greater nation than the French. But what people, and what habitations! The former scarce a degree above the brute, the latter resembling dog-kennels, or more frequently thatched bee-hives, with a round hole in the side, through which the inmates creep. Stark-naked, these savages lay in the high grass, whose seed forms part of their food, and gibbered and beckoned to the passing Turks, who, for the most part, disregarded their gestures of amity and invitation, shrewdly suspecting that their intentions were treacherous and their lances hidden in the herbage. Wild rice, fruits, and seeds, are eaten by these tribes, (the Schilluks, Dinkas, and others,) who have also herds of cattle—oxen, sheep, and goats, and who do not despise a hippopotamus chop or a crocodile cutlet. Where the land is unproductive, fish is the chief article of food. They have no horses or camels, and when they steal one of these animals from the Turks, they do not kill it, probably not liking its flesh, but they put out its eyes as a punishment for having brought the enemy into their country. In one hour Mr Werne counted seventeen villages, large or small; and Soliman Kaschef assured him the Schilluks numbered two millions of souls, although it is hard to say how he obtained the census. The Bando or king, although dwelling only two or three leagues from the river, did not show himself. He mistrusted the Turks, and all night the great war-drum was heard to beat. His savage majesty was quite right to be on his guard. "I am well persuaded," says Mr Werne, "that if Soliman Kaschef had once got the dreaded Bando of the Schilluks on board, he would have sailed away with him. I read that in his face when he was told the Bando would not appear. And gladly as I would have seen this negro sovereign, I rejoiced that his caution frustrated the projected shameful treachery. He had no particular grounds for welcoming the Musselmans, those sworn foes of his people. Shortly before our departure, he had sent three ambassadors to Chartum, to put him on a friendly footing with the Turks, and so to check the marauding expeditions of his Arab neighbours, of Soliman Kaschef amongst the rest. The three Schilluks, who could not speak Arabic, were treated in the Divan with customary contempt as Abit, (slaves) and[55] were handed over like common men to the care of Sheikh el Bellet of Chartum. The Sheikh, who receives no pay, and performs the duties of his office out of fear rather than for the sake of the honour, showed them such excellent hospitality, that they came to us Franks and begged a few piastres to buy bread and spirits." On Mr Werne's representations to the Effendi, or chief man at Chartum, dresses of honour (the customary presents) were prepared for them, but they departed stealthily by night; and their master, the Bando, was very indignant on learning the treatment they had received.

A vast green meadow, a sort of elephant pasture, separates the Schilluks from their neighbours the Jengähs, concerning whom Mr Werne obtained some particulars from a Tschauss or sergeant, named Marian of Mount Habila, the son of the Mak or King of the mountains of Nuba. His father had been vanquished and murdered by the Turks, and he had been made a slave. This sergeant-prince was of middle height, with a black tatooed countenance, and with ten holes in each ear, out of which his captors had taken the gold rings. He was a sensible, well-behaved man, and had been thirteen years in the service, but was hopeless of promotion, having none to recommend him. Besides this man, there were two Dinkas and a Jengäh on board; but from them it was impossible to extract information with respect to the manners and usages of their countrymen. They held it treachery to divulge such particulars. Many of the soldiers and sailors composing the expedition being natives of the countries through which it sailed, apprehensions of desertion were entertained, and partially realised. On the 30th December, whilst passing through the friendly land of the Keks, everybody slept on shore, and in the night sixteen men on guard deserted. They were from the distant country of Nuba, (a district of Nubia,) which it seemed scarcely possible they should ever reach, with their scanty store of ammunition, and exposed to the assaults of hunger, thirst, and hostile tribes. Hussein Aga went after them with fifty ferocious Egyptians, likely to show little mercy to the runaways, with whom, however, they could not come up. And suddenly the drums beat to call all hands on board, for there was a report that all the negroes were planning escape. During this halt Mr Werne made ornithological observations, ascertaining, amongst other things, the species of certain white birds, which he had observed sitting impudently upon the backs of the elephants, picking the vermin from their thick hides, as crows do in Europe from the backs of pigs. The elephants evidently disapproved the operation, and lashed with their trunks at their tormentors, who then flew away, but instantly returned to recommence what Mr Werne calls their "dry fishing." These birds proved to be small herons. Shortly before this, a large pelican had been shot, and its crop was found to contain twenty-four fresh fish, the size of herrings. Its gluttony had caused its death, the weight it carried impeding its flight. Prodigious swarms of birds and water-fowl find their nourishment in the White Stream, and upon its swampy banks. In some places the trees were white with their excrements, whose accumulation destroyed vegetable life. There is no lack of nourishment for the feathered tribes—water and earth are prolific of vermin. Millions of glow-worms glimmer in the rushes, the air resounds with the shrill cry of myriads of grasshoppers, and with the croaking of countless frogs. But for the birds, which act as scavengers and vermin-destroyers, those shores would be uninhabitable. The scorching sun fecundates the sluggish waters and rank fat marsh, causing a never-ceasing birth of reptiles and insects. Monstrous fish and snakes of all sizes abound. Concerning the latter, the Arabs have strange superstitions. They consider them in some sort supernatural beings, having a king, Shach Maran by name, who is supposed to dwell in Turkish Kurdistan, not far from Adana, where two villages are exempted from tribute on condition of supplying the snakes with milk. Abdul-Elliab, a Kurd officer of the expedition, had himself offered the milk-sacrifice to the snakes; and he swore that he had seen their king, or at any rate one of his Wokils, or vicegerents, of whom his serpentine majesty[56] has many. He had no sooner poured his milky offering into one of the marble basins nature has there hollowed out, than a great snake, with long hair upon its head, stepped out of a hole in the rocks and drank. It then retired, without, as in some other instances, speaking to the sacrificer, a taciturnity contritely attributed by the latter to his not having yet entirely abjured strong drinks. Two other Kurds vouched for the truth of this statement, adding, that the Maran had a human face, for that otherwise he could not speak, and that he never showed himself except to a sultan or to a very holy man. To the latter character the said Abdul-Elliab had great pretensions, and his bigotry, hypocrisy, and constant quotations from the Koran procured him from his irreverent shipmates, from Mr Werne amongst the number, the nickname of the Paradise-Stormer, it being manifest that he reckoned on taking by assault the blessed abode promised by Mahomet to the faithful. Pending his admission to the society of the houris, he solaced himself with that of a young female slave, who often experienced cruel treatment at the hands of her saintly master. Having one day committed the heinous offence of preparing merissa, a strong drink made from corn, for part of the crew, the Kurd, formerly, according to his own admission, a stanch toper, beat her with a thong as she knelt half-naked upon the deck. "As he did not attend to my calls from the cabin," says Mr Werne, "but continued striking her so furiously as to cut the skin and draw streams of blood, I jumped out, and pulled him backwards, so that his legs flew up in the air. He sprang to his feet, retreated to the bulwark of the ship, drew his sabre, and shouted, with a menacing countenance, 'Effendi!' instead of calling me Kawagi, which signifies a merchant, and is the usual title for a Frank. I had no sooner returned to the cabin than he seized his slave to throw her overboard, whereupon I caught up my double-barrel and levelled at him, calling out, 'Ana oedrup!' (I fire.) Thereupon he let the girl go, and with a pallid countenance protested she was his property, and he could do as he liked with her. Subsequently he complained of me to the commandant, who, knowing his malicious and hypocritical character, sent him on board the skiff, to the great delight of the whole flotilla. On our return to Chartum, he was cringing enough to ask my pardon, and to want to kiss my hand, (although he was then a captain) because he saw that the Bascha distinguished me. A few days previously to this squabble, I had gained the affection and confidence of our black soldiers, one of whom, a Tokruri or pilgrim from Darfur, had quarrelled with an Arab, and wounded him with his knife. He jumped overboard to drown himself, and, being unable to swim, had nearly accomplished his object, when he drifted to our ship and was lifted on board. They wanted to make him stand on his head, but I had him laid horizontally upon his side, and began to rub him with a woollen cloth, but at first could get no one to help me because he was an Abit, a slave, until I threatened the captain he should be made to pay the Bascha for the loss of his soldier. After long-continued rubbing, the Tokruri gave signs of life, and they raised him into a sitting posture, whilst his head still hung down. One of the soldiers, who, as a Faki, pretended to be a sort of awaker of the dead, seized him from behind under the arms, lifted him, and let him fall thrice violently upon his hinder end, shouting in his ear at the same time passages from the Koran, to which the Tokruri at last replied by similar quotations. The superstition of these people is so gross, that they believe such a pilgrim may be completely and thoroughly drowned, and yet retain power to float to any part of the shore he pleases, and, once on dry land, to resume his vitality."

A credulous traveller would have been misled by some of the strange fables put forward, with great plausibility, by these Arabs and other semi-savages, who have, moreover, a strong tendency to exaggerate, and who, perceiving the avidity with which Mr Werne investigated the animal and vegetable world around him, and his desire for rare and curious specimens, occasionally got up a lie for his benefit. Although kept awake many nights by the merciless midges, his zeal for science would not suffer him to sleep[57] in the day, because he had no one he could trust to note the windings of the river. One sultry noon, however, when the Arab rowers were lazily impelling the craft against unfavourable breezes, and the stream was straight for a long distance ahead, he indulged in a siesta, during which visions of a happy German home hovered above his pillow. On awaking, bathed in perspiration, to the dismal realities of the pestilential Bach'r el Abiat, of incessant gnats and barbarian society, his Arab companions had a yarn cut and dried for him. During my sleep they had seen a swimming-bird as large as a young camel, with a straight beak like a pelican, but without a crop; they had not shot it for fear of awaking me, and because they had no doubt of meeting with some more of these unknown birds. No others appeared, and Mr Werne noted the camel-bird as an Egyptian lie, not as a natural curiosity.

A month's sail carried the expedition into the land of the Keks, a numerous, but not a very prosperous tribe. Their tokuls or huts were entirely of straw, walls as well as roof. The men were quite naked, and of a bluish-gray colour, from the slime of the Nile, with which they smear themselves as a protection against the gnats. "There was something melancholy in the way in which those poor creatures raised their hands above their heads, and let them slowly fall, by manner of greeting. They had ivory rings upon their arms, and one of them turned towards his hut, as if inviting us in. Another stood apart, lifted his arms, and danced round in a circle. A Dinka on board, who is acquainted with their language, said they wanted us to give them durra, (a sort of corn,) and that their cows were far away and would not return till evening. This Dinka positively asserted, as did also Marian, that the Keks kill no animal, but live entirely on grain and milk. I could not ascertain, with certainty, whether this respect for brute life extended itself to game and fish, but it is universally affirmed that they eat cattle that die a natural death. This is done to some extent in the land of Sudan, although not by the genuine Arabs: it is against the Koran to eat a beast even that has been slain by a bullet, unless its throat has been cut whilst it yet lived, to let the prohibited blood escape. At Chartum I saw, one morning early, two dead camels lying on a public square; men cut off great pieces to roast, and the dogs looked on longingly. I myself, with Dr Fischer and Pruner, helped to consume, in Kahira, a roasted fragment of Clot Bey's beautiful giraffe, which had eaten too much white clover. The meat was very tender, and of tolerably fine grain. The tongue was quite a delicacy. On the other hand, I never could stomach the coarse-grained flesh of camels, even of the young ones." Africa is the land of strong stomachs. The Arabs, when on short rations, eat locusts; and some of the negro tribes devour the fruit of the elephant-tree, an abominable species of pumpkin, coveted by elephants, but rejected even by Arabs, and which Mr Werne found wholly impracticable, although his general rule was to try all the productions of the country. His gastronomical experiments are often connected with curious details of the animals upon which he tried his teeth. On the 12th January, whilst suffering from an attack of Nile-fever, which left him scarcely strength enough to post up his journal, he heard a shot, and was informed that Soliman Kaschef had killed with a single bullet a large crocodile, as it lay basking on a sandy promontory of the bank. The Circassian made a present of the skin to M. Arnaud, an excellent excuse for an hour's pause, that the Frenchman might get possession of the scaly trophy. Upon such trifling pretexts was the valuable time of the expedition frittered away. "Having enough of other meat at that moment, the people neglected cutting off the tail for food. My servants, however, who knew that I had already tasted that sort of meat at Chartum, and that at Taka I had eaten part of a snake, prepared for me by a dervish, brought me a slice of the crocodile. Even had I been in health, I could not have touched it, on account of the strong smell of musk it exhaled; but, ill as I was, they were obliged to throw it overboard immediately. When first I was in crocodile countries, it was[58] incomprehensible to me how the boatmen scented from afar the presence of these creatures; but on my journey from Kahira to Sennaar, when they offered me in Korusko a young one for sale, I found my own olfactories had become very sensitive to the peculiar odour. When we entered the Blue Stream, I could smell the crocodiles six hundred paces off, before I had seen them. The glands, containing a secretion resembling musk, are situated in the hinder part of the animal, as in the civet cats of Bellet Sudan, which are kept in cages for the collection of the perfume."

As the travellers ascended the river, their intercourse with the natives became much more frequent, inasmuch as these, more remote from Egyptian aggression, had less ground for mistrustful and hostile feelings. Captain Selim had a stock of coloured shirts, and an immense bale of beads, with which he might have purchased the cattle, villages, goods and chattels, and even the bodies, of an entire tribe, had he been so disposed. The value attached by the savages of the White Stream to the most worthless objects of European manufacture, enabled Mr Werne to obtain, in exchange for a few glass beads, a large collection of their arms, ornaments, household utensils, &c., now to be seen in the Royal Museum at Berlin. The stolid simplicity of the natives of those regions exceeds belief. One can hardly make up one's mind to consider them as men. Even as the ambak seems the link between useful timber and worthless rushes, so does the Kek appear to partake as much of brute as of human nature. He has at least as much affinity with the big gray ape, whose dying agonies excited Mr Werne's compassion at the commencement of his voyage, as with the civilised and intellectual man who describes their strange appearance and manners. A Kek, who had been sleeping in the ashes of a fire, a common practice with that tribe, was found standing upon the shore by some of the crew, who brought him on board Selim's vessel. "Bending his body forward in an awkward ape-like manner, intended perhaps to express submission, he approached the cabin, and, on finding himself near it, dropped upon his knees and crept forward upon them, uttering, in his gibberish, repeated exclamations of greeting and wonderment. He had numerous holes through the rims of his ears, which contained, however, no other ornament than one little bar. They threw strings of beads over his neck, and there was no end to his joy; he jumped and rolled upon the deck, kissed the planks, doubled himself up, extended his hands over all our heads, as if blessing us, and then began to sing. He was an angular, high-shouldered figure, about thirty years of age. His attitude and gestures were very constrained, which arose, perhaps, from the novelty of his situation; his back was bent, big head hung forward, his long legs, almost calf-less, were as if broken at the knees; in his whole person, in short, he resembled an orang-outang. He was perfectly naked, and his sole ornaments consisted of leathern rings upon the right arm. How low a grade of humanity is this! The poor natural touches one with his childish joy, in which he is assuredly happier than any of us. By the help of the Dinka interpreter, he is instructed to tell his countrymen they have no reason to retreat before such honest people as those who man the flotilla. Kneeling, jumping, creeping, kissing the ground, he is then led away by the hand like a child, and would assuredly take all he has seen for a dream, but for the beads he bears with him." Many of these tribes are composed of men of gigantic stature. On the 7th January, Mr Werne, being on shore, would have measured some of the taller savages, but they objected. He then gave his servants long reeds and bade them stand beside the natives, thus ascertaining their average height to be from six to seven Rhenish feet. The Egyptians and Europeans looked like pigmies beside them. The women were in proportion with the men. Mr Werne tells of one lady who looked clear away over his head, although he describes himself as above the middle height.

At this date, (7th January) the flotilla reached a large lake, or inlet of the river, near to which a host of elephants grazed, and a multitude of light-brown antelopes stood still and stared at the intruders. The sight of[59] the antelopes, which were of a species called ariel, whose flesh is particularly well-flavoured, was too much for Soliman Kaschef to resist. There was no wind; he gave orders to cease towing, and went on shore to shoot his supper. The antelopes retreated when the ships grated against the bank; and as the rush-jungle was by no means safe, beasts of prey being wont to hide there to catch the antelopes as they go to water at sunset, a few soldiers were sent forward to clear the way. Nevertheless, "on our return from the chase, during which not a single shot was fired, we lost two báltaschi, (carpenters or sappers,) and all our signals were insufficient to bring them back. They were Egyptians, steady fellows, and most unlikely to desert; but their comrades did not trouble themselves to look for them, shrugged their shoulders, and supposed they had been devoured by the assad or the nimr—the lion or tiger. The word nimr is here improperly applied, there being no tigers in Africa, but it is the general term for panthers and leopards." Here, at four-and-twenty degrees of latitude south of Alexandria, this extraordinary river was nearly four hundred paces wide. Mr Werne speculates on the origin of this astonishing water-course, and doubts the possibility that the springs of the White Stream supply the innumerable lakes and creeks, and the immense tracts of marsh contiguous to it; that, too, under an African sun, which acts as a powerful and constant pump upon the immense liquid surface. When he started on his voyage, the annual rains had long terminated. What tremendous springs those must be, that could keep this vast watery territory full and overflowing! Then the sluggishness of the current is another puzzle. Were the Nile one stream, Mr Werne observes—referring, of course, to the White Nile—it must flow faster than it does. And he concludes it to have tributaries, which, owing to the level nature of the ground, and to the resistance of the main stream, stagnate to a certain extent, rising and falling with the river, and contributing powerfully to its nourishment. But the notion of exploring all these watery intricacies with a flotilla of heavy-sailing barges, manned by lazy Turks and Arabs, and commanded by men who care more for getting drunk on arrack and going a-birding, than for the great results activity and intelligence might obtain, is essentially absurd. The proper squadron to explore the Bach'r el Abiat, through the continued windings, and up the numerous inlets depicted in Mr Mahlmann's map, is one consisting of three small steamers, drawing very little water, with steady well-disciplined English crews, accustomed to hot climates, and commanded by experienced and scientific officers. With the strongest interest should we watch the departure and anticipate the return of such an expedition as this. "Much might be done by a steam-boat," says Mr Werne; who then enumerates the obstacles to its employment. To bring it over the cataracts of the Nile, (below the junction of the Blue and White Streams,) it would be necessary to take the paddles entirely out, that it might be dragged up with ropes, like a sailing vessel. Or else it might be built at Chartum, but for the want of proper wood; the sunt-tree timber, although very strong, being exceedingly brittle and ill-adapted for ship-building. The greatest difficulty would be the fuel—the establishment and guard of coal stores; and as to burning charcoal, although the lower portion of the White Stream has forests enough, they are wanting on its middle and upper banks; to say nothing of the loss of time in felling and preparing the wood, of the danger of attacks from natives, &c., &c. If some of these difficulties are really formidable, others, on the contrary, might easily be overcome, and none are insuperable. Mr Werne hardly makes sufficient allowance for the difference between Soliman Kaschef and a European naval officer, who would turn to profit the hours and days the gallant Circassian spent in antelope-shooting, in laughing at Abu Haschis the jester, and in a sort of travelling seraglio he had arranged in his inner cabin, a dark nook with closely-shut jalousies, that served as prison to an unfortunate slave-girl, who lay all day upon a carpet, with scarcely space to turn herself, guarded by a eunuch. Not a glimpse of the country did the poor thing obtain[60] during the whole of the voyage; and, even veiled, she was forbidden to go on deck. Besides these oriental relaxations, an occasional practical joke beguiled for the commodore the tedium of the voyage. Feizulla, the tailor-captain, whose strange passion for thimble and thread made him frequently neglect his nautical duties, chanced one day to bring to before his superior gave the signal. "Soliman Kaschef had no sooner observed this than he fired a couple of shots at Feizulla Capitan, so that I myself, standing before the cabin door, heard the bullets whistle. Feizulla, did not stir, although both he and the sailors in the rigging afterwards affirmed that the balls went within a hand's-breadth of his head: he merely said, 'Malesch—hue billab,' (It is nothing—he jests;) and he shot twice in return, pointing the gun in the opposite direction, that Soliman might understand he took the friendly greeting as a Turkish joke, and that he, as a bad shot, dared not level at him." Soliman, on the other hand, was far too good a shot for such a sharp jest to be pleasant. The Turks account themselves the best marksmen and horsemen in the world, and are never weary of vaunting their prowess. Mr Werne says he saw an Arnaut of Soliman's shoot a running hare with a single ball, which entered in the animal's rear, and came out in front. And it was a common practice, during the voyage, to bring down the fruit from lofty trees by cutting the twigs with bullets. All these pastimes, however retarded the progress of the expedition. The wind was frequently light or unfavourable, and the lazy Africans made little way with the towing rope. Then a convenient place would often tempt to a premature halt; and, notwithstanding Soliman's sharp practice with poor Feizulla, if a leading member of the party felt lazily disposed, inclined for a hunting-party, or for a visit to a negro village, he seldom had much difficulty in bringing the flotilla to an anchor. In a straight line from north to south, the expedition traversed, between its departure from Chartum and its return thither, about sixteen hundred miles. It is difficult to calculate the distance gone over; and probably Mr Werne himself would be puzzled exactly to estimate it; but adding 20 per cent for windings, obliquities, and digressions, (a very liberal allowance,) we get a total of nearly two thousand miles, accomplished in five months, including stoppages, being at the very moderate rate of about 13 miles a day. And this, we must remember, was on no rapid stream, but up a river, whose current, rarely faster than one mile in an hour, was more frequently only half a mile, and sometimes was so feeble that it could not be ascertained. The result is not surprising, bearing in mind the quality of ships, crews, and commanders: but write "British" for "Egyptians," and the tale would be rather different.

The upshot of this ill-conducted expedition was its arrival in the kingdom of Bari, whose capital city, Pelenja, is situated in 4° N. L., and which is inhabited by an exceedingly numerous nation of tall and powerful build; the men six and a-half to seven French feet in height—equal to seven and seven and a-half English feet—athletic, well-proportioned, and, although black, with nothing of the usual negro character in their features. The men go naked, with the exception of sandals and ornaments; the woman wear leathern aprons. They cultivate tobacco and different kinds of grain: from the iron found in their mountains they manufacture weapons and other implements, and barter them with other tribes. They breed cattle and poultry, and are addicted to the chase. About fifteen hundred of these blacks came down to the shore, armed to the teeth—a sight that inspired the Turks with some uneasiness, although they had several of their chiefs on board the flotilla, besides which, the frank cordiality and good-humoured intelligent countenances of the men of Bari forbade the idea of hostile aggression. "It had been a fine opportunity for a painter or sculptor to delineate these colossal figures, admirably proportioned, no fat, all muscle, and magnificently limbed. None of them have beards, and it would seem they use a cosmetic to extirpate them. Captain Selim, whose chin was smooth-shaven, pleased them far better than the long-bearded Soliman Kaschef; and when the[61] latter showed them his breast, covered with a fell of hair, they exhibited a sort of disgust, as at something more appropriate to a beast than to a man." Like most of the tribes on the banks of the White Nile, they extract the four lower incisors, a custom for which Mr Werne is greatly puzzled to account, and concerning which he hazards many ingenious conjectures. Amongst the ape-like Keks and Dinkas, he fancied it to originate in a desire to distinguish themselves from the beasts of the field—to which they in so many respects assimilate; but he was shaken in this opinion, on finding the practice to prevail amongst the intelligent Bari, who need no such mark to establish their difference from the brute creation. The Dinkas on board confirmed his first hypothesis, saying that the teeth are taken out that they may not resemble the jackass—which in many other respects they certainly do. The Turks take it to be a rite equivalent to Mahomedan circumcision, or to Christian baptism. The Arabs have a much more extravagant supposition, which we refrain from stating, the more so as Mr Werne discredits it. He suggests the possibility of its being an act of incorporation in a great Ethiopian nation, divided into many tribes. The operation is performed at the age of puberty; it is unaccompanied by any particular ceremonies; and women as well as men undergo it. Its motive still remains a matter of doubt to Mr Werne.

Before Lakono, sultan of the Bari, and his favourite sultana Ischok, an ordinary-looking lady with two leathern aprons and a shaven head, came on board Selim's vessel, the Turks made repeated attempts to obtain information from some of the Sheiks concerning the gold mines, whose discovery was the main object of the expedition. A sensible sort of negro, one Lombé, replied to their questions, and extinguished their hopes. There was not even copper, he said, in the land of the Bari, although it was brought thither from a remoter country, and Lakono had several specimens of it in his treasury. On a gold bar being shown to him, he took it for copper, whence it was inferred that the two metals were blended in the specimens possessed by the sultan, and that the mountains of the copper country also yielded the more precious ore. This country, however, lay many days' journey distant from the Nile, and, had it even bordered on the river, there would have been no possibility of reaching it. At a very short distance above Palenja, the expedition encountered a bar of rocks thrown across the stream. And although Mr Werne hints the possibility of having tried the passage, the Turks were sick of the voyage and were heartily glad to turn back. At the period of the floods the river rises eighteen feet; and there then could be no difficulty in surmounting the barrier. Now the waters were falling fast. The six weeks lost by Arnaud's fault were again bitterly deplored by the adventurous German—the only one of the party who really desired to proceed. Twenty days sooner, and the rocks could neither have hindered an advance nor afforded pretext for a retreat. To Mr Werne's proposal, that they should wait two months where they were, when the setting in of the rains would obviate the difficulty, a deaf ear was turned—an insufficient stock of provisions was objected; and although the flotilla had been stored for a ten months' voyage, and had then been little more than two months absent from Chartum, the wastefulness that had prevailed gave some validity to the objection. One-and-twenty guns were fired, as a farewell salute to the beautiful country Mr Werne would so gladly have explored, and which, he is fully convinced, contains so much of interest; and the sluggish Egyptian barks retraced their course down stream.

It is proper here to note a shrewd conjecture of Mr Werne's, that above the point reached by himself and his companions, the difficulties of ascending the river would greatly and rapidly increase. The bed becomes rocky, and the Bach'r el Abiat, assuming in some measure the character of a mountain stream, augments the rapidity of its current: so much so, that Mr Werne insists on the necessity of a strong north wind, believing that towing, however willingly and vigorously attempted, would be found unavailing.[62] This is another strong argument in favour of employing steamboats.

Although the narrative of the homeward voyage is by no means uninteresting, and contains details of the river's course valuable to the geographer and to the future explorer, it has not the attraction of the up-stream narrative. The freshness is worn off; the waters sink, and the writer's spirits seem disposed to follow their example; there is all the difference between attack and retreat—between a cheerful and hopeful advance, and a retrograde movement before the work is half done. But, vexed as an enthusiastic and intrepid man might naturally feel at seeing his hopes frustrated by the indolent indifference of his companions, Mr Werne could hardly deem his five months thrown away. We are quite sure those who read his book will be of opinion that the time was most industriously and profitably employed.

A sorrowful welcome awaited our traveller, after his painful and fatiguing voyage. There dwelt at Chartum a renegade physician, a Palermitan named Pasquali, whose Turkish name was Soliman Effendi, and who was notorious as a poisoner, and for the unscrupulous promptness with which he removed persons in the slightest degree unpleasing to himself or to his patron Achmet Bascha. In Arabia, it was currently believed, he had once poisoned thirty-three soldiers, with the sole view of bringing odium upon the physician and apothecary, two Frenchmen, who attended them. In Chartum he was well known to have committed various murders.

"Although this man," says Mr Werne, "was most friendly and sociable with me, I had everything to fear from him on account of my brother, by whom the Bascha had declared his intention of replacing him in the post of medical inspector of Bellet-Sudàn. It was therefore in the most solemn earnest that I threatened him with death, if upon my return I found my brother dead, and learned that they had come at all in contact. 'Dio guarde, che affronto!' was his reply; and he quietly drank off his glass of rum, the same affront having already been offered him in the Bascha's divan; the reference being naturally to the poisonings laid to his charge in Arabia and here."

At Chartum Mr Werne found his brother alive, but on the eleventh day after his return he died in his arms. The renegade had had no occasion to employ his venomous drugs; the work had been done as surely by the fatal influence of the noxious climate.



The accomplishments brought back by our grandfathers from the Continent to grace the drawing-rooms of May Fair, or enliven the solitudes of Yorkshire, were a favourite subject for satirists, some "sixty years since." Admitting the descriptions to be correct, it must be remembered that the grand tour had become at once monotonous and deleterious,—from Calais to Paris, from Paris to Geneva, from Geneva to Milan, from Milan to Florence, thence to Rome, and thence to Naples, the English "my lord," with his bear-leader, was conducted with regularity, if not with speed; and the same course of sights and society was prescribed for, and taken by, generation after generation of Oxonians and Cantabs. Then, again, the Middle Ages, with their countless graceful vestiges, their magnificent architecture, which even archaic Evelyn thought and called "barbarous," their chivalrous customs, religious observances, rude yet picturesque arts, and fanciful literature, were literally blotted out from the note-book of the English tourist. Whatever was classical or modern, that was worthy of regard; but whatever belonged to "Europe's middle night," that the descendants of Saxon thanes or Norman knights disdained even to look at. Even had there been no Pyrenees to cross, or no Bay of Biscay to encounter, so Gothic a country as Spain was not likely to attract to its dusky sierras, frequent monasteries, and mediæval towns, the fine gentlemen and Mohawks of those enlightened days; nor need we be surprised that the natural beauties of that romantic land—its weird mountains, primæval forests, and fertile plains, fragrant with orange groves, and bright with flowers of every hue, unknown to English gardens—remained unexplored by the countrymen of Gray and Goldsmith, who have put on record their marked disapprobation of Nature in her wildest and most sublime mood. Thus, then, it was that, with rare exceptions, the pleasant land of Spain was a sealed book to Englishmen, until the Great Captain rivalled and eclipsed the feats and triumphs of the Black Prince in every province of the Peninsula, and enabled guardsmen and hussars to admire the treasures of Spanish art in many a church and convent unspoiled by French rapacity. Nor may we deny our obligations to Gallic plunderers. Many a noble picture that now delights the eyes of thousands, exalts and purifies the taste of youthful painters, and sends, on the purple wings of European fame, the name of its Castilian, or Valencian, or Andalusian creator down the stream of time, but for Soult or Sebastiani, might still have continued to waste its sweetness on desert air. Thenceforward, in spite of brigands and captain-generals, rival constitutions and contending princes, have adventurous Englishmen been found to delight in rambling, like Inglis, in the footsteps of Don Quixote,—emulating the deeds of Peterborough, like Ranelagh and Henningsen, or throwing themselves into the actual life, and studying the historic manners of Spain, like Carnarvon and Ford. Still, though soldier and statesman, philosopher and littérateur, had put forth their best powers in writing of the country that so worthily interested them, a void was ever left for some new comer to fill; and right well, in his three handsome, elaborate, and most agreeable volumes, has Mr Stirling filled that void. Not one of the goodly band of Spanish painters now lacks a "sacred poet" to inscribe his name in the temple of fame. With indefatigable research, most discriminating taste, and happiest success, has Mr Stirling pursued and completed his pleasant labour of love, and presented to the world "Annals of the Artists of Spain" worthy—can we say more?—of recording the triumphs of El Mudo and El Greco, Murillo and Velasquez.[16]

At least a century and a half[64] before Holbein was limning the burly frame and gorgeous dress of bluff King Hal, and creating at once a school and an appreciation of art in England, were the early painters of Spain enriching their magnificent cathedrals, and religious houses, with pictures displaying as correct a knowledge of art, and as rich a tone of colour, as the works of that great master. There is something singular and mysterious in the contrast afforded by the early history of painting in the two countries. While in poetry, in painting on glass, in science, in manufactures, in architecture, England appears to have kept pace with other countries, in painting and in sculpture she appears always to have lagged far behind. Gower, Chaucer, Friar Bacon, William of Wyckham, Waynfleete, the unknown builders of ten thousand churches and convents, the manufacturers of the glass that still charms our eyes, and baffles the rivalry of our Willements and Wailes, at York and elsewhere—the illuminators of the missals and religious books, whose delicate fancy and lustrous tints are even now teaching our highborn ladies that long-forgotten art—yielded the palm to none of their brethren in Europe; but where and who were our contemporaneous painters and sculptors? In the luxurious and graceful court of Edward IV., who represented that art which Dello and Juan de Castro, under royal and ecclesiastical patronage, had carried to such perfection in Spain? That no English painters of any note flourished at that time, is evident from the silence of all historical documents; nor does it appear that foreign artists were induced, by the hope of gain or fame, to instruct our countrymen in the art to which the discoveries of the Van Eycks had imparted such a lustre. It is true that the desolating Wars of the Roses left scant time and means to the sovereigns and nobility of England for fostering the arts of peace; but still great progress was being made in nearly all those arts, save those of which we speak; and, if we remember rightly, Mr Pugin assigns the triumph of English architecture to this troublous epoch. Nor, although Juan I., Pedro the Cruel, and Juan II., were admirers and patrons of painting, was it to royal or noble favour that Spanish art owed its chiefest obligations. The church—which, after the great iconoclastic struggle of the eighth century, had steadily acted on the Horatian maxim,

"Segnius irritant animos demissa per aures,
Quam quæ sunt oculis subjecta fidelibus"—

in Spain embraced the young and diffident art with an ardour and a munificence which, in its palmiest and most prosperous days, that art never forgot, and was never wearied of requiting. Was it so in England? and do we owe our lack of ancient English pictures to the reforming zeal of our iconoclastic reformers? Did the religious pictures of our Rincons, our Nuñez, and our Borgoñas, share the fate of the libraries that were ruthlessly destroyed by the ignorant myrmidons of royal rapacity? If so, it is almost certain that the records which bewail and denounce the fate of books and manuscripts, would not pass over the destruction of pictures; while it is still more certain that the monarch and his courtiers would have appropriated to themselves the pictured saints, no less than the holy vessels, of monastery and convent. It cannot, therefore, be said that the English Reformation deprived our national school of painting of its most munificent patrons, and most ennobling and purest subjects, in the destruction of the monasteries, and the spoliation of churches. That the Church of England, had she remained unreformed, might, in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, have emulated her Spanish or Italian sister in her patronage of, and beneficial influence upon, the arts of painting and sculpture, it is needless either to deny or assert; we fear there is no room for contending that, since the Reformation, she has in any way fostered, guided, or exalted either of those religious arts.

In Spain, on the contrary, as Mr Stirling well points out, it was under the august shadow of the church that painting first raised her head, gained her first triumphs, executed her most glorious works, and is even now prolonging her miserable existence.

The venerable cathedral of Toledo was, in effect, the cradle of Spanish[65] painting. Founded in 1226 by St Ferdinand, it remained, to quote Mr Stirling's words, "for four hundred years a nucleus and gathering-place for genius, where artists swarmed and laboured like bees, and where splendid prelates—the popes of the Peninsula—lavished their princely revenues to make fair and glorious the temple of God intrusted to their care." Here Dolfin introduced, in 1418, painting on glass; here the brothers Rodrigues displayed their forceful skill as sculptors, in figures which still surmount the great portal of that magnificent cathedral; and here Rincon, the first Spanish painter who quitted the stiff mediæval style, loved best to execute his graceful works. Nor when, with the house of Austria, the genius of Spanish art quitted the Bourbon-governed land, did the custodians of this august temple forget to stimulate and reward the detestable conceits, and burlesque sublimities, of such artists as the depraved taste of the eighteenth century delighted to honour. Thus, in 1721, Narciso Tome erected at the back of the choir an immense marble altar-piece, called the Trasparente, by order of Archbishop Diego de Astorgo, for which he received two hundred thousand ducats; and thus, fifty years later, Bayeu and Maella were employed to paint in fresco the cloisters that had once gloried in the venerable paintings of Juan de Borgoña. At Toledo, then, under the auspices of the great Castilian queen, Isabella, may be said to have risen the Castilian school of art. The other great schools of Spanish painting were those of Andalusia, of Valencia, and that of Arragon and Catalonia; but, for the mass of English readers, the main interest lies in the two first, the schools that produced or acquired El Mudo and El Greco, Velasquez and Murillo. The works of the two last-mentioned artists are now so well known, and so highly appreciated in England, that we are tempted to postpone for the present any notice of that most delightful part of Sir Stirling's book which treats of them, and invite our readers to trace the course of art in that stern old city to which we have already referred, Toledo.

Before the grave had closed upon the cold remains of Rincon, Juan de Borgoña had proved himself worthy of wielding the Castilian pencil, and, under the patronage of the great Toledan archbishop, Ximenes de Cisneros, produced works which still adorn the winter chapter-room of that cathedral. These are interesting not only as specimens of art, but as manifestations of the religious ��������� of Spain at the commencement of the sixteenth century: let Mr Stirling describe one of the most remarkable of these early paintings:—"The lower end of the finely-proportioned, but badly-lighted room, is occupied by the 'Last Judgment,' a large and remarkable composition. Immediately beneath the figure of our Lord, a hideous fiend, in the shape of a boar, roots a fair and reluctant woman out of her grave with his snout, as if she were a trufle, twining his tusks in her long amber locks. To the left are drawn up in a line a party of the wicked, each figure being the incarnation of a sin, of which the name is written on a label above in Gothic, letters, as 'Soberbia,' and the like. On their shoulders sit little malicious imps, in the likeness of monkeys, and round their lower limbs, flames climb and curl. The forms of the good and faithful, on the right, display far less vigour of fancy." So the good characters in modern works of fiction are more feebly drawn, and excite less interest, than the Rob Roys and Dirk Hattericks, the Conrads and the Manfreds. Nor was Toledo at this time wanting in the sister art of sculpture: while the Rincons, and Berruguete, and Borgoña, were enriching the cathedral with their pictures and their frescoes, Vigarny was elaborating the famous high altar of marble, and the stalls on the epistle side. In concluding his notice of Vigarny, "the first great Castilian sculptor," Mr Stirling gives a sketch of the style of sculpture popular in Spain. Like nearly all the "Cosas d'Espana," it is peculiar, and owes its peculiarity to the same cause that has impressed so marked a character on Spanish painting and Spanish pharmacopeia—religion.

Let not the English lover of the fine arts, invited to view the masterpieces of Spanish sculpture, imagine that his eyes are to be feasted on the[66] nude, though hardly indecent forms of Venuses and Apollos, Ganymedes and Andromedas.

Beautiful, and breathing, and full of imagination, indeed, those Spanish statues are—"idols," as our author generally terms them; but the idolatry they represent or evoke is heavenly, not earthly—spiritual, not sensuous. Chiselled out of a block of cedar or lime-wood, with the most reverential care, the image of the Queen of Heaven enjoyed the most exquisite and delicate services of the rival sister arts, and, "copied from the loveliest models, was presented to her adorers sweetly smiling, and gloriously apparelled in clothing of wrought gold." But we doubt whether any Englishman who has not seen can understand the marvellous beauty of these painted wooden images. Thus Berruguete, who combined both arts in perfection, executed in 1539 the archbishop's throne at Toledo, "over which hovers an airy and graceful figure, carved in dark walnut, representing our Lord on the Mount of Transfiguration, and remarkable for its fine and floating drapery."

Continuing our list of Toledan artists, "whose whole lives and labours lay within the shadow of that great Toledan church, whose genius was spent in its service, and whose names were hardly known beyond its walls," (vol. i. p. 150,) we come to T. Comontes, who, among other works for that munificent Alma Mater, executed from the designs of Vigarny the retablo (reredos) for the chapel "de los Reyes Nuevos," in 1533. It was at Toledo that El Mudo, the Spanish Titian, died, and at Toledo that Blas del Prado was born. When in 1593 the Emperor of Morocco asked that the best painter of Spain might be sent to his court, Philip II. appointed Blas del Prado to fulfil the Mussulman's artistic desires: previous to this, the chapter of Toledo had named him their second painter, and he had painted a large altar-piece, and other pictures, for their cathedral. But perhaps the Toledan annals of art contain no loftier name than that of El Greco. Domemis Theotocopuli, who, born, it is surmised, at Venice in 1548, is found in 1577 painting at Toledo, for the cathedral, his famous picture of The Parting of our Lord's Garment, on which he bestowed the labour of a decade, and of which we give Mr Stirling's picturesque description.

"The august figure of the Saviour, arrayed in a red robe, occupies the centre of the canvass; the head, with its long dark locks, is superb; and the noble and beautiful countenance seems to mourn for the madness of them who 'knew not what they did;' his right arm is folded on his bosom, seemingly unconscious of the rope which encircles his wrist, and is violently dragged downwards by two executioners in front. Around and behind him appears a throng of priests and warriors, amongst whom the Greek himself figures as the centurion, in black armour. In drawing and composition, this picture is truly admirable, and the colouring is, on the whole, rich and effective—although it is here and there laid on in that spotted streaky manner, which afterwards became the great and prominent defect of El Greco's style."

Summoned from the cathedral to the court, El Greco painted, by royal command, a large altar-piece, for the church at the Escurial, on the martyrdom of St Maurice; "little less extravagant and atrocious," says our lively author, "than the massacre it recorded." Neither king nor court painters could praise this performance, and the effect of his failure at the Escurial appears to have been his return to Toledo. Here, in 1584, he painted, by order of the Archbishop Quiroga, "The Burial of the Count of Orgaz," a picture then and now esteemed as his master-piece, and still to be seen in the church of Santo Tomé. Warm is the encomium, and eloquently expressed, which Mr Stirling bestows upon this gem of Toledan art. "The artist, or lover of art, who has once beheld it, will never, as he rambles among the winding streets of the ancient city, pass the pretty brick belfry of that church—full of horse-shoe niches and Moorish reticulations,—without turning aside to gaze upon its superb picture once more. It hangs to your left, on the wall opposite to the high altar. Gonzalo Ruiz, Count of Orgaz, head of a house famous in romance, rebuilt the fabric of the church, and was in all respects so religious and gracious a grandee, that,[67] when he was buried in 1323, within these very walls, St Stephen and St Augustine came down from heaven, and laid his body in the tomb with their own holy hands—an incident which forms the subject of the picture. St Stephen, a dark-haired youth of noble countenance, and St Augustine, a hoary old man wearing a mitre, both of them arrayed in rich pontifical vestments of golden tissue, support the dead Count in their arms, and gently lower him into the grave, shrouded like a baron of Roslin 'in his iron panoply.' Nothing can be finer than the execution and the contrast of these three heads; never was the image of the peaceful death of 'the just man' more happily conveyed, than in the placid face and powerless form of the warrior: nor did Giorgione or Titian ever excel the splendid colouring of his black armour, rich with gold damascening. To the right of the picture, behind St Stephen, kneels a fair boy in a dark dress, perhaps the son of the Count; beyond rises the stately form of a gray friar; to the left, near St Augustine, stand two priests in gorgeous vestments, holding, the one a book, and the other a taper. Behind this principal group appear the noble company of mourners, hidalgos and old Christians all, with olive faces and beards of formal cut, looking on with true Castilian gravity and phlegm, as if the transaction were an every-day occurrence. As they were mostly portraits, perhaps some of the originals did actually stand, a few years later, with the like awe in their hearts and calm on their cheeks, in the royal presence-chamber, when the news came to court that the proud Armada of Spain had been vanquished by the galleys of Howard, and cast away on the rocks of the Hebrides." We make no apology for thus freely quoting from Mr Stirling's pages his description of this picture; the extract brings vividly before our readers at once the merits of the old Toledan painter, and his accomplished biographer and critic. After embellishing his adopted city, not only with pictures such as this, but with works of sculpture and architecture, and vindicating his graceful profession from the unsparing exactions of the tax-gatherers—a class who appear to have waged an unrelenting though intermittent war against the fine arts in Spain—he died there at a green old age in 1625, and was buried in the church of St Bartolemé. Even the painters most employed at the munificent and art-loving court of the second and third Philips, found time to paint for the venerable cathedral. Thus, in 1615, Vincencio Carducho, the Florentine, painted, with Eugenio Caxes, a series of frescoes in the chapel of the Sagrario; and thus Eugenio Caxes, leaving the works at the Pardo and Madrid, painted for the cathedral of Toledo the Adoration of the Magi, and other independent pictures.

Meanwhile the school of El Greco was producing worthy fruit; from it, in the infancy of the seventeenth century, came forth Luis Tristan, an artist even now almost unknown in London and Edinburgh, but whose style Velasquez did not disdain to imitate, and whose praises he was never tired of sounding. "Born, bred, and sped" in Toledo, or its neighbourhood, as Morales was emphatically the painter of Badajoz, so may Tristan be termed the painter of Toledo. No foreign graces, no classical models, adorned or vitiated his stern Spanish style; yet, in his portrait of Archbishop Sandoval, he is said by Mr Stirling to have united the elaborate execution of Sanchez Coello with much of the spirit of Titian. And of him is the pleasant story recorded, that having, while yet a stripling, painted for the Jeronymite convent at Toledo a Last Supper, for which he asked two hundred ducats, and being denied payment by the frugal friars, he appealed with them to the arbitration of his old master, El Greco, who, having viewed the picture, called the young painter a rogue and a novice, for asking only two for a painting worth five hundred ducats. In the same Toledan church that contains the ashes of his great master, lies the Murcian Pedro Orrente, called by our author "the Bassano, or the Roos—the great sheep and cattle master of Spain:" he too was employed by the art-encouraging chapter, and the cathedral possessed several of his finest pictures. But with Tristan and Orrente the glories of Toledan art paled and waned; and, trusting that our[68] readers have not been uninterested in following our brief sketch of the remarkable men who for four hundred years rendered this quaint old Gothic city famous for its artistic splendours, we retrace our steps, halting and perplexed among so many pleasant ways, blooming flowers, and brilliant bowers, to the magnificent, albeit gloomy Escurial, where Philip II lavished the wealth of his mighty empire in calling forth the most vigorous energies of Spanish and of foreign art.

For more than thirty years did the astonished shepherds of the Guadaramas watch the mysterious pile growing under scaffolding alive with armies of workmen; and often, while the cares of the Old World and the New—to say nothing of that other World, which was seldom out of Philip's thoughts, and to which his cruel fanaticism hurried so many wretches before their time—might be supposed to demand his attention at Madrid, were they privileged to see their mighty monarch perched on a lofty ledge of rock, for hours, intently gazing upon the rising walls and towers which were to redeem his vow to St Laurence at the battle of Saint Quentin, and to hand down, through all Spanish time, the name and fame of the royal and religious founder. On the 23d of April 1563, the first stone of this Cyclopean palace was laid, under the direction of Bautiste di Toledo, at whose death, in 1567, the work was continued by Juan de Herrera, and finally perfected by Leoni (as to the interior decorations) in 1597. Built in the quaint unshapely form of St Laurence's gridiron, the Escurial is doubtless open to much severe criticism; but the marvellous grandeur, the stern beauty, and the characteristic effect of the gigantic pile, must for ever enchant the eyes of all beholders, who are not doomed by perverse fate to look through the green spectacles of gentle dulness. But it is not our purpose to describe the Escurial; we only wish to bring before our readers the names and merits of a few of the Spanish artists, who found among its gloomy corridors or sumptuous halls niches in the temple of fame, and in its saturnine founder the most gracious and munificent of patrons. Suffice it, then, to say of the palace-convent, in Mr Stirling's graceful words, that "Italy was ransacked for pictures and statues, models and designs; the mountains of Sicily and Sardinia for jaspers and agates; and every sierra of Spain furnished its contribution of marble. Madrid, Florence, and Milan supplied the sculptures of the altars; Guadalajara and Cuenca, gratings and balconies; Saragossa the gates of brass; Toledo and the Low Countries, lamps, candelabra, and bells; the New World, the finer woods; and the Indies, both East and West, the gold and gems of the custodia, and the five hundred reliquaries. The tapestries were wrought in Flemish looms; and, for the sacerdotal vestments, there was scarce a nunnery in the empire, from the rich and noble orders of Brabant and Lombardy to the poor sisterhoods of the Apulian highlands, but sent an offering of needlework to the honoured fathers of the Escurial."

We could wish to exclude from our paper all notice of the foreign artists, whose genius assisted in decorating the new wonder of the world; but how omit from any Escurialian or Philippian catalogue the names of Titian and Cellini, Cambiaso and Tibaldi? For seven long years did the great Venetian labour at his famous Last Supper, painted for, and placed in the refectory; and countless portraits by his fame-dealing pencil graced the halls and galleries of the Palatian convents. In addition to these, the Pardo boasted eleven of his portraits; among them, one of the hero Duke Emmanuel Philibert of Savoy, who has received a second grant of renown—let us hope a more lasting one[17]—from the poetic chisel of Marochetti, and stands now in the great square of Turin, the very impersonation of chivalry, horse and hero alike—����������� �����������.

The magnificent Florentine contributed "the matchless marble crucifix behind the prior's seat in the choir," of which Mr Stirling says—"Never[69] was marble shaped into a sublimer image of the great sacrifice for man's atonement." Luca Cambiaso, the Genoese, painted the Martyrdom of St Laurence for the high altar of the church—a picture that must have been regarded, from its subject and position, as the first of all the Escurial's religious pictures,—besides the vault of the choir, and two great frescoes for the grand staircase.

Pellegrino Tibaldi, a native of the Milanese, came at Philip's request to the Escurial in 1586. He, too, painted a Martyrdom of Saint Laurence for the high altar, but apparently with no better success than his immediate predecessor, Zuccaro, whose work his was to replace. But the ceiling of the library was Tibaldi's field of fame; on it he painted a fresco 194 feet long by 30 wide, which still speaks to his skill in composition and brilliancy in colouring. Philip rewarded him with a Milanese marquisate and one hundred thousand crowns.

Morales, the first great devotional painter of Castile, on whom his admiring countrymen bestowed the soubriquet of "divine"—with more propriety, it must be confessed, than their descendants have shown in conferring it upon Arguelles—contributed but one picture to the court, and none to the Escurial; but in Alonzo Sanchez Coello, born at Benifayrô, in Valencia, we find a famous native artist decorating the superb walls of the new palace. While at Madrid he was lodged in the Treasury, a building which communicated with the palace by a door, of which the King kept a key; and often would the royal Mæcenas slip thus, unobserved by the artist, into his studio. Emperors and popes, kings and queens, princes and princesses, were alike his friends and subjects; but we are now only concerned to relate that, in 1582, he painted "five altar-pieces for the Escurial, each containing a pair of saints." Far more of interest, however, attaches itself to the name and memory of Juan Fernandez Navarete, "whose genius was no less remarkable than his infirmities, and whose name—El Mudo, the dumb painter—is as familiar to Europe as his works are unknown," (vol. i. p. 250.) Born at Logroño in 1526, he went in his youth to Italy. Here he attracted the notice of Don Luis Manrique, grand-almoner to Philip, who procured him an invitation to Madrid. He was immediately set to work for the Escurial; and in 1571 four pictures, the Assumption of the Virgin, the Martyrdom of St James the Great, St Philip, and a Repenting St Jerome, were hung in the sacristy of the convent, and brought him five hundred ducats. In 1576 he painted, for the reception-hall of the convent, a large picture representing Abraham receiving the three Angels. "This picture," says Father Andres Ximenes, quoted by Mr Stirling, (vol. i. p. 255) "so appropriate to the place it fills, though the first of the master's works that usually meets the eye, might, for its excellence, be viewed the last, and is well worth coming many a league to see." An agreement, bearing date the same year, between the painter and the prior, by which the former covenanted to paint thirty-two large pictures for the side altars, is preserved by Cean Bermudez; but El Mudo unfortunately died when only eight of the series had been painted. On the 28th of March 1579 this excellent and remarkable painter died in the 53d year of his age. A few years later, Juan Gomez painted from a design of Tibaldi a large picture of St Ursula, which replaced one of Cambiaso's least satisfactory Escurialian performances.

While acres of wall and ceiling were being thus painted in fresco, or covered by large and fine pictures, the Escurial gave a ready home to the most minute of the fine arts: illuminators of missals, and painters of miniatures, embroiderers of vestments, and designers of altar-cloths, found their labours appreciated, and their genius called forth, no less than their more aspiring compeers. Fray Andrez de Leon, and Fray Martin de Palencia, enriched the Escurial with exquisite specimens of their skill in the arts of miniature-painting and illuminating; and under the direction of Fray Lorenzo di Monserrate, and Diego Rutiner, the conventual school of embroidery produced frontals and dalmatics,[70] copes, chasubles, and altar-cloths, of rarest beauty and happiest designs. The goldsmiths and silversmiths, too, lacked not encouragement in this greatest of temples. Curious was the skill, and cunning the hand, which fashioned the tower of gold and jasper to contain the Escurial's holiest relique,—a muscle, singed and charred, of St Laurence—and no doubt that skill was nobly rewarded.

In 1598, clasping to his breast the veil of Our Lady of Monserrat, in a little alcove hard by the church of the Escurial, died its grim, magnificent founder. He had witnessed the completion of his gigantic designs: palace and convent, there it stood—a monument alike of his piety and his pride, and a proof of the grandeur and resources of the mighty empire over which he ruled. But he appears to have thought with the poet—

"Weighed in the balance, hero-dust
Is vile as mortal clay;"

for he built no stately mausoleum, merely a common vault, to receive the imperial dead. This omission, in 1617, Philip III. undertook to supply; and Giovanni Battista Crescenzi, an Italian, was selected as the architect. For thirty-four years did he and his successors labour at this royal necropolis, which when finished "became, under the name of the Pantheon, the most splendid chamber of the Escurial."—(Vol. i. p. 412.)

Mr Stirling's second volume opens with a graphic account of the decay of Spanish power under Philip IV., and an equally graphic description of this, the chief architectural triumph of his long inglorious reign. The Pantheon was "an octagonal chamber 113 feet in circumference, and 38 feet in height, from the pavement to the centre of the domed vault. Each of its eight sides, excepting the two which are occupied by its entrance, and the altar, contain four niches and four marble urns; the walls, Corinthian pilasters, cornices and dome, are formed of the finest marbles of Toledo and Biscay, Tortosa and Genoa; and the bases, capitals, scrolls, and other ornaments, are of gilt bronze. Placed beneath the presbytery of the church, and approached by the long descent of a stately marble staircase, this hall of royal tombs, gleaming with gold and polished jasper, seems a creation of Eastern romance.... Hither Philip IV. would come, when melancholy—the fatal taint of his blood was strong upon him—to hear mass, and meditate on death, sitting in the niche which was shortly to receive his bones." Yet this was the monarch whose quick eye detected the early genius of Velasquez, and who bore the palm as a patron from all the princes of his house, and all the sovereigns of Europe. Well did the great painter repay the discriminating friendship of the king, and so long as Spanish art endures, will the features of Philip IV. be known in every European country; and his fair hair, melancholy mien, impassive countenance and cold eyes, reveal to all time the hereditary characteristics of the phlegmatic house of Austria.

Diego Rodriguez de Silva y Velasquez was born at Seville in 1599. Here he entered the school of Herrera the Elder, a dashing painter, and a violent man, who was for ever losing alike his temper and his scholars. Velasquez soon left his turbulent rule for the gentler instruction of Francisco Pacheco. In his studio the young artist worked diligently, while he took lessons at the same time of a yet more finished artist—nature; the nature of bright, sunny, graceful Andalusia. Thus, while Velasquez cannot be called a self-taught painter, he retained to the last that freedom from mannerism, and that gay fidelity to nature, which so often—not in his case—compensate for a departure from the highest rules and requirements of art.

While he was thus studying and painting the flowers and the fruits, the damsels and the beggars, of sunny Seville, there arrived in that beautiful city a collection of Italian and Spanish pictures. These exercised no small influence on the taste and style of the young artist; but, true to his country, and with the happy inspiration of genius, it was to Luis Tristan of Toledo, rather than to any foreign master, that he directed his chief attention; and hence the future chief of the Castilian school was enabled to combine with its merits the excellencies of both the other great divisions of Spanish art.[71] At the end of five years spent in this manner, he married Pacheco's daughter, who witnessed all his forty years' labours and successes, and closed his dying eyes. At the age of twenty-three, Velasquez, anxious to enlarge his acquaintance with the masterpieces of other schools, went to Madrid; but after spending a few months there, and at the Escurial, he returned to Seville—soon, however, to be recalled at the bidding of the great minister and Mæcenas, Olivarez. Now, in 1623, set in the tide of favour and of fame, which henceforward was not to flag or ebb till the great painter lay stretched, out of its reach, on the cold bank of death. During this summer he painted the noble portrait of the king on horseback, which was exhibited by royal order in front of the church of San Felipe, and which caused the all-powerful Count-duke to exclaim, that until now his majesty had never been painted. Charmed and delighted with the picture and the painter, Philip declared no other artist should in future paint his royal face; and Mr Stirling maliciously adds that "this resolution he kept far more religiously than his marriage vows, for he appears to have departed from it during the life-time of his chosen artist, in favour only of Rubens and Crayer." (Vol. ii. p. 592.) On the 31st of October 1623, Velasquez was formally appointed painter in ordinary to the king, and in 1626 was provided with apartments in the Treasury. To this period Mr Stirling assigns his best likeness of the equestrian monarch, of which he says—"Far more pleasing than any other representation of the man, it is also one of the finest portraits in the world. The king is in the glow of youth and health, and in the full enjoyment of his fine horse, and the breeze blowing freshly from the distant hills; he wears dark armour, over which flutters a crimson scarf; a hat with black plumes covers his head, and his right hand grasps a truncheon."—(P. 595.)

In 1628, Velasquez had the pleasure of showing Rubens, who had come to Madrid as envoy from the Low Countries, the galleries of that city, and the wonders of the Escurial; and, following the advice of that mighty master, he visited Italy the next year. On that painter-producing soil, his steps were first turned to the city of Titian; but the sun of art was going down over the quays and palaces of once glorious Venice, and, hurrying through Ferrara and Bologna, the eager pilgrim soon reached Rome. In this metropolis of religion, learning, and art, the young Spaniard spent many a pleasant and profitable month: nor, while feasting his eyes and storing his memory with "its thousand forms of beauty and delight," did he allow his pencil a perfect holiday. The Forge of Vulcan and Joseph's Coat were painted in the Eternal City. After a few weeks at Naples, he returned to Madrid in the spring of 1631. Portrait-painting for his royal patron, who would visit his studio every day, and sit there long hours, seems to have been now his main occupation; and now was he able to requite the friendly aid he had received from the Count-duke of Olivarez, whose image remains reflected on the stream of time, not after the hideous caricature of Le Sage, but as limned by the truthful—albeit grace-conferring—pencil of Velasquez.

In 1639, leaving king and courtiers, lords and ladies, and soaring above the earth on which he had made his step so sure, Velasquez aspired to the grandest theme of poet, moralist, or painter, and nobly did his genius justify the flight. His Crucifixion is one of the sublimest representations conceived by the intellect, and portrayed by the hand of man, of that stupendous event. "Unrelieved by the usual dim landscape, or lowering clouds, the cross in this picture has no footing upon earth, but is placed on a plain dark ground, like an ivory carving on its velvet pall. Never was that great agony more powerfully depicted. The head of our Lord drops on his right shoulder, over which falls a mass of dark hair, while drops of blood trickle from his thorn-pierced brows. The anatomy of the naked body and limbs is executed with as much precision as in Cellini's marble, which may have served Velasquez as a model; and the linen cloth wrapped about the loins, and even the fir-wood of the cross, display his accurate attention to the smallest details of a[72] great subject."—(Vol. ii. p. 619.) This masterpiece now hangs in the Royal Gallery of Spain at Madrid.

The all-powerful Olivarez underwent, in 1643, the fate of most favourites, and experienced the doom denounced by the great English satirist on "power too great to keep, or to resign." He had declared his intention of making one Julianillo, an illegitimate child of no one exactly knew who, his heir; had married him to the daughter of the Constable of Castile, decked him with titles and honours, and proposed to make him governor of the heir-apparent. The pencil of Velasquez was employed to hand down to posterity the features of this low-born cause of his great patron's downfall, and the portrait of the ex-ballad singer in the streets of Madrid now graces the collection of Bridgewater House. The disgrace of Olivarez served to test the fine character of Velasquez, who not only sorrowed over his patron's misfortunes, but had the courage to visit the disgraced statesman in his retirement.

The triumphal entrance of Philip IV. into Lerida, the surrender of Breda, and portraits of the royal family, exercised the invention and pencil of Velasquez till the year 1648, when he was sent by the king on a roving mission into Italy—not to teach the puzzled sovereigns the mysterious privileges of self-government, but to collect such works of art as his fine taste might think worthy of transportation to Madrid. Landing at Genoa, he found himself in presence of a troop of Vandyck's gallant nobles: hence he went to Milan, Padua, and Venice. At the latter city he purchased for his royal master two or three pictures of Tintoret's, and the Venus and Adonis of Paul Veronese. But Rome, as in his previous visit, was the chief object of his pilgrimage. Innocent X. welcomed him gladly, and commanded him to paint, not only his own coarse features, but the more delicate ones of Donna Olympia, his "sister-in-law and mistress." So, at least, says our author; for the sake of religion and human nature, we hope he is mistaken. For more than a year did Velasquez sojourn in Rome, purchasing works of art, and enjoying the society of Bernini and Nicolas Poussin, Pietro da Cortona and Algardi. "It would be pleasing, were it possible, to draw aside the dark curtain of centuries, and follow him into the palaces and studios—to see him standing by while Claude painted, or Algardi modelled, (enjoying the hospitalities of Bentivoglio, perhaps in that fair hall glorious with Guido's recent fresco of Aurora)—or mingling in the group that accompanied Poussin in his evening walks on the terrace of Trinità de Monte."—(Vol. ii. p. 643.) Meanwhile the king was impatiently waiting his return, and at last insisted upon its being no further delayed; so in 1651 the soil of Spain was once more trod by her greatest painter. Five years later, Velasquez produced his extraordinary picture, Las Meniñas—the Maids of Honour, extraordinary alike in the composition, and in the skill displayed by the painter in overcoming its many difficulties. Dwarfs and maids of honour, hounds and children, lords and ladies, pictures and furniture, are all introduced into this remarkable picture, with such success as to make many judges pronounce it to be Velasquez's masterpiece, and Luca Giordano to christen it "the theology of painting."

The Escurial, from whose galleries and cloisters we have been thus lured by the greater glory of Velasquez, in 1656 demanded his presence to arrange a large collection of pictures, forty-one of which came from the dispersed and abused collection of the only real lover of the fine arts who has sat on England's throne—that martyr-monarch whom the pencil of Vandyck, and the pens of Lovelace, Montrose, and Clarendon, have immortalised, though their swords and counsels failed to preserve his life and crown. In 1659 the cross of Santiago was formally conferred on this "king of painters, and painter of kings;" and on St Prosper's day, in the Church of the Carbonera, he was installed knight of that illustrious order, the noblest grandees of Spain assisting at the solemn ceremonial. The famous meeting on the Isle of Pheasants, so full of historic interest, between the crowns and courts of Spain and France, to celebrate the nuptials of Louis XIV. and Maria Theresa, was destined to acquire an additional though melancholy[73] fame, as the last appearance of the great painter in public, and the possible proximate cause of his death. To him, as aposentador-mayor, were confided all the decorations and arrangements of this costly and fatiguing pageant: he was also to find lodging on the road for the king and the court; and some idea of the magnitude of his official cares may be derived from the fact, that three thousand five hundred mules, eighty-two horses, seventy coaches, and seventy baggage-waggons, formed the train that followed the monarch out of Madrid. On the 28th of June the court returned to Madrid, and on the 6th of August its inimitable painter expired.

The merits of Velasquez are now generally appreciated in England; and the popular voice would, we think, ratify the enthusiastic yet sober dictum of Wilkie, "In painting an intelligent portrait he is nearly unrivalled." Yet we have seen how he could rise to the highest subject of mortal imagination in the Crucifixion; and the one solitary naked Venus, which Spanish art in four hundred years produced, is his. Mr Stirling, though he mentions this picture in the body of his book, assigns it no place in his valuable and laboriously compiled catalogue, probably because he was unable to trace its later adventures. Brought to England in 1814, and sold for £500 to Mr Morritt, it still remains the gem of the library at Rokeby. Long may the Spanish queen of love preside over the beautiful bowers of that now classic retreat! We sum up our notice of Velasquez in Mr Stirling's words:—"No artist ever followed nature with more catholic fidelity; his cavaliers are as natural as his boors; he neither refined the vulgar, nor vulgarised the refined.... We know the persons of Philip IV. and Olivarez as familiarly as if we had paced the avenues of the Pardo with Digby and Howell, and perhaps we think more favourably of their characters. In the portraits of the monarch and the minister,

'The bounding steeds they pompously bestride,
Share with their lords the pleasure and the pride,'

and enable us to judge of the Cordovese horse of that day, as accurately as if we had lived with the horse-breeding Carthusians of the Betis. And this painter of kings and horses has been compared, as a painter of landscapes, to Claude; as a painter of low life, to Teniers: his fruit-pieces equal those of Sanchez Cotan or Van Kessel; his poultry might contest the prize with the fowls of Hondekooter on their own dunghill; and his dogs might do battle with the dogs of Sneyders."—(Vol. ii. p. 686.)

While Velasquez, at the height of his glory, was painting his magnificent Crucifixion, a young lad was displaying hasty sketches and immature daubs to the venders of old clothes, pots, and vegetables, the gipsies and mendicant friars that frequented the Feria, or weekly fair held in the market-place of All Saints, in the beautiful and religious city of Seville. This was Bartolemè Estevan Murillo, who, having studied for some time under Juan del Castillo, on that master's removal to Cadiz in 1640, betook himself to this popular resource of all needy Sevillian painters. Struck, however, by the great improvement which travel had wrought in the style of Pedro de Moya, who revisited Seville in 1642, the young painter scraped up money sufficient to carry him to Madrid, and, as he hoped, to Rome. But the kindness of Velasquez provided him a lodging in his own house, and opened the galleries of the Alcazar and the Escurial to his view. Here he pursued his studies unremittingly, and, as he thought, with a success that excused the trouble and expense of an Italian pilgrimage. Returning, therefore, in 1645 to Seville, he commenced that career which led him, among the painters of Spain, to European renown, second only to that of Velasquez. The Franciscans of his native city have the credit of first employing his young genius, and the eleven large pictures with which he adorned their convent-walls at once established his reputation and success. These were painted in what is technically called his first or cold style; this was changed before 1650 into his second, or warm style, which in its turn yielded to his last, or vapoury style. So warm, indeed, had his colouring become, that a Spanish critic, in the nervous phraseology[74] of Spain, declared his flesh-tints were now painted with blood and milk. In this style did he paint for the chapter The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin, in which the ladies of Seville admired and envied the roundness of a ministering maiden's naked arm; and a large picture of St Anthony of Padua, which still adorns the walls of the cathedral baptistery. Of this famous gem some curious stories are told: Don Fernando Farfan, for instance, relates that birds had been seen attempting to perch upon some lilies in a vase by the side of the kneeling saint; and Monsieur Viardot (Musées d'Espagne, p. 146) informs us that a reverend canon, who showed him the picture, recounted how that, in 1813, the Duke of Wellington offered to purchase it for as many gold onzas as would cover its surface; while, in 1843, Captain Widdrington was assured that a lord had expressed his readiness to give £40,000 for the bird-deluding picture. The belief in the gullibility of travellers is truly remarkable and wide-spread; thus, at Genoa, in 1839, our excellent cicerone gratified us with the information, that, sixteen years before, the English Duke Balfour had in vain offered £1600 for Canova's beautiful basso-relievo of the Virgin Clasping the Corpse of our Saviour, which graces the ugly church of the poor-house in that superb city. In 1658, Murillo laboured to establish a public academy of art; and, in spite of the jealousies and contentions of rival artists, on the 1st of January 1660, he witnessed its inauguration. The rules were few and simple; but the declaration to be signed by each member on admission would rather astonish the directors of the Royal Academy in London. We would recommend it to the consideration of those Protestant divines who are so anxious to devise a new test of heresy in the Church of England: thus it ran—"Praised be the most holy sacrament, and the pure conception of Our Lady." Nothing, perhaps, can show more strongly the immense influence religion exercised on art in Spain than the second clause of this declaration. It was the favourite dogma of Seville: for hundreds of years sermons were preached, books were written, pictures painted, legends recorded in honour of Our Lady's spotless conception; and round many a picture by Cano, or Vargas, or Joanes, is yet to be read the magic words that had power to electrify a populace,—"Sin Pecado Concebida." The institution thus commenced flourished for many years, and answered the generous expectations of its illustrious founder.

The attention of the pious Don Miguel Mañara de Leca, the "benevolent Howard" of Seville, was attracted about 1661 to the pitiable state of the brotherhood of the holy charity, and its hospital of San Jorge: he resolved to restore it to its pristine glory and usefulness; and, persevering against all discouragements and difficulties, in less than twenty years, at an expense of half-a-million of ducats, he accomplished his pious design. For the restored church Murillo painted eleven pictures, of which eight, according to Mr Stirling, are the finest works of the master. Five of these were carried off by plundering Soult, but "the two colossal compositions of Moses, and the Loaves and Fishes, still hang beneath the cornices whence springs the dome of the church, "like ripe oranges on the bough where they originally budded." Long may they cover their native "walls, and enrich, as well as adorn, the institution of Mañara! In the picture of the great miracle of the Jewish dispensation, the Hebrew prophet stands beside the rock in Horeb, with hands pressed together, and uplifted eyes, thanking the Almighty for the stream which has just gushed forth at the stroke of his mysterious rod.... As a composition, this wonderful picture can hardly be surpassed. The rock, a huge, isolated, brown crag, much resembles in form, size, and colour, that which is still pointed out as the rock of Moses, by the Greek monks of the convent of St Catherine, in the real wilderness of Horeb. It forms the central object, rising to the top of the canvass, and dividing it into two unequal portions. In front of the rock, the eye at once singles out the erect figure of the prophet standing forward from the throng; and the lofty emotion of that great leader, looking with gratitude to heaven, is finely contrasted with the downward regards[75] of the multitude, forgetful of the Giver in the anticipation or the enjoyment of the gift. Each head and figure is an elaborate study; each countenance has a distinctive character, and even of the sixteen vessels brought to the spring, no two are alike in form."—(Vol. ii. p. 859.) But Cean Bermudez, who enjoyed the privilege of seeing all these eight masterpieces hanging together in their own sacred home, preferred The Prodigal's Return, and St Elizabeth of Hungary—with whose touching history the eloquent pens of the Count Montalembert and Mr A. Phillipps have made us familiar—to all the rest.

The Franciscan convent, without the city walls, was yet more fortunate than the hospital of Mañara, for it possessed upwards of twenty of this religious painter's works. Now, not one remains to dignify the ruined halls and deserted cloisters of that once magnificent convent: but seventeen of these pictures are preserved in the Seville Museum; among them Murillo's own favourite—that which he used to call "his own picture"—the charity of St Thomas of Villanueva. In 1678, Murillo painted three pictures for the Hospital de los Venerables, two of which, the Mystery of the Immaculate Conception, and St Peter Weeping, were placed in the chapel. "The third adorned the refectory, and presented to the gaze of the Venerables, during their repasts, the blessed Virgin enthroned on clouds, with her divine Babe, who, from a basket borne by angels, bestowed bread on three aged priests." These were nearly his last works; for the art he so loved was now about to destroy her favourite son: he was mounting a scaffolding to paint the higher parts of a great altar-piece for the Capuchin church at Cadiz, representing the espousals of St Catherine, when he stumbled, and ruptured himself so severely, as to die of the injury. On the 3d of April 1682, he expired in the arms of his old and faithful friend, Don Justino Neve, and was buried in the parish church of St. Cruz, a stone slab with his name, a skeleton and "Vive moriturus," marking the spot—until the "Vandal" French destroyed the last resting-place of that great painter, whose works they so unscrupulously appropriated. Was the last Lord of Petworth aware of this short epitaph, when he caused to be inscribed on the beautiful memorial to his ancestors which adorns St Thomas's Chapel in Petworth Church, the prophetic,[18] solemn words—"Mortuis moriturus?"

We have ranked Murillo next to Velasquez: doubtless there are many in England who would demur to this classification; and we own there are charms in the style of the great religious painter, which it would be vain to look for in any other master. In tenderness of devotion, and a certain soft sublimity, his religious pictures are unmatched; while in colouring, Cean Bermudez most justly says—"All the peculiar beauties of the school of Andalusia—its happy use of red and brown tints, the local colours of the region, its skill in the management of drapery, its distant prospects of bare sierras and smiling vales, its clouds, light and diaphanous as in nature, its flowers and transparent waters, and its harmonious depth and richness of tone—are to be found in full perfection in the works of Murillo."—(Vol. ii. p. 903.) Mr Stirling draws a distinction, and we think with reason, between the favourite Virgin of the Immaculate Conception and the other Virgins of Murillo: the ���������� of the former is far more elevated and spiritualised than that of any of the latter class; but, even in his most ordinary and mundane delineation of the sinless Mary, how sweet, and pure, and holy, as well as beautiful, does our Lord's mother appear! But perhaps it is as a painter of children that Murillo is most appreciated in England; nor can we wonder that such should be the case, when we remember what the pictures are which have thus impressed Murillo on the English mind. The St John Baptist with the Lamb, in the National Gallery; Lord Westminster's picture of the same subject; the Baroness de Rothschild's gem at Gunnersbury, Our Lord, the Good Shepherd, as a Child: Lord Wemyss's hardly inferior repetition of[76] it; the picture of our Lord as a child, holding in his hands the crown of thorns, in the College at Glasgow; with the other pictures, in private collections, of our Lord and St John as children, have naturally made Murillo to be regarded in England as emphatically the painter of children: and how exquisite is his conception of the Divine Babe and His saintly precursor! what a sublime consciousness of power, what an expression of boundless love, are seen in the face of Him who was yet

"a little child,
Taught by degrees to pray
By father dear, and mother mild,
Instructed day by day."

The religious school of Spanish painting reached its acmé in Murillo; and, at the risk of being accounted heterodox, we must, in summing up his merits, express our difference from Mr Stirling in one respect, and decline to rank the great Sevillian after any of the Italian masters. Few of Murillo's drawings are known to be in existence. Mr Stirling gives a list of such as he has been able to discover, nearly all of which are at the Louvre. We believe, in addition to those possessed by the British Museum and Mr Ford, there are two in the collection at Belvoir Castle: one, a Virgin and Child; the other, an old man—possibly St Francis—receiving a flower from a naked child.

After Velasquez and Murillo, it may seem almost impertinent to talk of the merits of other Spanish painters; yet Zurbaran and Cano, Ribera and Coello, demand at least a passing notice. Francisco de Zurbaran, often called the Caravaggio of Spain, was born in Estremadura in 1598. His father, observing his turn for painting, sent him to the school of Roelas, at Seville. Here, for nearly a quarter of a century, he continued painting for the magnificent cathedral, and the churches and religious houses of that fair city. About 1625, he painted, for the college of St Thomas Aquinas, an altar-piece, regarded by all judges as the finest of all his works. It represents the angelic doctor ascending into the heavens, where, on clouds of glory, the blessed Trinity and the Virgin wait to receive him; below, in mid air, sit the four doctors of the Church; and on the ground are kneeling the Emperor Charles V., with the founder of the college, Archbishop Diego de Deza, and a train of ecclesiastics. Mr Stirling says of this singular picture, "The colouring throughout is rich and effective, and worthy the school of Roelas; the heads are all of them admirable studies; the draperies of the doctors and ecclesiastics are magnificent in breadth and amplitude of fold; the imperial mantle is painted with Venetian splendour; and the street view, receding in the centre of the canvass, is admirable for its atmospheric depth and distance."—(Vol. ii. p. 770.) In 1650, Philip IV. invited him to Madrid, and commanded him to paint ten pictures, representing the labours of Hercules, for a room at Buen-retiro. Almost numberless were the productions of his facile pencil, which, however, chiefly delighted to represent, the legends of the Carthusian cloister, and portray the gloomy features and sombre vestments of monks and friars; yet those who have seen his picture of the Virgin with the Infant Saviour and St John, at Stafford House, will agree with Mr Stirling that, "unrivalled in such subjects of dark fanaticism, Zurbaran could also do ample justice to the purest and most lovely of sacred themes."—(Vol. 11. p. 775)

Alonzo Cano, born at Grenada in 1601, was, like Mrs Malaprop's Cerberus, "three gentlemen in one;" that is, he was a great painter, a great sculptor, and a great architect. As a painter, his powers are shown in his full-length picture of the Blessed Virgin, with the infant Saviour asleep on her knees, now in the Queen of Spain's gallery; in six large works, representing passages in the life of Mary Magdalene, which still adorn the great brick church of Getafe, a small village near Madrid; and in his famous picture of Our Lady of Belem, in the cathedral of Seville. Mr Stirling gives a beautifully-executed print of this last Madonna, which, "in serene, celestial beauty, is excelled by no image of the Blessed Virgin ever devised in Spain."—(P. 803.)

Cano was, perhaps, even greater in sculpture than in painting; and so fond of the former art, that, when wearied of pencil and brush, he would[77] call for his chisel, and work at a statue by way of rest to his hands. On one of these occasions, a pupil venturing to remark, that to substitute a mallet for a pencil was an odd sort of repose, was silenced by Cano's philosophical reply,—"Blockhead, don't you perceive that to create form and relief on a flat surface is a greater labour than to fashion one shape into another?" An image of the Blessed Virgin in the parish church at Lebrija, and another in the sacristy of the Grenada cathedral, are said to be triumphs of Spanish painted statuary.—(Vol. iii., p. 805) After a life of strange vicissitudes, in the course of which, on suspicion of having murdered his wife, he underwent the examination by torture, he died, honoured and beloved for his magnificent charities, and religious hatred of the Jews, in his native city, on the 3d of October 1667.

The old Valencian town of Xativa claims the honour of producing Josè de Ribera, el Spagnoletto; but though Spain gave him birth, Italy gave him instruction, wealth, fame; and although in style he is thoroughly Spanish, we feel some difficulty in writing of him as belonging wholly to the Spanish school of art, so completely Italian was he by nurture, long residence, and in his death.

Bred up in squalid penury, he appears to have looked upon the world as not his friend, and in his subsequent good fortunes to have revelled in describing with ghastly minuteness, and repulsive force, all "the worst ills that flesh is heir to." We well recollect the horror with which we gazed spell-bound on a series of his horrors in the Louvre—faugh! At Gosford House are a series of Franciscan monks, such as only a Spanish cloister could contain, painted with an evident fidelity to nature, and the minutest details of dress that is almost offensive—even the black dirt under the unwashed thumb nail is carefully represented by his odiously-accurate and powerful pencil.

"Non ragioniam di lor
Ma guada e passa."

Had the bold buccaneers of the seventeenth century required the services of a painter to perpetuate the memory of their inventive brutality, and inconceivable atrocities, they would have found in El Spagnoletto an artist capable of delineating the agonies of their victims, and by taste and disposition not indisposed to their way of life. Yet in his own peculiar line he was unequalled, and his merits as a painter will always be recognised by every judge of art. He died at Naples, the scene of his triumphs, in 1656.

The name of Claudio Coello is associated with the Escurial, and should have been introduced into the sketch we were giving of its artists, when the mighty reputation of Velasquez and Murillo broke in upon our order. He was born at Madrid about the middle of the seventeenth century, and studied in the school of the younger Rigi. In 1686 he succeeded Herrera as painter in ordinary to Charles II. This monarch had erected an altar in the great sacristy of the Escurial, to the miraculous bleeding wafer known as the Santa Forma; and on the death of its designer, Rigi, Coello was called upon to paint a picture that should serve as a veil for the host. On a canvass six yards high, by three wide, he executed an excellent work, representing the king and his court adoring the miraculous wafer, which is held aloft by the prior. This picture established his reputation, and in 1691 the chapter of Toledo, still the great patrons of art, appointed him painter to their cathedral. Coello was a most careful and painstaking painter, and his pictures, says our author, (vol. iii., p. 1018) "with much of Cano's grace of drawing, have also somewhat of the rich tones of Murillo, and the magical effect of Velasquez." He died, it is said, of disappointment at the success of his foreign rival, Luca Giordano, in 1693.

With Charles II. passed away the Spanish sceptre from the house of Austria, nor, according to Mr Stirling, would the Genius of Painting remain to welcome the intrusive Bourbons:—

Old times were changed, old manners gone,
A stranger filled the Philips' throne;
And art, neglected and oppressed,
Wished to be with them, and at rest.

But we must say that Mr Stirling, in his honest indignation against[78] France and Frenchmen, has exaggerated the demerits of the Bourbon kings. Spanish art had been steadily declining for years before they, with ill-omened feet, crossed the Pyrenees. It was no Bourbon prince that brought Luca da Presto from Naples to teach the painters of Spain "how to be content with their faults, and get rid of their scruples;" and if the schools of Castile and Andalusia had ceased to produce such artists as those whose praises Mr Stirling has so worthily recorded, it appears scant justice to lay the blame on the new royal family. Pictor nascitur, non fit—no, not even by the wielders of the Spanish sceptre. In a desire to patronise art, and in munificence towards its possessors, Philip V., Ferdinand VI., and Charles III., fell little short of their Hapsburg predecessors, but they had no longer the same material to work upon. The post which Titian had filled could find no worthier holder under Charles III., than Rafael Mengs, whom not only ignorant Bourbons, but the conoscenti of Europe regarded as the mighty Venetian's equal; and Philip V. not only invited Hovasse, Vanloo, Procaccini, and other foreign artists to his court, but added the famous collection of marbles belonging to Christina of Sweden to those acquired by Velasquez, at an expense of twelve thousand doubloons. To him, also, is due the completion of the palace of Aranjuez, and the design of La Granja; nor, when fire destroyed the Alcazar, did Philip V. spare his diminished treasures, in raising up on its time-hallowed site a palace which, in Mr Stirling's own words, "in spite of its narrowed proportions, is still one of the largest and most imposing in Europe."—(Vol. iii., p. 1163.)

Ferdinand VI. built, at the enormous expense of nineteen millions of reals the convent of nuns of the order of St Vincent de Sales, and employed in its decoration all the artistic talent that Spain then could boast of. Nor can he be blamed if that was but little; for if royal patronage can produce painters of merit, this monarch, by endowing the Academy of St Ferdinand with large revenues, and housing it in a palace, would have revived the glories of Spanish art.

His successor, Charles III., an artist of some repute himself, sincerely loved and generously fostered the arts. While King of the Two Sicilies, he had dragged into the light of day the long-lost wonders of Herculaneum and Pompeii; and when called to the throne of Spain and the Indies, he manifested his sense of the obligations due from royalty to art, by conferring fresh privileges on the Academy of St Ferdinand, and founding two new academies, one in Valencia, the other in Mexico. If Mengs and Tiepolo, and other mediocrities, were the best living painters his patronage could discover, it is evident from his ultra-protectionist decree against the exportation of Murillo's, pictures, that he fully appreciated the works of the mighty dead; and, had his spirit animated Spanish officials, many a masterpiece that now mournfully, and without meaning, graces the Hermitage at St Petersburg, or the Louvre at Paris, would still be hanging over the altar, or adorning the refectory for which it was painted, at Seville or Toledo. Even Charles IV., "the drivelling tool of Godoy," was a collector of pictures, and founder of an academy. In his disastrous reign flourished Francisco Goya y Lucientes, the last Spanish painter who has obtained a niche in the Temple of Fame. Though portraits and caricatures were his forte, in that venerable museum of all that is beautiful in Spanish Art—the cathedral at Toledo—is to be seen a fine religious production of his pencil, representing the Betrayal of our Lord. But he loved painting at, better than for the church; and those who have examined and wondered at the grotesque satirical carvings of the stalls in the cathedral at Manchester, will be able to form some idea of Goya's anti-monkish caricatures. Not Lord Mark Kerr, when giving the rein to his exuberant fancy, ever devised more ludicrous or repulsive "monsters" than this strange successor to the religious painters of orthodox Spain. But when the vice, and intrigues, and imbecility of the royal knives and fools, whom his ready graver had exposed to popular ridicule, had yielded to the unsupportable tyranny of French invaders, the same indignant spirit that hurried the water-carriers of Madrid into unavailing conflict[79] with the troops of Murat, guided his caustic hand against the fierce oppressors of his country; and, while Gilray was exciting the angry contempt of all true John Bulls at the impudence of the little Corsican upstart, Goya was appealing to his countrymen's bitter experience of the tender mercies of the French invaders. He died at Bordeaux in 1828. Mr Stirling closes his labours with a graceful tribute to those of Cean Bermudez, "the able and indefatigable historian of Spanish art, to whose rich harvest of valuable materials I have ventured to add the fruit of my own humble gleanings—" a deserved tribute, and most handsomely rendered. But, before we dismiss this pleasant theme of Spanish art, we would add one artist more to the catalogue of Spanish painters—albeit, that artist is a Bourbon!

Near the little town of Azpeitia, in Biscay, stands the magnificent college of the Jesuits, built on the birth-place of Ignatius Loyola. Here, in a low room at the top of the building, are shown a piece of the bed in which he died, and his autograph; and here among its cool corridors and ever-playing fountains, in 1839, was living the royal painter—the Infante Don Sebastian. A strange spectacle, truly, did that religious house present in the summer of 1839: wild Biscayan soldiers and dejected Jesuits, red boynas and black cowls, muskets and crucifixes, oaths and benedictions, crossed and mingled with each other in picturesque, though profane disorder; and here, released from the cares of his military command, and free to follow the bent of his disposition, the ex-commander-in-chief of the Carlist forces was quietly painting altar-pieces, and dashing off caricatures. In the circular church which, of exquisite proportions, forms the centre of the vast pile, and is beautiful with fawn-coloured marble and gold, hung a large and well-painted picture of his production; and those who are curious in such matters may see a worse specimen of his royal highness's skill in Pietro di Cortona's church of St Luke at Rome. On one side of the altar is Canova's beautiful statue of Religion preaching; on the other the Spanish prince's large picture of the Crucifixion; but, alas! it must be owned that the inspiration which guided Velasquez to his conception of that sublime subject was denied to the royal amateur. In the academy of St Luke, adjoining the church, is a well-executed bust of Canova, by the Spanish sculptor Alvarez. We suspect that, like Goya, the Infante would do better to stick to caricature, in which branch of art many a pleasant story is told of his proficiency. Seated on a rocky plateau, which, if commanding a view of Bilbao and its defenders, was also exposed to their fire, 'tis said the royal artist would amuse himself and his staff with drawing the uneasy movements, and disturbed countenances, of some unfortunate London reporters, who, attached to the Carlist headquarters, were invited by the commander-in-chief to attend his person, and enjoy the perilous honour of his company. Be this, however, as it may, we think we have vindicated the claim of one living Bourbon prince to be admitted into the roll of Spanish painters in the next edition of the Annals.

In these tumultuous days, when

"Royal heads are haunted like a maukin,"

over half the Continent, and even in steady England grave merchants and wealthy tradesmen are counselling together on how little their sovereign can be clothed and fed, and all things are being brought to the vulgar test of L. s. d., it is pleasant to turn to the artistic annals of a once mighty empire like Spain, and see how uniformly, for more than five hundred years, its monarchs have been the patrons, always munificent, generally discriminating, of the fine arts—how, from the days of Isabella the Catholic, to those of Isabella the Innocent, the Spanish sceptre has courted, not disdained, the companionship of the pencil and the chisel. Mr Stirling has enriched his pages with many an amusing anecdote illustrative of this royal love of art, and suggestive, alas! of the painful reflection, that the future annalist of the artists of England will find great difficulty in scraping together half-a-dozen stories of a similar kind. With the one striking exception of Charles I., we know not who among our sovereigns can be compared, as a patron of art, to any of[80] the Spanish sovereigns, from Charles V. of the Austrian to Charles III. of the Bourbon race. Lord Hervey has made notorious George II's ignorance and dislike of art. Among the many noble and kingly qualities of his grandson, we fear a love and appreciation of art may not be reckoned; and although, in his intercourse with men of genius, George IV. was gracious and generous, what can be said in favour of his taste and discernment? The previous life of William IV., the mature age at which he ascended the throne, and the troublous character of his reign, explain why art received but slight countenance from the court of the frank and noble-hearted Sailor Prince; but we turn with hope to the future. The recent proceedings in the Court of Chancery have made public a fact, already known to many, that her Majesty wields with skilful hand a graceful graver, and the Christmas plays acted at Windsor are a satisfactory proof that English art and genius are not exiled from England's palaces. The professors, then, of that art which Velasquez and Rubens, Murillo and Vandyck practised, shall yet see that the Crown of England is not only in ancient legal phrase, "the Fountain of Honour," but that it loves to direct its grateful streams in their honoured direction. Free was the intercourse, unfettered the conversation, independent the relations, between Titian and Charles V., Velasquez and Philip IV.; let us hope that Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle, will yet witness a revival of those palmy days of English art, when Inigo Jones, and Vandyck, and Cowley, Waller, and Ben Jonson, shed a lustre on the art-loving court of England!

The extracts we have given from Mr Stirling's work will have sufficiently shown the scope of the Annals, and the spirit and style in which they are written. There is no tedious, inflexible, though often unmanageable leading idea, or theory of art, running through these lively volumes. In the introduction, whatever is to be said on the philosophy of Spanish art is carefully collected, and the reader is thenceforward left at liberty to carry on the conclusions of the introduction with him in his perusal of the Annals, or to drop them at the threshold. We would, however, strongly recommend all who desire to appreciate Spanish art, never to forget that she owes all her beauty and inspiration to Spanish nature and Spanish religion. Remember this, O holyday tourist along the Andalusian coast, or more adventurous explorer of Castile and Estremadura, and you will not be disappointed with her productions. Mr Stirling has not contented himself with doing ample justice to the great painters, and slurring over the comparatively unknown artists, whose merits are in advance of their fame, but has embraced in his careful view the long line of Spanish artists who have flourished or faded in the course of nearly eight hundred years; and he has accomplished this difficult task, not in the plodding spirit of a Dryasdust, or with the curt dulness of a catalogue-monger, but with the discriminating good taste of an accomplished English gentleman, and in a style at once racy and rhetorical. There are whole pages in the Annals as full of picturesque beauty as the scenes or events they describe, and of melody, as an Andalusian summer's eve; indeed, the vigorous fancy and genial humour of the author have, on some few occasions, led him to stray from those strict rules of ������������, which we are old-fashioned enough to wish always observed. But where the charms and merits are so great, and so many, and the defects so few and so small, we may safely leave the discovery of the latter to the critical reader, and satisfy our conscience by expressing a hope that, when Mr Stirling next appears in the character of author—a period not remote, we sincerely trust—he will have discarded those few scentless flowers from his literary garden, and present us with a bouquet—

"Full of sweet buds and roses,
A box where sweets compacted lie."

But if he never again put pen to paper, in these annals of the artists of Spain he has given to the reading public a work which, for utility of design, patience of research, and grace of language, merits and has won the highest honours of authorship.



What was the Dodo? When was the Dodo? Where is the Dodo? are all questions, the first more especially, which it is fully more easy to ask than answer. Whoever has looked through books on natural history—for example, that noted but now scarce instructor of our early youth, the Three Hundred Animals—must have observed a somewhat ungainly creature, with a huge curved bill, a shortish neck, scarcely any wings, a plumy tuft upon the back—considerably on the off-side, though pretending to be a tail,—and a very shapeless body, extraordinarily large and round about the hinder end. This anomalous animal being covered with feathers, and having, in addition to the other attributes above referred to, only two legs, has been, we think justly, regarded as a bird, and has accordingly been named the Dodo. But why it should be so named is another of the many mysterious questions, which require to be considered in the history of this unaccountable creature. No one alleges, nor can we conceive it possible, that it claims kindred with either of the only two human beings we ever heard of who bore the name: "And after him (Adino the Eznite) was Eleazar the son of Dodo, the Ahohite, one of the three mighty men with David, when they defied the Philistines that were there gathered together to battle, and the men of Israel were gone away." Our only other human Dodo belonged to the fair sex, and was the mother of the famous Zoroaster, who flourished in the days of Darius Hystaspes, and brought back the Persians to their ancient fire-worship, from the adoration of the twinkling stars. The name appears to have been dropped by both families, as if they were somewhat ashamed of it; and we feel assured that of such of our readers as admit that Zoroaster must have had a mother of some sort, very few really remember now-a-days that her name was Dodo. There were no baptismal registers in those times; or, if such existed, they were doubtless consumed in the "great fire"—a sort of periodical, it may be providential, mode of shortening the record, which seems to occur from time to time in all civilised countries.

But while the creature in question,—we mean the feathered biped—has been continuously presented to view in those "vain repetitions" which unfortunately form the mass of our information in all would-be popular works on natural history, we had actually long been at a stand-still in relation to its essential attributes—the few competent authorities who had given out their opinion upon this, as many thought, stereotyped absurdity, being so disagreed among themselves as to make confusion worse confounded. The case, indeed, seemed desperate; and had it not been that we always entertained a particular regard for old Clusius, (of whom by-and-by,) and could not get over the fact that a Dodo's head existed in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, and a Dodo's foot in the British Museum, London, we would willingly have indulged the thought that the entire Dodo was itself a dream. But, shaking off the cowardly indolence which would seek to shirk the investigation of so great a question, let us now inquire into a piece of ornithological biography, which seemed so singularly to combine the familiar with the fabulous. Thanks to an accomplished and persevering naturalist of our own day—one of the most successful and assiduous inquirers of the younger generation—we have now all the facts, and most of the fancies, laid before us[82] in a splendid royal quarto volume, just published, with numerous plates, devoted to the history and illustration of the "Dodo and its Kindred." It was, in truth, the latter term that cheered our heart, and led us again towards a subject which had previously produced the greatest despondency; for we had always, though most erroneously, fancied that the great misformed lout of our Three Hundred Animals was all alone in the wide world, unable to provide for himself, (and so, fortunately, without a family,) and had never, in truth, had either predecessors or posterity. Mr Strickland, however, has brought together the disjecta membra of a family group, showing not only fathers and mothers, sisters and brothers, but cousins, and kindred of all degrees. Their sedate and somewhat sedentary mode of life is probably to be accounted for, not so much by their early habits as their latter end. Their legs are short, their wings scarcely existant, but they are prodigiously large and heavy in the hinder-quarters; and organs of flight would have been but a vain thing for safety, as they could not, in such wooded countries as these creatures inhabited, have been made commensurate with the uplifting of such solid bulk, placed so far behind that centre of gravity where other wings are worked. We can now sit down in Mr Strickland's company, to discuss the subject, not only tranquilly, but with a degree of cheerfulness which we have not felt for many a day: thanks to his kindly consideration of the Dodo and "its kindred."

The geographical reader will remember that to the eastward of the great, and to ourselves nearly unknown, island of Madagascar, there lies a small group of islands of volcanic origin, which, though not exactly contiguous among themselves, are yet nearer to each other than to the greater island just named, and which is interposed between them and the coast of Southern Africa. They are named Rodriguez, Bourbon, and Mauritius, or the Isle of France. There is proof that not fewer than four distinct species of large-bodied, short-winged birds, of the Dodo type, were their inhabitants in comparatively recent times, and have now become utterly extinct. We say utterly, because neither proof nor vestige of their existence elsewhere has been at any time afforded; and the comparatively small extent, and now peopled state of the islands in question, (where they are no longer known,) make the continuous and unobserved existence of these birds, so conspicuous in size and slow of foot, impossible.

Now, it is this recent and total extinction which renders the subject one of more than ordinary interest. Death is an admitted law of nature, in respect to the individuals of all species. Geology, "dragging at each remove a lengthened chain" has shown how, at different and distant eras, innumerable tribes have perished and been supplanted, or at least replaced, by other groups of species, entire races, better fitted for the great climatic and other physical changes, which our earth's surface has undergone from time to time. How these changes were brought about, many, with more or less success, (generally less,) have tried to say. Organic remains—that is, the fossilised remnants of ancient species—sometimes indicate a long continuance of existence, generation after generation living in tranquillity, and finally sinking in a quiet grave; while other examples show a sudden and violent death, in tortuous and excited action, as if they had been almost instantaneously overwhelmed and destroyed by some great catastrophe.

Several local extinctions of elsewhere existing species are known to naturalists—such as those of the beaver, the bear, and the wolf, which no longer occur in Great Britain, though historically known, as well as organically proved by recent remains, to have lived and died among us. Their extinction was slow and gradual, and resulted entirely from the inroads which the human race—that is, the increase of population, and the progress of agriculture and commerce—necessarily made upon their numbers, which thus became "few by degrees, and beautifully less." The beaver might have carried on business well enough, in his own quiet way, although frequently incommoded by the love of peltry on the part of a hat-wearing people; but it is clear that no man with a small family, and[83] a few respectable farm-servants, could either permit a large and hungry wolf to be continually peeping at midnight through the key-hole of the nursery, or allow a brawny bruin to snuff too frequently under the kitchen door, (after having hugged the watch-dog to death,) when the serving-maids were at supper. The extirpation, then, of at least two of those quondam British species became a work of necessity and mercy, and might have been tolerated even on a Sunday between sermons—especially as naturalists have it still in their power to study the habits of similar wild beasts, by no means yet extinct, in the neighbouring countries of France and Germany.

But the death of the Dodo and its kindred is a more affecting fact, as involving the extinction of an entire race, root and branch, and proving that death is a law of the species, as well as of the individuals which compose it,—although the life of the one is so much more prolonged than that of the other that we can seldom obtain any positive proof of its extinction, except by the observance of geological eras. Certain other still existing species, well known to naturalists, may be said to be, as it were, just hovering on the brink of destruction. One of the largest and most remarkable of herbivorous animals—a species of wild cattle, the aurochs or European bison (B. priscus)—exists now only in the forest of Bialowicksa, from whence the Emperor of Russia has recently transmitted a living pair to the Zoological Society of London. Several kinds of birds are also evidently on their last legs. For example, a singular species of parrot, (Nestor productus,) with the termination of the upper mandible much attenuated, peculiar to Phipps's Island, near Norfolk Island, has recently ceased to exist there in the wild state, and is now known as a living species only from a few surviving specimens kept in cages, and which refuse to breed. The burrowing parrot from New Zealand is already on the road to ruin; and more than one species of that singular and wingless bird, called Apteryx, also from the last-named island, may be placed in the same category. Even in our own country, if the landed proprietors were to yield to the clamour of the Anti-Game-Law League, the red grouse or moor-game might cease to be, as they occur nowhere else on the known earth save in Britain and the Emerald Isle.

The geographical distribution of animals, in general, has been made conformable to laws which we cannot fathom. A mysterious relationship exists between certain organic structures and those districts of the earth's surface which they inhabit. Certain extensive groups, in both the animal and vegetable kingdom, are found to be restricted to particular continents, and their neighbouring islands. Of some the distribution is very extensive, while others are totally unknown except within a limited space, such as some solitary isle,

"Placed far amid the melancholy main."

"In the present state of science," says Mr Strickland, "we must be content to admit the existence of this law, without being able to enunciate its preamble. It does not imply that organic distribution depends on soil and climate; for we often find a perfect identity of these conditions in opposite hemispheres, and in remote continents, whose faunæ and floræ are almost wholly diverse. It does not imply that allied but distinct organisms have been adduced, by generation or spontaneous development, from the same original stock; for (to pass over other objections) we find detached volcanic islets, which have been ejected from beneath the ocean, (such as the Galapagos, for instance,) inhabited by terrestrial forms allied to those of the nearest continent, though hundreds of miles distant, and evidently never connected with them. But this fact may indicate that the Creator, in forming new organisms to discharge the functions required from time to time by the ever vacillating balance of nature, has thought fit to preserve the regularity of the system by modifying the types of structure already established in the adjacent localities, rather than to proceed per saltum by introducing forms of more foreign aspect."

In conformity with this relation between geographical distribution and organic structure, it has been ascertained that a small portion of the indigenous animals and plants of the islands of Rodriguez, Bourbon, and the Isle of France, are either allied to or identical with the productions of[84] continental Africa, a larger portion with those of Madagascar, while certain species are altogether peculiar to the insular group above named.

"And as these three islands form a detached cluster, as compared to other lands, so do we find in them a peculiar group of birds, specifically different in each island, yet allied together in their general characters, and remarkably isolated from any known forms in other parts of the world. These birds were of large size and grotesque proportions, the wings too short and feeble for flight, the plumage loose and decomposed, and the general aspect suggestive of gigantic immaturity. Their history is as remarkable as their origin. About two centuries ago, their native isles were first colonised by man, by whom these strange creatures were speedily exterminated. So rapid and so complete was their extinction, that the vague descriptions given of them by early navigators were long regarded as fabulous or exaggerated; and these birds, almost contemporaries of our great-grandfathers, became associated in the minds of many persons with the griffin and the phœnix of mythological antiquity."

The aim and object of Mr Strickland's work is to vindicate the honesty of the rude voyagers of the seventeenth century; to collect together the scattered evidence regarding the Dodo and its kindred; to describe and depict the few anatomical fragments which are still extant of those lost species; to invite scientific travellers to further and more minute research; and to infer, from the authentic data, now in hand, the probable rank and position of these creatures in the scale of nature. We think he has achieved his object very admirably, and has produced one of the best and most interesting monographs with which it is our fortune to be acquainted.

So far as we can see, the extension of man's more immediate influence and agency is the sole cause of the disappearance of species in modern times—at least we have no proof that any of these species have perished by what can be called a catastrophe: this is well exemplified by what we now know of the Dodo and its kindred.

The islands of Mauritius and Bourbon were discovered in the sixteenth century, (authorities differ as to the precise period, which they vary from 1502 to 1545,) by Pedro Mascaregnas, a Portuguese, who named the latter after himself; while he called the former Cerne, a term applied by Pliny to an island in another quarter. Of this Cerne nothing definite was ascertained till the year 1598, when the Dutch, under Jacob Cornelius Neck, finding it uninhabited, took possession, and changed its name to Mauritius. In the narrative of the voyage, of which there are several accounts in different tongues, we find the following notice:—

"This island, besides being very fertile in terrestrial products, feeds vast numbers of birds, such as turtle-doves, which occur in such plenty that three of our men sometimes captured one hundred and fifty in half a day, and might easily have taken more by hand, or killed them with sticks, if we had not been overloaded with the burden of them. Grey parrots are also common there, and other birds, besides a large kind bigger than our swans, with large heads, half of which is covered with skin like a hood. These birds want wings, in place of which are three or four thickish feathers. The tail consists of a few slender curved feathers of a gray colour. We called them Walckvogel, for this reason, that, the longer they were boiled, the tougher and more uneatable they became. Their stomachs, however, and breasts, were easy to masticate. Another reason for the name was that we had an abundance of turtle-doves, of a much sweeter and more agreeable flavour."—De Bry's India Orientalis, (1601,) pars v. p. 7.

These walckvogel were the birds soon afterwards called Dodos. The description given by Clusius, in his Exotica, (1605,) is chiefly taken from one of the published accounts of Van Neck's voyage, but he adds the following notice, as from personal observation:—

"After I had written down the history of this bird as well as I could, I happened to see in the house of Peter Pauwius, Professor of Medicine in the University of Leyden, a leg cut off at the knee, and recently brought from the Mauritius. It was not very long, but rather exceeded four inches from the knee to the bend of the foot. Its thickness, however, was great, being nearly four inches in circumference; and it was covered with numerous scales, which in front were wider and yellow, but smaller and dusky behind. The upper part of the toes was also furnished with single broad scales, while the[85] lower part was wholly callous. The toes were rather short for so thick a leg: the claws were all thick, hard, black, less than an inch long; but the claw of the hind toe was longer than the rest, and exceeded an inch."

A Dutch navigator, Heemskerk, remained nearly three months in the Mauritius, on his homeward voyage in 1602; and in a published journal kept by Reyer Cornelisz, we read of Wallichvogels, and a variety of other game. One of Heemskerk's captains, Willem van West-Zanen by name, also left a journal—apparently not published until 1648—at which time it was edited in an enlarged form by H. Soeteboom. We there find repeated mention of Dod-aarsen or Dodos; and the sailors seem to have actually revelled in these birds, without suffering from surfeit or nausea like Van Neck's crew. As this tract is very rare, and has never appeared in an English form, we shall avail ourselves of Mr Strickland's translation of a few passages bearing on the subject in question:—

"The sailors went out every day to hunt for birds and other game, such as they could find on land, while they became less active with their nets, hooks, and other fishing-tackle. No quadrupeds occur there except cats, though our countrymen have subsequently introduced goats and swine. The herons were less tame than the other birds, and were difficult to procure, owing to their flying amongst the thick branches of the trees. They also caught birds which some name Dod-aarsen, others Dronten. When Jacob Van Neck was here, these birds were called Wallich-vogels, because even a long boiling would scarcely make them tender, but they remained tough and hard, with the exception of the breast and belly, which were very good; and also because, from the abundance of turtle-doves which the men procured, they became disgusted with dodos. The figure of these birds is given in the accompanying plate: they have great heads, with hoods thereon; they are without wings or tail, and have only little winglets on their sides, and four or five feathers behind, more elevated than the rest; they have beaks and feet, and commonly, in the stomach, a stone the size of a fist....

"The dodos, with their round sterns, (for they were well fattened,) were also obliged to turn tail; everything that could move was in a bustle; and the fish, which had lived in peace for many a year, were pursued into the deepest water-pools....

"On the 25th July, William and his sailors brought some dodos, which were very fat; the whole crew made an ample meal from three or four of them, and a portion remained over.... They sent on board smoked fish, salted dodos, land-tortoises, and other game, which supply was very acceptable. They were busy for some days bringing provisions to the ship. On the 4th of August, William's men brought fifty large birds on board the Bruyn-Vis; among them were twenty-four or twenty-five dodos, so large and heavy, that they could not eat any two of them for dinner, and all that remained over was salted.

"Another day, Hoogeven (William's supercargo) set out from the tent with four seamen, provided with sticks, nets, muskets, and other necessaries for hunting. They climbed up mountain and hill, roamed through forest and valley, and, during the three days that they were out, they captured another half-hundred of birds, including a matter of twenty dodos, all which they brought on board and salted. Thus were they, and the other crews in the fleet, occupied in fowling and fishing."

In regard to the appellations of these birds, it is not altogether easy to determine the precise date at which the synonymous term Dodars, from which our name of Dodo is by some derived, was introduced. It seems first to occur in the journal of Willem van West-Zanen; but that journal, though written in 1603, appears to have remained unpublished till 1648, and the name may have been an interpolation by his editor, Soeteboom. Matelief's Journal, also, which makes mention of Dodaersen, otherwise Dronten, was written in 1606, and Van der Hagen's in 1607; but Mr Strickland has been unable to find an edition of either work of earlier date than 1646, and so the occurrence of these words may be likewise due to the officiousness of editors. Perhaps the earliest use of the word Dodars may date from the publication of Verhuffen's voyage, (1613,) where, however, it occurs under the corrupt form of Totersten. There seems little doubt that the name of Dodo is derived from the Dutch root, Dodoor, which signifies sluggard, and is appropriate to the leisurely gait and heavy aspect of the creatures in question.[86] Dodars is probably a homely or familiar phrase among Dutch sailors, and may be regarded as more expressive than elegant. Our own Sir Thomas Herbert was the first to use the name of Dodo in its modern form, and he tells us that it is a Portuguese word. Doudo, in that language, certainly signifies "foolish," or "simple," and might have been well applied to the unwary habits and defenceless condition of these almost wingless and totally inexperienced species; but, as none of the Portuguese voyagers seem to have mentioned the Dodo by any name whatever, nor even to have visited the Mauritius, after their first discovery of the island by Pedro Mascaregnas already named, it appears far more probable that Dodars is a genuine Dutch term, altered, and it may be amended, by Sir Thomas Herbert, to suit his own philological fancies.

The Dutch, indeed, seem to have been inspired with a genuine love of Dodos, and never allowed even the cooing of the delicately tender turtle-doves to prevent their laying in an ample store of the more solid, if less sentimental species. Thus, Van der Hagen, who commanded two ships which remained for some weeks at the Mauritius in 1607, not only feasted his crews on great abundance of "tortoises, dodars, gray parroquets, and other game," but salted large quantities, for consumption during the voyage. Verhuffen touched at the same island in 1611, and it is in his narrative (published at Frankfort in 1613) that Dodos are called Totersten. He describes them as having—

"A skin like a monk's cowl on the head, and no wings; but, in place of them, about five or six yellow feathers: likewise, in place of a tail, are four or five crested feathers. In colour they are gray; men call them Totersten or Walckvögel; they occur there in great plenty, insomuch that the Dutch daily caught and ate many of them. For not only these, but in general all the birds there, are so tame that they killed the turtle-doves, as well as the other wild pigeons and parrots, with sticks, and caught them by the hand. They also captured the totersten or walckvögel with their hands; but were obliged to take good care that these birds did not bite them on the arms or legs with their beaks, which are very strong, thick, and hooked; for they are wont to bite desperately hard."

We are glad to be informed, by the above, of this attempt at independence, or something at least approaching to the defensive system. It forms an additional title, on the part of the Dodo, to be regarded, at all events by the Dutch cuisiniers, as "une pièce de resistance."

Sir Thomas Herbert, already named, visited the Mauritius in 1627, and found it still uninhabited by man. In his Relation of some yeares' Travaile, which, for the amusement of his later years, he seems to have repeatedly rewritten for various editions, extending from 1634 to 1677, he both figures and describes our fat friend. His narration is as follows:—

"The dodo, a bird the Dutch call walckvögel or dod-eersen: her body is round and fat, which occasions the slow pace, or that her corpulencie; and so great as few of them weigh less than fifty pound; meat it is with some, but better to the eye than stomach, such as only a strong appetite can vanquish; but otherwise, through its oyliness, it cannot chuse but quickly cloy and nauseate the stomach, being indeed more pleasurable to look than feed upon. It is of a melancholy visage, as sensible of nature's injury in framing so massie a body to be directed by complimental wings, such indeed as are unable to hoise her from the ground, serving only to rank her amongst birds. Her head is variously drest; for one half is hooded with down of a dark colour, the other half naked, and of a white hue, as if lawn were drawn over it; her bill hooks and bends downwards; the thrill or breathing-place is in the midst, from which part to the end the colour is of a light green, mixt with pale yellow; her eyes are round and bright, and instead of feathers has a most fine down; her train (like to a China beard) is no more than three or four short feathers; her leggs are thick and black; her talons great; her stomach fiery, so that as she can easily digest stones; in that and shape not a little resembling the ostrich."—(P. 383.)

François Cauche, an account of whose voyage, made in 1638, is published in the Relations Véritables et Curieuses de l'Isle de Madagascar, (Paris, 1651) states that he saw in the Mauritius birds called Oiseaux de Nazaret, larger than a swan, covered[87] with black down, with crested feathers on the rump, "as many in number as the bird is years old." In place of wings there are some black curved feathers, without webs. The cry is like that of a gosling.

"They only lay one egg, which is white, the size of a halfpenny roll; by the side of which they place a white stone, of the dimensions of a hen's egg. They lay on grass, which they collect, and make their nests in the forests; if one kills the young one, a gray stone is found in the gizzard. We call them Oiseaux de Nazaret. The fat is excellent to give ease to the muscles and nerves."

Here let us pause a moment, to consider what was the probable size of a halfpenny roll in the year 1638. How many vast and various elements must be taken to account in calculating the dimensions of that "pain d'un sol!" Macculloch, Cobden, Joseph Hume, come over and help us in this our hour of knead! Was corn high or low? were wages up or down? were bakers honest or dishonest? was there a fixed measure of quantity for these our matutinal baps? Did town-councils regulate their weight and quality, or was conscience left controller, from the quartern loaf downwards to the smallest form assumed by yeast and flour?

"Tell me where was fancy bread?"

Does no one know precisely what was the size of a halfpenny roll in the year 1638? In that case, we shall not mention the dimensions of the Dodo's egg.

There is no doubt that the bird recorded by Cauche was the true Dodo, although it is probable that he either described it from memory, or confused it with the descriptions then current of the cassowary. Thus he adds that the legs were of considerable length, that it had only three toes, and no tongue—characters (with the exception of the last, inapplicable, of course, to either kind) which truly indicate the latter species. This name of "bird of Nazareth" has, moreover, given rise to a false or phantom species, called Didus Nazarenus in systematic works, and is supposed to have been derived from the small island or sandbank of Nazareth, to the north-east of Madagascar. Now Dr Hamel has recently rendered it probable that no such island or sandbank is in existence, and so we need not seek for its inhabitants: at all events, there is no such bird as the Nazarene Dodo—Didus Nazarenus.

The next piece of evidence regarding the Dodo is highly interesting and important, as it shows that, at least in one instance, this extraordinary bird was transported alive to Europe, and exhibited in our own country. In a manuscript preserved in the British Museum, Sir Hamon Lestrange, the father of the more celebrated Sir Roger, in a commentary on Brown's Vulgar Errors, and apropos of the ostrich, records as follows:—

"About 1638, as I walked London streets, I saw the picture of a strange fowle hong out upon a cloth, and myselfe, with one or two more then in company, went in to see it. It was kept in a chamber, and was a great fowle somewhat bigger than the largest turkey-cock, and so legged and footed, but stouter and thicker, and of a more erect shape; coloured before like the breast of a young cock fesan, and, on the back, of dunn or deare coulour. The keeper called it a Dodo; and in the end of a chimney in the chamber there lay a heape of large pebble stones, whereof hee gave it many in our sight, some as bigg as nutmegs, and the keeper told us she eats them, (conducing to digestion); and though I remember not how farr the keeper was questioned therein, yet I am confident that afterwards shee cast them all againe."

It is curious that no confirmation can be obtained of this exhibition from contemporary authorities. The period was prolific in pamphlets and broadsides, but political excitement probably engrossed the minds of the majority, and rendered them careless of the wonders of nature. Yet the individual in question may in all likelihood be traced down to the present day, and portions of it seen and handled by the existing generation. In Tradescant's catalogue of his "Collection of Rarities preserved at South Lambeth, near London," 1656, we find an entry—"Dodar from the island Mauritius; it is not able to flie, being so big." It is enumerated under the head of "Whole birds;" and Willughby, whose Ornithologia appeared in 1676, says of the Dodo, "Exuvias hujusce avis vidimus in museo Tradescantiano."[88] The same specimen is alluded to by Llhwyd in 1684, and by Hyde in 1700,—having passed, meanwhile, into the Ashmolean Museum, at Oxford, with the rest of the Tradescantian collection. As Tradescant was the most noted collector of things natural in his day, and there were few, if any, to enter into competition with him, it may be well supposed that such a rara avis as a living Dodo would attract his close attention, and that it would, in all probability, find its way into his cabinet on its decease. It may, therefore, be inferred that the same individual which was exhibited in London, and described by Lestrange in 1638, is that recorded as a stuffed specimen in the catalogue of Tradescant's Museum, (1656,) and bequeathed by him, with his other curiosities, to Elias Ashmole, the munificent founder of the still existing museum at Oxford.

The considerate reader will not unnaturally ask, Where is now that last of Dodos? and echo answers, Where? Alas! it was destroyed, "by order of the Visitors," in 1755. The following is the evidence of that destruction, as given by Mr J. S. Duncan in the 3d volume of the Zoological Journal, p. 559:—

"In the Ashmolean Catalogue, made by Ed. Llhwyd, musei procustos, 1684, (Plott being then keeper,) the entry of the bird is 'No. 29, Gallus gallinaceus peregrinus Clusii,' &c. In a catalogue made subsequently to 1755, it is stated, 'The numbers from 5 to 46, being decayed, were ordered to be removed at a meeting of the majority of the Visitors, Jan. 8, 1755.' Among these, of course, was included the Dodo, its number being 29. This is further shown by a new catalogue, completed in 1756, in which the order of the Visitors is recorded as follows:—'Illa quibus nullus in margine assignatur numerus, a Musæo subducta sunt cimelia, annuentibus Vice-Cancellario aliisque Curatoribus ad ea lustranda convocatis, die Januarii 8vo, A.D. 1755.' The Dodo is one of those which are here without the number."

By some lucky accident, however, a small portion of "this last descendant of an ancient race," as Mr Strickland terms it, escaped the clutches of the destroyers. "The head and one of the feet were saved from the flames, and are still preserved in the Ashmolean Museum."[20]

Let us now retrace our steps, for the sake of taking up, very briefly, the history of the other known remnants of this now extinct species. Among the printed books of the Ashmolean Museum, there is a small tract, of which the second edition (the first is without date) is entitled, "A Catalogue of many natural rarities, with great industry, cost, and thirty years' travel in foreign countries, collected by Robert Hubert, alias Forges, gent. and sworn servant to his majesty; and daily to be seen at the place formerly called the Music House, near the west end of St Paul's Church," 12mo, London, 1665. At page 11 is the following entry:—"A legge of a Dodo, a great heavy bird that cannot fly: it is a bird of the Maurcius island." This specimen is supposed to be that which afterwards passed into the possession of the Royal Society, is recorded in their catalogue of Natural and Artificial Curiosities, published by Grew in 1681, and is now in the British Museum. It is somewhat larger than the Ashmolean foot, and, from its excellent state of preservation, finely exhibits the external characters of the toes and tarsus.

In Olearus's catalogue of the museum at Gottorf, (the seat of the Dukes of Schleswig, and recently a less easy one than we have known it,) of which the first edition was published in 1666, there is the following notice of a Dodo's head:—


"No. 5 is the head of a foreign bird, which Clusius names Gallus peregrinus, Mirenberg Cygnus cucullatus, and the Dutch walghvögel, from the disgust which they are said to have taken to its hard flesh. The Dutch seem to have first discovered this bird in the island of Mauritius; and it is stated to have no wings, but in place of them two winglets, like the emeu and the penguins."—(P. 25.)

This specimen, after having been disregarded, if not forgotten, for nearly two centuries, was lately re-discovered, by Professor C. Reinhardt, amongst a mass of ancient rubbish, and is now in the public museum of Copenhagen, where it was examined by Mr Strickland two years ago.[21] The integumentary portions have been all removed, but it exhibits the same osteological characters as the Oxford head, though less perfect, the base of the occiput being absent. It is of somewhat smaller size.

The remnants now noticed—three heads and two feet—are the only ascertained existing portions of the famous Dodo; a bird which, as we have seen in the preceding extracts, might have been well enough known to such of our great great-grandfathers as were in the sea-faring line.

But when did the last Dodo die? We cannot answer that question articulately, as to the very year, still less as to the season, or time of day—and we believe that no intimations of the event were sent to the kindred; but we do not hesitate to state our belief that that affecting occurrence or bereavement took place some time subsequent to the summer of 1681, and prior to 1693. The latest evidence of the existence of Dodos in the Mauritius is contained in a manuscript of the British Museum, entitled "A coppey of Mr Benj. Harry's Journall when he was chief mate of the Shippe Berkley Castle, Captn. Wm. Talbot commander, on voyage to the Coste and Bay, 1679, which voyage they wintered at the Maurrisshes." On the return from India, being unable to weather the Cape of Good Hope, they determined to make for "the Marushes," the 4th June 1681. They saw the land on the 3d July, and on the 11th they began to build huts, and with much labour spread out their cargo to dry:—

"Now, having a little respitt, I will make a little description of the island, first of its producks, then of its parts; ffirst, of winged and feathered ffowle, the less passant are Dodos, whose fflesh is very hard, a small sort of Gees, reasonably good Teele, Cuckoes, Pasca fflemingos, Turtle Doves, large Batts, many small birds which are good.... Heer are many wild hoggs and land-turtle which are very good, other small creators on the Land, as Scorpions and Musketoes, these in small numbers, Batts and ffleys a multitude, Munkeys of various sorts."

After this all historical evidence of the existence of the Dodo ceases, although we cannot doubt that they continued for yet a few years. The Dutch first colonised the Mauritius in 1644. The island is not above forty miles in length; and although, when first discovered, it was found clothed with dense forests of palms, and various other trees—among whose columnar stems and leafy umbrage the native creatures might find a safe abode, with food and shelter—how speedily would not the improvident rapacity of hungry colonists, or of reckless fresh-flesh-bereaved mariners, diminish the numbers of a large and heavy-bodied bird, of powerless wing and slow of foot, and useful, moreover, in the way of culinary consumption. Mr Strickland is of opinion that their destruction would be further hastened, or might be mainly caused, by the dogs, cats, and swine which accompany man in his migrations, and become themselves emancipated in the forests. All these creatures are more or less carnivorous, and are fond of eggs and young birds; and as the Dodo is said to have hatched only one egg at a time, a single savage mouthful might suffice to destroy the hope of a family for many a day.

That the destruction of Dodos was completed by 1693, Mr Strickland thinks may be inferred from the narrative of Leguat, who, in that year, remained several months in the Mauritius, and, while enumerating its animal[90] productions at considerable length, makes no mention whatever of the bird in question. He adds,—"L'isle était autrefois toute remplie d'oyes et de canards sauvages; de poules d'eau, de gelinottes, de tortues de mer et de terre, mais tout cela est devenue fort rare." And, while referring to the "hogs of the China kind," he states that these beasts do a great deal of damage, by devouring all the young animals they can catch. It is thus sufficiently evident that civilisation was making aggressive inroads on the natural state of the Mauritius even in 1693.

The Dutch evacuated the island in 1712, and were succeeded by the French, who colonised it under the name of Isle de France; and this change in the population no doubt accounts for the almost entire absence of any traditionary knowledge of this remarkable bird among the later inhabitants. Baron Grant lived in the Mauritius for twenty years from 1740; and his son, who compiled his papers into a history of the island, states that no trace of such a bird was to be found at that time. In the Observations sur la Physique for the year 1778, there is a negative notice, by M. Morel, of the Dodo and its kindred. "Ces oiseaux, si bien décrits dans le tome 2 de l'Histoire des Oiseaux de M. le Comte de Buffon, n'ont jamais été vus aux Isles de France, &c., depuis plus de 60 ans que ces parages sont habités et visités par des colonies Françoises. Les plus anciens habitans assurent tous que ces oiseaux monstrueux leur ont toujours été inconnus." M. Bory St Vincent, who visited the Mauritius and Bourbon in 1801, and has given us an account of the physical features of those islands in his "Voyage," assures us (vol. ii. p. 306) that he instituted all possible inquiries regarding the Dodo (or Dronte) and its kindred, without being able to pick up the slightest information on the subject; and although he advertised "une grande recompense a qui pourrait lui donner la moindre indice de l'ancienne existence de cet oiseau, un silence universel a prouvé que le souvenir même du Dronte était perdu parmi les créoles." De Blainville informs us, (Nouv. Ann. Mus. iv. 31,) that the subject was discussed at a public dinner at the Mauritius in 1816, where were present several persons from seventy to ninety years of age, none of whom had any knowledge of any Dodo, either from recollection or tradition. Finally, Mr J. V. Thompson, who resided for some years in Mauritius prior to 1816, states, (Mag. of Nat. Hist., ii. 443,) that no more traces could then be found of the Dodo than of the truth of the tale of Paul and Virginia.

But the historical evidence already adduced, as to the former existence of this bird, is confirmed in a very interesting manner by what may be called the pictorial proof. Besides the rude delineations given by the earlier voyagers, there are several old oil-paintings of the Dodo still extant, by skilful artists, who had no other object in view than to represent with accuracy the forms before them. These paintings are five in number, whereof one is anonymous; three bear the name of Roland Savery, an eminent Dutch animal-painter of the early portion of the seventeenth century, and one is by John Savery, Roland's nephew.

The first of these is the best known, and is that from which the figure of the Dodo, in all modern compilations of ornithology, has been copied. It once belonged to George Edwards, who, in his work on birds, (vi. 294,) tells us, that "the original picture was drawn in Holland from the living bird, brought from St Maurice's island in the East Indies, in the early times of the discovery of the Indies by the way of the Cape of Good Hope. It was the property of the late Sir H. Sloane to the time of his death, and afterwards becoming my property. I deposited it in the British Museum as a great curiosity. The above history of the picture I had from Sir H. Sloane, and the late Dr Mortimer, secretary to the Royal Society." It is still preserved in the place to which Edwards had consigned it, and may be seen in the bird gallery, along with the actual foot already mentioned. Although without name or date, the similarity both of design and execution, leads to the conclusion that it was by one or other of the Saverys. It may be seen engraved in the Penny Cyclopædia, in illustration of Mr Broderip's article Dodo in that work.


The second painting, one of Roland Savery's, is in the royal collection at the Hague, and may be regarded as a chef-d'œuvre. It represents Orpheus charming the creation, and we there behold the Dodo spell-bound with his other mute companions. All the ordinary creatures there shown are depicted with the greatest truthfulness; and why should the artist, delighting, as he seems to have done, in tracing the most delicate features of familiar nature, have marred the beautiful consistency of his design by introducing a feigned, or even an exaggerated representation? We may here adduce the invaluable evidence of Professor Owen.

"While at the Hague, in the summer of 1838, I was much struck with the minuteness and accuracy with which the exotic species of animals had been painted by Savery and Breughel, in such subjects as Orpheus charming the Beasts, &c., in which scope was allowed for grouping together a great variety of animals. Understanding that the celebrated menagerie of Prince Maurice had afforded the living models to these artists, I sat down one day before Savery's Orpheus and the Beasts, to make a list of the species, which the picture sufficiently evinced that the artist had had the opportunity to study alive. Judge of my surprise and pleasure in detecting, in a dark corner of the picture, (which is badly hung between two windows,) the Dodo, beautifully finished, showing for example, though but three inches long, the auricular circle of feathers, the scutation of the tarsi, and the loose structure of the caudal plumes. In the number and proportions of the toes, and in general form, it accords with Edwards' oil-painting in the British Museum; and I conclude that the miniature must have been copied from the study of a living bird, which, it is most probable, formed part of the Mauritian menagerie. The bird is standing in profile with a lizard at its feet."—Penny Cyclopædia, xxiii. p. 143.

Mr Strickland, in 1845, made a search through the Royal Gallery of Berlin, which was known to contain several of Savery's pictures. Among them, we are happy to say that he found one representing the Dodo, with numerous other animals, "in Paradise!" It was very conformable with the figure last mentioned; but what renders this, our third portrait, of peculiar interest, is, that it affords a date—the words "Roelandt Savery fe. 1626," being inscribed on one corner. As the artist was born in 1576, he must have been twenty-three years old when Van Neck's expedition returned to Holland; and as we are told by De Bry, in reference to the Mauritius, that "aliæ ibidem aves visæ sunt, quas walkvogel Batavi nominarunt, et unam secum in Hollandiam importarunt," it is quite possible that the portrait of this individual may have been taken at the time, and afterwards recopied, both by himself and his nephew, in their later pictures. Professor Owen leans to the belief that Prince Maurice's collection afforded the living prototype,—an opinion so far strengthened by Edwards's tradition, that the painting in the British Museum was drawn in Holland from a "living bird." Either view is preferable to Dr Hamel's suggestion, that Savery's representation was taken from the Dodo exhibited in London, as that individual was seen alive by Sir Hamon Lestrange in 1638, and must therefore (by no means a likely occurrence) have lived, in the event supposed, at least twelve years in captivity.

Very recently Dr J. J. de Tchudi, the well-known Peruvian traveller, transmitted to Mr Strickland an exact copy of another figure of the Dodo, which forms part of a picture in the imperial collection of the Belvedere at Vienna—by no means a safe location, in these tempestuous times, for the treasures of either art or nature. But we trust that Prince Windischgratz and the hanging committee will now see that all is right, and that General Bem has not been allowed to carry off this drawing of the Dodo in his carpet-bag. It is dated 1628.

"There are two circumstances," says Mr Strickland, "which give an especial interest to this painting. First, the novelty of attitude in the Dodo, exhibiting an activity of character which corroborates the supposition that the artist had living model before him, and contrasting strongly with the aspect of passive stolidity in the other pictures. And, secondly, the Dodo is represented as watching, apparently with hungry looks, the merry wriggling of an eel in the water! Are we hence to infer that the[92] Dodo fed upon eels? The advocates of the Raptorial affinities of the Dodo, of whom we shall soon speak, will doubtless reply in the affirmative; but, as I hope shortly to demonstrate that it belongs to a family of birds all the other members of which are frugivorous, I can only regard the introduction of the eel as a pictorial license. In this, as in all his other paintings, Savery brought into juxtaposition animals from all countries, without regarding geographical distribution. His delineations of birds and beasts were wonderfully exact, but his knowledge of natural history probably went no further; and although the Dodo is certainly looking at the eel, yet we have no proof that he is going to eat it. The mere collocation of animals in an artistic composition, cannot be accepted as evidence against the positive truths revealed by comparative anatomy."—(P. 30.)

The fifth and last old painting of the Dodo, is that now in the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford, and presented to it by Mr Darby in 1813. Nothing is known of its previous history. It is the work of John Savery, the nephew of Roland, and is dated 1651. Its most peculiar character is the colossal scale on which it has been designed,—the Dodo of this canvass standing about three feet and a half in height.

"It is difficult," observes our author, "to assign a motive to the artist for thus magnifying an object already sufficiently uncouth in appearance. Were it not for the discrepancy of dates, I should have conjectured that this was the identical "picture of a strange fowle hong out upon a cloth," which attracted the notice of Sir Hamon Lestrange and his friends, as they "walked London streets" in 1638; the delineations used by showmen being in general more remarkable for attractiveness than veracity."—(P. 31.)

We have now exhibited the leading facts which establish both the existence and extinction of this extraordinary bird: the existence, proved by the recorded testimony of the earlier navigators, the few but peculiar portions of structure which still remain among us, and the vera effigies handed down by artists coeval with the period in which the Dodo lived: the non-existence, deduced from the general progress of events, and the absence of all knowledge of the species since the close of the seventeenth century, although the natural productions of the Mauritius are, in other respects, much better known to us now than then. Why any particular creature should have been so formed as to be unable to resist the progress of humanity, and should in consequence have died, it is not for us to say. "There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in our philosophy;" and of this we may feel assured, that if, as we doubt not, the Dodo is extinct, then it has served its end, whatever that might be.

There is nothing imperfect in the productions of nature, although there are many organisms in which certain forms and faculties are less developed than in others. There are certainly, in particular groups, such things as rudimentary organs, which belong, as it were, not so much to the individual species, as to the general system which prevails in the larger and more comprehensive class to which such species belong; and in the majority of which these organs fulfil a frequent and obvious function, and so are very properly regarded as indispensable to the wellbeing of such as use them. But there are many examples in animal life which indicate that particular parts of structure remain, in certain species, for ever in an undeveloped state. In respect to teeth, for instance, the Greenland whale may be regarded as a permanent suckling; for that huge creature having no occasion for these organs, they never pierce the gums, although in early life they are distinctly traceable in the dental groove of the jaws. So the Dodo was a kind of permanent nestling, covered with down instead of feathers, and with wings and tail (the oars and rudder of all aërial voyagers) so short and feeble as to be altogether inefficient for the purposes of flight. Why should such things be? We cannot say. Can any one say why they should not be? The question is both wide and deep, and they are most likely to plunge into it who can neither dive nor swim. We agree with Mr Strickland, that these apparently anomalous facts are, in reality, indications of laws which the great Creator has been pleased to form and follow in the construction of organised[93] beings,—inscriptions in an unknown hieroglyphic, which we may rest assured must have a meaning, but of which we have as yet scarcely learned the alphabet. "There appear, however, reasonable grounds for believing that the Creator has assigned to each class of animals a definite type or structure, from which He has never departed, even in the most exceptional or eccentric modifications of form."

As to the true position of the Dodo in systematic ornithology, various opinions have been emitted by various men. The majority seem to have placed it in the great Rasorial or Gallinaceous order, as a component part of the family Struthionidæ, or ostrich tribe.

"The bird in question," says Mr Vigors, "from every account which we have of its economy, and from the appearance of its head and foot, is decidedly gallinaceous; and, from the insufficiency of its wings for the purposes of flight, it may with equal certainty be pronounced to be of the Struthious structure. But the foot has a strong hind-toe, and, with the exception of its being more robust, in which character it still adheres to the Struthionidæ, it corresponds to the Linnæan genus Crax, that commences the succeeding family. The bird thus becomes osculant, and forms a strong point of junction between those two contiguous groups."—Linn. Trans. xiv. 484.

M. de Blainville (in Nouv. Ann. du Mus. iv. 24,) contests this opinion by various arguments, which we cannot here report, and concludes that the Dodo is a raptorial bird, allied to the vultures. Mr Broderip, in his article before referred to, sums up the discussion as follows:—

"If the picture in the British Museum, and the cut in Bontius, be faithful representations of a creature then living, to make such a bird of prey—a vulture, in the ordinary acceptation of the term—would be to set all the usual laws of adaptation at defiance. A vulture without wings! How was it to be fed? And not only without wings, but necessarily slow and heavy in progression on its clumsy feet. The Vulturidæ are, as we know, among the most active agents for removing the decomposing animal remains in tropical and inter-tropical climates, and they are provided with a prodigal development of wing, to waft them speedily to the spot tainted by the corrupt incumbrance. But no such powers of wing would be required by a bird appointed to clear away the decaying and decomposing masses of a luxuriant tropical vegetation—a kind of vulture for vegetable impurities, so to speak—and such an office would not be by any means inconsistent with comparative slowness of pedestrian motion."

Professor Owen, doubtless one of our greatest authorities, inclines towards an affinity with the vultures, and considers the Dodo as an extremely modified form of the raptorial order.

"Devoid of the power of flight, it could have had small chance of obtaining food by preying upon the members of its own class; and, if it did not exclusively subsist on dead and decaying organised matter, it most probably restricted its attacks to the class of reptiles, and to the littoral fishes, Crustacea, &c., which its well-developed back-toe and claw would enable it to seize, and hold with a firm gripe."—Transactions of the Zoological Society, iii. p. 331.

We confess that, setting aside various other unconformable features in the structure of the Dodo, the fact, testified by various authorities, of its swallowing stones, and having stones in its gizzard, for the mechanical triturition of its food, (a peculiarity unknown among the raptorial order,) is sufficient to bar the above view, supported though it be by the opinion of our most distinguished living anatomist.

In a recent memoir by Professor J. F. Brandt (of which an abstract is given in the Bulletin de la Class. Phys. de l'Acad. Imp. de St Petersburg, vol. viii. No. 3) we have the following statement:—

"The Dodo, a bird provided with divided toes and cursorial feet, is best classed in the order of the Waders, among which it appears, from its many peculiarities, (most of which, however, are quite referable to forms in this order,) to be an anomalous link connecting several groups,—a link which, for the reasons above given, inclines towards the ostriches, and especially also towards the pigeons."

We doubt the direct affinity to any species of the grallatorial order, an order which contains the cursorial or swift-running birds, very dissimilar in their prevailing habits to anything we know of the sluggish and sedentary[94] Dodo. Professor Brandt may be regarded as having mistaken analogy for affinity; and, in Mr Strickland's opinion, he has in this instance wandered from the true method of investigation, in his anxiety to discover a link connecting dissevered groups.

What then is, or rather was, the Dodo? The majority of inquirers have no doubt been influenced, though unconsciously, by its colossal size, and have consequently sought its actual analogies only among such huge species as the ostrich, the vulture, and the albatross. But the range in each order is often enormous, as, for example, between the Falco cærulescens, or finch falcon of Bengal, an accipitrine bird not bigger than a sparrow, and an eagle of the largest size; or between the swallow-like stormy petrel and the gigantic pelican of the wilderness. It appears that Professor J. T. Rheinhardt of Copenhagen, who rediscovered the cranium of the Gottorf Museum, was the first to indicate the direct relationship of the Dodo to the pigeons. He has recently been engaged in a voyage round the world, but it is known that, before he left Copenhagen in 1845, he had called the attention of his correspondents, both in Sweden and Denmark, to "the striking affinity which exists between this extinct bird and the pigeons, especially the Trerons." The Columbine view is that taken up, and so admirably illustrated, by Mr Strickland, the most recent as well as the best biographer of the Dodo. He refers to the great strength and curvature of bill exhibited by several groups of the tropical fruit-eating pigeons, and adds:

"If we now regard the Dodo as an extreme modification, not of the vultures, but of those vulture-like frugivorous pigeons, we shall, I think, class it in a group whose characters are far more consistent with what we know of its structure and habits. There is no a priori reason why a pigeon should not be so modified, in conformity with external circumstances, as to be incapable of flight, just as we see a grallatorial bird modified into an ostrich, and a diver into a penguin. Now we are told that Mauritius, an island forty miles in length, and about one hundred miles from the nearest land, was, when discovered, clothed with dense forests of palms and various other trees. A bird adapted to feed on the fruits produced by these forests would, in that equable climate, have no occasion to migrate to distant lands; it would revel in the perpetual luxuries of tropical vegetation, and would have but little need of locomotion. Why then should it have the means of flying? Such a bird might wander from tree to tree, tearing with its powerful beak the fruits which strewed the ground, and digesting their stony kernels with its powerful gizzard, enjoying tranquillity and abundance, until the arrival of man destroyed the balance of animal life, and put a term to its existence. Such, in my opinion, was the Dodo,—a colossal, brevipennate, frugivorous pigeon."—(P. 40.)

For the various osteological and other details by which the Columbine character of the Dodo is maintained, and as we think established, we must refer our readers to Mr Strickland's volume,[22] where those parts of the subject are very skilfully worked out by his able coadjutor, Dr Melville.

We shall now proceed to notice certain other extinct species which form the dead relations of the Dodo, just as the pigeons continue to represent the tribe from which they have departed. The island Rodriguez, placed about three hundred miles eastward of the Mauritius, though not more than fifteen miles long by six broad, possessed in modern times a peculiar bird, also without effective wings, and in several other respects resembling the Dodo. It was named Solitaire by the early voyagers, and forms the species Didus solitarius of systematic writers. The small island in question seems to have remained in a desert and unpeopled state until 1691, when a party of French Protestant refugees settled upon it, and remained for a couple of years. The Solitaire is thus described by their commander, Francois Leguat, who (in his Voyage et Avantures, 1708) has given us an interesting account both[95] of his own doings in general, and of this species in particular.

"Of all the birds in the island, the most remarkable is that which goes by the name of the Solitary, because it is very seldom seen in company, though there are abundance of them. The feathers of the male are of a brown-gray colour, the feet and beak are like a turkey's, but a little more crooked. They have scarce any tail, but their hind part, covered with feathers, is roundish like the crupper of a horse: they are taller than turkeys; their neck is straight, and a little longer in proportion than a turkey's, when it lifts up its head. Its eye is black and lively, and its head without comb or cap. They never fly; their wings are too little to support the weight of their bodies; they serve only to beat themselves, and to flutter when they call one another. They will whirl about for twenty or thirty times together on the same side, during the space of four or five minutes. The motion of their wings makes then a noise very much like that of a rattle, and one may hear it two hundred paces off. The bone of their wing grows greater towards the extremity, and forms a little round mass under the feathers, as big as a musket-ball. That and its beak are the chief defence of this bird. 'Tis very hard to catch it in the woods, but easier in open places, because we run faster than they, and sometimes we approach them without much trouble. From March to September they are extremely fat, and taste admirably well, especially while they are young; some of the males weigh forty-five pounds.

"The females" continues our enamoured author, "are wonderfully beautiful, some fair, some brown,—I call them fair, because they are of the colour of fair hair. They have a sort of peak like a widow's upon their beak, which is of a dun colour. No one feather is straggling from the other all over their bodies, they being very careful to adjust themselves, and make them all even with their beaks. The feathers on their thighs are round like shells at the end, and, being there very thick, have an agreeable effect. They have two risings on their crops, and the feathers are whiter there than the rest, which lively represents the fair neck of a beautiful woman. They walk with so much stateliness and good grace, that one cannot help admiring and loving them; by which means their fine mien often saves their lives. Though these birds will sometimes very familiarly come up near enough to one, when we do not run after them, yet they will never grow tame. As soon as they are caught they shed tears without crying, and refuse all manner of meat till they die."—(P. 71.)

Their natural food is the fruit of a species of plantain. When these birds are about to build, they select a clean place, and then gather together a quantity of palm-leaves, which they heap up about a foot and a half high, and there they sit. They never lay but one egg, which greatly exceeds that of a goose. Some days after the young one has left the nest, a company of thirty or forty grown-up birds brings another young one to it; and the new-fledged bird, with its father and mother, joining with the band, they all march away to some by-place.

"We frequently followed them," says Leguat, "and found that afterwards the old ones went each their way alone, or in couples, and left the two young ones together, and this we called a marriage. This particularity has something in it which looks a little fabulous; nevertheless what I say is sincere truth, and what I have more than once observed with care and pleasure."

Leguat gives a figure of this singular bird, which in his plate has somewhat of the air and aspect of a Christmas goose, although, of course, it wants the web-feet. Its neck and legs are proportionally longer than those parts of the Dodo, and give it more of a struthious appearance: but the existing osteological evidence is sufficient to show that it was closely allied to that bird, and shared with it in some peculiar affinities to the pigeon tribe. It is curious that, although Rodriguez is a British settlement, we have scarcely any information regarding it beyond what is to be found in the work last quoted, and all that we have since learned of the Solitary is that it has become extinct. Of late years Mr Telfair made inquiries of one of the colonists, who assured him that no such bird now existed on the island; and the same negative result was obtained by Mr Higgins, a Liverpool gentleman, who, after suffering shipwreck on Rodriguez, resided there for a couple of months. As far back as 1789, some bones incrusted by a stalagmite, and erroneously supposed to belong to the Dodo, were found in a cave in Rodriguez by a M. Labistour. They afterwards[96] found their way to Paris, where they may still be seen. We are informed (Proceedings of the Zoological Society, Part I. p. 31) that Col. Dawkins recently visited these caverns, and dug without finding any thing but a small bone. But M. Eudes succeeded in disinterring various bones, among others those of a large species of bird no longer found alive upon the island. He adds that the Dutch, who first landed at Rodriguez, left cats there to destroy the rats, which annoyed them. These cats are now so numerous as to prove very destructive to the poultry, and he thinks it probable that these feline wanderers may have extirpated the bird in question, by devouring the young ones as soon as they were hatched,—a destruction which may have been effected even before the island became inhabited by the human race. Be that as it may, Mr Telfair sent collections of the bones to this country, one of which may be seen in the museum of the Andersonian Institution, Glasgow. Mr Strickland mourns over the loss or disappearance of those transmitted to the Zoological Society of London. We have been informed within these few days that, like the head of the Danish Dodo, they have been rediscovered, lying in a stable or other outhouse, in the vicinity of the museum of that Society. Both the Glasgow specimens, and those in Paris, have been carefully examined and compared by Mr Strickland, and their Columbine characters are minutely described by his skilful and accurate coadjutor, Dr Melville, in the second portion of his work. Mr S. very properly regards certain peculiarities, alluded to by Leguat, such as the feeding on dates or plantains, as confirmatory of his view of the natural affinities already mentioned.

So much for the Solitaire of Rodriguez and its affinities.[23] A singular fact, however, remains to be yet attended to in this insular group. The volcanic island of Bourbon seems also to have contained brevi-pennate birds, whose inability to fly has likewise led to their extinction. This island, which lies about a hundred miles south-west of Mauritius, was discovered contemporaneously by Pedro de Mascaregnas, in the sixteenth century. The earliest notice which concerns our present inquiry, is by Captain Castleton, who visited Bourbon in 1613. In the narrative, as given by Purchas, we read as follows:—

"There is store of land-fowl, both small and great, plentie of doves, great parrats, and suchlike, and a great fowl of the bignesse of a turkie, very fat, and so short-winged that they cannot flie, beeing white, and in a manner tame; and so are all other fowles, as having not been troubled nor feared with shot. Our men did beat them down with sticks and stones."—(Ed. 1625, vol. i. p. 331.)

Bontekoe van Hoorn, a Dutch voyager, spent twenty-one days in Bourbon in 1618, and found the island to abound in pigeons, parrots, and other species, among which "there were also Dod-eersen, which have small wings; and so far from being able to fly, they were so fat that they could scarcely walk, and when they tried to run, they dragged their under side along the ground." There is no reason to suppose that these birds were actual Dodos, of the existence of which in Bourbon there is not the slightest proof. That Bontekoe's account was compiled from recollection rather than from any journal written at the time, is almost certain from this tragical fact, that his ship was afterwards blown up, and he himself was[97] the sole survivor. There is no likelihood that he preserved his papers any more than his portmanteau, and he no doubt wrote from remembrance of a large brevipennate bird, whose indolent and unfearing tameness rendered it an easy prey. Knowing that a bird of a somewhat similar nature inhabited the neighbouring island, he took it for the same, and called it Dodo, by a corresponding term.

A Frenchman of the name of Carré visited Bourbon in 1668, and in his Voyages des Indes Orientales, he states as follows:—

"I have seen a kind of bird which I have not found elsewhere; it is that which the inhabitants call the oiseau solitaire, for in fact it loves solitude, and only frequents the most secluded places. One never sees two or more of them together, they are always alone. It is not unlike a turkey, were it not that its legs are longer. The beauty of its plumage is delightful to behold. The flesh is exquisite; it forms one of the best dishes in this country, and might form a dainty at our tables. We wished to keep two of these birds to send to France and present them to his Majesty, but, as soon as they were on board ship, they died of melancholy, having refused to eat or drink."—(Vol. i. p. 12.)

Almost immediately after M. Carré's visit, a French colony was sent from Madagascar to Bourbon, under the superintendence of M. de la Haye. A certain Sieur D. B. (for this is all that is known of his name or designation) was one of the party, and has left a narrative of the expedition in an unpublished journal, acquired by Mr Telfair, and presented by him to the Zoological Society of London. Besides confirming the accounts given by preceding writers, this unknown author affords a conclusive proof that a second species of the same group inhabited the Island of Bourbon. We are indebted to Mr Strickland for the original passages and the following translation:—

1. "Solitaires.—These birds are so called because they always go alone. They are the size of a large goose, and are white, with the tips of the wings and the tail black. The tail-feathers resemble those of an ostrich; the neck is long, and the beak is like that of a woodcock, but larger; the legs and feet like those of turkeys."

2. "Oiseaux bleus, the size of Solitaires, have the plumage wholly blue, the beak and feet red, resembling the feet of a hen. They do not fly, but they run extremely fast, so that a dog can hardly overtake them; they are very good eating."

There is proof that one or other of these singular and now unknown birds existed in Bourbon, at least till toward the middle of the last century. M. Billiard, who resided there between 1817 and 1820, states (in his Voyages aux Colonies Orientales) that, at the time of the first colonisation of the island, "the woods were filled with birds which were not alarmed at the approach of man. Among them was the Dodo or Solitaire, which was pursued on foot: they were still to be seen in the time of M. de la Bourdonnaye, who sent a specimen, as a curiosity, to one of the directors of the company." As the gentleman last named was governor of the Isles of France and Bourbon from 1735 to 1746, these birds, Mr Strickland observes, must have survived to the former, and may have continued to the latter date at least. But when M. Bory St Vincent made a careful survey of the island in 1801, no such species were to be found. The description of the bill and plumage shows that they were not genuine Dodos, but merely entitled to be classed among their kindred. Not a vestige of their remains is in the hands of naturalists, either in this or any other country.

We have now finished, under Mr Strickland's guidance, our exposition of this curious group. The restriction, at any time, of such large birds to islands of so small a size, is certainly singular. We cannot, however, say what peculiar and unknown geological changes these islands may have undergone, by which their extent has been diminished, or their inter-connexion destroyed. Volcanic groups, such as those in question, are no doubt generally of less ancient origin than most others; but it is by no means unlikely that these islands of Rodriguez, Bourbon, and Mauritius, may once have formed a united group, or much more expanded mass of terra firma than they now exhibit; and that, by their partial submergence[98] and separation, the dominions of the Dodo and its kindred have, like those of many other heavy chieftains of high degree, been greatly diminished and laid low. But into this question of ancient boundaries we cannot now enter.

How pleasant, on some resplendent summer evening, in such a delicious clime as that of the Mauritius, the sun slowly sinking amid a gorgeous blaze of light, and gilding in green and gold the spreading summits of the towering palms,—the murmuring sea sending its refreshing vesper-breathings through all the "pillared shades" which stretch along that glittering shore,—how pleasant, we say, for wearied man to sit in leafy umbrage, and sup on Dodos and their kindred! Alas! we shall never see such days again.

Dr Hamel, as native of a northern country, is fond of animal food, and has his senses, naturally sharp enough, so whetted thereby, that he becomes "sagacious of his quarry from afar." He judiciously observes, in his recent memoir, (Der Dodo, &c.,) that in Leguat's map the place is accurately indicated where the common kitchen of the settlers stood, and where the great tree grew under which they used to sit, on a bench, to take their meals. Both tree and bench are marked upon the map. "At these two spots," says Dr Hamel, "it is probable that the bones of a complete skeleton of Leguat's solitaire might be collected; those of the head and feet on the site of the kitchen, and the sternum and other bones on that of the tree."

"I feel confident," says Mr Strickland, "that if active naturalists would make a series of excavations in the alluvial deposits, in the beds of streams, and amid the ruins of old institutions in Mauritius, Bourbon, and Rodriguez, he would speedily discover the remains of the dodo, the two 'solitaires,' or the 'oiseau bleu.' But I would especially direct attention to the caves with which these volcanic islands abound. The chief agents in the destruction of the brevipennate birds were probably the runaway negroes, who for many years infested the primeval forests of these islands, and inhabited the caverns, where they would doubtless leave the scattered bones of the animals on which they fed. Here, then, may we more especially hope to find the osseous remains of these remarkable animals."—(P. 61.)


A TALE OF 1787.

Any old directory of the latter half of the last century will still show, to the curious in such matters, the address of Messrs. Hope and Bullion, merchants and general dealers at No. 4, in a certain high and narrow street in the city of London. Not that this, in itself, is a very valuable part of history; but to those who look up at the dirty windows of the house as it now stands, and compare the narrow pavement and cit-like appearance of the whole locality with the splendours of Oxford Square or Stanhope Place, where the business occupant of the premises has now his residence, it will be a subject of doubt, if not of unbelief, that Mr Bullion—who dwelt in the upper portions of the building—was as happy, and nearly as proud, as his successor at the present time. Yet so it is; and, without making invidious comparisons with the distinguished-looking lady who does the honours of the mansion in Oxford Square—her father was a sugar baker, and lived in a magnificent country house at Mussel hill. I will venture to state, that Mr Bullion had great reason to be satisfied with the manners and appearance of the young person who presided at his festive board. Such a rich laugh, and such a sweet voice, were heard in no other house in the town. And as to her face and figure, the only dispute among painters and sculptors was, whether the ever-varying expression of her features did not constitute her the true property of the Reynoldses and Romneys,—or the ever-exquisite moulding of her shape did not bring her within the province of the severer art. At the same time it must be confessed, that the subject of these disputes took no interest either in brush or chisel. A bright, happy, clever creature—but[99] no judge of sciences and arts—was Louise Bullion. Books she had read a few, and music she had studied a little; yet, with her slender knowledge of the circulating library, she talked more pleasantly than Madame de Staël, and sang so sweetly, so naturally, and so truly, that Mrs Billington was a fool to her. She was a parlour Jenny Lind. But Mrs Billington was not the only person who was a fool to her. Oh no!—that sort of insanity was epidemic, and seized on all that came near her. Even Mr Cocker the book-keeper—a little man of upwards of fifty, who was so simple, and knew so little of anything but arithmetic, that he always considered himself, and was considered by the people, a boy just getting on in his teens—even Mr Cocker was a fool to her too. For when he was invited to tea, and had his cups sweetened by her hand, and his whole heart turned, by some of her pathetic ballads, into something so soft and oily that it must have been just like one of the muffins she laid on his plate, he used to go away with a very confused idea of cube roots, and get into the most extraordinary puzzles in the rule of three. Miss Louise, he said, would never go out of his head; whereas she had never once got into it, having established her quarters very comfortably in another place a little lower down, just inside of the brass buttons on his left breast; and yet the poor old fellow went down to his grave without the remotest suspicion that he had ever been in love. The people used to say that his perplexities, on those occasions, were principally remarkable after supper—for an invitation to tea, in those hospitable times, included an afterpiece in the shape of some roaring hot dishes, and various bowls of a stout and jovial beverage, whose place, I beg to say, is poorly supplied by any conceivable quantity of negus and jellies! Yes, the people used to say that Cocker's difficulties in calculation arose from other causes than his admiration of Miss Louise and her songs; but this was a calumny—and, in fact, any few extra glasses he took were for the express purpose of clearing his head, after it had got bewildered by her smiles and music; and therefore how could they possibly be the cause of his bewilderment? I repeat that Mr Cocker was afflicted by the universal disease, and would have died with the greatest happiness to give her a moment's satisfaction. And so would all the clerks, except one, who was very short-sighted and remarkably deaf, and who was afterwards tried on suspicion of having poisoned his wife; and so would her aunt, Miss Lucretia Smith, though her kindness was so wonderfully disguised that the whole world would have been justified in considering it harshness and ill-nature. It was only her way of bestowing it—as if you were to pour out sugar from a vinegar cruet; and a good old, fussy, scolding, grumbling, advising, tormenting, and very loving lady was Miss Lucretia Smith—very loving, I say, not only of her niece, and her brother-in-law, but of anybody that would agree to be loved. Traditions existed that, in her youth, she had been a tremendous creature for enthusiasms and romances; that she had flirted with all the officers of the city militia, from the colonel downwards, and with all the Lord Mayors' chaplains for an infinite series of years; and that, though nothing came of all her praiseworthy efforts, time had had a strengthening instead of a weakening effect on all these passages—till now, in her fifty-third year, she actually believed she had been in love with them all, and on the point of marriage with more than half.

And this constituted the whole of Mr Bullion's establishment—at least all his establishment which was regularly on the books; but there was a young man so constantly in the house—so much at home there—so welcome when he came, so wondered at when he staid away—in short, so much one of the family, that I will only say, if he was not considered a member of it, he ought to have been. For what, I pray you, constitutes membership, if intimacy, kindness, perpetual presence, and filial and fraternal affection—filial to the old man, fraternal to the young lady—do not constitute it? You might have sworn till doomsday, but Mr Cecil Hope would never have believed that his home was anywhere but at No. 4. Nay, when, by some accident, he found himself for a day in a very pretty, very tasteful, and very[100] spacious house he had in Hertfordshire, with a ring-fence of fourteen hundred acres round it, he felt quite disconsolate, and as if he were in a strange place. The estate had been bought, the house had been built—as the money had been acquired, by his father, who was no less a person than the senior partner in the firm of Hope and Bullion, but had withdrawn his capital from the trade, laid it out in land, superintended the erection of his mansion, pined for his mercantile activities, and died in three years of having nothing to do. So Cecil was rich and unencumbered; he was also as handsome as the Apollo, who, they say, would be a very vulgar-looking fellow if he dressed like a Christian; and he (not the Apollo, but Cecil Hope) was four-and-twenty years of age, five feet eleven in height, and as pleasant a fellow as it is possible to conceive. So you may guess whether or not he was in love with Louise. Of course he was,—haven't I said he was a young man of some sense, and for whom I have a regard? He adored her. And now you will, perhaps, be asking if the admiration was returned—and that is one of the occasions on which an impertinent reader has a great advantage over the best and cunningest of authors. They can ask such impudent questions,—which they would not dare to do unless under the protection and in the sanctuary, as it were, of print, and look so amazingly knowing while pausing for a reply, that I have no patience with the fellows at all; and, in answer to their demand whether Louise returned the love of Cecil Hope, I will only say this—I will see them hanged first, before I gratify their curiosity. Indeed, how could I hold up my head in any decent society again, if I were to commit such a breach of confidence as that? Imagine me confessing that she looked always fifty times happier in his presence than when he was away—imagine me confessing that her heart beat many thumps quicker when anybody mentioned his name—imagine me, I say, confessing all this, and fifty things more, and then calling myself a man of honour and discretion! No: I say again I will see the reader hanged first, before I will answer his insolent question; so let that be an understood thing between us, that I will never reveal any secret with which a young lady is kind enough to intrust me.

And this, I think, is a catalogue of all the household above the good old warehouse. Ah! no,—there is the excellent Mr Bullion himself. He is now sixty; he has white hair, a noble, even a distingué figure: look into any page of any fashionable novel of any year, for an explanation of what that means. On the present occasion, you would perhaps conclude that the long-backed, wide-tailed blue coat, the low-flapped waistcoat, tight-fitting knee-br—ch—s, white cotton stockings in-doors, long gaiters out, with bright-buckled square-toed shoes, may be a little inconsistent with the epithet distingué. But this is a vulgar error, and would argue that nobody could look distingué without lace and brocade. Now, only imagine Mr Bullion in a court-dress, with a silk bag floating over his shoulder, to tie up long tresses which have disappeared from his head for many years; a diamond-hilted rapier that probably has no blade, and all the other portions of that graceful and easy style of habiliment,—dress him in this way, and look at him bowing gracefully by means of his three-cornered hat, and you will surely grant he would be a distingué figure then,—and why not in his blue coat and smalls?

But distingué-looking men, even in court-dresses, may be great rascals, and even considerable fools. Then was Mr Bullion a rascal?—no. A fool?—no. In short, he was one of the best of men, and could have been recognised during his life, if any one had described him in the words of his epitaph.

Well,—we must get on. Day after day, for several months before the date we have got to, a sort of mystery seemed to grow deeper and deeper on the benevolent features of the father of Louise. Something—nobody could tell what—had lifted him out of his ordinary self. He dropt dark hints of some great change that was shortly to take place in the position of the family: he even took many opportunities of lecturing Cecil Hope on the miseries of ill-assorted marriages,[101] particularly where the lady was of a family immeasurably superior to the man's. Miss Smith thought he was going to be made Lord Mayor; Cecil Hope supposed he was about to be appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer; and Louise thought he was growing silly, and took no notice of all the airs he put on, and the depreciatory observations he made on the rank of a country squire. As to Mr Cocker, he was already fully persuaded that his master was the greatest man in the world, and, if he had started for king, would have voted him to the throne without a moment's hesitation. At last the origin of all these proceedings on the part of Mr Bullion began to be suspected. A little dark man, with the brightest possible eyes, shrouded in a great cloak, with a broad-brimmed hat carefully drawn over his brows, and just showing to the affrighted maid who opened the door the aforesaid eyes, fixed on her with such an expression of inquiry that they fully supplied the difficulty he experienced in asking for Mr Bullion in words,—for he was a foreigner, not much gifted with the graces of English pronunciation. This little dark and inquisitive man came to the house two or three times a-week, and spent several hours in close consultation with Mr Bullion. On emerging from these councils, it was easy to see, by that gentleman's countenance, whether the affair, whatever it was, was in a prosperous condition or not. Sometimes he came into the supper-room gloomy and silent, sometimes tripping in like a sexagenarian Taglioni, and humming a French song,—for his knowledge of that language was extraordinary,—and his whole idea of a daughter's education seemed to be, to make her acquire the true Parisian accent, and to read Molière and Corneille. So Louise, to gratify the whim of her father, had made herself perfect in the language, and could have entered into a correspondence with Madame de Sevigné without a single false concord, or a mistake in spelling. Who could this little man be, who had such influence on her father's spirits? They watched him, but could see nothing but the dark cloak and slouched hat, which disappeared down some side street, and would have puzzled one of the detective police to keep them in view. Her thoughts rested almost constantly on this subject. Even at church—for they were regular church-goers, and very decided Protestants, as far as their religious feelings could be shown in hating the devil and the Pope—she used to watch her father's face, but could read nothing there but a quiet devotion during the prayers, and an amiable condescension while listening to the sermon. Rustlings of papers as the little visitor slipt along the passage, revealed the fact that there were various documents required in their consultations; and on one particular occasion, after an interview of unusual duration, Mr Bullion accompanied his mysterious guest to the door, and was overheard, by the conclave who were assembled in the little parlour for supper, very warm in his protestations of obligation for the trouble he had taken, and concluding with these remarkable words—"Assure his Excellency of my highest consideration, and that I shall not lose a moment in throwing myself at the feet of the King." Louise looked at Cecil on hearing these words; and as Cecil would probably have been looking at Louise, whether he had heard these words or not, their eyes met with an expression of great bewilderment and surprise,—the said bewilderment being by no means diminished when his visitor replied—"His Excellency kisses your hands, and I leave your Lordship in the holy keeping of the saints."

"Papa is rather flighty—don't you think so, Cecil?" said Louise.

"Both mad," answered that gentleman with a shake of the head.

"Mr Bullion is going to be Lord Mayor," said Miss Lucretia, with a vivid remembrance of the flirtations and grandeurs of the Mansion-house.

Mr Cocker said nothing aloud, and was sorely puzzled for a long time, but ended with a confused notion, derived principally from the protection of the saints, that his patron was likely to be Pope. All, however, sank into a gaping silence of anticipation, when Mr Bullion, after shutting the door, as soon as his visitor had departed, began to whistle Malbrook, and came into the supper-room.



"Enjoy yourselves, mes enfants," said the old gentleman; "I have not kept you waiting, I hope. Miss Smith, I kiss your hand—ma fille, embrassemoi."

"What's the matter with you, papa?" replied the young lady, and not complying with the request; "you speak as if you were a foreigner. Have you forgotten your mother-tongue?"

And certainly it was not difficult to perceive that there was an unusual tone assumed by Mr Bullion, with the slightest possible broken English admitted into his language.

"My mother-tongue?" said the senior. "Bah! 'tis not the time yet—I have not forgot it—not quite—but kiss me, Louise."

"Well, since you speak like a Christian, I won't refuse; but do be a good, kind, communicative old man, and tell us what has kept you so long. Do tell us who that hideous man is."

"Hideous, my dear!—'tis plain you never saw him."

"He's like the bravo of Venice," said Louise; "isn't he, Cecil?"

"He's more like Guy Faux," said the gentleman appealed to.

"He's like a gipsy fortune-teller," continued Miss Smith.

"Uncommon like a 'ousebreaker," chimed in Mr Cocker: "I never see such a rascally-looking countenance."

"Are you aware, all this time, that you are giving these descriptions of a friend of mine,—a most learned, lofty, reverend—but, pshaw! what nonsense it is, getting angry with folks like you. Eagles should fight with eagles."

But the lofty assumptions of Mr Bullion made no impression on his audience. One word, however, had stuck in the tympanum of Miss Smith's ear, and was beating a tremendous tattoo in her heart—

"Reverend, did you say, brother-in-law. If that little man is reverend, mark my words. I know very well what he's after. If we're not all spirited off to the Disquisition in Spain, I wish I may never be marr—I mean—saved."

"Nonsense, aunt," said Louise. "You're not going to turn Dissenter, father?"

"Better that than be a Papist, anyhow," sulked out Lucretia.

"Miss Smith," said Mr Bullion, "have the kindness, madam, to make no observation on what I do, or what friends I visit or receive in this house. If the gentleman who has now left me were a Mahommedan, he should be sacred from your impertinent remarks. Give me another potato, and hold your tongue."

"To you, Mr Hope," continued the senior, "and to you, Mr Cocker, and to you, Miss Lucretia, who are unmixed plebeians from your remotest known ancestry, it may appear surprising that a man so willingly undertakes the onerous duties entailed on him by his lofty extraction, as to surrender the peace and contentment which he feels to be the fitter accompaniments of your humble yet comfortable position. For my daughter and me far other things are in store—we sit on the mountain-top exposed to the tempest, though glorified by the sunshine, and look without regret to the contemptible safety and inglorious ease of the inhabitants of the vale. Take a glass of wine, Mr Cocker. I shall always look on you with favour."

Mr Cocker took the glass as ordered, and supposed his patron was repeating a passage out of Enfield's Speaker. "Fine language, sir, very fine language, indeed! particular that about sunshine on the mountains. A remarkable clever man, Mr Enfield; and I can say Ossian's Address to the Sun myself."

But in the mean time Louisa walked round the table, and laid hold of her father's hand, and putting her finger on his pulse, looked with a face full of wisdom, while she counted the beats; and giving a satisfied shake of the head, resumed her seat.

"A day or two's quiet will do, without a strait waistcoat," she said; "but I will certainly tell the porter never to admit that slouch-faced muffled-up impostor, who puts such nonsense into his head."

But at this moment a violent pull at the bell startled them all. When the door was opened a voice was heard in the hall which said, "Pour un[103] instant, Monseigneur;" whereupon Mr Bullion started up, and replying, "Oui, mon père," hurried out of the room, and left his party in more blank amazement than before.

The surmises, the exclamations, the whispers and suspicions that passed from one to the other, it is needless to record; it will suffice to say that, after an animated conversation with the mysterious visitor, Mr Bullion once more joined the circle and said, "You will be ready, all of you, to start for France to-morrow. I have business of importance that calls for my presence in Tours. Say not a word, but obey."


So, in a week, they were all comfortably settled in a hotel at Tours.

Mr Bullion was sitting in the parlour, apparently in deep and pleasant contemplation; for the corners of his mouth were involuntarily turned up, and he inspected the calf of his leg with self-satisfied admiration. Mr Cocker was on a chair in the corner, probably multiplying the squares in the table-cover by the flowers in the paper.

"How do you like France, Mr Cocker?" said Mr Bullion.

"Not at all, sir; the folks has no sense; and no wonder we always wallop them by sea or land."

"Hem! Must I remind you, sir, that this is my country; that the French are my countrymen; and that you by no means wallop them either by sea or land."

"You French! you Frenchman!" replied Mr Cocker; "that is a joke! Bullion ain't altogether a French name, I think? No, no; it smells of the bank; it does. You ain't one of the parlevousyou ain't, that's certain."

"How often have I to order you, sir, not to doubt my word?" said Mr Bullion; and emphacised his speech with a form of expression that is generally considered a clencher.

"There! there!" cried Cocker, triumphant; "I told you so. Is there ever a Frenchman could swear like that? They ain't Christians enough to give such a jolly hearty curse as yourn; so you see, sir, it's no go to pass yourself off for a Mounseer."

"Leave the room, sir, and send Mr Hope to me at once!"

Cocker obeyed, puzzled more and more at the fancy his master was possessed with to deny his country.

"It would, perhaps, have been wiser," thought Mr Bullion, "to have left the plebeian fools at home till everything was formally completed; but still, nothing, I suppose, would have satisfied them but the evidence of their own eyes."

"Mr Hope," he said, as that young gentleman entered the room, "sit down beside me; nay, no ceremony, I shall always treat you with condescension and regard."

"You are very good, sir."

"I am, sir; and I trust your conduct will continue such as to justify me in remaining so. You may have observed, Mr Hope, a change in my manner for some time past. You can't have been fool enough, like Miss Smith and Mr Cocker, to doubt the reality of the fact I stated, namely, that I am French by birth,—did you doubt it, sir?"

"Why, sir,—in fact—since you insist on an answer—"

"I see you did. Well, sir, I pity and pardon you. I will tell you the whole tale, and then you will see that some alteration must take place in our respective positions. In the neighbourhood of this good city of Tours I was born. My father was chief of the younger branch of one of the noblest houses in France,—the De Bouillons of Chateau d'Or. He was wild, gay, thoughtless, and fell into disgrace at court. He was imprisoned in the Bastille; his estates confiscated; his name expunged from the book of nobility; and he died poor, forgotten, and blackened in name and fame. I was fifteen at the time. I took my father's sword into the Town Hall; I gave it in solemn charge to the authorities, and vowed that when I had succeeded in wiping off the blot from my father's name, and getting it restored to its former rank, I would reclaim it at their hands, and assume[104] the state and dignity to which my birth entitled me. I went to England; your father, my good Cecil, took me by the hand: porter, clerk, partner, friend,—I rose through all the gradations of the office; and when he died, he left me the highest trust he could repose in anyone,—the guardianship of his son."

"I know sir,—and if I have never sufficiently thanked you for your care—"

"Not that—no, no—I'm satisfied, my dear boy—and Louise—the Lady Louise I must now call her—change of rank—duties of lofty sphere—former friends—ill arranged engagements—" continued the new-formed magnate in confusion, blurting out unconnected words, that showed the train of his thoughts without expressing them distinctly; while Mr Hope sat in amazement at what he had heard, but no longer doubting the reality of what was said.

"Well, sir?" he inquired.

"I changed my name with my country, though retaining as much of the sound of it as I could; and Louis Bullion was a complete disguise for the expatriated Marquis de Bouillon de Chateau d'Or. I married Miss Smith, and lost her shortly after Louise's birth. For years I have been in treaty with the French ambassador through his almoner, the Abbé, whose visits you thought so mysterious. At last I succeeded, and to-morrow I claim my father's sword, resume the hereditary titles of my house, and take my honoured place among the peers and paladins of France."

"And have you informed Louise?"—inquired Cecil.

"Lady Louise," interrupted Mr Bullion.

"Of this change in her position?"

"Why, my dear Cecil, to tell you truth—it's not an easy matter to get her to understand my meaning. Yesterday I attempted to explain the thing, exactly as I have done to you; but instead of taking it seriously, she began with one of her provoking chuckles, and chucked me under the chin, and called me Marquy-darky. In fact, I wish the explanation to come from you."

"I feel myself very unfit for the task," said the young man, who foresaw that this altered situation might interfere with certain plans of his own. "I hope you will excuse me; you can tell her the whole affair yourself, for here she comes."

And the young lady accordingly made her appearance. After looking at them for some time—

"What are you all so doleful about?" she began. "Has papa bitten you too, Cecil? Pray don't be a duke—it makes people so very ridiculous."

"Miss Louise—mademoiselle, I ought to say," said Mr Bullion, "I have communicated certain facts to Cecil Hope."

"Which he doesn't believe—do you, Cecil?" interposed the daughter.

"He does believe them, and I beg you will believe them too. They are simply, that I am a nobleman of the highest rank, and you are my right honourable daughter."

"Oh, indeed! and how was our cousin Spain when you heard from Madrid?—our uncle Austria, was he quite well?—was George of England recovered of the gout?—and above all, how was uncle Smith, the shipowner of Wapping?"

"Girl! you will drive me mad," replied the Marquis, "with your Smiths and Wappings. I tell you, what I have said is really the case, and to-morrow you will see the inauguration with your own eyes. Meantime, I must dress, to receive a deputation of the nobility of the province, who come to congratulate me on my arrival."

"Oh, what's this I hear," exclaimed Miss Smith, rushing into the room, "are you a real marquis, Mr Bullion?"

"Yes, madam, I have that honour."

"And does the marriage with my sister stand good?"

"To be sure, madam."

"Then, I'm very glad of it. Oh how delightful!—to be my Lord this, my Lady that. I am always devoted to the aristockicy; and now, only to think I am one of them myself."

"How can you be so foolish, aunt?—I'm ashamed of you," said Louise; "what terrible things you were telling me, an hour ago, of the wickedness of the nobility?"

"Miss Smith, though she does not[105] express herself in very correct language, has more sensible ideas on this subject than you," said the marquis, looking severely at his daughter, who was looking, from time to time, with a malicious smile at the woe-begone countenance of Cecil Hope. "Remember, madam, who it is you are," continued the senior.

"La, papa! don't talk such nonsense," replied the irreverent daughter. "Do you think I am eighteen years of age, and don't know perfectly well who and what I am?"

"Three of your ancestors, madam, were Constables of France."

"That's nothing to boast of," returned Louise; "no, not if they had been inspectors of police."

"You are incorrigible, girl, and have not sense enough to have a proper feeling of family pride."

"Haven't I? Am I not proud of all the stories uncle David tells us of his courage, when he was mate of an Indiaman? and aunt Jenkison—don't you remember, sir, how she dined with us at Christmas, and had to walk in pattens through the snow, and tumbled in Cheapside?"

A laugh began to form itself round the eyes of the French magnate, which made his countenance uncommonly like what it used to be when it was that of an English merchant. Louise saw her success, and proceeded.

"And how you said, when the poor old lady was brought home in a chair, that it was the punch that did it?"

"He, he! and so it was. Didn't I caution her, all the time, that it was old Jamaica rum?" broke out the father; but checked himself, as if he were guilty of some indecorum.

"And don't you remember how we all attended the launch of uncle Peter's ship, the Hope's Return? Ah, they were happy days, father! weren't they?"

"No, madam; no—vulgar, miserable days: forget them as quick as you can. I tell you, when you resume your proper sphere, every eye will be turned to your beauty: nobles will be dying at your feet."

"I trust not, sir," hurriedly burst in Mr Hope. "I don't see what right any nobles will have to be dying at Louise's feet."

"Don't you, sir?" said Louise. "Indeed! I beg to tell you, that as many as choose shall die at my feet. I'll trouble you, Mr Hope, not to interfere with the taste of any nobleman who has a fancy to so queer a place for his death-bed." But while she said this, she tapped him so playfully with her little white hand, and looked at him so kindly with her beautiful blue eyes, that the young gentleman seemed greatly reassured; and in a few minutes, as if tired of the conversation, betook himself to the other room.


Suddenly a great noise was heard in the street, and interrupted the lectures of father and aunt on the dignity of position and the pride of birth. Miss Lucretia and Louise ran to the window, and saw a cavalcade of carriages, with outriders, and footmen on the rumble, and all the stately accompaniments of the old-fashioned family coach, which, after a slow progress along the causeway, stopped at the hotel door.

"My friends! my noble friends!" exclaimed the marquis; "and I in this miserable dress!"

"The noble men! the salts of the earth!" equally exclaimed Miss Smith; "and I in my morning gownd!"

Saying this, she hastily fled into her bed-room, which, according to the fashion of French houses, opened on the sitting-room, and left the father and Louise alone.

The father certainly was in no fitting costume for the dignity of his new character. He was dressed according to the fashion of the respectable London trader of his time—a very fitting figure for 'Change, but not appropriate to the Marquis de Bouillon de Chateau d'Or. Nor, in fact, was his disposition much more fitted for his exalted position than his clothes. To all intents and purposes, he was a true John Bull: proud of his efforts to attain wealth—proud of his success—proud of the freedom of his adopted land—and, in his secret heart, thinking an English merchant several hundred degrees superior in usefulness and worth to all the marquises that ever lived on the smiles of[106] the Grand Monarque. The struggle, therefore, that went on within him was the most ludicrous possible. To his family and friends he presented that phase of his individuality that set his nobility in front; to the French nobles, on the other hand, he was inclined to show only so much of himself as presented the man of bills and invoices; and in both conditions, by a wonderful process of reasoning, in which we are all adepts, considered himself raised above the individuals he addressed.

"Did they see you at the window?" he said, in some trepidation, while the visitors were descending from their coaches.

"To be sure," replied Louise; "and impudent-looking men they were."

"Ah! that's a pity. Do, for heaven's sake, my dear, just slip in beside your aunt. They are a very gay polite people, the nobles of France—"

"Well; and what then?"

"And they might take ways of showing it, we are not used to in England. Do hide yourself, my dear—there, that's a good girl." And just as he had succeeded in pushing her into the bedroom, and begged her to lock herself in, the landlord of the hotel ushered four or five noblemen into the apartment, as visitors to the Marquis de Bouillon. The eldest of the strangers—about forty years old—bespangled with jewels, and ornamented with two or three stars and ribbons, looked with some surprise on the plainly drest and citizen-mannered man, who came forward to welcome them.

"We came to pay our compliments to my lord the Marquis de Bouillon de Chateau d'Or."

"And very glad he is to see you, gentlemen," said their host.

"You?—impossible! He speaks with an English accent."

"An impostor!" replied another of the nobles, to whom the last sentence had been addressed in a whisper."

"I am, indeed,—and truly glad to make your acquaintance, I assure you."

"Well," resumed the Frenchman, "let me present to you the Viscount de Lanoy—the Baron Beauvilliers—the Marquis de Croissy—for myself, I'm Duc de Vieuxchateau."

"Sit down, gentlemen—I beg," said De Bouillon, after bowing to the personages named. "A charming place this Tours, and I'm very glad to see you—fine weather, gentlemen."

"I trust you have come with the intention of residing among us. Your estates, I conclude, are restored along with your titles."

"No, gentlemen, they're not. But we may manage to buy some of them back again. How's land here?"

"Land?" inquired the duke, rather bewildered with the question.

"Yes—how is it, as to rent? How much an acre?"

"'Pon my word, I don't know. When I want money I tell the steward, and the people—the—serfs, I suppose, they are—who hold the plough and manage the land—give him some, and he brings it to me."

"Oh! but you don't know how many years' purchase it's worth?"

To this there was no answer—statistics, at that time, not being a favourite study in France.

"But, marquis," inquired another, "hasn't the King restored you your manorial rights—your droits de seigneur?"

"No, sir."

"Then what's the use of land without them?" was the very pertinent rejoinder.

"What are they, sir?" inquired the marquis.

"Why, if a tenant of yours has a pretty daughter," said one.

"Or a wife," said another.

"Or even a niece," said a third.

"Well, sir, what then? I don't take."

"Oh, you're a wag, marquis!" replied the duke. "Didn't I see, as we stopt before your window, a countenance radiant with beauty?"

"Eyes like stars," chimed in another.

"Cheeks like roses. Aha! Monsieur le Marquis—who was it?—come!"

"Why, that,—oh, that,—that's a young lady under my protection, gentlemen; and I must beg you to change the conversation."

"Indeed! you're a lucky fellow! The old fool mustn't be allowed to keep such beauty to himself."

"Certainly not," returned the vicomte, also in a whisper.


"Lucky!" said De Bouillon—"yes, gentlemen, I am lucky. If you knew all, you would think so, I'm sure."

"She loves you, then, old simpleton?"

"I think she does—I know she does—"

"May we not ask the honour of being presented?"

"Some other time, gentlemen—not now—she's not here—she's gone out for a walk."

"Impossible, my dear lord; we must have met her as we came up stairs."

"She has a headache—she's gone to lie down for a few minutes," said the marquis, getting more and more anxious to keep Louise from the intrusion of his visitors.

"I have an excellent cure for headaches of all kinds," exclaimed the baron, and proceeded towards the bed-room door. The Marquis de Bouillon, however, put himself between; but the duke and vicomte pulled him aside, and the baron began to rat-tat on the door.

"Come forth, madam!" he began, "we are dying for a sight of your angelic charms. De Bouillon begs you to honour us with your presence. Hark, she's coming!" he added, and drew back as he heard the bolt withdrawn on the other side.

"Stay where you are! don't come out!" shouted De Bouillon, still in the hands of his friends. "I charge you, don't move a step!" But his injunctions were vain; the door opened, and, sailing majestically into the room, drest out in hoop and furbelow, and waving her fan affectedly before her face, appeared Miss Lucretia Smith—

"Did you visit to see me, gentlemen? I'm always delighted to see any one as is civil enough to give us a forenoon call."

The French nobles, however, felt their ardour damped to an extraordinary degree, and replied by a series of the most respectful salaams.

"Profound veneration," "deepest reverence," and other expressions of the same kind, were muttered by each of the visiters; and in a short time they succeeded, in spite of Miss Lucretia's reiterated invitations, in bowing themselves out of the room. They were accompanied by the marquis to their carriages, while Miss Smith was gazing after them, astonished, more than pleased, at the wonderful politeness of their manner. Louise slipt out of the bed-room, and slapt her astonished aunt upon the shoulder—

"You've done it, aunt!—you've done it now! A word from you recalls these foreigners to their senses."

"It gives me a high opinion," replied Miss Smith, "of them French. They stand in perfect awe of dignity and virtue."


Great were the discussions, all that day, among the English party in the hotel—the father concealing his disappointment at the behaviour of his fellow nobles, under an exaggerated admiration of rank, and all its attributes; Louise professing to chime in with her father's ideas, for the pleasant purpose of vexing Cecil Hope; Mr Cocker still persuading himself the Frenchmanship of his old master was a little bit of acting that would end as soon as the curtain fell; and Miss Lucretia devising means of making up for her failures with so many curates, by catching a veritable duke. With the next morning new occupations began. The marquis, dressed in the fantastic apparel of a French courtier, exchanged compliments with his daughter, who was also magnificently attired, to do honour to the occasion. Mr Hope tried in vain to get her to sink from the lofty style she assumed, and had strong thoughts of setting off for Hertfordshire, and marrying a farmer's daughter out of revenge. The father was so carried away by family pride, and the daughter enjoyed the change in her rank so heartily, that there seemed no room in the heart of either for so prosaic a being as a plain English squire. And yet, every now and then, there gleamed from the corner of Louise's eye, or stole out in a merry tone of her voice, the old familiar feeling, so that he could not altogether give way to despair, but waited in patience what the chapter of accidents might bring. At one o'clock the marquis set off for the town-hall, where he was to go[108] through the ceremony of reclaiming his father's sword, and have the blot on the scutcheon formally removed; after which he was to entertain the town authorities, and the neighbouring nobility, at dinner; the evening to conclude with a ball, in the preparation for which the ladies were to be left at home. Mr Hope accompanied him to the door of the town-hall,—but there he professed to find his feelings overpowered, and declined to witness the ceremony that, he said, broke the connexion which had existed so long between the names of Hope and Bullion; but, ere he could return to the hotel, several things had occurred that had a material influence on his prospects, and these we must now proceed to relate. Miss Lucretia Smith continued her oratory in the ears of her devoted niece after the gentlemen had gone, the burden thereof consisting, principally, in a comparison between the nobles of France and the shopocracy of London,—till that young lady betook herself to the bedroom window already mentioned, to watch for Cecil's return. She had not been long at her watch-post, when a carriage, with the blinds drawn up, and escorted by seven or eight armed men, with masks on their faces, pulled up at the door. Of this she took no particular notice, but kept looking attentively down the street. But, a minute or two after the closed carriage drove under the porte cochère, a young gentleman was ushered into the presence of Miss Smith, and was, by that young lady, received with the highest empressement possible. She had only had time to improve her toilette by putting on Louise's shawl and bonnet, which happened to be lying on a chair; and, in spite of the shortness of the view she had had of him the day before, she immediately recognised him as one of her brother's visiters, the Baron Beauvilliers.

"Permit me, madam," he said, in very good English, "to apologise for my intrusion, but I have the authority of my friend De Bouillon to consider myself here at home."

"Oh, sir, you are certainly the politest nation on the face of the earth, you French—that I must say; but I may trust, I hope, to the honour of a gent like you? You won't be rude to an unoffended female? for there ain't a soul in the 'ouse that could give me the least assistance."

The baron bowed in a very assuring manner, and, taking a seat beside her, "May I make bold, madam, to ask who the tawdry silly-looking young person is who resides under De Bouillon's protection?"

"Sir—under Mr Bull—I mean, under the marquee's protection? I don't understand you."

"Exactly as I suspected. I guessed, from the dignity of your appearance, that such an infamous proceeding was entirely unknown to you. Command my services, madam, in any way you can make them available. Let me deliver you from the scandal of being in the same house with a person of that description."

"Oh, sir!" replied Miss Smith, "you are certainly most obliging. When we are a little better acquainted perhaps—in a few days, or even in one—I shall be happy to accept your offer; but, la! what will my brother-in-law say if I accept a gentleman's offer at minute's notice?"

Miss Smith accompanied this speech with various blushes and pauses, betokening the extent of her modest reluctance; but the baron either did not perceive the mistake she had made, or did not think it worth while to notice it.

"I will convey the destroyer of your peace away from your sight. Show me only the room she is in. And consider, madam, that you will make me the proudest of men by allowing me to be your knight and champion on this occasion."

"Really, sir, I can't say at present where the gipsy can be. Brother-in-law has been very sly; but if I can possibly ferret her out, won't I send her on her travels? Wait but a minute, sir: I'll come to you the moment she can be found."

But the baron determined to accompany her in her search, and together they left the room, two active members of the Society for the Suppression of Vice. Louise had heard the noise of voices, without distinguishing or attending to what was said, but a low and hurried tap at the door now attracted her notice.


"Miss Louise—ma'am—for heaven's sake, come out!" said the voice of Mr Cocker through the key-hole; "for here's a whole regiment of them French, and they wants to run away with YOU."

"With me, Cocker!" exclaimed Louise, coming into the parlour. "What is it you mean?"

"What I say, miss—and your aunt is as bad as any on 'em. She's searching the house, at this moment, to give you tip into their hands. She can't refuse nothing to them noblesse, as she calls 'em. The gentleman has gone down to the court-yard to see that nobody escapes, and here we are, like mice in a trap."

"Go for Cecil, Cocker; leave me to myself," said Louise—her features dilating into tiger-like beauty, with rage and self-confidence. "Go, I tell you—you'll find him returning from the town-hall—and bid him lose not a moment in coming to my help." She waved Mr Cocker impatiently from her, and returned for a moment into the bed-room.

"Madam, hist! I beg you will be quick!" exclaimed the baron, entering the parlour; "I can't wait much longer. What a detestable old fool it is!" he went on, in a lower voice; "she might have found the girl long ere this. "Well, well, have you found her?" he continued, addressing Louise, who issued from the bed-room in some of the apparel of her aunt, and assuming as nearly as she could the airs and graces of that individual. "Tell me, madam, where she is."

"La! sir, how is one to find out these things in a moment—besides, they ain't quite proper subjects for a young lady to be concerned with," replied Louise, keeping her bashful cheek from the sight of the baron with her enormous fan.

"Then, madam, point with that lovely finger of yours, and I shall make the discovery myself."

Louise pointed, as required, to the gallery, along which, at that moment, her quick eye caught the step of Miss Lucretia; and the baron, going to the door, gave directions to his attendants to seize the lady, and carry her without loss of time to the Parc d'Amour, a hotel on the outskirts of Tours. He then closed the door, and listened—no less than did Louise—to the execution of his commands.

"There, madam," he said, as the scuffle of seizure and a very faint scream were heard, "they've got her! Your pure presence shall never more be polluted by her society. A naughty man old De Bouillon, and unaccustomed to the strict morality of France. Adieu!"

"Adieu, sir!" said Louise; but there was a tone in her voice, or something in her manner, that called the attention of her visitor. He went up to her, laid his hand upon the fan, and revealed before him, beautiful from alarm and indignation, was the face of Louise de Bouillon! "So, madam! this was an excellent device, but I have more assistance at hand. Ho! Pierre! François!" he began to call. "I have another carriage in the yard—you sha'nt escape me so."

"Stop, sir!" exclaimed Louise, and placed herself between him and the door. "These are not the arts of wooing we are used to in England. I expected more softness and persuasion."

"Alas, madam, 'tis only the shortness of the opportunity that prevents me from making a thousand protestations. But, after all, what is the use of them? Ho! François!"

As he said this, he approached nearer to Louise, and even laid his hand upon her arm. But with the quickness of lightning, she made a dart at the diamond-covered hilt of her assailant's sword, and pulling it from the sheath, stood with the glittering point within an inch of the Frenchman's eyes.

"Back, back!" she cried, "or you are a dead man—or frog—or monkey—or whatever you are!"

Each of these names was accompanied with a step in advance; and there was too savage a lustre in her look to allow the unfortunate baron to doubt for a moment that his life was in the highest peril.

"Madam," he expostulated, "do be careful—'tis sharp as a needle."

"Back, back!" she continued, advancing with each word upon his retreating steps—"you thread-paper—you doll-at-a-fair—you stuffed cockatoo—back, back!" And on arriving at the bed-room door, she gave a prodigiously powerful lunge in[110] advance, and drove her victim fairly into the room, and, with an exclamation of pride and triumph, locked him in. But, exhausted with the excitement, she had only time to lay the sword on the table, wave the key three times round her head in sign of victory, and fall fainting into the arms of Cecil Hope, who at that moment rushed into the room.


The ceremony in the town-hall passed off with the greatest éclât; and the dinner was probably thought the finest part of the day's entertainment by all but the newly re-established noble himself. Flushed with the glories of the proceeding, and also with the wine he had swallowed to his own health and happiness, he sallied forth with his friends of the preceding day—except, of course, the Baron Beauvilliers—and, as he himself expressed it, was awake for anything, up to any lark.

"A lark, says my lord?" inquired the Duke de Vieuxchateau.

"Ay," replied the marquis, "if it's as big as a turkey, all the better. That champaign is excellent tipple, and would be cheap at eighty-four shillings per dozen."

The French nobles did not quite understand their companion's phraseology, but were quite willing to join him in any extravagance.

"What shall we do?" cried one; "shall we break open the jail?"

"No," said De Bouillon: "hang it! that's a serious matter. But I'll tell you what, I've no objection to knock down a charley."

"No, no! let's go to Rouge et Noir."

"Boys, boys!" at last exclaimed the Vicomte de Lanoy, "I'll tell you what we shall do,—Beauvilliers told me that, while we were all engaged at the dinner, he was going to seize a beautiful creature, and carry her off to the Parc d'Amour."

"Wrong, decidedly wrong!" said De Bouillon at this proposition. "Who is she?"

"Why, the companion, you understand, of an old twaddling fool, who has no right to so much beauty. Beauvilliers did not tell me his name, but 'tis only one of the bourgeoisie, and we surely have a right to do as we like with them."

"Ah yes! of course," replied De Bouillon, "I did not think of that. What then?"

"Why, sir, we shall play as good a trick on Beauvilliers as he designed for the ancient gentleman. Let's get there before him, and carry her from him!"

"Agreed, agreed!"

"No, no, I must declare off," said the marquis. "'Tis a bad business altogether, and this would make it worse."

"But who is to carry the lady?" inquired the duke, without attending to the scruples of his friend.

"Toss for it," suggested the vicomte. A louis was thrown into the air. "Heads! heads!" cried the nobleman. "Tails!" said De Bouillon.

"'Tis tails!" exclaimed the vicomte. "Marquis, the chance is yours—you've won."

"Oh! have I?" replied the unwilling favourite of fortune; "I've won, have I?"

"You don't seem overpleased with your good luck," said the duke; "give me your chance, and I shall know how to make better use of it."

"No, gentlemen, I'll manage this affair myself."

"Come on, then!—vive la joie!"—and with great joviality they pursued their way to the Parc d'Amour.

But they had been preceded in their journey to that hostelry by Louise, attended by Cecil Hope and Mr Cocker. By the administration of a douceur to the waiter, they obtained an entrée to the apartment designed for the baron and his prey, and had scarcely time to ensconce themselves behind the window-curtain, when Miss Lucretia was escorted into the room. There were no symptoms of any violent resistance to her captors having been offered, and she took her seat on the sofa without any perceptible alarm.

"Well, them's curious people, them French!" she soliloquised when the men had left her. "If that 'ere baron fell in love with a body, couldn't he say so without all that rigmarole[111] about Mr Bullion's behaviour, and pulling a body nearly to pieces? I'm sure if he had axed me in a civil way, I wouldn't have said no. But, lawkins! here he comes."

So saying, she enveloped herself in Louise's shawl, and pulled Louise's bonnet farther on her face, and prepared to enact the part of an offended, yet not altogether unforgiving beauty. But the door, on being slowly opened, presented, not the countenance of the baron, but the anxious face of Mr Bullion himself. The three French nobles pushed him forward. "Go on," they said; "make the best use of your eloquence. We will watch here, and guard the door against Beauvilliers himself."

The marquis, now thoroughly sobered, slowly advanced: "If I can save this poor creature from the insolence of those roués, it will be well worth the suffering it has cost. Trust to me, madam," he said, in a very gentle voice, to the lady: "I will not suffer you to be insulted while I live. Come with me, madam, and you shall not be interrupted by ever a French profligate alive." On looking closely at the still silent lady on the sofa, he was startled at recognising a dress with which he was well acquainted.

"In the name of heaven!" he said, "I adjure you to tell me who you are. Are you—is it possible—can you be my Louise!"

"No, Mr Bullion," replied Miss Lucretia, lifting up the veil, and turning round to the trembling old man. "And I must say I'm considerably surprised to find you in a situation like this."

"And you, madam—yourself—how came you here?"

"A young gentleman—nobleman, I should say—ran off with me here, and I expected him every minute when you came in."

"And Louise?" inquired the father, in an agitated voice—"when did you leave her? Oh! my folly to let her a moment out of my sight!—to reject Cecil Hope!—to bedizen myself in this ridiculous fashion! Where, oh where is Louise?"

"Here, sir," exclaimed that lady, coming forward from behind the window-curtain.

"And safe? Ah! but I need not ask. I see two honest Englishmen by your side."

"And one of them, sir, says he'll never leave it," said Louise.

"Stop a moment," replied the marquis. "Ho! gentlemen, come in."

At his request his companions entered the room.

"Gentlemen," said the marquis, "when I determined to reclaim my father's sword, I expected to find it bright as Bayard's, and unstained with infamy or dishonour. When I wished to resume my title, I hoped to find it a sign of the heroic virtues of my ancestors, but not a cloak for falsehood and vice. I warn you, sirs, your proceedings will be fatal to your order, and to your country. For myself, I care not for this sword,"—he threw it on the ground—"this filagree I despise,"—he took off his star and ribbon—"and I advise you to leave this chamber as fast as you can find it convenient."

The French nobles obeyed.

"Here, Cocker! off with all this silk and satin; get me my gaiters and flaxen wig; and, please Heaven, one week will see us in the little room above the warehouse."

"Preparing, sir, to move into Hertfordshire?" inquired Louise, leaning on Cecil's arm.

"Ay, my child; and, in remembrance of this adventure, we shall hang up among the pictures in the hall,

The Sword of Honour."



It must be allowed that a perusal of Scottish history betrays more anomalies than are to be found in the character of almost any other people. It is not without reason that our southern neighbours complain of the difficulty of thoroughly understanding our national idiosyncrasy. At one time we appear to be the most peaceable race upon the surface of the earth—quiet, patient, and enduring; stubborn, perhaps, if interfered with, but, if let alone, in no way anxious to pick a quarrel. Take us in another mood, and gunpowder is not more inflammable. We are ready to go to the death, for a cause about which an Englishman would not trouble himself; and amongst ourselves, we divide into factions, debate, squabble, and fight with an inveteracy far more than commensurate with the importance of the quarrel. Sometimes we seem to have no romance; at other times we are perfect Quixotes. The amalgamated blood of the Saxon and the Celt seems, even in its union, to display the characteristics of either race. We rush into extremes: one day we appear over-cautious, and on the next, the perfervidum ingenium Scotorum prevails.

If these remarks be true as applied to the present times, they become still more conspicuous when we regard the troublous days of our ancestors. At one era, as in the reign of David I., we find the Scottish nation engaged, heart and soul, in one peculiar phase of religious excitement. Cathedrals and abbeys are starting up in every town. All that infant art can do—and yet, why call it infant, since, in architecture at least, it has never reached a higher maturity?—is lavished upon the structure of our fanes. Melrose, and Jedburgh, and Holyrood, and a hundred more magnificent edifices, rise up like exhalations throughout a poor and barren country; the people are proud in their faith, and perhaps even prouder in the actual splendour of their altars. A few centuries roll by, and we find the same nation deliberately undoing and demolishing the works of their forefathers. Hewn stone and carved cornices, tracery, mullions, and buttresses, have now become abominations in their sight. Not only must the relics of the saints be scattered to the winds of heaven, and their images ground into dust, but every church in which these were deposited or displayed, must be dismantled as the receptacle of pollution. The hammer swings again, but not with the same pious purpose as of yore. Once it was used to build; now it is heaved to destroy. Aisle and archway echo to the thunder of its strokes, and, amidst a roar of iconoclastic wrath, the venerable edifice goes down. Another short lapse of time, and we are lamenting the violence of the past, and striving to prop, patch up, and rebuild what little remnant has been spared of the older works of devotion.

The same anomalies will be found if we turn from the ecclesiastical to the political picture. Sometimes there is a spirit of loyalty manifested, for which it would be difficult to find a parallel. The whole nation gathers round the person of James IV.; and earl and yeoman, lord and peasant, chief and vassal, lay down their lives at Flodden for their king. His successor James V., in no respect unworthy of his crown, dies of a broken heart, deserted by his peers and their retainers. The unfortunate Mary, welcomed to her country with acclamation, is made the victim of the basest intrigues, and forced to seek shelter, and find death in the dominions of her treacherous enemy. The divine right, in its widest meaning and acceptation, is formally recognised by the Scottish estates as the attribute of James VII.; three years afterwards, a new convention is prompt to recognise an alien. Half a century further on, we are found offering the gage of battle to England in support of the exiled family.

This singular variety of mood, of[113] which the foregoing are a few instances, is no doubt partly attributable to the peculiar relationship which existed between the crown and the principal nobility. The latter were not cousins by courtesy only—they were intimately connected with the royal family, and some of them were near the succession. Hence arose jealousy amongst themselves, a system of feud and intrigue, which was perpetuated for centuries, and a constant effort, on the part of one or other of the conflicting magnates, to gain possession and keep custody of the royal person, whenever minority or weakness appeared to favour the attempt. But we cannot help thinking, that the disposition of the people ought also to be taken into account. Fierce when thwarted, and with a memory keenly retentive of injury, the Scotsman is in reality a much more impulsive being than his southern neighbour. His sense of justice and order is not so strongly developed, but his passion glows with a fire all the more intense because to outward appearance it is smothered. His ideas of social duty are different from those of the Englishman. Kindred is a closer tie—identity of name and family is a bond of singular union. Clanship, in the broad acceptation of the word, has died out for all practical purposes; chieftainship is still a recognised and a living principle. The feudal times, though gone, have left their traces on the national character. Little as baronial sway, too often tantamount to sheer oppression, can have contributed towards the happiness of the people, we still recur to the history of these troublous days with a relish and fondness which can hardly be explained, save through some undefined and subtle sympathy of inheritance. Though the objects for which they contended are now mere phantoms of speculation we yet continue to feel and to speak as if we were partisans of the cause of our ancestors, and to contest old points with as much ardour as though they were new ones of living interest to ourselves.

We have been led into this strain of thought by the perusal of a work, strictly authentic as a history, and yet as absorbing in interest as the most coloured and glowing romance. Sir William Kirkaldy of Grange, the subject of these Memoirs, played a most conspicuous part in the long and intricate struggles which convulsed Scotland, from the death of James V. until the latter part of the reign of Queen Mary. Foremost in battle and in council, we find his name prominently connected with every leading event of the period, and his influence and example held in higher estimation than those of noblemen who were greatly his superiors in rank, following, and fortune. In fact, Kirkaldy achieved, by his own talent and indomitable valour, a higher reputation, and exercised, for a time, a greater influence over the destinies of the nation, than was ever before possessed by a private Scottish gentleman, with the glorious exception of Wallace. In an age when the sword was the sole arbiter of public contest and of private quarrel, it was a proud distinction to be reputed, not only at home but abroad—not only by the voice of Scotland, but by that of England and France—the best and bravest soldier, and the most accomplished cavalier of his time. Mixed up in the pages of general history, too often turbidly and incoherently written, the Knight of Grange may not be estimated, in the scale of importance, at the level of such personages as the subtle Moray, or the vindictive and treacherous Morton: viewed as all individual, through the medium of these truthful and most fascinating memoirs, he will be found at least their equal as a leader and a politician, and far their superior as a generous and heroic man.

His father, Sir James Kirkaldy, was a person of no mean family or reputation. He occupied, for a considerable time, the office of Lord High Treasurer of Scotland, and, according to our author—

"Enjoyed, in a very high degree, the favour and confidence of King James V.; and though innumerable efforts were made by his mortal foe Cardinal Beatoun, and others, to bring him into disgrace as a promoter of the Reformation, they all proved ineffectual, and the wary old baron maintained his influence to the last."

Old Sir James seems to have been one of those individuals with whom it is neither safe nor pleasant to differ in opinion. According to his brother-in-law,[114] Sir James Melville of Halhill, he was "a stoute man, who always offered, by single combate, and at point of the sword, to maintain whatever he said;" a testimonial which, we observe, has been most fitly selected as the motto of this book, the son having been quite as much addicted to the wager of battle as the father; nor, though a strenuous supporter of the Reformation, does he appear to have imbibed much of that meekness which is inculcated by holy writ. He was not the sort of man whom John Bright would have selected to second a motion at a Peace Congress; indeed, the mere sight of him would have caused the voice of Elihu Burritt to subside into a quaver of dismay. Cardinal Beatoun, that proud and licentious prelate, to whose tragical end we shall presently have occasion to advert, was the personal and bitter enemy of the Treasurer, as he was of every other independent Scotsman who would not truckle to his power. But James V., though at times too facile, would not allow himself to be persuaded into so dangerous an act as countenancing prosecutions for heresy against any of his martial subjects; and, so long as he lived, the over-weening bigotry and arrogance of the priesthood were held in check. But other troubles brought the good king to an untimely end. James had mortally offended some of his turbulent nobles, by causing the authority of the law to be vindicated without respect to rank or person. He had deservedly won for himself the title of King of the Commons; and was, in fact, even in that early age, bent upon a thorough reform of the abuses of the feudal system. But he had proud, jealous, and stubborn men to deal with. They saw, not without apprehension for their own fate, that title and birth were no longer accepted as palliatives of sedition and crime; that the inroads, disturbances, and harryings which they and their fathers had practised, were now regarded with detestation by the crown, and threatened with merited punishment. Some strong but necessary examples made them quail for their future supremacy, and discontent soon ripened into something like absolute treason. Add to this, that for a long time the nobility of Scotland had fixed a covetous eye upon the great possessions of the church. In no country of Europe, considering its extent and comparative wealth, was the church better endowed than in Scotland; and the endeavours of the monks, who, with all their faults, were not blind to the advantages derivable from the arts of peace, had greatly raised their property in point of value. The confiscations which had taken place in Protestantised England, whereof Woburn Abbey may be cited as a notable example, had aroused to the fullest extent the cupidity of the rapacious nobles. They longed to see the day when, unsupported by the regal power, the church lands in Scotland could be annexed by each iron-handed baron to his own domain; when, at the head of their armed and dissolute jackmen, they could oust the feeble possessors of the soil from the heritages they had so long enjoyed as a corporation, and enrich themselves by plundering the consecrated stores of the abbeys. These were the feelings and desires which led most of them to lend a willing ear to the preaching of the fathers of the Reformation. They were desirous, not only of lessening the royal authority, but of transferring the whole property of the clergy to themselves; and this double object led to a combination which resulted in the passive defeat of the Scottish army at Solway Moss.

Poor King James could not bear up against the shock of this shameful desertion. Mr Tytler thus describes his latter moments:—

"When in this state, intelligence was brought him that his queen had given birth to a daughter. At another time it would have been happy news; but now, it seemed to the poor monarch the last drop of bitterness which was reserved for him. Both his sons were dead. Had this child been a boy, a ray of hope, he seemed to feel, might yet have visited his heart; he received the messenger and was informed of that event without welcome or almost recognition; but wandering back in his thoughts to the time when the daughter of Bruce brought to his ancestor the dowry of the kingdom, observed with melancholy emphasis, 'It came with a lass, and it will pass with a lass.' A few of his most favoured friends and counsellers stood around his[115] couch; the monarch stretched out his hand for them to kiss; and regarding them for some moments with a look of great sweetness and placidity, turned himself upon the pillow and expired. He died 13th December 1542, in the thirty-first year of his age, and the twenty-ninth of his reign; leaving an only daughter, Mary, an infant of six days old, who succeeded to the crown."

Amongst those who stood around that memorable deathbed were the Lord High Treasurer, young William Kirkaldy his son, and Cardinal Beatoun. There was peace for a moment over the body of the anointed dead!

But even the death of a king makes a light impression on this busy and intriguing world. The struggle for mastery now commenced in right earnest—for the only wall which had hitherto separated the contending factions of the nobility and the clergy had given way. Beatoun and Arran were both candidates for the regency, which the latter succeeded in gaining; and, after a temporary alienation, these two combined against an influence which began to show itself in a threatening form. Henry VIII. of England considered this an excellent opportunity for carrying out those designs against the independence of the northern country, which had been entertained by several of his predecessors; and for that purpose he proposed to negotiate a marriage between his son Edward and the Princess Mary. Such an alliance was of course decidedly opposed to the views of the Catholic party in Scotland, and, moreover, was calculated to excite the utmost jealousy of the Scottish people, who well understood the true but recondite motive of the proposal. So long as Beatoun, whose interest was identified with that of France, existed, Henry was fully aware that his scheme never could be carried into execution; and accordingly, with that entire want of principle which he exhibited on every occasion, he took advantage of their position to tamper with the Scottish barons who had been made prisoners at Solway Moss. In this he so far succeeded, that a regular conspiracy was entered into for the destruction of the cardinal, and only defeated by his extreme sagacity and caution. It will be seen hereafter that the cardinal did not fall a victim to this dastardly English plot, but to private revenge, no doubt augmented and inflamed by the consideration of his arrogance and cruelty.

Beatoun, one of the most able and also dissolute men of his day, was a younger son of the Laird of Balfour—yet had, notwithstanding every disadvantage, contrived very early to attain his high position. He was hated, not only by the nobility, but by the lesser barons, from whose own ranks he had risen, on account of his intolerable pride, his rapacity, and the unscrupulous manner in which he chose to exercise his power. Among the barons of Fife, always a disunited and wrangling county, he had few adherents: and with the Kirkaldys, and their relatives, the Melvilles, he had an especial quarrel. Shortly after the death of James, the Treasurer was dismissed from his office, an affront which the "stoute man" was not likely to forget; and his son, then a mere youth, seems to have participated in his feelings. But the cruelty of Beatoun was at least the nominal cause which led to his destruction. Wishart, the famous Reforming preacher, had fallen into the hands of the cardinal, and was confined in his castle of St Andrews, of which our author gives us the following faithful sketch:—

"On the rocky shore, to the northward of the venerable city of St Andrews, stand the ruins of the ancient Episcopal palace, in other years the residence of the primates of Scotland. Those weatherbeaten remains, now pointed out to visitors by the ciceroni of the place, present only the fragments of an edifice erected by Archbishop Hamilton, the successor of Cardinal Beatoun, and are somewhat in the style of an antique Scottish manor-house; but very different was the aspect of that vast bastille which had the proud cardinal for lord, and contained within its massive walls all the appurtenances requisite for ecclesiastical tyranny, epicurean luxury, lordly grandeur, and military defence—at once a fortress, a monastery, an inquisition, and a palace.

"The sea-mews and cormorants screaming among the wave-beaten rocks and bare walls now crumbling on that bleak promontory, and echoing only to drenching surf, as it rolls up the rough shelving shore, impart a peculiarly desolate effect to the grassy ruins, worn with the blasts of the German Ocean, gray with the storms of winter, and the damp mists of[116] March and April—an effect that is greatly increased by the venerable aspect of the dark and old ecclesiastical city to the southward, decaying, deserted, isolated, and forgotten, with its magnificent cathedral, once one of the finest gothic structures in the world, but now, shattered by the hands of man and time, passing rapidly away. Of the grand spire which arose from the cross, and of its five lofty towers, little more than the foundations can now be traced, while a wilderness of ruins on every hand attest the departed splendours of St Andrews."

George Wishart, the unhappy preacher, was burned before the Castle on the 28th March 1545, under circumstances of peculiar barbarity. We refer to the book for a proper description of the death-scene of the Martyr, whose sufferings were calmly witnessed by the ruthless and implacable Cardinal. But the avenger of blood was at hand, in the person of Norman Leslie, Master of Rothes. This young man, who was of a most fiery and intractable spirit, had some personal dispute with the cardinal, whom he accused of having attempted to defraud him of an estate. High words followed, and Norman rode off in wrath to the house of his uncle, John Leslie of Parkhill, a moody and determined Reformer, who had already vowed bloody vengeance for the execution of the unfortunate Wishart. Finding him apt for any enterprise, Norman instantly despatched messengers to the Kirkaldys of Grange, the Melvilles of Raith and Carnbee, and to Carmichael of Kilmadie, desiring them to meet for an enterprise of great weight and importance; and the summons having been responded to, these few men determined to rid the country of one whom they considered a murderer and an oppressor.

The manner in which this act of terrible retribution was executed is too well known to the student of history to require repetition. Suffice it to say that, by a coup-de-main, sixteen armed men made themselves masters of the castle of St Andrews, overpowered and dispersed the retainers of the cardinal, and quenched the existence of that haughty prelate in his blood. William Kirkaldy was not the slayer, but, as an accomplice, he must bear whatever load of odium is cast upon the perpetrators of the deed. We cannot help thinking that our author exhibits an unnecessary degree of horror in this instance. Far be it from us to palliate bloodshed, in any age or under any provocation: neither do we agree with John Knox, that the extermination of Beatoun was a "godly fact." But we doubt whether it can be called a murder. In the first place, old Kirkaldy knew, on the authority of James V., that a list of three hundred and sixty names, including his own and those of his most immediate friends, had been made out by the cardinal, as a catalogue of victims who were to be burned for heresy. This contemplated atrocity, far worse than the massacre of St Bartholomew, might not, indeed, have been carried into effect, even on account of its magnitude; but the mere knowledge that it had been planned, was enough to justify the Kirkaldys, and those marked out for impeachment, in considering Beatoun as their mortal foe. That the cardinal never departed from his bloody design, is apparent from the fact, that, after his death, a paper was found in his repositories, ordaining that "Norman Leslie, sheriff of Fife, John Leslie, father's brother to Norman, the Lairds of Grange, elder and younger, Sir James Learmonth of Dairsie, and the Laird of Raith, should either have been slain or else taken." The law at that period could afford no security against such a design, so that Beatoun's assassination may have been an act of necessary self-defence, which it would be extremely difficult to blame. As to the sacrilege, we cannot regard that as an aggravation. If a prelate of the Roman Church, like Beatoun, chose to make himself notorious to the world by the number and scandal of his profligacies; if, with a carnality and disregard of appearances not often exhibited by laymen, he turned his palace into a seraglio; and if his mistress was actually surprised, at the time of the attack, in the act of escaping from his bedchamber,—great allowance must be made for the obtuseness of the men who could not understand the relevancy of the plea of priesthood which he offered, in order that his holy calling might shield him from secular consequences. But further, is[117] the fate of Wishart to go for nothing? Setting the natural influences of bigotry aside, and with every consideration for the zeal which could hurry even so good a man as Sir Thomas More to express, in words at least, a desire to see the faggot and the stake in full operation—what shall we say to the individual who could calmly issue his infernal orders, and, in the full pomp of ecclesiastical vanity, become a pleased spectator of the sufferings of a human being, undergoing the most hideous of all imaginable deaths? Truly this, that the brute deserved to die in return; and that we, at all events, shall not stigmatise those who killed him as guilty of murder. Poor old Sharpe was murdered, if ever man was, in a hideous and atrocious manner; but as for Beatoun, he deserved to die, and his death was invested with a sort of judicial sanction, having been perpetrated in presence of the sheriff of the bounds.

The tidings of this act of vengeance spread, not only through Scotland, but through Europe, like wildfire. According as men differed in religious faith, they spoke of it either with horror or exultation. Even the most moderate of the reforming party were slow to blame the deed which freed them from a bloody persecutor; and Sir David Lindesay of the Mount, the witty and satirical scholar, did not characterise it more severely than as expressed in the following verses:—

"As for the cardinal, I grant
He was the man we well might want;
God will forgive it soon.
But of a truth, the sooth to say,
Although the loon be well away,
The deed was foully done."

Meanwhile the conspirators had conceived the daring scheme of holding the castle of St Andrews against all comers, and of setting the authority of the regent at defiance. They calculated upon receiving support from England, in case France thought fit to interfere; and perhaps they imagined that a steady resistance on their part might excite general insurrection in Scotland. Besides this, they had retained in custody the son and heir of the Regent Arran, whom they had found in the castle, and who was a valuable hostage in their hands. The force they could command was not great. Amongst others, John Knox joined them with his three pupils; several Fife barons espoused their cause; and altogether they mustered about one hundred and fifty armed men. This was a small body, but the defences of the place were more than usually complete, and they were well munimented with artillery. Accordingly, though formally summoned, they peremptorily refused to surrender.

John Knox, when he entered the castle, was probably under the impression that he was joining a company of men, serious in their deportment, rigid in their conversation, and self-denying in their habits. If so, he must very soon have discovered his mistake. The young Reforming gentry were not one whit more scrupulous than their Catholic coevals: Norman Leslie, though brave as steel, was a thorough-paced desperado; and, from the account given by our author of the doings at St Andrews, it may easily be understood how uncongenial such quarters must have been to the stern and ascetic Reformer.

Arran had probably no intention of pushing matters to extremity, though compelled, for appearance' sake, to invest the fortress. After a siege of three weeks it remained unreduced; and a pestilence which broke out in the town of St Andrews, afforded the regent a pretext for agreeing to an armistice. Hitherto the conspirators had received the countenance and support of Henry VIII., who remitted them large sums from time to time, and promised even more active assistance. But this never arrived. Death at last put a stop to the bereavements of this unconscionable widower; and thereupon the French court despatched a fleet of one-and-twenty vessels of war, under the command of Leon Strozzio—a famous Florentine noble, who had risen in the Order of the Hospital to the rank of Prior of Capua—for the purpose of reducing the stubborn stronghold of heresy. Strozzio's name was so well known as that of a most skilful commander and tactician, and the weight of the ordnance he brought with him was so great, that the besieged had no hope of escaping this time; yet, on being[118] summoned, they replied, with the most undaunted bravery, that they would defend the castle against the united powers of Scotland, England, and France. With such resolute characters as these, it was no use to parley further; and the Prior accordingly set about his task with a dexterity which put to shame the feeble tactics of Arran.

"By sea and land the siege was pressed with great fury. From the ramparts of the Abbey Church, from the college, and other places in the adjoining streets, the French and Scottish cannoneers maintained a perpetual cannonade upon the castle. Those soldiers who manned the steeples and St Salvador's tower occupied such an elevation, that, by depressing their cannon, they shot down into the inner quadrangle of the castle, the pavement of which could be seen dabbled with the blood of the garrison; and, to aggravate the increasing distress of the latter, the pestilence found its way among them—many died, and all were dismayed. Walter Melville, one of their bravest leaders, fell deadly sick; while watching, warding, and scanty fare, were rapidly wearing out the rest; and John Knox dinned continually in their ears, that their present perils were the just reward of their former corrupt lives and licentiousness, and reliance on England rather than Heaven.

"'For the first twenty days of this siege,' said he, 'ye prospered bravely: but when ye triumphed at your victory, I lamented, and ever said that ye saw not what I saw. When ye boasted of the thickness of your walls, I said they would be but as egg-shells: when ye vaunted, England will rescue us—I said, ye shall not see it; but ye shall be delivered into your enemies' hands, and carried afar off into a strange country.'

"This gloomy prophesying was but cold comfort for those whom his precepts and exhortations had urged to rebellion, to outlawry, and to bloodshed; but their affairs were fast approaching a crisis."

If John Knox showed little judgment in adopting this tone of vaticination, he is, at all events, entitled to some credit for his courage—since Norman Leslie possessed a temper which it was rather dangerous to aggravate, and must sometimes have been sorely tempted to toss the querulous Reformer into the sea.

The garrison finally surrendered to Leon Strozzio, but not until battlement and wall had been breached, and an escalade rendered practicable.

The prisoners, including William Kirkaldy, were conveyed to France, and there subjected to treatment which varied according to their station. Those of knightly rank were incarcerated in separate fortresses; the remainder were chained to oars in the galleys on the Loire. John Knox was one of those who were forced to undergo this ignominious punishment; and we quite agree with our author in holding that, "it is not probable, that the lash of the tax-master increased his goodwill towards popery."

William Kirkaldy was shut up in the great castle of Mont Saint Michel, along with Norman Leslie, his uncle of Parkhill, and Peter Carmichael of Kilmadie. But, however strong the fortress, it was imprudent in their gaolers to lodge four such fiery spirits together. They resolved to break prison; and did so, having, by an ingenious ruse, succeeded in overpowering the garrison, and, after some vicissitudes and wanderings, made good their escape to England.

After this event there is a blank of some years, during which we hear little of Kirkaldy. It is, however, an important period in northern history, for it includes the battle of Pinkie, the removal of the child, Queen Mary, to France, and her betrothment to the Dauphin. Kirkaldy seems not to have arrived in England until the death of Edward VI., when the Romanist party attained a temporary ascendency. We next find him in the service of Henry II. of France, engaged in the wars between that monarch and the Emperor Charles V. In these campaigns, says our author, by his bravery and conduct, he soon attained that eminent distinction and reputation, as a skilful and gallant soldier, which ceased only with his life.

Kirkaldy was not the only member of the stout garrison of St Andrews who found employment in the French service. Singularly enough, Norman Leslie, the head of the conspirators, had also a command, and was in high favour with the famous Constable Anne de Montmorencie. His death, which occurred the day before the battle of Renti, is thus graphically[119] recounted in the Memoirs, and is a picture worth preserving:—

"The day before the battle, the constable, perceiving by the manœuvres of the Spanish troops that Charles meant to take possession of certain heights, which sloped abruptly down to the camp or bivouac of the French, sent up Leslie's Scottish lances and other horsemen to skirmish with these Imperialists, and drive them back. Melville, his fellow-soldier, thus describes him:—In view of the whole French army, the Master of Rothes, 'with thirty Scotsmen, rode up the hill upon a fair gray gelding. He had, above his coat of black velvet, his coat of armour, with two broad white crosses, one before and the other behind, with sleeves of mail, and a red bonnet upon his head, whereby he was seen and known afar off by the constable, the Duke d'Enghien, and the Prince of Condé.' His party was diminished to seven by the time he came within lance-length of the Imperialists, who were sixty in number; but he burst upon them with the force of a thunderbolt, escaping the fire of their hand-culverins, which they discharged incessantly against him. He struck five from their saddles with his long lance, before it broke into splinters; then, drawing his sword, he rushed again and again among them, with the heedless bravery for which he had ever been distinguished. At the critical moment of this unequal contest, of seven Scottish knights against sixty Spaniards, a troop of Imperial spearmen were hastily riding along the hill to join in the encounter. By this time Leslie had received several bullets in his person; and, finding himself unable to continue the conflict longer, he dashed spurs into his horse, galloped back to the constable, and fell, faint and exhausted, from his saddle, with the blood pouring through his burnished armour on the turf.

"By the king's desire he was immediately borne to the royal tent, where the Duke d'Enghien and Prince Louis of Condé remarked to Henry, that 'Hector of Troy had not behaved more valiantly than Norman Leslie.'

"So highly did that brave prince value Norman Leslie, and so greatly did he deplore his death, that all the survivors of his Scottish troop of lances were, under Crichton of Brunstane, sent back to their own country, laden with rewards and honours; and, by his influence, such as were exiles were restored by the regent to their estates and possessions, as a recompense for their valour on the frontiers of Flanders."

Kirkaldy seems to have remained in France until the unfortunate death of Henry II., who was accidentally killed in a tournament. The estimation in which he was held, after his achievements in the wars of Picardy, may be learned from the following contemporary testimony:—

"I heard Henry II.," Melville states, "point unto him and say—'Yonder is one of the most valiant men of our age.'" And the same writer mentions "that the proud old Montmorencie, the great constable of France, treated the exiled Kirkaldy with such deference that he never addressed him with his head covered." This was high tribute, when paid to a soldier then under thirty years of age.

Ten years after he had been conveyed a prisoner from St Andrews on board the French galley, Kirkaldy returned to Scotland, but not to repose under the laurels he had already won. Soon after this we find him married, in possession, through the death of his father, of his ancestral estates, the intimate friend of Maitland of Lethington and of Lord James, afterwards the Regent Moray, and a stanch supporter of the Lords of the Congregation. This period furnishes to us one of the most melancholy chapters of Scottish history. Mary of Guise, the queen-regent, on the one hand, was resolute to put down the growing heresy; on the other, the landed nobility were determined to overthrow the Catholic church. Knox, who had by this time returned from France, and other Reformed preachers, did their utmost to fan the flame; and the result was that melancholy work of incendiarism and ruin, which men of all parties must bitterly deplore. Then came the French auxiliaries under D'Oisel, wasting the land, ravaging the estates of the Protestants, and burning their houses and villages; a savage mode of warfare, from which Kirkaldy suffered much—Fife having been pillaged from one end to the other—but for which he exacted an ample vengeance. The details of this partisan warfare are given with much minuteness, but great spirit, by the chronicler; and it did not cease until the death of Mary of Guise.

A new victim was now to be offered[120] to the distempered spirit of the age: on the 19th August 1561, the young Queen Mary arrived at Leith. She was then in the nineteenth year of her age, and endowed with all that surpassing loveliness which was at once her dower and her misfortune. Her arrival was dreaded by the preachers, who detested the school in which she had been educated, and the influence she might be enabled to exercise; but the great mass of the people hailed her coming with acclamations of unfeigned delight:—

"Despite the efforts of these dark-browed Reformers, agitated by the memory of her good and gallant father,—the king of the poor—by that of her thirteen years' absence from them, and stirred by that inborn spirit of loyalty which the Scots possessed in so intense a degree, the people received their beautiful queen with the utmost enthusiasm, and outvied each other in her praise.

"Her mother's dying advice to secure the support of the Protestants, and to cultivate the friendship of their leaders, particularly Maitland of Lethington and 'Kirkaldy of Grange, whom the Constable de Montmorencie had named the first soldier in Europe,' had been faithfully conveyed to Mary in France by the handsome young Count de Martigues, the Sieur de la Brosse, the Bishop of Amiens, and others, who had witnessed the last moments of that dearly-loved mother in the castle of Edinburgh; and Mary treasured that advice in her heart—but it availed her not."

Hurried on by her evil destiny, and persecuted by intrigues which had their origin in the fertile brain of Elizabeth, Mary determined to bestow her hand upon Darnley, a weak, dissolute, and foolish boy, whose only recommendations were his birth and his personal beauty. Such a marriage never could, under any circumstances, have proved a happy one. At that juncture it was peculiarly unfortunate, as it roused the jealousy of the house of Hamilton against that of Lennox; and was further bitterly opposed by Moray, a cold, calculating, selfish man, who concealed, under an appearance of zeal for the Protestant faith, the most restless, unnatural, and insatiable ambition. Talents he did possess, and of no ordinary kind: above all, he was gifted with the faculty of imposing upon men more open and honourable than himself. Knox was a mere tool in his hands: Kirkaldy of Grange regarded him as a pattern of wisdom. For years, this straightforward soldier surrendered his judgment to the hypocrite, and, unfortunately, did not detect his mistake until the Queen was involved in a mesh from which extrication was impossible. Moray's first attempt at rebellion proved an arrant failure: the people refused to join his standard, and he, with the other leading insurgents, was compelled to seek refuge in England.

All might have gone well but for the folly of the idiot Darnley. No long period of domestic intercourse was requisite to convince the unfortunate Queen that she had thrown away her affections, and bestowed her hand upon an individual totally incapable of appreciating the one, and utterly unworthy of the other. Darnley was a low-minded, fickle, and imperious fool—vicious as a colt, capricious as a monkey, and stubborn as an Andalusian mule. Instead of showing the slightest gratitude to his wife and mistress, for the preference which had raised him from obscurity to a position for which kings were suitors, he repaid the vast boon by a series of petty and unmanly persecutions. He aimed to be not only prince-consort, but master; and because this was denied him, he threw himself precipitately into the counsels of the enemies of Mary. It was not difficult to sow the seeds of jealousy in a mind so well prepared to receive them; and Riccio, the Italian secretary, was marked out by Ruthven and Morton, the secret adherents of Moray, as the victim. Even this scheme, though backed by Darnley, might have miscarried, had not Mary been driven into an act which roused, while it almost justified, the worst fears of the Protestant party in Scotland. This was her adhesion to the celebrated Roman Catholic League, arising from a coalition which had been concluded between France, Spain, and the Emperor, for the destruction of the Protestant cause in Europe. "It was," says Tytler, "a design worthy of the dark and unscrupulous politicians by whom it had been planned—Catherine of Medicis[121] and the Duke of Alva. In the summer of the preceding year, the queen-dowager of France and Alva had met at Bayonne, during a progress in which she conducted her youthful son and sovereign, Charles IX., through the southern provinces of his kingdom; and there, whilst the court was dissolved in pleasure, those secret conferences were held which issued in the resolution that toleration must be at an end, and that the only safety for the Roman Catholic faith was the extermination of its enemies." To this document, Mary, at the instigation of Riccio, who was in the interest of Rome, and who really possessed considerable influence with his mistress, affixed her signature. The bond was abortive for its ostensible purposes, but it was the death-warrant of the Italian secretary, and ultimately of the Queen.

It is not our province to usurp the functions of the historian, and therefore we pass willingly over that intricate portion of history which ends with the murder of Darnley. It was notoriously the work of Bothwell, but not his alone, for Lethington, Huntly, and Argyle, were also deeply implicated. Bothwell now stands forward as a prominent character of the age. He was a bold, reckless, desperate adventurer, with little to recommend him save personal daring, and a fidelity to his mistress which hitherto had remained unshaken. Lethington, in all probability, merely regarded him as an instrument, but Bothwell had a higher aim. With daring ambition, he aimed at the possession of the person of Mary, and actually achieved his purpose.

This unhappy and most unequal union roused the ire of the Scottish nobles. Even such of them as, intimidated by the reckless character of Bothwell, had sworn to defend him if impeached for the slaughter, and had recommended him as a fitting match for Mary, now took up arms, under the pretext that he had violently abducted their sovereign. We fear it cannot be asserted with truth that much violence was used. Poor Queen Mary had found, by bitter experience, that she could hardly depend upon one of her principal subjects. Darnley, Moray, Morton, Lethington, and Arran, each had betrayed her in turn; everywhere her steps were surrounded by a net of the blackest treachery: not one true heart seemed left to beat with loyalty for its Queen. Elizabeth, with fiendish malice, was goading on her subjects to rebellion. The Queen of England had determined to ruin the power of her sister monarch; the elderly withered spinster detested the young and blooming mother. Why, then, should it be matter of great marvel to those who know the acuteness of female sensibility, if, in the hour of desertion and desolation, Mary should have allowed the weakness of the woman to overcome the pride of the sovereign, and should have opposed but feeble resistance to the advances of the only man who hitherto had remained stanch to her cause, and whose arm seemed strong enough to insure her personal protection? It is not the first time that a daring villain has been taken for a hero by a distressed and persecuted woman.

But Bothwell had no friends. The whole of the nobles were against him; and the Commons, studiously taught to believe that Mary was a consenting party to Darnley's death, were hostile to their Queen. Kirkaldy, at the instance of Moray, came over from his patrimonial estates to join the confederates, and his first feat in arms was an attack on Borthwick Castle, from which Bothwell and the Queen escaped with the utmost difficulty. Then came the action, if such it can be called, of Carberry Hill, when Bothwell challenged his accusers to single combat—a defiance which was accepted by Lord Lindesay of the Byres, but prevented from being brought to the test of combat by the voluntary submission of the Queen. Seeing that her forces were utterly inadequate to oppose those of the assembled nobles, she sent for Sir William Kirkaldy of Grange, as a knight in whose honour she could thoroughly confide, and, after a long interview, agreed to pass over to the troops of the confederates, provided they would again acknowledge and obey her as their sovereign. This being promised, she took her last leave of Bothwell, and her first step on the road which ultimately brought her to Lochleven.

We must refer our readers to the[122] volume for the spirited account of these events, and of the expedition undertaken by Kirkaldy in pursuit of Bothwell, his narrow escapes, and sea-fights among the shores of Shetland, and the capture of the fugitive's vessel on the coast of Norway. Neither will our space permit us to dwell upon the particulars of the battle of Langside, that last action hazarded and lost by the adherents of Queen Mary, just after her escape from Lochleven, and before she quitted the Scottish soil for ever. But for the tactics of Kirkaldy, the issue of that fight might have been different; and deeply is it to be regretted that, before that time, the eyes of the Knight of Grange had not been opened to the perfidy of Moray, whom he loved too trustingly, and served far too well. It was only after Mary was in the power of Elizabeth that he knew how much she had been betrayed.

Under the regency of Moray, Kirkaldy held the post of governor of the castle of Edinburgh, and retained it until the fortress went down before the battery of the English cannon.

He was also elected Lord Provost of Edinburgh—a dignity which, before that time, had been held by the highest nobles of the land, but which has since deteriorated under the influence of the Union, and bungled acts of corporation. He was in this position when he seems first to have perceived that the queen had been made the victim of a deep-laid plot of treachery—that Moray was the arch-conspirator—and that he, along with other men, who wished well both to their country and their sovereign, had been used as instruments for his own advancement by the false and unscrupulous statesman. The arrest of Chatelherault and of Lord Herries, both of them declared partisans of Mary, and their committal to the castle of Edinburgh, a measure against which Kirkaldy remonstrated, was the earliest act which aroused his suspicions:—

"Upon this, Mr John Wood, a pious friend of the regent's, observed to Kirkaldy, in the true spirit of his party,—

"'I marvel, sir, that you are offended at these two being committed to ward; for how shall we, who are the defenders of my lord regent, get rewards but by the ruin of such men?'

"'Ha!' rejoined Kirkaldy sternly, 'is that your holiness? I see naught among ye but envy, greed, and ambition, whereby ye will wreck a good regent and ruin the realm!'—a retort which made him many enemies among the train of Moray."

But another event, which occurred soon afterwards, left no doubt in the mind of Kirkaldy as to the nature of Moray's policy. Maitland of Lethington, unquestionably the ablest Scottish diplomatist of his time, but unstable and shifting, as diplomatists often are, had seen cause to adopt very different views from those which he formerly professed. Whilst Mary was in power, he had too often thrown the weight of his influence and council against her: no sooner was she a fugitive and prisoner, than his loyalty appeared to revive. It is impossible now to say whether he was touched with remorse; whether, on reflection, he became convinced that he had not acted the part of a patriotic Scotsman; or whether he was merely led, through excitement, to launch himself into a new sea of political intrigue. This, at least, is certain, that he applied himself, heart and soul, to baffle the machinations of Elizabeth, and to deliver the unhappy Mary from the toils in which she was involved. It was Lethington who conceived the project of restoring Mary to liberty, by bringing about a marriage between her and the Duke of Norfolk; and the knowledge of his zeal on that occasion incensed Elizabeth to the utmost. That vindictive queen, who had always found Moray most ready to obey her wishes, opened a negotiation with him for the destruction of his former friend; and the regent, not daring to thwart her, took measures to have Maitland charged, through a third party, of direct participation in the death of Darnley, whereupon his arrest followed.

Kirkaldy, who loved Maitland, would not allow this manœuvre to pass unnoticed. He remonstrated with the regent for taking such a step; but Moray coldly informed him, that it was out of his power to save Lethington from prison. The blunt soldier, on receiving this reply, sent back a message, demanding that the same charge should be preferred against the Earl[123] of Morton and Archibald Douglas; and he did more—for, Maitland having been detained a prisoner in the town of Edinburgh, under custody of Lord Home, Kirkaldy despatched at night a party of the garrison, and, by means of a counterfeited order, got possession of the statesman's person, and brought him to the castle, where Chatelherault and Herries were already residing as guests. Next morning, to the consternation of Moray, a trumpeter appeared at the cross, demanding, in name of Kirkaldy, that process for regicide should instantly be commenced against Morton and Douglas; and, says our author,—

"Remembering the precepts of the stout old knight his father, who always offered 'the single combate' in maintenance of his assertions, he offered himself, body for body, to fight Douglas on foot or horseback; while his prisoner, the Lord Herries, sent, as a peer of the realm, a similar cartel to the Earl of Morton. The challenges bore, 'that they were in the council, and consequently art and part in the king's murder.'

In vain did Moray try to wheedle Kirkaldy from his stronghold—in vain did the revengeful Morton lay plots and bribe assassins. The castle of Edinburgh had become the rallying point for those who loved their queen. An attempt was made to oust Kirkaldy from the provostship; but the stout burghers, proud of their martial head, turned a deaf ear to the insidious suggestions of the regent. Yet still the banner of King James floated upon the walls of the castle, nor was the authority of Mary again proclaimed by sound of trumpet until after the shot of the injured Bothwellhaugh struck down the false and dangerous Moray in the street of Linlithgow. Then the whole faction of Chatelherault, the whole race of Hamilton, rose in arms, and prepared to place themselves under the guidance of Sir William Kirkaldy. The following is, we think, a noble trait in the character of the man:—

"The latter mourned deeply the untimely fate of Moray: they had been old comrades in the field, stanch friends in many a rough political broil; and though they had quarrelled of late, he had too much of the frankness of his profession to maintain hostility to the dead, and so came to see him laid in his last resting-place. Eight lords bore the body up St Anthony's lofty aisle, in the great cathedral of St Giles; Kirkaldy preceded it, bearing the paternal banner of Moray with the royal arms; the Laird of Cleish, who bore the coat of armour, walked beside him. Knox prayed solemnly and earnestly as the body was lowered into the dust; a splendid tomb was erected over his remains, and long marked the spot where they lay."

Lennox succeeded Moray as regent of Scotland, but no salute from the guns of the grim old fortress of Edinburgh greeted his inauguration. Henceforward Kirkaldy had no common cause with the confederates. Maitland had revealed to him the whole hidden machinery of treason, the scandalous complexity of intrigues, by which he had been made a dupe. He now saw that neither religion nor patriotism, but simply selfishness and ambition, had actuated the nobles in rebelling against their lawful sovereign, and that those very acts which they fixed upon as apologies for their treason, were in fact the direct consequences of their own deliberate guilt. If any further corroboration of their baseness had been required in order to satisfy the mind of Kirkaldy, it was afforded by Morton, who, notwithstanding the defiance so lately hurled at him from the castle, solicited, with a meanness and audacity almost incredible, the assistance of the governor to drive Lennox out of the kingdom, and procure his own acknowledgement as regent instead. It is needless to say that his application was refused with scorn. Kirkaldy now began to doubt the sincerity of Knox, who, although with no selfish motive, had been deeply implicated in the cruel plots of the time; some sharp correspondence took place, and the veteran Reformer was pleased to denounce his former pupil from the pulpit.

Edinburgh now was made to suffer the inconveniences to which every city threatened with a siege is exposed. The burghers began to grumble against their provost, who, on one occasion, sent a party to rescue a prisoner from the Tolbooth, and who always preferred the character of military governor to that of civic[124] magistrate. Knox thundered at him every Sabbath, and doubtless contributed largely to increase the differences between him and the uneasy citizens. The later might well be pardoned for their apprehensions. Not only were they commanded by the castle guns, but Kirkaldy, as if to show them what they might expect in ease of difference of political sentiment,—

"Hoisted cannon to the summit of St Giles's lofty spire, which rises in the middle of the central hill on which the city stands, and commands a view of it in every direction. He placed the artillery on the stone bartizan beneath the flying arches of the imperial crown that surmounts the tower, and thus turned the cathedral into a garrison, to the great annoyance of Knox and the citizens. The latter were also compelled, at their own expense, to maintain the hundred harquebussiers of Captain Melville, who were billeted in the Castlehill Street, for the queen's service; and thus, amid preparations for war, closed the year 1570."

We may fairly suppose, that the cannon of the governor were more obnoxious than a modern annuity-tax can possibly be; yet no citizen seemed desirous of coming forward as a candidate for the crown of martyrdom. The bailies very quietly and very properly succumbed to the provost.

It must be acknowledged that Edinburgh was, in those days, no pleasant place of residence.

Next, to the alarm of the citizens, came a mock fight and the roar of cannon, intended to accustom the garrison to siege and war, which latter calamity speedily commenced in earnest. No possible precaution was omitted by Kirkaldy, whose situation was eminently critical; and he had received a terrible warning. On the last day of truce, the strong castle of Dumbarton was taken by surprise by a party under Captain Crawford of Jordanhill. Lord Fleming was fortunate enough to effect his escape, but Hamilton, archbishop of St Andrews, was made prisoner, and immediately hanged by Lennox over Stirling bridge. An archbishopric never was a comfortable tenure in Scotland.

Lennox and Morton now drew together. The former from Linlithgow, and the latter from Dalkeith, advanced against the city, then occupied by the Hamiltons: skirmishes went on under the walls and on the Boroughmuir, and the unfortunate citizens were nearly driven to distraction. The following dispositions of Provost Kirkaldy were by no means calculated to restore a feeling of confidence, or to better the prospects of trade:—

"He loop-holed the spacious vaults of the great cathedral, for the purpose of sweeping with musketry its steep church-yard to the south, the broad Lawnmarket to the west, and High Street to the eastward; while his cannon from the spire commanded the long line of street called the Canongate—even to the battlements of the palace porch. He seized the ports of the city, placed guards of his soldiers upon them, and retained the keys in his own hands. He ordered a rampart and ditch to be formed at the Butter Tron, for the additional defence of the castle; and another for the same purpose at the head of the West Bow, a steep and winding street of most picturesque aspect. His soldiers pillaged the house of the regent, whose movables and valuables they carried off; he broke into the Tolbooth and council-chamber, drove forth the scribes and councillors, and finally deposed the whole bench of magistrates, installing in the civic chair the daring chief of Fermhirst, (who had now become the husband of his daughter Janet, a young girl barely sixteen;) while a council composed of his mosstrooping vassals, clad in their iron jacks, steel caps, calivers, and two-handed whingers, officiated as bailies, in lieu of the douce, paunchy, and well-fed burgesses of the Craims and Luckenbooths."

The Blue Blanket of Edinburgh—that banner which, according to tradition, waved victoriously on the ramparts of Acre—had fallen into singular custody! John Knox again fled, for in truth his life was in danger. Kirkaldy, notwithstanding their differences, exerted his authority to the utmost to protect him, but the Hamiltons detested his very name; and one night a bullet fired through his window, was taken as a significant hint that his absence from the metropolis would be convenient. Scandal, even in those times, was rife in Edinburgh; for we are told that—

"John Low, a carrier of letters to St Andrews, being in the 'Castell of Edinburgh,[125] the Ladie Home would neids threip in his face, that Johne Knox was banist the toune, because in his yard he had raisit some sanctis, amangis whome their came up the devill with hornes, which when his servant Richart saw he ran wud, and so deid.'"

It is hardly credible, but it is a fact, that a meeting of the Estates of Scotland, called by Lennox, was held in Edinburgh at this very juncture. Kirkaldy occupied the upper part of the town, whilst the lower was in the hands of the regent, protected, or rather covered, by a battery which Morton had erected upon the "Doo Craig," that bluff black precipice to the south of the Calton Hill. The meeting, however, was a short one. "Mons Meg" and her marrows belched forth fire and shot upon the town, and the scared representatives fled, in terror of the falling ruins. A sortie from the castle was made, and the place of assembly burned.

Kirkaldy now summoned and actually held a parliament, in name of Queen Mary, in Edinburgh. The possession of the Regalia gave this assembly a show of legality at least equivalent to that pertaining to its rival, the Black Parliament, which was then sitting at Stirling.

We must refer to the work itself for the details of the martial exploits which followed. So very vividly and picturesquely are the scenes described, that, in reading of them, the images arise to our mind with that distinctness which constitutes the principal charm of the splendid romances of Scott. We accompany, with the deepest personal interest, the gallant Captain Melville and his harquebussiers, on his expedition to dislodge grim Morton from his Lion's Den at Dalkeith—we follow fiery Claud Hamilton in his attack upon the Black Parliament at Stirling, when Lennox met his death, and Morton, driven by the flames from his burning mansion, surrendered his sword to Buccleugh—and, amidst the din and uproar of the Douglas wars, we hear the cannon on the bastion of Edinburgh castle battering to ruin the gray towers of Merchiston.

The career of Kirkaldy was rapidly drawing towards its close. During the life of Mar, who succeeded Lennox in the regency, the brave governor succeeded in maintaining possession not only of the castle, but of the city of Edinburgh, in spite of all opposition. But Morton, the next regent, was a still more formidable foe. The hatred between this man and Kirkaldy was mutual, and it was of the most deadly kind. And no wonder. Morton, as profligate as cruel, had seduced the fair and false Helen Leslie, wife of Sir James Kirkaldy, the gallant brother of the governor, and thereby inflicted the worst wound on the honour of an ancient family. A more awful story than the betrayal of her husband, and the seizure of his castle of Blackness, through the treachery of this wretched woman, is not to be found in modern history. Tarpeia alone is her rival in infamy, and the end of both was the same. The virulence of hereditary feud is a marked feature in our Scottish annals; but no sentiment of the kind could have kindled such a flame of enmity as burned between Morton and Kirkaldy. From the hour when the former obtained the regency, the war became one of extermination.

Morton, it must be owned, showed much diplomatic skill in his arrangements. His first step was to negotiate separately with the country party of the loyalists, so as to detach them from Kirkaldy; and in this he perfectly succeeded. The leading nobles, Huntley and Argyle, were wearied with the war; Chatelherault, whom we have already known as Arran, was broken down by age and infirmities; and even those who had been the keenest partisans of the queen, Herries and Seton, were not disinclined to transfer their allegiance to her son. The treaty of Perth left Kirkaldy with no other adherents save Lord Home, the Melvilles, Maitland, and his garrison. The city had revolted, and was now under the provostship of fierce old Lord Lindesay of the Byres, who was determined to humble his predecessor. Save the castle rock of Edinburgh, and the hardy band that held it, all Scotland had submitted to Morton.

Killigrew, the English ambassador, advised him to yield. "No!" replied Kirkaldy. "Though my friends have[126] forsaken me, and the city of Edinburgh hath done so too, yet I will defend this castle to the last!" The man whom Moray thought a tool, had expanded to the bulk of a hero.

Meantime, English engineers were occupied in estimating the capabilities of the castle as a place of defence. They reported that, with sufficient artillery, it might be reduced in twenty days; and, accordingly, Morton determined to besiege it so soon as the period of truce agreed on by the treaty of Perth should expire. Kirkaldy was not less resolute to maintain it.

At six o'clock, on the morning of 1st January 1573, a warning gun from the castle announced that the treaty had expired, and the standard of the Queen was unfurled on the highest tower, amidst the acclamations of the garrison. Four-and-twenty hours previously, Kirkaldy had issued a proclamation, warning all loyal subjects of the Queen to depart forthwith from the city; and terrible indeed was the situation of those who neglected that seasonable warning. Morton began the attack; and it was answered by an incessant discharge from the batteries upon the town.

Civil war had assumed its worst form. By day the cannon thundered; at night the garrison made sorties, and fired the city: all was wrack and ruin. Morton, bursting with fury, found that, unassisted, he could not conquer Grange.

English aid was asked from, and given by, the unscrupulous Elizabeth. Drury, who had helped Morton in his dishonourable treason at Restalrig, marched into Scotland with the English standard displayed, bringing with him fifteen hundred harquebussiers, one hundred and fifty pikemen, and a numerous troop of gentlemen volunteers; while the train of cannon and baggage came round by sea to Leith, where a fleet of English ships cruised, to cut off all succour from the Continent.

The English summons to surrender was treated by Kirkaldy with scorn. Up went a scarlet banner, significant of death and defiance, on the great tower of King David. Indomitable, as in the days of his early youth, when the confederates of St Andrews defied the universe in arms, the Scottish champion looked calmly from his rock on the preparations for the terrible assault.

Five batteries were erected around the castle, but not with impunity. The cannon of Kirkaldy mowed down the pioneers when engaged in their trenching operations; and it was not until Trinity Sunday, the 17th of May, that the besiegers opened their fire.

"At two o'clock in the afternoon, the five batteries opened a simultaneous discharge upon the walls of the castle. Bravely and briskly its cannoneers replied to them, and deep-mouthed Mons Meg, with her vast bullets of black whin, the thundering carthouns, basilisks, serpents, and culverins, amid fire and smoke, belched their missiles from the old gray towers, showering balls of iron, lead, and stone at the batteries; while the incessant ringing of several thousand harquebusses, calivers, and wheel-lock petronels, added to the din of the double cannonade. From the calibre of the great Mons Meg, which yet frowns en barbe over the ramparts, one may easily imagine the dismay her enormous bullets must have caused in the trenches so far below her.

"For ten days the furious cannonade continued, on both sides, without a moment's cessation. On the 19th, three towers were demolished, and enormous gaps appeared in the curtain walls; many of the castle guns were dismounted, and destroyed by the falling of the ancient masonry: a shot struck one of the largest culverins fairly on the muzzle, shattering it to pieces, and scattering the splinters around those who stood near. A very heavy battery was discharged against King David's Tower, a great square bastel-house, the walls of which were dark with the lapse of four centuries. On the 23d, a great gap had been beaten in its northern side, revealing the arched hall within; and as the vast old tower, with its cannon, its steel-clad defenders, and the red flag of defiance still waving above its machicolated bartizan, sank with a mighty crash to shapeless ruin, the wild shriek raised by the females in the castle, and the roar of the masonry rolling like thunder down the perpendicular rocks, were distinctly heard at the distant English camp."

One hundred and fifty men constituted the whole force which Kirkaldy could muster when he commenced his desperate defence. Ten times that number would scarcely have sufficed to maintain an adequate resistance; but high heroic valour in the face of death[127] is insensible to any odds. After a vigorous resistance, the besiegers succeeded in gaining possession of the Spur or blockhouse—an outer work which was constructed between the fortress and the town; but an attempt to scale the rock on the west side utterly failed.

The blockade had for some time been so strict, that the garrison began to suffer from want of provisions; but their sorest privation was the loss of water. Although there are large and deep wells in the Castle of Edinburgh, a remarkable peculiarity renders them useless in the time of siege. To this day, whenever the cannon are fired, the water deserts the wells, oozing out of some fissures at the bottom of the rock. There is, however, a lower spring on the north side, called St Margaret's Well, and from this the garrison for a time obtained a scanty supply. Under cloud of night a soldier was let down by a rope from the fortifications, and in this manner the wholesome element was drawn. This circumstance became known to the besiegers; and they, with diabolical cruelty, had recourse to the expedient of poisoning the well, and permitted the nocturnal visitor to draw the deadly liquid without molestation. The consequences, of course, were fearful. Many expired in great agony; and those whose strength enabled them to throw off the more active effects of the poison, were so enfeebled that they could hardly work the heavy cannon, or support the fatigue of watching day and night upon the battlements.

"Maddened by the miseries they underwent, and rendered desperate by all hopes of escape from torture and death being utterly cut off, a frenzy seized the soldiers; they broke into a dangerous mutiny, and threatened to hang Lethington over the walls, as being the primary cause of all these dangers, from the great influence he exercised over Kirkaldy, their governor. But even now, when amid the sick, the dying, and the dead, and the mutinous—surrounded by crumbling ramparts and dismounted cannon, among which the shot of the besiegers were rebounding every instant—with the lives, honour, and safety of his wife, his brother, and numerous brave and faithful friends depending on his efforts and example, the heart of the brave governor appears never to have quailed even for an instant!"

At length, as further resistance was useless, and as certain movements on the part of the enemy indicated their intention of proceeding to storm the castle by the breach which had been effected on the eastern side, Kirkaldy requested an interview with his old fellow-soldier Drury, the Marshal of Berwick. This being acceded to, the governor and his uncle, "Sir Robert Melville of Murdocairnie, were lowered over the ruins by cords, as there was no other mode of egress, the flight of forty steps being completely buried in the same ruin which had choked up the archways, and hidden both gates and portcullis. The Castlehill, at that time, says Melville of Kilrenny, in his Diary, was covered with stones, 'rinning like a sandie bray;' but behind the breaches were the men-at-arms drawn up in firm array, with their pikes and helmets gleaming in the setting sun."

Kirkaldy's requests were not unreasonable. He asked to have security for the lives and property of those in the garrison, to have leave for Lord Home and Maitland of Lethington to retire to England, and, for himself, permission to live unmolested at the estate in Fife. Drury might have consented, but Morton was obdurate. The thought of having his enemy unconditionally in his hands, and the prospect of a revenge delicious to his savage and unrelenting nature, made him deaf to all applications; and the only terms he would grant were these,—

"That if the soldiers marched forth without their armour, and submitted to his clemency, he would grant them their lives; but there were ten persons who must yield unconditionally to him, and whose fate he would leave to the decision of their umpire, Elizabeth. The unfortunate exceptions were—the governor, Sir James Kirkaldy, Lethington, Alexander Lord Home, the Bishop of Dunkeld, Sir Robert Melville of Murdocairnie, Logan of Restalrig, Alexander Crichton of Drylaw, Pitarrow the constable, and Patrick Wishart.

Kirkaldy returned to the castle, resolved to die in the breach, but by this time the mutiny had begun. The soldiers insisted upon a surrender[128] even more clamorously than before, and several of them took the opportunity of clambering over the ruins and deserting. It would have been madness under such circumstances to hold out; yet still Kirkaldy, jealous of his country's honour, could not brook the idea of handing over the citadel of Scotland's metropolis to the English.

"Therefore, when compelled to adopt the expedient (which is supposed to have originated in Lethington's fertile brain) of admitting a party of the besiegers within the outworks, or at least close to the walls, he sent privately in the night a message to Hume and Jordanhill, to march their Scottish companies between the English batteries and the fortress, lest the old bands of Drury should have the honour of entering first."

Next morning he came forth, and surrendered his sword to Drury, who gave him the most solemn assurances that he should be restored to his estates and liberty at the intercession of the Queen of England, and that all his adherents should be pardoned.

Drury, probably, was in earnest, but he had either overstepped his commission, or misinterpreted the mind of his mistress. Morton had most basely handed over to Elizabeth the person of the fugitive Earl of Northumberland, whom she hurried to the block, nor could she well refuse to the Scottish regent a similar favour in return. Morton asked for the disposal of the prisoners, and the gift was readily granted.

Three of them were to die: for these there was no mercy. One, William, Maitland of Lethington, disappointed the executioner by swallowing poison, a draught more potent than that drawn from the well of St. Margaret. The vengeance of Morton long kept his body from the decencies of the grave. Of the two Kirkaldys, one was the rival of the regent, who had foully wronged the other, and, therefore, their doom was sealed.

One hundred barons and gentlemen of rank and fortune, kinsmen to the gallant Kirkaldy, offered, in exchange for his life, to bind themselves by bond of manrent, as vassals to the house of Morton for ever: money, jewels, lands, were tendered to the regent; but all in vain. Nothing could induce him to depart from his revenge. Nor were others wanting to urge on the execution. The Reformed preachers, remembering the dying message of Knox, were clamorous for the realisation of the prophecy through his death; the burghers, who had suffered so much from his obstinate defence, shouted for his execution; only stout old Lord Lindesay, fierce as he was, had the magnanimity to plead on behalf of the unfortunate soldier.

Then came the scaffold and the doom. Those who are conversant with Scottish history cannot but be impressed with the remarkable resemblance between the last closing scene of Kirkaldy, as related in this work, and that of Montrose, which was exhibited on the same spot, in another and a later age.

So died this remarkable man, the last of Queen Mary's adherents. If, in the course of his career, we can trace out some inconsistencies, it is but fair to his memory to reflect how early he was thrown upon the troubled ocean of politics, and how difficult it must have been, in such an age of conflicting opinions and desperate intrigue, to maintain a tangible principle. Kirkaldy seems to have selected Moray as his guide—not penetrating certainly, at the time, the selfish disposition of the man. But the instant he perceived that his own aggrandisement, and not the welfare of Scotland, was the object of the designing Earl, Grange drew off from his side, and valorously upheld the cause of his injured and exiled sovereign.

We now take leave of a work which, we are convinced, will prove of deep and thrilling interest to every Scotsman. It is seldom indeed that we find history so written—in a style at once vigorous, perspicuous, and picturesque. The author's heart is thoroughly with his subject; and he exhibits, ever and anon, flashes of the old Scottish spirit, which we are glad to believe has not decayed from the land.

Printed by William Blackwood and Sons, Edinburgh.


[1] "Nulla magna civitas diu quiescere potest si foris hostem non habet, domi invenit—ut prævalida corpora ab extremis causis tuta videntur, sed suis ipsa viribas onerantur. Tantum, nimirum, ex publicis malis sentimus, quantum ad res privatas pertmet; nec in eis quicquam aerius, quam pecuniæ damnun, stimulat."—Livy, xxx. 44.

[2] Darwin, Botanic Garden.

[3] "Thirty-five miles below the surface of the earth, the central heat is everywhere so great, that granite itself is held in fusion."—Humboldt, Cosmos, i. 273.

[4] Lucan, i. 1-6.

[5] Macaulay's History of England, vol. ii. p. 669.

[6] Louis Blanc, Histoire de Dix Ans de Louis Philippe, iii. 321, et seq.

[7] Macaulay's History, i. 1-2.

[8] Observe, for a time! We shall see anon what the price of sugar will be when the English colonies are destroyed and the slave plantations have the monopoly of the market in their hands.

[9] "Cromwell supplied the void made by his conquering sword, by pouring in numerous colonies of the Anglo-Saxon blood and of the Calvinistic faith. Strange to say, under that iron rule the conquered country began to wear an outward face of prosperity. Districts, which had recently been as wild as those where the first white settlers of Connecticut were contending with the Red Men, were in a few years transformed into the likeness of Kent and Norfolk. New buildings, roads, and plantations were everywhere begun. The rent of estates rose fast: and some of the English landowners began to complain that they were met in every market by the products of Ireland, and to clamour for protecting laws."—Macaulay's History, i., 130.

[10] A Campaign in the Kabylie. By Dawson Borrer, F.R.G.S., &c. London, 1848.

La Kabylie. Par un Colon. Paris, 1846.

La Captivité du Trompette Escoffier. Par Ernest Alby. 2 vols. Brussels, 1848.

[11] The Moors smoke the leaves of hemp instead of tobacco. This keef, as it is called, easily intoxicates, and renders the head giddy. Abd-el-Kader forbade the use of it, and if one of his soldiers was caught smoking keef, he received the bastinado. Captivité d'Escoffier, vol. i. p. 221.

[12] "General Lamoricière habitually carries a stick. This has procured him, from the Arabs, the name of the Père-au-bâton, (the father with the stick:) Bour-à-boi. One of his orderly officers, my friend and comrade Captain Bentzman, gives Araouah as the proper orthography of Bour-à-boi. We have followed Escoffier's pronunciation."—Captivité d'Escoffier, vol. i. p. 30.

[13] Cicero's joke on a senator who was the son of a tailor—"Thou hast touched the thing sharply;" (or with a needle—acu.)

[14] Rubruquis, sect. xii.

[15] Expedition zur Entdeckung der Quellen des Weissen Nil, (1840-1841,) von Ferdinand Werne. Mit einem Vorwort von Carl Ritter. Berlin, 1848.

[16] Annals of the Artists of Spain. By William Stirling, M. A. 3 vols. London: Ollivier.

[17] All these portraits were destroyed by fire in the reign of Philip III.

[18] He died the year following.

[19] The Dodo and its Kindred; or, the History, Affinities, and Osteology of the Dodo, Solitaire, and other Extinct Birds of the Islands Mauritius, Rodriguez, and Bourbon. By H. E. Strickland, M.A. F.G.S., F.R.G.S., President of the Ashmolean Society, &c., and A. G. Melville, M.D., Edinburgh, M.R.C. One vol., royal quarto: London, 1848.

[20] The scientific value of these remnants, Mr Strickland informs us, has been lately much increased by skilful dissection. Dr Acland, the lecturer in anatomy, has divided the skin of the cranium down the mesial line, and, by removing it from the left side, the entire osteological structure of this extraordinary skull is exposed to view, while on the other side the external covering remains undisturbed. The solitary foot was formerly covered by decomposed integuments, and presented few external characters. These have been removed by Dr Kidd, the professor of medicine, who has made an interesting preparation of both the osseous and tendinous structures.—See The Dodo and its Kindred, p. 33.

[21] The collection of the Dukes of Schleswig was removed about the year 1720, by Frederic IV., from Gottorf to Copenhagen, where it is now incorporated with the Royal "Kunstkammer" of that northern capital.

[22] In regard to the figures by which it is illustrated, we beg to call attention very specially to Plates VIII. and IX., as the most beautiful examples of the lithographic art, applied to natural history, which we have yet seen executed in this country.

[23] The companions of Vasco de Gama had, at an earlier period, applied the name of Solitaires to certain birds found in an island near the Cape of Good Hope; but these must not be confounded with those of the Didine group above referred to. They were, in fact, penguins, and their wings were somewhat vaguely compared to those of bats, by reason of the peculiar scaly or undeveloped state of the feathers in these birds. Dr Hamel has shown that the term Solitaires, as employed by the Portuguese sailors, was a corruption of sotilicairos, an alleged Hottentot word, of which we do not profess to know the meaning, being rather rusted in that tongue. We know, however, that penguins are particularly gregarious, and, therefore, by no means solitary, although they may be extremely sotilicairious for anything we can say to the contrary.

[24] Memoirs and Adventures of Sir Wm. Kirkaldy of Grange, Knight, &c. &c. Wm. Blackwood & Sons, Edinburgh and London.

Transcriber's note:

Minor typographical errors have been corrected without note. Irregularities and inconsistencies in the text have been retained as printed.

Mismatched quotes are not fixed if it's not sufficiently clear where the missing quote should be placed.

The cover for the eBook version of this book was created by the transcriber and is placed in the public domain.

The transcriber has supplied footnote anchors for the following footnotes:

Page 20: Footnote 10 A Campaign in the Kabylie. By Dawson Borrer, F.R.G.S., &c. London, 1848.

Page 47: Footnote 15 Expedition zur Entdeckung der Quellen des Weissen Nil, (1840-1841,) von Ferdinand Werne. Mit einem Vorwort von Carl Ritter. Berlin, 1848. La Kabylie. Par un Colon. Paris, 1846.

La Captivité du Trompette Escoffier. Par Ernest Alby. 2 vols. Brussels, 1848."

Page 63: Footnote 16 Annals of the Artists of Spain. By William Stirling, M. A. 3 vols. London: Ollivier.

Page 81: Footnote 19 The Dodo and its Kindred; or, the History, Affinities, and Osteology of the Dodo, Solitaire, and other Extinct Birds of the Islands Mauritius, Rodriguez, and Bourbon. By H. E. Strickland, M.A. F.G.S., F.R.G.S., President of the Ashmolean Society, &c., and A. G. Melville, M.D., Edinburgh, M.R.C. . One vol., royal quarto: London, 1848.

Page 112: Footnote 24 Memoirs and Adventures of Sir Wm. Kirkaldy of Grange, Knight, &c. &c. Wm. Blackwood &Sons, Edinburgh and London.